Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Face of a Choir Boy


If you haven't guessed by now, the dark haired characters that inhabit my craft room are modeled after my brother John. A choir boy's appearance from the earliest of ages, a heart for mischief hidden behind his angelic eyes.


My brother's senior year of High School came shortly after the passing of our father. I was a newlywed just moved from our parents home, there was no one to console my brother's grief.


Having successfully performed with his High School's Honor Choir at the Kennedy Center at Christmastime, an invitation was extended to perform in London. My mother thought this opportunity would be the perfect distraction for John. Necessary travel documents, a round trip ticket purchased, a permission slip signed.


My mother kissed John on the cheek as she dropped him off at the airport with a new black performing suit. She did not see that he did not meet up with his school group.


Unbeknown to my mother, my brother had told the choir teacher his recently widowed mother could not afford the trip. He told the airline that he was with the choir group; but because he was still grieving, could he please sit at the back of the plane.


For the next two months my brother traveled all over Europe, alone!



He spent the first month sailing with a French couple he met in London setting sail to the coast of France. He told them he knew how to sail. He learned on the job! He visits them to this day. To earn money once dropped off in France, he would go into night clubs and ask to sit in with the house band and play the piano. He was a kid not old enough to even drink, but he was persistent returning night after night until he wore them down. He was such a success, he formed a following from town to town. An easy supply of money for the second month as he traveled back towards London.

Please do not Pin pattern on Pinterest.

My mother would never know the truth behind my brother's summer in Europe although she did ask how he managed to get so tanned.


I would only discover the truth myself when I started my blog and began to tell the stories of my magical childhood so many involving this special brother of mine with the face of a Choir Boy.






25 comments:

Mommarock said...

It is so wonderful to see how this sweet Choir Boy is put together. It really does help. Could you clarify how the head is attached for me?

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Your choir boy is absolutely angelic, Elizabeth! What an amazing person your brother is. I'll bet that was an experience he will never forget!

Scrap for Joy said...

What an adventurer your brother was. I would have scared to death to hop off on my own and of course the airlines would never let a thing like that happen today-lol! Your choir boy figure reminded me of a Christmas as a child when my mother's Christmas "theme" was choirboys. (she always had a theme) She bought inexpensive plastic boy dolls (about 9" tall)and sewed choir robes (in red) and surplices in white with large white collars. She fashioned a church front from white styrofoam and placed the choirboys on the steps. (There were about 10-12) I have no idea what happened to them but I do have a soldier she made one year when tin soldiers were the "theme". More info than you'd ever want to know, huh? Anyway...your choirboy (holding the word "joy" which is my favortie word)reminded me of my mother.
xoxo
Joyce

Creative Breathing said...

Mommarock, I position the head on the body, holding in place with left hand. I pierce the fabric underneath the head and come up in the face stitches that are already there. I go from front of head to back of head coming out with my needle each time at one of the stitches, going back into neck area at base of stitch until head is secure.
Thank you so much for asking! Elizabeth

Lynn said...

oh my goodness, that little choir boy is such a cutie. I would have been scared to death in a froeign country by myself. Your brother and you both have led a wonderful and eventful life!! Have a wonderful weekend !
Hugs,
Lynn

Nan said...

Oh E. that's an amazing story of your brother and he kept that to himself for so many years too. Thanks for sharing with us.

My Vintage Mending said...

I can only imagine all the secrets he spared your mother. This little choir boy is perfectly lefton quality...enjoy your weekend...smiles...Renee

Diane Mars said...

What memories we were a BIG Catholic Family and yes choir boys are also deep in my memories of the number of Church visits I made as a girl. Funny neither of my brothers were choir boys. I think we might have teased them about wearing a dress (: Hugs, Diane

Ina said...

lol, he traveled europe! it probably WAS good for him. ;0

Debby said...

Your brother was a character. I can't even imagining how he thought to do that. He was so resourceful as well.
Your choir boy is adorable.
Working on my tags today. Using Jillibean papers. I love her papers.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

This post brought a huge smile to my face!! Such a wonderful story and such a wonderful Choir Boy!!! Your photos always make me smile!!! :)

~ Wendy
http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

annemarie said...

Love your choir boy - your brother should write a book about his life!

ImagiMeri said...

Cute, cute, cute, cute, cute E. I'm getting excited about coming to see you.

Love ya'
Meri

Pieceful Bits said...

What a brave young man!

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

"My mother would never know the truth behind my brother's summer in Europe although she did ask how he managed to get so tanned."

Ha-ha! Loved this!

*Your* brother reminds me so much of my eldest son! A world travler from a young age- completely at home in any land- with no fears. Also a similar sense of humor. It still surprises me at times how effortlessly he can trick and "lie" to someone with a strait face and then laugh his head off about it for years. ;)

Teresa said...

What a great story! You have the most adventurous family. I love the choir boy - he's precious! Thank you also for showing how his hair is made separately from the face. When I made the witch, I didn't know how to join everything together. One question, do you stitch the hair to the head or use Tacky Glue? Also, did you use a paper punch on the felt to give it the lace effect on the choir robe? Thank you for another cute felt creation. Have a wonderful week! Teresa

janice15 said...

vERY NICE...IT'S SO NICE WHEN YOU FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL SHOW YOU WHAT THEY DID AND HOW HE WAS MADE. I LIKE THAT SHARING. ENJOY YOUR SUNDAY..HUGS JANICE

tammyCA said...

Another great story. :)

Betsy said...

I enjoyed reading about your brother's adventures and love the choir boy. Thanks for sharing the instructions!

Pam said...

That story is amazing! If only we all could be so brave to set out to see the world and follow our dreams. And I love the choirboy figure. Very Christmasy! :-)

lovestitches said...

That choir boy is adorable and your story about your brother made my jaw drop! Some people just have that ability to take huge risks and succeed! Your brother is clearly one of them! What a character!

Joanna said...

You have a really neat blog. I saw the choir boy on Craft Gossip and loved him. Thanks for the how-to.

sllvncookie@aol.com said...

Choir boy daring as all you things.Can you show how you make crepe ruffle pink on snowwman head you made ...I would love it .Thank's sllvncookie..

Mary said...

Dear Elizabeth,
I read your socks and shoes post in my blog reader but when I clicked to go to your blog to leave a comment, it said blog not found, so I am commenting on this blog post...just a little background info for you, smile...
If you are missing your blog friends, only blog when you want to and it feels right to you. I haven't posted on my blog for a month now, so many things going on in my life, you know my husband has vascular dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinsons. He just turned 60 in August so this is very early in his life. Sometimes life just rocks our boat but our Savior promises to be with us and it won't overturn. I am beginning to get back on track. I have so many good things in my life, my family and special, talented and generous, kind blog friends like you. Now you can delete this post after reading it, that is ok with me. I miss your posts so much but I say that so you know you are also missed and not to put any pressure upon you to post on your blog. I hope you and your dear husband are having a wonderful weekend. I still have your things to send to you and they will be showing up in your mailbox soon. Slowly I am getting back on track. Blessings to you!
Mary

Mary said...
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