The past few weeks, the heat index at our house has been right around 106 degrees Fahrenheit. We've, unfortunately, been running the air conditioner nearly non-stop. The garden is producing, the kids have been playing in the sprinkler, and the chickens have slowed down their laying because it is so hot.
And I've pulled out the wool. I whipped out a pair of mittens for Papa's birthday on the 26th, and when that was done, I finished up a new pair of shorties for Squeaker.
Then, I picked up the sweater I had started for the Bug this past spring. I had it all done but the sleeves, and now I've got the sleeves about half way done. I've also got the yarn already for the Bean's winter sweater, and a pattern picked out for a sweater for Squeaker. Beanie will need a new hat this year, and a friend volunteered to make her a crocheted fire helmet. Squeaker, the Bug, and Papa all have hats already. I've got a cowl that doubles as hat and scarf, usually. I may make myself a hat if I have time. And I believe everyone should already have mittens that fit. I'll have to get everything out and try it on when I get the sweaters done.
And then there is the sewing! The Bug can wear Beanie's coat from last year, and we have the Bug's wardrobe from when he was a baby, so Squeaker should be set. Beanie will need a bigger coat this year, and we picked out wool for it. She also wants some winter dresses, so I'm going to upcycle some old wool sweaters into long dresses for her. That should be warm! They both have flannel lined corduroy pants from last year that should still fit them, and I'll likely make them new ones this year. They have also announced that they want flannel lined overalls. I suppose that we will need to buy or find a few shirts, and probably a few more sweaters for them. But overall, I make quite a bit of their clothing, especially for winter.
Looking at this list just exhilarates me! My family and I all love this creative process and watching something come out of something else. A ball of string turns into a hat, mittens, a sweater, slippers, or any other number of things! An old sweater with a hole in it becomes a dress, or pants, or a vest, or a diaper cover, or a quilt liner - the list goes on. A flat piece of fabric becomes a warm article of clothing! It is magic! I remember that magic from when I was a child. Watching my mother turn this flat piece of cloth into an amazing, beautiful dress for me. Watching my grandmother make a fuzzy piece of flannel into the warmest nightgown I'd ever owned (nightgown! Beanie wants flannel nightgowns, and the Bug wants nightshirts too! Add that to the list!). I was lucky to have people in my life who were so crafty to show me what the possibilities are. Because making something for someone is so much more than just providing a layer of clothing, or something pretty to look at. It is providing love, art, warmth, a process, and togetherness to that person. I look back at those memories of my mother and grandmother making me clothing and I feel that love all over again. I look at my daughter wearing my first flannel nightgown, and I am amazed that a second generation is now feeling the warmth of my grandmother's love. I look at the quilts that Papa's grandmother made and gave us and I feel her love, even though she is gone. I watch my children when we are planning a project, and making it, and I watch their joy as they experience the process. The light in their faces when we pull out "their" dish cloths - the ones they picked and planned out and I knitted - is amazing. Especially in a world where so much is disposable and taking the time to make one's own dish cloth can seem outlandish.
Creating for the people you love is such a wonderful gift. It is a gift of so many layers beyond what it would outwardly seem to be.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Family Draw Time Art Show — Kate Wicker shares art (and inspiration!) from her family's cherished tradition of family draw time.
- The Rules of Creativity: Learning to Create with the "Non-Creative" — Zoe at Give an Earthly shares how she learned to accept her "non-creative" child and claims that anyone, child or adult, can be creative given the right handling and environment.
- Creating With Kids: 4 Ways That Work For Us — See how Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings nurtures creativity with her kids through craft projects, outdoor creative play, celebrating the creative process, and setting up "little spaces of beauty."
- Creating memories, not things — Mrs. Green from Little Green Blog reflects on life with a ten year old and how 'creating together' has evolved from 'things' to memories.
- The Gift of Creation — It may be hot, but Kellie at Our Mindful Life is already thinking about winter.
- Hidden Talents — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how providing the opportunity for creativity sometimes means learning to look for hidden talents in unusual places.
- Creating Joy — CatholicMommy at Working to be Worthy shares how she and her one year-old son create joy for their community.
- How to do Crafts with Kids — Gaby from Tmuffin guest posts at Natural Parents Network and describes how to keep things simple when doing crafts with kids for magical (easy-to-clean, and tantrum-free) results.
- Sugar & Spice & Baking on the Kitchen Floor — Carrie at Love Notes Mama enjoys making a mess in the kitchen with her daughter.
- Young Scientist Makes Purple Potion — Hannah at Wild Parenting loves being a lab assistant for the young scientist in her life.
- Making a butterfly house — Lauren at Hobo Mama demonstrates the proper way to build a wooden butterfly house with a preschooler.
- Nurturing Creativity — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares the enjoyment she feels in nurturing the creativity of her children.
- Home School Music - Sparking A New Generation Of Musicians — Based on her musical background, Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey talks about how she creates with and teaches music to her children.
- Creating (im)perfectly Together — Mudpiemama shares some of the highlights of a summer spent building everything from ships to hoops but most of a lesson on letting go of perfection.
- Family Soccer Kick Around — When her children wanted to play soccer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children helped organize something that would work for her family.
- Creating Memories Together on Skype — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells how you can create memories online with adult children or anyone who lives in another city or country.
- We'll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom on the block, but she does make a mean homemade Halloween costume.
- Let's Make Juice! — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment shares about the benefits of juicing with kids, as well as a quick recipe.
- Everything's Better When It's Homemade — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro praises the art of homemade goods.
- Creating the Opportunity for Art — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how her family has created an environment conducive to art.
- 10 Easy and Functional Crafts Preschoolers Can Do with Minimal Assistance — Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers ten easy crafts preschoolers can do while sitting near parents — but they don't need a lot of parental help. Added bonus: all of these ten ideas double as something functional (gifts, decor, educational).
- Creating with Kids: Singing Together — Ana at Pandamoly details the important role music takes in her household and provides a quick (and easy!) tutorial for creating fun songs to sing together!
- Create This — jessica at instead of institutions considers different aspects of creativity including those without an end product.
- Make Your Own Pocket Bib — A tutorial from Amy at Anktangle on how to make two simple and quick bibs to keep your little one clean at the table.
- Creating Together in the Kitchen — Despite not feeling "crafty," Momma Jorje finds a way to create and connect with her toddler.
- An Artist-Mama's Perspective — In this post, Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the differences between her choice of artistic outlet and her son's, and how they embrace those differences together.
- Heart of the Home — Jona at Life, Intertwined shares some highlights of cooking with kids.
- Getting creative with kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how much she enjoys watching her daughter getting creative.
- Creating with Children - The Nature/Seasonal Table — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama celebrates the rhythm of the natural world with her toddler through the creation of a seasonal nature table.
- How Involving My Kid Saves My Sanity — The Happy Hippie Homemaker explains how involving her toddler in projects allows her to get more done, while providing valuable opportunities to teach and to bond (added bonus: amazing oatmeal raisin cookie recipe!).
- In the Kitchen with Kids — Cooking with Real and Pretend Food — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle engages her kids in the kitchen with culinary creations of both real and pretend food.