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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Saturday, 7 July 2007
Ok, admit it! If you are married you had a corny wedding song, right? Right? Well, we did. And that was it (see title).
But I was thinking about my inspiration for my work at Beneath the Rowan Tree, really thinking about it so that I can keep on track and continue to develop pieces that are in line with my vision. It is so easy to be side-tracked with so many creative ideas and a shifting market for kid's stuff.
I think my obvious first inspiration is my daughter Rowan. She has cemented for me the many principles that I have held in my years of doing ministry with children ~ their value and the importance of them BEING children. Childhood is not something to survive and get the hell out of ~ it is a crucial time for becoming, for wonder and exploration. Our task as Rowan's parents is to create a safe space where she can roam physically, spiritually and mentally to become a responsible, sensitive, respectful person. And that is never easy. We all know that. You just begin to feel it resonate in your BONES when you become a parent.
With these things in mind we have always chosen clothing that is comfortable, as natural (natural fibers) as possible, and that don't restrict little girls into rigid expectations of gender and femininity. I resolutely refuse to buy or use licensed clothing ~ and believe me, trying to find a pair of girls sandals for less than $25 that do not have princesses, Dora, high heels or flashing lights proved impossible! We bought neutral boy sandals.
As we are a non-tv house (ok, that's not true, Andy and I watch too much, but Rowan is on a very limited tv allowance, maybe 15 minutes twice a week) we are spared (so far) the cries of 'Dora! Winnie the Pooh!' when we do shop. I was so tickled when Rowan saw Mickey Mouse on a shirt and simply pointed out that he was 'a mouse' rather than The Mouse.
All of these choices feed into my designing clothing for babies and toddlers at BTRT ~ I want parents to have options that are fun, bright, affordable and good quality but that can also allow the children a little more time before they are indundated as little consumers in a cut-throat market vying for their attention and dollars.
So I use images that children like: Hippos and butterflies. Puppies and mice. These images, accompanied by bright and complementary colours encourage imagination ~ they are an invitation to learn and tell stories (the muddy puppy posted earlier this week just begs for a story about what he has been up to!). They are pictures of the creatures and ideas that populate their little worlds and make them feel a part of it.
I am scouting out organic fabric opportunities and right now I endeavor to use fair trade products whenever I can do so.
Thanks for reading these ramblings, putting them down helps me to continue to eke out my vision for Beneath the Rowan Tree and keep the ideas of wonder, whimsy and imagination at the forefront, which are, in fact, the feelings that come to mind whenever I picture the little rowan tree in our yard and our times beneath it!

5 comments:

Addi Layne Designs said...

I knew I liked you for a reason ;) We are the same page on parenting! I believe my sole purpose in life are my babies and everything I eat, breath and "sew" I do for them! Im truely amazed everyday that I was chosen to have the gift of being a parent. It does change your world....for the better!

Well said ;)

knitsteel said...

I like to hear about your inspiration. I have caved in to some of the character clothing, but in general, I discourage it. Even though my kids do watch movies, I just don't feel comfortable paying money to advertise someone's product. That's the same thing I tell my kids. The manufacturers can pay us.

Lori said...

Thanks to you both, I appreciate that :) And I know I can say all this with a 22 month old ~ it will get more difficult LOL

sohobeads said...

Love your blog...I added your link to mine...Hope you enjoy reading mine as much as I have yours!! Carol

Cara said...

Love this post! :)

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