February 3

Tonight I'm in need of some birthday opinions from you all.

*James turns four next month, and I'm stumped on a gift for him. Any suggestions? Our criteria are: nothing electronic/battery operated, nothing plastic, and probably not vehicle-related (we have so much of that already). So those of you with little guys, what are some things that have gone over well?

*Also with a four-year-old in mind: can you share some of your favorite books? We like to give one book for each birthday, and despite going over the Chinaberry catalog with a fine-tooth comb, I don't have any inspiration.

*And finally, I'm looking for opinions about colors and ribbon for Fiona's birthday crown. (You can see our other birthday crowns here to get an idea of the style I'll be making.) The main color is definitely going to be green. I'm a synesthete, and I "see" colors associated with letters, numbers, names, and people. Fiona's color (for me) is a sort of spring or apple green.

(Sorry that the color in these is kind of bad -- it's been overcast the last couple days, but hopefully you can still get an idea.)

So, I have these two greens:


The darker one is pretty much avocado and the lighter one is more toward chartreuse. I wish I had one that was really the color I had in mind, but I want to use plant-dyed felt for this project and these are the only two greens I can get, unfortunately.

And these are some possible secondary color and ribbon combinations:


This one combines the chartreuse green, a salmon orange, and a 1.25"-wide vintage ribbon that my mother-in-law gave me a couple years ago. I like this combination a lot, although the ribbon is wider than I've used before, and the combinations is not super feminine. Fiona is such a dainty baby that I do want her crown to be feminine, so I'm not sure on this one.


This one combines the avocado green, a rose pink, and a 7/8"-wide vintage ribbon that I got from Les Bon Ribbon a couple years ago. This combination is much more feminine, which I like, but I'm a bit concerned that the blue and pink ribbon doesn't coordinate with the green and pink felt very well.


This one combines the avocado green,the salmon orange, and a cute ribbon I got in New York last year. I really like this combination, but my concern with it is that the ribbon is too narrow and that it's a kind of juvenile look -- maybe she won't like it when she's older? (Like 6, 7, 8 -- in that girlie-girl phase).


This combination combines the chatreuse green, a soft violet (much softer than it looks here, but not pastel, if that makes sense), and a 7/8"-wide linen floral ribbon that was also from my trip to New York. I have all but ruled this option out. Elisabeth thinks the violet is too dark, and I feel like the ribbon looks washed out on the darker felt. I really love the ribbon, but I'm not sure it's right for this project.


This last combination pairs the avocado green and rose pink again, with the widest ribbon of all of them -- at least 1.5" wide, maybe even 2" (sorry, I don't have it nearby right now -- but it's really wide). I don't remember where I originally got this ribbon, but I've had it a long time. It's "fancier" -- with the gold in it -- which might be popular with my little girl at some point. Elisabeth doesn't like this ribbon, and I was so unenthusiastic about the ribbon on James's crown (which is sort of similar), that I'm just not sure.

OK, now it seems like I hate all these options. I'm not really that negative! It's just that I'm feeling indecisive about this -- I really want it to look beautiful! Maybe it's just that I don't like either of the green felt options and should go another direction with that. Anyway, thoughts?

::So, to recap (please don't be shy): gift for four-year-old boy? Book for four-year-old? Opinions on the crown?::

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!!