Sometimes I feel compelled to shut out the world of commercialized characters – I want to hide under a rock and shield my kids from having logo branded toothbrushes, lunch boxes, underwear, sneakers, hats, shirts, coloring books,Band-Aids, action figures, jackets and everything else.
It’s not that I am a complete partypooper (okay maybe I am) it’s just there is so much STUFF with, let’s say, a certain man turned spider on it. For lots of reasons all this STUFF starts to overwhelm me. I know that these comic book characters, video game characters, movie characters are really important to kids – they inspire, bond and excite them. But this herd of merchandising is also a multi billion dollar machine that seeks to take over the hearts, minds and wallets of our wee lads and lasses. They compound stereo types, promote violence, gender conforming and commercialism – joy!
Unless you want to your kid be a walking advertisement where do you draw the line? I guess my tactic is to insert creativity into the mix a much as possible – I often talk to the kids about inventing our own superhero characters, we have fun drawing, bestowing powers and acting out the roles of our very own captain super people. I draw our own coloring pages with super kids for us to color. I have even wagged fingers at Grandma’s in my efforts to minimize super hero’s daily impact – sorry Mom! I also try to turn their desires into craft projects – such as these Angry Bird inspired applique shirts.
Did I stay up late stitching these, yes – am I crazy YES. I could have said no, I could have bought them for $20 – but somehow somewhere in my mind it just seemed the right thing to do. The kids wanted Angry Birds shirts so being the dorky crafty Mom I am I said “Let’s make some”. They chose their favorite birds and we made a sketch together of what it should look like. They diligently colored their sketches. We then made a bigger pattern together that would completely cover the printing that was already on the shirt just like I did on this project. We gathered colored T-shirt scraps and cut out our pattern pieces. Next came the late night stitching! I must say I am quite smitten with stitching t-shirt scraps, the results are fantastic and the materials (unlike snazzy wool felts) are FREE. Again, many thanks to Natalie Chanin!
The kids are way psyched which is pretty cool too.
So much so that the very next day I was commissioned to make a ninja mask
Wherever you are in your battle of good and evil – may the crafty force be with you!