August 17th, 2012
I recently posted this story on my instagram for a #YoungatArt event ModCloth was doing. Thought I’d share it here, too (and show my mom that I’m not always so bad when I “do the internet”).
When I was in Brownies we all made felt ornaments at one of our after-school meetings. We had some hands-on embroidery instruction and could make anything we want. I chose to make a gingerbread man. Or what I thought was a gingerbread man. We had no patterns, and we all made things from our imagination. No patterns, no inspirations… just our creative minds. I was not happy at all with my results. I brought it home in tears, and my mom assured me she loved it.
Every year my mom put that fugly damn gingerbread man on our Christmas tree, and every year I quietly snuck that damn gingerbread man to the back of the Christmas tree out of sight, and every year my mom told me how much she loved it and that one day I would love it too. She assured me - year after year.
And now gizillion and twenty-something years later I love that damn gingerbread man! My life is now filled with sewing, stitching, fabric and quilting, and that damn gingerbread man is my link to the moment when someone gifted me with the challenge to create and to make. And most of all - that making things makes happiness not just for myself but for others too.
A few years ago my mom gave me that damn gingerbread man, and he now graces my design-wall with my creative and treasured joys. The damn gingerbread man is my daily reminder that nothing creative is ugly. Though some things take time before they show their beauty. I’ve also added a mouth on him (no wonder all these years he’s been so quiet). And one day I may even stitch up his bum so his bits don’t fall out. If there’s a contest for the longest time it took to complete a project - I’m throwing my hat into the race.
[Damn Gingerbread Man, circa late 60’s/early 70’s, Orinda, Calif.]