… Truckabin Tuesday On A Saturday…
With the sun just peeking over the fence and in the back windows, I would barely be finished my first coffee of the day, brain only just waking up, when it would start. The first warning would be the thumpthumpthump of excited toddler feet slapping along the wooden floorboards, coming in at a run. He would throw his tiny body at me, wrapping chubby arms around my neck. “Is truckabins!!” he would squeal, before racing off again. “Sissy! Truckabins!” As the low rumble of the truckabin approached, they would stand at the door, watching enthralled as the garbage truck came by and picked up the bins. “More? More truckabins? Wait for more?” And so I would help them drag pillows and blankets to make a bed by the front door to wait for the recycling truckabin to come past as well.
For the last few years of our lives in town, Truckabin Tuesday was a regular feature of our weeks. From the first knock of spring when it was warm enough to open the front door of a morning, until well past the first frost when they should be by the heater not layering more blankets to stay warm, they would stand vigil for the truckabin. We would take a drive to the depot to see the sleeping truckabins. Friends would send photos of truckabins in the wild. I spent four months working my tail off for a development program with my essential oil business, and coming into Brisbane for yet another weekend away, I called out in excitement when I saw a truckabin, only to promptly burst into tears missing my babies. We would do call-and-return of the slogan (“our business stinks,” I would say. “BUT IT’S PICKING UP!” would come Beetle’s reply). Once, the resident garbologist even got to push the buttons of a truckabin to make it lift a skip bin.
At nine, he still thinks to be a truckabin driver is the height of career ambition (paired with part time firefighting. That is, if he doesn’t become a “puppy police man” – the dog squad in the police force also holds quite the appeal). September is birthday season around here, and our youngest little ratbag is the first cab off the rank…or first truckabin out of the depot? When it comes to cakes, truckabins are one of the easiest. New truck, some lollies, and done.
This year, his wish list included craft and sewing supplies, among other things. I had a bit of a poke around the inter webs, but nothing really grabbed my interest. The lego and book parts of his list were easy, but craft, I just couldn’t find something with the razzle dazzle I wanted to excite a nine year olds mojo.
In the end, I decided to DIY it, to create something unique and open ended and useful. A project bag, stuffed with goodies, would work perfectly. I scrolled my iCloud, and tossed up a couple of different options from the patterns I had, and in the end, decided on a medium Ava bucket bag from Clover&Violet.
I had some yellow fabric on hand left over from my wax+wool tote that Beetle has mentioned more than once he would like to use to make a teddy with. There was enough to make the teddy he wants, plus a heap left over, so knowing he loved it, it was the perfect option for the lining and casing for the bag. The exterior I used dark denim for both structure, and to be hard wearing, because nine year old boys are allergic to the concept of “careful”. To make it perfectly him, I added an appliqué truckabin to the front of the bag.
The back wheel stitching wasn’t great, but I was on a deadline. I have exactly 75 minutes a week at home without the Beetle Boy, and sewing at night isn’t really an option without a good excuse. In a tiny house, there is no escaping the noise, and respecting my family’s need for sleep trumps sewing, most of the time. It was tight. While he was at scouts, I got the appliqué cut and mostly stitched on. Everything then got packed away and hidden for him to come home, have dinner, and get him off to bed. While I wait for him to get off to sleep, I started baking his birthday cake, and sewing costumes for the following night’s drama performance. Thankfully, the costumes gave me the perfect cover for breaking my no-sewing-at-night rule. I made A Very Big Deal about how long and stressful the costumes would be to make, and how late I would be up sewing. Spoiler – they were basic wizard robes that I was finished by 11pm, in between checking the cake and getting it out to cool.
By this point, the birthday boy was safely asleep, and I could get stuck into sewing up the bag. The rush meant the details weren’t as neat as I would have liked, but the bag got finished (mostly), and ready to be wrapped the following night. A bowl of ice cream and an episode of Chuck as a reward to wind down, and I was in bed by 1am.
The following night, we headed out for the drama performance, and arrived home late enough to send everyone straight to bed. The cake decorating didn’t take long, and as Mr Barefoot wrapped the rest of the presents, I hand stitched the base of the bag closed, threaded the drawstrings, and filled it with tools and supplies, ready for all the creating a nine year old could dream of.
The snips and needles I picked up from the fabric shop in town. The floss came from stash – some non-DMC skeins that I had been gifted when my great aunt decluttered her stash, that was a joy to share onto the next generation of crafter. To round out his starter supplies, I grabbed some felt and denim pieces from my stash
The bag currently sits in pride of place on the book bench, right where he can see it each morning as he gets up. There is nothing in this world as inspiring as a nine year old brimming with ideas and enthusiasm for making all the things. I can not wait to see what cuteness he creates, and how the contents of his bag change and adapt as he explores different hobbies.