this is the story of schmu; a baby named owen michael who was born on september 10, 2013 to my cousin kelly and her husband todd.
why is this story about some “schmu” character you ask? well when kelly told me she was pregnant, she said that she and todd had decided not to find out the baby’s gender and wanted to be surprised. in a very un-me outburst, i got all flustered when she told me and said i needed to know so i could start shopping immediately. i mean, how is a true themester supposed to craft up a theme gift without knowing if it’s a little man or woman i’m shopping for? my outburst turned into me saying this surprise was gender neutral, schmeutral bullshit, which in turn i summed up as schmu… and so a nickname was born!
when i got the invitation for the shower this summer, i found out it had a book theme. kelly loves to read, and books can last a lifetime, so i was on board. right away my wheels started turning and i was brainstorming ways to interpret this book theme in an unconventional way. there’s so many factors when i come up with a theme- who it’s for, the party theme, colours that will work, etc. yellow and green seem to be the go-to gender neutral colours, so i immediately thought i needed to go in a different direction. being a designer, i’m big on colour and have a tendency to lean towards unconventional colour palettes.
the colour red came to mind because its not typically associated with cute little teeny tiny babies. playing on the book theme i immediately thought of the story little red riding hood. the story, combined with the colour red seemed to be a great way to build on a theme that was still based on the book idea. when i first thought of the idea, i was basically thinking of just a basket filled with goodies wrapped in red…. well, that was just the beginning and this gift took on a life of it’s own. i read the little red riding hood story (or lrrh, as my mom and i would call it while discussing the gift) and decided to incorporate the story into the gifts. with my mom’s help, we broke the story apart, i designed tags, and they were tied to gifts separately in order to tell the story. check out a few photos…
some must-have wrapping supplies for this woodsy-red basket:
- bakers twine
- kraft paper
- paper doilies
- washi tape
this gift took on a life of its own and ended up being from all the ladies in my family- myself, my mom and my two sisters who were not in town for the shower. i’ve inherited my wrapping/theme-loving/gift-giving gene from my mom- i mean she has a designated wrapping room at my parents house! since we both love this type of thing, my mom wanted in on my gift. she did a lot of the shopping, and prepping for the final product. she cut out all the burlap to make a mini bunting. i got her to trim it with a kiddie apron i found at value village that we cut apart. there was just enough of the checkered pattern with the lace trim showing to jazz up the bunting. i cut out felt letter that my mom sewed on and we strung them all together with some red and white bakers twine.
the tags were numbered so kelly could take open them in order and read the story of schmu; our very own little red riding hood.
in case curiosity has you asking the full story we wrote, here it is (along with the accompanying gifts).
- once upon a time there was a mommy and a daddy having a little gender neutral schmeutral baby we will call Schmu. (red baby gap hoodie)
- one day schmu decided to visit grandma who lived in a house in the woods. schmu had quite the journey ahead… (red boots & socks)
- … along the way schmu passed some cute little woodland creatures and made some new friends. (stuffed hedgehog)
- in the woods, not all the creatures were nice, especially the wolf… (stuffed wolf hand puppet)
- … the sneaky wolf ran ahead of schmu to grandma’s house, got rid of grandma, and climbed into grandma’s cosy bed. (blanket knit by my mom)
- schmu arrived shortly after and didn’t recognize the wolf, as the wolf was dressed in Grandma’s clothes tucked in bed. (onesie)
- schmu looked at the wolf dressed as grandma and said – “grandma – what big teeth you have – and the wolf replied ” the better to eat you with”. (felt toothfairy pillow made by my mom for when schmu grows up) – it’s like the ones below, but with red cheeks and stitching
- schmu realized this was not grandma, and ran from the cottage. in the woods schmu ran into a kind woodsman who was building toys. (wooden toy car made by my dad)
- schmu said “help me please! the terrible wolf has my grandma, and he is trying to eat me”. the woodsman grabbed his handy tool ran went to the house and killed the wolf. (fisher price toy hammer)
- schmu was so relieved to see grandma again. once they were safe and happy, schmu & grandma sat down for a delicious picnic lunch. (baby cookies… who knew there was such a thing?)
- they all lived happily ever after and now schmu will always have a best bedtime story. The end. (little red riding hood story book)