Gotta be nimble, but not like Jack.

Continuing on with my journey of discovery here. If you care to start from the beginning, you can go here.

This one is simple, yet complex. Nevertheless, my desire.

be nimble

There are some things in my life that must come into proper alignment. Flat out. I don’t want the King to call and I have every kind of excuse as to why I can’t move. I mean, two- thirds of his name is “Go”, so if I’m stuck, I’m just not seeing how that’s beneficial. I’m being silly, but serious. There are times we need to be still. But if He’s calling, that’s not one of them. I want to hear well, move right away (delayed obedience is still disobedience), and not be encumbered by excuses as to why I am not in position to respond. I gotta long way to go, but I’m moving.

forest-trees-path-pipe

It is my hope that Valentine Handmade will allow me to contribute to my family financially. It is not required, simply desired. Not desired because I feel like I’m not doing enough. I do quite a bit around these parts. Or, I’m not using my degree. I work with my family socially everyday. Lol. Or, I feel useless. I’m quite used up at days’ end, in a good way. Or, I feel like I’m losing myself. I have found more of myself in the past 11 years, than the years before. Now there are those days when I’m chasing kids and the house is a mess that I feel like I’ve already lost the game. For me, it’s simple. Whether I’m creating a garment or a curriculum, I have skills that are monetizable. Valentine Handmade is a platform that will hopefully allow me to share these things.

I love to create, and it shows! I’m sorry, I am unable to refrain from the cheese right now.

tongue out.jpg

To go to the last post in this series, click here.

The birth of a young designer

Sometimes parenting can be downright hard. Other times, you laugh and smile so hard the back of your jaws hurt.

I’ve had some tough times being a parent to my oldest daughter. Not because of her behavior, but because of my lack of maturity in certain areas. One of the fastest ways I think a person can grow is by taking care of children. It’s like they are sent here to make sure every ugly thing inside of you is eradicated little by little. Lol! But first, it all has to be brought to the surface, just like impurities in metal that has been put into fire.

God knew I needed some serious growing up. So, He sent me a strong-minded, opinionated, justice-loving, sweet, giving, talkative and creative little girl. Those adjectives just skim the surface. Such a lovely gift for an introverted mom. Lol. Seriously.

There is much we could talk about concerning parent-child relationships, but today I want to share how my daughter impacts me with her creativity. She has always loved to create. Sometimes, I find inspiration in her work.

One day, I happened to walk past while she was coloring on white squares of paper. At that moment, she was using a blue marker. Her design immediately spoke to me and said, “I am a fabric design!” I thought to myself, “Why, yes you are!” I spoke none of the such to Karis. I simply suggested that she should create a design with each of the colors if she wanted to. She already had pre-cut squares of approximately the same size. She happily got to work and when it was all finished, presented me with a stack of designs.

Fast forward. A package comes in the mail and I ask Karis is she would help me open it. I handed her the package and walked away. As soon as I heard squeals and a loud “mom!”, I knew she had realized what I’d done. And just like that a fabric designer was born.

So, we got to work on creating a design with her first print. Sneak Peek.

karis fabric

Today, we will be sharing some items we made with another one of her designs.

For this print, we went with an organic cotton knit fabric. It offers a little bit of stretch, and I knew I wanted to make a cute shirt for Karis out of it.

DSC00079

We went with a raglan shirt with a peplum, and I thought it would be fun to leave the edges raw and unfinished. I thought she did such a great job on this design.

DSC00080b

She is giving me a full ethnic vibe here with this print. I’m loving it so!

DSC00088b

Even though she is 9 now, she was my same silly and beautiful model at 4…………..

Karis1-1.1b

5………………….

pics44 103

6……………………..

DSC07797b

7……………………..

DSC08372

and 8………………….

IMG_0029.jpg

Awwwwww, singing, “Back down memory lane!”

Well, getting myself back on topic. This post would not be complete without showing you what I did with the remaining fabric.

Can’t leave little sis out.

DSC00072

DSC00101

DSC00113b

That’s all folks! Catcha next time!

DSC00121

I hope you have enjoyed spending a little time peeking into our little creative world. Making clothing for my children is one of my greatest joys. I’m so glad I am now able to share this joy with other children through my business. There are some fun things in the works for Valentine Handmade.

So, what do you think about this budding designer I have over here? Leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you.

Shine

In addition to Valentine’s day being on the February 14th, my family celebrates another special event. It is the day we have chosen to be our youngest daughter’s “blessing day”. Well, the day kind of chose itself. I did not have a formal shower for her during pregnancy, but knew I wanted to celebrate her in a special way.

Some of my dearest friends gathered together to have a “baby blessing shower”after her birth. I asked those in attendance to bring something they felt was specific to Contessa and would contribute to her spiritual vitality.

contessa-canvas
This was one of the gifts presented to the baby

It is important to me to have other people pour into my children. It is equally important that I invest in others’ children. It really does take a village, or in our day: community. Others have wisdom and insight I don’t have, so I am grateful for those that are willing to share.

Just as our physical births are celebrated each year, we wanted to incorporate a day to celebrate the growth of our spirits. I believe we have three parts that make up our humanity:

spirit-soul-body-300x191

I think our culture gives high priority to our souls (mind, will, emotions, intellect, etc.) and our bodies, which is not a bad thing. However, I do feel we could be more intentional concerning our spirits. This celebration is exactly just that. When I say “be more intentional” I don’t mean adding more routine activity. I’m talking about noticing the uniqueness of each person’s design and attempting to create an environment where they will thrive.

The goal is that this day we specifically set aside will, over time, become another “high point” in the person’s year.

mountain-top

Just as birthday’s are highly anticipated and celebrated. What would happen if our spirits were preparing months in advance for blessing day? What would interaction with God look like at that time of the year?

Here is what we like to touch on during these “blessing” days:

  • Revisit the concept of identity beginning with the significance of their name.

  • Do a “year in review” where we recap what we have observed in them. Mountain times. Valley times. In between times.

  • We set up a strategy for the year ahead to be intentional about spiritual growth

  • We present anything special we have for the person

  • We may do some type of activity depending on what the family member likes

In no way are we master’s of this, and it is certainly not a mandate from God. There are no hard and fast rules here, and I’m certain there are plenty other creative ways to encourage spiritual growth. The way I’m wired is such that I thoroughly enjoy looking at life as a treasure hunt. Once those treasures are found, the next best things is to celebrate! This is only our second year doing this for 3 of 5 family members. For the remaining 2 it will be the first year. So, we may have years ahead of us before we see substantial growth.

This year I wanted to give Contessa a special handmade item. I was thinking about the scripture Isaiah 60:1

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

I thought about how with each passing year it seems that the darkness just gets darker. In contrast, I believe the light gets brighter. One thing I will be praying in this year ahead for Contessa is that she will be light in darkness. Just as stars put forth useful energy and light into the earth, I pray that she does the same throughout her lifetime.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.

Psalm 92:1-2

Sounds like the sun, moon and stars (and whatever else) have some special things going on up there! What are they saying?

I decided Ms. Contessa would receive her very own star pillow! (graphics added) I love to see her bop around the house carrying stuffed toys we’ve made.

Shine little one, shine! Not every day will be sunny and bright, but this is part of who you are.

                                                                                                                                               -mom

shine-star

And this is how I make sewing meaningful.

If you are interested in having your very own star, or to gift to someone else, you can find them here. They would also make a wonderful addition to various home decor projects.

P.S. If you like birth stories, you might want to check out this one that our photographer wrote about Contessa’s birth.

 

With Love,

Tamika