There is someone special to me. And if you had asked me 10 years ago or even 5, what did I think of her the answer would have been very different from the one I would give you today.
She is Mavis, and she is my mother in law. I first met her nearly 18 years ago. I was a young 18 year old and I had just moved in with my boyfriend, her son. It was a Bank Holiday Monday and I wasn’t very well. We had been driving around Portsmouth looking for a pharmacy that was open. When we got home there was a man and a woman sitting on our doorstep. I didn’t know who either of them were. It was his mother and brother. I was more than a little surprised considering they lived more than a 6 hour drive away from us and we had no idea they were coming. Phil introduced us to which his mother looked me up and down. “So that’s Emma, is it” was the only thing she said before preceding me into my house. She then set about cleaning it. Probably not the best of meetings!
Over the years we have had our ups and down. When we told her we were getting married she started to cry. She told Phil he could do much better than me. Thanks! Mavis always has an opinion on everything and everybody. And she is not afraid to tell you. She is set in her ways with old fashioned views and values, but she is who she is, and if you fight that then you are never going to get anywhere with her.
But over the years our relationship has changed. From pure hostility through to comfortable tolerance and now I would say almost friendship! She helped me through University by looking after the children for me and helping with the household chores. And recently whilst I have been off work she has been great for company and an ear to listen. She will, of course, tell you what she thinks you should do, but its fine. I just smile and nod now and go away and do what I wanted anyway without a huge argument.
The thing that I really wanted to tell you about Mavis is how talented she is. I have a few of her things in my shop and I never cease to be amazed at what she can produce and in such a short time. The first things she gave me were some gorgeous blankets, one suitable for a girl and two that could be for a boy or a girl. I adore these and they make fantastic heirlooms for the future.
Now I know if I was to try and make one of these not only would it look awful because I just am not as good at knitting and crochet, but it would also take me a year to make each one. The hours not only to knit the squares, but to crochet the edges and embellishments, to sew them all together and to add the quilted back and the ribbons.
She then gave me loads of knitted headbands. My daughter loves these and wears the ones her Nana made her to school everyday. I have lots of them, but only listed a few in the shop. Each one that Mavis makes is different, a one of a kind. She doesn’t work to any patterns so she just does what she feels like. So the pattern or colour combinations are all different. They look fabulous on too. Here are just a selection.
Then she worked her magic with an old piece of cotton and turned it into a handbag. I love this and am keeping my eye out for some nice fabric so she can make me one. If you have anything you would like turning into a bag let us know!
Recently Mavis has been making hair accessories and she has given me loads. I have just listed a few in my shop. Here are some of them.
I am hoping that she will show me how to make the fabulous up-cycled bags. She just looks at an item and knows how to make her own version. Genius.
She still growls at me, and gives her opinion when I don’t necessarily want it. Now my only regret about our relationship is that it took me so long to work out what a great person she actually is!