Craft Fair - a weekend captured on Instagram

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ever since I visited the POP Puces market last year, I have been toying with the idea of signing up for a craft fair. But it seemed like such an intimidating endeavor, to open oneself up for criticism, to allow people to see my passion and "judge" it.

But I had to try. In the end, I decided   POP was perhaps too big a bite for me for a first try, so when my son's daycare organized a fair this past weekend, to raise funds for the kid's activities and shows, I was game.

I had 2 months to prepare. This may sound like plenty of time, but considering that I work full-time, and that my husband often travels for work, this only results in a couple of hours of knitting time per night. Still, I threw myself headfirst into the project and did manage to whip up quite a few knits. I focused on simple hats, neck warmers and scarves in kid's sizes, some cup-cozies, Christmas ornaments and felted bowls.

I was immensely proud of my stash. I scoured Pinterest for display and packaging ideas, and exchanged ideas with knitter extraordinaire Rebecca from the blog nook. Friday night I tested my set-up, put together an endless list of things to remember, and went to sleep, anxiously awaiting the next morning.
How can I describe the experience? It was wonderful to meet talented and like-minded people, that I can exchange ideas and stories with. I am always amazed at the wealth of ideas out there, and at how warm, welcoming and helpful the crafting community is.

The event itself, was unfortunately not a roaring success. Not even a mild one to be honest. I was disappointed to see, that despite everyone's efforts, almost none of the 140 families that bring their kids to this daycare showed up. I do not mean to sound whiny, but as a mother, I find it hard to understand that some parents do not take an interest in what goes on at their child's daycare, or what problems the daycare faces. These funds would have been invested in extra activities, as well as outfitting the center with more books and supplies. Who would not want that? Either way, I learned quite a bit, and I am grateful for that.

Regardless of the outcome, I am really happy that I participated and that I had this experience. I will certainly sign up for other fairs, I think I am ready!

I leave you with a few Instagram snapshots of the event.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

A few weeks ago, something my son did, gave me pause. His cousin had hurt herself, and was crying, but he was completely unimpressed, concerned with continuing the game he was playing.

It made me wonder. Is compassion something you are born with? Is it something that can be taught? To be honest I was bothered by the fact that he did not go up to her to check if she was all right, to try and comfort her.  

In speaking to my friends that also have kids the same age, I was given examples of children reacting the same way, but also of children that are very concerned with the well-being of others. I probably over-analyzed the situation, but I could not let it go.

So my husband and I spoke about this subject at length, and decided that even tough some people may be more sensitive to the needs of others, this sort of attitude is certainly something that can be taught. But how to approach this subject with a 5-year old child?

The perfect opportunity presented itself to us, when my husband was approached by a work-colleague who is a spokesperson for "Samaritan's Purse". It is a wonderful organization with multiple initiatives. One of which focuses on providing kids all around the world with some joy around the holidays.

We chose to fill 2 boxes  one for a boy, and another for a girl. We explained to Aidan that not all kids are as fortunate as he is, that oftentimes parents are unable to give their children everything they need, no matter how hard they try.

Then, this weekend we went shopping and involved him in the choices, and I was glad to see that he was into it, asking questions and maybe even pondering this newly learned information.
I have always talked about how important family traditions are to me, and I think we have found a new one. We plan on packing these boxes each year, to make Aidan a part of the process and make sure that he learns to be loving, considerate and compassionate.

How about you? Any such traditions in your family? Have you ever had your child react in a way that has made you wonder about values and how to teach them? I would be curious to know!

Embracing the cold

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter is just around the corner. The temperatures have slowly been dropping, we've graduated from fall jackets to winter ones, our scarves and mitts have been getting quite some wear.

My main concern in the winter is comfort. I turn to things, activities and traditions that bring my comfort. One of my favorite ways to relax (if and when that happens) is with a hot drink. I always make sure that my cupboard is stocked with all kinds of tea, coffee and cocoa. I am ecstatic that the red cups are back at Starbucks, and that I can indulge in a Caramel Brûlée. Another tasty treat is the London Fog Latte from Second Cup. And this one, I have managed to re-create at home.

For those of you that wish to try, here's how.

1TBSP Earl Gray from David's Tea

1 Cup Vanilla flavored Soy milk
1TSP honey.

Let the tea steep in the hot milk for about 5 minutes (you can use more or let it steep longer depending on how intense a flavor you are looking for). Add the honey and froth some milk to top off the drink, and voila, delicious, homemade London Fog Latte. I like to believe that this is less calorie intensive then the original.

And you know what makes this moment perfect? A tasty macaroon and the knowledge that you can work on your most recent knit project for (hopefully) a blissful, uninterrupted 30 minutes while your little one naps.