I've often said, if you want to know what I'll be like 27 years from now, just meet my mother. In some ways we are very different, but in others, we are exactly alike!
My mom lives in Penfield, a suburb of Rochester, NY. She lives in the same house where we moved when I was three years old, in 1981.
When I was in grade school, Mom started making crafts and selling them in fairs. I loved seeing her prepare the most beautiful items: barrettes made with lacquered puzzle pieces, or nickels and pennies; little teddy bears with handsewn tutus, or cheerleading outfits with a big red "P" for Penfield.
When I was in high school, Mom coordinated decorations for the Senior Bash, an overnight party for graduating seniors, held at the University of Rochester sports complex. The theme our year was disco; Mom photocopied every senior picture in the yearbook and pasted our faces on posters of Saturday Night Fever-style disco dancers. There were over 300 people in our graduating class!
Craft fairs and the Senior Bash are just two examples. Mom designed floats for the 4th of July parade each year; patiently tied satin ribbons to dozens of tiny silver bells ahead of my wedding; and crocheted armloads of blankets for every baby and grandbaby born in her social circles.
My son and I visited Mom last week, a welcome change of scenery from the four walls of my New Jersey studio. I brought Sergio with me and intended to spend a few hours of quality time with him each evening.
Part of me was a bit nervous that Mom would resent Sergio's intrusion on our family time. But instead, she was very interested and content to sit with me at the dining room table while I pieced together new sweaters for the Winter 20/21 Collection.
She helped me troubleshoot when I broke one, then two needles, and had to rethread the machine. (Occupational hazard.) She suggested color combinations and kindly didn't protest if I went in a different direction.
The second or third evening I was playing with Sergio, Mom said something so lovely. "I really think you've got something here," she said to me. "I love watching you be so creative, and put things together without a pattern. And I love that you're recycling materials." She went downstairs and came up again with a box of jewelry making supplies.
Well, long story short, Mom is going to create a collection of necklaces to coordinate with our new sweater collection. I'm back home in New Jersey now, and we'll send pictures back and forth and she can ship the necklaces here as they're completed.
I'd been hoping we could collaborate for a long time, and now it's going to happen!
We both have day jobs (Mom at the Penfield School District Office, me at an educational publisher) but I like the idea of us each spending time in the evenings, creating beautiful things for you.
Stay tuned for new sweaters and new necklaces to be released in the next few weeks!