I was invited by Tea Collection's Priscilla to do a guest post for Studio T and I shared an easy project for kid's busy hands, finger crocheting. Similar to finger knitting but (I think) a bit easier, all you need is a ball of yarn and your fingers.
It's done! (Actually its been done for a few weeks now.) The bedroom redo collaboration between teenager and teenager's mom was, in the teenager's opinion, a complete success. The birdcage around the ceiling light in the photo above was my favorite of all the projects Emma and I did to make this room come together. And there were plenty. I'll be talking a little more about those coming up, but today you can hop over and see the finished room on Design Mom. Gabrielle did the sweetest q & a with me about the whole process of changing this room over. And when I tell you I cried answering those questions, I honestly did. Its exciting and bittersweet to watch my kids grow up.
That's what I always tell my kids. I want them to push themselves a little bit and have a little fun as much as I want them to have time to relax and "be bored". I'm pretty choosy about summer camps, but we all enjoy the occasional break in routine (or lack of routine) a camp gives us, and I usually try to make sure there something to look forward sprinkled throughout the summer months.
As we were getting ready for the coming week (a week of both kids back to school), I was glancing around at the "work" that happened here at home, when my kids got down to the busy business of doing "nothing". My kids are just like most kids- they would love to do minecraft, or play wii, or watch Dr. Who all day, and are usually pretty bummed (and at times indignant) that they can't. I try to remember that they need time and space to figure out what to do on their own. Suddenly the productivity comes from out of the woodwork.
Emma spent some time listening to music and painting down in the studio-
I just looked back at this post and realize that, years later, we are still trying to control Legos in Ian's room. And so so many more have come into our house since that earlier post. We no longer use a play table in the middle of Ian's room, but we still use those inexpensive IKEA drawers (labelled the same- angles, weird parts, bricks, flats), plus a separate box that contains mini-figures and accessories. Last summer, after a Lego engineering summer camp, Ian started adding Lego power functions, so we need a proper place to store those.
This is the one toy category for Ian that has kept his interest since he stopped obsessing over Thomas the Tank Engine.
This, and basketball.
Over the weekend Peter and Ian added 2 more shelves using inexpensive shelving and brackets we had here already to make a total of 3, on the wall above his bed. A place where Ian can keep the special sets, builds, etc that he doesn't want broken up at the moment (or doesn't want mom to step on when she comes in to say goodnight). This kid loves his organization, he spent Sunday afternoon getting them all set up, one category per shelf. Told us all about it at dinner last night.
He still has the quilt I made for him on his bed below, which has always looked a lot like Lego bricks.
(I can't believe I'm calling Emma a teenage, but there you go. It's the truth, hard as it is to admit.)
Emma kept busy while we were snowed in by sewing a friend (Jinx, 1st photo) to go with Patch (2nd photo) that was made before Christmas. She's quite obsessed with anything to do with Emily The Strange right now, and I have to admit, going through the many books she got for Christmas, I'm pretty taken with Emily too. Emily is a clever, sullen sort of girl with quite a goth look, probably the kind of girl many parents would worry about in real life.
The Art of Emily The Strange is a book we have all looked at since Christmas. It's great. Many artists have drawn their own tributes to Emily, and its a fascinating book for a budding artist like Emma. I love the idea that she saw pictures of Jinx and Patch in several of her Emily The Strange books and decided she would make her own versions. Just like that. She spent hours on Jinx. Sketching the shapes, making her own paper templates, cutting the felt just so, making felt colors work even though they weren't quite right because we couldn't go out to get more felt.
I was merely a consultant. I didn't contribute one stitch
I don't want to take her ability and her desire to make things for granted.
There are so many things girl's brains and bodies are taught at school, and in life. To be confident in who they are, be inquisitive, stand up for their beliefs and themselves. All this is very important for a girl.
But you know what I love? I love that when the day is over, or there's a little time to herself, Emma finds relaxation and enjoyment in picking up a needle and thread and making something she can see in her brain. I am grateful that Peter and I have limited her time in front of TV and computer screens and instead created an environment in which she needed to find a way to fill her time. We don't do many things right, many things. But this I think she will carry with her throughout her life.
Thanks for letting me show off her work. I'm so proud of her.
And happy birthday to Peter. You, my friend, are amazing.
When I fold the laundry (which, truth be told, is not as often as it should be, a clean heap can usually be found on the chair in our bedroom, dubbed by the family as the "chair of shame"), I usually watch a few minutes of tv and on Sunday I was watching the Food Network, Barefoot Contessa in London. Ina Garten's recipes are very dependable for our family, I've never really made anything of hers that didn't turn out delicious without alot of crazy prep. On this show, she made white chocolate lollipops, and they looked so easy, I knew the kids and I would have fun adding them to our holdiay "baking" list.
I'm not a big fan of white chocolate, so I chose semi-sweet chocolate chips, and we picked to add to them: roasted cashews, dried cherries, candied ginger, toffee bits, miniature peppermint candy canes (these available at Home Cake if you are local, read a great write up about this store on Seattle Bon Vivant.).
We melted the chocolate in the microwave, then spooned the chocolate onto parchment in rounded globs. We inserted the lollipop stick into the center and gave it a little twist to cover it, then proceeded to add something to each on (or not, since we left some plain for Ian, the purist).
We made about 40 out of 3 bags of chocolate chips (okay, we did eat some of the chocolate). They set up at room temperature in about an hour, then we bagged them in cellophane and tied them with yarn.
P.S.- Check it, I have a new header : D
Saturday's advent was decorating gingerbread houses. I knew there was not going to be much actual house decorating for the holidays until after the weekend, so just as I'd hoped, these kept the kids happy and occupied for most of the afternoon. Ian's house is a reindeer farm. (You knew there had to be one somewhere.) As he explained it, this is where Santa's reindeer are raised. The farmer is a frog, but you can't see him cause he's busy. (Course.) Each of the flags designate which country they will cover. Apparently, the US is well covered, as is Switzerland and Germany. The fate of the other countries rests on whether or not he can locate any other flag cupcake toppers in my baking drawer. Here's hoping...
I am joining lots of friends and posting photos over at habit all through the month of December. So much fun, be sure and check in.
-are everything, even when you're in middle school. She has done this before, but with the kid markers we used, they sadly didn't make it through the first Fall rain shower with designs intact. We learned our lesson. Here's how Emma made this new pair custom shoes-
You need a pair of white canvas shoes. Emma and Ian almost always wear Vans, and these are the classic white slip-on style.
Sand the canvas lightly all over with sandpaper (I believe this removes the sizing or surface protection).
Lightly sketch your design with pencil. In our case, that would be dragons.
Using a combination of fabric markers and craft paint, Emma applied the design. We were advised not to use Sharpie markers (which is in abundance around here) because the ink bleeds and doesn't leave a clean line.
Allow to dry overnight. Touch up and reapply where necessary. I would advise leaving as little white as possible, just because it keeps them from appearing dirty too soon (but I'm a mom, I think that way).
When completely dry, spray the surface with any sort of suede or shoe protector spray. We did 2 coats.
Schoolhouse Craft is a week from Friday. Will I see you there? I hope so, cause I'm not tweezing these eyebrows for just anybody.