November 21, 2007

Little Birds.

I am participating in a handmade Christmas ornament swap hosted by Freshly Blended and Cake & Pie. The swap has 600 participants from around the world. Most of the partipants are professional artists, designers or craftspersons, very talented people who make and sell things for a living -- or at least part of their living. I learned about the swap last year when Susan at Joybucket was participating in the swap. (Susan also has a daughter who was born in China and makes the most amazing dolls ever.) I loved watching the Flickr group for the swap last year as the participants posted photos of what they'd made and/or received.

So this year I decided to participate too. Now I am in no way a professional artist or designer but I am fairly artistic and creative and I thought it would be a fun challenge.

I've obsessed over what to make and how to make it. I wanted to make sure that the nine people I've been assigned to swap with weren't disappointed in what they received from me. I've bought fabric. I've ordered 100% wool felt from a place in Michigan. I've looked and looked and looked for inspiration and, finally, after forcing Eric to listen to all my various ideas in nauseating detail -- complete with sketches -- I decided to make little stuffed birds. (Hmmm . . . sounds Thanksgiving-ish, doesn't it?) I started working on them a few days ago and the girls are just fascinated with what I'm doing. This was our conversation as I was cutting the birds out.

Michal: "Mommy, that’s a duck."

Me: "No, it’s a bird."

Michal: "Oh, it’s a bird."

Kenna: "Michal that’s not a duck."

Me: "You're right Kenna. It's a bird."

Michal: "Mommy, you can’t cut that. You can only cut paper."

Kenna: "Mommy’s allowed to cut birds. I can’t cut birds. Just mommy."

Michal: "I want to watch Mommy cut." (While pulling up a chair.)

Kenna: "I want to name the birds."

Me: "OK, what do you want to name the birds."

Kenna: "Pluto the bird"

Michal: "Spike the bird"

Michal: "Bingo the bird"

Kenna: "Baby pigeon the bird"

Kenna: "Car the bird"

Michal: "Machine the bird"

Kenna: "Devon the bird"

And then Kenna grabbed the extra fabric and said to Michal, "Michal, let’s play try on the coat."

I guess watching Mommy cut out birds is only interesting until you can play "try on the coat" with the fabric scraps.

The photo below is of the front of my little birds cut out, quilted and waiting for eyes, wings, backs, stuffing and embelishments.

If you want to look at photos of this year's ornaments made by people all over the world, you can go to here to see them. I'll keep posting photos of Pluto the Bird, Spike the Bird, Machine the Bird and friends here.

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