Tuesday, October 30, 2012

LMCG: finished item

Back in July school holidays I held our first LMCG with four young girls (ages 9 & 10). I taught them how to make the basic granny square.
Today I get to share with you the work of one of the girls because I think she has done really well. 
She figured out how to join them, and she even did a picot edging with the guidence of her mum.

And she managed to complete it last week (not sure how much homework was completed that week!!) just in time for your younger sisters birthday - and this blanket for her dolls cradle was so well received.

I just think of the years to come, of the special memories this blanket will have. Older sister's first crocheting attempt and given to her younger sister for enjoyment.
(I know another one of the girls has also been steaming along with her crocheting, and even managed to make granny triangles like bunting. Might just have to see if I can lay my hands on her work aswell!)
And the girls all agree with me, it's time we hold another LMCG. If only term 4 wasn't so busy...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

made for you: modified look bag

There is one challenge in blogland that I really like.
But I know that I would never be able to keep up with that challenge.
Even though this week is flat out, I have managed to squeeze a little sewing, for a gift for a (special) 4 year old. 
Special, because she shares my hubby's birthday.

Knowing they spend their weeks with a few scheduled appointments, daily school runs that see them sitting in the car for a fair while each day, I thought a personlised LOOK bag would be perfect for her.
But me being me, I don't like to follow patterns time and time again. So I drafted up a new modified pattern. And if you look closely, I have even modified it since drawing and making it. :)

I decided to make the looking-window a bit smaller and not put too many smaller things in this one, as I find the younger ones get more enjoyment of bigger, and easier things to see. The little dolly is a favourite, so thankfully my local craft store still has them.

Here is an overload of photos if you would like to make your own. Any questions, please ask.
If you make one, and blog it, please link back as I would love to see your end result.

The blooming flower cushion is for the next post. Almost completed.
Enjoy your week.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

project completed. well almost.

My house is quiet except the kiddy chit chat. My house is staying relatively tidy. My house got the vacuum it needed rather then the quick sweep. I miss the helping hands. Pirates of Penzance soundtrack is replaced with kids songs. Lunch time was quiet. The dogs have to have their morning snoozes by themselves again. My fridge and pantry are full again. Routine is back. My house was a home for 2 weeks; the holidays went too fast. Thankfully it is a short term till the next holidays.

But here is one project that I had started before the holidays that I managed to get completed. Not crocheting I know, but something that is part of our families day. I thought I would share it with you, as we are very happy how they have turned out, and maybe you have issues with your lego instruction books too.

I am not going to take credit for the idea, because I don't have very good brainwaves like this. She knows who she is and if she ever does a post I will link it to hers. This is also why I love (limited) browsing in blogland. Ideas are abundant!

Ever since our children were little, we have invested in lego. We both had it as children, and for some reason our parents didn't want to part with it, so we had to start our own collection. A few years ago Lego was dying out, but thankfully they decided to keep making it. We started with a small tub of duplo when our first was little. That basket has grown over the years, and still gets played with by all four. Towers to reach the ceiling, and traintracks under and around chairs and table legs.

Then we moved on to smaller lego when they were old enough not to put small bits in their mouths. They learned to follow picture instructions and build creations of their own using their imagination. For some time our son had it in his room, and he would play it before bed and as soon as he would wake up. Now that our youngest understands and doesn't put lego in her mouth, it has all moved to the play area, and enjoyed by all four.

But with each lego set, there comes a set of instructions, which aren't printed on the thickest of paper, and easily damaged if not kept well. I have tried various ways to keep them in the past, but now I think we are sorted.

What I thought would be a rather simple job, turned out to be not so simple. 37 instruction booklets of various sizes laminated, cut down and punched, with a ring-clip thru the corner.

cutting the spine off or removing staples
making sure we unfolded any dog-ears and flattened any rips. 
the small instruction books were nice, 4 pages fitted to a page and there was not much wastage. lined up correctly also limited the amount of trimming up cuts needed.

my poor little laminator did well. I think we chewed through approx four 100per-pack of laminating sheets, and with each sheet taking 1min30sec, that was a long time that it was on.

trimming pages to size

 in correct numerical order
 awaiting their corner punch, all in their right order.
The kids were banned from touching any of the instruction books till they were passed over with a silver ring. I had a pile of unlaminted, spineless instruction books that would have been a disaster to try and figure out where they belonged if they were messed with.
In the end I enlisted my oldest's help, trusting she had an eye for putting in the sheets straight, and she did a fantastic job, and caught up on some reading while patiently waiting.

and, ah yes, there is crocheting in this post! I crocheted while I patiently waited for each sheet before trimming.

the bigger instructions: you could only fit 1 page per laminating sheet, and there were two of 73 pages in total (37 laminating sheets). Slow process when they take a minute and a half just to heat thru...

