Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grams Camp - Session 2 - Especially for Ezra

I am so far behind on my blogging that I may never catch up. So please bear with me while I finish my summer posts.

The second week of Grams Camp took place way back in mid-July. This year we decided to do separate weeks of Grams Camp for two reasons. First, I thought it would be easier for me to have them one at a time. Second, Ezra has been asking for almost a year now if I would teach her to sew. I knew that those lessons would be easier in a one-on-one format. She has stayed with us many times, so there was no reluctance or trepidation on her part. She was very excited.

The first thing she wanted to do was make a pom-pom wreath just like June did when she was here. So, we made a trip to the Dollar Tree and bought pom-poms and glue. My friend Janna had given Ezra some very cute little felt decorations which Ezra also wanted to put on her wreath. Naturally, she chose the pastel pom-poms instead of the deeper colors that June had used. If pink is one of the options, I guarantee that she will choose pink every time. Here is her wreath.

Katy and I decided that we would split the wreaths. She took one home to hang in the girls' room and I kept one for their room here. Ezra was a little bit sad that I kept the one she made and June got to take hers home. This one looks great in their room, which continues to evolve from Uncle Nick's room to the Princesses' Room. The colors match the rug I have in their room. I think she'll be happy when she sees it hanging there.

I decided to wait until she asked to tackle the sewing machine. At 5 years old, I think she's a little bit young for my electronic machine. I really wish I had my grandmother's old treadle sewing machine. It's what I learned on and they were so much simpler and slower. Instead, we started with a little hand sewing. I showed her how to thread a needle and gave her some fabric to make some practice stitches. She was very patient and worked on hand sewing for quite a while.

Then we moved on to the sewing machine. First I had her practice straight line sewing on a scrap of fabric just to get the feel of the machine. I sat next to her and used hand-over-hand to help her learn to guide the fabric while keeping her fingers out of the way of the needle and presser foot. I sat with her and let her play with the fancy stitches for a while and we changed the colors of the thread a couple of times, just because she wanted to.

Then we graduated to some dot-to-dot follow the number sewing sheets that I downloaded from Skip to my Lou. She really liked those because it felt like she was making something. I liked them because they helped her learn that she needed to sew slowly and deliberately. They also helped her learn to turn corners by lowering the needle, raising the presser foot, and pivoting the fabric. You can see in the photo below that she signed her work. I will be framing this dot-to-dot and hanging it in their room.

She really loved using the sewing machine, but she wanted to actually make something. I thought that was important too, so the next day we went to the fabric store and I let her choose two different fabrics and coordinating ribbons. We decided to make magic wands.

I printed out a star pattern and showed her how to pin and cut the fabric. Then we sewed the star leaving one side open. I helped her trim the seams, turn the fabric, and stuff the stars with polyester fiberfill. Then we inserted a bamboo skewer which had the pointed end coated with hot glue so it would not be sharp. I secured the skewer inside the star with hot glue. After it cooled, Ezra used her hand stitching skills to close the opening in each star. Then we added ribbons tied into bows. I think they came out really cute and she loved them too.

We also had plenty of time to relax during Ezra's week of Grams Camp. We watched Mary Poppins and I introduced Ezra to Shirley Temple's The Little Princess. She also spent one day playing video games on my Kindle. One day was enough of that for me, so after that day, I restricted her access to the Kindle and we read books, cooked, and watched movies. Here she is on my bed playing with my Kindle Fire. In the second photo you can see her long, long legs. She's definitely going to be tall just like her mom.

We would go outside early in the day or just before dark. There was very little outdoor play because it was extremely hot. We've had heat index readings well over 100 degrees for days on end.

I think two weeks apart from each other was good for both the girls. It was really fun to have some one-on-one time with each of them. It also gave each of them one-on-one time with their parents. In between the two weeks, I spent almost a week at their house while their dad took a canoe trip. That was fun too.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun post -- reminds me so much of when Amara was that age! Her other Grandma has taught her to sew and in fact her Mommy (with my encouragement bought her a small sewing machine of her very own when she was 7. We got it on sale at Big Lots for about $50. She loves it and at 10 she is now making skirts and things for her little cousin! I bet Ezra will be the same way!