A number of years back, one of my dearest friends discovered a little light growing inside of her, someone we all were excited to meet. Someone who at the time we called Orby – for he embodied that ‘little orb of light’ that we, especially his delighted parents, could feel among us as a presence already. There were not only adults awaiting Orby’s arrival here in this world, but a number of young kids, who adored the parents-to-be and wanted to create something special to welcome their new little friend to this wild earthly existence.
So, as one does, we gathered everyone’s ideas. We knew that monsters can be the bane of a young person’s existence, at least at first. This group of youngsters wanted Orby to feel safe and loved and to know that not all strange creatures were out to get ya.
As the artist in this particular community, I collected the children’s ideas of monsters in the form of drawings from them. Some of the kids were older, some mere toddlers, so the monsters ranged in complexity. But they all told a story, and they all had heart.
Some were bagpipes, which had been feared, but without reason.
Others, haunted the high hill tops and deep valleys of far-flung mountainous terrains.
And still others could be found deep at sea, or perhaps outer space. Teaching us of worlds away from our own. For what else are monsters for, if not to inform us of the unknown; worlds outside of our own imaginings?
Orby was born, given an earthly name of Elliot, which suits him beautifully. And soon, he was drawing his own early doodles, as was his young sister Alice Willow just a few years later.
Their beautiful, crafty mama translated a number of their early drawings into little embroidered keepsakes to keep on the wall in their home and they are lovely in their sweetness and simplicity.
I asked her to snap these lovelies, as well as to take some updated snapshots of the Orby quilted flora and fauna in support of an up and coming embroidery class to be held again at my favorite fibery haunt these days, Fibergé.
The drawings of children are so telling – of what they are feeling, seeing, experiencing beyond the bounds of language which eludes the most adult among us, yes? With most kids, if we are paying attention as parents or teachers or aunties or care-givers, there is that first magical drawing which actually has a name. The one in which the child says, “that is the moon.” or “that, is a pig.” or “that is a feather.” for the very first time. These are magical moments when the drawn image is tied to an idea. And if you are an educator or merely a parent fascinated by the stages of youthful development, you know the importance of this jump between what happens inside a young mind, and how that young mind ties it to the outside world through a drawing.
I was in Fibergé the other day picking up a new skirt I commissioned from her collection of AMAZING fabrics (more on that soon hopefully on the blog!!) and we were talking of what might make a nice theme for our next embroidery-class partnership. I love teaching there and was keen to do so again. We got to talking about Mother’s Day and how fun it might be to do something along those lines and we came up with the idea to follow the lead of the kids, much as I had done with the Orby quilt years ago.
As a busy working mama running her own business, Lysha of Fibergé-fame has amazing kids who take it in stride to spend time doodling or playing when mama is with a customer or a vendor. And Lysha pays attention to the evidence of these times with the love only a working mama or papa can have.
I kidnapped a few of these sweet drawings (with permission, of course!) to interpret into samples for the upcoming class this May 6th.
I had a ball and they came together beautifully!
If you are local to the Cincinnati area, do consider joining us for this upcoming class. Beginners are welcome as we will be covering the basics, of course. As you can see by Kristin’s sweet hoops above, simple can be absolutely stunning with a simple chain stitch! But I can also fill you in on how I approached the rest of the monsters in Orby’s quilt and send you home with some ideas for such.
Or perhaps you just want to come in to create a gift for mama, or grandmama (Dad’s? Don’t think you can’t wield a needle? Do check out the work of Mr. Finch!). Either way, consider joining us for a workshop at Fibergé on May 6.
I look forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, stay tuned to this space. travel season is beginning…….