9/29/12

Doodle-Dolls

This summer, the mister worked at a day camp with a small group of awesome kids before our move.
One of the things we did with them
were doodle-dolls; where they drew a person, creature, etc, and I transferred that idea into a physical toy.
I love doing this because it allows me to push my limits sewing and discover or invent new techniques to meet their design, and kids love it because, hey, it's pretty awesome. You can see just a few of them at the bottom of the post- there were 13 total designs.

What exercises do you do to push yourself as a crafts(wo)man?

9/28/12

Kid Friendly Glue Batik

Since T loves to be hands on and always DOING something I was letting her fool around with fabric recently when screenprinting a bag and some shirts when I remembered reading about glue Batik. I didnt have any glitter glue on hand so I grabbed what we did have- plain white glue.
To make this awesome glue batik springtime skirt you will need a plain white cotton pillowcase, several colors of acrylic paint, elastic to fit your child's waist, water, scissors, paintbrushes and access to a sewing machine and a stack of old newspaper for keeping underneath your project. Also make sure your child has on clothes that are okay to ruin because acrylic paint stays on pretty much forever.


Depending upon how freestyled you want the design and how good your kid is with a glue bottle you can either pencil on designs and then paint over that with glue, or simply freestyle whatever shapes you want onto the pillowcase in glue (as I did- flowers, eggs& butterflies) and then allow your toddler to go at it. For older kids this can be done completely independently.


  After your glue is painted on in designs of your choice, allow the glue to completely dry- then flip the pillowcase over and paint the other side with continuing designs. Allow to dry again. While the second side is drying, prepare your acrylic paints. I wanted pastel colors but only had bold so I blended colors together to make not so bright selections. Be sure to water your paints down. I added equal amounts of paint and water for ours. You want to achieve a sort of watercolor effect with the acrylics.



When your child has painted the first side of the pillowcase, let it dry again and then flip it to paint the second side (be sure to get the edges for them if they're really young) and for a final time, let it hang to dry.  After it's dry it will be sort of stiff and probably look like someone let a toddler at a pillowcase with acrylic paints.  If it doesn't, maybe your child is a more accomplished artist than mine.
Either way, you now want to pop it in the washing machine on a small load and warm water. This will remove a lot of the paint and all of the glue. Then you're going to dry normally and stop to admire your work so far. Yes, even my art contribution looks like a toddler went at a pillowcase with acrylic paints, but it was fun.

 T added lots of dots. and more dots. She's very good at squeezing glue into dots- color me proud.
Next step? Measure your toddler from waist-knee and add an inch to that. Cut your pillowcase to that length, make a very simple seam along the top, thread with elastic and voila!
 If your toddler doesn't look this pleased with themself in their new creation, you probably did something wrong:

 For gender neutral clothing, this would be simple to turn into shorts, too. If you want to know how to make shorts/ capris and don't know how, let me know and I will very happily talk you through it.


9/27/12

Baby wearing babies!

I've recently designed a line of colorful doll slings for little berry to wear her "babies" in as she's reached the weight that it's difficult for ME to wear HER comfortably in the ring sling. We still take out the ErgoCarrier fairly regularly when she needs cuddles, but I've found that letting her wear her toys reassures her and comforts her in many of the same ways as being worn by me or her papa.
I don't have them in my shop yet, although they are being carried in a local natural children's store here now, but I am offering them as a pre-sale to my online friends for $16 shipped in the US. These would make very sweet birthday or winter holiday gifts for the littles in your life, so if you're interested, let me know. I currently have quite a few orders, which is wonderful (both for me and the littles lucky enough to get them as gifts!) but if you order before October Tenth I will have them to you in time for the Holidays! <3
They are very soft, extremely lightweight gauzy hand dyed cotton ring slings and you can currently choose yellow, green, purple, pink, or blue.
>>Only intended for toddlers to wear their dolls and not human babies or live alligators.<<

Lego Play!

Yesterday Little Berry and I were building with Legos and she had the fun idea to TAKE THEM OUTSIDE! So we did. I'm fortunate to have a little one who enjoys Legos as much as I did as a child, and I'm doubly lucky that we have them in abundance thanks to my efforts of stocking up on them preemptively this summer. We're also fortunate enough to have lots of outdoor spaces we can occupy when we want to be outside- we can be at shops, at the library, at the park, all very quickly. We chose to sit outside by a small wall and build a 'house.' It was SO much fun and so cute when we finished against a totally different backdrop than our living room. I am tempted to take our creation and 'lego bomb' somewhere for others to enjoy. What fun things have you created lately?

9/26/12

Colorful Colorado

We moved to Colorado this summer from north Carolina. It's so much more intense,
the wild is wilder, the views just take my breath away.
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I live that we can get out and into nature discovering things we've never seen before.
Little berry loves it too. She's confident and strong, a wee hiker who just GOES.

What new things did you discover this summer?