Saturday, April 30, 2011

kids sunhat tutorial

With the lovely weather we have had recently I got the summer clothes out of the attic and realised that Rebe's sun hat was just too small for her. So I decided to make her one. I was inspired by the flopsy hat in the Children's Year book. It was super quick and simple to make. You can use any fabric really, we used an old cotton pillow case but I think t-shirt material would be really nice too.

First you need a large circle, about 44cm in circumference. I used a large dinner plate. Fold your fabric over, right sides together. Draw around the plate, you will need to use this circle as a guide later on so use pen so you can see it when you have turned the fabric right side out.

Now draw another circle about 10cm outside of your circle - this will be the brim of the hat. Pin your fabric pieces together and cut out the outer circle.

Sew around the outer edge leaving a small gap which will allow you to turn the fabric right side out.

Clip all the way around the edge of the circle, then turn right side out and press. Hand sew the little gap you left.
If you used plain fabric now's the time to decorate the hat if you want to.

I drew bug pictures and flowers using fabric pens. Let your imagination run riot, embroidery would look lovely, or let your child decorate their own hat :-),

Sew the inner circle using the 'plate line' you drew earlier as your guide.

Sew a second circle about 2 cm outside this, this will form the casing for the elastic.

Measure the right length of elastic by wrapping it around your child's head in the right place. Cut your piece of elastic 1 inch shorter than this so it has to stretch to sit on your child's head which will help hold the hat on.

Cut a small slit in the casing tube

Thread the elastic through the casing using a safety pin.

Secure the elastic with a few strong stitches joining both ends.

Sew up the slit in the casing.

That's it, a finished sunhat. Easy to put on, stays on with no ties and it can be as funky or plain as you want.

Happy and sunny sewing :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


In all honesty the last few days have been really difficult for me. I have had a really hard time emotionally. I have raged, shouted, screamed, cried. It's been horrible for everyone and very over whelming. Yesterday, the only nice thing we did was make snail pizzas (and I probably shouted through that too). I have a sneaking suspicion that it's hormones; that my body is getting ready to menstruate again. I have always struggled with pms and each month I forget that I do and wonder why I feel so terrible. After nearly 2 years 'off', thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding, it's returning to me and I must re-find all my coping mechanisms (baths, chocolate, early bedtimes and bach flower remedies).

I have also been between crafting projects. This is not good for me- I like to be making ALL the time. I finished this doll about a week ago... I really enjoyed making him and he's now in the shop, but I haven't been able to decide what to make next. I'm thinking of another baby doll and I have started on revising my pattern some.

I also have had nothing on the needles for a couple days (well a day and half to be exact but that's like years in my book!).

I finished these rainbow longies for Joa and was left scratching my head as to what to make next. I thought about socks for autumn and winter, play food for the boys' birthdays. I decided on a cardi for Joa for Autumn. I will post some more about that later. Once decided I looked through my enormous stash, picked some yarn and a pattern and I have cast on and feel much better :-)

Aside from crafting my other therapy today has been to get out and stay out of the house.

Andy took us all to the pirate beach early this morning. It was beautiful and we had it to ourselves. The kids played while I sat, with Joa napping on my back in the sling, knitting with my face to the sun and the noise of the waves soothing my jagged nerves.

It being a pirate beach Rebe is always on the look out for treasure...and treasure she found!

An actual real, working watch! It was near some rock pools with a pair of socks. I imagine it was left there by a rock-pool-explorer yesterday. But Rebe thinks that it was dropped overboard from a boat and was washed ashore. Maybe she's right :-) What a turnupstuffer Pippi would be proud!

Home again and after lunch I snatched 10 mins to make Rebe this sunhat. Again it made me feel better to have achieved this. It really was a quick fix (you could literally make this in 10 mins) and I shall post a tutorial soon.

Poor old Joa is teething again and as a result is very clingy. When he's like this he wants to be held and carried all the time. I find it easier to strap him to my back and get moving than try to sit with him anywhere. So we headed back out again to hide our wish eggs in the woods.

I'm so glad we did. Oh, it was just beautiful. Awash with blue and with wild garlic scenting the air.

Benny has adopted the Peter Pan costume

Rebe hiding one for our eggs


sun steaming through the trees

We went a different way from normal and we 'got lost'. It was fun to explore and not know where we were. Rebe was delighted and was coming up with all sorts of survival strategies should we not find our way home. She said that if we had to sleep out there she was going to use Joa as her special and Benny could use me :-) Luckily we found our way out and down to the beach.

The sea washing the last of my tension away on the walk home (my hands full of discarded clothes and boots).

I'm starting to feel better now and I will have an early night and take it easy tomorrow and I hope to be more centred.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I just wanted to share this post with you by my gorgeous friend Lucy. It has made me cry it is so beautiful.
Peace and love x

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

wee woven basket craft

For Easter we made this little woven paper basket. I'd like to share how we did it. First grab a saucer and draw around it onto stiff cardboard.

