Monday, 30 November 2009

welcoming a new arrival and a big sister

grab ball

A couple of weeks ago my dear friend Julia rang me to say that she was in the early stages of labour, a few days later I spoke to her again and found that she had given birth to a wee little girl named Isabella ~ it was the news that I had been waiting for... it was a girl! now I could finally choose the fabrics to make her a gift.

I decided to make this grab ball for Isabella, following the link supplied by Christie some time ago; but most of my sewing time last week was spent making a sweet little Poppy Doll for Isabella's older sister ~ I know from experience that making the transition to older sibling can be a little challenging, and it's hard for the littlies to stomach all these people arriving in their house and making a fuss over the new arrival, and all those presents {which are generally for the new baby too}...

So I decided that I would make a special little playmate for Si, and make a big fuss about her becoming a big sister ~ because as we all know, that is very important too.

poppy doll v1ready for her new homein the arms of her new mama
[you can click on each picture if you would like to see them bigger]

The Poppy Doll pattern is available through Fiona from Hop Skip Jump, it is a beautifully written pattern, really easy to follow, and a pleasure to make. I ran into a few glitches along the way, but all of them were my glitches, and nothing to do with the pattern {mostly because I read the pattern as I go along, instead of reading it all first}... just in case you decide to make her too, I shall elucidate:

The first time that I made her I used a wool fabric, not doctor flannel, and I found that it stretched too much; my first attempt was soon discarded and I ordered a meter of doctor flannel from the Creswick Woollen Mills. It was definitely worth the money, it is so nice to sew with, and you could tell that the doll was made with quality fabric.

poppy doll v2

I also had a couple of issues with her hair, the first time her part was too high, and her hair sort of disappeared into the seam allowance. My second attempt was better {you can see her in the little pictures above} but I decided that I would like her to have some pigtails ... so one evening, after the children were tucked up in bed, I took her head off, un-stuffed it, un-picked the side seams and added the pigtails, re-sewed her up, re-stuffed her, and stitched her head back on. Much better!

Then I noticed that my felt was pulling through the stitches; I had stitched too close to the edge of the felt and it was rapidly coming undone, so I hand stitched all the way around the hairline in coordinating thread to secure her hair better. Then I added some ribbon elastics to each pigtail, and a little rouge to her cheeks.

So the vitals ::
The pattern is available here.
The doctor flannel is available online here.
The wool felt for her hair is from here.
The fabric for her tunic was a scrap from this lovely lady.
The fabric for her jeans was from my favourite jeans.
The 'rouge' was provided with our Bamboletta doll {penciled in to be Daisy's 5th birthday present!}... I think it is red bees wax, but I think that a little blush would work too?

Friday, 27 November 2009

a little sunburst

helping

I know that earlier in the week I promised to share the hand-crafted goodness that I have been working on, but then I got slightly distracted making other hand-crafted goodness... so not only am I not going to share the baby goods that I have been working on, I'm not even going to come clean with the other stuff either! I tell you it's all surprises and suspense around here ~ however I do solomnly promise to share on Monday.

In the meantime I do want to share the progress that I have made on my sunburst afghan, even though I haven't had a chance to work on it at all this week. Last time I showed it I had only made a few of the sunbursts.

a little sunburst

Since then I have been hooking along making many more circles, in many delicious colours, and all out of the most beautiful feeling debbie bliss baby cashmerino.

joining as I go

Once I had made a goodly number of circles, I had a go at the joining-as-you-go method, just choosing circles with colours that looked ok next to the coloured circles around them; so even though it is random, it's not totally random {if you know what I mean?}

progress

I decided to join it in such a way that it stays in 'blanket proportion'. I don't know if I can explain?, but what I mean is that I am keeping the shape pretty rectangular, so first I made it to a dolls blanket size, now it's nearly a pram blanket size, then I'll aim for cot blanket size, lap rug size, single bed size, double bed, queen and king... and I'll be landing wherever I get sick of it. At this stage lap blanket is looking achievable, but remember I did stipulate that I would be putting no pressure on myself for this one, it's all about the process not the outcome {well sorta anyway}.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

first

chewing

She is cuddly.

Discontent.

Grumpy.

Chewing on everything.

She has cut her first tooth... and is now working on cutting the second one.

I'm off to cuddle her some more.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

cousins

cousins

I wasn't close to my cousins growing up, mostly because we are all very different in ages and our paths only really crossed once or twice each year... but we are very lucky that our kids and their cousins are all quite close in age, so when we get together they make the very best sort of play-mates.

