Lawrence King is releasing a Yoshiko Tsukiori's series of simple pattern books in English. They're basically series of basic dress blocks, customizable, and loosely fitted with very few darts and no zippers.
Japanese patterns are laid out on top of each other on a big sheet and then you trace them onto pattern paper or parchment paper.Read More
We repurposed a vintage wooden puzzle with some missing pieces into a rearrangeable magnetic diorama for the fridge — gluing some magnets on the backs of the pieces. It took a few minutes and turned out to be a lot of fun to play with. Details at Windy.
We've been doing mostly unstructured making and drawing lately, but we got ambitious yesterday and made a stuffy out of one of auggie's drawings (a truck). I put up a quick & dirty tutorial on Windy.
^ We took a picture to text to his dad and he said, "Like this, I'm showing my hand." It works out well in a way, because I'm on the fence about putting pictures of him on here now that he's older. I've been taking less pictures, too, because I want us to be in the moments and he's moving faster now — it's hard to keep up and take pictures at the same time.
This is a post-planetarium craft we did, that I wrote up for Windy this week, taken from DKTL kids. This is the earth, drawn on coffee filter paper with felt pens, then sprinkled with water to become a satellite picture. The pink is an island. The dark green is Africa. The yellow is a beach and the brown is a train station. The light green patches are the ocean. This felt-watercolour technique works pretty well on watercolour paper, too.
Auggie temporarily named himself Crazy Red last week, after deciding that red would be his favourite colour for his 'whole life'. But now he likes blue and green and he's changed his name back. At the paint store we were talking about the names for paint (doesn't everyone at one point wish their job was naming paint colours? Sweatshirt grey was my favourite name this trip). Anyway, he pulled out a deep red called Cherry Burst and was very excited about it. I said, 'what would you name that colour?' and he said: A Loving Pink.
We covered most of the house with Valentines yesterday. We did little heart envelope valentines for Auggie's classmates. We put out all our stamps on the kitchen table to decorate (as well as a rainbow crayon). I tried making a couple of vegetable stamps, but the big hit were the number stamps. Honestly, they turned out looking a bit like ransom notes.
Probably my favourite thing in general was the turnip, so I was quite distracted by the turnip and how great it was, while Auggie was similarly distracted by the number stamps. We are not an efficient production unit :) I finished the Valentines up at bedtime.
I took Auggie birthday party shopping a couple of days ago at collage collage. He picked out this wooden snake as a present and asked to paint it for his friend. We used the leftover paint from the banquet snake. Then he made up meanings for all the colours for his friend. These are the meanings: yellow means the sun will be out; blue means there will be a blue sky, green means it is summer because there is green grass in the park and brown means there are cars and trucks outside. (I don't remember what red and gold mean because I didn't write them down right away.)
I've had a banquet sew-a-snake-kit in my sewing box for almost 2 years and this Christmas was the right time to make it. The scarf I was knitting for my son wasn't working out and I like to give one homemade thing — I was so excited when I found this in my sewing kit. I used all his favourite colours: orange, yellow, gold, brown, purple and navy. This year will be the year of the snake...the forecast is calm and bright (also kind of sexy — that was right in the forecast) but we have to wait until February. I'd quite like to convert from Christmas to lunar new year. I'm not sure Christmas really works in a rainforest climate.
This snake looked so pretty under the tree. I overheard Auggie showing it around his room. Then he gently broke the news to the snake that he preferred his new Brüder garbage truck (to the snake) and comforted it with a dish of water and the promise of a trip to the garbage dump. If you make homemade gifts, that might make you laugh :)
ETA: If you are building forts, this snake is a very useful companion and fits in all the tight corners that need defending.
ETA more: A few weeks after I made him this snake, he decided to make one for a friend — so he passed it on.
Pretty felt ornament tutorial from the purl bee via pinterest. — we've had a few false starts making these for the tree. We begin, and then become distracted (by trucks and getting dinner ready respectively). However, we are very enthusiastic in our intentions... I think half of crafting is just the pleasure of imagining doing something anyway.
Update: we did make a couple and ^ this lovely one is by my niece, age 6.
This is the first year we've had glass ornaments on the tree for awhile. I like my son's tree decorating style — fit as many on each branch as you can. He likes to put them in pairs according to colour.
I went to a lovely little crafting hen night last night and before I left my son, the soothsayer, pointed at me and said,
Update: the shower is past and the baby is here — look at this little one.
This is the pickles small & clever bonnet pattern again. There was only one tricky part which is increasing at the beginning without making a hole. I found this trick which avoids the hole. (Also, I did two extra rows on each side so that I had 47 stitches at the widest point — according to the babies around me, this seems to fit about right.)
The boots are oh baby! baby booties which I fell in love with when I saw this float past me on pinterest. It was a pretty good pattern. You could probably stripe the cuff or use up lots of scraps and it would be pretty.
I used Alchemy Temple (yellow) and Debbie Bliss merino, bith dk for these.
But midway through the booties from the set I ran out of yarn, and I couldn't find any more from the original dye lot (which was mission falls superwash merino).
I'd wanted to add in some thin stripes and what Joelle Hoverson calls "blips" of bright turquoises and jade green from some alchemy yarn that I'd been saving for a special project. I think I will try to do this another time, so I'll note it here. The trick is to knit in a 2-row stripe on the wrong side, so that the stripes are skinnier and blippier on the right side.
^ Pickles boot unseamed and loosely pinned into bootie shape, before I pulled it apart.
Then I did the soles with the Alchemy Temple. Temple, which is superwash merino, smooth and doesn't pill, is easily my favourite yarn for kids.
* The Simple Slippers pattern can be found in Simple Knits for Easy Living or Comforts of Home, both by Erika Knight. If you cannot find them, you could do the December Booties, the pattern is available online.
Make your hat soon. At the first sign of autumn, Snufkin slips away from the valley and doesn't return until spring comes again.
Ringo atelier is a creative studio, and resource, for children and their blog is lovely, too. Lots of their drawing activities have a PDF to print out and do at home. They have loads of pages to colour and develop, like this invent the fruit that goes with this leaf (below; above is Auggie's rainbow fruit), which we tried yesterday during a rainy day
and this construct a city (this one is meant to be for collage, but we painted and scribbled them)
There are also some really great projects that we haven't yet tried, like the à la manière de section, with projects inspired by the work of artists like David Hockney or Sonia Delaunay. I think the David Hockney one is perfect for July, and I will put in a little translation here (find the original project here). Observe water (in your bath, swimming pool, by the sea or edge of a lake...), in the style of painter David Hockney. Have fun trying to reproduce the waves, the reflections, the colour of the water. To do this, use watered-down paint, sponges, tissues and different papers. Look carefully at this painting of a swimming pool (below, left)