Friday, July 18, 2008


Hi Knitters,
I have been doing some cleaning out lately. I know I have written that more than once or twice but it is an ongoing battle. Our house is not big and there are a lot of big people with big stuff living here. Thus the problem lives on. I just came across this oil pastel portrait my youngest daughter made in art class and I love it. I think I will get it framed eventually. I love her sense of color, anything goes. She is so proud of her artwork and that makes it fun to enjoy with her. She told me it is an abstract.
I found this picture I made in art class when I was not much older than my daughter. I don't remember much about making it but somehow it reminds me of my daughter's portrait. The colors overlap quite a bit and also with the black lines separating the segments of color. My mom saved this artwork of mine. I kind of like this one and I am glad she saved it. I guess you could say I am proud of it.
My mom also saved this painting I did probably in the late 70's. I think it is so perfect for that time. Everyone wore Izod shirts, the stripey kind with the white collar. I think the assignment was to make an object using the letters of the object. I don't think this was too creative on my part but it's kind of funny. I still like it. There may be a smidgen of pride in this one, possibly.
This piece of art is another one of mine that my mom saved. Note the ever-going rainbow theme. This piece has a story behind it. I was in third grade and I remember whipping this up very fast right at the end of class. There was no rhyme or reason behind it. I handed it in to the teacher and left the room. The next time I came back to her class she pulled me aside and told me she had selected my bird picture to be displayed at the state capitol building. I was the only one selected. She handed me a sheet that I later gave to my mom. There was an actual luncheon/event surrounding the art exhibit and we were invited to attend.

My mom picked me up from school before lunch that special day and we drove down to the capitol building. On the way down to the exhibit I confessed to my mom that I didn't even like the picture that was being shown. I told her that it wasn't very good and that I made it in a matter of minutes as an afterthought. I was only in third grade but I knew this picture wasn't my best work at all, not even close. My mom and I giggled about it in the car. We had no idea what to expect when we got there. It turned out to be a bigger deal than we had guessed.

We ate lunch in a room and then we were escorted to the exhibit where we had to stand by our artwork on display. My mom and I quietly laughed together when we saw my picture. It was a sweet and funny moment. I was the youngest of four kids in my family and in some respects I was kind of old for my age. I knew the tongue hanging out on the sun wasn't the best and I knew the proportion was all off with the bird. I know for certain that I didn't like the bird's feet hanging down. My mom laughed with me at that. The whole thing seemed so messy and uninspired. I didn't feel proud of my work that day. I remember talking about these points with my mom. She was the best, so supportive and funny, just the best. She made you feel good in any situation.
The best part was that Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey (1976) attended the exhibit and came around to each child's display to look at the artwork and to meet everyone individually. My mom really liked that and we shook his hand. She was a great follower of politics, sports and the news of all sorts so it was fun for her to meet the governor. She saved the letter that we were given at the exhibit. It's kind of a sweet note. I am so glad she saved this stuff. I will continue to save it simply because she did.

If only my artwork could have been better that day but actually it didn't matter one bit. I had so much fun with my mom and that's really what I remember most of all. She was so fun and funny and great to be around. I was proud of her that day and every day. I was proud that I got to be by her side. It's a good memory to have.

Anyway, all of this was spurred on by my cleaning and finding and then this magazine.
I grabbed this on the news stand today. I was leafing through when I saw a brief one-page story that I was asked to contribute to awhile back. I honestly had forgotten about it. See that story on the cover, "Mom and Me: Sharing a Passion for Knitting."
I was asked to think of something my mother taught me about knitting. My mom taught me everything but not knitting. I sent in this quote anyway:

"My mother wasn't a knitter, but she was a fantastic seamstress. Her work was always perfection, every last thread snipped and crease pressed. She passed on to me a deep sense of pride in my own handmade creations. Being proud of what you do or make will take you far in life."

I didn't know if this quote would get in the article because my mom didn't knit. But there it is and she was right.

My only wish is that the quote could be in the present tense.

Be proud of what you do, Knitters, I am.
best, susie


Kathleen said...

You should be proud!!! My mother did not teach me to knit either...she was too busy with me and my TEN brothers and sisters. But my grandmother did and she taught me so much...she used to knit aran sweaters..I still have some and whenever I wear them, I can feel her smile. I know she would be so happy to know what a huge knitter I am now.

Oh...I, too, remember its Lacoste....ooh la la.

Katri said...

I read your blog with a huge smile! I am an elementary art teacher and nothing pleases me more than to hear when parents save and FRAME the art. All those years ago your art teacher was able to see your creative side...even though you may not have seen it in that particular piece. I'm so glad your mom saved your work and happy to hear you are doing the same for your children. Seems like such a little thing to do but it makes a little person feel so big. Thank you for sharing your story!

Anonymous said...

When the youngest of my three daughters was in the fifth grade, she brought home this HUGE (probably 4 x 4 ft.) painting of "Queen Elizabeth the II" done on black paper in art class. I LOVED that painting and I immediately spent a ridiculous amount of money to have it frame. It hung over the front door of our home and, for years, I would brag on Alli's painting. All my girls are artistic but this painting was so awesome. It truly spoke to me.

Well, when Alli was probably 15 or so, we were all laughing one day as Kate, my 2nd daughter, confessed that she really DIDN'T find Thea, our cat, by the side of the road with her dead mother (three years prior). I guess she knew that I was a sucker for a sob story, which I am.

Imagine my surprise when Alli said "Um, Mom, you know that painting of Queen Elizabeth? Well, uh, I really didn't paint it. I just took it from the art room."

Talk about bursting my bubble! Of course, I immediately took it down but now, 7 years later, I truly wish I hadn't been so impulsive and had kept the painting. It was so awesome and had such a great story. Silly me.............

I love how your mom saved your stuff. My mother never saved anything of ours which is probably why I save EVERYTHING! I love your daughter's painting and know that it'll probably hang in a special place in your home and you'll brag on her to anyone who wants to hear.

Thanks for another stroll down memory lane. Your blog does that often for me. Blessings, Leslie

Jedimommy said...

What a great post! Your mother sounds like a wonderful person. Such good memories you must have of her - always keep them close to your heart.

My checklist for this weekend: frame some of my kids' artwork, teach my daughter to knit, and call my Mom.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet post! I had tears.....

Denise said...

What a sweet sweet post Susan, and lovely memories, thanks for sharing them with us. I just saw that issue on the stands today but left it and picked up KnitScene instead! I will have to get that one next time:-)
Hope you're having a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

What a charming story!

Cybèle said...

What a lovely story! You describe moments that I enjoy with my children now. I'm hoping they'll remember them as you do now.

Tracy Batchelder said...

I enjoyed the story behind the bird painting. Good moms make all the difference in how we think about ourselves and our work.

Anonymous said...

We have the same maiden name! I knew I liked you! :)