Yes, so the blogging hiatus due to carrying a 10lb baby in my puku, and chasing after a gorgeous two and a half year old, is nearly over! Back in March I posted 5 things I made for my first baby that I shan’t make for the second and I thought I’d share the first thing I made for that lovely second baby (pre-birth, of course): a beautiful name plaque.
Our gorgeous girl arrived on Tuesday 1 July, thirty-six minutes before midnight. She is Amy Indigo. And since she’s in a cot in our bedroom, I wanted a little something that marks her corner of the room as hers.
As ever, I’m skinto mcclinto, so I reused the backside of a duff watercolour to paint pink and red and green bits and then cut them into flower, heart and leaf shapes. Ages ago, I bought some of those little square foamy sticky things – used for scrapbooking and greetings cards – when I saw some in The Warehouse Stationery – because I knew when I wanted them I’d never be able to find them in the store again!
I read about this technique, where if you want a font, you find it on your computer (internet or Word document), use greaseproof paper or tracing paper and copy it off the screen. Then like in the olden days, retrace on the backside of the greaseproof and then press through for a light pencil mark onto the page. That’s what I did, and it worked a treat!
I just love it. I reused an old black photo frame. I meant to colour it pink but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet and by the time I do, Amy Indigo will be in her own room and I will have made a name bunting by then.
The sweetpeas in the bookcase are from my first Mother’s Day with Marshmallow. My Mother brought them all the way from England and they’re still as beautiful as ever.
I have a few more posts I prepared pre-baby, to share with you over the coming month, all to do with making things for baby girls now our Amy Indigo’s made her debut!
After a week of cars, cars, cars, I thought a variation was due and, after an internet ramble, I found this lovely blog post on books and songs and crafts with a train theme. I pinched the idea for our Monday morning this week.
Marshmallow was a rapt audience of one as I sang the song (the horn on the train goes Toot Toot Toot), which inspired the Marshmallow to bring out his zoo train and Thomas.
We did the craft too. Here’s ours.
The activity lasted as long as the train – only ten minutes or so, and then the chimney got ripped off and the cardboard wheels pulled off and squashed. But all good fun for a toddler.
I tell you, those Angry Bird felt-tip pens of ours from the $2 store just keep on giving, no matter how ratty they’re getting!
I’ve kept all of my baby’s socks from when he was a tiddler, because I figured there must be something somebody is doing – that isn’t a baby mobile – that will help me hold on to them, without appearing to be too much of a hoarder.
I haven’t found that something yet, but with toddler socks, I found that they make a really cute miniature sock monkey! (In the photograph is also the purple heart sock monkey numero cinco, which is now in its new home.)
From those odd socks lurking in my toddler’s closet I picked the best ‘match’, making sure that the sock for the ‘snout’ had a colourful heel. The body could be plain – which it is, and that worked well with the stripy arms.
Finally, I held my enthusiasm in abeyance by blogging about it several weeks later, when really I wanted to show them off immediately!
It’s an oldie but a goodie, classic upcycle: sock monkeys. I remember wishing I could make one a long time ago. I couldn’t say what stopped me but I remember thinking they must be awfully complicated. Anyway, a week ago I sorted out my sock drawer and put all the odds in my Tardis Craft Cupboard.
Then, as you do, my mind wandered to one of my favourite go-to bloggers, Deni Miller, and what she had to say about sock monkeys. Her sock monkeys are very perfect and her story is very funny!
What I did
I googled again yesterday for a tutorial and found one that made it seem easier and simpler than I thought possible – Craft with Confidence Sock Monkey Tutorial. And I just fished my socks out, chose the two least clashing odd socks. Did all the sewing by hand last night once Marshmallow was asleep.
Picked up some hobby filler for $6 today after eating strawberries fresh from the field with my two favourite chaps. And voila. Naptime Monkey made. The green button eyes are the ones I cut off from the outgrown baby sweaters.
