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Creating things that last a lifetime

Mother and daughter

Our experiences and our memories makes us what we are. They are precious little bits of our life that matter to us. I have lots of memories that I treasure. And one of them is a memory of my grandmothers and my mother sharing with me their craft skills and teaching me various things which have become a big part of what I am today.

Now I am a lucky mother of two girls and I have the privilege to teach them… everything! Because we are a home schooling family. My daughter are still very young (6 and 3) but every day we spend together, we teach and we learn from each other. I learn from them as well as they learn from me. And I hope that this will be the foundation for their happy memories later on in life, their experience, their moments to treasure that last a lifetime.

I am a teacher of English language and Literature by education. When I was graduating from school I decided to follow my parents’ advice to pursuit the career they thought would be better for me, but as life went on I realised that languages were never my passion. I do love teaching, just not languages. I am a dressmaker, artist and crafter in heart and this is what I do in life. As a crafter I believe that not only good memories and pleasant family experiences should last a lifetime, but also all the things that we create and surround us by. In our disposable world we as a family try to find value in everyday things and everyday memories – reuse what we can, repair everything and create wisely. These are the values I try to teach my children.

Of course I teach my kids craft as well as everything else. Our approach to crafts has several basic principals we try to follow. If we create something for the sake of creating and learning we try to use renewable, biodegradable or recycled materials. If we create something to stay with us we also try to make it last thinking how to improve the quality of our creations.

Preparing for this year’s Homeschoolers Makers’ Market which will happen on the 19th of May 2019 from 13.00 to 15.00 at Allen McLean Hall (37 Albert Street, Mordialloc, Victoria Australia) my daughter chose to sew a few new things to sell.

Ideas development started from a little snail. From the beginning of this year my daughter has been attending art school Start with Yulia Alba. The previous term was about learning colours, colour schemes and colour mixing, and the whole term’s work developed into a little book about a story of one snail which my daughter developed more by writing a story inside of it 🙂

Sketching of new ideas started from the same little snail and then went further into other creatures. Miranda had so much fun drafting her ideas and thinking what she can turn her drawings into! 🙂

Kids have endless creativity and I believe with a little bit of help they can come up with marvellous things. So I see my role as a parent and as a teacher in this activity to guide my daughter’s ideas into life with least interference but with helpful input on how to improve on the quality of what she makes, so that she creates and sells things that last. I taught her when people pay for something they need to get a quality item, not another disposable thing to throw away soon after.

We eventually decided that these cute drawings will be turned into little brooches that can be used as handbag decorations as well. Simple blanket stitch made with strong crocheting cotton thread will create a stronger grip for better quality. Then decorations will be drawn on the stitched shape with simple to use 3D fabric paints and brooch clasp will be glued to the back with strong jewellery glue to make sure it sticks well. In the process of making we realised though that just gluing the clasp was not enough, so Miranda had lo learn a new skill - how to attach the clasp by stitching and then covering the main body of it by gluing a piece of matching fabric.

Easy to say, but not so easy and fast to do for a six-year-old impatient child! It took my daughter about two weeks of short making sessions to create 12 unique brooches. On this journey she learned that if you want to do something well sometimes you need to do it slowly. She is rather fast sewer by now (you can see a few little videos of her sewing these brooches on my Instagram account!). But after every brooch was stitched and painted with 3D paints it had to dry for 24 hours before it could be touched. These 24-hour-periods of waiting seemed endless! 🙂

Slow making is very good for practising patience as most of the kids have really impatient nature. So famous Irish proverb “good things come to those who wait” was our motto for this activity. 🙂

I really hope that these simple creations will bring lots of joy and pleasant emotions to those who decide to buy them at Homeschoolers Makers’ Market this year! They are made with lots of love, laughter, pleasant moments and are meant to stay with you and bring positivity and smiles. They were made to last a lifetime. I have one on my backpack as well as I loved them so much! 😀

And I hope that the memory of making these little things together will become one of my daughter's precious captions which last and which will stay with her and give her smile one day many many years after.

Mother and daughter
Mother and daughter

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