Tag Archives: mom

Day 24: Christmases Past

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. Here are some photos from past Decembers.

2006

208746_5518403765_6948_n

1998

christmas1998

1986
christmas 1987

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Day 14: Three Years Ago Today

The shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in my hometown happened three years ago today. I’ve written and rewritten this post several times. I have so much to say and yet nothing seems right. I could tell you guys about my experiences making friends in Newtown that I treasure still in adulthood. I guess I could try to share how much this community’s support meant to my family when my mom died in 1998. I could speak to the heroics of teachers and the legacies of children.

Maybe what’s most appropriate is a moment of silence for the ones who died and those left behind. Silence for our terrible world with some good people in it.

newtown

Day 10: Love and Loss

It’s the 10th day of the #31dayblogchallenge and #throwbackthursday too. So I’ll send you guys to a guest post from February 2015. It was written by my teenage brother Jim. Here are his thoughts on love and loss, in his own words, “I Was Never Alone.”

Day 9: Repurposing Mom’s Tree Skirt

 

A #31dayblogchallenge post.

It’s a little embarrassing that I’ve got a blanket wrapped around my Christmas tree stand, Linus style.

linusblanketaroundtree

Thing is, the tree skirt my mom made didn’t survive the wash. It was smelly when I took it out of the ornament box so I tossed it in the wash.

momstreeskirt

I knew it might fall apart because of the materials she chose to use at that stage of her quilting journey. Plus the ties weren’t close enough together. Mom’s later quilts were better but this skirt is beloved and has been used under my tree for years. Well, it got all lumpy in the wash.

momstreeskirtlumpybit

All is not lost. I’m redoing my childhood reading quilt and I can do something similar with the fabrics from this tree skirt. So I cut it apart and set the fabrics aside to repurpose into a couch throw later. They’re a little threadbare but with the right interfacing it won’t be a problem. For now they’re in a UFO box next to the reading blocks.

cuttinguptreeskirt    christmasskirtprints

Will you please help? The turtles quilt still needs more pieced tree blocks for the final border. Click here for more information and here for the tutorial.

Guest Blogger Jim – I Was Never Alone

Today’s blog post is written by my brother Jim. Our Mom died a few days after he was born and my brother, sister, and I have all had to deal with abandonment issues in one form or another. Here’s part of Jim’s story in his own words.

*** Photo captions are available below Jim’s words. I didn’t want to interrupt.***


BabyJim1Hi, my name is Jim Masten. When I was born I did not know this, but my mother was sick until five days after I was born, when she died.

MomSunbonnetSueTo this day I do not remember any feelings of emotion towards my mother. For a while I had been really depressed and sad that I didn’t have a mother and I felt very alone and abandoned by God and my mother.

I feel that I’m being “abandoned” and I talk to my dad who also is very depressed about his loss of his wife (my mother). He always just says, “She was a wonderful woman” or “She would have loved you so much” and that really does not help me with the depression that I am dealing with.

MomTulipsSo, I turn to the Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and turn to the definition of Mother in the “Glossary.” The definition of Mother is something like, “Help” or “Caring” which, also does not help me. So, at this time I feel the most abandoned in my life.

Mom9PIn addition, when I met an important person in my life, Sheri Luster, I found out what motherhood was all about and what a mother is like. As I like to say, “Sheri is the mother I never had.” Even though it is kind of supposed to be the other way around.

jim and sheri spiffy at workAnyways, Sheri was caring, loving, and helpful. Which, did remind me of the definition of Mother in the Science and Health. So, I realized what a motherly figure in my life would do and it helped me.

JimSheriLastly, I saw my mother in Sheri and other women in my life.

silly faces with estey and jimI even saw my mother in my dad because he was a single parent and basically had all of the weight on his shoulders.

dad and baby jim professional photoThis led to me having a healing of realizing that I was never alone and that my mother and God were there right with me the whole time, I just did not see it. Also, recently when I was out of school sick for a week I visited a doctor’s office because of my sickness and I was nervous and scared and I felt really alone, like nobody was there for me. And then I realized that God was there, Sheri was literally there, and I saw someone walk by the door outside the room at the doctor’s office that looked quite like my mom.

proud mom after jimmys birthI suppose that could have been an angel or something but that was when my mental healing occurred for not feeling well physically and spiritually. So, that is how I overcame my feeling abandoned.