I was talking to my Mum this morning about what could I use to stuff the monkey if I didn’t go and buy new stuffing. And, as per usual, her answer was instant and amazing: an old pillow – one of the foamy ones. Especially since I don’t use nylons (hosiery) enough to shred them anymore. That’s what we used to use in the ‘olden days’ back when all tutorials were from books or classes!
Anyway, at the strawberry field I said, ‘Let’s pick up filler for the sock monkey on the way home’ and Marsh said “ooh-ooh, aah-aah” and tickled under his own armpits. Ha ha. So hopefully when he wakes up he’ll see his new friend and monkey dance the afternoon away.
Being an English girl in New Zealand (where Halloween falls in Spring, not Autumn), I celebrate Halloween twice. Once on October 31st, regardless of it being seasonally all wrong! And another time, about April 30 when everyone in the neighbourhood thinks I’m all wrong!
But, for my Marshmallow, he doesn’t know any different and his traditions start with me. I made him his first (of hopefully many to come!) Halloween costume. A skeleton. And here it is hanging in my closet!
What I did
I had the base already: black trousers, black long-sleeved top (thanks Nanny England for the bottoms and Nanny Kiwi for the top).
In the Tardis Craft Cupboard I had a stash of an error in judgment – purple polka dot felt for cheap cheap – which I turned to the white side.
For the skeleton bones I found a style I liked online and sketched it out. Using the sketch as a guide I cut each bone as a pair so there was a little bit of symmetry.
I hand-sewed the bones onto the clothes – just a simple running stitch. It took about an evening.
I opted for sewing because if I glued it on, within half an hour, Marshmallow would be wearing a black outfit, keen as he is on un-sticking things at the moment! Most of the outfits I saw online included a mask, but Marshmallow is not keen on hats, hoods or anything other than blankets going on his head, so keeping it simple this year.
I was sorting out the baby clothes that the Marshmallow has outgrown. And as Spring is springing, some of the winter clothes aren’t necessary anymore and will be too small by next Autumn-Winter.
So I had a pile of baby sweaters… and my heart wanted to keep them, not donate them. I don’t know why, but it’s the way it is! I listened and decided to make an Owl Time Capsule Pillow, using the old jumpers as the cushion stuffing.
What I did
I Pinterested all the stuffed fabric Owls I liked. Found one I knew was in my capabilities of making and then stuffed it with baby sweaters.
Although to make a nice, even stuffing, I had to cut the arms and buttons off the sweaters, they’ll still be whole enough to bring back all those toddler memories when my Marshmallow is old enough to be having children of his own.
I was five months pregnant when I picked the fabric that I am only just now using – as it turns out – for Owl wings and eyes! I enjoy knowing that those occasions when I find a fabric I just love-love-love, I sometimes don’t know what it shall be used for. Some future project, as yet unknown. And luckily, at the time, I had the money to cough up for it. Not so right now, I’m using up what’s in my Tardis Craft Cupboard. And I like it!
As an antidote to being Toad in Toad Hall (many hobbies and interests, never finishing anything), I try to finish a project before I begin a new one.
This does mean I can have several things on the go at once, three for example (a baby quilt, a Christmas gift quilt and a cushion cover); because as long as I finish one of these, I can then begin the next of three (sounds convincing right!)
One of the projects I finished today, was a L.O.V.E cushion cover that matches (ha ha) the denim rag rug.
What I did
Freehand letters – all quite skinny and long because I only had strips of fabric left – stitched onto white cotton that was big enough to wrap around a cushion. Cut the letter edges, as you do with a rag quilt, and wash so it frays all puffy and pretty.
I used an envelope style pillow opening at the back, which saves the need for complicated zippers or buttons. Essentially you fold the material around the cushion, with an overlap at the back. It’s just two straight lines to sew on the sides, Turn it right side out and done.
It’s just the length of time it stays in your ‘to do’ pile that makes it take longer!