Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures in creative photography, raising two kids, writing, living with chronic illness, raising a daughter with dyslexia, and swimming with mermaids. Hope you have a nice stay!

A truth about the disability-life.  Life is bigger than disability.  A big mistake in many mainstream stories happens when they make a character's life all about their disability.  Their disability takes center stage.  And management, personality, and decisions are driven by their limitations.  Frustration.  Anger.  Inspiration.  All rooted in their disability. The reality is that, yes, disability is important.  Limitations matter.  At the same time, between flare ups, life happens.  And life often has little to do with limitations.  That may be what people find inspiring.  That we not only persevere, we thrive.  Yet, from inside this world, once symptoms calm into the background, they no longer matter.  I don't spend days fighting and lamenting my fate.  I enjoy the opportunities and gifts that are unique to my world.

This year I am going above and beyond for the holidays.  My friend, Asia, and I started a little Etsy shop a couple of months ago.  Forest Fairy Crafts is whimsical crafting for children.   Right now it is very small (only two listings :)).  But we have plans.  Asia is an incredible artist.  She and I have worked together at NCSA for eleven years, creating treasures with hundreds of children.  We've developed specific projects and stories that make sense to children.  This year, she is hosting a both at our local Victorian Christmas street faire and I said, "Sure, I'd love to help out!"

Then last night I had the nightmare, the dream where it was two weeks away and I have nothing.  Nothing to offer.  And I woke up and it wasn't a dream!

So I'm busy creating patterns for Victorian Christmas.  I'm cleaning out my closet where my craft supplies have been heaped in corners.  So far, so good.  Anika is inspired to create her own treasures.  She sewed sequins all over a felt tree ornament.  She wants to join the fun.

I'll be fine.  I know where I'm going.  I just have to get there :).

I want to pattern The Easy Angel, The Child Angel, The Fairy Family, Easiest Felt Ornaments, Fancy Felt Ornaments, and Stuffed Felt Ornaments.  Not much, really.  Really?

Phew, I'm tired just writing about it.  Oh, then we are studying owls in Dragonfly and I thought it would be fun to conclude the unit with an owl fingerpuppet, so I'll be maing that pattern this week, too.  And eighteen fingerpuppets with kindergarten and first grade students.  No wonder I feel overwhelmed. :)

But it's good work.  Distracts me from the lingering pain in my side and worries.  And creating is beautiful-fun.  I love sharing crafty ideas.  Everyone should be able to make angels for the holidays.

Forest Fairy Angels

These angels were made by Dragonfly students last year.

And I made this family for my niece.

Forest Fairy Family

These fairies are a little more sophisticated because I wrapped the arms and legs with embroidery thread.  But really, all the fairies need is pipe cleaners, felt, petals, wood beads for their heads, and imagination.  They're fun to make and give.

Now, to create the patterns . . .  :)

Angels and Owls and 4:30am

A Better Day