Saturday, 25 October 2008

Sewing FOs - now with action shots!

I have so many things on my 'to do' list, and so many half finished projects or things needing repairs, that sometimes I despair of ever getting anything done. It can be overwhelming at times.

So, in the spirit of reminding myself that I can complete projects and do indeed enjoy doing so, despite the numerous setbacks caused by being the mother of a toddler, here are some recently finished projects:

First, some new pants for Elliot. He has been growing like a bean sprout, with his pants' hems halfway up his calves. It was time to pull out my own pattern design.

I had been planning these pants ever since I found the fabric in an op shop in Briar Hill. Fortunately he is the exact right size for the pattern repeat or else we would have ended up with more sea around his waist. This fabric used to be someone's homemade curtains.

I used adjustable elastic for the back with a flat front. I used bias tape for the inside of the waist casing, so I could hide the buttons and tuck the ends of the adjustable elastic in.

And finally, it was my duty and pleasure to give a gift to little 2 year old Cameron on behalf of our mothers' group. Part of his present was this book/toy bag.

In this pic it doesn't have the drawstring yet, but you can see the buttonholes I put in the top casing. I used this construction themed flannelette (from a swap) because Cam is quite keen on diggers. The main body is made from some poly-cotton from Shan. It's lovely and soft.

Edtted to add these action shots of Elliot's new pants, affectionately known as his "Beach Pants" because Auntie Em pointed out the beach on them.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Creative Experiences: Microwave Playdough Recipe/Tute

I love playdough.

I loved the "Creative Experiences" part of my Child Care course back in '97. I have a huge folder of recipes and ideas for creative things to do with children, and I pull ideas out of it all the time for Elliot. I figured I should share them with others since they are activities which meet the Consumption Challenge criteria while giving our little ones fun things they can do at home.

Playdough is horrid to make on the stovetop, and it's horrid if you make the uncooked version. Making playdough with your microwave will have you wanting to make some every week.

1) Mix these ingredients in a microwave safe dish:
1.5 cups of plain flour.
1/4 cup of salt.
1.5 tablesppons oil.
3 teaspoons cream of tartar.
1.5 cups water.
Food colouring - it's a guessing game, just have fun.

Then it will feel like a sticky goop and look like this:

2) Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir.
It will be inconsistent in texture (some cooked, some uncooked, some dark, some light) and look like this:

3) Cover and microwave for a further 2 minutes.
Now it is evenly cooked throughout, and looks like this:

4) Take it out of the container and as soon as it is not so hot that you are running around the house screaming "Hot! Hot! Burnies!" then you should have some fun playing with it to smooth it out so it looks like this:

See, that was easy!

Of course, if your child is helping you with this recipe, perhaps you will want to let it cool just a little more.

I made a double quantity of this playdough for Elliot's 2nd birthday party. The boys all had fun playing with it, and when home time came I send each child home with a play-sized ball of fun which have kept these children amused for hours ever since.

(Elliot's in the orange top in the middle).

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Fabric, fabric, and more fabric!!!

I have been the very happy recipient of a number of fabric giftings...

My SIL, Em, gave me this parcel for my 30th birthday.

Wrapped up in this handmade furoshiki wrap was a stash of silk fabric - recycled kimono and obi pieces. Yum!

(See this site for ideas on how to use a furoshiki).

Another gift of fabric was two tubs of knit fabric given to my mum to pass on. Unfortunately most of the fabric was quite gaudy (think fluro 1980s) so I only kept a small amount. The top 7 pieces (plain blues and greens) are ribbing. Very useful.

And after I helped Shan move house I also helped her sort through part of her enormous fabric stash. I was then able to choose what I wanted from her "out" pile. She was ruthless in ridding herself of fabric she will not use, so I had a lot of fabric to choose from.

Inspired by Shan, I sorted through one of my suitcases, throwing a few things to my own "out" pile, and arranging the fabric by colour to help me to choose the right piece more easily. This is my collection of fabrics which are for small projects and embellishing other projects.

First gift for the baby!

What is it about gifts which make a pregnancy seem more real? Is it the outside acknowledgement of the knowledge you have been treasuring up inside? Or is it just so much fun to picture a new little bundle of moosh inside the new items? A bit of both, perhaps.

A friend reacted to my news by asking for my postal address so she could send me a gift for the baby. She gave me the first baby gift for Elliot when I was pregnant last time, so I wasn't surprised she was getting in early. But no. She has been beaten to the post.

My upcycle swap arrived, and it was for my "baby Possum" as she called him/her.

An outfit for the baby in size 000. She tie-dyed it herself, which made it surprisingly easy to guess the culprit. There are two sisters who dabble in dyeing wool and fabric, so I knew it was one of them. I was right.

The colours are so vibrant and cheerful. I can't wait to try this on the baby.
Many thanks again to my lovely swapper! Mwah!

Monday, 6 October 2008


I am excited to announce that I have a new "mini"-challenge to work on.
It's the most exciting one yet!
It will not be a one month challenge, but will take me well beyond the scope of my Consumption Challenge and into Autumn 2009.

A quick overview of some of the things I hope to achieve in this "mini"-challenge:

- Spare Ribs Shoaker in 8ply (ie nb/small size).
- Hybrid Rib Soaker in small size.
- Picky Pants Longies in small size.
- Itchy Fingers Longies in small size.
- Shannon's Longies in small size.
- Everlasting Wonder Soaker. (Will wait until 2009 because I have to buy this one).
- and any other fun projects I come across such as the February Baby Sweater.

- at least one dozen nappies in nb/small size (my own pattern).
- at least one dozen small prefolds from cotton, hemp and bamboo stash (great tute here).
- a stash of post-partum pads from cotton, hemp and bamboo scraps. Haven't decided on a pattern yet.
- a few cute jumpsuits, overalls, pants, dresses.
- embellish/applique a few of Elliot's old 000 sized clothes.

other things on my to-do list:
- sleep.
- stalk destash thread on Ravelry to make above knitting list possible.
- stalk trading room on NC for Itti Bitti fitteds and any other yummy nb nappy goodness I like.
- sleep some more and eat lots of yummy food.