Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Mama Jo!

Today is a special day because it is the birthday of two very special people in my life: My Mom and my father-in-law. Both were born on the same day of the same year. Both love yellow cake with chocolate frosting. And both have a special place in my heart. But this post is about my sweet Mama Jo...Much she has given me over the years, beginning with life and my name (Amanda Jo). Earlier this month I was wondering what I should get her for her birthday. She always gives the coolest, most creative with meaning and her personal touch. I looked around and realized that she has left her mark on nearly every room in my home...My house is full of gifts that she has created. So...I decided to walk around the house and take pictures of everything my Mom had made for me over the years. Of course I wasn't able to capture it all...but here are a few things that stand out and sweetly linger around our home reminding me of the special and crazily talented Mother I have been blessed with.
Above: My mom made this long floral pillow for me for my birthday when I was pregnant with Brayden. She thought it would make a great nursing pillow. This was my own personal BOPPY. Now, it looks great on the couch.
That same year, she also made linen napkins for me (below).

These are one of my personal favorites (below). She made these dolls for Brooke one year for her birthday. She replicated one(s) we had in our home when I was growing up.
I love these! They are so precious.
And this "rest your head" pillow was made for the nursery when I was pregnant with Brayden. I remember seeing a photo of a similar pillow in a magazine and asking my mom if she could make it. It was fun choosing fabric and colors. I wasn't sure if we were having a boy or a girl...the nursery was neutral...patchwork quilt and bedding with carousel animals on it (ostriches, pigs, and other unusual animals). She made the crib bumper, crib skirt, and diaper stacker (I wish I had an available photo of these things too).
This bedding was used for Brooke as well. This pillow is also one of my favorites.
And she made this dress for Brooke for Uncle Dayce and Aunt Tannia's wedding. She wasn't in the wedding (but the rest of our family was) her dress complimented the wedding party. She was so little then...a year and a half I believe.
I have so many blankets and quilts my mom has made for me and the kids. Some of Brayden's are packed away in his keepsake box (an ivory satin snuggle blanket he used in the hospital when he was born, etc.) Below are two of Brooke's...The left one is fabric of "paper dolls" and the right one is "chinese lanterns."
I love the paper dolls matches our new baby girl's bedding and is going to be draped over the side of the crib.
She made this bean bag pillow for Brayden one year.
And I have many handmade burp cloths. I always enjoyed picking out fabric for these. Most of Brayden's (the boy ones) are also tucked away somewhere. Her bibs and burp cloths are also lined with chenille or terrycloth (good for absorbancy)...and she sells these constantly (to people she knows as well as in a couple of downtown stores I believe). They make great baby gifts.
Here are a couple more blankets of Brookie's
And this is one of the bath salt bags she made as party favors for my first baby shower (when I was pregnant with Brayden). She made the bath salts inside too...
Below is the ringbearer pillow she made for our wedding. It matches the flowergirl dress (which she made as well). Again, I saw something I liked in a magazine (something that, of course, was completely unaffordable) and she duplicated the look. I often mail or show her pages ripped out of magazines/catalogs of things I'd like her to make :)
One year for my birthday she made me this apron. She gave it to me, along with a red floral potholder someone had made for her for her own wedding. They both hang on a decorative hook in my kitchen.
And for Brooke's birthday one year, she got a mini-sized apron too (below)
Somewhere I have photos of Brooke wearing it while baking...
And as posted previously, below is the apron she made for Brooke's Tea Party this year.
She made the hats and aprons for the little girls.

Fun fleece blankets for the kids...great for travel.
And below is a rice-filled-soothing-wrap she made. You know those wraps you throw in the microwave for a few seconds to heat up before placing on tired or aching body parts? It smells nice too. (Above it is that floral potholder I mentioned earlier).
One year I asked her to make these towels for my birthday.
And I wanted a coordinating centerpiece to use under my fruit bowl for my kitchen table. I love the pom-poms...This year, I think I need a couple more centerpieces (a springy one and perhaps a wintery/holiday one)
My mom also made these cream pillows.
In the left corner,there is a small ribbon and a button. The button was from my great grandma.
This hangs on our front door. It is a decoupaged light switch plate cover that serves as a magnetic board (like a mini magnetic or bulletin board). She made the magnets out of buttons. I have posted scripture on this...but took it down when we first listed our house and I began "de-personalizing it" it hangs from the door like this. Pretty...this would be a fun craft.
One year for Christmas I was given these oversized "poppy" pillows.
Again, I had seen them in a catalog (for over $100 a piece!). She replicated them and surprised me that year for Christmas.
I love these too.
And for Brooke's birthday this year she made her this #4 tee shirt.
It's hard to see in this picture, but very cutely stitched/appliqued.
Brooke also received this toy sack...she uses it to carry her dance shoes when she has dance class.
I love her toy sacks (below are just a few she has made). The middle one matches Brooke's apron she received for her birthday one year. These make great gifts too...I have given several away.
(Below) I found this old rocking chair at a garage sale one year and brought it home to paint/personalize and give to my girlfriend's daughter for her first birthday. I asked my mom to make the seat cover. I mailed her dimensions and emailed her photos of the chair so that she could make her own pattern for it. It turned out so cute. (I have two more identical rocking chairs I'd like to restore and give to my I am hoping she will be willing to make two more seat cushions for them...perhaps this will be a Christmas project).
And these are just some of the creations my Mama Jo has made. There are many other things she has tee-pees for kids, my sister's wedding gown, sock monkeys, curtains and costumes...the list goes on. So creative, talented, strong and beautiful she is. I wish I had half her talent and creativity! Her birthday was a perfect time for me to brag on her and let the world know how wonderful she is and how blessed I am to have her for a mom.
Happy Birthday Mama Jo!
I love you.

Your daughter,
(Amanda Jo)


  1. You forgot one more important thing she made- one of my besties, AMANDA JO! And, one more thing she passed on ... the SUPERMODEL GENE!!!

    Happy Birthday Mama Jo!

  2. Thank you Amanda for being a daughter that deserves to be on the receiving end of so many of my projects. You have been the inspiration -- I just go with your ideas. We do work well as a team don't we??