Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holly Jolly Crafty Christmas!

Way back in the beginning of December at the insistence of my four year old we went out on a rainy Sunday to get our tree. I was pestered into putting our tree up and decorations out earlier than planned. Bottom line, my boy has the spirit!
So hard to get a clear picture with all the rain.
As we go careening in to Christmas (where the heck has the time gone) we have done our fair share of holiday crafts. The first of which was a handmade stocking. A stocking made for Loki's bunny because if Bunny didn't have  stocking "how would he get any presents?" I agreed quickly because believe it or not an idea formed instantly.

The Low Down:
Material:  Two pieces of red sparkly poly felt, some scrap yarn and a wide eyed blunt tipped needle. Embellishments of choice, ours happened to be a pink iron n B.
Right sides facing.
I drew out a stocking  shape then I cut it out and punched holes in the felt. 
After this I went back and widened with the blunt needle.
I then handed it over to Loki. He was impressively good at sewing it up. He didn't skip a hole and the only tangles came from the yarn being too long (which I had to adjust) .  It was super fun and simple.
Working into the wee hours of the night. Please excuse the grainy pictures.

 After it was done I had Loki tell me where to place the B and then ironed it on for him. Not ready to let a four year old operate a hot as fire iron just yet.

A boy, his bunny and a freshly hand made stocking!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Goodness

We have been busy around here with all sorts of fun holiday activities. We chopped down a tree, hung our stocking and we are renovating a small part of our house. Yes, we added on the stress of knocking down a wall to our holiday checklist.

Amidst the chaos of saws and hamming we made our very first gingerbread house from scratch! With the help of my sister and niece we managed to engineer and pretty good looking structure without the use of a template. We googled a basic recipe and set to work.

All the pieces.
Ready to get started.

Working hard.
Royal icing to stick things together.
It's done!
The proud builders.
I did all the sticking together of the house pieces and then I let the kids do the rest with no help and very little guidance from me. Although I did have to sometimes spread the icing on or blob it where directed. I think we all did a pretty nice job.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Unselfish Knitting

I have been knitting a ton of stuff for myself lately. I have three projects half way done and a couple more I'm dreaming up for me and only me. I also have two that are done except for blocking, sigh, I really dread blocking.

 I have a couple of ladies I know due with their first born, one of them a girl. I took that as an opportunity this past week to take a break from my selfish knitting and whip up a tiny girly cardigan.

I have long been itching to knit something girly and so I took this as my chance. What's funny is that when I was searching for patterns I had a really hard time. Most of the newborn knits where things that I'd knit for the boys, hum? The other thing that made it hard was my time frame. I needed something quick, but cute. Cutting it close is an understatement. I cast on Tuesday for a sweater that needed to be done by Sunday. I finished knitting on Thursday, wove in ends on Friday and gifted on Sunday. Phew! Talk about speed knitting.

 I'm really pleased with this little cardigan. It was such a fast, fast knit with enough stuff going on to keep it interesting.

The Low Down
Pattern: Lillie Baby Cardigan
Yarn: Liberty Wool
Mods: I used size 10 needles to make it a tiny bit bigger. I did one extra buttonhole (4 buttons) by knitting 5 extra rows and Knit 19 rounds (left out Purl row)for sleeve then worked 2 repeats of feather and fan.

I used silver buttons but really wanted to go for red or bright green. I wasn't sure if the mom to be would like the contrast so I played it safe and really like the way it turned out. The end result is less baby more classy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finding Marbles

I have a very vivid memory of my most favorite teacher, she was my third grade teacher and her class has given me many memories I still carry with me.

This particular memory involves a, what seemed at the time, huge mason jar and some marbles. As a class we earned marbles for things like actually being silent for silent reading, walking quietly in the hall, not terrorizing the sub, and you know, good things. When the jar was full we earned a whole hour of recess. I remember how she would quietly walk to the jar and drop a marble in while we were doing an activity as asked. The sound of the the glass on glass energized us to keep at it and made us all feel proud.

Why in the heck am I telling you this? Well, because some teachers lessons last a lifetime. I have been having some major battles with my 4yo about TV, full out tantrums. We were lucky to have skipped over the terrible twos and somehow landed in the crazy 4 1/2s. I tried all sorts of thing to no avail, then I remembered the marbles.

