Monday, January 30, 2012

Kid's Craft Idea: Clothes Design

You have to admire children for their honesty.

I made a simple skirt which was a little too drab for my expressive four year old. "We need some decorations" she told me. So she pulled up a chair and said "Okay now, let's get to work." After scrounging around through my button collection and fabric off-cuts she soon came up with a pocket design of her own to jazz up her new skirt. And I can honestly say, I'm glad this little girl knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell me so.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...

*The rain
*Midday naps with cuddles from my girls

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poppy's Work Space

I am so amazed at how kids want to learn and how they WILL learn no matter what. I had little to do with this situation but I love the place that we're at.

The other day, Poppy decided to set up her own work space (under no influence from me). So I got the small table and chair we had just painted and made it into a desk. She put it in her room and set it up with tins full of pens and a basket full of exercise books and sat down to draw. Today she was in there again, she announced, "Ok, now I'm going to do some work," and off she went. I gave her one task, to draw her favourite place. It was Australia Zoo so she drew all the animals she saw and added some text, I wrote the names of the animals and she practiced writing them herself. 

I am amazed. Poppy is, by her own will and initiative, teaching herself and forming her own patterns and rituals, with little direction from me. And this coincides with the beginning of the school term, in which Poppy would be starting kindergarten. My mind is at ease now. How wonderful it is watching her grow and learn here in our home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Play Mat

Do you have 10 minutes to spare? This sewing project might suit you and make your life a bit easier.

It's simply a mat for playing LEGO or blocks or puzzles on. I had one when I was a kid and until my kids just used a blanket or table cloth. It is much easier to pack up at the end and gives the kids a fun and defined space to play in. I loved these LEGOish colours in this fabric, and I only need 1 square meter of fabric which cost me $5. Then quickly doubled over the edges and sewed a seem with a straight line.

 You could make it as fun as you want with applique pictures or attaching words like I did or you could add a drawstring to convert this mat into a bag at the end.

LEGO just got more fun.

Lessons Learned in Mess

Painting with the girls is absolute Choas! There's shouting, dropping of things, requests, demands, glue in mouths, hair, spills, messes to wipe up and paint EVERYWHERE! These are the things I often remember before I get the paint out. But amongst the chaos, so many lessons are being learned; what does red and yellow and white make when mixed together? what will happen if i paint over this? or on that? or spread it with my hands?... or put it on my face? Also, is this ok that I am getting messy? Do I like the look or feel of this? Is this good?

I am learning too... I am learning that mess can be good, choas can be healthy, staying calm can let my kids know that this is good, this is fun and there are no rules here! I'm also learning to let go and just watch. Even though I want to get involved and I have my own ideas of what should go where and what colours would look great, I have to keep my mouth shut. This is not my artwork and my values may not be theirs, I am only assistant to the artists providing the tools (I imagine this is true for most home education). I am so amazed, these kids are teaching themselves and growing more confident in their freedom! And I am learning new ways to do things too by just watching.

And here I am again, surprised and inspired by the creativity and originality of my own children! Never mind the mess!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trunks with Trunks!

Ha ha! The puns are coming. More shorts for Angus. Elephants, because they are so cute and cotton because it is so darn hot right now. See previous post for simple directions on how to make shorts like these.

Pretty Play Bag

My girls love little bags to collect things, take when we go out (or pretend to) or just to wear like Mum. Here's one I made for my two year old. Its really quick and easy to make and I made it from off-cuts of old material and leftover ribbon.

Cut a rectangle of material 30cm x 15cm
Fold in half right side facing in
Sew a straight line down the two sides
Fold over top edge and sew a 1cm seem
Turn inside out
Sew ribbon over the seem line with a zig zag stitch for decoration
Attach required length of ribbon for a shoulder strap.
(I like the strap to cross over the body and sit just under the hand so it is easy to access)

...10 minutes later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Country Holiday


It seems we've had the best of both worlds this holiday... The beach before Christmas and just last week, the country. We soaked up the fresh country air and braved the heat wave, bushwalking, sightseeing and swimming, to find beautiful views at Mt French, serenity at Lake Moogerah and breathtaking sunsets at Boonah.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pillow Slip Dress and Matching Bag

Want to make a kids dress but don't know how? This is a simple solution with a great outcome. Another quick and easy sewing project for kids. I found this pillow slip at an op-shop (thrift store) years ago and thought it would make a great dress. I used directions found in this book and found I had to alter it to fit a 4 year old (trim a bit off the top). So with the excess material, I made a little bag to match. We used ribbon for the straps and the detail at the bottom of the dress rather than rickrack. Have you got any pretty pillow cases?

A Little Light Reading for the Holiday

Buy here
We have been on holiday in Boonah, living the country life and while we were there, Charlie bought me this book for my birthday. There are heaps of cool projects in there to keep me krafting for the next year I think... So fighting the urge to get to the machine, I put my feet up and read, and I actually learned a thing or two about proper sewing and cross stitching techniques! I usually do not have the patience to read such things but Pip makes it easy to read, and some good illustrations for visual learners like me. So I can definately recommend this book to learner sewers and crafters alike. 5 stars.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Love

Today I am grateful for...
*A house to myself (and a very quiet baby)
*A very capable man to look after my little darlings and take them to Seaworld and a sleep over at Nan and Pop's house
*Florence and the Machine and a vintage record player
*Plenty of pretty fabrics to sew dresses with after a trip to Spotlight with my girls (Poppy has put me to work again)
*Long phone calls and friends who make them seem short

What are you grateful for today? I hope your day was rad too and blessings keep coming your way! x

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Simple Summer Shorts

These shorts are real easy to make. All you need is 1/2 meter of material, some elastic and a pair of baby shorts to trace around.

Trace around one panel of the shorts, be sure to stretch out the waist line.
Add 1cm at the bottom leg and 2cm at the waist for hems plus 1/2cm around entire panel.
Fold material in half and then half again until you have a rectangle this size 4 layers thick.
Cut out the pattern and pin it to your material
Cut out the material and separate two lots of panels that face in and pin these together.

Sew 1/2cm in from the waist to the crotch line on both lots
Open out and place the now two pieces together and pin.
Sew 1/2cm in at both sides and then pin the crotch and sew.
Zig zag stitch the edges and the sew a 1cm hem for both pant legs.
Fold and sew 1 1/2cm hom for the waist allowing 2cm opening to thread the elastic through
Measure your babies waist line and cut a piece of elastic to this length
Thread through opening at waist and then sew 1cm of overlapping elastic.

Sew shut and then turn right side out.

These make a nice light weight short for summer but can be altered very easily to be long pants or heavier track pants for colder weather. I used 1/2 m of cotton material on sale so it cost me around $3 but you could also recycle old pants or shirts or even sheets.

Happy sewing! x