Babywearing Portraits

After the birth of my daughter, I was lucky to fall in with a group of parents who taught me the marvel of babywearing. Struggling to find a way to hold a baby who wanted nothing by immediate physical contact while I tried to work or even do something as basic as load the dishwasher was tricky. Luckily I had the wisdom of the mamas and papas before me who explained the basics of strapping my wee one to my body so she could be happy, and I could keep my sanity. 

Babywearing is such a beautiful and intimate thing, and I know so many parents who have had deep journeys wearing their babies and children. I was commissioned by a friend and babywearing educator to create a portrait as her time wearing her kiddos began to come to a close. She asked me to include her favorite Oscha wrap and we talked about other personal details that were important to her.   

It was such a pleasure to work on I arranged a giveaway just so I'd have an excuse to make another! These kinds of pieces are some of my favorite to work on, because it lets me subtly include details that are deeply important to the recipients. 

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A Car Seat Cape Fit For A Princess

Gone are the days of babies climbing around the front bench seat of the family's Buick. Car seat safety has advanced from what basically amounted to a lawn chair hooked over the seat back to give little ones a better view of the road to nearly Formula 1 car level harnesses.

 Hold on, Billy! There's a sharp turn ahead!

Hold on, Billy! There's a sharp turn ahead!

If you're current on your car seat safety, then you know that coats under a harness are a big no-no. And if you have a kid going through a phase of refusing to wear anything but dresses (like myself) then you have even more challenges on keeping them warm because everything "neeeeeeds to be pretty"... 

Enter: The Cape

I found this great *free* pattern on Ravelry, bought a crap load of yarn, and got to hookin'.

This is the largest crocheted project I've attempted thus far, and it was definitely time consuming, but worth it. I used a bit over a pound of Caron yarn for the body, and 1.5 skeins of Caron Super Soft (the party kind, 'cause it sparkles) for the trim and draw string. I made a small adjustment to add the arm holes in hopes that it would encourage her to keep it on.

The only problems we've had are that the hood is quite long and the cape is very heavy, so it has a tendency to fall off of the shoulders and pull down unless the drawstring is pulled very tight. I expect this to lessen as she grows. 

The real beauty of it is that to transfer to the car seat, all you do is pull down the hood, spin it around, and buckle the harness underneath! Much easier than removing the coat, buckling, and then unbuckling and redressing for warmth. On our maiden voyage, kiddo was even able to drink a milkshake (no judging!) while keeping warm. 

Here it is in action. 

Snug as a bug. 

 Always finish with a fancy button!

Always finish with a fancy button!

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My Atypical "Portraits"

I really really love when people commission personal pieces and let me  just run with it. When I was asked to create an original piece for a pair of newlyweds as a Christmas gift, I was given a list of things that were meaningful to the couple and total creative freedom!

This is a couple with a long love story, so it was so much fun to be able to incorporate that history. 

The constellations represent music, love, peace, and incorporates music notes from one of their most beloved songs. The polar bear is the mascot of the grade school they both went to.

There are pins for the locations they have traveled to together, and a special marker for where they celebrated their engagement. Because it's in a front-opening shadow box, they can add new pins as they continue to conquer the globe! 

My favorite touch is that the background is almost entirely painted with wine from the winery the couple owns and operates! I'd never painted with wine before but it was a lot of fun!

The more I learned about this couple through creating this piece, the more I loved their story and how truly in love they are with each other. I hope they enjoy this at least half as much as I enjoyed making it for them! 

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