Monthly Archives: April 2010

Chatting at the beach…

My sisters and I consider ourselves artists. My mother really is an artist.
Each summer, we get together at Topsail Beach, NC, and create.
My youngest sister, SisterB, knits scarves and dishcloths. Our middle sister, SisterM, combines yarn and beads to create necklaces. I’m SisterC. I quilt or do some needlepoint or cross stitch. And our mother, MamaA, paints with acrylics, oils and watercolors.

While we work, we chat. We talk about our kids. We talk about our dreams. We talk about our health. We talk about the news. We talk about the weather. We talk about growing up. And when summer is over, we continue to chat with each other online every Wednesday night.

A few years ago, we decided to try to sell some of our crafts. We started with an outdoor festival in New Jersey, where I live and shared a booth with my backdoor neighbor. We sold a few pillows, scarves and dishcloths, mostly to my neighbor’s relatives. But still, it was a start.

Next, my neighbor and I shared a booth at a Christmas craft show. She sold lots of stuff. I didn’t sell a thing. I was truly disappointed.

This is for the birds, I thought.

My sisters thought otherwise.

While we knitted and stitched a few months later at Topsail Beach, our mother talked about of one of our former teachers who made crafts with her sisters. They had a sale each year in one of their homes and sold to neighbors and friends.

I shared a story about how one of my son’s pre-school teachers cried with joy when I gave her a Santa apron I made one Christmas.

SisterB told us she was getting requests from other moms to make scarves for their children and dishcloth sets for gifts.

SisterM told us about a craft bazaar in Raleigh at her best friend’s church.

“We should participate in that,” she said.

We all agreed and filled out the paperwork.

The next fall, we set up shop at the church bazaar. We sold mostly dishcloths – our signature product. But also drink cozies, flip flops, scarves and a pocketbook sold.

We barely broke even, but we’ve been back ever since.

Sometimes we work together to make something special. Last year, we knitted a nativity set. Actually, we knitted four nativities — one for each sister and one to sell. It was SisterB’s idea.

We sat at Topsail Beach with our needles clicking and our yarn moving. I made wisemen; SisterM made Joseph and the angels; MamaA made shepherds and more wisemen. We each made a baby Jesus.

And SisterB talked about making her shepherds and Mother Mary.

At the end of the summer, we just needed to make the faces, find a few beads for the frankinsense and mhyrr, and put the nativity scenes together — except for SisterB. She was still chatting about her shepherds and Mother Mary, but she hadn’t knitted one stitch.

Eventually, SisterM took on the challenge to start and finish SisterB’s pieces.

My children and I received the first nativity all put together in the mail from SisterM. It was fabulous. My children cleared a whole shelf on the bookcase in the family room to display the scene. They consider it a family treasure. And I do, too. It’s one of the first things we unpack at Christmas.

SisterM and SisterB treasure theirs, too. One of SisterM’s angels won a blue ribbon at the state fair that year, and a group of our nativity pieces won a red ribbon.

We sold the fourth set to a newlywed couple.

We considered the project a success – and after all that knitting vowed never to make a group project again.

But we will because we all love to get together and create. And we all love to chat. And each year we laugh as we tell the story to each other and our children about the year SisterB talked us into making those beautiful nativities. We knitted all year, and she only made a couple of scarves for the wisemen.

But no one can deny, SisterB makes the best scarves, whether they are for adults, children or wisemen.