Cut out this circle. About 2cm in from the outer edge draw another circle. Using a craft knife or very sharp scissors cut this out.

The small circle is going to be the base and the larger circle is the upper rim.

Next you need to make the upright strands that the coloured paper will be woven in and out of.
Cut an A4 piece of paper in half length ways (you can recycle one of the 45,867,000 paintings your kids did). Then from the edge fold the paper over and over on itself about 5 mm wide. This will give you a long, flat strong strand.

Place the middle of the strands on your smaller cardboard circle and staple into place.
Try to make sure that the sides are of equal length.
Next fold the strands up to make them vertical. Staple the tops of the strands to the underside of the cardboard upper rim.

Now your basket skeleton should look like this...

A bit wonky, but that's part of the charm ;-)

While you were doing this get your child to cut lengths of A4 paper. Ideally they should be about 1cm wide, this is good cutting practice for small hands. Again a good time to recycle those paintings, or you can use coloured paper. Wrapping paper would also work.

Tape the end of a coloured strip to one of the strands near the bottom of the basket.

Now let your child weave it in and out of the skeleton. Secure the end with more tape. Repeat until the basket is complete. Remember to push the woven paper down so that there are few gaps.

For the handle we made a concertina. Take 2 long lengths of coloured paper. Tape them or staple them together in an L shape. Keep folding alternate strips on top of each other, secure the end with tape. We made 3 lengths of this taped together to make the handle.

Staple the handle to the upper rim :-)

Ach, I love how my kids enjoy making things and being creative...only sometimes I wish they weren't quite so enthusiastic...

I literally had to hose them down in the garden after this painting session!

To end this post a little just for fun quiz...

A few posts ago I talked about Rebe's dressing up and the interesting way she interprets the ideas in her head. All she needs is a suggestion of the the right shape and colour and she is satisfied she is wearing a complete and identifiable costume. So, what is she here? Go on, have a guess!

I'll give you the answer tomorrow :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

bunny's and baskets

What a lovely Easter we had today. It was all about bunny's and baskets.

The Easter Bunny brings lots of little, small chocolates to our house and hides them around the garden. With this in mind, yesterday Rebe and I wove a colourful paper basket to collect them in In fact we made 3 baskets altogether. This one and 2 tiny ones out of toilet rolls so that she and Benny could collect the eggs in their little baskets and decant them into the bigger communal one (do you see my sharing-and-reduced-competition cunning ploy?).

It is a bit wonky, but very jolly.

We also made an edible basket...

This is a basket made of bread, the leaves are fresh spinach from my friend's garden and the eggs are hard boiled and coloured with food colouring. Our dear neighbours arrived back yesterday with eggs for the kids so we gave them this to say thank you. I think these bread baskets would be a fun lunch idea. Will have to give that a go :-)

Last night I set the Easter table after frantically finishing off these 3 little knitted bunnies.

I actually bought a table cloth with celebrations like this in mind. I would like to embroider it at some point, but my to do list is so long it will have to wait a while. I think it is a nice touch to have the table looking special and interesting to greet the children on the moring of special days such as this.
Here is Rebe waiting patiently for the boys to wake up

bunny and Rebe's tiny loo roll basket

The Easter Bunny had indeed come to our garden...

and left treats amongst the toys and plants.

Rebe had left him a letter asking lots of questions about what he looked like and did he know Santa.

To her delight he had left a reply, complete with self portrait.


what a haul! that will keep them going for weeks :-)

We also had lots of lovely visitors today, and one of our neighbours dropped these by for the kids.

The eggs were filled with real custard which they had for dessert. It was delicious and such a great idea, especially as it meant wee Joa could join in :-)

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter too x

Saturday, April 23, 2011

a happy easter egg hunt

Sometimes Easter Egg hunts are very unfair. Especially when the children on the hunt are of different ages. A few years ago at a playgroup we found a way around this and this year I was delighted to organise a lovely egg hunt for our 'popcorn playgroup'.

For each child I made a set of 6 matching paper eggs. Larger ones for smaller kids with only a colour to recognise and getting smaller as the kids get older and using dots, symbols and letters for each child to identify. Each child got an envelope with one of 'their' eggs on it so that they could easily match it to others they found. Benny's were large green eggs.

In 5 different locations I hid one of each child's egg, so that basically there were 5 stations where all of the eggs were hidden. The larger eggs for the little kids were easy to see getting progressively harder for the older ones.

Each station was marked by a 'flag' that Rebe helped to make saying 'look here'. This was to allow everyone to find the stations easily.

The kids knew that they must only collect their own eggs and leave any others that they find.

Rebe matching an egg she found to her envelope

The older kids automatically started helping the little ones once they found their own.

The children knew that they had to find 5 eggs altogether. This little bundle of eggs were then exchanged for a prize. Every mummy brought and chose their own prize for their kids.

comparing prizes

Afterwards we all had a picnic in our garden and, not surprisingly, the collaborative play continued for hours in the bright spring sunshine. It was a great day and so much fun :-)