Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Bereavement, a Light Bulb Moment and a Bit of Autumn Warm



This kid, my middle kid, is a maker and a dreamer. He is a kid who creates somethings out of nothings, a kid with a dry, quick wit, a big imagination and a heck of a heart. Last week the kid’s leafy stick insects died.

I’m still not sure what caused the spontaneous and simultaneous deaths of Spiky and Camouflaged Twig. Chatting to them over an afternoon cuppa, it was an awful moment of discovery – they weren’t just hanging around, shooting the breeze, pretending to be (living) sticks.

When the news was broken to the middle, he howled his grief. There was a discussion of funeral logistics and a call to Grandma to schedule the memorial service. It was very sad. Until a small light bulb went off in the kid’s head and there was a negotiation concerning methods of mummification and preservation.

Spiky and Camouflaged Twig are still (somewhat unnervingly), sort-of with us.



Drying out in a salt pool, they are apparently destined for a framed spot on the kid’s wall. All of this prompted the Mr to tell the unfortunate story of his bereaved friend who taxidermied his dog and converted him into a standing-dog-coffee-table. Which could be a story-telling step too far.

While the sticks are busy lying about in their salt bath, the kid is back to his outdoor explorings and makings and I crafted him up a cowl to keep at least a bit of him warm in this crispy autumn weather. Happily we have a thumbs up, because it doesn’t get in his way like a scarf does, working loose and flapping about or getting too bulky...

I’m informed it’s sort of adaptable



depending on which bit



is the frostiest.



The kid calls it his Where-is-the-Rest-of-My-Jumper? Cowl.



.........................

PS. Spiky and Camouflaged Twig are remembered by all the Myrtleandeunices (including Grandma) and their 347 (give or take), as yet unhatched eggs.

PPS. The Where-is-the-Rest-of-My-Jumper? Cowl is based on this. Full details over at Ravelry.

51 comments:

Tas said...

Lovely snaps! So sorry to hear about Spiky and Camoflaged Twig. RIP. Funnily enough, in talking about options for deceased pets, we have been discussing options of our (so far very much) alive (but not very much longer if they keep their current behaviour up) cats who are using up their 9 lives way too fast. We figured a couple of heating elements and they could still sleep on the end of our bed for all eternity keeping our feet warm...

june at noon said...

So sad, yet so much hope! Your middle sounds like a pretty cool kid.

teddybearswednesday said...

So sorry to hear about Spiky and Camoflaged Twig. there's nothing worse than the death of a pet ( or two)
But love how resourceful and quick thinking the middle one is. SO now they will really always be with him.
On reading you describe him he reminds me of a young girl who I know all too well.
Love the cowl too and the colour is brilliant. xo

Michelle said...

Must be the week for it - Hockey and Twizzle died here this week. I did wonder if the sudden cold snap had something to do with it. No preserving in salt for us though, and I got some babies from the reptile shop to replace them. Oh so cute, but will make changing the leaves a nightmare!

Love the 'where is the rest of my jumper cowl', both the cowl and the name.

librarygirl said...

Tania your kids are just beautiful xx

Tracey said...

oh....sorry to hear of your middle's pet demise. The salt thing is a little unnerving...
Love the name of the cowl!

momma rae said...

what a gorgeous child! that first picture is stunning. i do hope we get to see what becomes of the salt laden stick friends.

p.s. my word verification below is *insecto*. did you plan that? ;)

Mary said...

Sorry to hear of Spiky and camoflaged Twig's demise. You are raising some wonderfully resilient kids there Tan.

Lucky you don't have a dog.

**Anne** said...

Your boy is AWESOME! :)
Anne xx

JoeyNomad said...

That is so beyond adorable I am lost for words! Kid looks like an Astred Lindgren character. That's just the best thing in the world!

Catherine said...

I think your middle kid would be my kid's hero if they met - anyone who cares for really amazing insects, and then mummifies them, would be a genius in her eyes... and I love his creative cowl use too x

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

You are great parents. you really are.

Life In A Pink Bunny Suit said...

So love the cowl...and love his creativity in using it!

heather said...

he is so sweet. as are you. i hope stickmen are resting peacefully in their cleansing salt afterlife.

i gave you a bloggy award today on l&m. you are a versatile lady, dagnammit. i hope you play young miss. still wondering about that address?? how do i get it??

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Please tell Middle that I'm very sorry for his loss and admire his Pharaonic plans for their preservation .
Actually between you and me , they're less unnerving in a salt bath than in the fullness of their motorised Mecano life . And definitely more comfortable to live with than that coffee table .

tea with lucy said...

you've captured "maker & dreamer" so perfectly in that first image. love it.

Gaby said...

You're too funny! And i just love that cowl. The colour is perfect.xx

p.s. I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog, if you wanna check it out it's here: http://thislittleport.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-etsy-shop-and-giveaway.html

Tanya said...

You couldn't have had a better model for the cowl. Makes my heart soar to see children enjoying hand knits and what a lovely empathetic nature with a touch of the scientific mind. Surely he will achieve high and go far.

Jodie said...

please pass on my condolences to middle child. I feel like I "knew " those stick insects. I will miss their occassional mentions on the blog.

beck said...

Just caught up on some of the major life events happening at your place, phew! So sorry to hear about the beloved stickies, but happy to know they are being preserved and potentially framed. Loving the cowl action, might need one of those myself for the upcoming cold Daylesford winter. And as for you, soon to be birthday girl, aren't you the one?!!! Don't worry, the big four zero will come and go and you will still be the same old (slightly older) wonderful you. Loving your photo's by the way xo

Andi said...

What a gorgeous kid (inside and out) you have there!!

Kate said...

The not quite jumper thing is brilliant!!

