I am far enough away from Christmas still that I can gleefully forget about the things I've committed myself to making (two sweaters and two hats, only three of which are in progress, for example) and get caught up in creative whims. This week I went off on a bit of an embroidery tangent.
No one really NEEDS embroidered ornaments or hair clips as much as they need warm winter clothing (or the play tent I promised to sew the boys, the one I haven't even sketched yet, ugh.) But embroidery is fun, and hair clips can come together in an hour without transferring too much fabric from the shelves to the floor.
The important thing was that Harvey was inspired by my work, and he wanted to embroider an ornament as well. I set him up with some burlap on a hoop and a tapestry needle, and he cleaned out my stash of embroidery thread, starting with red and then working through everything else I had in the color family.
He decorated two pieces of burlap like this. Then with the newfound manual dexterity that this sewing practice gave him, he stitched the two pieces together around the edges, all by himself. He only needed my help for tying the knots.
This was so different from the pillow he made two months ago where I had to hold the fabric for him and remind him whether he was going up from the bottom or down from the top. Here I didn't have to hold or coach anything. So my pride when I saw him coming around the last corner? Pretty much indescribable. Would you like to see another picture? I took about a thousand.
I had to take many pictures, because this precious handmade present is soon leaving our home. Check it out all wrapped up in paper that Harvey painted himself. Apple, you don't fall far from my tree.
Here I only helped with the writing and the bow. Well, and the hole punch. And the pinking sheers. And laying out the brown paper so he could paint it. And waiting for that paper to dry and then stashing it in the wrapping paper drawer for later. And reacting excitedly when Harvey said he wanted to embroider an ornament, and having burlap and dull needles ready for just an occasion. And gently reminding Harvey of every next step in the process so that his disperate creative efforts could turn into something real and tangible to give as a gift.
And looking at him when he said, "It's nice sewing with you, Mama," and replying, "Harvey, it's my favorite thing in the world."
Yeah, I guess there's a lot that goes into a four-year-old making a present on his own. But that doesn't make me any less proud of him.