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Friday, February 13, 2015


I am not sure if this upcoming three day weekend is going to have any actual impact on my life but I am enjoying the psychological affect of knowing it's a three day weekend. The last couple weeks have been extra busy around here. And I do know that once this weekend is over a few of my bigger projects will officially be checked off my list, surely to be quickly replaced, but I should have a good couple days of procrastination to look forward to before I dive in again. Ah, sweet procrastination, I miss you!

Looking Forward To / I finished my order for West Elm Portland store and will be delivering it this weekend! While it wasn't a huge order by any means, the pressure has certainly been on to get it done in time, and make sure I felt zen enough while doing it that I wouldn't find myself crying and ripping seams. The best part will certainly be my return visit to see my work displayed in the store. Looking forward to that moment. 


Finding / These amazing mid-century danish chairs (pictured) that I made a quick u-turn to recover from a dumpster near my house. I saw one sticking out and once I pulled it out of the bin I stood on it to see if there were more. Much to my delight I ended up with a set of four. I am hoping a good power washing will bring them new life. My grandparents had these chairs when I was little and I still remember the sweaty pattern they'd leave on my legs each summer day. They have long haunted me as something I didn't take when they passed away and I've been keeping my eyes peeled for some for years. Recently I saw a set on craigslist, but at over sixty dollars a chair I had to ruefully pass them up. So I am sure you can imagine I didn't second guess piling half of my body into that dumpster. 

Working / I have to admit that I can attribute much of the successful moments I have had in my shop to Etsy in one way or another (even if I still despise their new front page). Awhile back they asked me to send them a print for their spring/summer lookbook that they send out promotionally to media outlets. Of course I was honored to be asked for one of my products to be a representative to the Etsy marketplace(!) so, while not holding my breath, I sent my Joie de Vivre print off to the Etsy headquarters to be photographed and maybe included in the lookbook. Just this week I got an email that they did, in fact, include my print! You can see the online version here

Mothering / This week at school the teacher told me Milo was crying in music class and she couldn't figure out why (he's never cried at school before so she was pretty concerned). Once we got home, Luca, was helpful enough to let me know all about it: Milo was being teased for being a 'pretty girl.' And then my heart just broke when I asked Milo if this was true and he said "Yeah, and I want to cut my hair." I found my first reaction was to say "okay, we can cut your hair." However, upon saying this I immediately wanted to take it back. Milo loves his long golden hair. His favorite color is pink. He loves my little pony. Elsa is his idol. Every make-over girl/kitty/pony/doggy app decorates his ipad. He also loves minecraft and spiderman and batman and wrestling and being a boy. Luca loves these things too, though not as fiercely. Milo is a gorgeous boy (his words. true words). In six short years that boy has made me love pink. A color I never liked, I now love it almost as much as him. The emotional range of pink is vast. I see that now. He's also someone I look at and think of as an inspiration. His confidence and sense of self is intoxicating. So as you can imagine to see this shattered also shattered my little heart. 

In the end, after I asked him: do you want short hair because you like it or because you don't want people to call you a girl? And he responded with the latter. I said we'd wait a week. I realized then that the lesson I don't want to teach him is to change yourself to please other people. It's the last lesson I want pass on to him. It's a lesson once learned is so difficult to unlearn (I am still trying to unlearn this). And, truly, what makes him great, what makes all kids so wonderful at these tender and innocent ages is that they can be however they want, they can find joy and beauty in themselves, they are full of 'look what i can do!'s. We should honor that in others and in ourselves well into kindergarten and throughout our whole lives. And with that I think we will be spending much  of this week nurturing that in ourselves and each other. While I am not sure he can understand at 6, that he has been such a mentor to me well past 6, I hope someday he knows this. I hope he continues being exactly who he is. And with that said, when a weeks time approaches. . . well, I am open to suggestions!

hope you all have a happy weekend! did i mention it's in the 60's and full of sunshine here? yeah, that helps. 

36 comments:

  1. Congrats once again on West Elm, and on Etsy as well! I loved the mothering part. There is so much we can learn from children at those tender ages and we must encourage them to be themselves. I hope Milo decides to keep his hair long if that is what makes him happy. It's sunny here too - that always helps, yes. Have a wonderful weekend, Christine!

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    1. thank you so much ada! i agree with you, there is so much to learn from children, and fostering that innate sense of belonging and being that we are all born with is one of the most important things to me as a mother. xo

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  2. It is so disheartening to hear there are small children out there, young, innocent, impressionable children, being taught at home such heteronormative nonsense that any young boy with gorgeous blond hair must be called a "pretty girl." Or maybe I'm being cynical and it's possible the other child was being obtusely complementary, or something. Either way I'm so sorry Milo had to go through that, but I think you handled it beautifully. Wait a week. I love your strength to do that, to show him your strength in doing that. It's a good lesson for him, to not instantly change to make other people happy. He has plenty of time for that in high school ;) Kidding! But seriously, he might find in a few years he doesn't like his hair (in which case, can I have it? Can you somehow send me those genes??) but the decision should be his alone, and not a reactive decision because some little turd made fun of him. I so relate to your comment about trying to 'unlearn' that reactivity. (Being flat chested was a doozy on me in school, and I wish I could go back in time and say to my 14 year old self, "Boobs really don't matter!" to counteract all of the body-shaming, self-inflicted and otherwise).

