A while back I got this goofy idea to take “back to school” photos for my kids.* I am now fully aware this is a bit silly of me, but school pictures were a ritual I enjoyed as a child. I asked Phoenix what she’d like me to sew up for a school picture dress and she voted for something vintage and sedate and suggested the photo be taken in a historical setting like the Aberdeen Museum of History (which she’s been asking to visit for some time).
I asked Nels and he said he wanted, well…
So, Phoenix & Nels Hogaboom, “academic year” 2010:
Phoenix’s dress is from Vogue 2448, a pattern about 60 years old. It was so fun to sew up and has many lovely details! I only regret I had to produce such a work of art in such inexpensive, Joanns-sale fabric. I am starting to realize my sewing skills would best be served by higher-end fabrics. That does not make me MORE able to afford them.
Nels’ deer suit was a self-drafted pattern and is complete (incongruously) chenille fawn-spots and bound-buttonhole -removable antlers. I hand-dyed the corduroy to get it a darker color than the camel I purchased (again, a not-so-hot Joann’s buy). I also dyed the chenille to change its brilliant-white to an ivory. Then I washed the whole business in warm on accident and the brown bled into the chenille. This will likely come out. Or it won’t. Nels doesn’t mind at all. You can see some details of the little corduroy deer in the Flickr tagset.
I had this idea to take sedate and unsmiling photographs of the children, seated at a desk or somewhere stodgy. There were certainly great sitting opportunities at the Museum but it turned out my kids aren’t so into sitting. I have a bunch of very blurry pictures of them smiling really big as they run to a different exhibit. They really enjoyed the Museum (which is as you might expect rather prosaically grownup); I hadn’t been there since I was my daughter’s age and I was pleased to see it is still very much alive with volunteer efforts and grant-writing and such. They’d even edged some Kurt Cobain around the more typical logging fare you see around here; now that can’t have been a decision without controversy (you might be surprised how vitriolic some local residents, especially those older than forty, feel about the man and his music).
Ralph and the kids liked the little theater best (it seats only 21):
We hit the park afterward.
Then we got home and I made some tasty Vietnamese cuisine and we had friends over and washed the dishes and – now? It’s suddenly beer-thirty! (Because seriously, my friend J. just told me the health benefits of dark beers like Guinness are “well-documented”. Sounds good to me!)
Today at Flickr: [ link ]
* When I thought it over I became far less interested in this idea but still quite invested in sewing what my children and I had planned. OK well, they gave me their ideas and then I obsessively planned the sewinz. Because I am a Try-Hard.
These are FAN-freakin-TASTIC photos, Kelly! It was like seeing stills from a Wes Anderson movie.
I love the Aberdeen Museum. The rehearsal dinner for my wedding 8 years ago was held there and it is a very cool place to throw a party– and apparently to take school pictures, too.
I would say “Beauty and the Beast,” but that makes it sound like Nels isn’t beautiful too. 🙂 What a fun idea, and I love your sewing accomplishments.
Fun photos. I think that the act of taking “school photos” for your non-school-attending children has a positive significance. While I don’t think their “school years” would be impoverished without them, school photos are a part of the annual rites of passage in mainstream U.S. culture. Your playful treatment of the school photo theme is just another way you guys have hogaClan smeared all over your life (in a good way).
Thank you for the compliments, ladies.
Where did you have your dinner? It seems that building has many rooms/areas beyond what we saw. I didn’t think of having an Event there but it seems pretty cool now that I think about it. Like a Halloween party!
“Beauty and the beast”, I love it. By the way, by the time I finished the deer costume Nels had forgotten he wanted it (this happens sometimes). At the park yesterday he peevishly complained about the tail being in the way of his swinging. I said, “Do you not like the costume? Do you want to give it to someone else?” (not passive-aggressively, promise). And he clutched it and looked at me with very big eyes and said “No, mama!”
What’s weird is although the kids love my sewing they hardly ever come in and engage and tell me what to do and what not to do, which would be totally welcome on my part.
I have a few thoughts on why I second-guess my “school-pictures” impulse but I agree with you, this little ritual was a positive thing. Now am I going to print them out for the kids to pass out to friends? I’d like to believe so. We’ll see!
That picture of Nels on the couch is amazing! I LOVE it!
Thanks so much – I had the best laugh when I scrolled down to see L’il Antlers there. Your kids are wonderful.
A news brief from 2003 on the flavonoid benefits of dark beer and wine
I’m going to share that with Ralph. Thank you. I want to be a Booze Scientist.
I went to a luncheon once at the Aberdeen Museum. There were over 100 people at the luncheon/auction. It was a very interesting place to shlum around with people who are becoming acquaintances. mama
As always a joy to read and view. The kids school photos are a hit.
Oh Nels, you are brilliant. 🙂
These are fantastic, particularly Nels on the couch. They are so expressive of the children’s personalities and loves. Far superior to the school portraits that inspired them.
Beautiful work (the outfits and the photography both) and a charming adventure.
Thank you. I have a $100 tiny camera with a broken battery hinge. Sad-face. One day I hope to get a really nice camera because I think I’d be able to get some good stuff.
I love the one of Nels on the couch so much I feel bad I didn’t get a better one of my daughter. But she really was running around and having a great time, and I guess that’s more important than making her sit and look winsome! I GUESS.
these are too awesome. perfection back-to-“school” pics. 🙂
What a great idea! I’m going to steal it. “Kindergarten” pics here we come. I’ll most likely have to buy something though. Otherwise she’ll say something like, “Dad…this isn’t an outfit. It’s a pillow case with holes in it and socks paperclipped to it with the toes cut out.”
“Do you want pictures or not?”
For some reason that reminds me of:
I remember that one fateful day when Coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. “You don’t have to tell me,” I said. “I’m off the team, aren’t I?” “Well,” said Coach, “you never were really ON the team. You made that uniform you’re wearing out of rags and towels, and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times.” It was all true, what he was saying. And yet, I thought something is brewing inside the head of this Coach. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can mold. But that’s when I felt the handcuffs go on.