Friday, December 15, 2006

What I did on the first night of Hannukah

My kids are away; Zed's friends at the Bayit (Jewish house) at Wesleyan grated 47 pounds of potatoes for latkes - not nearly enough latkes, I suppose, given the way college kids eat. Melina, too, was on her way to a latke party tonight when I called to wish her Happy Hannukah.

Luckily I was not alone. I usually spend Friday afternoons with Menticia, so she was with me when I lit the candles.

Then we got to work. Today we were beginning her Christmas presents. This is the third year I have been noodging away at the concept that hand-made presents are preferable to easily-broken trinkets from the dollar store.

Hurrah, Menticia finally seemed enthusiastic this year! She had the idea we could work on a blanket for her little sister. (Evidently there are not quite enough blankets among the three girls and there is testy sharing going on.)

We got a fluffy, furry red throw with big snowflakes on it - we bought blue felt and golden embroidery thread - we drew the letters of her sister's name on the felt and cut them out and pinned them across the throw.

Menticia started at the beginning of the name, I started at the end, we blanket-stitched our way toward the middle. When we were stitching adjacent letters it was a bit like the game of twister...

The sewing got a bit break-neck towards the end, not just because of the twister situation but because Menticia had a social engagement and we really wanted to finish before I had to take her where she was going.

Next up: Sculpey earrings.

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At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Rhea said...

Sounds like you've got all the holidays down. 47 pounds of taters, wow.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that homemade gifts are the best. I come from a family of crafters--my maternal grandmother, aunt, mother, and sister all knit, embroider, and crochet--skills my grandmother brought with her when she came here from Germany at the age of 14. I learned to knit and crochet and embroider , but I was usually busy with school work to do much . My sister is 8 years older than I am and continues to knit and crochet everyday. She has produced COUNTLESS afghans, sweaters, scarves, etc. for family members and friends. Her gifts for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, Christmas are often handmaid. When my dad suffered for 2 years with neuropathy before he died, I kept my sanity by crocheting afghans as I sat in waiting rooms in various medical places --in 2 years,I made about 15 afghans for friends, relatives, my daughters, and their friends. Since my dad died in 1995, I haven't picked up a crochet hook....perhaps I associate the act with too many unhappy hours of helpless worrying and waiting. I have done some decoupaging when I have a few free moments. That might be something fun for your young friend to do sometime. My younger daughter gave me oil paints and canvases a few years ago and I produced 1 painting for her bridal shower!!! Happy holiday, Melinama!!!~~~Susanlynn, scurrying around with holiday activities P.S. My mother used to make delicious pancakes!!


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