...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


finding new art

There wasn't much talking at the sandbox today - but there was a lot of sand flying out of it. Maybe it was because the kids haven't played in it for over a week and they were desperate to rebuild their forts ruined by the rain. After 10 minutes, their interest evaporated so I turned on the hose and made huge puddles for them to splash in while I cleaned out the backyard. This made Noah extremely cranky and tired - quickly. So while he napped, Ava and I both tried something new for the first time - hand embroidery.

It seems like fun - and an excellent way to let our fingers do the creative work. Plus, there's no sewing machine involved. On top of that, the book I'm reading right now shows how embroidery can be a fun way for kids to express their artwork. That was enough for me to try it with Ava.

After showing her this morning how to poke through the burlap just once, Ava took on the challenge and mastered making lines! She even asked to use different colors! I couldn't believe my eyes.

It lasted about 15 minutes before she jumped off the chair and wanted to play with the Remington typewriter instead. But that's ok - it was more than I ever expected. The important thing is that I gave her the opportunity to try something new. I don't know too many 2-year olds who have tried this craft, but it really is a good one. To use their hands to create... to build patience as they push and pull the string... and to feel proud of themselves when they see what they just created.

As for me - well, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I don't even know how to knot the threads so that they don't pull through. But I tell you this - it is definitely a relaxing craft. I put all of our skeins and hoops into a basket and placed it next to the couch so that we can pick it up when ever Ava felt like it. I wonder how long this process will take... or if it ever will. But at least it's there, and I have today to remember forever.

To get started with your little one(s), here's what you need:

1. 2 hoops - a big and small one for each of you. I got a 10-inch hoop and a 6-inch one for Ava's hands.

2. Burlap makes the most sense to use for your little one to practice with. [A good tip I got from the book]. The holes are malleable and big enough to accommodate the large plastic dull needle they will need. For you, buy a pack of tapestry needles [they look like regular ones, but I'm sure there's a difference.]

3. Buy lots of colorful skeins. At only 29 cents a bundle - you can't go wrong mixing colors. We had Ava help pick out colors at the store. The decision [as if she was picking out ice-cream flavors] was exciting.

4. I threaded all 6 threads on her plastic needle so that her lines would be big and bold. For myself, I split it into 3 - I think that's average for linen fabric.

5. After threading the needle, I tied a knot so that the needle wouldn't slip while she pulled.

6. To get started, I poked the first hole from the bottom-side and then slipped it back through and tied off a knot so that the string would hold onto the burlap.

7. And that's it. I've never used a hoop before, but when you get one, you'll see how there are 2 circles, one big and one small. Place the fabric in between and pull the fabric so that it's stiff. Re-tighten.

8. Good luck - and let me know how this experience goes for you.

1 comment:

  1. A few days after this entry was posted, Zarlacht and I were in the kitchen cleaning up and preparing dinner when Ava appeared from around the corner holding her new hoop that she was so proud of.

    Then with excitement in her voice that only a 2 year old is capable of showing, she said “Mommy, I made a new line”. And sure enough, she did. She stretched her green thread as far as she could and pushed her little needle through her burlap and made a new line all by herself. There she was, still working on her little project. She pulls it out every now and again and adds to it. She loves art. I think we are going to take out a few blank canvases we picked up a week ago and let the kids make some paintings later today.

    Stay tuned for more new art.


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