Monday, September 28, 2009

Just a few more finished projects!

I had quite a productive weekend craft wise (weather wasn't much good for anything else!) This is a little batwing cardigan that was a free pattern on Ravellry. I had it all done excepting the front band and cuffs about 12 months ago and then it stalled - I have such an aversion to stitching up knitted things!! Silly thing is that it really only took a few hours in front of the telly to get it done! James doesn't like it so it won't be going on the new babe - more likely a present for my friend's little one who is due a fortnight before ours. I have just enough wool left to make a little hat to go with it.

This was a very satisfying baby playmat project with my two cherubs. We got the idea from Amanda Blake Soule's fabulous book (my current favourite) "Handmade Home" The kids drew all over a scrap piece of fabric with textile markers - thinking of course about what the new baby might like so we have a picture of our house, and our family, and Princess Jasmine, and an American style barn complete with rooster on the weathervane LOL! Most priceless of all is that you can see one of the first concrete examples we have of Dan's representational drawings (see, that is a face beside the barn?) We finished it with some purple homespun from a project I outgrew a decade ago and lots of precut 2" squares from my scrap stash. I haven't quite worked out what to do with the middle of it yet - tied or naive quilted around the figures, or an all over machine quilting? The wadding was a leftover scrap so this project cost us absolutely nothing and provided some welcome entertainment for two small ones with cabin fever!

This is my niece's first birthday present - one of the kinder dolls from a pattern by Jodi Carleton. She has a great blog which I will add to my list. I personally think this little dolly's neck is a bit giraffe like but she didn't turn out too badly and I love that the clothes are reversible and child friendly. Toying with the idea of one each for the cherubs and for my brother's two girls for their birthdays?

My boy has been on leave for two weeks and as nice as it was to have him home today is all about getting the house back in order and decluttering the stuff that seems to accumulate when we are in holiday mode!
First stop this morning (after bedmaking) was the garden for some fresh blooms - funny how no matter how messy the house is you always feel better with fresh flowers in the bathrooms and kitchen? I've had two early roses already, and my clematis is just about to burst into a riot of blooms, and the apple blossom is also divine but I can't bear to pick it for the thought of apples that won't happen?
Happy Spring to you!
keep smiling,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Colour me happy and my Steiner dolls

These are the little Steiner dolls that I was talking about in my last post. I did two lots of lessons with a lovely local lady. The first was to make the big dolls; Gloria and Pip (Hannah chose Gloria's wild raspberry hair and bonded with her before she was even finished!) Dan was unfortunately a bit too young for Pip at the time so he has remained a somewhat peripheral figure - gets played with sometimes but not the treasured companion I had hoped! I kind of don't mind as I am a bit partial to Pip myself - love his pumpkin hair.

The little dolls are called "root babies". I can't find a photo of the normal root babies I made but these are the Easter versions! They are very soft and squishy and mold to fit a child's hand. Unfortunately because they are full of rice they can't get wet which means that ours are now a delicate shade of grey through much use!
I am toying with the idea of making them both jointed "baby" dolls from the new arrival but don't know if I really need another project LOL!

I have always had a bit of an eclectic teaching style and been quite influenced by Steiner so love this little journey into the world of Steiner toys. We like to visit "Head, Heart and Hands" which is the most magical rainbow of a shop in our own little main street of Nairne. It has exquisite woolen and silk items and beautiful wooden animals and Steiner dolls and toys. If you are local and haven't visited you really should! I have spent far too much of the money I earn relief teaching in this shop! The wooden animals are particularly hard to resist... We are off there this morning looking for wool roving for the kindy and I just know that I will be tempted to do a bit of Christmas shopping! Visiting "Head, Heart and Hands" always makes me feel like throwing out all of the kids plastic junk and just having rooms full of natural, beautiful, handcrafted toys!
On a totally unrelated topic; something very strange is happening. I have always been a fan of soft florals, muted browns and blues but lately I find myself flirting more and more with colour. I borrow English Country Living from the library and ogle the gorgeous Kath Kidson prints and the lovely bright spotty teacups and vintage furniture. I read books like Seams to Me and Material Obsession just for the explosions of colour. I even have fat quarters like the red paisley creeping into my stash? I am obsessed with red and white spots (has become almost my signature fabric?) and I hadn't stopped to think about this strange obsession until visiting my friend in her new home. She was cradling her gorgeous new baby and showing me around when she pointed out her red kitchen stools. "I had to have them, even though they don't go with anything else" she said, "I just couldn't stop buying red things when I was pregnant!"
Which makes me wonder; is there something about pregnancy and red? Or did this changing of colour palettes begin happening before that? Why do colourful sights like thread spilling out of my embroidery tin make me perversely happy?
Why does this cheerful patchwork chair work for me when my husband thinks it is revolting?

Why does colour affect us in this way?
Anyhow, enough rambling - I'm off to play with some more fabric, and later some baking with the cherubs.
Keep smiling,

p.s. apologies the photos are sideways. Anyone know how to alter this?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Something for Doll makers

A friend just put me onto this lovely blog: I have been following Little Jenny Wren's blog for quite a while as I just love the look and feel of Steiner dolls. Very glad to be able to add the handmaden to my list of blog eyecandy! She is having a lovely giveaway at the moment so check it out! One day when I am feeling creative I will photograph the Steiner dolls I made for my two cherubs.
Until then,
Happy stitching,
Keep smiling,

p.s. I do have some photos on the camera to share but life has been crazy hectic here this week - maybe Friday?