Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Faeries (or Fairies) and the next project(s)

There were nine excited little faeries (and two little pirates, one excited and one, unusually for him, very shy) at the Pickled Fairy in Fremantle on Sunday.  A glorious sunny, warm day, despite the fact that it IS supposed to be the middle of Winter and we DO need some rain.  Much fun was had, much faery bouncing happened (possibly due in part to the amount of Faery cake consumed), and a welcome flash of green among a sea of pink.  It's not that I really hate pink, but as the mother of two girls I am SOOOO sick of it.  But that's another story.
That's big sis in the background wearing her purple cloak

No, I didn't make these wings...luckily found this pair in exactly the right colour.

Awaiting the arrival of the Faery Queen.

Faeries conferring with mummy faery...no grey hairs showing thankfully!

I have two and a half weeks before the next birthday to finish the Autumn Faery.  Unfortunately I couldn't get wings in the right colours (too much pink, again!) so I've made this pair.  Well, it's a joint effort, as Beloved hubby made the wire frames, out of coat-hangers.  A pair of red stockings that I've worn once I think (yes, I DID wash them after), and some gold acrylic and gold glitter paint.
This is the front.  I've since added gold glitter over the whole thing.

And here's the back, with some of the glitter in the top corners.  

So, I still need to sew a red leaf hood, a pixie skirt, and some pixie pockets, and make a goblin stone, a magical invisibility jewel, a faery necklace and of course, a wand!  Phew!

*   *   *

While I'm at it, I'm making a new sign for the Mulberry Lane Cafe.  My almost nine year old has lately shown an interest in 'secret' clubs and the like, wanting 'spy girl' items from school bookclub.  I went through this stage too, about the same age or a little older, and so my favourite books were of course, Enid Blyton's 'Secret Seven' and 'Famous Five'.  So I thought I'd try and get some of them for her, and was very chuffed to get hold of a new boxed set of the first ten 'Secret Seven' adventures for her upcoming birthday.

But...my beautiful girl is struggling a bit with school, and is having some trouble with spelling and maths (though not as much as SHE thinks she is).  She also told me last week that she doesn't like reading and sometimes just turns the pages and pretends during free-reading time at school.  This is something we will have to sort out, as it's far more to do with her confidence level than her actual ability...she reads perfectly well at home with me, but she gets flustered when she hits a word she doesn't immediately know.  She seems to think she SHOULD know everything, and is embarrassed and upset if she doesn't...and she thinks she's letting me down somehow.

It's hard to understand how I could not have noticed, and I feel bad, but I suppose I just presumed my children would be good at the things I was and probably not at the things I wasn't good at.  Silly really, but there you have it.  So as a life-long book lover, I buy books, beautiful children's books, whenever I see them on sale.  So she has lots of books sitting there, 'waiting for her to read them' is how she put it, and making her feel guilty because she isn't.  Oh dear, my poor little one, all this angst and pressure at only eight.  And she also got upset because she thought I had probably bought her books for her birthday and it would be MORE books waiting to be read.  And of course...I have!  I thought they would be perfect, and now...well, I realise they're not so perfect.

I know she can read, and I know that for me, and for so many other people, the love of books can be traced back to one book that as a child just grabbed our imaginations and made us want to read.  So I thought that perhaps, rather than presenting her with the whole, daunting set, I might just give her the first one to start with, to be read together with mummy so we can get through any hard words easily, and if it gets a bit too hard or too tiring, mummy can take over and she can listen.  And to help make it a little more fun, I'm making this.  Perhaps I'll make some special members' only badges like the Secret Seven have as well.  And maybe she'll let mummy be an auxiliary member...I can supply the 'lashings of ginger beer', and hugs whenever they're needed.


Valerianna said...

Beautiful finished faery outfit.. she looks magical! And the red wings are wonderful as well. Too bad your daughter is feeling stressed in school, I know just what she is feeling. I had a hard time with math and reading... got over the reading troubles a LOT earlier than the math, however. Still feel challenged with that! But now I am a voracious reader.... good luck to her and you in support of her!

Kathy said...

Awwww...what beautiful faery out fits.

Róisín said...

