My Sweet Valentine

For Valentine's Day this year, we pulled out an "archive" outfit - one of my childhood frocks.  The sweet little pink and white polka dot number was intended to be a baby dress.  As in, 6-9 months, I'm pretty sure.  But one of the perks of having au uber-petite little lady is that she can wear baby dresses like shirts.

We snuck outside for a few photos before heading to school, and the Valentine's Day party that was waiting for her.  Violet helped me craft little heart valentines for her friends the day before and was looking forward to handing them out.  They featured her favorite sweet treat, Dum-Dum suckers.  (Which also helped her survive yet another holiday centered around junk food.  Praise the Lord for Dum-Dums.)

And on that note... my sweet little Violet valentine...

Ah yes, and Mittens snuck out for a quick Valentine's day jaunt.  It's a little more thrilling on holidays, apparently.  


Essentials of Life: Stiletto Boots

From time to time (read: almost daily) Violet will mosey into my closet (read: sneak in) and try on some shoes (read: anything with heels).  

I came around the corner this morning and found THIS leaning up against the couch:  

Lord help us.  I should start a savings account now JUST for her shoe-fund.  And while we're starting savings accounts, perhaps one should be dedicated to the copious amounts of hair dye it will take to cover the grey hair I know is coming soon... cute shoes seem only to increase her sass level.  


Halfrows with Beads

Valentine's Day is next week and while I'm drooling over the elaborate heart-themed-styles some of the (very accomplished) hair gurus are taking on, I'm just not there yet.  So we decided that pink and red beads would be festive enough and created a mock headband of beads from ear to ear.

I ALMOST did flat twists (again) but made myself take another stab at cornrows... but this time only "halfrows".  This turned out to be fabulous for practice purposes, and we ended up with a pretty, creative, feminine style perfect for Valentine's Day.

Clearly, Violet has problems loving herself... :)  It is hilarious how much confidence is NOT an issue with her.  I'm hoping it stays this way for a long... long... long... time.

Here's an up close shot of the latest cornrow skills.  Not fabulous, but definitely getting better each time.  The beads were easy to anchor, I just banded the cornrow with a bit of the "free hair" behind it, and the rubber band kept the bead in place.  After a week, only two beads worked their way over the bands.  

Once again, she helped me pick out the outfit for these "style photos" and she was VERY excited about the shoes.  They were the shoes she wore at Halloween with her ice-cream cone outfit.

It obviously isn't a totally protective style (the whole back of her head is unprotected) BUT it is one we'll do again for things like holidays, plays/productions, photos, etc as the headband is extremely striking and the rows make the detail work look more impressive than it actually is!

Every style is fun, but the ones I adapt and get creative with are the most rewarding.  As I'm getting more comfortable in this role of "stylist", my nerves are calming and my imagination is starting to take off... I sense a bunch of new styles in our future!   


Bantu Knots

I have literally been looking forward to this style since months (years) before I met Violet.  It's one of those traditional African fascinations for me - spunky, beautiful, proud, playful and sophisticated.  I believe the country of origin is West Africa, but the style can be seen all over the continent.

I took Violet's braids out after a week and was surprised at the not-so-hot braid out... instead of leaving the braid out as I had originally planned, I just kept the part lines and re-moisturized each section, banding it into a bantu knot.  It was quick work and really (really) fun.  

I love her long graceful neck, and this perpetual "up do" only emphasizes her beautiful lines.  It just suits her somehow... the fiesty, playful, fierce little girl I get to call daughter.  

The knots themselves are very simple to make.  I twisted the section of hair over and over until it started "twisting over itself" at the base.  Then each coil I added went UNDERNEATH the rest of the stack, forcing the existing coils upwards.  The ends are tucked in and many knots stayed in place without bands.  To make sure we lasted the week though, I added loose rubber bands at the base of each knot.  

She slept easily in them (they move easily, laying on their side with the slightest pressure).  In fact, my biggest irritation with this style was that each morning the knots were pointing in every possible direction.  At first I attempted to fix this, then realized that it looked just as cute that way.  As usual, me "chilling out" is the key to us enjoying a style.  I'm learning, I'm learning.

She loves her knots.  This is absolutely a style we'll be doing again in the future!  And next time, I'm thinking triangle parts.