Crafting with Grandma

I took my daughter to see her Grandma this week and asked her what she thought she’d like to do when we got there. shopping?, picnic? lunch out?  No said my daughter I want to “make something” with Grandma so I knew what kind of day we were in for and some of you may remember a craft day from last year – hilarious.

The first job was to consider what the craft might be. Grandma does a lot of card making and they needlefelted last time  so something new was required. Then inspiration struck – sock monsters! Surely that would be something they could do together.I’m not sure that Grandma was ecstatic about the prospect but she set to with a will, what else can a grandparent do?

After a little explanation from me my daughter announced she’d be doing it her own way (no surprise there) and we began our task. It was companionable sitting there, three generations sewing together and enjoying each other’s company. My daughter threaded needles and put knots in thread for Grandma. It was a different day to last year, Mum was more subdued as her leg was playing her up but there were flashes of last year’s misbehaviour and hilarity, especially once we began to sew on faces and stuff the monsters.

I admit to sitting there giggling as I sewed and wondering about what kind of imagination we have as a family. I also admit to playing with them when finished, making up stories, giving them superpowers and naming them. Maybe I need a proper job again. So without more ado here they are.

The little black one is Benny and he’s my creation. All three of the others belong to my daughter and are named, Squidge, Muffy and Tangy. I’ll let you guess which one can kill with it’s ears. Grandma didn’t quite finish hers but it was looking good when we left. It’s amazing how little they look like the socks they were crafted from. It was fun and they seem quite good in the photos but I’m not convinced they could be given to a child to play with, I think they’d disintegrate quite quickly but who cares, they provided us with a lovely days entertainment.

Charlie and Dave

Charlie and Dave have given me even more fun this week as people have tried to guess what they are. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, they are chipmunks. Well, the instruction in the book was for a chipmunk and they were sort of following instructions, it’s just that laughter got in the way.

You can see why I didn’t show you these picture before, as fuzzy (or good, remember Grandma’s never done this before) as the shape may be I think the markings would have given it away instantly. My daughter actually got quite upset during the making because it wasn’t looking like the picture in the book, but once she realised that actually it didn’t matter, it was a fun day, she really got into the mood of things. The fact that I kept muttering about mutant chipmunks and used Grandma’s chipmunk as a gun, was nothing to do with her little wobble (or was it?)

Kate is the lucky person who’ll be receiving a flower brooch for her pains and I have to say that even if she hadn’t guessed it, I may have had to reward her persistence! Well done Kate, let me know your address and I’ll send you your well earned goody.

Meet Charlie and Dave

As it’s school holiday time here I was able to take my daughter to see Grandma for the day. It’s usual that we take along anything Grandma hasn’t seen for a show and tell session. Amongst the hoard this week was a needlefelted clown fish. Not needlefelted by me but by my daughter who’d taken it from a new book acquisition (the book is mine and she has to let me look at it sometime) and had a go. Now she has needlefelted a little before and two, or was it three?, Christmas’s ago she depicted me and her Dad as mermaids.

Why mermaids, I hear you ask. Well legs are rather difficult when you’re just starting out and can’t accept help from Mum because the present is for her. Aren’t I lucky? I think you have to agree, for someone of tender years they’re pretty darn good. So it was no surprise when after an hours work I was presented with a fish to admire. And I do admire it, I think it’s really lovely.

To return to the story, it was such a good fish it had to be taken to Grandma’s for show and tell and it was thought a good idea if we took some fibres and equipment along with us to show how it was done. Obviously, the next thought was that Grandma, also being a crafty person, could have a go too and that’s when the day started to line up for being very, very funny.

Grandma was lured into a false sense of security by admiring the fish and asking all the right questions,” Where did you get the idea?, How was it done?”, little expecting a day long tutorial in response. My Mum is such a good sport she was easily talked into doing a project together. They looked through the book and chose an animal to make, at which point I thought it only fair that Grandma should make a 2D piece of needlefelt first followed by a ball just to give her the idea of how to use the needle and to use it for shaping. That’s when the laughter started and I heard the first of my daughter’s exclamations that went like this: “No Grandma, not like that, like this, watch”

After only a 2 minutes practice Mum thought it was great fun but obviously wasn’t the most adept person with a needle to begin a 3D animal. Added to which, Mum has a rebellious streak, doesn’t take orders well and generally likes to mess about (now I know where I get it from).

It started well and then dissolved into anarchy very quickly. After doing as instructed Grandma started adding bits, demanding to know what my daughter was doing and why, but not really listening to the answer and generally behaving like a six year old. They were happily bickering and jousting (verbally) away and the needlefelt very quickly became secondary to the main aim of the day, having fun together. I was busy doing a few jobs around the house and kept popping in to view progress or to pretend to break it up when arguments got heated. If my daughter left the room to tell me what was happening, Grandma would pinch her animal and add or alter bits!

This is the animals when we broke for lunch. Can you tell what they are yet? The one on the left made me think of Clangers (70s Tv programme), it just needs a little knitted jumper. I had absolutely no hope of them being finished before we left or of them looking like anything recognisable. Nor can I remember when I enjoyed a day so much and laughed so much. We really did have tears of laughter running down our faces. It was a joy to see them enjoying each others company so much and reminded me of the close bond I had with my Grandma, another very crafty lady. I had to be quite strict about being careful with needles, Mum can be such a minx. Progress was quite rapid once they’d been fed and watered but I still don’t know how because the laughter and arguing abated not one jot. How did they manage it?

I was wrong, the animals were finished and so I think was Grandma. Day long activity, lots of laughter and arguing, I think she needed a lie down when we left. These animals are great but I’m not going to tell you what they are. The first person to correctly identify Charlie and Dave will receive one of my flower brooches as a prize and I’ll reveal their species later.