    On a happier note: so exciting about your West Elm order!! You promise to take photos of your work in the store all set up when the time comes, yes? So proud of you, twinsy!! And the Etsy thing too it just incredible. You should be so proud of yourself. Treat yo self to a cupcake or something fancy this three day weekend. You earned it!! xo

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    1. thank you twinsy. it's so true, no matter what there will be someone or some thing . . . hopefully, while he might not get the whole 'life lesson' here at this age, it seeps in a little bit and it's one that he build on. i often look at him and i wish i had a tenth of the confidence he has. it's pretty impressive! (and of course nothing i want chipped away at!). xoxo

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  3. ohmyheart! i don't know what i will do the day august comes to me with some form of heartache caused by one his peers, but you handled the situation so brilliantly with milo. he probably needed that initial reaction from you, the immediate and unquestioning support of "ok, we can cut your hair". but what he will appreciate more later (if not already) is what followed when you explored the driving force for his request and left him with the option to cut it in a week. he sounds like such an incredible spirit and it would be tragic to ever have that crushed. i hope that he will realize that and stay true to his heart. beautiful boy. but, oh! your sensitivity and thoughtfulness really impress and inspire me. i'm putting this lesson in the "mind bank". xo

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    1. thank you lucinda all you say means so much to me. it's hard to know what the right thing is as a parent! xo

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  4. oh no. oh no oh no oh no. I feel for you. all of you. it's so disheartening that this kind of pressure starts so early. and it's so hard to handle for you. I'm only getting glimpses of how difficult it is to help your children navigate this world. don't know what else to say. thinking of you xoxoxo

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    1. i know, so early, geez! whenever people ask me 'are they girls?' i say 'they're just kids' followed up with 'no they boys' ;) but seriously what does being a boy or a girl at 6 really matter? i can't think of anything really at all. xoxo

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  5. So touched by Milo's experience and I wish wish wish I had any advice at all that might be helpful. Growing up in a group with a bunch of girls and just one boy, he loved to play dress-up with us and always picked the pink princess dress....until his macho dad bought him a knight-outift and a sword. Even at that tender age I felt so strongly that he should be able to dress in pink, dang it, if he wants to. I wish you all the best and tell your son to hang in there---once your grown up and past the playground bully battles, a georgeous boy is going to rock real life way better and harder than the small and meanspirited ones that were teasing him!

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    1. i think it's totally normal for little boys to love those things! when i was a little girl i adored my grandfather so much i dressed like a boy, had short hair (by default it didn't grow till i was about 5!), and i wanted all boy toys for christmas for years. i'd even pretend to shave with him. and really, those are some of my fondest memories! xx

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  6. Wow, your mothering story is so touching...the situation is so unfortunate, but I really think you handled it wonderfully! Also congrats on the West Elm order and the Etsy feature...that is so exciting! Your work is so beautiful!

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  7. Oh perfect Mama. And perfect Milo. What heartbreak and sadness. This is just the thing you feared when sending them out into the world, and yet as heartbreaking and hard as it is, it's just the thing (handled well, which you are doing) that will make him a better man in the long run. And that's our end game, right? My initial reaction would have been yours, for sure. And I'm not sure I would have been wise enough, in the midst of my own anger and heartbreak to realize how important that next step is. And that's key, right.

    I think this kind of talk is pretty normal among kids and the really important is how the adults in his life respond. I'm not so sure I have advice, except to say that when Cal had a bullying situation when he was in 5th grade (so a bit older), what I did didn't matter as much as *that* I did. That I and his teachers did something and that he felt like we had his back. That he felt he could walk into any room, fully supported, no matter what.

    Oh, my heart. Love you guys.

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    1. it is what i feared! his teacher was so supportive and took it really seriously (more so than i even expected). so i think the class is going to be having discussions on being kind and accepting and not teasing each other. from what i gathered from the roll of her eyes this particular little girl has had a few offenses. xo

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  8. Oh that so exciting, have fun seeing your work in the store, must be an amazing feeling!

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  9. oh boy, did your writing about milo melt my heart or what. i think you're an incredible mama for wanting to make him feel better after being bullied about being "pretty" and letting him cut his hair if that's what he wants. but you are an ESPECIALLY good mama for teaching him that if he likes his long hair, that's okay bc he's the one that has to wear it and if someone else doesn't like it, it most certainly does not mean he should change it. not sure if he'll grasp the deepness of this situation like you and i do, but i most definitely think this plants the seed for him to grow even more beautiful and confident and happy. and luca is lucky that he gets to learn a similar lesson, but only as an outsider. those boys are so good. xo

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    1. thanks yelle and i agree, he definitely should not change something he loves because one person said something. there will always be that one person who makes us feel bad and we just can't let them win. xo

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  10. Firstly, a huge congratulations to all of your recent successes! I'm so proud of you and happy as well. Secondly, oh M, you break my goddamn heart. I'm so glad that you're making sure he's not changing for other people and I also love how adaptable he is - to entertaining the idea of something different, just because he feels like it. Those children of yours are so flexible and wise beyond their years. Give them all a big hug for me

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