Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cate's Design Book


I know I'm always talking about my nine nieces. But I have a tenth niece. Her name is Cate and she lives in Texas so I don't see her very often. But when we spent a week on the Disney Cruise together, she told me something I hadn't realized before.

Sitting in this porthole one afternoon, out of the blue, she said, "You are my favorite Aunt."


"I am?", I asked. I was a little surprised, that was pretty high standing for an Aunt you only see once a year. "Well," she explained while rolling her eyes, "You are my only Aunt."

"I am??" Hmmm. I am.

I hadn't realized that. I'm so used to having so many women around here in Maryland that I'd forgotten that there weren't nearly as many in Texas with Jim's family.

Something shifted inside me that day. I suddenly felt more responsible and part of the inner circle of female role models that Cate will use to shape her life and her character.

And since I don't see her very often...only at Thanksgiving...I was more than delighted when my SIL called and asked me to embellish a jean jacket for Cate's birthday.

I have embellished jean jackets before -- But one thing that PPR (Pants Pants Revolution) taught me, is that the girls enjoy the gift so much more when they've had a hand in designing it.

And that was it! Light Bulb! Since she lives in Texas, I can't really have her over to help her make choices so I made this paper bag Design Book to send to Cate...


Now she can design her jacket by herself.


I sewed three colorful paper bags down the center which worked out great because I had built-in pockets to put things...


And plenty of pages for laying out the choices for colors, ribbons, buttons, fabrics (lots of swatches)...



And rhinestones!


At the end, I included a little file to organize her work and send it back in a self-addressed stamped envelope...


And a little chocolate for all her hard work...


And here's a look at everything that's in the book...


Everything including world peace!


If you're interested in going through the book page by page, I have put the entire book on Flickr.

I hope she enjoys the process, that it connects us a little bit and that she ends up with a jacket she really loves.

Well, that was a nice little side trip from what I was supposed to be doing...and that deadline is looming like a big scary monster...

32 comments:

SHELL'S SHED said...

That is such a fantastic little project in itself. Cate will love it and the fact you are working on the project together.

Linda H said...

WOW! What a wonderful and thoughtful Aunite you are! Cate is a very lucky girl! What a fun project for both of you!

Nellie's Needles said...

Wonderfully FUN for both of you.

I want an Aunt Susan ;-)

Seahorse Ranch Girl said...

Please let us know Cate's reaction to this. Speechless?! Joyous?! Jump up and down happy?! This is just an amazing, generous and considerate gift. The finished jacket has a high standard to meet to compare to this suggestion book.

Sheila said...

Susan,

You're my favorite aunt ever, too! (even though we're not related!) :) I love your very inspiring ideas and seeing how you find ways to build those relationships. Especially with my own nieces and nephews growing up so fast. Even distance doesn't stop you. Way to go!

Elmsley Rose said...

This is fantastic!

Catherine said...

This is the coolest thing! I can't wait to her of her reaction and to see her choices and the final project!!! Good luck and have fun!

Chris said...

What a wonderful idea. You are the best aunt ever!

Judy S. said...

Wish I could be a spider on the wall when she opens your package, Susan! What a great and creative project you cooked up, one I'm going to remember for when Sophia gets older. Till then, would you adopt me?

coral-seas said...

Wow, you really are the best Aunt in the world! I think that you were probably Mary Poppins in a previous life.

Have fun, Cate. Can't wait to see what you choose to put on your jacket.

Cathy K said...

Oh what fun this is, even for us just reading it! What a cool Aunt you are! Please keep us up to date on her reactions, choices and your embellishment. This is a fantastic story. Hugs, Cathy

Vicki W said...

You are the coolest Aunt ever!

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

I TOLD you you were the greatest aunt! Man is that girl going to have fun!

Carol said...

This is marvelous. The book is genius.

The fact that you realized that you are her only aunt and are giving her the special attention that a young girl craves is just, well, Disney!

Congratulations on another unique idea.

Lynn said...

Wow - Cate may only have one aunt, but geez, why would she need any more? What memories you have made for her - priceless! I can't wait to see what she chooses!

Ruth Schmuff said...

You are so amazing and talented and clever and creative. I could go on and on. Cate is very lucky. What a great idea.

Lisa said...

What a creative, fun and special gift this will be! The book alone, would have been gift enough for me! Love the ideas for including her in the project despite the distance!

verobirdie said...

can I be your niece too?!
No wonder Cate has elected you her favorite aunt.

Miss Gina Designs said...

What a wonderful idea from a very special aunt!

Dees said...

this is sooooo SWEET, wish you could be my fav, far-away auntie too! I am sure both of you will have so much fun doing this. She must feel very special on her B-day.

Elizabeth said...

If I were your neice I would be over the moon!!!!! What a great idea to involve her in the process,this will be a life long wonderful experience for her!! Such a compliment to give to her!!!
My nieces live in Africa and I see them once a year, so I always pick their brains about what they like in terms of color and design. Last time they were here I taught them to carve their own stamps. They know that they will always get handmade art from me!!!
I really love how you ahve presented this project to Cate!!
Hugs!
E

Betz White said...

Wow Susan, you ARE the best aunt ever! I'm inspired. Having 2 boys I forget about the girlie fun stuff I could do with my niece. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
Betz

FredaB said...

How neat is that. Clever idea Susan. She will love it. Maybe she will end up "crafty" like her favorite aunt.

Hugs

FredaB

Marty52 said...

What a cool idea, Susan... I'll have to make note of this for when my granddaughters are old enough. (It makes me feel so old when I type "granddaughters!") Also, she is the cutest little thing... what a pixie little face!

Allison Ann Aller said...

You are MY favorite aunt, too!
Well done!
You make a true art out of family living....

Barbara C said...

Your aunt credentials are truly off the chart. I have a feeling you've permanently secured your status as favorite aunt. What a fun project.

katiejayinpa said...

Boy is this ever wonderful....what a gift you and Cate are to each other!
kaethejean

Hélène H said...

A wonderful present for a lovely little girl !

Mary-Frances said...

You are so creative (I know, I'm just gushing like the rest of the commenters) but what a cool thing! My daughter would love this and she lives WITH me! ha ha!
AND as someone with only one Aunt too - it's wonderful to be that favorite Aunt!

Maura said...

Wow! I can't fathom having an Aunt Susan. Cate and everyone you reach out to with your special Susaness is so rich from the experience. Wow!

Anonymous said...

Wow- You're my favorite aunt too! How fabulous is this book?

bubbygigi said...

You are a genius! What a fantastic idea! I have to remember it for my grandchildren. I know that Cate'll love the book and figuring out what to use to embelish the jacket as much as the jacket itself. I'm sorry that I don't live closer to you. If I did, I'd want to regularly come and sew and embroider with you. Have a great day.
Gita/Gigi

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