Jim's love from LA quilt

 

Want more? Jim has a Facebook Page. He posts daily insights and thought-provoking videos. It’s called Finding the Keys to Success.

 

  1. Here are some photos taken in the first few days after Jim (then Jimmy) was born. Mom’s looking at him with such love and appreciation.
  2. Mom, with a little creative consultation from teenage me, made this quilt while pregnant with Jimmy. She and Dad decided not to find out his gender until birth so most of his baby quilts have both pink and blue in them.
  3. Here’s another one of Jimmy’s baby quilts. This one is bright and cheerful, both of which it’s difficult to be while under the burden of depression.
  4. Here’s another pink and blue quilt Mom made. This one’s more simple and designed to be used, rather than displayed as wall art. There’s one more like this with kitties in the center. Maybe they’ll be used by children Jim loves someday.
  5. This is my favorite recent picture of Sheri and Jim. Don’t they look spiffy?!
  6. These two love their snuggles. Back scratches are often exchanged in church.
  7. Our sister Estey and Jim get the sillies when they’re together! Here they are making funny faces. She’s one of the women who mothers Jim.
  8. Here are Dad and Jimmy way back when he had peach fuzz for hair.
  9. Can you see how proud Mom is in this photo? She’s tired from the long labor too… but happiness shines through her eyes. If there’s ever a doubt that Jim was wanted all you have to do is look at this picture.
  10. I made this quilt for Jim’s 11th birthday.

 

I’m linking up to Thankful Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Sixteen’s Not a Baby Anymore

 

My baby brother turned sixteen yesterday. I guess that means he’s not a baby anymore! I, as the snarky big sis had to post this meme for him.

sack of breathHere’s what this handsome man looks like today. Okay, fine. He was 15 when this photo was taken. But I’m not going to call up Jim’s school for a selfie! 🙂

jim15I’ve got the feels… lots of them. So it’s difficult to write about what Jim means to me, especially without embarrassing him in the process. (Teenagers!) So I’ll let these scrapbook pages that I made a few years ago do the talking. These photos were all taken before baby Jimmy was two weeks old.
BabyJim1 BabyJim2 BabyJim3 BabyJim4I love you kiddo. 

 

Bad Ass Quilt – It’s Not a Fish

I’m the guest blogger today over at Bad Ass Quilter’s Society. Don’t be alarmed by the title over there. The naked quilting series is about quilts, not bodies. I wrote about my quilt, “It’s Not A Fish,” which was made after a miscarriage. Check that article out and then head back here for some bonus information.

not a fish whole

 

 

Children are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. My two answers, invariably, were an artist and a mommy. So, of course, this baby was wanted.

mom not fish

The two silhouettes in the last column were traced from family photographs. Mom is looking forward with hope and my cousin Jasmine is screaming.

jas not fish

The guild challenge was to make a row (or column) quilt. It had to use three floral fabrics and have at least five rows. Do you see the flowers? The fabric used for the fish is also floral.

fish flowers

This quilt told me that it needed to be mostly grey. (Does your art speak to you? This piece was very specific!) Since I only had one grey fabric in my stash, I reached out to friends who were generous with their scraps. Thanks guys.

I designed the paper-piece pattern for the hearts. They gradually go from mostly warm (browns) to mostly cold (greys) without completely becoming one temperature or the other.

pp hearts

 

On the day I lost my baby, I wanted absolute quiet. No activity or noise at all. Certainly no conversation. Later, talking would become important.

When I told my aunt what happened she suggested that I change my labels: a miscarriage, rather than my miscarriage. Words are important. It’s not my fault.

I started seeing a therapist a few weeks after miscarrying. It was one of the best things I could do, deciding actively focus on healing. Our sessions included dealing with the loss of my mom when I was 14.

What’s your experience with art? Creating is one of my healthiest ways to express loss. It’s also a delight to make things about connection and new beginnings.

 

 

 

25% off most items in my Etsy shop through the end of August. Enjoy!