Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The book contains both clothes patterns for babies and children up to five, as well as some patterns for play objects such as a tee-pee, doll art folder. The pictures and styling are lovely, and the instructions are detailed and clear. The writer Meg McElwee has a blog and is also a Montessori early childhood teacher, so the book has a lot of great hints about playing with and teaching your pre-schoolers and using the objects in the book. Here is an example about teaching your child numbers:
Here are some of my favourites in the book that I am looking forward to making:
Crossover T-shirt, both long and short sleeved:
Sunday, November 20, 2011
My inspiration for making these cards is my Aunt Anna, my cousin Holly's Mum. Every Christmas when we were kids she would make an Xmas card photo of her 3 kids. As I am 10 years older than Hols I have vivid memories of a lot of these cards, even ones before Holly was born. There was the Xmas chef one of James and Liz (before Hols was born), paper chef hats and all, the baby Jesus one (with Holly in a manger) and the sand dunes one, which must have been the next Xmas when Holly was about 18 months. Holly and I are both lucky to have creative Mums who have set the example for us!
Anyway, back to the cheesey card and a little explanation. I hate telling this story, but about 4 or 5 years ago I drew strength from such stories so thought I would put it out there. I am not the kind of person who likes to draw attention to themselves, or feel like I am asking for sympathy, but this is now very much history and with my 2 beautiful babies, I don't need sympathy!
Before I had Mia I had 3 miscarriages in 18 months. I had all the tests and everything, but they couldn't find anything wrong with me. When I got pregnant with Mia I didn't allow myself to get excited for ages, but once my pregnancy got past 12 weeks it was very easy and straight forward. When you are in that position you get told that it is just a matter of time, you have to keep trying and it will happen for you. Not much help being told that by a doctor, but it did help me to read stories from people who had got through the other side and have babies. Once I was in that position it was amazing to realise how many people had been in a similar position, or worse, but they had all ended up with a baby, or babies if they kept hoping and trying. I also have friends who had had to go down the IVF path, or are about to, and that has brought happy results as well.
When it came to getting pregnant with Ellie I geared myself up for a long road as well. We even talked long and hard about just having one, and set an end point "3 miscarriages and we give up and enjoy Mia". But then I got pregnant straight away and had another text book pregnancy, and birth! We are definitely drawing the line at 2 though, stop while we are ahead!
My point is, enjoy your beautiful families over Christmas, regardless of how easy or hard it was to get them. They are so precious and the holiday season can be stressful so take time to look at them, breathe them in and realise how wonderful it is that you have them!
Mia's is about what she does in a normal day, and what she does each day of the week.
Ellie's is about our extended family, I figure Mia will be able to "read" is to her by telling her who is in the pictures. Notice the picture of my sister, that will teach her for taking silly pictures of herself on my camera!!
Recently I have seen several recipes incorparating both, which is a great idea as they are both ripening at the moment, and they are such contrasts in taste - sweet and tart. The other night I decided to try making my own version of such a dessert, using a tried and tested shortcake recipe, which is great with any fruit.
Rhubarb and strawberry shortcake
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I have decided that for Mia's enjoyment, and my own, I am going to start a tradition of an activity advent in December. Ellie can join in properly in a couple of years when she realises how exciting Christmas is. I have been trying to come up with a mix of activities, and here is what we are going to do each day in December:
- Take out the advent calendar my Mum made last Xmas.
- Write santa a letter (Mia has been asking to do this for weeks!)
- Make fimo ornaments. Here are some pictures of ideas:
From meet the Dubiens:
5. Go to the library and get some Christmas books
6. Go to shop and let Mia pick a decoration each for her and Ellie
7. Buy a present for a child in need and put under Xmas tree in Coastlands. Talk about why we did this.
8. Make orange pomanders (Image from sjarmerende jul)
9. Buy a present for community in need from world vision and discuss where it will go and why they need it.
16. Take Xmas baking to friends.
Depending on the weather and whay is happening I reserve the right to mix the days up a bit! In fact we have cheated and already done a couple of them. The food bank did a collection so we put a bag out, and Mia wrote her santa letter:
Who wants to join some of our new traditions?
I also got a massive bag of clothes for $10. Here are some of my favourite things that I stuffed in the bag. There were a lot more than this!
An outfit for Mia (size 4 so a bit big) including an Esprit skirt and a Next top. And its not pink!
Pumpkin Patch denium pinafore and corduroy overalls for Ellie. Again not pink!
I couldn't resist this striped boys shirt (coming Luca's way Hols!) and this Max top for me:
I will be making an effort to go to more!
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Here is my latest freezer print effort. I have made these before I started blogging, but thought I would share my latest prints with you. The 2 linen teatowels are for my grandmother, while the onesie is an Xmas pressie for my cousin's baby.
I won't bother telling you how I made the freezer paper stencils as there are a million tutorials already on the internet, but obviously these ones are uniquely New Zealand! I went to the library ages ago and got an old book out about native birds and traced around the outlines of the prints. The piwakawaka (fantail) is my favourite, so cute, but I didn't use him here.
Here is a tui, I just mixed resenes test pot paint with some textile medium to make it stay on the fabric even when it is washed.
This is a kereru, or wood pidgeon. The reason I made this for little Archie is that his grandparents (my aunt and uncle) have an organic orchard named after the Kereru, so I plan to print kereru on T-shirts or onesies for their 3 grandchildren (all boys),
And this is the good old kiwi. My grandmother has EVERYTHING, literally she is the biggest hoarder, so I hope she can put these to use.
It is so easy to print things with freezer paper stencils, if you haven't already search a tutorial on the internet and have a go. Your main problem will probably be finding the freezer paper in New Zealand at a non-astronomial price. I got some (and the textile medium) from Creative Craft supplies in Wellington, they take orders. Believe me I searcher for ages and they had the best price! The prints make great personalised gifts.
Christmas is creeping up on us quickly and the Xmas ornament swap seems to be going really well with everyone working hard to get theirs done. Check out the following posts to see what some of the participants have been up to:
Holly Made's Christmas bunting
Lover of Vintage's Lace hearts
You still have a couple of weeks if you haven't made yours yet so don't stress!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Although we haven't been participating in it religiously, it has given us a few cool activities to do. Yesterday when Mia got home from preschool I had planned a pictorial treasure hunt for her to do. She loved it!
One of the challenges was to raid the recylcing bin and get the child to come up with something to make with the contents. Mia made this car, painted it and planned it herself. All Nathan and I did was attach the wheels!
Who would have known that foam shapes stick to the windows (temporarily) beautifully if you paint water on them? This kept Mia amused for a while.
Ignore the weeds growing in the tiles!
I taped a massive piece of paper to the wall and let Mia loose. She stood on a chair and painted for ages. There was a huge story behind the painting as well. There was a spider, Dad, a tightrope, and all sorts of other things in her painting!
I also discovered that she can write her name!! Thanks preschool!
Here is the artist at work:
Then she created an elaborate game that involved using one of the letter blocks as a dice and throwing it and you had to find another of the same letter and put a block on it. The rules had a few holes in them and it got a bit too much so that was the end of the block play!