Saturday, 23 June 2012

Warm Little Tootsies!

When my first daughter Bethany was a baby, a good friend posted some pics on her facebook page of some gorgeous toys she'd made for her kids.  I got chatting with her about this, and she said that she had taught herself to crochet by googling "crochet instructions", and just having a go ... what a great idea.  So I eventually got round to doing the same, and low and behold, this is now one of my favourite crafts.  I started with toys, which are so much fun, but have since graduated to hats, shoes, headbands and other accessories.  They're quick, cheap, easy and best of all they make any outfit look just a little bit more special.  And I love that my girls are excited each time they have a new little something to wear.

Where I live in Sydney, it's now winter and it's FREEZING.  And with a small bub, and what seems like an endless array of sickness around this year, I'm constantly trying to keep my munchkins warm.  So why not have some fun with this!!!  Lately most of my crocheting has been focussed on warm woolies for my munchkins' little piggies.  Here's some of the shoes I've made, and where I got the patterns...


This was my first slipper attempt ... they are from this pattern.  Gotta love a free pattern, and these were super-quick ... a 1-evening job for sure!  I have to admit though my guage is often out-of-whack with crocheting patterns, and to compensate I often play around with yarn or hook size to get the right fit.

OK, so Bethany has 2 pairs of slippers this winter.  You see, I sewed her a pair of PJ's (in pink), and got so excited that I had actually successfully sewn something worth wearing, that I just had to make her another pair to practice (this time in purple)... Well, obviously you can't wear pink slippers with purple PJ's now can you!?!  Well that was my excuse to try out these cute bunny slippers from here.  These were even easier than the 1st ones, and the great thing was that when Bethany tried them on the next day, and they were too small (it probably would have been a good idea to measure her foot rather than just guessing), it was super easy to just undo the back seam and add on a couple of inches...gotta love that about crocheting. Oh, and I thought they looked just as cute without the button eyes and nose, so I just left them off!

Now Bethany's slippers were fun and cute, but just how adorable are these baby shoes.  I've already got some soon-to-be-baby-tootsies in mind to make some more of these little darlings.  Imagine...cute shoes, and a matching hat ... together with probably 2 evenings of work to make a beautiful handmade baby gift for a friend ... can't beat it really!  These ones are from here and here. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I made the little tootsies in the shoes too...LOL!

The exciting thing is you know... crochet baby shoes are not just for winter.  I've spotted lots of adorable patterns online for summer sandles and thongs for little bub feet ... just waiting for the weather to warm up now!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Colouring in style

Just as a little background ... I'm very new to sewing stuff like this.  My Mum is a fantastic seamstress, and was in fact a Home Ec / TAS / whatever-it's-called-now teacher, so I grew up with lots of sewing and stuff going on at home, but never did a huge amount myself, and never thought I was much good at it.  Also, the idea of a sewing pattern scares me half to death ... I'm much more comfortable just making things up as I go along.  So I've really only started trying some more in-depth sewing recently...I've made a few things like some PJ's for Bethany, a pram liner for Hannah, a lunch bag for each girl, a baby sling (posts of each of these things will probably pop up at some time in the future), and who knew...I can actually sew a bit!  Having said that I usually change things up a bit from the instructions to make things simpler for myself.

At the moment, one of my favourite things to do is think of a craft idea that has a practical use, but is also funky and a little bit special (eg something for Bethany to carry her pencils and drawing when we go out) and to find a suitable project that uses only as much fabric as I have, and is a style I like.  So I googled and searched all over the net, til I found this awesome little pencil / drawing case.  I couldn't resist trying it ... like straight away!  Here's the tutorial from Little Big Girl Studio.  Love all the stuff on this blog!

Now my other favourite thing to do is to find a project like this, then work out how to make it that day, without leaving the house to get supplies... I guess it helps me keep motivated to get it finished quickly, costs very little, and totally gives me a sanity craft fix in that moment when I'm in need of some "me" time ... which lately with my 2 busy munchkins, and our current era of very little sleep, seems to be more and more often!  So one day, while both munchkins napped I whipped this up using scrap fabrics, and a beautiful fat-quarter of babushka fabric that my hubby bought me for Christmas (yes, I'm well aware that a fabric-buying hubby is very rare ... he's awesome!)  Babushka's are one of my absolute favourite things, and I love cute stationery, so to me, this was a perfect match.

Here's what Bethany ended up with, along with a few others I've made for little friends since...

I got this cool little tin of pencils from Daiso (the little Japanese shop where everything is $2.80) and some stickers from the Reject Shop for the other little this really was a very cheap project.

Instead of using batting to give it some extra weight, as was suggested in the LBG tutorial, I actually just used a little scrap of fleece I had left over from a past project.  It was thick enough, and definitely much easier than battling with batting / wadding that I've used before.  That's my tip anyway!

A few days after I finished this, I was looking in a little $2 shop, and found this picture imprint kit ... you remember the ones with the tile stencils, then you place a piece of paper on top, use the little black rubbing crayon, and end up with a picture to colour in.

I used to have one of these when I was a kid and I loved it, so when is was priced at $2, I couldn't resist getting one for Bethany ... but of course she said "Mum, this is nice, but where will I put all the bits?".  This over-tired and slightly crazy Mummy's response was "Mmmm, let me think while you're in bed tonight, and you'll have something by morning".  The great thing was there was just enough of my gorgeous babushka fabric left from the drawing case to make a little bag ... just added a button, and some lining so that I could include little pockets for the crayons, and Ta-Da!

Needless to say, Bethany was very excited to wake up the next morning and find this little bag sitting at the end of her bed.  She's now taken to saying things like "Mummy, I think my chairs need cushions ... you can make them while I'm asleep and leave them on the end of my bed, OK!"  Oh dear, I've created a monster!


Hi there, and welcome to my new blog ... I'm totally new to all things blogging, but just love the idea that I can use this as a little diary of my crafty activities and projects.  How amazing that in this era of technology we can share ideas, thoughts, helpful tips and beautiful things in a free and quick way with other people all over the globe.  I love that I get so many ideas from other Mummy bloggers and hope that my blog may also inspire some fun.   Hope you enjoy a read!!