This week, my baby sister (I'm the oldest of four girls) begins a new and exciting adventure - traveling across the country and landing herself in southern California to stay. I told her she wasn't allowed to leave (that's what big sisters do) - we're bossy like that), but she has fully ignored me (that's what little sisters do - minds of their own, I tell you). So what's to be done, but send her off full of merriment and love? That's just what we've been doing a lot of these last days - with lots of hugs and laughter, a few tears and a Skype account set up and ready to go.
The kids and I put together this wrap as part of her send-off. I searched so hard for that tiny scrap of Heather Ross bus fabric in my scraps! It's a nod to our family VW Vanagon and all the adventures we had in it. Namely, the ones during which she pulled my hair and I threw my pillow at her all the way to Florida. And back. Good family fun.
The wrap itself is a slight variation on my Gratitude Wrap (a free tutorial for it lives in my sidebar to your right), and inside is all that's needed to 'keep in touch' - a journal, stamps, pens, address book, and a whole lot of postcards.
During the making, I set the table up with a big stack of watercolor paper, cut to 4 by 6". Everyone chose their method of work, and before I knew it, the table was busy with watercolors, markers, collage, and the sewing machine to boot (stitching paper onto the cards). Good (chaotic and messy) fun.
I love what they made. Each unique to them, and their relationship with their Auntie Ba. Fun, inspirational, totally silly, and heart wrenching too (do you see that, "please come home for Christmas" collage? Ack!).
Not only did we end up with a whole lot of postcards (I think she could mail one every day for a year), as her gift, but it served as the catalyst for lots of conversation - about change, family, love, and... airplanes (no, we can't buy one).
The whole process helped them understand - in a tangible way - that we'll be connected no matter where we are. It was such a treat to make - I think it might make a lovely gift in other situations too, and really involve kids in the process of keeping in touch with faraway friends and family.
On the back, I stamped just a few words I hope she remembers on her journey - Live, Love, Laugh, Breathe, Write It Down. Just a little bit of life advice, whether she wants it or not. Because, you know, that's what big sisters do.