Something to invite my children into.

This is part of a series where I share the motivation behind Valentine Handmade. If you missed it, the intro is here.

It is good for my children to see me pursue a thing that brings me joy using skills they have watched me build. It is part of their growing identity. They come from a line of artitisans before them on both sides. So, it’s important to me that they have opportunities to create as well as receive things created for them.

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They need plenty of opportunities to learn what brings them joy. Sewing is one form of creative expression they are exposed to. Per chance, this creative art is not a mainstay of their life’s call, they will still be able to walk away with transferable skills to any industry.

I want my children to:

  • learn the value of work and time

  • learn to care for themselves

  • learn how to do what they don’t feel like doing

  • learn to ask for what they need

  • learn to express themselves

  • learn what satisfies them

  • develop their talents and resources

  • learn to receive and to give

One more thing………..

Maybe I’ll feature something like this when I want to share bits of my story.

Tamika’s Corner –

I am thankful to have a family. I can’t say I was one of those girls that dreamed of it from a young age. I was in survival mode. Raised, primarily by my great-great aunt, as an only child I spent lots of time alone and learned the art of quiet. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned of the absence of several things I needed for growth, maturity and joy. I thank God for second chances. I am a parent that is being re-parented. There are two seasons that must run concurrently for me:

1. I must parent my children by giving sacrificially without expecting anything in return, while building a home. 2. I must continue to grow and mature, by assessing and addressing the gaps in loving community with others.

Valentine Handmade is a result of me finding something that brings me joy and pursuing it. I am thankful for the opportunity for my husband and I to share this experience with our children. They see it all, the fears, the joys and are still happy to be with me.

Thanks for stopping by!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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5………………….

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6……………………..

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7……………………..

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and 8………………….

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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.

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That’s all folks! Catcha next time!

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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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

Well Hello!

For those that acknowledge the sentiments of this day…..

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Thank you for stopping by and welcome to my new space.

Why Valentine Handmade?

Well, I am a Valentine by name and I love to make beautiful things with my hands.

I never really knew that working with my hands was such a sweet spot for me. Growing up, it wasn’t pointed out, talked about or encouraged. I didn’t necessarily happen upon this revelation until I was good and grown. I guess it really doesn’t matter when you learn of your giftings. What matters is what you do with them once you know. Sometimes, you have no clue blessings are pursuing you until they just show up like “BAM”!

This space is specific to my sewing adventures.

Visiting me here is a great idea if you want to….

  • see one-of-a-kind items made from up-cycled materialszoo-collage

  • see items made from new, natural materials such as cotton, linen, silk, wool and leatherdsc08171

  • get a peek into my creative process labels

  • see fun items for children to encourage playdsc08372

  • see how I fell in love with color and use African print fabric for clothing and other itemsdsc00143

  • see items created with my daughter’s exclusive fabric line (Yes, she is a 9 year old that happens to design fabric when it strikes her fancy, lol)green-fabric

  • see lots of hearts (I LOVE HEARTS!)pics15-047

  • If you want to keep up with us as we develop our brand, make sure you sign up the be notified of new posts.

 *click here to go to the shop

 

With Love,

Tamika