Maybe being a year older has something to do with it or maybe it’s the fact that we’re reading a book about childhood in class, but I’ve been thinking back to when we were kids lately. The most prominent childhood association I have is being out at my grandparents’ house. We spent many a weekend risking our necks in the pastures and “the woods” out back. Almost getting run over by Grampa’s crazy horse Misty and screaming at Rusty, their labrador, to get out of the pond when there was a water moccasin swimming nearby. I remember getting countless shocks from the electric fence when we took a shortcut through the fence. And that stupid huge old ceder tree in front of the kitchen window that I could never climb by myself. I wonder if any of the crap that we put in the hole in the trunk is still there.
Mainly though, I remember the Crafts… Oh, the Crafts! Gramma was always doing something or other. She crocheted blankets for all of us grandkids one year. Mine was made out of a purple and white marbled-looking yarn. I still have it somewhere… Or maybe mom does. Chris’ was much thinker and made out of a bunch of different colors of yarn in foot wide-ish stripes. Another year she gave all the granddaughters barbies with crocheted southern belle type dresses. The quilt Great Grandma made Dad that’s still in use at my parents house when the weather gets cold. She also made me a bunny doll in a red calico dress, that I still have somewhere. We all cross-stitched. Mom was by far the most industrious. She undertook large samplers with scriptures or cats. Last time I was home, the white cat in the tiger lily basket that she made was still hanging in my grandparents’ bedroom. Mom also sewed clothes for us. Remember your blue bunny shirt, Chris? (^_-)
By far the strangest and most memorable were the fads that our crafts went through. I mean, crocheting, cross-stitching, even plain old sewing have stood the test of time. I sew. I cross-stitch. But, there were a couple of crafty things that came and went and we should be glad they did! First, there were mop dolls. For anyone that doesn’t know what a mop doll is, it’s all in the name. You take a new mop head and make it into a doll. Like so:
Then there was the fabric paint. I don’t know where the idea came from originally, but we got to Gramma’s one day and she had covered the pool table with something and had shirts stretched over cardboard cutouts. In one corner there was a stockpile of glittery fabric paints and of all things, hair picks. How the plan worked was you drizzled the paint around the collar of the shirt and then ran the pick through the paint away from the collar, making a radial spiky design. Unforeseen side effect: very stiff shirts! (I think we may have used too much paint.) We also got patriotic denim jackets with flags and eagles and more glitter paint. Kind of like this but with a lot more stuff on it:
I really don’t remember if I ever wore that jacket or not…