A Sew-Sew Gift

Kitty CurtainsUsually I have to ask my mother what she wants for her birthday or Christmas, and when I do, it’s usually rather entertaining (she’s asked for everything from a candle to some of my artwork to a new shirt of my choosing to a Kid Rock CD).

This year, however, I didn’t even have to ask. Mom was ready with her request.

Having moved into a new house she found herself in need of two things. One, coasters. Two, kitty curtains.

Mom has seven cats. She decided that a good place for one of their litter boxes would be in a cabinet in her mudroom where she has her washer and dryer. She’d take a panel out of one of the bottom doors and make an entrance for the cats. But she wanted to dress it up a little so it didn’t look like your run of the mill hole. So she bought some black and white cheetah print fabric and asked me to make curtains of them.

Kitty CoasterWith the rest, she wanted some new coasters, at least six. Mom prefers cloth coasters because they don’t stick to your glasses like other kinds do.

These two projects were kind of an interesting challenge because I’d never attempted either.

I took measurements for the curtains, cut two panels, did some hems, and then attached the two panels so they were overlapping. Mom did the rest, attaching velcro to the top and then to the cabinet. She then screwed hooks into the sides of the door and held back the curtains with, of all things, hair ties. It turned out really cute!

As for the coasters, I went back to the days of my first sewing project: pillows. I cut the squares and then sewed them the same way I used to sew pillows. Instead of stuffing the coasters with fluff, though, there’s a square of old towel sandwiched in there to help absorb the moisture while leaving them washable.

Mom is rather pleased with her gifts.

I am, too. Not bad for a self-taught hand-sewer.

Like Mother, Like Daughter…Scary!

Whenever someone tells me (or someone else) that I’m acting just like my mother, it’s typically not meant as a compliment. What they mean is that I’m acting in such a way that they don’t approve of and attribute my behavior to something genetically inherited from my mother.

However, I am like my mother in some ways, good and bad.

For example (and for Halloween), my mom and I both love horror.

The last time I was at her house, AMC was showing all four of the Alien movies and Mom and I watched the end of Alien and most of Aliens. She loves the SyFy channel on the weekends for movies, no matter how bad they might be. The People Under the Stairs was on Saturday morning and I immediately thought of Mom. She watched that movie a couple of times a week when I was a kid.

She took me and my friend to see Se7en. She rented me Rosemary’s Baby and brought home Dracula from the library for me when I was sick.

Mom is the reason I know who Stephen King is. She read all of his books. I can specifically remember her reading Salem’s Lot. I remember the cover of the book. I remember reading the dusk jacket.

I have yet to read it, though.

When I was finally allowed to check out an adult book at the library at the tender age of 11, Mom didn’t bat an eyelash when I came back with Jaws.

I can’t say that my mom is the reason why I like horror (as I said in my post about why I write horror, I’m not sure exactly WHY I like it or write it), but my mom was definitely a horror enabler. She liked it, realized I liked it, and encouraged me to explore it.

Of course, we don’t always agree on our horror likes. Mom liked Scream enough to make me watch it (during Thanksgiving dinner, naturally). I hated it. I enjoy Vincent Price more than Mom does.

It doesn’t matter, though. The point is that it’s a bonding point for us. Our relationship hasn’t always been the greatest, as happens sometimes with mothers and daughters. Sometimes it’s easier for me to focus on the differences and disagreements. They’re easier to see. It’s easy to forget when we get along or agree. The lack of conflict seems to diminish the recall on the memory.

But even as I picked my brain for more memories of the Mom-horror connection, I was shocked at the warmth that bubbled up behind them. It’s kind of odd that I’d get sentimental and gooey watching a guy run around in a gimp suit while he shoots through the walls because one of his cellar children escaped into them because it reminds me of my mom, but there you go.

My mother and I have an interesting, if not unique, relationship.

You can tell by the ways I take after her.