Friday, October 28, 2011

The Hot Air Balloon Necklace

Sometimes wonderful things just happen. No real planning, just the happen-stance of ideas, material and mid afternoon sleeps.

This morning Little E was cutting out shapes, and handed me paper diamonds for a necklace. As i made my paper necklace, we talked about making a necklace with flowers, and she decided she needed a balloon and a sun. We started thinking about other things in the air and the drawings began. While I put the finishing touches on the sketch for this, E was already miles ahead and planning the next one. Apparently, it will feature an octopus and other things that live in the water.

This afternoon, as Miss H slept we chose colours, cut shapes and played hide and seek. Threading was a lot trickier that I thought. I will use thinner yarn next time. Listening quietly for the giggles before the seek part helps too.

And in answer to the question "does she like it?" I think we have a resounding yes.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Small Hands - Christmas Crafts for Kids

Sign ups are still open for the Small Hands Christmas Swap. There is a delightful list of Helping Hands gathering below the button* to the left too. These Helping Hands have signed up on behalf of some very eager Small Hands. Drop me a line of you would like to join them.

I've been hunting for some craft ideas for your small hands. The projects above were found by searching through both The Crafty Crow** and Sew Mama Sew. You can find details for each of these projects in the following locations:

1 - Bead Stars
2 - Mini Wreathes
3 -Thumbprint trees
4 - Kids Felt Decorations
5 - Cork Trees6 - Paper Balls
7 -Clothes Peg Fairies
8 - Bullfinch Decorations
9 - Pinecone elves

And there is a whole heap of Christmas Card ideas over here too.

*It's finally working, but you will need to head over to the flickr group to get your copy of the button.

** Pure brilliance in kids craft. If you haven't visited there already, you must. Go! Now! or even shortly after signing up for the swap.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Wedding Album, Finally

This week has been a staycation. I’ve left the train behind for a week, and spent some well deserved time on my own. The oven has never been cleaner or the lamp shades brighter. I have been hunting through the garage for some elusive fabric, only to come up with this, our empty wedding album. With the random acts of cleaning out of the way, I was finally in the right frame of mind to fill the album.

The length of time since out wedding is embarrassing, not because of a child’s birth date or any such scandal, but because it took me 6 ½ years to put the photos in an album.

The photos were all taken by my sister in law as our wedding present. They were on film. This is almost positively retro cool now. I am even more impressed that there is no manipulation, cropping or such. She’s certainly talented.

It has been a lovely series of afternoons putting photos in order, remembering friends I haven’t seen in a long time and reminiscing about a very full and wonderful day. Especially dear to me are the photos of relatives who have passed away, including my mother in law, who died suddenly just weeks before little E was born.

Every year, in the month before our anniversary, I have vowed to finally get the photos in an album. Each year I was foiled by lack of time, lack of album or just that it felt like a chore.

I’m pleased that the time was right. It certainly wasn’t a chore. I’ve poured my self some big cups of tea, gazed in awe at how young we all look and finished the album. Now it’s time to tie a big silver ribbon on it and surprise the rest of the family.

Kids Clothing Week - Pockets

Yesterday, I cut pockets. Today, I sewed.

If they weren't so fiddly, you would find pockets on all my kids clothes. Perhaps on my clothes too. I am loving extra stark top stitching at the moment. There was a lot of basting, pressing and changing threads. If I were to sew these again, I'd give the curved seam away. I found it tricky to get a nice shape given this combination of heavy fabric, contrasting thread and small pieces.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kids Clothing Week - The Jiffy Dress

In the interests of democracy, I have made a dress for Little E too. In the hope that she will wear it, I have let her pick the fabric. I was initially hesitant about her choice, but have to admit, the girl has taste. I love the way the darker lining provides an accent to the main fabric.

The pattern is Simplicity 8815 - from 1970. It is a "Jiffy Pattern" as it has only 2 or 4 main pieces. I am loving this name.

I have adjusted the pattern slightly to make it reversible however, I forgot that last time I made this, it was 4" shorter. Little E has fallen for her almost to the ankle dress. Now, I am left waiting for her to notice the length gets in the way when having adventures, before I can make any adjustments.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kids Clothing Week - The Pinafore

I have rediscovered my love of summer skirts and in making a muslin for myself, had just enough left over to make this dress for Miss H. My skirt is cut out and waiting. It may be waiting some time. This little dress needed some attention first.

The red binding is some American Jane fabric, that just whispered - "put me with denim". I made metres and metres of bias tape. My dearest talked me out of using it in my skirt. Now I'm having second thoughts. I don't want to be one of those people who dress to match their children, but I wouldn't complain about red spotty trim on my skirts either.

I am attempting to meet the Kids Clothing Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley - to sew for one hour each day, for a week. In the interests of diplomacy, a dress for Little E is coming up next.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunshine, Shadows and Chalk

For you own private sundial-

Take one sunny afternoon, some chalk, a driveway, willing children and some time. Mark a spot for the feet. Trace around the shadow, wait and repeat.

Now that is has rained, it's time to start again.

I had a vague recollection of walking to the neighbours with roller skates but really had no idea how much I would love a smooth driveway until I had children, tricycles and chalk.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cherry Picnic 2011

After checking regularly and some plain old fashioned waiting, it was time.

Today was our annual cherry picnic, complete with catching, throwing and just plain fun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Small Hands – a Child’s Christmas Swap

In our house, we love to make things. We love to post them too. My children watch with awe as new parcels arrive in the mail box, so this year I am setting up the Small Hands Christmas Swap. It is a swap where the children have a chance to get creative and get posting.

Each set of little hands will be making a Christmas Card and a decoration to send to their partner. The task is inclusive rather than demanding. While you will not need to put glue to paper straight away, the swap has been set up early in order to get you thinking about it well before December.

Pairs of hands will be put together with some consideration of age. Upon consideration, a 9 year old has very little appreciation for 2 year old's experimental drawings and neither is the two year old impressed with intricate cutting skills of a big kid.

Here’s what you need to know:

When is it?
Sign ups are open October 6 – October 27
Pairs of hands will be emailed out November 2
Posting starts November 25 and finishes on December 9

How do I sign up?
Drop me an email seven.stitches.amy(at) gmail (dot) com with your name, the name of the little hands, your contact email and postal addresses, their age and two things about them and Christmas
i.e Miss January is 1, loves wrapping paper and twinkly things
or Master August is 7 and while he thinks spiderman is the bees knees, he thinks father Christmas looks pretty good in red too.
Be sure to join the flickr group too.

What if I haven’t a child?
If you have a significant set of little hands in your life, be it nieces, nephews or the kids you baby sit every second week talk to them about joining in. Perhaps it is something you could do together.

What if I have more than one child?
By all means sign up all who are interested and going to be able to take part in the swap.

Is it open to international participants?
Yes it is open to international participants. However to keep postage times short, if possible I will pair up the little hands within the same country.

If there is anything I haven’t covered here, drop me a line and I will get back to you quickly. Over the next few weeks I will be adding a list of participants to the side bar and posting links to some great tutorials for Christmas crafts suitable for little hands.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Small Hands - Watch This Space

My kids love Christmas and they love opening mail, so I'm combining the two. You can join me.

The Small Hands Christmas Swap is coming soon. Watch this space.