It has worked like a dream! We are down to maybe 2 shows a week adding up to a half hour or 45 minutes at most. No crying for more or even asking at all until the jar is filled to just past the pink paper.

Arrow indicated where the marbles need to be. 
Marbles are earned for all sorts of good behaviours  from picking up unprompted to doing things the 1st time I ask. Once full the marbles are turned in for two shows. Simple!

A really full jar.
The thing I like best is that instead of getting punished for "bad" behavior we get to focus on all the good stuff that is going on. It has changed our whole mindset, both his and mine.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fabric Love

Long ago I made a sort of pact with myself to only by fabric or yarn with a project in mind. So far I have been really good about it, although that doesn't mean I have a stash of someday project yarn (and fabric) laying around.

When I came across the Loulouthi collection from Anna Maria Horner I really wanted to buy some of it but had nothing in mind and really didn't need another project. What did I do? I plan on making a king size quilt and bought a bunch of fat quarters, that's what.

 30 Fat Quarters! I need more to actually make the quilt.

Lined up all pretty!

With my track record on quilts I'm saying this will be done in oooh, say 5 years?  I kid, I hope. I'm aiming for early 2012! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Critters for Warmer Necks

Since the hats I made last year for the boys still fit and I haven't made a scarf in ages these cute critters seemed like just the right thing. Half toy, half practical winter garment.

The Low Down
Pattern: Morehouse Farm Frog Scarf , I bought it as a kit but you can also just buy the pattern
Modifications: I increased less for the head to make the scarf as a whole smaller so that it would be kid sized and I knit the legs for only 15 repeats. I also put stitches on a holder instead of binding off for front legs because I really do not like the backwards loop cast on (or as they call it in the pattern an e loop cast on) 
New Measurements: widest part of mouth 4",body 2 1/2" wide, 39 1/2" long from tip of toes to bottom of toes.

He loves that the mouth can open.
I don't know if you can tell but there is a band aid that you can just barely see on Loki's forehead. Don't worry he's fine it's just for show. It all started when I told him the story of peter pan. The thing that stuck was Tinkerbell, he is now totally into fairies. He has been wearing wings from my costume all week, even to bed. Enter the Tinkerbell and friends band aids that my Mom got him. He used them up the very 1st day on himself and his stuffed animals. All but one fell off. He is going on 4 days wearing this band aid on his forehead. Nothing I can do or say can convince him to take it off. I may just have to do it in his sleep.

Moving on...

The Low Down
Yarn: Gator 2 ply 
Modifications: None!

Do you know how hard it is to get one kid let alone two to pose together for anything? It's hard. Between asking to see on the camera, goofing off and pushing each other it's darn near impossible to snap both looking at the camera.
It was between this,

or this.
and a few others they were just blurs

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

About a month ago my oldest told me he wanted to be a bat for Halloween. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that "YES, I can make that!"  Wouldn't you know it I actually could.

The low down:
Pattern: Get ready...I totally made it up! I used a plastic glow in the dark bat for reference, free hand sketched it out and man it turned out pretty darn good.

Fabric: 80% wool felt
Notions: Boning and elastic.
Other materials: Black hoodie and black pants.

I made two separate wings, each with 3 pieces of boning, one at the top and two in the main wing to mimic a bats bones and to give the wings shape. The cool thing about the boning is that it's just hard enough to give the wings a great shape but soft, bendy and light enough that a 4 year old can still roll around, jump, eat dinner and dance without them being in the way.

I connected the two wings together  at the upper back so they stayed together but had lots of range to move freely. I attached 4 loops of elastic. One loop at each wrist and one loop at each shoulder. I made them a bit loose. I imagine these will go in our dress up box and will be used over and over and as they grow I still want them to fit.

Lastly I sewed ears onto the hood of the black sweatshirt. You would think this would be the easiest part, nope. I redid them 4 times and finally gave up and just went with what I had.

The only thing that really matters is that he totally loves his bat costume. My little one got the shaft and has  a very cute chicken costume we found at a second hand store, luckily he loves it and has a mean "Balk".

Action shot!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fab Fall Friday


After being sick all week we were glad to feel better just in time for a chilly but super sunny day!

He had just said "this is so pretty"