my animal book. .. .by Mom

My oldest nephew Dwain was born in the late 60's.
Upon his birth, my mom kicking into Grandma mode. . .
lovingly hand embroidered a birth certificate to put on his wall.

He was the only grandchild that got a hand stitched birth certificate. . .
after that she discovered Artex Liquid Embroidery. The rest of her grand kids will surely remember their liquid embroidery birth certificates. I'm certain that their mom's will have carefully set them aside for a keepsake.
I should really pull our sons certificates out of my cedar chest. .
Surely there is a prominent place in their homes for them to be displayed.. . .

It must have been the early 70's when Mom put away her needle and thread . . .hoops and scissors. . .and seriously focused her energy on liquid embroidery. She continued to knit and crochet and sew clothing but her liquid embroidery replaced her fascination with paint by number. . . it met her artistic side in a new way.

(Here is mom at 54 happily reunited with her younger sister Frances, that had just arrived from California to celebrate their sister Mary's 25th wedding anniversary. See me with my fresh perm? I'm wearing the crocheted cape and dress .. my mom made those too. . .oh and to the right. . is my cousin Julie. . )

I still remember mom dabbing at the ends of those tubes of liquid embroidery . . .trying to get the paint to come out .. .and then fussing at the "nibs" ...
"there is so much paint left in this tube. . .but the "nib is dry" and we would hear her . . .fuss while dabbing those "nibs" on paint thinner soaked paper toweling .. willing the ink to come out.

At first she had the beginner set. . .but later after attending more liquid embroidery parties. . with her crafty friends. . she had a large set, with add on kits.
She embroidered aprons, tablecloths, doilies, table runners, tea towels, pillowcases and of course the children's book.
I smile as I read the indestructible children's book to my grands.
Rodney Rabbit, Ronald Raccoon, Sammy Squirrel, Barney Bear, Tommy Turtle, and Ollie Owl. . have been relaxing in my cedar chest for many years.
This year, with great relief they are once again breathing cedarless fresh air.
Recently, Stuart looked at the book as if for the very first time. . .amazed that she even used shading techniques. . .now appreciating her careful patience.
I simply cannot open the book . .without seeing her fuss over those "nibs".
Someday. .either the lil' farmhand or our little grandgirlie. . will take the book home. . .and the next generation will also hear the story of the Grandma that loved crafts.

Oh how I enjoy telling stories of days past. I am so thrilled to write about my memories to amuse you .. .and to record for my family all that I remember about where I've come from.
In remembering. . it helps us to realize why we are who we are. . .(no need for shrinks)
Today my mom would have turned 87. Though she has been gone fourteen years already, I remember my mom clearly, just as her liquid embroidery has stood the test of time. What a blessing to have good memories.
I am so thankful to have had a mom who enjoyed being herself. . .
. . .even if we did tease her about her liquid embroidery.
Some day. . .my kids will be telling their kids about my blogging days. . .
and remember the glint in my eye when I talked with enthusiasm the merits and joys of blogging and the blessing of bloggy friends.

All for now. . .with love,


  1. Such sweet keepsakes and memories. Love the perm! :0)

  2. Ohh ! what a neat post of memories!
    I was a little surprised to see me lurking in the corner of your photo!
    That was such a neat surprise for your Mom to have her sister come out!
    I do remember your Mom's liquid embroidery! My Mom still uses a tablecloth she made for her!
    I think your Mom was the only crafty one in the family! Definitely the MOST crafy one!
    How precious to have the work of her hands to keep her close in a 'touchable' way!

  3. Blogging can be a wonderful way to keep memories. Have you seen that site (sorry I don't remember it now) that turns one's blog into a book? Pretty reasonably, too. Perhaps it's Shutterfly.

    Well, didn't I just do a double take on this liquid embroidery post. My daughter had that book! My sister made it for her when she got totally wrapped up liquid embroidery for a while back in the 70s. She made some dresser scarves and some pillowcases, too, if I recall correctly.

    And, further, I followed your link to your cousin's blog where John and I got quite tied up in the story about dreams. That's because when John has a dream, we have learned to pay close attention. Thankfully, he doesn't remember the vast majority of them or I'd be exhausted.