A job done!
31 of the boys lego books

6 of the girls lego

And when you have a boys birthday in the holidays, I can now add another 10 to the now-to-catch-up pile. (Thankfully they are small instruction books...!)  Need another box of laminating sheets first.
Not a cheap project, but we all agree it was worth the time that it took us. Placed in the same size starmaid boxes as the lego, I think we have given these instructions a long life span, free of page folds, rips and dog-ears, and missing covers.
And the children were busy building their sets during the holidays too. With the lego all still sorted by colour in boxes, they managed to make a good dent in the sets, even with some help from Mum! Now we just need a good spot to display the childrens effort. The wooden shelf above my sink is fine at the moment - out of little fingers reach, but with inview that they can still grab and play with it - but oh, who's going to dust that shelf with out breaking the lego constructions?
I didn't do it all in one day either. The box of 'stuff' sat in the corner of my kitchen, and while I was waiting for veggies to boil, or for half an hour after lunch, I would focus on it, whether it was putting thru the machine, or cutting spines off, or placing them in the laminating sheets.
How do you store your lego instructions?

Friday, October 12, 2012

krista throw: denise's

Denise emailed me some photos of her completed Krista Throw sometime ago, and with her permission I share them with you. Made with beautiful colours, and nicely finished off.

Its amazing how using different colour combinations, gives the blanket a whole different effect, and even just the colour choice of each square can give that particular square a whole different look.
Love to see this one in real life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Holidays: Part 2.

Part 2 of our holidays: and yes, we have really enjoyed this stay-at-home holiday. A bit of sickness last week cancelled a nice outting, but we have re-scheduled and will try again this week.

One thing that the children have enjoyed, but I can't take a photo of, is being introduced to the Pirates of Penzance musical. We have had the soundtrack playing for some time on and off over the years, but the littleones didn't like the 'noisy man'.
Hubby did this musical play in his senior years at school with his class some 20 years ago, and he showed parts of it to the children from you-tube. With a brief run down of the plot, they now they understand the singing, and if we are inside, busy with our bits and pieces, Pirates of Penzance music is requested, and we frequently hear the individual singing an odd line in the muscial tones.

I love miss 5's version of the I am a Pirate King song:

"I am a Pirate King, I am a Pirate King, and I am going to sing..."
yep, she keeps us well entertained...

Now for some photos:

crocheting first: I am loving the bright colours of this one (not a great deal has been done, but with a dead line of end of October, I had better get busy with it!)
** Note the pile of tails to the side. Saving for a fellow crafter for a interesting project. Will see if I can share a photo of the finished project.

quiet time after lunch with big brother

Building a limestone garden bed with dad and mum. This one especially enjoys getting right in and helping.

puppy love... actually old-age love...

a game of chess with dad before bed time has become nearly ritual these holidays

playing 'fly' and anything gets used for a fly-stick, from a shovel, golfclub, thongs, solar lights, wickets and one stick...

me? a thief?
...and that stick was stolen as a chew toy... (at least it wasnt a wicket!)

 enjoying our native plants flowering

mmm. I think this fellow has a lot to answer for: all our missing seedlings that we planted. this guy was the biggest grasshopper I have seen. He was easily 10cm long. Must say he entertained the kids when they got close and he jumped!

 Square ball: Asphalt driveway is great, especially with chalk.
Yes, we allow our children to draw on it, and it gets washed away with the next rain, and lets everyone that drives past know that children live here and enjoy the outdoors. But when the chalk runs out, all you need to do is find natural chalk aka a little limestone rock, and it does the same thing.
Now the squareball rules have changed since our time. We use to play with hands, but this generation play with feet or legs or chest - no hands... interesting twist.

 ahem... cricket with a mate, and makeshift wickets. (the in-the-ground wickets have gone thru too many irrigation pipes)
and I think its time for these boys to do washing and figure out how dirty and damaged socks become playing outside on them...

someone begging for some attention
who let the dog in? enjoying some extra attention from the kids these holidays.
birthday cake.
now there is a story behind this cake...

remember how I shared the non-baking activity I did for fathers day, that I managed to muck-up? and see that big black dog above? we thought she was rather clever she can open the sliding door, by flicking the leaver with her nose, and then an extra push on the door with her nose and she has opened the door...

cake on the cooling rack, ready for decorating (for that afternoon). son asks for help setting up new soccer goals outside. sure you can see where this story is going.

she is no-longer a clever dog... she is a naughty dog... and in my bad books...
(well for a day anyways)
hubby kindly offered to pick up some more packet cakes and take them home post-haste, so I could start the baking process all over again, a rather runny mixture, and a slightly buckled springform tin from being shoved in my baking drawer, mixture leaking, SOS for some smaller tins, and finally in the oven. Who likes baking?
think I will stick to gardening outside.
but in the end, we ended up with a nice birthday cake, and a happy day, and I think I will just have to keep trying with baking, because whats a childhood without licking a beater?

 And with such glorious spring weather, morning tea at a park after groceries in town was a great easy treat.

The holidays are disappearing fast, and I would like to still do a few more things if possible. Crafting hasn't been necessary as we have thoroughly enjoyed the time outside in the sun or lego and books. Lego - they have really made a dent in trying to make all the ones we have instructions for. Will share a photo at the end of the holidays.

Till next time.