Category Archives: Kid
Officially introducing… Leo Wilder!
While things have been quiet on the blog, they’ve been anything but at home. Leo came around at 4:23am on January 12th – a whole TWO months ago now. He was a week early and a peanut, weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz (compared to Lucy’s 9lbs, 1oz), and measuring 20.5”. His personality so far is exactly what I expected from my pregnancy… loud and quite fidgety. He’s also a total mess, with bodily fluids spewing from both ends, and often simultaneously. Noise covered in dirt, they say. Quite a different ride than my little independent hobo princess who keeps correcting me when I tell people she’s four. “Four and a HALF!” she explains. Silly me. She was just my little baby… the one who slept through the night at 6 weeks (sigh).
This fall, Mica Hendricks‘ “Collaborations” post went viral, making the rounds on social media, blogs, and even the Huffington Post. For those living under a rock (or social media-challenged), Mica shared her artistic collaboration… with her 4-year-old. Having one of those myself, I commiserated with her not wanting to share her good sketch pad and artwork with some know-it-all tot:
In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”
Yeah. I’ve heard that before. As a parent, you have to walk the walk. As a designer, you have deadlines. And clients. And your own damn good ideas. However, sometimes that little voice (familiar in your own words) sends a double-dog-dare your way. In Mica’s case, the challenge opened a door to a new way of working and thinking. The great thing about what she did, and what I try to do myself, is to be open to the imagination of these little people. They have good ideas we can
take advantage of nurture:
And from it all, here are the lessons I learned: to try not to be so rigid. Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen. Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little. In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done. In her mind, her contributions were as valid as mine (and in truth, they really were). Most importantly, I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.
The project has inspired many, with contests and charity sales furthering the good karma. I love the special limited-edition print available in the most recent The Working Proof newsletter. (If you don’t subscribe to TWP, get on it. One weekly email introducing you to new and favorite artists with limited edition prints that benefit a range of charities. Get art & help a cause. Win-win.)
“Peacock Girl” features mama Mica’s head and daughter Myla’s dreamed-up peacock body, with a little polishing from mom’s pencils and paints. Mica chose to have TWP donate to Puppies Behind Bars (15% of gross sales!), a program where inmates train puppies to become service dogs for law enforcement as well as for the disabled. C’mon, who doesn’t love puppies? Read her interview here and grab a print for the precocious kid in your life.
Images & quotes from Mica Henricks.
Pink Mermaid | Mr. Beever | Peacock Girl
Winter is officially here for us folk near Philadelphia. Though the heft of snow from last weekend has melted away, it ushered in the promise of a wintery holiday season. We don’t always get that in these parts, so I was happy to slow down for the snow – even making snowmen with Lucy and my 8-month-pregnant round belly.
Though our Christmas decorations have been up for over a while now, I miss our fall decor. Lucy, me, and even my husband spent most of November bringing home leaves of different shapes and colors. Then I’d dry them out with our field specimen press or, for the big ones, between paper towels under big books on the floor. Our dining room table was covered with kraft paper and paint most of the month, too, as we slowly grew our collection. Using washi tape, I created a temporary installation of the artful leaves in our living room as they were completed. (If you follow my instagram, you’d have seen our progress here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Now our Christmas tree lights up the corner, and those leaves await a home in a scrapbook. Here are some favorites:
And here is a full view of the installation with Miss L in the foreground, dressed as a pink fairy, gawking at the Thanksgiving Day parade:
All photos by HT Adjemian (thanks, hon).
What does that title mean, exactly? Well, if you even plan to name your child Lucy, beware that it probably means she will be both stubborn and silly. (Blame her.) So this Christmas, with a wiser look on the world, Miss Lucy will inevitably make a Christmas list that will make this mama cringe – princesses, glitter, pink, purple… yuck. I’d be hypocritical not to allow these things in my house, as I myself wore lace and fur as a toddler, worshiped Debbie Gibson at a fairly young age, and I turned out ok, I guess. However, with little pocket money and of minimalist aesthetic (sort of… I collect vessels and chairs like no tomorrow), we’ll make this fun, old-fashioned, family Christmas more pragmatic but seemingly bent toward the self-appointed princess of the house:
- Shoes: Kids need ’em, and she wears them out like their are her j-o-b. These botas are perfect for the winter and approved by kiddo for being pink and by mama for being grey. Win-win. And those Mary Janes ain’t too bad either…
- Body pillow: We transitioned her into the big girl bed with just a pillow to buffer a midnight fall. So far, so good, and this Colette Bream pillow is a perfect fit for her new room.
- Sewing kit: She’s only three, but she’s already interested in the domestic arts like her mum. I found this simply lovely Montessori-approved kit on Etsy, but think Lucy would rather go for something more challenging and colorful, like this vintage “Sew Many Animals” kit. The pun makes it worth it, right?
- Sleeping bag: I fully appreciate that she still naps, and would like to upgrade her nap mat at school for a nice cushy one from Anorak. It’s neither pink nor princess but, kissing rabbits? C’mon!
- Breakfast: This kid loves breakfast – particularly sausage and bacon. So perhaps some faux brunch to add to the kitchen? I’m getting tired of being served fake tea and pizza, anyway…
So despite having a Lucy, I think we’ve covered the silly, and the stubborn is quashed by amazing color and geometry. Gifts for this one will get harder, but I fully appreciate the naivety of a 3 year old for the moment.
Colette Bream = Oeuf + Donna Wilson, yes? Yes. And I love it. Handmade in the US with Scottish lambswool, her playful shapes and muted colors are full of fun and whimsy. I’m pretty sure I need a few of these knitted pillows, and Lucy requires a fox tail and party hat for her evening dance parties.
A new children’s book has popped up over at Woolly Pocket – Dudley and Omar’s Moving Garden, meant to teach the youngsters about responsible gardening. As a parent, I find that teaching my daughter something makes me see it on a whole new level, as well as teaching me a thing or two. It’s on my life list to start a garden and maybe this will be the ticket to cross this one off!
I wish I was as concerned about my wardrobe as I was about my daughter’s. After all, she will outgrow her clothes in one season whereas my clothes will last years. However, browsing kids’ fashion has me re-thinking color and staples for myself. Stella McCartney’s spring/summer line is full of rich color and classic shapes, from bold-printed tunics to sweet pastel blouses. Sitting here in my layers of grey, perhaps a bit of color will propel me into spring!
Flour Clothing is serving up some great kids and adult vintage clothing. I have to admit that I love dressing my kid up all adorable-like, and don’t mind wearing my own rags. (No one pays attention to the parents and a cute kid, anyway.)
Check out this cute paper-doll stop-motion video for the new book Oliver + S has coming out later this month. It’s old-fashioned charm meets crisp modern fashion for kids – with some fun patterns for children, including tutus, backpacks, capes, and vests.