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  • Erin


Updated: Feb 12, 2022

Gnome Valentine prepped for kiddo's daycare teachers. Train and hobgoblin valentine's requested for classmates and hopefully coming up! (We had a cute Sasquatch book from the library that briefly mentioned a hobgoblin; not sure if that's where kiddo heard of hobgoblins but we don't really know what they are and aren't sure if he does either. We'll see how the requested valentine's turn out...).

Andddd and update: the train / hobgoblin valentine's didn't come together. The daycare encouraged a gifty-thing; I think a party favor.

So rather than cards, I made some cloth banners (buntings?) for each of the kids out of scrap fabric I had. I like the idea of the project being free, not plastic, and re-using (or I guess making use of of fabric scraps). I like the idea of open-ended toys in the vein of Montessori or Waldorf.

It turns out the two pairs of scissors we have are old as the hills and not even a little bit sharp (we use them on everything!). The even older than the hills rotary cutter I have is also super dull. And cutting the bindings with an architect's metal ruler rather than a clear cutting ruler for sewing makes the project pretty tricky. It was working, but not fast enough. I stopped and bought some new tools which ended up not helping with my goal of FREE. But I do have another project in mind that the tools will get used on and owning actual sharp scissors at age almost-40 seems like a step in the right direction.

The buntings turned out adorable and I was proud of almost all of them (one of the first ones had some not-so-neat-stitching on the binding). But I loved the practice of making 12 of something because I really got a chance to improve and learn as I went.

Reminding me of a fav quote about an art teacher who tells half the class to spend the semester making just one piece, as high quality as possible and they will be graded on quality. The other half of the class is told they will not be graded on quality of their pieces, but simply quantity. They are to create as many pieces as possible. At end of semester the highest quality pieces end up being from that second half of the class since they had so much practice.

And no, I didn't get great photos of the buntings because I finished at midnight the night before the big daycare Valentine's Party. (Ask me about the sewing machine breaking that day)

When my kid started opening the valentines he brought home I started to be pretty crestfallen and frustrated that so much plastic, cheap, going-to-break-immediatly toys were gifted. (See my #extremecivilization series on Instagram sometime). But I also happened to be exhausted at that moment from walking our cargo bike home from daycare due to a flat tire in the overly warm February sun with not enough water and big, pregnant belly.

I just wanted to sit on the bed and relax. And these plastic toys totally delighted kiddo and kept him entertained next to me while I cooled off from that walk with the heavy bike.

And then I just started playing. And decided to forget about being frustrated about the plastic and just have fun. Yes, slap bracelets are still a thing! Who knew those made it out of the 80s?? (I'm not sure you can tell how much fun I'm having in these pictures because I don't think I'm yet rehydrated from that long walk, but we were goofy valentines all the way!)

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