Right about now, this could happen: you receive a note asking your child to create, design, decorate and label thirty Valentines. Now multiply that times the amount of school-aged kids in the house. So that would be sixty for moi. This year I decided to do a card “toppings” bar and turn the dining room table into a smorgasbord of googlies, glitter pens, stickers and gems. I know. Gang-busters. But the star of the show might be these eeboo pom poms (which come in awesome shades like “Crab” and “Flamingo”). Lemons are now you-know-what.
My Kindergartner is into these keychain thingies that kids dangle from their backpack. I have no idea what they’re called but apparently this is what’s happening in elementary school. As soon as I tuned in I realized that all the kids were sporting a version. Of course if she were going to follow a major trend, the keychain thingies were gonna at least have to be unique. Up first were these handmade fabric dolls from Tanzania of which I can’t seem to locate more (I’ve tried). Next we layered in a glitter heart coin purse – to stash her lunchbox stickers, natch. But then. I discovered these Mua Mua fashion keychain thingies and decided that I just might have to start my own trend.
For the past three years this week has been particularly festive for me since my third daughter was born on December 30th. Given a choice between the 30th and 31st – which are clearly both shitty birthdays – I chose to let her have a double dose of party for the rest of her life. Not that she’ll be a party girl or anything. This sweet glitter confetti from Catbird in Brooklyn sums up how we will be celebrating her day this year – with an intimate get-together and enormous cheer. Happy birthday, my sweet Cleo!
In the Thankgivukkah aftermath we are left with: frozen almond butter millet blondes and also lots of art projects. We loaded the girls up with various Seedling crafts because they are fun to put together and let’s face it: look awesome upon completion. The feather headdress was a personal fave this season – it even looks rad just sitting on the dining room console. How politically correct of a gift was it for a holiday that overlapped with Thanksgiving? Not very but I guess I won’t have to worry about that for another 77,000 years.
I tripped upon what I think might be the coolest gift for either me or a pre-teen girl. It’s the Lomography Camera (gold edition, natch) that uses old school film that needs to be purchased seperately. And while there is no numbing cream to the mellow the pain that is developing your photos at CVS, apparently it’s worth it. Think: Instagram-like dreamy, glow-y pictures in hard copy. And since the Instagram camera is clearly not coming out anytime soon, those who love the look but are less narcissistic can post collage-worthy snapshots of your kids, your food, your yacht-whatever-on the fridge. Followers not included.
Yesterday I got caught head-banging to “Cruel Summer” at a red light by a Hollywood hipster – if there is such a thing. Bananarama was my first CD so I was overly excited. My eldest daughter has been begging us for violin lessons while my wild middle child has been repeatedly asking for – yes – a drum set. At their cousin’s house today they discovered an “electric” guitar that prompted a six kid rock band performance. Music can really transform a group! Or a single person, as exhibited on Little Santa Monica. For now, my tiny Fresh Beats will have to settle on this Mexican-looking Vilac ukulele that they can learn how to play sans lessons. And no batteries required.
Every now and then I find something that inspires me to get crafty. Not crafty in a Martha way but crafty in a well-within-my-own boundaries way. One of cool the things this Torafu make-your-own stamp set can create is a great-looking graphic wrapping paper. And I do love a DIY wrapping paper (see my post from last year on Ouef’s printable faces.) It’s gifting 2.0 and it’s just in time for those who are starting to think about the holidays. I just make sure that whatever’s inside comes assembled.
Last night I went to my friend Emily Liebert’s book signing for her new novel, You Knew Me When, and I couldn’t have felt prouder. It’s special to watch a friend of 25 years finally reach her career goal – especially while juggling two young kids. During her discussion, not only did she reveal that her second book is already written but that the main character is based on her “old friend Zoe, who is in the audience.” Pause for effect. Yup, it’s pretty much the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. I look forward to September 2014 when I can read about “Allison” who just might be a total byatch – I don’t know. But unlike Emily, I have zero imagination so these Djeco magic books – complete with single tricks tucked inside a Olympia Le Tan looking box – are more my jam. I’ll even sign one for you in my terrible handwriting.
I’ve always considered myself a creative person: I write voraciously, love to experiment in the kitchen and create something visual nearly everyday. And doesn’t high school Advanced Placement Studio Art count for something? Okay fine. But hand me a needle and thread and I will ask for the nearest tailor. Give me a DIY project and I will pawn it off to the craftiest person around. In terms of my kids, I enjoy being a hypocrite in this department. I like to emphasize the importance of making something for a friend when it’s his or her birthday, whether it’s a simple picture or a more elaborate collage. My eldest daughter is just old enough to get into this Donna Wilson “Make Something” kit – and would most likely create something great looking enough to serve as the gift itself. And me? I will happily watch on the sidelines.
Every now and then you find a book that starts (what seems to be) an endless dialogue with your children. This clever, poignant story serves that purpose in our house. My eldest daughter was lucky enough to have Kathryn Otoshi visit her Kindergarten class and excitedly reported back that indeed, the author has “made the cover to her third book.” We anxiously anticipate the topic that will be revealed in Two, as Zero and One speak about lessons every child should learn in his or her early years. Thank you, Kathryn, for this simple but extremely empowering message. To quote you: “All it takes is one.”