This afternoon I have been teaching my grandson Collin how to sew mini owl key rings. His Aunty cut out the shapes and explained about adding the features. And together they came up with several unique owlets. You could almost grasp the patience emanating from the two of them, as they helped each other to with useful advice. I think Collin made a great job of them for his first attempt at sewing. And he is so enthusiastic, you can’t teach or buy that so I’ll be encouraging him to try other things over the weekend.
From the look on his face when he was sitting at the table, my sewing machine in front of him, I could see in his face the desire to have a try at using it. Maybe one day next week when I have the time needed to talk him through the mechanics of using the machine. But until then he will have to be content to use the old needle and thread.
And content he was. He is a very able learner and after being shown just once how to do something he had the confidence to carry out the instructions correctly. I must admit I was surprised at how quickly he picked up the different techniques, but there again I have found some of the more able children I have worked have tended to be of the male sex when it comes to crafts and needlework.
And Collin wasn’t no different, but I couldn’t get him to leave it till later and go up to bed. “I’ll just sew this side Grandma”, he said, his little fingers flying back and forth as he worked his way round the miniature felt shapes. So keen was he, it was hard to be firm and insist it was too late to still be sewing. If only I could bottle all that enthusiasm, he would make his Grandma a very rich woman.
Not a battery in sight, no TV, no technology, and no moaning or complaining he was bored, just overwhelming eagerness. And the look on his face when I took a photo of the finished product, was a testament to the level of enjoyment he’d gained from our time together
During the time we were discussing how successful the outcome, I asked what he wanted to do with these little critters. He asked could he give his mum one as a present. Of course I said that would be fine, I’m sure mum will be very pleased with the finished product and will proudly show it off to her friends. Then I suggested he carry on making key rings and he can sell them to make himself a bit pocket-money. I’m sure people would happily give a pound or so for his little owls.
I am so proud of my grandson, he reminds me so much of my late Dad who was also very clever with his hands. When he wasn’t building a new cupboard or a bookcase, you’d find my Dad removing screws, and nuts and bolts all in the name of ‘repairing’ some household appliance or other. And it was never fixed properly if there wasn’t at least one screw left over., or so I was told.
My dad had a knitting machine on which he knitted our jumpers. He was a competent needleworker having been raised in a family where the talents of all, boys and girls were valued and encouraged. His stint doing national Service ensured he honed his repair skills using a needle and thread. He taught me how to darn his socks when I was about nine years old. I still have his old mushroom should the fashion for darning socks return I’ll be more than prepared to take up where I left off.
The thing my dad made that had the greatest effect on me was the Valentines cake he made for my mother. Three layers high, it was decorated with pink marzipan and icing sugar hearts. I remember coming home from school to find it sitting in the middle of the dining room table like a little pink palace of loveliness. I was so envious, I wanted to learn how to do the same, but had to wait a couple of days for him to teach me how to make the cake, minus the pink hearts.
There wasn’t much my dad couldn’t accomplish, and he passed his abilities to me. He taught me so much, he was always encouraging me to try different things to stretch my abilities. I tried to pass on what I know to my children and in turn those of my grandchildren who have shown an interest.
I am looking forward to introducing Collin to other areas of creativity that I suspect he’ll thoroughly enjoy.