I didn't make many handmade gifts this year. The one piece that I did make was an embroidered Eiffel Tower pillow for my mother.
Back in 2000, my mother and I took a magical trip to Paris and Barcelona. We spent 10 days together, just the two of us. I had so much fun spoiling her, handling every transaction, ordering for her in restaurants and cafes, negotiating our way around Paris with my hesitant French.
I remember waking up one afternoon from a nap and my mother was lying the in bed next to me, smiling, watching me sleep. She said she was just enjoying watching her beautiful daughter sleep and that she was so proud of me.
My elegant mom in Paris
Another time, in Barcelona, I went back to the hotel to rest and my mother stayed out, visiting museums and shops. When she came back to the hotel she told me that, on a whim, she stopped into a Giacometti exhibition, because she loves sculpture and because she wanted to be like me, open to art and experiences in unexpected ways. She told me that, being with me in Europe, she understood how I saw the world and she appreciated and admired what she called my "free spirit" in a way that she never had back home.
I never felt as close to my mother as I did on that trip. We laughed and confessed and roamed around the cities. My mother's first language is Spanish, but somehow I wound up doing the talking in Spain. It was such a treat to bring her into my world and her openness moved me immensely.
I made this embroidery from a pattern in A Rainbow of Stitches. A flag waves from the Eiffel Tower - it reads, "I love Mom." The sewing on the pillow is a little rudimentary. I found a fleure-dis-lis fabric. I'm not a confident machine sewer, yet, despite having a beautiful machine.
Luna and me in my father's study
This was a lovely Christmas. I think you can see how happy I am in this photo of me and my exhausted baby dog Luna. Family is complicated. Sometimes things just work out right.