Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tote-ally Cool

My brother and his girls came over this weekend. These two showed up after being at a birthday party...


Why didn't they have parties like that when I was a kid? It sure beats "Pin the Tail on the Donkey"...

The girls came over to embellish the canvas tote bags I gave them for Christmas.


Since their parents have gotten divorced, they spend lots of time going between Mom and Dad so I thought they needed totes to keep all their important stuff ie. hair bands, games, books, pencil rolls, Cozies, iPods...


Honestly, when I first gave them to them they were thinking...."Why is Aunt Susan giving us these dorky looking canvas bags?" But their good parental training kicked in and they knew better than to say it out loud...


Well, I think I redeemed myself on Saturday when I pulled out the stash and they got to spend all day embellishing their bags.


I know I enjoyed it at least as much as they did...I love to see what they create and how their minds work while they're doing it.

I've learned a few things over the years working with the girls...

First thing....They enjoy the present so much more if they have had a hand in designing and creating it.


And second, if you happen to have a child who tends towards perfectionism and gets stuck often because of her inability to make her vision come out perfectly...

Drawing the design on paper ahead of time versus launching directly into the process works much better.


The two older girls mentioned how much they loved getting to spend the whole day making something.

See the Cozy tucked under her legs? Makes me smile...

In these days of overscheduling and busy-ness, it made me think that children might yearn for creative retreats as much as we do.


Which leads me to an idea for next year...

19 comments:

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

What a creative group of girls! All of the bags turned out beautifully. It's interesting to see what children come up with when given the same materials with which to work. Always...the results are so different. Very inspiring!

Ann
http://harvestmoonbyhand.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

My first thought was just like yours - why weren't birthday parties like that when I was a girl!

And my second thought was - didn't they do well, and wasn't it lovely to have the chance to spend the time with them!

Carol said...

Mentoring your lovely neices to explore and express their creativity is the greatest gift you have given them. Next is the loving attention of their aunt. You have created so many special memories and moments that they will never forget. Perhaps when they are older they will want to be the kind of aunt you are.

You rock!!
xx, Carol

lifemyway said...

The girls are beautiful as are the bags they created.

bubbygigi said...

The girls and you must have had so much fun. I want to come play also. My daughter-inlaw and I have craft time with my two older grandchildren each time I go to their house. We bought lots of the foam stitch ons and make projects with them and other found materials. We recently made bags for Valentine cards. Our children are 2 1/2 and 6 1/2. These are the times that make memories that last forever.
Gita/Gigi

gracie said...

Wonderful pictures...wonderful results...

Camilla La Mer said...

Aunt Susan!

You are a gem. I am so happy to consider you a member of my circle! Thanks for sharing this wonderfully creative day with us...

xoxo

Camilla

Judy S. said...

Looks to me like they had another great time with Aunt Susan. Lucky girls to have such a nice auntie!

Gina said...

I too hate to see so much structure in kids' lives these days that they don't get to use their imaginations much. Of course they loved getting to create all day!

You know...it's never too late to have a fun birthday party.

Dees said...

a creative retreat...Hm, I think I am going to find me one!
What fun for those girls to have an auntie like you... how fun for you to have these wonderfull nieces!

Momma Bear said...

I have two girls with whom I love to create with and I was wondering if you could share with us more of the how they create as well as the creations themselves.
which are wonderful BTW!
like do you let them use the sewing machine or do you do that part, what kind of materials do you use? and how do you get that spray painted look?
I got Ideas for this spring when they come to visit but some of the how is defeating me.

Catherine said...

You have to be one of the coolest Aunts ever!!!

Wendy said...

You are so wonderful.
They may not realize just HOW wonderful until you are no longer here, but...
You ARE wonderful.

(Sorry. I've had a "bit" too much wine tonight. But tomorrow i'll prolly still stand by what i've said.)
=-)

Allison Ann Aller said...

Those smiles on the girls' faces are enough to melt my heart away...
Great designers they are, too!

Coni said...

"And second, if you happen to have a child who tends towards perfectionism and gets stuck often because of her inability to make her vision come out perfectly...
Drawing the design on paper ahead of time versus launching directly into the process works much better."

AAAACCCCKKKK!!!!! You will be happy to know that I have just tatooed that on my big fat forehead!

How many times have I trashed something I was playing with because it didn't achieve the level of stitchy/crafty/wordy perfection that was rattling around in my tiny little brain?!

I hereby promise to take a breath and get out the paper and pencil before throwing my tizzy fit and stomping away in frustration.

(Note to self...must get paper and pencils.)

THANK YOU! for a) being you, b) your amazingly fabulous blog, and c) making the word a better place because you do what it is that you do in the exact manner in which you do it.

You just ROCK my freakin' world.

Lynn said...

I bet they keep them forever.

Ingrid Mida said...

Those girls are very lucky to have you in their lives. Not only did they create beautiful tote bags but you created beautiful memories. Your heart is filled with love and your head is filled with great ideas!

Createology said...

These are such adorable girls and they are very lucky to have you as their very creative auntie. Each girl did a great job on their bag and each bag is so different. What a wonderful day to spend together being creative. Happy creating...

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful Auntie you are!!! They are such lucky girls and I know they give you lots of girlie love right back!! the totes are fabulous and the smiling faces and that beautiful picture of them all is a fabulous reward!!!!

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