In apple green
A dress for twirling
For twisting and tying
| I had to get a smidge of grey in there... |
It's the tricycle club. And it started with tears.
Sitting down at the kitchen table after flying in from Melbourne back in November, I sent Max to bed, slightly disconcerted that he wasn't as chirpy as he normally is. About 10 minutes later, he came out of the bedroom, looking terribly upset. He wasn't crying...but his face said it all. So I pulled him in close and asked what was wrong.
And he spoke, his lips trembling [I kid you not] and his eyes welling with tears so that my heart broke instantly right then and there and I would have done anything to have made whatever was upsetting him go away. He spoke, and he asked why I never made him anything when I went away. My heart broke some more.
I rarely make Max anything anymore. I would love to, really I would. But what I have made him hasn't been worn, or wasn't quite right for him in his opinion....so I stopped because it got too hard, and too fraught with emotional attachment on both sides for it to work. And I never, ever, realised he actually did want me to make things, and that he was getting quite upset at the inequality he perceived in Pia getting all these hand made pieces. I have been extremely conscious of the inequality of it - I am also aware of how much emotional value I place in what I make. I will readily admit I make Pia a lot of things to make up for the [what feels like] tremendously torturous relationship we have some days. Handmade things seem to me to speak of ultimate love, and also seem to make up for my shortcomings as a parent. Max is a different child. His security and trust in me is without bounds, and while I am terribly conscious of the fact he often gets steamrollered as a result of his sister, I make a big effort to find rebalance in other ways, and with what he ultimately craves which is one on one attention with me. But me making him something....just hasn't been an issue recently. Until that night.
That night I promised him I would make him something and my priority over the coming weeks would be to make this item. I suggested a satchel bag - something I knew I could make easily and without too much drama and that would befit a 7 year old nearly 8 year old. He thought that would be a great idea, and he went back to bed a little happier, but still quite emotional. Over the coming days we spent time talking about what this bag could look like - we collaborated, for want of a better word. He wanted graphics. And then he wanted graffiti. And I have to say I did wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew, and would be having delivery and execution problems in this escalating project. Graphics and Graffiti would be hard details to fulfill. I spent time trawling through the internet to try and find suitable fabrics and got quite disheartened at what was out there. And then I came across this site - MistaMista. What a fabulous site for t-shirts and graphics for young boys!! I love their pieces. And I immediately knew exactly how this bag would go. I got Max's approval, and ordered 2 t-shirts. 1 for him to wear. And - here's the lengths I will go to in the name of detail and design - 1 to cut up and use as a graphic for the bag flap. Genius.
The pattern is completely freeformed. Using an old satchel bag as a rough size and outline guide, I drafted a very crude pattern, cut an outer out of a woven cotton fabric, and a lining out of cotton canvas, sewed in some compartments to the lining, attached the t-shirt to the front flap so it extends over and onto the back as well, added bag straps and buckles, and finally got to the point after much daily project managing by my son [ie harrassment] that the bag was finished and usable. He would still like graffiti on it, but the designer in me cried in my head it has enough on it already, it doesn't need more, that would ruin it. The 7 nearly 8 year old boy wants more graphics on it...I need to think that one through, and work out how to achieve his goals, while still keeping to the bold simplicity of what is already made.
That just leaves Max with the task of standing in front of the almost black wall...
silence |not necessarily the typical notion of silence. but a perceived notion - an abstract idea of silence.
the silence of non colour - bright light, fine fibres entwined, gentle repetitive knitting picked up after a small hiatus
the silence of brief respites from children - a small break from them, and them from us, very, very rare moments of quiet play
the silence of awe - Mirazozo and the 'architecture of air' a wonderful school holiday diversion
the silence of showers of gold [originally I wrote golden showers then thought, yeah, um, might just rephrase that one!] - a breathtaking new year's eve on a small island right in front of the harbour bridge with amazing front row seats to the fireworks. made even more special by sharing it with someone new to this country.
the silence of expectation - school starts back in 20 days
the silence of the new - it's just dawned on me how many people I know are having babies | have had babies and I need to get cracking on gifts.....a visit to the new Calico and Ivy shop in Balmain with it's beautiful clean white crisp interiors, it's selection of Liberty Print, and it's range of Rowan wools sorted one gift out, and will see others follow closely behind.
the silence of a woman at work - a simple drawstring tied dress [fabric a wonderful gift from Amy], a satchel bag for her son in progress and lots of new fabrics bought for new clothes
the silence of dawning realisation - it seems I need to write an adult pattern for silver|song...I'm listening, and I'm planning.
the silence of ideas - germinating, collecting, becoming lists, becoming real
[my wishes for the new year - to have the strength and space to make more ideas real]