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just around the river bend :: noodlehead gathered clutch

By Sunday, August 25, 2013 , ,

Every summer my dad would load the mini van.  We'd have to find space between the tent, sleeping bags, duffle bags, and paper bags filled with various forms of "medicine" - potato chips, corn chips, and sometimes homemade CCCs {aka chocolate chip cookies}.  We'd roll out of town, car smelling like over warm apples and last year's camp fires, by late morning.  North would take us past the golden bears {and golden bear butts} near Klamath to the river where we'd collect orange bellied salamanders.  South, we'd end up at Richardson Grove after a stop to play at a bend in the Eel River.

Either way, we were headed to days spent playing in the river, piloting the mother's day raft we got our mom one year.  Dinners cooked on the green camp stove.  And sticky gooey marshmallows roasted or burned to perfection.  One of us kids always ended up with a string of marshmallow in our hair or draped across our jacket like spider webs collecting dirt and redwood tree needles.  At the camp fire we'd sing "And the smoke goes up the chimney just the same" and sometimes, with great audience participation, a tall tale would be acted out complete with a beefy dad in a yellow yarn wig.

My little sister, with her late summer August birthday, celebrated at least one birthday at a campground.  After being presented with our junior ranger badges - trash picked up, a nature walk taken - the park ranger leading the camp fire asked with a grin, "Is there a little girl here celebrating a birthday?"  A shy Shawna held my mom's hand as they walked up to the stage.  Once on the platform, Shawna said to Mom, "I am not wittle!"

But no matter how many birthdays she has, Shawna  will always be my "wittle" sister.  On those family camping trips she was always tucked in the way back of the van between a mountain of pillows and those bags of "medicine".  And if she started to whine my dad would say something about getting her "plugged in".  She had a special cassette player all her own my dad had gotten her - red with a smiling cow on the front.  She'd plug in a Safety Kids tape and be happy for the whole drive.  Or as a family we'd listen on repeat to my mom's favorite - the sound track to Pocahontas {or maybe second favorite closely behind the sound track to Tarzan}.  We sang along to each song - "Just around the river bend..." - with proper gusto, as the curving highway followed the path the river cut through the mountains.

That "wittle" sister of mine had herself another summer birthday a couple weeks ago.  So I made her this zippered pouch - big enough for a night on the town or to carry her passport as she flies off to new places.  The fabric reminded me so much of those summer family camping trips and our sing-alongs in the car.  Good thing I stitched her name on to it - I had the hardest time putting it in the mail.  That probably means I better make myself my own matching clutch.    

a little bit of :: the details
     pattern :: Gathered Clutch {noodlehead}
     fabric :: Indian Summer: forest trail + native band
                  Les Amis: faux bois
                  Field Study: fine feathered

Other little bits of my life...


  1. What fun you all had! We loved it when your vacations brought you all to us!

    1. thanks Auntie Deb! We loved coming to visit you guys too.

  2. That is such a cute clutch! I bet your "wittle" sister will love it!