Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Dresses for Guatemala

Back in December a lady from my church approached me to help make some dresses to send to another country, I think Guatemala.  She is going in February to meet her sponsor child and is also taking some dresses for a program there.  A group of ladies have re-modeled donated prom dresses for a variety of sizes.  I made some very simple and durable sun dresses for the younger girls.   I apologize that I don't have more information about the organization but I am praying that these dresses may be a blessing to those who will receive them.
These dresses only too about 1.5 hours each.  I made 2 more but forgot to photograph them.  I ended up making an extra one because my sister fell in love with this pink one for my niece.

These are so easy to make.  The bodice is a front and back piece with a lining.  The shape looks like bunny ears.  The skirt is 15 inches by about 60 inches and is also lined.   I think if I were creative enough I could make the dress fully reversible.
If you are seriously interested I can some how describe the pattern better to you personally.  I'm also working on a doll dress to match.

Monday, 30 January 2012

More Felt Food

A few weeks ago I found a wooden play kitchen for free on Kijiji.  I know.  How could I pass up such an amazing offer, especially since I just made a lot of felt food at Christmas?!  My wonderful husband went and picked it up for us.  It has been a big hit even though we didn't fix it up or anything.
Our kitchen when we first got it
This past week we finally got to doing some work on the play kitchen.  I liked how it was simple as it leaves more room for the imagination.  We did add some hooks and a bucket for storage.  Jon also added a back to the black shelf so the food wouldn't fall out.  Our intent is to add doors to make it a fridge.  When we get some time and money we'll get to it.
Ikea accessories

Pot hooks for the sides

Remodel of play kitchen
In the evenings I have been making a few more pieces of felt food.  Pictures below is a slice of tomato, a piece of lettuce, slice of swiss cheese, a loaf, half a bagel, a piece of watermelon and some peanut butter.  TJ calls it Wow Butter (a new soy butter we are trying due to MJ's peanut allergy).

I have grand plans but little time.  I am working on some strawberries, an apple, a cob of corn and another half of a bagel.  I'l love to purchase a set of wooden meats you can slice.  And I've got plans to knit a dozen eggs for our empty carton.

Any suggestions for more things to make?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Calm Down Basket

When I saw this incredible idea today on Positive Parenting I knew I just had to make one. She better describes the purpose than I can, so you may want to check out the post and this back post about the calm down corner.
Balloons filled with playdough
In our house we have realized that things can get quite out of control.  TJ is a highly sensitive child who feels his emotions so deeply.  Recently both Jon and I have noticed that we are loosing our cool and control when dealing with the kids.  We are working towards regaining our own self-control and creating a peaceful place for TJ to calm down when we gets upset. This of course is used rarely and is only one part of what we do to help the boys.

Enter the calm down basket!!!  For us we feel TJ's room is the best spot as we live in a bungalow and there isn't a good corner to use.  Here is what is in our basket so far.

TJ checks out the new basket

Squishy balloons
Note book and pencil
Stress toy
Books
Eye-Spy jar

Rice jar with little objects

I plan to add a mind jar and maybe a finger puppet too.  TJ communicates very well to toys about his feelings.  The mind jar is just too cool, I just need the supplies first.

I think he likes it!

Also if you are interested I highly recommend the book the Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine N. Aron.  It helped us to understand TJ (and my own) uniqueness.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Playing with Recycling

I love that TJ's imagination is bursting with great ideas.  In the past two weeks before recycling day we have made some really cute creations for his little toys.

First we made a city by gluing all sorts of boxes onto a big poster we were recycling.  I had initially gathered up all the supplies expecting us to make cardboard sculptures, but TJ just wanted to do his own thing.  We've had a great time making up all sorts of stories for his toys.  You can see a frog in the apartment building in the photo!

 We have two very small knit bees that have been a recent favourite for TJ.  His little friends needed a new beehive since their imaginary ones were broken.  I helped him make some rooms and we put in furniture too.  TJ was especially proud of his colouring.
 Of course no house is complete without a garage.  Our's happens to be larger than the beehive house, but then that's how it should be for a boy.  We even saw MJ playing with the house one time.
 Here is my little race car driver playing with a toaster oven that needs to go into storage.  Both boys played with the play food for quite a while the other day. I was happy they were enjoying the play food I made.  I've got big plans for more food when I get a chance.
 Here is a picture of the little kitchen we picked up for free!!  I hope to turn the black shelves into a fridge.  Sorry there is no photo of MJ this time.  He is too fast for me!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Winter snack for our friends

I read about this wonderful idea for a bird feeder garland from the Chocolate Muffin Tree.

After a bit of a rough morning last week with TJ I thought I'd try something a little more quiet before naps.  I showed TJ the blog post and he jumped at the idea.  We used frozen cranberries (easier to thread), stale no name cereal and some dried out Italian bread.  I was happy to use up some food and share with our little outdoor friends.
TJ tastes a cranberry =(
MJ eating all the cereal
TJ focused his attention for quite a long time, I was rather surprised.  His plan was to use all the cranberries then switch to the cereal.  About half way through he let me have a turn.  I had more of a pattern in mind.
Look at that concentration
So proud of his work

We placed our little garland on a bush outside.  We'll see who takes a nibble. If I were to do this again I'd make several smaller ones to hang up like decorations.

MJ was busy the whole time with a bucket of rice.  He is really into pouring things these days!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Dress-up clothes

This Christmas I made a special present for my mom and the grandkids.

For these tail I found this wonderful idea from Vixen Made.  I followed her tutorial except I couldn't find the name tags.  After a short trip to the thrift store I found a pair of suspenders.  The clips on the ends worked great.  Now I need to make some more to keep at our own house.
 

Felt ears sewn around hairbands
 
Felt crowns

A bit of elastic sewn to the back 

Simple felt flowers sen to a band of material.
I also made this tutu for TJ.  He has had so much fun playing dress up, so I made something to go with his wings.  It is made from tying little strips of tule around a length of elastic.
My next step is to properly set up our dress-up area with a mirror and hooks.

Monday, 2 January 2012

My favourite posts from 2011

Happy New Year and welcome to my blog!
In the world of blogging many people are sharing their favourite posts from 2011. I linked up through the Imagination Tree. I have found it so hard to choose because I try to write from the heart so I love all my posts.
I love this post about Playing with nature because it reminds me of what I have been trying to work towards with my boys.  In 2011 I began to learn a lot more about natural parenting, simplifying our lives, being more peaceful and enjoying creation more.  We are still evolving but we did spend most of the summer outside and have begun to find some fun things to do in the snow too.

One of my posts was featured on another site, so that was fun.  I had made table setting placemats.

My most popular post was from a blog hop in which I met many wonderful people and began following so many more fantastic blogs!

I do hope you'll look around and see what other crafts and things we did last year.  Do come back and see what this new year will bring!