Baby Babushka toy {a tutorial}

 

A babushka doll made for baby D by Lily

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An easy soft stuffed toy, easily modified or decorated at your whim.

Lily created this doll one day while we visited friends, it really didn’t take long and she was proud of her efforts.

{i am learning to stay out of the way of her inspirations more and more as her skills develop

and i know she is capable to see it through}

Begin with two large rectangles of felt fabric and a scrap for a face circle

needle and strong thread of various colours

fluffy wool to stuff it

half a cup of rice or similar large grain to fill the bottom of the body

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sketch a babuska-esque pattern, fold in half and trim the shape to mirror each side

trace this pattern onto your two felt rectangles {front and back of body}20130505-073528.jpg

 

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cut out a circular piece in contrasting colour to become the face,

stitch the face circle into position with small neat stitches around the edge

adorn her with features, hair, etc at this point

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lay front piece on top of the back and begin stitching around the body, Lily began at a shoulder and left the head open to stuff the body

pour the grain into the base of the doll so she will stand up

fill the rest with fluffy wool

stitch up your last opening

adorn as you wish, with embroidery, buttons or fabric clothing etc

20130505-073546.jpggift it to a little person who will surely enjoy chewing on the arms….

 

 

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Felt Animal Eggy Cosy or Toy {tutorial}

I bought my second ever Frankie magazine to enjoy while having long soaks in this great claw foot bathtub here~!

the first one i bought because the cover image was completely embroidered tiny replicas of everyday items did you see that one?

anyway, somewhere in it’s depths {the mag not the bath} I found an article about Eggy Cosy Critters and was inspired to felt craft with Lily.

She completely was not interested, {oh poor me, I’ll have to do it myself….;)}

until it turned out too small for an egg and I gave it up to be transformed to her liking! I think you will like the end result! I’m wondering which friend she is planning to give it too…
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Here are some guidelines if you’d like to make your own or similar…

We started with 2 rectangles of wool felt fabric 7cm H x 8cm W {bigger if you want to put a real hen egg under it, you could always run another stitch line in closer}

and some scraps for ears. I used craft glue to detail the ears.

make sure you cut the ears with an added 1cm bottom length as it will tuck between the two larger pieces.

embroider on a cutesy whiskery face…

IMG_0225 IMG_0226lay the ears on top of the backing, then place the face on, secure with pins and stitch about 3mm from the edge leaving the bottom open.IMG_0227ahh soooo cute! but too small mumsy… Another possibility at this point is to pop a couple of holding stitches between the fingers and make a finger puppet… or two or three…

so I surrender it over to Lily and she creates….IMG_0228 IMG_0002¬† with a couple of nifty outfits…

this girl could be a fairy’s dressmaker…IMG_0001have fun with this** i’d love to see a pic if you make one…

ps had a nap, had a massage, had a hug, had some friendly phone calls, feeling better ūüôā

thankyou for your support lovely people

learning through letter writing… and lasting friendship


when Lily was on her way to two years old, we pulled up in the fringes of Fremantle WA to make our home for a while. We initially house sat for friends of ours and then stayed on for a few weeks after their return. Their wee boy Fern was only four weeks older than Lily and soon these two where playing, cooking, working, eating, walking, peeing and making mischief companionably alongside each othergrrrumpy faces

 

We nicknamed them straighty and curly (their hair) and told funny stories about their adventures.. during the years we lived nearby, they surely where besties and devoted fans of the Amazing Drumming Monkeys! {do you like all my made-up words?}

the adventures of straighty and curly

we’ve all had a lot of adventures since then, but the connection is alive in our hearts and when I sat letter writing during the week, Lily joined me to write to Fern who now lives in NZ.lily writing to fern

We haven’t seen him since late 2008 but the occasional letter or gift or joke passes over the sea between them.

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven't seen each other for a year

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven’t seen each other for a year

I was quietly hopefull this letter writing would go without frustration (hers) and outwardly, gently encouraging as Lily focused in on this task. She has only recently begun writing more than a few words spontaneously and she seemed abit daunted by the long blank page. Enthused, but asking me to help her decide what to write, she eventually decided to write about her life because he doesn’t know what she’s been doing. {dear Fern I live in a bus it is powered on blueberry gas… thats 8 year old humor for you}After the first paragraph she copies jokes down for him to giggle over, and then drew a cartoon story on the back about life in the bus and so it became a good laughing session and I was so pleased to see her persistence and interest and enjoyment of the ink flowing onto the page, even if some of it was blobs.

