Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines for Junie

Our daughters' names inspire me. I didn't name them to facilitate my personalization of their wardrobe or the end of the year gifts to their teachers. But once the opportunities presented themselves, I found it impossible to resist.

I had an idea stewing in my brain last year for my kindergartener's valentines that didn't quite make the cut. Funny how a miniature person's vote can frequently trump an adult's. Junie wouldn't even let it go past the drawing board. But we've both grown up a bit in the last year. Valentines negotiations were surprisingly simple this time around. And I won!!! ...One of us has grown up in the past year, at least.

Juniper has a whole slew of nicknames in our family: Junebug, June Balloon. Morph those into a heart shape and, voila! A valentine, personalized to the core. Junie, our resident Paint expert, had free reign over coloring and embellishing my drawing. This collaboration seemed to clinch my victory as she snuggled next to me at the computer: "These are perfect, Mom!"

Monday, June 11, 2012

shoemaker extraordinaire

Not quite, but I finally did it! I took the plunge and fabricated a pair of fabric boots for the five-year-old! I kept fondly remembering the cheery red boots that the three-year-old outgrew and decided to try my hand at making some.
Almost a year ago, I tried dismantling some shoes to learn a bit more about their construction, but never followed the project through to completion. This weekend I finally got tired of my daughter's sad collection of half-shredded shoes, and ripped one of them apart. Apparently I thought spending the entire day trying to make a boot would be a more efficient use of my time than going to the store to buy some.

I used the existing sole of one of her thrashed pair of shoes, ripped out the shoe uppers, then used them as a pattern for the new boots.
After some failures, rethinking my design, and a bit of hair pulling, success was finally mine!
 Perhaps most valuable, I made it past my own fear that I couldn't do it. I'll definitely be doing this again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

growing a Juniper

Today was the last day of school for my kindergartener, soon to be first grader. Time passed with imperceptible growth - until I remember back to just nine months ago when she began the school year. Kids continue to grow, no matter where they are, but I'm acutely thankful that she had a kind and loving teacher who made the process a positive one.

Last year I gave the girls' teachers botanical paintings - a fitting symbol of the growth they had nurtured in Juniper and Olive during the year. Juniper and I collaborated on this year's painting together. Now that's a clear marker of growth in my budding artist (and her mother, who successfully relinquished a bit of control on an art project).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

more tiny : babies, knits, and encampments

Spring must be Baby Season, what with all of the friends and family anticipating new arrivals, or recently having welcomed them. Boy, girl, girl, twin boys, and even a few "as yet unidentified." With the chaos that is the end of the school year, I needed a good reason to get my hands moving in some sort of soothing rhythm, a way to calm the interior while the exterior runs circles. Nothing does that so well as baby knits -- small, fast, and incredibly soft.

In the spirit of all that tiny, one of my girls has been spending a lot of time out back. I didn't even realize what she was up to until I stumbled across her Encampment.

Teepees and canoes, fire pits and ponds. She even managed to shift the dirt in one planter enough to provide for the ever-crucial stable. Reminds me of all the summer hours I spent making small encampments in the backyard of my parent's home (although I seem to remember actually lighting the fire pits -- shhh, don't tell her that. We're on High Fire Alert around here). Sometimes "the good old days" don't seem that far off after all.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

wednesday's ode

To beautiful surroundings.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Easter for the little man

The last of the Easter outfits (the girls' are here and here). He just took his first steps on Sunday. A tie and vest, complete with a screenprinted boutonniere - absurdly grown up for a baby that is growing up absurdly fast.

Friday, May 18, 2012