Last week, I posted about my new tiny obsessions–how they started out as simple fun and have evolved into a frantic therapy of sorts…a calming way to deal with the chaos around me.And they’ve been extremely therapeutic. I may not be able to control what’s going on, but I can do my best to control this tiny space…
(I’ve been protecting myself from custom orders–I’m just enjoying doing whatever suits my fancy, and it feels good. But as it’s the process more than the end result, I thought I’d gather whatever I have available and release them in a shop drop on April 2nd. So keep an eye out in my Etsy shop for that!)As I’ve had a wicked case o’ the ‘broideries lately, it’d be fairly unusual for the kid not to have noticed. So she asked me the other day, “hey mom, can I try?”
I had tried to teach her basic hand sewing before, but it didn’t hold her interest. And yet now, she was asking to join in on her own, because of my interest.
I started by letting her sketch something small with pens (a tiny drawing of Finn and Jake and Fiona and Cake from Adventure Time), and then she added some stitching to embellish it.It held her attention…and it ended up lovely! Sure, she made a few mistakes. Sure, I had to stop and help her a lot, despite being mentally tangled in my own work. And sure, she sometimes stitched over instead of under, meaning I had to completely undo and rethread her needle. But the look of pride when she’d finished? So worth it.She started a second piece, of Fern and Finn from Adventure Time…I didn’t give her a plastic kid’s safety needle, she’s learning on the real one. She’s using the same fabric I’d use, and the same hoops. Although I didn’t have very many of the nice tiny hoops to frame them in (as they were ordered from Dandelyne online), and although I hoard them greedily for myself, I went ahead and sacrificed a couple for her to use.
Most often, I have to be the “authority figure.” I’m MOM. I have distractions, I have things to do, worries to worry. In short, I’m busy. The time I take to craft and make art is like fuel to me–I have to fill it up to be able to do the day to day things I need to do. And a little crafting goes a long way.But giving her the respect I’d give any other artist is fundamental. Taking a few moments to really share with her the things I love to do makes her feel important. It makes her feel included.
And it makes her proud.A few days later, she made me a special mockingbird with my name on it. She was focused and careful and took her time. Maybe it’s not something she’d take further, but I think the fact that I didn’t just dismiss her helps build her confidence, and let’s her know she’s capable of doing a great many things.
I remember being a kid, interested in something a grownup was doing, and being sort of dismissed and told to go play. I remember getting the feeling that, “well that must be something I’m not capable of doing, I guess,” and even in adulthood I’d hesitate to try. But I’d like Myla to be able to try things and decide that for herself. A few days later, her Papa–while busy with his own projects–gave her some scraps of wood and a real hammer and nails, a little bit of instruction, and let her create. That’s all it takes!She ended the day happily singing me a little song: ” I, I, I love that you love to do the things I love to doooo…”
So give them the good supplies! Let them try the real things! Show them how, and see where they take it. It only takes a little time and attention…