Thank you bread

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This bread was baked as a thank you to our neighbours and wrapped in a tea towel and ribbon. I just love the simplicity!

It's in the bag

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I made this satchel (above) for my littlest one to take to preschool. It was so simple to make. I doubled over a piece of linen and hemmed it, then turned in inside out or outside in so no seams were showing and then folded and hemmedit to form a pocket and flap. I made it from some heavy weight linen, that should withstand the occasional wash in the machine. I love using linen as it gets softer with age and is so durable. The appliqued heart was made out of Wiltshire Liberty print.

The white bags are her sleeping bag and her baking bag (to bring the bread they bake home on in on Fridays!) They were also really easy to make, all done in an afternoon. The white bags are made of an old cotton sheet.

Dolls on holiday

Monday, April 20, 2009

Our divine local children's shop Spoilt Rotten had these gorgeous papier-mache hot air balloons in the window recently and each morning we would drive past on the way to school and the girls were keen to make their own. They were so simple to make but they do take a few days to make, as you need to let them dry.

To make you will need a balloon, newspaper cut into strips, cornflour paste (recipe below) paint, ribbons and buttons.

Blow up the balloon to the desired size, remember the bigger the balloon the more work required so start small. Using lots of paste stick the strips of paper onto the balloon, you will need four or five layers of paper to make it nice and strong. Leave to dry for at least a day possibly longer in cold weather. When they are ready paint and decorate as desired! We painted ours with stripes and then decorated them with buttons and ribbons. The gondola was made out an old cereal box and attached with string. The doll usually lives in the doll's house but she was keen for a holiday.

Cornflour paste recipe (taken from The Best of Children's Art and Crafts)

You will need
3 parts water
1 part cornflour

Bring water to boil, remove from heat.
Dissolve cornflour in a little cold water and add to hot water, stirring constantly. Boil until clear and thick (about one minute). This paste will keep well in the fridge and can be used for other papier-mache projects

Dearly departed

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I have been lucky enough to 'inherit' various haberdashery items from both my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother left me the most amazing button collection, the remnants of her children's wear factory, and my maternal grandmother left me this fabulous collection of cotton reels.  I say 'inherit' but really these items are just one of many that become part of an estate and need to be distributed thoughtfully.  

Happily they have each inspired me to create.  The buttons are used in my hair accessories (button bows to be precise) and the cotton reels will ensure that I never need buy cotton again as I have every shade imaginable!  

The lovely part about these items is that I think of both of my grandmothers every time I see their things in my sewing cupboard.  I think about their lives and the fact that they saved everything and wasted nothing and it makes me reflect on my own wastage and misuse of materials.  I do endeavour to recycle and reuse as much as I can and I think the key to this is to be well organised and have great storage where you can clearly label and categorise items.  

Amongst the collection was this hosiery darning thread, I marvel at the idea of mending tights. Now laddered tights are only good for staking plants in the garden, but in my grandmothers time they would have been painstakingly mended and mended again.

When we lived in the UK I used to collect the lids from the milk bottles and I even brought them with me to Australia to use in children's art projects and costumes.  Sadly they are all gone now and I wonder whether it would be ecologically sound to have my mother in law collect some more and post them to me?  Probably not as I am sure the carbon emissions would be breathtaking.