We’re halfway through these 24 little pictures, marking 24 days of anticipation. “If I had known you were going share them with other people, I would have made made them better,” she told me. But I assured her that her unintentional confidence, the spontaneous delight that inspired her to draw them in the first place is exactly why they are so charming to me. For the record, she’s cool with me posting the pictures, but once she realized her tiny audience was suddenly expanded to include a great teeming throng of strangers (or, rather: a little handful. I don’t suppose very many people read along here.) a little self-consciousness crept in, and she doubted herself.
We can hold ourselves up to such severe measure, our self-criticism can cover the joy we get from the things we make and do. It’s good to be held accountable, to receive feedback, to feel a part of something bigger; there are lots of reasons to share our work. But I would like to practice pausing in that unaware, comfortable place where the making itself is good enough.
Today, that girl of mine is making Tasha Tudor inspired gingerbread cookies. We love Tasha Tudor for her children’s books and illustrations, but we admire her for her lifestyle. We have the Christmas book, Forever Christmas, in our decent Holiday book collection, and it is a sure favorite. We all thumb through the book every December -the pictures are beautiful- but I think only my daughter reads the whole thing through (that girl always reads all the words).
And, just like Tasha Tudor, my girl is cutting out animal shapes by hand, no cookie cutters for her, just a knife and an idea. The original idea is to make ornaments, but I’m not sure if they’ll be hung on the tree at our house, or summarily gobbled by the maker herself and taste testing little brother #1. (#2 isn’t eating cookies yet, so much.)
(just cut fox. freehand! so good, right?! this little fox is in the oven right now in the company of: a rabbit, a duck, a cat, a star, a TARDIS and a dalek. yeah, even our charming comes with a hefty side of Nerd. she has more dough and more ideas. I’ll try to take pictures when they’re all done, particularly if they make their way all the way to our Christmas tree.)