Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all er.... fathers reading this!
Not many, I'm guessing.
Maybe only my longsuffering husband.

Here's what dad (my dad) got - a freezer-paper
stenciled Tshirt. Lots of words to cut out.

Here's the back - this was not an original design. I found
it in some clip art site (I think) and modified it a bit.

Dad's into archery recently. Not hunting-archery;
the target-shooting kind. Wins prizes and everything.
And in training to be an archery coach. Extremely proud
daughter boasting, I know. Poor man will have to put up
with the gushiness of the front if he wants to show off the back.

Let me tell you a bit about dad. You're probably thinking,
"Eh? Isn't this the craft blog? Shouldn't she be gushing in
the family blog?" Well, the readers of that blog all know dad.
But you folks don't. Besides, while Mum* gets all the credit
for my sewing training, Dad taught me all that crafty stuff.

Before he retired, Dad taught elementary school.
One of the many classes (we call them "subjects"
back in Singapore) he taught was art.
Oh my brother and I loved being the children of
an art teacher. For one thing, our home was always
stocked with art supplies- the good stuff - and we were
allowed to use them. It was also allowed to be messy,
which we were a lot. Then we got to do art stuff with
him. And when we got art homework from our own
schools, we got Dad to help us. Here's a little story: I once
had an assignment to make a collage from small bits of
colored paper. I brought it home and did it all wrong
(yes, it is possible to do art wrong, people -I have way too
much experience with this). Well, Dad came and showed
me an alternative. I argued and disagreed. But since I hated
the version I'd made anyway, I did it the way he suggested.
Brought it back to school the next day and just knew it
wasn't going to be what the teacher had asked for. It
turned out that most of my classmates also messed theirs
up. Exasperated, the teacher sorted through the pile of
dismal offerings we'd handed in and pulled out mine.
She said, "Ah, this is what I mean by a collage!"
I couldn't believe it. I thought I was so smart.
Good old dad saved the day.

Crafty man, dad. And very handy with tools. Made most
of the furniture in our house when we were growing up
and lived in a house. When we moved to the apartment
that was my home for the next two decades, he didn't
have his workbench, but still built our beds. How and
where is a mystery. Mum and Dad remember walking home
(we didn't have a car) from the lumberyard carrying the
lumber on their shoulders. In tropical humidity! If you all
thought I was insane, now you know it's an inherited trait.

Dad doesn't build furniture anymore - not for real people,
anyway. When mum and dad were here visiting last summer,
he made these rocking chairs from clothespegs for the
girls. This was a typical elementary school art/craft project
when we were growing up, so I was tickled to see it again.

Emily was thrilled that her small dolls could sit in them and visit.

Every year when we fly back to Singapore to visit Mum and
Dad, we have grand plans for art and craft projects dad can
do with the girls. I know they are going to have a blast,
especially now that Emily and Jenna are older. Kate may have
to wait a year or two, or until she stops sucking marker nibs.
I love that Dad and Mum are OK with messiness, since my
children are very good at it.

But back to Father's Day. Thanks, folks, for letting me go on
and on about lovely Dad. I had a good chuckle when I mailed
off the Tshirt to him. Considering that he taught me
silkscreening (which I have completely forgotten how to do),
freezer-paper stenciling is ironic!

*I find it very funny that this is spelt Mom here
in the US and Mum back in Singapore, like in the UK.
I never know what to call myself!


  1. Your dad sounds totally awesome! I'm so impressed with the clothes peg rocking chairs! Definately going to make some iddy biddy versions of those for our doll house. I have some teeny weeny clothes pegs that should do nicely for maybe a two inch tall rocker.

    P.S. Being a Brit in the US, I don't know if I'm mom or mum either.

    Full marks for awesome father's day giftage!

  2. That's a shirt any dad would be so proud to wear, it's perfect.

    Your crafty genius is genetic! Your dad sounds like a wonderful role model to foster a life long love for creative pursuits.

    Those clothes peg rockers are gorgeous and even more special because your dad made them.

    In Australia we also use the "mum" spelling.


  3. Some of us readers of the other blog may indeed know your dad, but not all of us knew this much about him. Thank you for helping us know him so much better, and thereby admire him even more.

  4. Lovely tribute, L! I always loved hanging out at your house for all the wonderful 'stuff' you had :)

    Until today, I cannot NOT think of you and your dad when I see Plaka paint (or even references to it).

  5. Sounds like you have an amazing dad! I love the shirt you made, and those clothes peg rocking chairs are wonderful!

  6. What a wonderful post about your dad. And awesome gift!!!

  7. those chairs are amazing.. so cute.

  8. Great shirt! My husband loves archery! I would love to get him a shirt like that.

  9. I keep coming back to this shirt, and wishing I could just ORDER one (for lasting power & my sanity). I think there are places that will make custom t-shirts per your design, so I am wondering if you would mind if I try for that. Such a thoughtful gift!


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