Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude necklaces and corn husk dolls

We have been busy little bees. Everyone in our family helped with the makings of these. The kids gathered acorns, daddy drilled the holes, and I felted many little colorful balls. We call them our gratitude necklaces and it really was such a fun project to work on together. Honest. We made about 60, enough for all of the children in both kids' classes, plus some to share with friends.

We sent in a little note to the teachers of both classes for them to read when they hand out the necklaces if they chose. It said:

Bears, squirrels, and deer all feel grateful when they find acorns on the ground for their food.
These necklaces can be a little reminder of the things and people in our lives that we are grateful for.
Our son and daughter were so excited to take them to share with their friends at school. It made the effort worth it. My favorite part, though, was how it engaged us as a family. We were all focused on our little project, and it inspired a sense of pride in even our youngest when our task was accomplished. Last night, my husband and I stayed up talking while we glued and threaded necklaces together. If only life could be so simple all the time.

These are the corn husk dolls that we made yesterday in preparation for a craft project that I am leading at my daughter's school today. A very nice tutorial explains the process here. Now, my six year old wants to make a horse to go with the dolls. Hmmm. I hadn't counted on that, but we might have to give it a go.

So... we are looking forward to the holiday tomorrow and through the weekend. We will be spending time with several dear friends... sharing meals, walking in the woods, and maybe even a little crafting. My wish for each of you is a peaceful and joy filled holiday. I will be reminding myself to slow down and take a moment to consider all that I am grateful for.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The magic of fairies in our family...

In the weeks leading up to the Handmade Holidays show, I neglected so many things. Where to start? There was less volunteering, less time for my husband, kids, and friends, a shorter fuse on my part, less running in the woods for me, and no blog posts. I was barely keeping the essential balls in the air (like meals), let alone juggling any extras. I kept reminding myself NOT to "pack my bags and go on a guilt trip." (This phrase is credited to a dear friend who makes me bust out laughing every time she says it.)

At the set up for the show, I was sharing with a friend about the fairy house that my daughter had constructed with her dad. I had no part in it, as he'd been filling in all the gaps due to my craziness to get ready for the show. In describing their deepening relationship, I realized that many of the recent moments between them had occurred precisely because I WASN'T in the picture. Not that I impede their relationship, but I think you get what I mean. My lack of presence gave him the opportunity to be more present for the kids.

I marvel at this creation of theirs. My husband has never seen the info out there for parents about building fairy homes. He just joined in her imaginative process and they created. She left a note for the fairies, asking for a crystal and magically it appeared. (I had no part in that one either. I kept forgetting and the note sat there a few days. Thank heaven for daddies.)
This sweet house has several ramps and doors, a ladder, a swing (pictured above), and a lovely porch with a bench to hang out on. Don't you just want to move right in? I kidded my husband that he should start a new business as he has such obvious talent.

When I look out the window at the fairies' home, I can almost see them flitting about. It is such a nice reminder of family, magic, and what we can create.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Handmade Holidays Show

It all starts with a lot of sewing. (How many bag handles can you count?)

Then comes the fun part.... drawing with thread.

Finally the big day arrived. All that prep, and set up, and suddenly you are part of a show put on by two wonderful women in support of local craftswomen and an amazing grassroots non-profit called Arts for Life.

I have to tell you that it was just a lovely event. The women who are invited to sell at this show are some of the friendliest and most talented. It was really something.... an absolute pleasure.

It wasn't just about the money I made or the money that we raised for Arts for Life, although all of that was wonderful. This was the second year of the show, and I have begun to feel a sense of community with these women. I had some amazing conversations that inspired me to want to create and explore more.

I also received so many affirmations about myself as a blossoming quilter and artist. This last little bit may be hard for me to explain, but I'll try. There were many talented and tasteful women there who gave me compliments about my work. Visualizing myself as an artist is something I've been working through for many years. There are certainly some self esteem issues to sort through and old messages to cleanse. I'm working on it; this weekend was such a positive step in that process. So on that note, I want to say thank you to all of my friends and my family who supported me. It was important to me in more ways than you can possibly imagine.

(P.S. I did have a handful of bags left that I will post for sale on my etsy by the end of this week. If you're local and didn't get a chance to stop by, email me and you can come take a look.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Still here....

Hello friends. Yes. I'm still here. I have so much to show and tell you, but have just been unplugged. I really haven't had time to sit down at the computer. It's just been that busy, or we've been outside consuming every ounce of autumn. I promise to give you a glimpse of all the beautiful sewing I've been doing lately. Soon, very soon. Please come back to visit... soon, very soon.