Welcome to our blog.

..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

You can find me here

  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
Follow on Bloglovin

Craft Projects

Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

Photobucket

Life

Thank you….

  • Balsam Hill UK Blogger Love { […] order to match the rustic appeal of their cottage home, Cheryl opted to decorate her Berkshire Fir in a simple scheme. The colourful hand-crafted... }
  • Craft Mother I can't imagine not having a dog around, but I do realise that they are not everyone's cup of tea. 26 Mar
  • Craft Mother I have no idea how pre-school and KS1 teachers survive the chairs. Strong knees. I think you are right. If nothing else, at least it... 26 Mar
  • Craft Mother I suspect my daughter is put off by the idea of having braces again. I can imagine that there must be a few schools that... 26 Mar
  • Craft Mother I still feel like a newbie when it comes to crocheting. I'm sure it won't take you long. Looking forward to seeing what you make. 26 Mar
  • Older »

Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

I’ve been featured by

crafting with children

Hurray! A Rainy, January weekend

The frost has gone and replaced by rain. Not heavy but enough for me to change my dog walking route and opt for a quiet weekend. I’m not keen on mud season. I seem to spend too much time trying to keep mud out of the house, only to start again the next day. One day, I will just give up, throw seeds at it and see what plants we have growing in the house by summer. Might be quite interesting. Peppers and tomatoes growing in easy reach for my salad preparation.

My theory is that there is always an upside, or silver lining, if you look hard enough. This weekend was good. We did the Big Garden Birdwatch as a family. We do it each year. Despite the rain, there were a good number of different types of birds, to count. Improving everyone’s identification skills.  There was also a creative vibe bouncing around the house, hitting everyone. Even the Pup whittled a stick by the fire, although it looked more like an attempt to make kindling rather than a great masterpiece. I live in hope.

After homework was reluctantly, by some, complete, the paints were out. All three children, at one stage, were busy painting. Birds, feathers and eyes. Just experimenting away from the pressure of a classroom.

They finally enthusiastically decorated the gingerbread house. We are coming up to Candlemas, half way through winter. It seemed a good time to mark it with gingerbread. We’ll be celebrating with Candlemas activities later in the week, as usual. I wouldn’t miss it.

I love the jelly bellies they gave the gingerbread men. The tummy buttons sank down due to lack of room. Not that any of it lasted long after this photo was taken. A small piece was reserved for today’s packed lunch.

In between it all, I was creative too. I positioned the old Singer machine at the end of the kitchen table and started on a patchwork. Not for long. Middle daughter hovered.

It wasn’t long before, she reappeared with patchwork squares, cut up and ready to go.

I didn’t mind, did I?

I was hardly going to say no. Especially as she went on to bake the cake in the top photo, later on in the day.

For her patchwork, she laid out the squares on her bed. Running up and down the stairs to fetch the next strip to sew. Loving using her great great grandmother’s hand cranked sewing machine. There is something rather special about sewing with this machine.

She finished it too. That evening, when I went up to say goodnight, I found she’d laid the finished quilt top on the end of her bed. It looked pretty, but lacks the warmth of a quilt, yet. Next stage is to sandwich the layers and quilt it. My patchwork is a long way off that stage. Partly as I’ve changed the scope. It started off as a small pincushion, but as I eased into the process, it grew to a cushion cover and then full steam exploding into a lap quilt.

I’m enjoying making the stars. Up to now, I’ve favoured handstitching over machine piecing. This project is changing my mind. Even cutting them out is obstacle free. I’ve figured out the best way to construct them, so they are a joy to make. Diamond bunting spins out from behind the sewing machine, when I’m in full swing. When I had a chance, I should add. I’m heading for a scrappy quilt. Mixing patterns with a nod to random, as it progresses. Opinions on favourites change as each new star is formed. I’m really, absolutely enjoying this quilt. It is not a quick one, but I don’t mind. The old Singer sewing machine is perfect for the job.

It was a good weekend. As the children grow, weekends are subtly changing. No afternoon walk this weekend, as we had hoped, but there was less screen time. (Not completely free, although they do seem to learn cooperation through Minecraft than I never anticipated. And coding too, which is good as it’s in context.) There was more making and reading. More family time. Together.

So how was your weekend? Hope you had a good time.


 

A Tween Needle Felting craft

It can be tough for the children of a crafter to find their crafting niche. At first they follow their mother’s footsteps, but sooner or later they need to branch out. Some give up. I’ve spoken to so many adults that talk about their mothers making dresses/ knitting jumpers for them, but they never got the hang of it.

I don’t want my children to give up.

Both my girls can draw and paint. I doodle. They have already started to pull away from me in that area. I envy their ability to shade and make something look 3D. They have offered to teach me.

They love to watch me needle felt. So much that each of them now have a needle felting kit. Middle One received hers for her 12th birthday back in November. It is just a needle in the holder, a foam pad and a bunch of colourful wool. She has to supply the imagination.

This weekend, she borrowed her sister’s wool fairy book, looked up images of other fairies on the internet and made her very own fairy. All by herself. I’ve never made one. The only input I had was to point her in the direction of the pipecleaners (Lift arm. Point. Its a strenuous job, but someone has to do it) and suggest a special wool for the hair.

I bought the orange hair wool years ago, when I made waldorf style dollshouse dolls and the bigger type too. The brown string running through the doll’s hair, keeps the curls in place, while being stored. Middle One decided she liked it just as she found it. So the string stayed put.

I really, really love what she has made. First attempt too.

I should talk about the lack of facial features. I know it can bother some people. It is the style, often adopted for waldorf style dolls. Either no features or just the merest hint. The simplest way to explain this approach is that the viewer supplies the expression. If the doll has a fixed happy (I’m looking at you Elf on the Shelf) or sad look, then it never changes. This way, the doll reflects your feelings. Or at least, does not challenge them. You’ll know what I mean if you have ever felt the urge to throw a doll across the room.

She wants to make more. Possibly one for her bestie, if I can dig up a bit more flesh colour wool. We went though my collection and nothing was suitable. It was all too bright or too dark. She didn’t like my suggestion of green. I see now why they sell packs of flesh colour wools.

If you are looking for a crafting kit as a gift inspiration, this Christmas, for an older tween/teen then I can recommend needle felting. It does take patience and fingers do get stabbed ocassionally, but it is also a wonderful, calming hobby, promoting imagination and creativity. The book is one that Eldest chose and bought for herself a while back. She loves using it and getting more ideas.

I quite like the fairy hiding in the garland. I wonder if I can persuade Middle One to leave her there.


Affliated link.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.