I was hard at work putting this dress together (matching cape in another post) as a gift for my daughter for her birthday. Her dad and brother are superhero fans, so when I saw this material clearanced, I had to pick some up. This is more of a jumper she can wear without a shirt underneath in the spring, and with a shirt in the fall/winter. It is a bit long (oops!) so she'll probably have to wait til spring to wear it, but oh well. For the top part, I used one of my old tank tops. I also created a matching hairbow. Because hairbows rock ;)
I'm in heavy preparation mode for the holidays and my kid's birthdays, meaning lots of sewing. Last night, I put together three items: a Supergirl cape, a Supergirl dress, and a zebra stripe pillowcase dress. I can't wait for her to see her cape - she loves playing dress up, and always wants to play "Guys" with my son (meaning she wants to play with his superguys). So now she can wear her cape, and he can wear his (making that one tonight) and they can save the world ;)
One side is Supergirl material that I got for the clearanced price of $2.95 per yard. The back is one of her old baby blankets, a fleece polka-dot material. I painted with fabric paint her initials on it.
I have a very awesome best friend, named Patty (you can read about her awesomeness here, if you want). I've been working on a little gift for her, because she's been a bit homesick. I can hear it in her voice, even if she'd never admit it.
I cut squares from all my favorite, fun, funky fabrics I've collected this past year, and then sewn them into a little quilt. Lots of colors, lots of patterns. Why didn't I just use a couple coordinating patterns? Well, because this quilt is meant to be like friendship - there are so many different ways we love our friends and that our friends are there for us. We can have similarities to our friends and yet still be so different. And as the years go by, we may change shape or form but we still fit beautifully together with our true friends.
My next step is to complete the back piece. It's going to be a soft, warm fleece, and I'm going to sew a pocket on it. Then, I'm going to sew little squares, and make "letters" to her. She can only open one a day or a week or whatever she deems as the time period, and they are going to be memories or words of wisdom, etc.
She's going through a particularly hard time right now (that I cannot discuss as of yet) and so hopefully, this will give her something to smile about.
Today at work, our department volunteered to serve lunch at a local homeless shelter. This was my first time serving food like this, and it was definitely an eye-opener. We all think we know what it would be like to be there serving food, but I can honestly say that when you actually do, it is a different experience. (This is my coworker Eric and I.)
To see the people going through line was shocking to me - it wasn't just the homeless I'd anticipated. Yes, there were the homeless that you'd expect - a little bit dirty, hungry, some talking to themselves. And then there were men and women dressed in clothes like I would wear to work and in uniforms for their jobs, who obviously are working to make a living but cannot make ends meet and need the help of the shelter. There were senior citizens, which broke my heart. They are veterans, someone's parents...and they don't have enough money for a daily meal. There were teens (runaways or orphans or on their own, who knows) but each one obviously lost in some way.
The hardest part was seeing the little kids. Kids of all ages, from babies to teens. Hair done neatly by mom or dad or grandma, picking at their food because they didn't really want it because they didn't like the taste but knew they wouldn't be getting anything else. So sad! I almost cried a few times, because I cannot imagine my children having to live like that.
Each person went through the line, some asked for seconds, but nobody wasted. If they weren't going to eat the beans, they said don't put them on the plate. I guess I thought they'd just want anything and alot of it because they might not know when they'd get to eat again, but they didn't want to waste. They know how precious food is. Most of them smiled, many of them said "Thank you for feeding us" or "Thanks for being nice to me." Wow - to thank someone for being nice to them? What an eye opener.
Many of them did chores like the dishes or wiping down tables afterwards. I noticed a lot of dirty fingernails. I take for granted the simplest things like having clean hands - even though I know not all people have that, it's still somewhat shocking to see. Some people wouldn't look us in the eye - you could see having to go through this line and get food was a very difficult for them. They just wanted to get it over with and eat, and then go back out into the world. Some told jokes, some made small talk, and some just went through silently.
It was strange to see people my age in line, the mom's with children, and people my parent's age. All people who had similarities to me. They are all somebody's baby, someone's family, and by being told "Thank you for being nice to me," I assume the world might not treat them as such.
I guess I'm more blessed every day than I truly realize, because I have such a great group of friends and family that I could depend on if times got hard. It definitely makes you grateful for all of the things we have - and I'm not talking about the cell phones and the video games and all the "stuff" we buy. I mean the simplest things, like knowing tomorrow we'll be able to put food on the table for our kids and not have to worry about how we're going to pay the gas bill. The ladies running the show at the shelter were great - talking to these men and women and children, calling them by name. They knew who was having a really tough time on the streets, and who might need a meal for a disabled family member at home. They care about these people, and you can really see it.
It makes me wonder what I could forgo to help out a little more at places like the shelter, where people just want the most basic things in life that we take for granted -- food, shelter, and most important, a little caring and respect. Because I'd like to think that if any of my loved ones were in their situation, someone would be willing to do the same for them.