Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Dino-Four Birthday Party

My (big) little man turns 4 today! 4 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. We had a little party for him on the weekend and dinosaurs were requested. Keeping things as simple as possible, this is what we (I) came up with;

Handmade Dino gift wrap and card

Dino-tastic balloons

The very very cute dino card comes from My Little Perfect. The wrapping paper was me taking to the paint, paper and foam stampers while the kids weren't in the house! Fun! The balloons are just your ordinary everyday balloons with some spikes and 'plates' stuck on with sticky tape. Felix helped with the cutting out of the shapes.

Dinosaur Dig Birthday Cake

The cake was so easy! Inspiration taken from a Donna Hay magazine, I baked a yummy flourless chocolate cake, then piped white chocolate onto greaseproof paper sat atop a dinosaur fossil outline I had printed. I then just cut off the top layer of the cake, piled it to the side and whacked the chocolate 'fossil' in the middle. Voila, an archeological dig.

Fossil cupcakes, no awards for artistic merit here!

My mum very kindly made the cupcakes for him to take to Kinder, and again I just piped out white chocolate based on pictures of cupcakes that someone else had made! I so love Pinterest and the sharing of ideas and the making of parent's lives easier!

Party hats with paper spikes, yay Pinterest

No rest though, as we now have another event to organise. We have been told that we're going to have to wait at least 4 more weeks for results from Sophie's blood tests, so she won't be having surgery in this time. We have thus given up waiting to have a big belated 1st birthday, and settled on a much smaller affair. This date we have set for just over two weeks from now (not entirely on purpose) 

So now I am needing to complete items number 2 (heart shaped pinata) and 10 (heart shaped cookies) on My Handmade Challenge List in a hurry!

The main issue I currently have, is where am I going to find very pretty post-it notes for the pinata?! (I guess paper would do too!) Oh and what am I going to put in it, and what cake am I going to make?! Any suggestions are most most welcome!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Wear Green for L'il Aussie Prems

I have cast aside Sophie's partially made cardigan, to take up needles for the L'l Aussie Prems Foundation. They are celebrating Wear Green For Premmies on the 15th of April, and their aim is to provide all babies in NICU/SCN with a lime green beanie so they have something 'green' to wear on the day.

Tiny little green beanies in different sizes

My cousin's baby was a premi, I don't recall at how many weeks she was born, but she was so tiny my cousin could fit his wedding ring all the way to the top of her leg. She is now a very sprightly 10-year-old, and you'd be none-the-wiser. Knitting these beanies, it's still difficult to comprehend just how tiny a premature baby can be.

I ended up getting 5 beanies out of the yarn I had with some left over, but not enough to make a 6th. With my little leftover, I thought it might be nice to make brooches for the parents' to wear, so they could match their babies on the day.

I tried a few different designs, in the end, settled for a little knitted 'ribbon'. Instructions are below if you'd like to make something similar for a cause or just because!

Knitted Charity Ribbons

What You Need

Small quantity of 4ply yarn
3.25 mm knitting needles
Tapestry needle for sewing in ends
2.5 cm or smaller brooch backs

To Make Up

CO 40
Row 1 Knit
CO in Knit
(very complex!)

Fold knitted strip over as shown

Attach to the brooch back using tapestry needle and yarn. Done!

I always love to craft for a cause, even when I have a growing list of other things to make. If you'd like to help out, here is the pattern and information for the Premmie Beanies. If you're looking for other charity crafting projects, check out this post I wrote a while ago.

What are you waiting for? Don't just sit there! Make something and make someone smile xo

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Send a Little Love Swap

Happy Valentines Day! My first ever crafty swap has been completed with Melanie from The Patchwork Robin. The Send a Little Love Swap (in time for Valentines Day) was organised by Mad About Bags. Below is what I sent to Melanie, and what she sent in return. So much love!

The parameters were; Send a minimum of 5 things to include *Something heart shaped or themed *Something deliciously edible *Something handmade *Something red

The love I sent off to the UK
The facecloth I made from this free pattern
using two strands of contrasting cotton

The love I received in return!


