Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Mostly Handmade Birthday

Months ago Poppet went through a phase of complaining how boring her bedroom was. Her friends all had painted walls and canopies over their beds, blah blah blah. She also refused to go upstairs alone, or come downstairs alone. With her birthday only months away I decided to try to tackle a few of these issues, and hopefully create a more designed and cohesive space for her to play/sleep/dream in.
One of the difficulties of our apartment is that our bedrooms are up on the third floor under the pitched roof. There's almost no available wallspace to hang things on, and we all have sensitive patches on our heads from constantly banging them on the roof. I didn't feel like painting, though apparently you can do that here without asking permission (the landlord wouldn't mind I'm sure) as it is still a temporary space. Luckily, I just happen to know a few crafty and creative women to call upon when something special is needed. Of course, they're in Australia so I had to move quickly. That postal service can be a tad on the slow side so close to Christmas.
First, I approached Natalie from Petite Bijou for a teepee. We discussed colours and fabrics, and decided upon a beautiful toile (Nat and I share a 'thing' for toile) which was a little more grown-up and would hopefully give Poppet many years of pleasure. Then Nat got to work and created a thing of beauty. Husband sourced the dowels at this end, which proved to be more of a challenge than we expected because of the metric vs imperial measurements thing. But he found them in the end. We put the teepee together on the weekend and decided to give it to Poppet early, rather than pack it away again. She squealed when she saw it, we have done all of our nighttime reading in it together (I can just squeeze in with her) and she races into it each morning to continue her reading. The blessings of the teepee are twofold. One, she has somewhere to 'go' in the mornings when she awakes at 5.45am (yes, you read that right) without disturbing us and two, she announced that she is no longer afraid of her bedroom since the teepee was installed.
Very very happy indeed.
The other commissioned piece was an illustration by Liselle from Liselle Banks - Art & Papery Creations. Liselle captures children so well, and she is so lovely to work with. I also love her use of pencil, and the simplicity of her style. I wanted to reinforce the message of being true to yourself in the face of your peers' opinions, something we've been trying to ram home for some months now. "Be Millie" was created around my kid's love of illustration and comics, music and reading. Liselle did and incredible job and Poppet is mad for the piece, she really understands the concept and it's great for her to see ideas realised and framed on the wall. She's decided to attempt one for me and Husband some time, who knows what "Be Jen" will look like from her perspective. That will be very interesting to see.
I made an embroidered hoop for her with the words 'perfect is boring' on it, as she is a natural perfectionist and can do with a daily reminder that art is not, nor should it aim to be perfect. She also commissioned a cupcake Poppet from me, which she sketched out and chose the fabric for. I finished it today and it wasn't until she told me that it has 2012 on the back that I saw my own mistake. Perfect is boring, indeed!
Poppet's actual birthday was Monday, and she had a rather large load of gifts but we have to remind ourselves that these gifts represent both ourselves and our families around the world.
She woke us at the special time of 5.16am, yay, and we dragged ourselves downstairs to open them all up.

So, here are the shots from the day, including her new bedroom setup. Thankfully we've some sunshine lately so I could get some shots.

Apparently she is making an '8' with her hands...

Finn and Jake!

That doll has a seriously awesome wardrobe.

The newly decorated corner of the bedroom.

"Please make 8 candles (since I'm turning 8.)

She's pretty cute, actually.

2012! Harumph.

It has taken all of my strength not to re-do that stitching. But the memory of the mistake will probably live on and help both of us with our perfectionist tendencies. That particular apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
If you would like to check out Petit Bijou's teepees and other goodies head over here.
And you can see more of Liselle's gorgeous artwork over here.

I'm back on the chain gang again this week, starting to compile ideas and decide which one to get busy with first. Expect to see a VIP Newsletter soon, some custom order spots and lots of lovely new (and old) ideas coming to light.

Ok 2013, let's do this!

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