Sometimes I am anxious about her ‘official educating’ when she has spent so much time absent from school, yet we have not officially taken up the homeschool banner. I question whether she is stimulated enough or if her skills are developing as they need to. I doubt myself and my ability to guide her along the paths of interest and learning and sometimes wonder if she is simply bored bored bored! I fall into the trap of comparison with other families and how they get on with their lives and education, I worry and celebrate and come up with great ideas and sometimes am at a complete loss.

So you see, when these moments happen and I am shown how naturally her writing and punctuation and word structure and creative writing have developed without formal classes I am so, so excited! From last week to this her skill has remarkably improved in this area, and since this day of letter writing she has written a few more short stories and in depth captions to her illustrations. {she had a fever over the weekend and I do have to wonder about the picture from Anthroposophy in which children often come out of a fever having grown or developed or moved into a new place, or something fantastic like that}

tree monkeys

cheeky happy monkeys!

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the stump in the garden became the centre of long imaginative plays involving fairies and diggers

 

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in Mike Lillian’s {wind willow basketry} abundant woven garden

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I have subscribed to this wonderful blog Simple Homeschool {never let your schooling interrupt your education}

Here I find writings which are so encouraging with regards to some of these struggles I have. One point which  is  repeated is along these lines

“the connection and relationship and enjoyment of each other take priority over

getting the comma in the right place every time”

And so, I am enthused and inspired about this child’s learning which evolves in front of me, mirrored by my own personal learning amidst it all. Particularly the gift of humour!

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did you enjoy the amusing photo’s of the little ones amongst my musings?

{i just couldn’t resist sharing them once I got back into to my old library of photographs}

do you home school, school school or some other?

how have you and your child/ren approached literature skills?

or how do you imagine approaching this with them?

any thing you want to share on this topic?

have you a love of the written word?

peace and ponderings

Roselinde

xx

 

Our Easter in Autumn Story

IMG_0703 on Easter eve we are visiting friends on the journey north from Sydney. The children go out in the sunset pink to cut grass to line the easter basket and to feed the Easter hare
IMG_0710 while they cut I retell an Easter story about the journey of the Easter hare and the purpose of the eggs as i have adopted it from this great book. Easter in Autumn. i deeply enjoy storytelling without a book in front of me as i took the time to learn the story and make it my own. They are both captivated and i feel peaceful with this serene wash of calm coming over me as i bask in the moment and the beauty of the simple now-ness and connection we are sharing. i am inspired to learn more stories to tell.
IMG_0713this basket was woven in Arnhem land, jesse gifted it to Lily on return of his trip there last year. {i got a lady version for my birthday}IMG_0714the light is soft and pastelly and embracing and look below, it hints to the sky of the dawn…IMG_0723Lily and I have made a date to silently watch the sunrise on Easter morn.

we are camped by a river and the light bounces from the water in a myriad of pastel delicacies..IMG_0725Pelicans join us and we are gifted this close observation of a much loved birdIMG_0730 IMG_0747Lily points out the Pelican has made a heart with it’s own reflectionIMG_0748¬†i resolve to make more dates with Lily, the peace of simply being together touches us both deeply. It is grounding and loving and sets us up for a rich connection through the day.
IMG_0749 IMG_0758 finally a golden peep through the clouds melts the dew from waxy leaves

a new day

a new beginningIMG_0759 as we walk back we pick golden sunny flowers to decorate the bus and the easter baskets, glistening with dew

Cedar and Jesse are awake and after the children exclaim over the gifts from the Easter hare in their baskets, they go outside with a poem of clues to find the Easter treasures
IMG_0775 oh whats under here??

skip to a quick ant bite interlude….

then the treasure hunt is back on….
IMG_0779 IMG_0786looking looking looking, Lily can see the silver paper on the tyre and is encouraging Cedar to find it and giggling about his looking but not seeing… i remember Lily at this age needing very obvious eye level treasures to find…¬†IMG_0787¬†I found it!!
IMG_0790 and up here Cedar!