Aw! This post is so lovely! What little darlings...

Emerald Window said...

Oh Dear, Yes, Been there and done that on both the "can't read that" and the buying of books the kid didn't want to read.
My solutions...When I was young, I had a problem with big words too. Luckily I had a big brother who would read to me, but also a wise grandma who bought me a very simple kid's pocket dictionary. I kept it with me when I read and looked up the words I didn't know.
For my own kids - They got a lot more interested in reading when I took them to the bookstore and let them pick out their own book instead of me getting them the ones that I had loved as a child.

Crafts @ Home said...

What a beautiful fairy dress, wonderful pictures, I was an avid reader when I was little, however there were also times when I would turn pages over I hadn't completely read, in order to pretend I was a faster reader, it's a shame it has to be so public at times...

A mermaid in the attic said...

Thanks for the lovely comments everyone. Cenya, thanks for those ideas. I like the pocket dictionary solution, it might be good for later (I used to love looking things up), but at the moment the problem is not so much that she doesn't know what the big words mean (she actually has a very good vocabulary) but she doesn't recognise the word when it's written, and is too embarrassed to 'sound it out'. She usually knows the word and it's meaning, and uses it herself in speech. And she often breezes easily over words that I expect her to have trouble with and then gets stuck on something relatively simple because she hasn't come across it before. I think it's a lack of confidence to 'give it a go', she's scared of getting it wrong. And you're probably right about letting her choose, I need to let her discover for herself what she likes and not presume she'll like the same things I did!

Wayward Harper said...

She'll be fine I'm sure :) It definitely sounds like a confidence issue more than anything. It's great the problems been picked up now and not discovered later when she's older and when it would have been harder to fix. I remember when I was a senior at high school and helping out the year 7s with their reading, so many could barely read! She's got a wonderfully supportive mum and even if you have accidentally put bit of pressure on her, don't feel bad :) I know when I have kids I'll be just the same, wanting them to read all the awesome, inspiring books i read as a kid, famous five included, lol! I guess we just have to remember that some kids just aren't into books and that's ok too :) xx nadia ( i adore the fairy outfits! they've turned out so well, nice one!!)

Raven Moon Magic said...

Ohh cuteness, i love the natural colours and yes the pink thing is getting a bit out of hand, its the clothes others give us that are the worst, who knew there were so many shades of ugly pink in the world!!!

I know the exact stage your daughter is in, I blogged about it earlier in the year. I was desperate to find clues and solve mysteries but there never really were any except the ones I created, so I would draw maps and bury treasure, hide the map in a book!! (oh no books!) and find it after a few months, act surprised and go hunting for the treasure. Its one thing I will be doing for my daughter, is burying tins of treasure around the farm and drawing her maps, which I love, she will have the surprises I always wanted. So hide some treasures for your daughter, they will be the best memories ever xxx
Reading, Im trying to think, I used to teach kids in my after school programme and I did their homework with them, I used to make them break big hard words down by covering it with their finger and seeing it as smaller parts, when kids are distracted and dont want to read, or cant concentrate I get them to follow each word with their finger and I say out loud the word they cant read and then they say it too. It sounds like cheating but it gets the rythum back that she may have lost, which is sometimes more important than reading all the words.
my god I could go on!!
your wings are beautiful, i like them better than brought ones, the paint came out looking so smooth, nice work fairy tailor!
I cant wait to see more of this mysterious girls club, I love that kinda stuff, huts and clubs and secrets, oh my, yes yes love it

have a beautiful fairy filled day


Ruthie Redden said...

Yes it does indeed sound just like the confidence issue my lass had too, she was so good at covering it up i didn't realise for ages & felt so bad when i did. we made a wee dictionary & we would read together & if we came across a word she didn't know we would write it in her book, it was her ever growing book of new words she knew & made her pleased as punch she was gathering lots ;-) She is such an avid reader now. I sdore the faerie costume & cant wait to see the next x x

S said...

A book to keep in the back of your head for another year - or another read aloud one for you both - is Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh the plot summary is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_the_Spy. it was my sisters favourite book when she was a girl and she gave it to my daughter for her 8th birthday last year.
love the wings.

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