Following Footsteps

This journey, of blogging, of following my dreams, of spending time doing what I love has been amazing and enlightening.  It has only been a little more than two months since I wrote my inaugural post and I can’t believe how much has happened since then.  So much changing – things with me, how I see the world, what I think about, how I want to spend my time . . . but what I’ve been noticing, too, is how my children have changed.
Destri of Mother Huddle spurred me to take notice of this change in my kids.  Here is the quote in her post that made me pause (I think this quote originally showed up on this blog Inspired to Action):
Imagine who you want your kids to become.
Be that.
Part of why I wanted to start this blog was to value making things and pursuing creativity in my life.  But I also stated that I want MY CHILDREN to grow up valuing it.  When I wrote my first post, this goal seemed a long way off.  How wrong I was.  I’ve never been more aware than in the last two months of how apt this quote is, of how much our children DO follow our footsteps.  I see it every day in how my kids increasingly want to spend their time.  They want to make, create and explore right along with me.  Baillie asked me to teach him to knit: “really knit mama, for real.”  He picked it up like a champ.Baillie is now knitting on his own and is proud to be 12 rows in – oh he’ll count, he’ll count every single row.  “Mama, can we have a knitting night tonight?”
Look what Allie did with her valentines gift that I blogged about (I really need to move those sharpies out of reach!)  Isn’t it cute?
My kids saw me embroidering the messages on my hearts,  and sure enough asked me to show them how to embroider.  So I called out my mantra of crafting with kids: START SIMPLE.  Guess what?  There was NO mama-yelling!  Here’s what we did:
You need:
     -a pencil with a good eraser
     -cheap loosely woven muslin
     -cheap embroidery hoop
     -cheap floss
     -needle
     -scissors
1. Have your kids draw a simple line drawing on the muslin.  With pencil, they can just erase if they make a “mistake.”  If you have a perfectionist like I do – whew!
2. Thread needle double style with one big knot at the end so that the floss doesn’t come off the needle.
3. Tell them to follow the lines (I showed them the back stitch.  My five year old did it.  My eight year old did not. But, guess what?  They both had a ball.)
4. Voila – beautiful creations, really.
My daughter made a blanket for her fairy:
Charlie just wanted hearts and flowers:
Their ability to open their minds and think of all kinds of ways to use materials amaze me.  Allie is embroidering her socks.  She tried finger knitting with twine.  She also drew on our gorgeous orange leather chair with those dreaded sharpies.  I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of that (isn’t it pretty, mama?).
I found Charlie carefully selecting and layering old fuse beads he found in a see-through container – a strata of gorgeous color.  I could go on and on.
I am loving their creative exploration and the fun and freedom they have with it. They open my mind and spur on my creativity – Imagine who you want your children to become; Be that!  YES, they WILL follow.

Thanks for reading!
Anne Weil

  1. stacie

    Anne, I love to create with my daughter too. I love when I am knitting by the fire watching a family movie and my daughter snuggles up next to me with her finger knitting.

    I am so happy that you are enjoying this time with your children, they will really remember all the special time you are sharing with them.

  2. Molly

    such a great quote – become who you want your children to grow up to be. i’ll be thinking about that one for days.

    eek – sharpies on your orange leather chair! i feel for you :) fortunately, the pen on leather drawings in our house are on the back of the loveseat and hard to see.

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  4. Monica

    This is indeed a wonderful quote. What better way of looking at things? It’s incredible that only after such a short period you see such amazing changes in your children. To be able to share your love of creating, your artistic side and experiments with them is wonderful.
    You are an inspiring example to follow.

  5. Suzy

    This post made me tear up a little! The things your children are creating are beautiful, and it’s awesome that you are guiding them in this journey. I remember loving to play with embroidery like my mother did, when I was little. And your son knitting already! How awesome is that! You’re instilling in your children something so beautiful, a gift that they will truly always appreciate and grow with! I remember fondly the creative things I did with my mom as a kid, those times stand out to me now.

  6. Susan

    Rubbing alcohol takes ball point pen out of leather. I don’t know about sharpies. I’d try it or nail polish remover. It probably won’t make it any worse! My youngest caused the confiscation of all sharpies after she tagged 6 walls in different rooms. Nothing takes sharpie off of painted walls!

  7. anne

    Thanks Susan – I’ll have to try the rubbing alcohol. Maybe it will work. Oh I feel you with the sharpie issue – dangerous implements they are!

  8. Love it. i will teach my daughter… thanks.

  9. How sweet! You’d think that boys wouldn’t want to crochet or knit, but its really the opposite. I took my crochet project over to my nieces’s and nephew’s house and they all wanted to learn how. I had my two y/o niece running off with the ball of yarn and my 8 y/o niece as well as my 6 y/o nephew pulling the crochet hook out of my hands. I can’t wait to show them how to finger knit. I tried teaching them embroidery but I may have to wait a couple years b/c they had me embroidering stuff when they thought it was too hard.

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