Thursday, December 6, 2012

Violet's Magic Cottage

Oh! I had the delight of a day just with Violet yesterday. This never happens without considerable orchestration but I decided, as I head into 41 weeks of pregnancy, that a solo-day with each of my children was called for. The itinerary is up to them. Violet decided we should take the time to work on Christmas handmades for her siblings.
This is the first year I've attempted to do this (a combination of my children being old enough, and of being "off" full time work during this time of year). Hillary Lang's wonderful book has provided endless inspiration this year for simple, colourful, quirky handmades.
Violet thought Margot would LOVE a little house-pillow to play with. We raided her great grandma's sewing basket for stray ribbon, coloured thread, and straight pins, and I let her choose the fabric. Using my mom's sewing machine, I guided her little hands patiently, repeatedly reassuring her that I would not sew on our fingers. Memories of my mother's hands on my small ones drifted through my mind as beautifully as the snow that was falling outside.
I learned to sew on my mother's lap, and I can't even tell you the joy it brought to introduce my oldest daughter to the amazing thrill of making something for someone special out of fabric and thread. The pins spilled on the ground, I left the scissors on the ironing board, and my huge belly made maneuvering awkward, but she just took such delight in every moment from measuring to cutting to sewing to stuffing.
She was involved in the making of this gift, from start to the finishing stitches that closed the last gap. When I think of my children looking back on Christmas, I wonder if their most precious memories will involve this once-a-year day alone with mommy, creating something beautiful to give to their siblings.
She proudly wrapped her gift, and I know that on Christmas morning, there will be equal doses of mama pride, big sister excitement, and little sister joy as this beautiful handmade is unwrapped. I can just hear Violet's little voice proclaiming:
I made it just for you!


  1. What a perfect present for everyone! Such pride and love in the crafting, I think this is the most beautiful Christmas tradition I have heard of!

  2. I LOVE HER, TOO!!! Can she make me a little throw pillow for my birthday, please? What a beautiful job she did.

    Your day is a far cry from my children watching me grimace and swear last night as I pricked my finger THREE times trying to handstitch the elastic ankle strap onto one of their ballet slippers.

    Would you mind planning a sewing day with them someday so they have these nice memories, too? They won't learn it from me, I'm afraid.

    1. come and hold the baby while wrangling the other three and I'll sew quietly with your girls! :)

  3. Hi Stephanie. What a beautiful way to create warmth these cool and somewhat dreary days. Your children will fondly remember such moments. Peace in the waiting.

  4. Yes, you were the one who had to do everything I was doing and today look at the crafts you do today,Yah! another sewer in the mommy

  5. Stephanie, Before the birth of our fifth I took the time to have a day with each of the four oldest: lunch out, the ice cream store, a book-buying spree etc. This only happened once but they hark back to it as if it were a regular occurrence. As I look back on my own childhood I realise that so much of what I thought was a regular occurrence was really just a one time thing that made a great impact. This realisation gives me great solace in a life that often seems a little too busy to create the memories that I 'think' that I should. Waiting and praying on that babe, Elena.

  6. Oh my gosh, what an absolutely special day you two had! And what a very special gift was made! What a sweet big sister she is! :)

  7. This is beautiful and such a lovely special day. Such a gift you gave her.

  8. YOU are a great mom. I want to shrink back to kid size and have you as a mom for a day!! Your kids are so lucky. Also - thank you so much, I always love your comments on my blog!

  9. What a beautiful gift, and what a wonderful time the two of you had together making it.

  10. How sweet! Loved everything about this post.

  11. Such a sweet girl you have there! And I love her dress!

  12. How fun! Violet did a wonderful job, you must be so proud! What age did she start using the sewing machine? My kids are always begging to use the sewing machine.

    Thanks for the nice comment on my blog :)


This space is a creative outlet for a busy mama; I warmly embrace your comments and feedback, as well as questions/requests for details. I do check them daily and will respond where appropriate! Thank you for visiting the Knitty Gritty Homestead!