Monday, June 17, 2013


He and I wandered in to check out the new GoMA exhibition, and hopped out again as terrific tree kangaroos an hour later. He made a wallaby mask on the craft table and made this poster on the computer. It was a bit of a juggling act to lift him high enough to get his face into the right spot for the webcam, while he was desperately reaching down to play with the computer mouse and keyboard, but this was our most successful attempt! He LOVED climbing around the kangaroo 'habitat' with the other masked 'kangaroos'. This was an incredibly cute hour.

My Mom and I went to a free workshop at the Brisbane Square Library yesterday - basket weaving from recycled fabrics. It was the perfect way to recycle my already-recycled fabrics! The scrappy bits of shirts that were left over from the toddler pants I've been making were perfect for this! Equal to the joy I felt spending the a couple of hours crafting with my Mom was how much I enjoyed the actual 'being there' - the atmosphere, and what the atmosphere brought out in those of us present. Sitting around a fabric-scrap-covered table with a bunch of strangers from all ages and walks of life is such a surprisingly comfortable and comforting setting! Everyone's learning, and everyone shares their own skills and experience and stories, and everyone's completely polite and encouraging. And inspiring. And generous. My favourite bit, though: My Mom shared a memory from when she was very young, lying in a basket under a table. It was WW2 days, and she must have been with one of her great aunts at a quilt-making gathering, where the ladies used to gather around these big weaving tables to collectively create quilts to send to soldiers. My infant Mother was resting under the table, watching these big needles moving in and out, up and down, on the quilting table above her. I can't say anything that adequately sums up how special I think that is. She shared another memory on our walk home. She was a new mother (when my big sis was born) in PNG, and her Aussie friend there - also a new mum - insisted that she learn to knit her baby daughter a jumper. Mom finally gave in when they found, in the Goroka convenience store, a Woman's Weekly with the cover story something like, "Knitting patterns for people who can't knit". She bought the magazine, needles and wool, started out but soon put it away. Sometime later, another friend - a German lady, showed her what to do. Mom did a little more, got frustrated, and put it away. Later still, her Aussie friend helped out again. This pattern continued... Aussie knitter friend helps, Mom tries, finds it frustrating, puts it away, German knitter friend helps, Mom tries a little more, finds it frustrating, puts it away. And on and on. She said it was quite some time before she realised that the Australian style of knitting and the European style of knitting are quite different, possibly opposite, which explains why it was so confusing each time one of her knitter friends tried to teach her. She even remembers them undoing each others' stitches as they were 'wrong'! I think this is sooo funny! She said she did, despite all multi-continental-knitting-style odds, finish one pastel yellow knitted jumper for her little baby girl! When my sister and I were younger, Mom actually arranged for us to have knitting lessons with a friend of hers who'd had more luck learning to knit than she had. As far as I know, it was the Aussie knitting style.