    Lovely remembrances of your precious mom. She's always with you...

  4. I really enjoyed this post. Memories - and such happy ones - are treasures. Your mom's attention to detail and her 'nibs' are reflected in your attention to detail - the font, the photos etc - on your blog.
    I love the idea of passing the books on to the next generation - that's what it's all about.

  5. I love the memories! How extra-special it is to have the tangible ones to share with the wee ones.

  6. I always think of my mom on her birthday. She never was into crafts so we have few keepsakes of that sort. But she was into having fun - any reason to celebrate - and like you, I'm grateful for many wonderful memories.

    Yes I think my kids will get a kick out telling their kids about their blogging grandmother too.

  7. How interesting. I can see that you are so appreciative of the skills that your mother left you....things that you can share with your children.
    Coincidentally I was pouring through old photos of my mother last night and today my heart is also reflecting upon the role of motherhood.
    We have so much to be thankful for.
    A living legacy.

  8. Thanks for sharing some of your memories of your Mom Lovella! It's important to pass those on to your children and g'children.
    My Mom also did liquid embroidery, it must have been such a nice change for them instead of embroidering with thread.

  9. Your mom was a saint.
    Proof: She fussed with the dadblasted little dried out nibs to make all those wonderful thing for her friends and family.

    The sinners amongst us lost patience and with a few harsh word, threw the offending tubes away!

    Ah yes, I remember embroidery paint well....

  10. I think that God has given you a special gift in giving you such clear and warm memories of your mom... although I'm sure there have been many days where you've wondereed why you couldn't have had her here these past 14 years. How she would have enjoyed seing you become a grandmother! For now we have to trust that God knows best just how to mold us into the person He wants us to become.

  11. How special is this, Lovella...that our mom's shared this birthdate? And today we are both sharing the memories that they left us.

    How well I remember the liquid embroidery. I bought a large tablecloth...embroidered in shades of blue...thinking I would actually do the work. I passed it along to my dear mom-in-law...who completed the task, after I lost interest. Your mom did an amazing job on the books...dry nibs and all! Great keepsakes...wonderful

  12. Great post Lovella. Today is my dad's 80th birthday. I just made a phone call home and the rest of the family were gathered together to celebrate. So wish I could be there. That is fun that our parents share a birthday. It will be 14 years this year that my mom passed away so I think we have that in common too. My mom was only 57. This is a good reminder to start writing things down. Blessings to you.

  13. Oh yes, my mom went to those liquid embroidery parties and had a huge set. She made many beautiful things, but in her later years reverted back to needle and thread.


  14. Hi Lovella,
    I couldn't believe it when I opened up your post today and saw my Animal Book. I too painted one of those exact books. My Mom was an "Art*x" Instructor and I remember well her gathering up all her things to go to people's homes and show them all the technique's. She also spent many an hour with my daughter painting with the liquid embroidery. She also used to fuss over the nibs. I remember so many times that she would bring home peoples paints that needed some TLC and work at them getting them to work smoothly again. All because she loved people and wanted to give them good service. Thank you for your post and the memories that it has brought back to me today of my Mom.
    Debbie M.

  15. OH my goodness Debbie .. .I just thought now, I think it is possible that your mom was my moms instructor. How amazing is that . ..thank you so much for filling in that gap in my memory bank. . I so appreciate you telling that part of the story. .

  16. You should check out Adventurebox books. They are great for Kids aged 6-9 and have award winning writer Michael Morpurgo as a guest author in the upcoming March issue!

  17. What a lovely post to remember your mom by. Liquid embroidery is something I haven't really heard of but am imagining it a bit like the t-shirt painting and sweatshirt painting that went on in the 90's.

  18. How sweet! I would love to see those little books... I should ask Ken if he has anything like that from his Gram.

  19. i love how you always post such wonderful things about your mom.
    the women she is hugging certainly looks like you from the back....
    you were as cute as a button.
    i remeber liquid embroidery. i wonder what happened to all those things i used to make?

  20. Such a treasure to pull out. I can almost feel her joy in making these books and presenting them. She was so tender. What a blessing for you to have these cherished memories of your Mom. Love Kathy


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