Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Artistic Mother Poetry Tote { ! DONE ! }

When I was in high school

one of the electives for freshman

was Home Economics.

I do not know what I took

but I was a career-minded, intellectual "snob",

and so I laughed when my dad

suggested I take it.

So, here I am:

living on a ranch, raising my kids, afraid of a sewing machine.

Somedays, I think I could use a few Home Economics lessons.

But . . . I have done it!  I completed a tote bag.

To go with my Poetry Journal.

Often I write about birds.

My Grandma Marj was an avid bird watcher

and her favorite bird book was always Roger Tory Peterson's.

So the quote on my poetry journal is from him:

"Birds are eloquent expressions of life and vitality
And watching them makes you feel more alive."


And so is this:

She gave me my first Roger Tory Peterson field guide in 1980.

Like her, I have written the dates and places

that I have a new bird sighting

in my Peterson field guide.

Fond memories

of birds and my grandma.

Bittersweet feelings well up when I hear the call

of a chickadee, a blue jay, the cranes in the spring,

or see a slate colored junco or nuthatch.

I could not have made this tote bag

without my mom.

The machine, many phone calls, rotary cutter and mat,

trip to the fabric store, showing me where to bargain shop,

what kind of fabric to use, selecting thread.

Taking the machine 80 miles to her house

So that she could show me

how to thread the machine

without having an emotional breakdown!

And yet, it is good to do something

I did not think I could do

Or would want to do.

And enjoy it.

So, this recovering intellectual snob,

Who at age 15, planned on being a career woman,

Living in a suburb,

Is now a birdwatching at-home mom,

is an aspiring writer and photographer,

is in love with the man she married 14 years ago today,

 is in love with the kids and lifestyle on this cattle ranch

on the South Dakota prairie

painted with wildflowers,

and she has learned to sew.

{Thanks, Mom.}

Photos & text copyright 2010 Jodene (Jodi) Shaw.


  1. Hi, just found your blog through the artistic mothers group. I love your poetry tote, it turned out beautiful. And congrats on stretching yourself by learning how to sew, doesn't it feel good? I love the way you write, it draws me into your world. Wonderful. I'll be back...


  2. Your tote is gorgeous! I am sooo proud of you! You did it! You learned how to sew. Aren't you glad you persevered? I was determined to be a career as well and was not in the least creative. Now I sew, do art, photography, have several kidlets. Neat. Huh? Now you can head over to my sewing blog and look around and see if you get inspired to do more sewing.

    Host of The Artistic Mother's Art Group
    www.artisticcreationswithtrudy.blogspot.com &

  3. Great job!! Grandma Marj would say, "how good looking"! Your corners of your squares match perfectly!! I know my first and many to follow projects were not that precise!. Love, Mom

  4. This is absolutely impressive, Jodene!! When I got this part in the book I was like...Ummmm, I don't sew. How am I gonna do this? I find it very inspirational that you did this! And all the lovely words about your grandma, your mom. Just lovely.

    I am beginning to fall in love with birds...I enjoyed your bird stories...that amazing book. Just a great post. From the heart:)


  5. What a great job. You have so much talent.

  6. It turned out so lovely Jodi! And the background story that goes with it is beautiful. Well done on doing it, and for honouring both your mum and grandma so beautifully in the process!

  7. i want to learn to sew!!!!
    your tote turned out great!

  8. You really are an "Artistic Mother", Jodi, and I'm so excited you've added another facet to your art!!

  9. Jodene,
    I am so glad you stopped by myeverydaygraces today! You are doing a wonderful job with the projects! I really like the colors you have chosen and toile is always a favorite.

    Also thank you for sharing your wonderful books and passion for bird watching. I keep my binoculars at the kitchen table just to be ready. Today when I went out to look at a bluebird nest I saw a Pileated Woodpecker but didn't have my long lens to catch a photo... perhaps next time. Isn't that the way?

    I am so glad you are persevering with the group... I am feeling a little inspired to move to the next project.


Welcome ~ share your beautiful thoughts.