Memories of My Mother

Elegant even when stuffing her face

Elegant even when stuffing her face

Today would have been my mother’s 77th birthday. I always thought she would live forever, but when she was diagnosed with lung cancer, I knew she didn’t have much time left. Having watched my father suffer from the same disease and the side effects of chemo and radiation, she told her doctors she did not want any treatment. I asked her to reconsider; not for me or my brother, but for my children, who had no other grandparent. She relented, but in five months she was gone.

I celebrate the good memories of Mom. She was talented and witty and determined to make a good life for her family. Having moved here from Japan after marrying my father, she did her best to learn the language and all things American. She used a dictionary to learn English, and was better spoken than many people I know. Though she never became an US citizen, she understood our system of government better than I ever will. And she had a way giving a Asian twist to any recipe, even fried chicken. You know, it’s pretty good with soy sauce.

Hanging with her home girls, Japan 1958 or '59

Hanging with her home girls, Japan 1958 or ’59

What a vixen doing the dishes

What a vixen doing the dishes

My mom was always kind and gracious. That drove me nuts. Sometimes when I would see people trying to take advantage of her, I would tell her to stand up for herself. It took me a long time to learn that she was standing up for herself, because if someone is wrong, they will suffer their own consequences.

My mother was a meticulous seamstress. She learned to sew in Japan, all by hand and then on the machine. In 1963 my father bought her a sewing machine that she used until 2011. I have that machine, even though I can’t sew. One day I will learn.

My mother was a loving parent, even though she did not hug or kiss us much. She was protective and nurturing, but understood we had to make our own mistakes.

1962, with my brother and me

1962, with my brother and me

My mother was the best grandmother in the world. When she asked my son to call her “grandma”, he looked at her and said “Mema”! So Mema it was, then and now.

I didn’t wake up thinking about her birthday. I was trying to get some housework done, sweeping, mopping, running the laundry, like I usually do on Mondays. And I thought to myself, I do this on Mondays because Mom did housework on Mondays. And then I knew it was her birthday. So I took a moment to make myself a ring in her memory. It’s not something she would have ever worn, but I think it might have brought a smile to her face.

in memory of my mother

in memory of my mother

I miss you Mom. You and Dad rest good now. You earned it.

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notes from the work room

 

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Just a few pics from what I’ve been working on- mainly my booth displays. Some dress forms waiting to be, well, dressed.

banner

A banner I made for my table.

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Can you see the little dress on top of my shutters? Love them! Will follow up hopefully tomorrow with some detail, but now it’s time to cook supper!

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Ring Trays

I know you’ve seen them on Pinterest- hand-made jewelry displays. I can’t stop looking for them, hoping to find the one that says to me “I’m beautiful, cheap and easy”. Yea, I like cheap and easy. Who doesn’t? Seeing as I have a lot of rings, and they do well at shows, I thought I’d try my hand at making a few ring trays. If I looked hard enough around this house, I’d probably have enough frames for about 50 trays, but instead, I went to the dollar store, and then to that mega store where everything is priced cheap because it is cheap.I tried making them with quilt batting (too soft), fun foam (too colorful), and book pages (too fragile). So this is what I have now:

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book page ring tray

book page ring tray

 

 

 

 

 

They are so not perfect. “If you seek perfection, you shall surely be disappointed.” That’s my mantra. It’s useful when you have children. Oh, back to the ring trays. Cheap? The frames were $1, the batting was $4, fun foam $1, muslin $2 a yard… so you decide. I’ve got enough batting and fabric to make about 3 more, so I don’t think it was too terribly expensive. While the book page tray is my favorite, you can see I’ve already torn it, so I’ll just keep it at home for a prop. So the rest of the trays make it possible to sort the rings by size, which is real helpful to the potential customer. Here’s how I tackled the signage:

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Velcro is a wonderful thing. I use a lot of it.

So the trays can stand up and be seen at a distance, or laid down as one would like to try the rings on. and the signs can be pulled off when it’s time to pack up.

See you at the fair!

 

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