Monday, July 29, 2013

I have been doing stuff...

As ever, I am completely incapable of keeping up with this blog. I am hopeless about it. I really want to do it, but there always seems to be something else I’d rather do.

It doesn’t help that I find posting so time consuming. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier! Clearly I’ve missed something or it just doesn’t!

So, I’ve been on a little bit of a sewing sabbatical. I crafted up a storm for weeks getting ready for the opening of Handmade Cans (which is looking gorgeous, by the way!) and then...stopped.

I’ve been doing other things, writing, working for Cairns Parenting Companion (which I’m loving!) and generally faffing about.

There have been a couple of sewing projects that I’ve finished. I hand-quilted (!) a blanket for the girls. I had been watching a particular panel to come on sale at Spotlight and when it did, I grabbed one. The woman cutting it was clearly going to be crooked, so I tried to politely point it out. She was so rude to be about it, and continued on. Then when she realised I was right, her response was, “Oops!” while I was quietly fuming. I’d been waiting for this panel for ages and there were only two left, so it was not correctable.

But she gave me the last panel for free, so I can’t complain too much. I’m just not happy that the border is not what I had hoped for. But the girls love their ‘Sister blanket!’

We have also had a couple of birthdays, so that has meant making presents. I never remember to take photos of them. One that I should have was a gorgeous seahorse I made from a free pattern. Big informed me at 4pm last Tuesday that it was a friend’s birthday the next day and could she please have a seahorse for her. Fortunately I did actually have the pattern already printed and cut out. So there was a seahorse the next day - fluoro pink with a sparkly blue fin. I really loved it!

Then there was a good friend’s daughter’s birthday. I asked her what she wanted and after asking for a Peppa Pig cake (fortunately someone else was already doing that!) she asked for a doll with orange hair.

Enter the most beautiful doll book ever! I have been following the blog Bybido for ages and loved the dolls I was seeing. Jill released her book, Storybook Toys, quite a while ago and I finally wore down and bought it. While I love making the Waldorf style dolls, the embroidered faces on Jill’s dolls captivated me and I really wanted to learn how to recreate her style. My amazing hubby had no idea what to get me for Mothers’ Day, so he said I could get a couple of books from – best present ever! 

I made the Little Cub for Big as a special toy for her to snuggle at kindy. I cut off a torn section of her ‘Nigh Nigh’ (cot sheet tied in a knot that she has been carrying around for almost 5 years) and she helped me dye it with tea to create a nice colour. Then we used bamboo fleece to create the body and hat. The cub has been dubbed ‘Sharn’ and Big loves the fact that she can be both asleep and awake!

But back to the doll. I picked the next simplest design (Jill states that it takes 4 hours to stuff one of her more detailed dolls and I just did not have the time!). Her instructions are wonderful and detailed with diagrams and all of the patterns are included in full size at the back.

Embroidering the face and hair (each strand is hand stitched) took me four hours alone, but I loved the end result. Everyone who saw the doll before it was gifted commented on how amazing the face and hair were – so totally worth the time! Hopefully with practice I’ll get quicker and tidier with my stitching.

Little calls her 'Emily' and keeps asking if she can have one. Seeing as I made Big a Little Cub, it only seems fair!

Jill has many other vintage inspired toys in the book, all of which I am going to try at some stage. Both girls regularly flick through the pages, putting their orders in for what they want!

And finally, here is one of Big's creations. We were playing with playdough and she asked for some tiny snails. I made those, the rest is all her! They are kissing on a rock, if anyone is wondering!