I just got off the phone with my sister in NYC. Good thing she has a landline. And not one that sits in an electric powered charger cradle. Just a plain old phone. She is still without power. We were talking about phones. The cancelled Halloween Parade in NYC. Our Pittsburgh Halloween postponed until Saturday due to the weather, residual hurricane effects.
I started thinking about the ET costume I made for Mark years ago. (There is a McCall’s pattern 8311 on Ebay for 29.99, I just checked) Here he is in Germany(1983) with Matthew as Robin Hood. Yes, I made that too. Mark wore that when he was four in Clarion, PA Thinking about Halloweens past.
And then years later Laura wore the ET Costume. It had a Day-Glo finger that matched the heart appliqué on the chest. The date on this photo says 1996.
And here is the costume head in the dining room tonight. I painted the eyes. The head is lined with a piece of blanket. It looks like it did when I made it! When I put on the mask this past weekend, Penny the Goldendoodle (Laura and James’ dog) growled and turned and left the room. My daughter-in-law made the ceramic jack-o-lantern in grade school and I saved it from the trash when she pitched it.
When Anna was a baby I made her a sock monkey out of a pair of Rockford Red Heel Socks, just as I had done for her father when he was little. The sock monkey didn’t get much playtime and I didn’t make anymore for the other three grandchildren. At Christmas I noticed Anna using the sock monkey like a puppet with the other kids at breakfast. Everyone was laughing and she was enjoying playing with her(it is a girl and her name is Mrs. Sock Monkey) She asked me if I could make her a pink sock monkey. I said I didn’t know how I could because I didn’t know at the time you could buy PINK red heel socks.
Last weekend when I visited, the old sock monkey had not only a bed made from a Costco box, covered in blanket but there was a small basket added as a bunk with a junior sized sock monkey wrapped up in a hand knitted dishrag (the sock monkey was one of Murphy the Airedale’s former toys!- every dog needs a sock monkey).
And to Anna and Maura’s surprise, I showed up with two pairs of PINK red heel socks I found online. Laura brought over her portable sewing machine and I sat at the kitchen table stitching up the legs and arms. Anna helped stuff the limbs. The girls were really excited to watch the socks turn into monkeys. I embroidered the eyes and nostrils with some variegated cotton yarn I had as a knitting project.
The next morning as they were waiting to go to church, I had them open the front door to get some available light for a photo of them with their monkeys. Strawberry and Blueberry are their names. Blueberry has blue eyes like Maura and that’s how they can tell them apart. I used a 1/5 shutter speed -handheld -which is really not a good idea. Too much camera shake.
The snow in the night added some reflected light but the winter morning was fairly gray. Murphy decided to come and see what was happening outside and Anna thought he would make a good horse for the monkeys. Murphy didn’t even mind. He remained undisturbed even though Maura was squealing excitedly. Then Anna wrote sock monkey on the condensation inside the storm door glass. I love that all the fancy toys are ignored and the homemade bed out of box and a couple of pairs of socks, transformed into monkeys, delighted the girls. I told Anna how Aunt Mary and I went to the Sock Monkey Museum in Rockford, Illinois.
Spools and spools of thread. Silk. Cotton. Metallic. All colors. Some shimmer. Rich colors. Waiting to be selected, a length cut and the needle threaded. The embroidery comes alive under the artist’s fingers stitching. I had asked Joan B if I could photograph her thread as I have another photo from before but today the light was so nice. She made coffee in a French Press and homemade sticky buns, a Fiesta bowl full of fresh fruit cut up and mixed with yogurt and honey. An indoor garden of color! And the little cushioned chair holds the needles and pins.
Colors Create a Feeling
And these invite me
to think Spring.
Sunday night Thunderstorm-
March lions roar a day early.
From the archives. My sister noticed I post a lot of food on the blog. It’s true. Tonight it could have been the pesto on penne and the apple plum one crust pie. Instead I went to an old folder. You probably didn’t know there’s a Sock Monkey Exhibit in the Midway Village Museum in Rockford IL. Mary and I went when we were visiting family. The Rockford socks are no longer manufactured in Rockford but by Fox River Mills in Osage Iowa. I have made a few sock monkeys in my day. People have feelings about Sock Monkeys.There is a convention called Sock Monkey Madness in Rockford. They call the monkey Nelson after the man who invented the knitting machine that made the socks.