Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break Projects

I wasn't planning on writing at the moment since I sat down to work on homework, but I'm losing the battle to stay awake, so I'm hoping this will help. I feel like I have so much to write from the last two weeks, but I don't really know how to say any of it. Could it be due to all the academic writing I've been doing lately? Sometimes it's hard to switch from sounding somewhat scholarly to my own voice.

Two weeks ago I had spring break. No classes all week meant I got to do all fun projects. I made a list at the beginning of the week and made it a decent part of the way through by the end. There was no way I could have actually done everything I wrote down. It was merely a way to make sure that each time I checked the list something would catch my eye and fit my mood.

Ella was my creative motivation.

Project One: Miss Ella's Rocking Chair

I bought this chair at Good Will in Minneapolis at least a year ago. I had high hopes for it but never took the time to work on it. You know how it is. You'd love to work on that special little project but something else comes to mind that actually has some sort of due date, so the project gets postponed. Anyway, the chair cost just $5.

I found the paint in a storage room in the basement when we moved into this house. It was only after I finished the chair that I could tell which room it came from. It's the basement bathroom. I think it's a good fit for the chair.

I bought the white paint at Michaels for 88 cents along with a little brush for $1 and the little wooden ELLA letters for something like 50 cents each. I don't actually remember. I bought them a while ago.

Project one is completed. I do think it's a little silly that I waited this long to paint it since I finished nearly the entire thing in one afternoon nap time. I'm so happy to have it done. I hope it will be a cozy reading spot for my little girl as she grows.

Project Two: Baby Doll Dress

My grandma on my mom's side did a lot of sewing when my mom was growing up and continued while I was a little girl. I have a stack of adorable doll clothes that she made for my Cabbage Patch. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to do as my grandma did. I've imagined making a dress for my little girl and sewing a miniature, matching dress for her doll.

After finishing the doll dress, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment and happiness. It was as though I had a connection from myself all the way back to the woman my grandma was when she was my age. I thought about her a lot while I was piecing everything together and stitching each seam. I wish I could go back to the time when she sat at her own sewing machine and watch her. Each stitch and snap and zipper carefully placed. I imagine we would talk about teaching and music and books and baking, all things that we both enjoy. And then we would sit and drink coffee and eat cookies, something we tend to do during each visit. Maybe it's being a mom and feeling like we have so many things in common that I've felt closer to my grandma lately. I need to tell her that. I haven't. She lives only four hours from me. Maybe I can take Ella for a visit so she can soak up some Grandma J lovin'.

As I was going to mention, I made this little dress for Ella's doll to match the one I made for her at Christmas. I purposely didn't use Christmasy fabric so that she could continue wearing it for a while. I'm so glad I did!

I did do other things during break, but these are the two most notable projects. I actually felt like I spent my time well that week. Usually I get to the end of break and think about all the time I wasted. Not this one, though. I'll be going straight on to May term followed by a summer class, so my next break won't be until the first week of July. I'm already making a list of projects!

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