Yesterday they spent some time together, visiting the bakery, enjoying a mini-picnic on the grass by the river, time playing at the play-ground, and time creating in the sand-pit.

It was a fun day with lots of laughter and noise.

The best sort of day for making beautiful memories.

Thanks cousins!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

from special friends

Handmade goodness

During the months since Mia's birth we've been blessed to receive some beautiful handmade gifts from our family and friends, and every time that I see Mia surrounded by her toys I feel so grateful that her first play experiences have been with these peices that have all been lovingly created with her specifically in mind.

I know when I make something for another person, I spend a lot of time thinking of the intended recipient, about their life, their family, how they will use the piece, while I am making it; and I really do hope that comes across when I give something made from my own hands, it's certainly not about doing it cheaper, for me it's about taking the time {out of an already busy life} to make something especially for someone who is special to me.

So when Mia received these gorgeous handmade gifts I felt so lucky that my busy friends would take the time, in fact, a couple of times I very nearly cried.

Taggie by cousin Anna

Thank you to Cousin Anna for this 'taggie' {a piece of fabric with ribbon tags on the sides} which can be played with and chewed on ... this is one very popular toy with Mia, and is rarely away from her.

handcrafted and cheeky beautiful bibs by Di

This beautiful sock monkey and these bibs were made by our friend Di, the bibs were amazing enough, but when I unwrapped the sock monkey {on Mia's behalf of course} I was so delighted that there were definately tears ~ I mean, see how lucky we've been?... the bib's are in regular use now, but I do admit that the sock monkey is still enjoying pride-of-place on display in the lounge {I just can't bear handing him over to be chewed on just yet}. You can see him in full here.

Hex ball by Christie

Mia has also been loving this hex ball from our lovely friend Christie, I have to tell you this one is fabulous for entertaining a bored bub in the car, we just place it at her feet and she kicks it at the seat, where it of course bounces back for another kick... and I get plenty of joy from this one too just admiring Christie's lovely fabric choices and craftsmanship.

Fleur by Leslie

and I know that I've mentioned these before, but we're still enjoying the very pretty Fleur that our ever-generous friend Leslie sent to us {and if you want to get your hands on one of these babies yourself, or one of Leslie's Oobee's you can find Leslie aka Onegirl at the Magnolia Square Market at the Malvern Town Hall this Thursday, Friday and Saturday)... and have you noticed? we're still enjoying the amazing quilt that Jenny made for us that I told you about here.

So I just wanted to say a big thank-you to our generous friends, we love the gifts that you have given to us and feel so grateful to have you in our lives; in fact we think that these gifts are so special that I am currently making all manner of gifts for the special people {all 7 of them) in my life who are expecting (or welcoming) new arrivals ~ I promise to share my handcrafted goodness {which are totally inspired by the gifts that we received} later this week.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

carefree clothes for girls

cotton & flower print sundress

This is the delightful cotton and flower print dress that I made from this book. You can read my mixtapezine guest post here; and see some more photos in my flickr.

"pleasing patchwork pocket"

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Hot!


[meditating on the rug]

I haven't had much nice too say of late, I'm hot, tired and generally fed up... and my grand-mother often used to tout... "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all".

Hence, it's been pretty quiet around here, no?

Well I really do have a lot in my life that I could be happy about if I wasn't so busy focusing on the things that are making me crabby. So I've decided to undertake my own 30 Days of gratitude project.

I'm can recognise that 30 consecutive days might be a bit much for me right now, but i'll do what I can to stop, notice and feel grateful for something in my life every day, and tell you about it here... maybe that will be enough to send my whiny crabby thoughts on their way?

So to start off :: I am so grateful that Angus has a kinder teacher who finds time in her day to go 'above and beyond' and send a little snippet and insight into what my boy gets up to at kinder (details can be a little sketchy from him, so it makes a great tool to start a chat with him on what he did at kinder today...)

"It was great!! They also discovered that if you put your puppet on the overhead projector , it made a wonderful shadow on the wall,and you could add other bits and pieces to add to the interest of the shadows!" by A's kinder teacher

[The puppet show - and my boy hovering at the back]

"When we went outside we had great fun with water, the aqua play with boats, doll washing and hanging clothes on the line and watching the waterfall trickle! Very relaxing!" by A's kinder teacher