The 'Less is More' Birthday

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 06:56

I'm struggling against 'stuff' right now. I need space, not 'stuff', in my world. Space in my head and in my house. 
 I think I'm not the only one. Cherie over at You and Mie summed up much of what I feel with her 'Year of Less', post
 And I've noticed that I'm not alone among my online friends in slowing down with blogging. My motivation to create more dresses for Missy has waned. The world, and this little girl, do not need more dresses.
But  my 'Less is More' outlook faced a Big Challenge; Missy's birthday.

If there's one thing designed to bring an avalanche of 'stuff' into the home it's a little girl's fifth birthday. 
 "Please!"begged Mr As it Seams. "Don't do a party for Missy that brings loads of pink, sparkly plastic into our house!"

And, I was really hearing him. How many new toys create a thrill for half an hour, before spending the rest of their life beneath another heap of toys in a cupboard, or just become 'another thing to pick up.'  
It then it struck me, with simple logic. If I want to de-clutter, then I should start by not allowing all this junk into my home in the first place. 
But it's not easy to put a wall up against the 21st century onslaught of 'stuff', especially when I do also want to make Missy's birthday special.
She is quite simply an utter delight. She makes me laugh all the time.  Here's her description of a promise:

Me; Do you promise to leave the park nicely when I say it's time to go?
Missy; Yes
Me; Do you know what a promise is?
Missy; Yes, but sometimes I don't hold on to my promises very tightly and they fly away.
Me; You left the park very nicely
Missy; Yes, the arms in my brain held on to the promise really well.

 So how did this birthday pan out...?

In a couple of hours I made her this little nurses costume. It's an old sheet cut up, self drafted pattern, to make a little apron with pocket. It's trimmed with blue gingham flat piping, and the yoke of the apron is fully lined and interfaced to make it a little 'stiff and starchy' and nurse like.

This isn't perfectionist sewing, there are lots of loose threads and quick improvised top stitching. But hey, this is a five-year-old dress-up box addition., not perfection! And my 'space' thing is about my time too... I need to de-clutter my week. And she loved it, of course.

 I cut up the rest of the sheet to make bandages, and she loved bandaging up teddies. Sadly no pix - but again..... I'm keeping things simple. Just this sweet pic, of my Little Missy doing her funny dancing, encouraged by her brother, making us all smile. Wouldn't this little nurse brighten your day??

Of course, it felt like a rather simple (and cheap present) so we also gave her a bird feeder and some bird seed  - because then it can be outside our house. And hopefully we'll enjoy watching the birds all spring.

We had a little tea party and played games with her friends. Missy dressed as a flower fairy (hurrah - she wore last year's birthday outfit, having rejected it a year ago).
It was Mother's Day here in the UK, so we made little pansy baskets with Missy and all her friends. Here's Missy's one for me. 

We gave all of the children a packet of sunflower seeds to take home as their party gift.
Afterwards Missy and I planted up our sunflowers in the birthday party cups! How's that for keeping things green and sustainable! Here they are complete with Missy's 'sunflower' labels. 

We're so ready for spring here! It's still cold and windy, but when those sunflowers turn into 6ft golden glories I'll be sharing pictures here. And so there we have it. The Birthday of Less. Lots of fun and magic, and proving that we can have a party without lots of 'stuff.'

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  1. Oh Wow! I love it.
    After spending the night in hospital with Misha last weekend (she fell off a pony), she has decided she wants to be a nurse when she is bigger. So, I think I need to make her one of these. ;-)

  2. Totally agree on not bringing in tons of toot into the house at birthday time. At Christmas I had to be strict with relatives wanting to spoil my three rotten. Xmas is for shared pressies and hopefully birthdays will get less commercial too. Love her little costume, she looks very cute.

  3. Totally agree on not bringing in tons of toot into the house at birthday time. At Christmas I had to be strict with relatives wanting to spoil my three rotten. Xmas is for shared pressies and hopefully birthdays will get less commercial too. Love her little costume, she looks very cute.

    1. Hi Louise
      It's hard when relatives want to be generous, and I didn't want to be mean-spirited, but our house is tiny, and I'm so tired of toys that just end up as endless bits all over the place. I try to have a conversation with my family about gift ideas, but it's getting hard to think of things!

  4. Very, very well done. We are having a laid-back Easter this year. Well, not so much oney wise as the kids will get a swing for our garden, but they won't get anything else. We will have this swing for years and years to come and I know that they both will just love it. Much better than just more toys that they won't actually play with!
    Btw.: The nurse costume is so good. I will have to remember it for R's birthday in September!

    1. Thanks Annika. And a swing is a great present! Sadly our small garden is a steep slope. The nurse costume was very easy - a simple gift

  5. You know, funny you should post this because I've been thinking recently about sewing a few items for the kid's dress up. Joe spends SO MUCH TIME in his pirate costume, it really is one of the most worn things in the house! Ha! I love gifts that are simple, green, and foster imaginative play. I am already dreading Easter with the family because I know there will be an explosion of plastic crap.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!
      It's really hard to keep 'stuff' out of the house, and our home is tiny, so I'm getting tough!
      But costumes keep on going with play value - and this was really easy. Would love to see anything you create?

  6. Perfect pressie if you ask me :) Anything that offers open-ended play is IT in my eyes. And it sure looks like Missy is enjoying it! Sounds like she had a wonderful B'Day party :) Looking forward to seeing the flowers once they grow up!

    1. Thanks Jenya! The sunflowers have popped up and are on their way!

  7. I love this! Her nurse costume is just darling. Less is more has been on my mind lately as well, I adore the idea of flowers as a parting gift, it's lovely.

  8. I've been feeling like that too. And I am trying to declutter everyday. Keeping things simple is sometimes hard when everywhere we turn we are bombed with thing "we need" to have to help our lives getting better, but truly, the less the better... more and more sure about it.


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