The “year of living on the edge” continues. While I’m dealing with Ernie’s “transition” (Charlestown-speak) to the care center (and breaking down in the process), I had an occasion to celebrate.
A few weeks ago I received this invitation:
Ara, you may remember, is my Nigerian friend. She’s been in America as long as we have lived at Charlestown, and she works here. In 2009, we both participated in the Charlestown mini-triathlon.
In January 2010 Ara, her boyfriend, and two sisters took me to a movie theater to see Avatar. It was my first time in a movie theater in 20 years. And to see Avatar in 3-D! What an experience. In fact, when I said the experience had been too overwhelming and I wanted to see the film again, they took me a second time. Since Ara and Yemi had already seen Avatar twice, this gave 12-year-old sister Ebun a chance to see the film a second time, too. Ara and Yemi saw another film. So much fun doing that with Ebun.
Last spring Ara and I were teammates in the mini-triathlon, and Ara won the gold medal as fastest runner.
The invitation was to celebrate three special events–Ara’s graduation from nursing school, her 23rd birthday, and her sister Ola’s 21st birthday. Ara already has a baccalaureate degree, and she aims for a doctorate in nursing. Last week she became licensed as an R.N. so we were celebrating that, too.
As soon as I saw the invitation, I began thinking of what I could make for Ara and Ola. I blogged about that but can’t link to it.(Why?)
How to make a fabric card the hard way
Here’s the finished card.
Of course, I signed it. And I added the edging after this scan.
Here’s Ola’s card.
I finished it at 3:30 Saturday afternoon–just in time!
Not only am I not good at piecing. I am even worse at edging. I have repeatedly put heavy stitching or beads too close to the edge, making it very difficult to finish. For Ara’s card, which was too stiff and resistant for me to stitch through, I added three rows of gold Raj cord.
I used Tacky glue and this tool
to painstakingly apply narrow strips of glue to the edge of the card. It took three hours.
For the edge of Ola’s card, which had lighter backing, I thought I might be able to do machine stitching. I made myself a practice piece with the same materials and tried it.
With more practice, I might have been able to do it. I also tested hand stitching at the bottom and I could do that. But I couldn’t use the sewing machine because after I cut the card to size, there were beads too close to the edge. This is how I buttonhole stitched the edge.
It took four hours. I have friends who can machine-stitch the edge of a fabric card in a minute or two. If there’s a quick, easy, simple way to do something, I am incapable of it. If it’s slow, hard, tedious, and time-consuming, I go for it.
Here are some details of Ara’s card. A grid made using waste canvas.
Raised chain stitch
Some details from Ola’s card. A seam treatment
Beads, beads, and more beads
While I was working on these cards, Ernie had two brain attacks and admission to the care center became urgent. I was a wreck, and by Friday I was very sick with severe cold/flu symptoms. On Saturday I had laryngitis and couldn’t speak. But I was determined to show up at the gala and present the cards to Ara and Ola.
Of course I was going to go. This was my first opportunity to wear my black jacket and the earrings Nina made for me to wear with it.
Never mind the black eye. More stress, I guess. Doesn’t hurt.
I arrived early for the party. Ara and Ola with some other early guests.
This was definitely a party for their friends. No other 73-year-old great-grandmothers there! Me with Ara and Ola.
I managed to stay long enough to dance a little, then home to bed. Sorry I missed the real partying.
I feel honored to have been included among Ara’s and Ola’s friends.