And I can't quite talk about dead things right now, too close to home, seems to be the moment for it. Too sad.

Stomper Girl said...

RIP Spiky and Camouflaged Twig, long live gorgeous boys and their wonderful minds and their Where's The Rest of Jumper? Cowls

Christie said...

Oh no- I'm a bit concerned that there may be a stick inset epidemic, i'm off to check if our stick is still alive, rather hard to tell at times!

Hugs to the boy child, love that he has worked out a way to preserve them... I think.

Cass said...

Oh no the poor stick insects. Just want to say I love that cowl, it makes me wish I could knit properly.

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Oh no, not the stick insects, and both at once. I love your middle munchkin's zest for preservation. But I may have nightmares about the photo of their little sticky legs in the salt, too weird for me.

Mama of 2 boys said...

Hi Tania, new follower here, what a beautiful blog you have. And what a gorgeous son also! I used to find stick insects fascinating, but a little creepy.
Thank you for visiting my blog a few weeks ago and commenting on my moth problem. I *think* I may have rid the cupboards of them... of course now I have said that, they will proliferate with a vengeance, just to let me know who's boss ;o)

Shannon said...

Hmm salt preservation is quite good - weird little legs they have aren't they. I'm liking your kid - great smile with those big adult teeth busting through his gums, funky cowl..fabulous mother.
how long do the eggs incubate?

A Peppermint Penguin said...

My condolences to Middle.

My gratitude that he lives with you. Not quite my sort of wall decoration that. But it does prove that he is your kid though - dead insects as art, runs in the family!

And that is a) a mighty fine cowl, b) mighty fine stylin in the wearing thereof and c)a great name for it ;-)

A Peppermint Penguin said...

coughFlickrGroup

Scented Sweetpeas said...

I am sorry to hear about your sons stick insect passing away but am glad his life has not gone to waste as he now becomes art for your sons room - strange but sort of nice :-)

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

Please pass on my condolences. I am truly inspired by his resilience and artistic flare. Much like I am with your own. Those photos are simply stunning. I think those would go well framed and on your wall also - the photos that is, not the kid...

Sue said...

So sorry to hear about your pets. Quite a way to keep them preserved by putting them in a salt bath! I have to say the cowl looks great, and I love the way it is worn in different ways.

Leonie said...

Please no one put me in a salt bath when I go....The dirt is just fine for me. xx

Madeline said...

Oh, poor dear. Losing a loved critter is hard.
Your little fella reminds me so much of my sister. Currently she has a colony of flesh eating beetles that she feeds off of roadkill. Seriously. Even crazier...my brother bought them for her as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. Weirdness seems to be genetic around here. But, really, who would want it any other way?

Michelle said...

I'm sad that your middle is sad. But I'm glad he is seeing some light at the end of the stick insect tunnel.

The cowl is amazing. I think I want to knot when I see something as beautiful as that.

flowerpress said...

It must be your birthday soon or something with all those smalls playing nice for photos ;-)
Poor old Spiky and Twig, I knew them well. Good sticks the both of them!
(p.s. my word ver. just changed from utterit to blogrago?)

Sandrine said...

Sorry about the salty insects!Here we seem to collect fish that need a salt bath!:)
I am loving your transformable scarf and the cool kids pics are just gorgeous Tania!
Have a great week.
Sandrine xx

Fer said...

Lovely to see that The Middle's glass is always half full. ♥

Nikki said...

What a great kid! Can we throw him in to the adoption deal...? (I don't know why I'm asking you thins, since the "deal" is entirely one-sided).

Nikki said...

I meant "THIS"....

Naturally Carol said...

I do feel for Middle and his deceased family of twiggy pals. His cowl is beaut, loving the bright orange and it looks like his grief is not holding him back! Have a slightly serious but altogether fun filled week of holiday.

silverpebble said...

Catching up: A rose made out of a zip? Utterly inspired.

I had never heard of this salt business - didn't the Egyptians go in for this kind of malkarkey? In this neck of the woods it's not uncommon to discover a mummified cat and an old boot stuffed up the chimney. Not sure if the moggies are to fend off bad things or to encourage good things.

Excellent cowl. It looks v. cosy.

Squiggly Rainbow said...

Tania, that is absolutely gorgeous and something my Master S would do as well. Love to you xo Rach

GUGAW said...

I love your storytelling so much!

jo so and sew said...

We can relate...we lost a goldfish these holidays (and don't know how to tell the friends that gave it to us...)

quirky granola girl said...

the cowl is beautiful, as is your boy, but i'm quaking with fear over the hundreds of stick insect eggs. are the eggs in your home? i really am squicked out and a bit glad that those eggs are on another continent.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

What an amazing little man you have there!

Lola Nova said...

Condolences and congratulations.
You have reminded me of a road trip I once took with my dad. In the middle of a long lonely road we came upon a rattlesnake. Quite dead and a wee bit smushed but still... We pulled off and dad asked me for my Swiss Army knife. He then taught me how to skin a snake. Skin and rattle all went into the bag of camping salt in the trunk of the car, to later grace the mantle over the wood stove at home.
I must say I am very glad for that lesson, and the bag of salt.

Sarah said...

My condolences....although PLEASE label the salt bath thing appropriately because I'm already starting to get worried that a pinch or two of that could get chucked in a warm broth by accident....which is soooo what would happen in our house.
It makes me think of a friend who was asked to house/cat sit for another friend who wrote detailed instructions on 'sticking puss in the freezer' if he should unexpectedly pass away...
Love the cowl {especially the name!!}! x

Owlie said...

spoodle!?! what is a spoodle??? i have (what my mother likes to refer to as) a slabradoodle. really just a doodle. she is setter, lab and poodle... but i have secret theories of her having other fantastical creatures as part of her as well, since she has such a funny character!