i am wondrous to see Lily turn the seeking into a game for Cedar in which she is showing and helping him in a thoughtful way, instead of rushing around claiming all the treasure. it reveals the change out of early childhood i am seeing into a less selfconcerned world view. beautiful.IMG_0798the treasure is in and unwrapped and eaten.

after struggling in the night with my staunch anti chocolate stance, i realise the experience of my uptight stress is less beautiful than the joy the children will have when unwrapping 2 squares of organic chocolate before breakfast!

and it was fine, and they were so happy, and they did not have sugar meltdowns!

it’s good to let go a little now and then. but yes i am pretty strict about sweets in our own home and prefer to savour these type of treats for specials.

later in the day we prepare eggs to decorate and enjoy an omelette for lunch

you may know how already but here

  the simple steps to blow eggs ready for decoration and hanging
IMG_0803use a large pin to pierce one end of an egg, i use a series of punctures in close proximity to open a 2mm hole, repeat on the opposite end and remember to have a bowl ready to catch your egg insides {make an omelette or cake…}IMG_0805apply your lips and lungs to the task of blowing a stream of egg insides to the outside. rinse by submersing in water and blowing out once more. towel dry and there they are, light and ready to decorate. we often use water colour pencils or paints, or dye with onion skin…IMG_0808in the weeks coming up to Easter i scout around town for white shelled eggs.. {In Bellingen they are sold at the Providore from a local farmer….} this year we had little choice as we travelled…IMG_0809the easter bounty which the children are happy happy happy withIMG_0814during our afternoon drive i watch Lily singing out the window like a puppy with her face in the wind…

i imagine her reflecting on the day and she is singing her happiness to the world…

some sweet sweet moments in our day

blessings and happy new beginning to us all…

Waking up to…

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i have become quite attatched to these animals

the hens and Mr Pantaloons are so amusing

as anyone who has spent time with hens knows

in that slightly daft and theatrical way which they behave

he really is very beautiful, a storybook rooster

with a fantastic crow

and he takes good care of his ladies

i’ve been playing farmgirl these last months

and it is sweet simple tasks which brighten the morning

and encourage one to get up early before it is hot

animals who love to see you every day consistantly boost one’s self esteem

{even if deep down i know it’s the one with the bucket they love….}

i have gained more confidence with these goat girls and can milk with a

great Heidi-esque splash now

i still cannot yodel, surely there must be a you tube tutorial on it…

must look that up

they are mischievous and daring

cheeky and personable

just like a story one girl turned around and started to nibble my hat

really! goats don’t really eat hats do they??


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and then later i morph from farm mama into crafting mama

i had some lessons on setting up a table loom in WA

i never did post the photos… another day yet again

{do you wonder about behind the scenes and all i don’t share?

some of it is simply beautiful and disappears in the motion of the days of wonder

and some of it is the most ugly parts of my life which i hold tight to me in fear of what you or i might think or they are simply too raw to reveal on this medium}

anyway weaving.

lily received a great loom from aunty J for her birthday,

instructions in German where too complex

but yesterday i did it! {thanks mama}

success and away we went

the three of us a weaving team, the rhythm of our tasks helping something wondrous and special come together

for papa {shhhhh}


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Lily’s February sweater

Well, I finally finished Lily’s February girl sweater!

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hooray! my most complex and challenging knitting project so far.

I learnt so much with this project, practically and internally

so much required from me

including patience

persistance

invention

commitment

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persistance

imagination

bravery

overcoming tedium

presence

attention

there are alot of p words aren’t there?

one last one…

pride!

beautiful aint it!

IMG_4683it’s the February pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s book, The Knitter’s Almanac

adapted to big girl size with lots of trial and error! remember this...

an excellent, amusing guide to knitting projects throughout a year.

you can see my ravelry notes for the February girl Sweater/cardigan here…

Are you still knitting this late in the year if you are in the southern hemisphere?

and what are you starting to warm yourself in the coming months if you are in the north?

happy clicketty clacking

R

make a paper bag…

on a cold and rainy day

we had school at home

after songs and circle games

for morning tea some nuts where cracked to accompany our fruit

our morning craft lesson was making origami paper bags from an old phone book

then a ‘shop’ game evolved between the children

go get yourself a piece of paper, any size will do, try newspaper or an old telephone bill…

here comes the method to make a handy paper container to use for a multitude of purposes

including gift wrapping, games, shopping, seed saving, storage, envelopes and and and…

{hover your mouse over the images and the written instructions will magically appear}

lay out your paper in the landscape position

i just think that’s a great re-use of our waste paper!

