The last thing that occurred to me in September involved a fun memory from my childhood. I was in kindergarten, and my siblings were 5, 4, and 2 years old. My mom had found a fun Halloween craft for us to do at home, which I now realize was quite a formidable task to choose to attempt with four young kids. (I'm sure as Rowan grows, I will continue to have amazing realizations of the amount of effort and care my parents expended during my own childhood.)
We had a project kit for making witches with pipe cleaner and bead bodies, ping pong ball heads, and black yarn hair (similar to the one below). The project even came with a little pointed black hat to top it off. We couldn't quite make it that far though.
We were supposed to glue the yarn hair onto the ping pong ball head first, and the instructions suggested doing so with regular Elmer's school glue. Or maybe it called for hot glue, but we didn't have any. In any case, Mom was putting dots of Elmer's glue onto each of our ping pong balls, which we were each holding in one of our hands, then we were supposed to place the yarn strings in the dots of glue with the other hand. As you would expect, the yarn just slid down and off the side of the gluey ping pong ball. So we tried to rescue it and put it back in the right place, getting glue on our fingers. Then the yarn stuck to our fingers and wouldn't come off. We tried wiping the yarn onto the ping pong ball, unsuccessfully, and then tried frantically to fling the yarn from our fingers. Perhaps we were successful flinging the first piece off. This process repeated only once or twice before the kitchen table was surrounded by sobbing, red-faced, glue-and-yarn fingered preschoolers (and one mature kindergartner) who would be throwing their half-assembled witches across room in frustration if they weren't all stuck to their hands. My dad walked into the scene, amused. Clearly, the state of this project was comically terrible. My mom joined in with a shake of the head and weary laughter.
"What's wrong?" my dad asked his wailing children, suppressing a smile.
"My witch!" I sobbed indignantly, holding up the ping pong ball and the few pieces of yarn that held on in whatever haphazard direction they had finally slid to a rest at. "She's SO UGLY!!!!!!" My tone made it clear that the world had just ended because of this.
"Well, she's a witch," my dad said casually. "She's supposed to be ugly."
This revelation surprised me so much that I suddenly forgot to continue crying. My siblings stopped crying as well, clearly thinking about what this meant. We looked at one another's witches, and finally we got to back to work, determined to make sure ours was THE UGLIEST old witch ever.
This memory came to mind very clearly, but seemingly randomly, at the end of September. It was a whisper that served as a timely reminder that sometimes things- whether objects, people, or circumstances- are supposed to be ugly and imperfect.
I'm often reminded of this "perfect imperfection" idea when I make/sew/create things. Each project has different mistakes in it which are glaringly obvious to me. But I think those mistakes actually improve the final product by making it unique, or "giving it character," as I like to explain when I give one of these projects as a gift. Two such perfect models of imperfection were united with their new owners this week as birthday presents-- a fun butterfly/bird design bag for a good friend and some useful reflective bandanas for my parents' dogs, begrudgingly modeled here by Sahara and Tracy.