Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer of skirts

This has truly been the summer of the skirt. I made one for each of my girls awhile back, one for each of my twin nieces, one for a (big kid) birthday gift and another for a (big kid) friend that is about to return home after a visit in the US.

Here are the two most recent skirts. They seem to be getting better with each one I make. The yellow is a dragonfly print with green polka dot trim and the other is a rich, chocolate brown with blue vines. My older girls picked the fabric and the ribbon for each of the skirts and helped with the sewing. It's a great project to have their help on since there is minimal measuring, it's quick, and seems to speak to their 4 y.o. fashion sensibilities!

What I like more than the skirts are the values they seem to be teaching my kids. In no particular order here are a few that I have noticed emerge in their own words:

First, give of yourself and your talents. When ever we talk about giving a gift to someone the girls immediately begin to brainstorm from the handmade things that I/we have given them. Sometime entire family dinners are spent dreaming up fabulous cakes, cookies and art projects we could give to our neighbors, friends and grandparents - for no particular reason.

Second, give gifts you're excited to give. The girls are so enthusiastic about giving handmade gifts! They often run around with them in the hours before we give them, showing them off to their stuffed animals. They make-up songs about them and say they dream at night about making more.

Third, put time and thought into the gifts you give. The girls have thoughtfully hand-picked fabric, ribbon and even thread for these projects. I've even witnessed them debate between yellow and green fabric and make an apparently informed decision based on playground evidence. "Remember that day when she [the recipient] played with the yellow ball on the playground?" one of them shared. "I think she'd like the yellow best." This is a skill that I continue to work on, but comes naturally to their Dad. It seems to have been passed along.

Lastly, a gratuitous photo of my littlest stretching her creative wings. She has been asking to color (sounds more like "cul-ur") a lot lately; we've been switching around from chalk to markers, crayons, water colors and colored pencils.

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