Thanks so much to Melanie for all the love, check out The Patchwork Robin for links to tutorials for the mug bag and crochet heart wreath Melanie made me. Thank you also to Mad About Bags for organising. I had fun with my first ever swap and am sure I am going to do more. Although perhaps I shouldn't commit myself just at the moment... the knitting needles are calling.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Knit One, Purl One, Breathe

There is no denying it and no getting around it, I am stressed o. u. t . We still don't have a date for Sophie's heart surgery and we are now waiting on blood test results. We are always waiting on something. Breathe.

I keep putting it all in perspective, at this moment, she is fine. Yes the little band around her pulmonary artery is getting tighter, but the doctors say that this is fine, and I have to believe them. She's at home, not in hospital like so many little bubbas and children and their families. Breathe.

Sophie's cardigan WIP and a good yarn

I am so stressed out, I even suggested to my husband that perhaps I need more projects to do. I have only done 2 on my Handmade Challenge List, there are still 10 to do and did I mention I am hopeless with a sewing machine?! Breathe.

To try and focus, I have launched myself into project number 8 on the list, a little cardigan for Sophie. As a result, instead of cleaning the house or cooking food for the children, all I want to do is knit, or read about knitting. Perhaps I can knit a cocoon, one big enough for the whole family and we can all crawl in there until it's all over. Breathe.

One thing that I am excited about is the new addition to our family. This lovely chair has become my new favourite place in the house. Despite the view of the unkempt kitchen, I can also see outside (into the unkempt yard) and watch my unkempt children play. Breathe.

My new favourite sitting place

I have used it for sitting, knitting, reading and feeding. 'Feeding?' I hear you say, 'don't you mean eating?' No, as creepy as it sounds, I'm still breastfeeding my 13 month old. She would never take a bottle, and I figured it would be unfair to stop before she had surgery again. That was when I thought her surgery was going to be 6 months ago. I am painfully aware that this could soon escalate into a Game of Thrones situation. As long as they don't keep my little girl waiting much longer. Breathe.

arolyn in Canada, when you've sent supportive words to my mum so many times, they have reached me too, thank you. Breathe.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Accucut Grandemark Away...

About 4 years ago now, I tried my hand at a little crafty online business making fabric iron-on letters and motifs. It turns out I wasn't very passionate about it and was far too busy with my family to really put much time and or effort into it.

To make the items, I bought myself an Accucut Grandemark die cutting machine. A brilliant piece of machinery that can (and has) cut through just about anything (within reason!).

Last year I came to the decision that as she wasn't getting much use, it was probably time to sell the old girl, but I wanted to give her one last hurrah before I said goodbye.

So I got cutting!

Felt Letters for Playing

Cardboard fruit, not so delicious, but cute!
Iron-on Letters, might come in handy
Sewn together, they make cute, quick Christmas garlands

So now I have that out of my system, I have to figure out the best place to sell her so she'll go to a good home. Any suggestions?

Monday, 2 February 2015

What a pear! A crochet pear that is

I cannot believe it, I am honestly in disbelief that on the 2nd of February, I am two down on my Handmade Challenge, and both of those items are crochet!! I have been so scared of crochet for so long and now, well now, give me a pattern and I'll give it a go!

To compare a pair of pears, mine on the left

So here is number 9 from My Handmade Challenge List. A crochet fruit buddy, or as I prefer (with thanks to Miranda Hart) my Fruit Friend. Pattern courtesy of Mollie Makes issue 44.

This hook is too big, this hook is just right

I started following the pattern in terms of hook size, however it soon became apparent that it was going to be a very holy pear. So I started again with a smaller hook which worked much better, although the finished pear is a little shorter than the size according to the pattern, a petite pear.
The golden thread
The gold thread was extremely difficult to work with, I couldn't quite see what I was doing, and I got very confused with all the htr's and tr's and dtr's. I am so glad there was only one leaf and am considering not using it again when I make another. Now what do I do with a whole ball of golden thread?

I tried out a few different options for the mouth, before going with the simple little smile. I then attempted to crochet the cheeks with the gold thread again. It's actually quite funny to think of pears as having cheeks, but rather than continue to struggle, I decided less is more and rubbed on a little white chalk instead.

One happy pear

I think she's pretty darn cute and I am itching to get going on an apple next, every fruit friend needs a friend of their own.