The birthday crafting which marks that fifth turn around the sun in our family, very nearly didn't get finished this time. It's a big one that one, we consider it a bit of a 'milestone' birthday and it is on that morning that you are ceremoniously presented with your Birthday Bunting and your Birthday Crown. At least that's the tradition we began nearly two and a half years ago when Evie turned five.
Being the sweet, compassionate boy that he is, Noah let me know that it was okay if I didn't get his 'flags' and crown made in time, that next year would be okay. Well, maybe, but no next year was not going to do. I knew how much that boy had been looking forward to receiving these things, he's talked of them often enough. Certainly the last couple of birthdays that Evie has celebrated have made him long for his special occasion when he would at last have bunting and crown of his own. I also know how important those things are to me and the way we roll as a family, so no, no way was I not having them ready. I'd stay up all night if I had to.
As it was, the bunting got finished and packed into our bags the day before we left for our Noosa holiday. You may remember my mention of this wee project here. As for the crown, I mapped out a very loose plan in my head and then stuffed an array of materials and supplies into a drawstring bag which then also got packed. I decided I would work on it in the after-hours during the days leading up to Noah's birthday and just prayed that the idea would come together.
Which brings me to mention that I am moving on from those Noosa posts, really I am. Today isn't really about our holiday, but more about this boy in my life who is growing up really fast! And we just happened to celebrate that occasion while we were on holidays so, yes, I guess there is a slight bit of overlap. Let's call it a delicate transition between Noosa holiday blogging and usual blogging, with a good dose of love, craft and pirates to boot.
There's something about this kid that just makes you look at him and gravitate toward him. It could be those dark, dark eyes paired with the blonde, surfie locks. Or his cheeky grin. But I think it's more, so much more. He's loving, sensitive, intelligent, articulate, seriously mischievous and a darn right crack-up! He comes out with 'one-liners' that leave your sides aching and tears streaming from laughing so hard. He's committed, determined and passionate. There's a lot of his Dad in him and I wouldn't change that for the world. He also challenges me in the most exhausting and frustrating ways. He's a busy one, always. He's in a hurry to get on with life and I am continually reminding him to breath and slow down. Well, if I'm honest, those are things we both need to practice, together.
I really did make the crown up as I went along. In the end I had to raid the "owners storage" cupboards at the holiday house and came away with an emergency sewing kit which provided an extra needle, some thread and erhum, shirt buttons that I required for securing the elastic band onto the front piece. That end result I'm not overly content with and have resolved to change those buttons over for something far more appealing before Noah's sixth birthday. I've got close to a year... I'm feeling confident I can get it done sometime in between now and then :) There was also a borrowed sewing machine from one of our friends that became a bit of a lifesaver in those final hours (thanks Ferny). I really don't think I would have made my deadline by relying solely on hand-stitching the crown pieces together. A little needle felting with the letter "N" and Noah's favourite animals, Pegasus and Wolf, some chain stitch to attach the ribbon and a few beaded embellishments here and there was about all my time frame allowed for. I decided the finished result was good enough and the shear delight on my boy's face the morning of his birthday totally sealed the deal. He loves his crown and he loves his bunting, and that my friends, is plenty good enough!
A quick mention of his gift (or not so quick as it turns out). I can't begin to describe how much fun I had putting this together. A fully kitted Explorer's Satchel, or Nature Bag as it has started to be referred to by Noah. The bag itself came from an army surplus store after conceding that I flat out, had no time left to make one. The contents you can pretty much see for yourself - a couple of field notebooks (one is waterproof), some specimen containers, a small mirror, compass, torch, whistle, enamel cup, a fold up spade and then three other items that require further explanation...
A length of rope with a pocket bushcraft book. The book had not arrived in time before our departure so I printed out the front cover as a promise of things to come. I plan on collecting all the books in this series by Richard H Graves, they look fabulous.
The pocket knife and leather holder. I know, I gave my five year old a knife! I really did. I thought about it and thought about it and then decided to go ahead. As he unwrapped it we spoke about how this part of his gift came with great responsibility and a few restrictions for the here and now. Like, he only ever uses it when we're together and we have practiced the safest method for opening and closing the blade. I want him to learn about how to handle and use a knife safely which is why I went ahead with it. We are all wanting to explore whittling so this is a small starting point before I get each of us a proper knife like this.
Next are the identification cards. Do you remember my mention of discovering this resource? Well, I printed out slightly bigger than postcard sized charts - a whole bunch of different ones - trimmed them down, laminated them, punched them through and then bound them together with a small hinged ring. Slipped into the bag, a quick flick through offers a quick, easy reference. And we have now discovered that the mushrooms that were growing underneath our trampoline during the early weeks of winter are NOT of the eating kind. Bugger!
Since those photos above were taken, a magnifying glass and a pair of binoculars were added to complete the kit - gifts from our Queensland friends. And a couple of pencils and pens that I forgot all about.
And finally, a celebration with friends was had. It was a low-key dinner for us adults to get together one last time before our flight home but most importantly, we coupled it into a little pirate themed party for the Birthday Boy. I didn't draw the treasure map (I wish!), that piece of beauty was penciled by my friend upon her arrival at the party with her boys. Gorgeous isn't it!?! She's just a bit of an Artist that one! And it was perfectly deciphered by a group of six treasure seekers! The reward...? Each pirate found a crystal inside it's own little pouch and hand chosen by Noah, plus a Banjo Bear. Also, another thanks to my friend, Tam, for the loan of her treasure chest :)
I have no doubt that this growing boy of mine loved his celebration and he is super proud to be five! And I in turn, am super proud of him.