This is what I've been up to instead: pretend food
I've got all sorts of ideas for more play food rattling around in my head, but have apparently started on the most important of all the food groups...
The cupcakes were from a pattern, though. I didn't bother knitting the cherry and I also altered the pattern slightly for the cupcake shown above, by adding a couple of extra rows to the base and removing a couple of rows from the icing. When I bake fairy cakes they don't tend to rise much...
I also made a really quick and easy peg loom today for my kids as a cheap introduction to weaving. All I did was hammer some nails into a battered old picture frame that I no longer use, then wrap string around the nails.
The plan was to add more nails once the kids had got the hang of it. Looks like I'd better do that now, as this was the work of my just-turned 3 year old, with only a little verbal couching along the lines of 'watch out, you missed a string there' from mum. I'm looking forward to seeing what her brother might produce.
nb. I think it helped to have an even number of pegs, so that each row is started the same way - ie. always going under first, then over. My inspiration was this tutorial on making a loom from a Styrofoam tray and there's also more details on how to weave there, too.
Translation of the day:
UK English: biscuit = cookie in US English
US English: biscuit = no idea: they look like scones, yet taste a little different and tend to be used in place of a dinner roll or as a topping for some baked dishes etc.
US English: English muffin = no idea. Looks a little like a crumpet. All I know is that they laugh at you if you are an English person asking the waiter 'what is an English muffin?' in an American restaurant.
I'm having a craving for battenberg cake...
When I told my son that the 2 butterflies we saw, um, engaging in a bit of how's your father, were "just stuck together for a bit", I heard a lady nearby snicker...
The pattern is by Sew Liberated (formally Montessori by Hand).
Yes, it's reversible. I did have a lovely pale fabric in mind for one of the sides, then I remembered that I have kids and I went for the darker more practical / stain disguising fabric.
Oh, this photo is just to prove that the gathers were even on the blue bodice, despite how the light makes them look in the first photo: Translation of the day:
UK English: pig's ear = a poor job, something you've made a mess of. For example, 'The last time I attempted to make a cake I made a right pig's ear of it'.
Still, with this apron I'll at least look good while making a pig's ear of things in the kitchen...
Looks like I had better clean that mirror.
Painting flowerpot using potato stamps - about half an hour total (not including drying time between colours) by 2 year old
Varnishing flowerpot - longer than 3 years, including the very important stage of being allowed to gather dust in a cupboard, while mum thinks, 'I'll really should get around to that one day'.
That's probably saved a plant's life, though. So far I've killed all 3 plants that my son has brought home from preschool. I don't have a great track record with indoor plants...
This is just a flying visit, but have you seen the Crafty Crow? It's a blog full of craft ideas for children, so you might want to check it out if you are looking for ideas to keep little ones entertained during the summer.
One of the things posted was a coffee filter butterfly. My son made one of those at preschool this year, while they were studying the life cycle of butterflies (nb. These studies led to lots of questions for mum about whether he was ever in an egg etc. We've finally boiled it down to: He came from an egg, then grew in mum's tummy. Then mum went to the doctor and the doctor took him out of mum's tummy. He was a tiny baby, all covered in blood and crying - this detail apparently remembered from him seeing a photo in the album. Luckily this version has him satisfied for now...).
Ok, enough of the birds and the bees. Anyway, these butterflies reminded me of these ones hung up from my daughter's ceiling, that I made when she was a baby. I first made one of these a long time ago when I was a brownie (that's a young girl scout - do they call them brownies here?). Just take 2 squares of paper, one about an inch larger than the other. Fold them in half along the diagonal, then continue folding them accordion style across the remainder of the square. Then all you have to do is twist a pipe cleaner around the middle of the 2 folded squares to secure them together, then pull the folds open a bit, to resemble butterfly wings. I then trimmed them a little to improve the shape.
The lines on the photo are the fishing line used to string them up. Now here's a really awful photo, thanks to the poor light in my daughter's room and the ugly popcorn ceiling. It's supposed to show you the butterflies strung up on the ceiling, so please attempt to ignore the poor picture quality. Maybe squinting would help...
Just so I can pretend that I put some effort into decorating her room, here's some clothes hooks that I painted to match, hung on a fake wood grain closet door (you're getting a wee insight into the taste of the former owners here...):
Ok, that's enough 70's decor for now. Take care all.
I made it slightly smaller than originally planned, as I overheard her say that the class' share bag was missing (the kids take turns to take the share bag home and bring back something to share with the class the next school day). That's why the patches of the letter fabric are narrower. I figured that she could use this if the share bag doesn't show up, as it's not too big for a preschooler to carry. But hopefully it's still large enough to be useful for an adult.
I hope she likes it. I'm going through the usual doubt and uncertainty over giving a handmade gift...
I had a list of UK baby terms for the translation of the day, but, in keeping with the rest of the week, I've mislaid it. Next time.
PS. The main fabric is brown - we're having a rare overcast day, so the colours look a little off in the photos.