Lily made a bunch of little sacks to package little craft items in for the school stall.

today i feel like making a big sack to put over my head…

 

with giggles

R

ps let me know what you use your paper bags for

 

 

 

a little mending…

how to love mending as much as the making

i’ve been working on this and in the last weeks

gathered in the holey things and begun

wow! i’ve let them go a long time and some holes have grown noticeably

but here i go with my needle and thread and a little stillness

and a lot of enjoyment of handling these beautiful things again

and knowing i am giving them a new burst of life

Lily is not feeling well

as i wrapped her in her baby blanket {with big girl extensions}

i noticed those holes

so with children at one end and me at the other

i got to my task

feeling the texture and weight of this beautiful crotcheted blanket

how quickly it warmed my legs and memory

i was pregnant with my first big belly

traveling in a beautiful old yellow kombi van

Jesse and I on our first adventure together

i gathered yarn from my family and friends

along the way i gathered more

and as we drove often i had my basket of yarn at my feet and

this growing blanket on my growing belly

i wove into it all my wondering of who and when and how

all those pre mama feelings

who would i be bundling in this wool one day soon?

thousands of stitches thousands of kilometres and thousands of blessings.

from my reverie i glance up

and here is my daughter

bigger than ever

as i mended we talked about her birth

she and Cedar chatted and played

and i cherished this gift i made

once upon a time for a wee babe

a little sewing…

borrowed a vintage cadillac of a sewing machine

{dear stitcher, i have missed you immensely in my life these last 6 months…}

finished the job at hand then

treated myself to a tiny playful sewing make i had seen

on another funky mama

patch together scraps of this and that

make a long snake for the characterless camera strap.

then had fun taking snaps in the mirror for you

go on make one too. it’s fun for you or someone you look at….

i love bringing handmade to the pieces of modern technology in my life

and seeing what others do to theirs…

 

 

what do you think?

are you going to make something to brighten up one of your gadgets?

xx

for practical directions

the dimensions of  my patches for my canon strap {4cm wide}

i made a patchwork strip of 10cm by 90cm

folded in half, right sides together and stitched long seam

rolled right side out

and slipped over the strap..

tutorial ~ make a pocket gnome

assemble materials

  • cut yourself a pattern of the square body {6cm} ¬†and cap ¬†{5×2.5cm} has come curvature to it
  • two colors wool felt fabric
  • a wooden bead for the head 12mm or so
  • thread and needle {if child is making it, be kind and use bigger needle and thread/embroidery floss}
  • scissors
  • fluff to stuff {wool or cotton wool}
  • craft glue

 

cut pattern pieces

1x square for body

1x cap in matching color

1x square for pocket

1x triangle for pocket front

 

mark centre of doll’s body and firmly attach wooden bead head upright

use a dab of non toxic craft glue to secure the thread in the position of the ear line

stitch seam of the cap {i prefer blanket stitch, but over stitch is equally good and easier for children who are at the beginning of their crafting life}

insert a finger into the cap to open it out in readiness for the head bead

use a dab of glue to secure the cap on gnomes head ensuring you cover the strings

begin at one hand and stitch around the body two thirds of the way to the other hand

stuff your gnomes body with fluff

continue to stitch to other hand and bind off

tie off hands at the wrist with a little string

your gnome is complete,  Yay for you!!

decorate if you wish

to make the pocket lay your triangle piece over the diamond piece and stitch the two outer sides

decorate with fancy stitchin if you wish {stars, flowers, colorful lines, beautiful embroidery etc}

{children can do ‘dolphin stitch’ simple in and out stitch in a line, like a dolphin diving up and down for decoration}

then pop your little gnome into bed!

too cute!

very sweet gifts, children’s activity, stocking fillers and a friend for special times

in a childs {inner children too}  life when they need a comfort in their pocket