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One of my favorite spaces in the new house is a small nook off the kitchen. It is small enough to fit a table and 4 chairs, but it is by a big window, complete with prime squirrel viewing, has its own heating and thermostat (scary thought, considering the winters here), and it has quickly become a happy place of family togetherness.

Naturally, I made sure to fill it with color and fun things to keep everyone happy and interested during meal times. Toys and books have a permanent place on the window sill. Coasters are also a must, as the only table that would fit is actually a rather ugly plastic work table.

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The walls were closing in on me bare, so I enlisted the boys’ help and we made a large mural with a magical village (sorry about the odd lines in the photo, some kind of camera malfunction.)

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Aaaargh! I am turning into my aunt, who always put tea towels on the wall 🙂 In fact, I really like the reminder of her quirky habit. The birds are hers, the fish are from my mum’s collection. I remember the times, all through up to my college years, when a colorful tea towel was a must for the Christmas list for both my mum and my aunt. I don’t buy them any more, but I still enjoy being surrounded by the ones we gathered all these years. Oh, the excitement of shopping for and giving them away!

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Here is another shot of the table with two older projects, a set of table coasters and some cloth napkins I made several years ago.

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Before leaving for the airport this time I made ID tags for the boys, who are now very capable of running away in a crowded place. I wanted something that would be attached to their clothes instead of hanging off, which might fall off or choke them. So I cut a piece of fabric with pinking shears and used a permanent marker to write our names, phone numbers and e-mails on it. Then I sewed it on the back of their t-shirts. We can always take it off after we come back, and save it for the next trip.

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I was here. For a while, of course there was no point. No crafting was being made, and even the cooking was of the “what can I make in under 25 min. before we all starve to death?” kind. Come to think of it, that would have been very blog-worthy, had I had the time to write about that!

In any case, crafting has slowly resumed, and I can’t think of a better way to keep track of it for future reference than entering all here. So, let’s see, what have I done lately? In no particular order, and with minimal detail for now:

Fabric cubes

Fabric cubes, stuffed with polyfill. They were received with enthusiasm but soon ignored. It was fun to make, though, and a quick project for instant gratification.

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Recycled tin cans, painted with acrylic paint and later on decorated with more color (sorry, no photos of final product.) They are very useful for storing pens, markers, crayons etc. Also quick and easy, plus I feel better about reusing something that would otherwise end up in the recycling bin.

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See the two boxes next to the armchair? They are cardboard boxes covered with fabric, and they have been my biggest hit so far. The boys love to run around with them, and great for storing books and toys. For this size, all it takes is less than a fat quarter and a little glue. I am already planning making more for the crafts room and other areas in the house. And, of course, another great recycling project!

 

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While we were home for the summer holidays my mum brought me a pile of remnant fabrics to play with. I wanted to make something to remember this holiday, which was special in so many ways. I picked the black-and-white fabric, obviously a pocket from an old garment as my starting point. I combined it with some shirt fabric, on which I embroidered a few chamomile flowers, a private reference to a kindergarten drawing.

The bag remained in pieces for several weeks, waiting for some free time to be sewn. This morning, when everyone was still asleep, I sneaked out of bed at work rising time and put it together. The shape is not ideal, due to the pocket being so narrow, and I didn’t want to make it too short to keep the right proportions, so I ended up with an oblong bag. All in all, it didn’t turn out all that well, but it is a special bag for me anyway.

In other news, I have been in the mood for baking all day, but that’s another day’s post 🙂

new cardigans

The weather is getting cooler, just a little bit each day.  The light is this beautiful diffused brightness that turns everything golden, and the trees whisper the husky song of drying leaves. It was time for new cardigans for the boys!

I have been waiting for the chance to make the kimono-style cardigans with long sleeves, especially as it seems to be quite difficult to find long sleeved sweaters for babies. I used a shirt that fits well for sizing, and two sweaters from my robust stash of sweaters for repurposing. I used one of daddy’s old grey ones (he has many), and a purple one that used to be my aunt’s. I made the sleeves extra long, to ensure they last this winter, and I am very pleased with how they fit the boys. I still have to add bias tape to prevent fraying, so although I let them wear their new cardigans on Saturday, I don’t consider them done. I make my own bias tape, which I find quite time consuming, perhaps because I haven’t done it enough to find all the shortcuts.

If you want to make your own (the pattern is actually so basic and simple, it could work for any size, up to an adult cardigan – think of those nice ballerina wrap around tops!) there are lots of tutorials out there, like this one, this one, or this one. I actually winged it, after having made the pattern a couple of times before. For closure, I am planning to sew snaps in strategic places, instead of trying to fumble with strings on wriggly babies.

More pictures when they are all done. Stay tuned!

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