15 September 2010


Knudsens have always been good to me, but Katy has a way of making me feel loved like none other—perhaps because, unlike the others, we've never really spent much time together. But she's used long-distance mediums to get to know me, and to love me.  I can prove it:

Today she featured my Red Thread book on her wonderful corner of the Internet. (See!) 
(Calling it a "blog" simply doesn't do it justice).
She's celebrating National Sewing Month with post-after-post about all things sewing.
(So glad Red Thread counted.)

Except now that I think about it, Red Thread certainly does count. . . allow me to tie some threads together in my mind to bring it all together—it is all just now hitting me:

I made this book during High School (thank you Mr. Rees for letting it count as an AP Art -worthy class project). That means that my grandmother, Mama Jose (no accent on the e, you notice, so it is not pronounced like your Mexican friend "José," but instead is a nickname for Josefina), was still alive and still living with us in my home. It's troubling to me that I don't remember the details of the hours I spent on this, but I know I must have used her thread and needles and expertise. 

 She must have taught me how to embroider that butterfly,
(could I really have figured that out on my own, was a Google search so productive back then?)

and I must have looked closer at the handkerchief she'd embroidered for my dad,
(who goes by Koki, and thus, the "K," even though his name is Jorge—confusing, I know. But why call James Jim anyhow?)
and really, her first sewing projects with me must have been the inspiration for this.

I still remember going through her scraps when we spent summers at her home when I was little. She would make the most early-90's-appropriate clothing for my Barbies, and for me. Shorts with both legs of opposing neon prints—alternating pockets on the side too.
(Oh, how I wish I were home and could scan these snapshots! Maya, wanna help me out?)

Yes, I owe some credit to Mama Jose for the best sewing memories I have. (Don't worry, Mom, you still win the prize for best cross-stitching memories.) I wish she were here now so she could guide me on many more projects now that I (think I) have more time. We would do more than sewing, too—she was a fan of many crafts. She would make me wallets from folding paper and she loved "mini" things so we'd make cardboard dioramas, too, I'm sure. Next month, it will have been 7 years since she's been gone. But there's reason to celebrate her today—(the last loose end-thread to tie up):

Today is Guatemala's Independence Day! If not for this wonderful "Land of the Eternal Spring," I wouldn't have Mama Jose nor my Papá. Hooray for Guatemala! And for National Sewing Month!

(thanks again, Katy)


  1. olivia!
    is this the REAL olivia?!
    my goodness, it's been a long time!
    remember me? melissa (snyder) wood? remember how we had some art classes together at BYU and I was such a fan of you? Remember how we hung out a few times? WOW. I can't believe all the connections that are happening! You are connected to the famous "no big dill" blog? Sister-in-law's? And, I'm such a fan of your mother-in-law's hooked rugs. I've admired them since BYU. Amazing the small world!

    Anyway, I just wanted to give you a big CYBER hug! So good to see you are alive and well and pregnant too! WOW!

    We should be friends again. That's my vote.
    Lots of love to you!
    love melis
    p.s. my blog is www.melis-aaron-life.blogspot.com

  2. hA! as I'm re-reading what I wrote, I think the proper grammar is "...and I was such a fan of YOURS" :) my bad. :)
    anyway, so glad to "see" you again!!

  3. I just came over from Katy's corner of the Internet and that book is amazing. I can't believe you made that in high school! Seems like you fit right in with that family of artists. I come from a family of musicians, and wouldn't have it any other way.

    Oh, and PS We lived in Chapel Hill, NC for 5 years while my husband got his PhD. Loved every minute of it!

  4. Olivia, loved the story behind the book. Gramma's are the best! I learned lots from mine too.
    You should contact some Children's book publishing houses and get a contract sewn up!

  5. Hello,

    I'm new to your blog. I found it through Katy's blog! We have so many things in common already. I love sewing, I went to BYU and then moved to CA...so we share the BYU/Provo nostalgia :( And I'm also celebrating Guatemala's independence, since both my parents and ALL ancestors are from there. And I just had my first baby! Congratulations on your pregnancy. I look forward to reading more of your posts :)

  6. yes! melissa snyder wood, of course i remember you. i second the vote for friends again. you're awesome. so glad you knew becky, her rugs really ARE great.

    and thanks rachel for the hello! glad to know you loved your NC time.

    and paula! the similarities you mentioned WERE amazing, but then i clicked on your profile and I AM 25 TOO AND I'M MARRIED TO A 'BEN' TOO AND WE BOTH ALSO JUST GRADUATED FROM BYU. So fun. So yes, email me your blog so I can get to know you too? (oliviation@gmail.com)

    oh, blog connections are amazing.