Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rachel's Doll

The Christmas present I was most excited about was Rachel's. I'm so glad I made it only two days before Christmas otherwise I might not have been able to wait to give it to her. I made Rachel a doll.

Rachel plays with Sophie's doll pretty often, so it was possibly past time I made her one, but I'd been a little busy in the last six months, so I was a little late. I made her the same way that I did Sophie's with a few differences. You can see them. Again, she had some great modesty undies just in case she is left without clothes. 

There she is with Doll, best friends already. Mum made Rachel a dress out of this material and then a dolls dress too so Rachel's doll was lucky enough to even get a shiny new dress for Christmas.

I haven't asked Rachel what we should call her yet. I don't really want to end up calling another doll, "Doll".  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Space Capes

When someone hands you the bed sheets from your husbands childhood, I suppose the usual reaction would be thoughts like: "Why have you kept this? I think I'll throw them away." I'll admit, I may have thought the first half, but it was followed with "Free material! Awesome!"

It's moments like these that I know I've gone over the edge with sewing.

So earlier in the year, Steve's mum did in fact hand me some old bed sheets from his childhood. Two full sets, pillowcases included. Complete with doona covers. That's a lot of material. A lot. I was a little excited.

It was all space - planets and rockets and spacemen and what not, so I was inspired by things that fly. It will take me a while to get through it all, but I made a dint a while ago by making some capes for the kids to use as dress ups. While I was at it, I made some matching shorts. And not just for my kids, but also for five others. Mass production is really addictive.

They made good Christmas presents.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Quiet Book Blog

I've been featured on the Quiet Book Blog! Hooray!

The Quiet Book Blog

I just submitted my ABC Book for posting. It's posted and it's there! I'm excited!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Memory Game

Another thing I made for the travel trip to Bundy was this awesome memory game. It was really perfect for Sophie to play with while Rachel was asleep. She understood the matching concept and had enough memory to actually play to win.

I had the jeans squares cut out already (I guess last time I made a quilt I cut too many (actually, I just had a look for the quilt that I would have cut them for and it's from August 2013! Yikes!) and then used some left over bed sheet scraps from the ABC Book. I used an old fleece Jetstar blanket that I had lying around for the batting and then just fun scrap material for the squares.

The exciting thing about these is that Rachel sewed with me for the first time when I was making them. Yep, Rachel sat on my knee while I sewed the straight lines and then helped push the reverse button and lift the presser foot. She didn’t last long, but she did sew with me. Yay!

Sophie helped with the zig zags on the edges sewing it all together. Fun times. I love these. They are a great way to use up my scrap fabric and were a quick sew. I might be making many more sets of these as presents in the future. Yes!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Travelling Mice

Last weekend we were in Bundy for Steve’s sister’s 21st birthday, which was a stack of fun. Then I got to take myself off to Melbourne for three days with my sisters. My goodness fanstastic! In the lead up to the Bundy trip, I made these little mice to travel with the girls and keep them company during the long hours on the road.

They were a little under appreciated because the girls were not old enough to really want to play with them too much. Oh well. They were fun to make and are cute. Here they are living in their little houses. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cardboard Castle

The latest cardboard creation in our house has been a castle. Man was I so excited to make it. I’d been under the house and seen just how much cardboard I had stashed there and came to the realisation that I could really go crazy with this and it still have a huge stash of cardboard. Hooray!

This meant though that I really saw this cardboard castle as a bit of a rough draft. I cut things without measuring them, or drawing them on. I didn't measure anything at all. I just kind of went for it and figured I’d learn from the experience for next time. And I did.

One of the biggest things that set this castle apart from the other cardboard things I've done, is that it’s open. There is no roof. I've found that the kids really like to be able to see out, and play hide and seek by popping up over the edges and out the windows. They don’t care too much for the roof. Also, I wanted the cool turret/castle roof edge look which wouldn't have worked so well with a roof edge anyway.

The next most different thing is that the castle itself is not a fixed structure. The walls are not really joined in a conventional way, so the castle could be moved around as needed. At first it was just four wall sections (one awesome cardboard box from Dad’s new speakers) that could be concertinaed or set at right angles so that it stood up in the room, but then I had the idea of using weighted boxes to keep it more stable (the wind was not friendly to the original castle). That led to being more than weighted boxes, but also joiner boxes, so other sections of the castle could be joined on. Win!

The castle itself ended up with three sections, all of different heights. I did a drawbridge type portcullis gate thing for the front door, and the girls could pull it closed with a bit of rope, which was good. But because it was going up and down and being walked over, it came off fairly quickly. The girls didn't mind though because they just like to be able to get in and out when they wanted.

There was another door in the shortest section of the castle, which we referred to as the “Secret Door” because it stayed closed really well, and I didn't put any holes in it. It was really fun for Sophie to use it, and for her animals as well.

I did push open windows and just some window holes in the cardboard too, although they were less fun. When the three sections were finished and together, the castle stood most of the time with the bookshelves serving as the back wall, because I could tuck the two loose ends of the castle into the spaces between the bookshelves and the wall and the two bookshelves respectively which anchored it really well. It also meant that it took Hugo much longer to get at the bookshelves to everything off them, so such a win.

The girls loved to have picnics in the castle with their animals and read books there. We took them outside and gave them a paint job with some home-made paint (I'm so thankful it was home made because Hugo took one look at it and decided it had to be edible). I just had them do the inside walls, thinking I’d do a brick pattern on the outside ones with a sharpie, but then I ran out of time, and they didn't really care anyway. Maybe next castle.

All in all, the great thing about this castle was its flexibility. We could set it up anywhere, inside or out. It was such a win. I would love to do a big version one for a birthday party. Maybe with catapults. 

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

The Truth About Rachel

I know that the vast majority of my posts have a tag of Sophie. Sometimes I get to tag both girls, but more often than not, Sophie takes the limelight. It's probably because she's older, and just because of that extra year and a half, she's doing things first. But Rachel does fun new things each day too, so I thought I'd share some of them here.

Rachel is fun. She's a real daredevil. She loves to jump on people and be tossed about. Rachel was the first to put her head on the ground and look at the world through her legs. She likes to go upside down.

This little girl climbed things before Sophie did. She had more hair than Sophie in the first year and a half. Some days I think she still has more. Rachel tolerates things in her hair far longer than Sophie does. She likes the clips to be put in and out, and likes to tie it up at the back. I'll have to get it cut soon.

When we are outside, Rachel loves to find bugs. (Can you spot the yellow bug on the tree above that she's looking at?) She loves to look at them, to watch them move. She is unafraid of touching them, but respectful of their mystery. If we find some in the house, Rachel shows them off to the others, she likes to share like that.