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Monday, August 4, 2014

the jambourine family sesssion

Saturday me and the family packed up and took an hour trip to my hometown Marshall, TX for a family reunion. The family reunion was held for the Whitfield/Bookers- my late grandmother's family (my mom's mother). Since I'm a fidgety busy body I took this little project on the road with me. Yeah, I can't stand not having something to do with my hands - not even for an hour so I decorated a tambourine. I'll explain why later. Not that I really NEED to explain it- I just want to. So suck on that carrot.
Honestly, we arrived late on purpose so we'd miss out on most of the festivities; a cooking contest, a talent show AND a fashion show.... woooooo fun. But our plan failed. The whole evening's schedule was off about two hours so we arrived just in time for aaaaaall of that fun and merriment.
When we first got there I was instantly greeted with my all-time favorite family reunion greeting:
 "I bet you don't event remember me do you?!?!"
As a kid, this question would make me nervous and I would lie and mumble, "yes". Then said family member would hoot, "Oh yeah? What's my name?" Tears of shame and embarrassment would well up in my eyes and I would frantically search for my mother to come rescue me.
Now as an I adult when I'm asked that, I always respond with, "When was the last time I saw you?"
The response is usually something like, "Oh, you were maybe about two or three..."
And my final response: "Then, no. I don't remember you."
Luckily this time I only had to have that conversation once AND the person asking "do you remember me" was the one put to shame because they thought I was my older sister, Jessica. How about instead of cornering your poor relatives that you haven't seen in decades, just say something pleasant like, "Oh dear! I haven't seen you since you were just a a baby! I'm your cousin so-and-so!"
Surrounding the frame are all of my grandmother's siblings. My grandmother is on the left of the frame, third down. Sadly, the Saturday morning of the reunion, Freddy (pictured below) passed away so now there is only one left of the bunch. Joanne (I think that's her on the bottom of the frame, right in the middle).
I didn't even know my grandmother had brothers, or that many other siblings for that matter.
Overall, the family reunion was not fun. The hall was way too small for so many people which resulted in a constant deafening buzz of garbled R&B music and chatter and the food and drink was sparse. After about three and a half hours of this we said our goodbyes to only a few people and quietly sneaked out the door to head back home.
So about the tambourine. This year we're amping up the gypsy camp at the faire. We're going to have crazy vibrant decor, more music and more dancing but many of our gypsies are new to renaissance faire entertaining so they're unsure of what to do. Since I have a very strict "no loafing" policy, I'll be providing a few hand percussion instruments for those who need something to do. I knew I'd need something to do on the trip so I came up with this!
I found a great design online and printed it off. It was just the right size! I cut it out and taped it to the top of the head. As we drove to Marshall, I held the tambourine up to catch the sunlight and traced the design on the underside of the head, I flipped it back over and traced over design that showed through the skin. Then I filled in the design with whatever came to me and there ya go!


  1. I love your description of the reunion. Can't say that's my favourite way to spend my energy either. Fab pic of the three of you. River is looking so grown up! Xx

  2. Interesting story. Sorry you didn't have a good time. Nice musical creation. I'm busy sucking on a carrot... :-)

  3. I have a picture of you holding the tambourine up to the window as you guys drive down the road. I can imagine the looks! I've never been to a family reunion, the closest was my mother-in-laws 90th birthday party. That was fun.

  4. The tambourine looks great! Gypsy camp sounds like so much fun.
    Family reunions. Ugh. I never go. Good on you for making the trip!

  5. Love your tambourine. That would make a killer tattoo!
    Other than my brother Jon & I have no family - I'd love to get the chance to attend a reunion even if everyone annoyed me! x

  6. Your family is MASSIVE!!!!! I kinda can't believe it! Your tambourine looks like a beautiful henna design, I love it! Now do one on my back please!

  7. That's a lot of family! I bet your hubs had enough after three and a half hours. But I can imagine lots of good food and hugs that really mean something.

    Your tambourine is stunning! I especially love the way you took the pattern beyond boring and made it fantastique!

  8. Our family get-together's are pretty cool, that's my Mums side, my Dads side I wouldn't have a clue! you do have a huge family though! I love your relatives 't' shirt and your tambourine, your skills are amazing! x x x

  9. Family history can be so interesting. It sounds like you could do a lot of research just on your grandma's side. Your reunion looks like fun, we go to one every year on my husbands mom' s side of the family. I usually dread going, but usually leave feeling happy I went.

    I love your tambourine, very creative. Are you going to add color to any of them? You're so creative!

  10. That tambourine is fantastic! And sorry to hear that the place was not big enough for the reunion:( And to tell you the truth, am not a huge fan of family reunions....well, my family anyhoo....:P


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