Uncle Steve is my dad's brother.
That's my dad on the left.
They're the only two children so I and my brothers and sisters are his only nieces and nephews.
Only Nine, haha.
Way before Steve knew there would be NINE of us, he began a neat tradition for each of us kids.
He chose one animal for each kid (pretty much as soon as they had a first birthday...) and spent the next years of Christmases and Birthdays (and every other holiday practically) giving us gifts that related to the particular animal he chose for us, building up our collections.
I'm a Duck!
I have received:
duck statues, duck slippers, rubber duckies, duck napkins, tissues, stickers, postcards, stationary, cards, toys, books, stamps, rubber stamps, jewelry, clothing, clothing for my own kids, cookie jars,
Well, just about anything you can think of that features a duck!
It was so much fun. The packages were always neatly wrapped with colorful papers, tissue and ribbons. He'd wrap each gift individually and pack them into boxes.
Our collections became a PART of us. Other people would catch on and give me ducks.
I would buy myself ducky things.
In fact....! When I got married, Daniel and I had little mallard ducks on top of our wedding cake!!!
It was 1993! Mallard ducks were IN!
So when I drew Uncle Steve's name in the Christmas gift drawing, I knew I'd make him a quilt.
And because there's nine of us, it was perfect to give each of us a square.
I embroidered very simple pictures of each animal to represent each niece and nephew.
(Just a simple back stitch. I don't really know how to embroider anything else.)
And there's me, The DUCK! You should see all my rubber duckies now!
And Cady had a PIG.
She sometimes got teased for being a Pig (not sure why Steve didn't see that one coming, haha!),
but I have to admit, some of her Pig paraphernalia was the cutest!!!
And Cammy the Rabbit. It's funny how much we associated each animal with each child. I can't think of a better animal to fit Cammy as a child.
(Except that rabbits are very quiet. Cammy wasn't always quiet...)
Ally was the MOUSE and he couldn't have chosen a more fitting animal for our little
Ally with the sweetly high, squeaky voice.
"Talk like a MONSTER, Ally," we'd say sometimes when that voice got to be just a little too much!
And Leah, the ELEPHANT. She still loves to decorate occasionally with exotic elephants.
And then Ethan, FINALLY another boy on the end. The baby of the family was our little MONKEY.
I also wanted to add some UNCLE STEVE touches to really represent him.
Uncle Steve has had a Handlebar Mustache ever since I can remember!
(And for a long time before.)
He had that 'stache way before they were so cool, WHILE they were cool, while they were not seen much and then still when they've suddenly come back into style.
It's a steady signature for Uncle Steve.
(Hense the little embroidered handlebar 'stache's around the border.)
And if you look really closely, you can see little books on the fabric.
Uncle Steve and Books!!! He worked in a book store, volunteers at the Library.
We never saw Steve without being given a bag of books. New, old, popular, obscure...
If we mentioned any new interest, we could be sure we'd receive books about it!
All smelling wonderfully of Books and Polo (his cologne).
Wow, that's a vivid memory.
In fact, I just got a package in the mail yesterday with books about Puppets,
our newest obsession.
I'm told he liked it. I'm told he cried when he opened it.
I've always wanted to make him cry.