My mom gifted me a sewing machine after college, but I didn’t start sewing with it until about a year later. Part of the reason was that I embarrassingly didn’t know how to thread a needle. Thankfully my husband was able to teach me that.
Being able to sew seemed to run in my family. My mom would sew our Halloween costumes every year. I remember the old Singer she would use. It was old and loud. I remember the times she would spend the night before a craft show sewing up lace to doilies and other crafts to sell.
Then you had my Nana. Who had sewn all of the dresses for my mom’s wedding. As well as made some of the most beautiful quilts I’ve ever seen. You could say it was her that wanted me to learn how to sew. I’m so happy to have a few of her quilts in my house. They make me happy every time I see them. Her attention to detail was incredible and showed in each of her quilts.
My first project was a small quilt that I made for my son. It wasn’t the greatest looking back at it, but it made me happy to have finished a project. I was so proud of myself. Since then I’ve made a few more quilts, taught myself how to sew zippers, and making my own tote bags. Someday I hope to create my own clothing, but I still have a lot to learn. And to be honest, I’m very unsure of my skills.
While sewing for yourself is good. Nothing brings me more joy than creating a gift for someone. I love taking my time and thinking out the project for them. Thinking about colors they may like or what themed fabric fits them. Watching them open it and react can give you a good sense of accomplishment. Which only inspires to create more and master my skill. So, really at the end of the day, it’s giving to others that drives me to sew.
My next projects are creating a tote bag for my son to take to the library. I want to create a pocket on the inside to put his library card. Which always seems to get misplaced. Then I have projects that I need to finish. I haven’t been sewing as much as I used to lately. Which is a topic for another post.
Recently I’ve been reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō and was inspired to unclutter our house. The easier parts were my own stuff. The challenge came with our son’s room. Many years of toys, books, and art & crafts to go through in what felt like chaos. Since some things didn’t have homes and would get randomly placed.
The first part of tidying was to discard. From what I’ve learned you shouldn’t discard anything that isn’t yours. I thought to myself, but how am I going to get my 6-year-old to part with toys he’s had for years. Well, first my husband and I talked to him about what we were going to do. Let him know what he doesn’t play with anymore will be donated for others to play with. At first, he was not for any of this. “But they’re my toys and I want them all” was basically his initial reaction.
The next step was to categorize his toys into similar groups. We started off with his Hot Wheels and random cars. They’re an easy gift for kids apparently. He seemed to always get them and they were nice rewards for when he was good. Therefore, he had quite the collection. I put them all into one bin. Then I had him sit and sort into two boxes. One for what he wanted to keep and the other to donate. He fussed at first, but he did manage to get through the whole bin and I was surprised at how many he said he didn’t want anymore.
Next, we went through books. After that, he helped us pick out other toys he was done playing with. He would even just pick something up and say “I’m going to put this in the donate pile.” For drawings that he’s done, we were trying to keep as much as possible, but after filing a bin up with artwork we didn’t think this was the best option. We actually now take photos of his artwork and discard. We do still hang some of his artwork that he is most proud of on the fridge. Once we want to switch it out. We’ll take the photo and discard it. I would love to keep everything he drew, but there comes a point that you know you can’t.
Once everything was discarded, we got to work organizing his room. Which was a lot easier now. His room probably hasn’t looked this good for a long time. He knows where everything goes and we work with him to put things away at night before bed. It’s not always easy, but you do it enough it becomes a habit for him.
Recently, my son has gotten a love for playing card games. Which kind of took my husband and I by surprise. He came home from school the one day asking us if we had playing cards. Which we did… somewhere. After much searching we’re able to find cards and asked what he wanted to play.
I thought he had learned Go Fish or something at school, but he said he wanted to play Trash. My husband and I looked at each other. We’ve never heard of such a game. Our 6-year-old then proceeded to explain the rules and show us how to set it up. We were skeptical about this and decided to find a video on YouTube to help us understand better.
Well wouldn’t you know, he was fairly correct on how to play and had almost everything right. It seemed like a complex game for a kid to learn, but after playing a few rounds it’s become a favorite for all of us to play together. Our son has a little hard time about losing, but we’re trying to reinforce that it’s just a game and we do it have fun. Win or lose. It’s nice to spend time together.
Since then we’ve added Go Fish and War (not my favorite name for a game, but it’s fun and simple) to the list of card games. In a world full of screens and technology, which I love myself, it’s nice that simple card games have become a past-time for my family. I love seeing my son enjoying these games. Plus, he’s somehow the best Go Fish player ever. I’ve never been able to win against him.
I’m hoping this tradition stays in our family. With another one on the way, it’ll be nice to have all four of us sit at a table and enjoy a round or two of Trash or Go Fish. We would like to go camping more some day and a pack of cards is easy to take with you depending on how you camp. Also, it’s a great non-screen activity. When ever it’s break time from screens, playing a card game has become the next thing we could do. Which makes him happy and makes the rest of us happy as well.
Today was the first craft show I was at with my bags that I’ve recently designed. I came up with a total of 10 tote bags for the show. While no one purchased any of them, I did have a few people look at them. Needless to say, I was a bit discouraged, but my sister reassured me that just because I didn’t get a sale at this show, doesn’t mean no one will like them. I do have a few new ideas that I want to plan out for upcoming shows and I’m looking forward to showcasing them on this site!