I’ve been taking Ellie to a toddler art class pretty regularly now. She didn’t quite get it at first, but it’s been a little while now and she really seems to love it. The arts and crafts, the teacher, the stories, she seems to love it all. And while she embraced everything about the art class, she even welcomed the emotional outlet art can provide. An outlet for all emotions. Even the explosive ones.
I have a friend from high school, Lynne, who has been making cakes and cupcakes on the side lately. Cupcakes that look like Elmo and Thomas the Train cakes and cakes using marshmallow fondant. My mom used to make and decorate cakes a lot a long time ago. The fancy cakes with frosting roses and basket weave patterns, etc. She still does them, just not as frequently. So one day my mom offered to show Lynne her skills and Lynne offered to show my mom her tricks with the fondant and all that stuff. So what does this have to do with me? Well, I have a unique set of culinary skills sought by many in the baking world. I am an expert in the art of cakeball making. And because of this, my presence was requested at this cake convention.
At the beginning of the year, I set out on a quest to learn the basic skills of sewing. So I signed up for a sewing class. Knowing that most likely I’d be the only guy and a loner, I recruited my friend Kelly to join me. We stuck it out for the full 15 weeks and actually made a few things. I made two aprons, a skirt and dress for Ellie, a skirt for Aya, and two pairs of pajamas for Ellie. I’m no expert by any means, but I can successfully say, “mission accomplished.” And over those 15 weeks, there were a few lessons that stuck out more than others.
At the end of January, I started taking a sewing class to expand my skill base. Our first project on the list was making an apron. The first class was all lecture and stitch tests, but by the second class, we were knee deep in pins, needles, patterns, and fabric.
Have you ever seen that episode of the Cosby show when Denise makes Theo a knock-off of the Gordon Gartrell shirt? It came out all wonky and lopsided and I was a little worried that’s how my apron would turn out. I mean, I’m pretty skilled with my hands and have somewhat of an artistic eye, but this teacher made me feel really nervous. But it was time to look past that and see if I had what it takes.
I can swing a hammer pretty good and work a drill not too bad either. Enough to where I can manage doing most house and home improvement projects without hiring anyone. I know how to handle some basic car and lawnmower maintenance by myself, too. Oil changes, radiator flushes, changing breaks, etc. It was my goal to not have to call my dad every time the lawnmower wouldn’t start or I had a leak under the sink. And just as I don’t want to have my dad save me every time something broke, I don’t want to call my mom every time I need my pants hemmed or want something made for Ellie. So in an effort to expand my skill base, I decided to take a sewing class. Knowing that I would most likely be the odd man out, I asked my friend Kelly if she wanted to join in on the fun. Luckily she agreed. We sent in the registration forms and received the confirmation phone call. There was no turning back now.