Art in the home?

Black for N, Red for C
I am in a frenzy trying to get everything done, made and wrapped. It's only December 1st, I know, but goal one - the advent calendar (see left) for my kids - is almost done. I just have a few things to figure out - some of the packages aren't gifts but things we do - and it will be 100% complete. Luckily there are more than enough packages for the kids not to miss the few stragglers. I finished the basket and its contents last night at 2am, so I'm running on fumes today.

Against my better judgment, I told C I would hem her dress to make it quite a bit shorter. But I didn't realize the last bit is flared. How do I fix this? If only my Nonny were alive. I'd give it to her - or have her show me how. Even my Mom, who was better with upholstery than clothing, could probably have given me a tip. My Dad, unfortunately, isn't much help, and I really don't want to pay to have it done. I should be able to fix this myself, don't you think??

Puckering hem
The Dress
I took an hour break from writing the blog to fix the hem. It is puckering. I found two issues, but not much I can do to fix them. I am sure none of C's friends will notice - I'm thinking about all those "nice Jewish mothers of nice boys" who will judge me for letting my daughter go to a bar mitzvah in a much-too-short dress (actually, it's short, but I'm am 100% sure others are shorter). Will they notice the pucker, or will C be dancing too fast? Hopefully the latter. And why do I care? C's friends were sporting some very sexy dresses - which I saw on Facebook - but I refused to let C look "like a putana". So while the dress is short and a little bit busty, the dress is actually conservative.... just like the Temple Shalom. She has to wear a shall - which C was happy to remind me I'd have to buy - but to my delight (and her surprise) I had the perfect fix. A glittery shall/wrap in the exact same color of purple hanging in my closet. It was meant to be.

And now I will fold a little laundry, and then sew the yarn left on one of the presents. I have another present 50% done, and a third is still in the planning phases. There is not a lot of cash in the bank this December, so I am hoping that my relatives like labors of love instead of typical store-bought gifts. I might not get paid for it, but I promise you knitting things for people I love is just as meaningful to me as work I've been paid to do.

Finally, I need to start looking through the 2010 jpgs to find candidates for our Christmas cards. This is also a labor of love every year. I try to make something original, beautiful and fun each year. I'm thinking about commissioning "a work of art" for the 2010 card.... stay tuned.

I often think about what my daughter is learning from me staying home. Perhaps she is learning that she would rather work outside of the home (as I felt when I was her age) because my life seems to be dishes and laundry. Actually, I have a lot of fun - with many hours spent eating and shopping with "the ladies who lunch". Today, though, I hope C learns something: that things you do yourself mean more than things you pay to have done or made. The homemade advent calendar that I spent many hours putting together is much more than the sum of its parts. A special family tradition that I didn't have. (My Mom always got us the chocolate or picture calendars, depending on the year).

It's raining outside and the wind is forcing the rain to go in unnatural directions. Horizontally it hits our house making me think of how lucky I am to be warm and cozy. (Dare I think about the homeless on this awful day?). Perhaps my British dad might be keen on a spot of tea! I'm writing this on my sofa, curled up with my dog. In a few minutes I'll knit, in my bed curled under the comforter while the storm rages on. Maybe I'm not setting such a poor example for my daughter after all... there are benefits to staying at home. Tea, a down comforter and soft yarn. And a dress that is respectably shorter... My own little paradise, indeed.


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