Thursday 29 January 2015

Woodland Felt Mobile

This project was one of those ones where it's pretty much all done and just needs finishing touches but for some reason you leave it and end up forgetting about it. Sometime last year my gorgeous friend Rosita started coming to visit me and Addison on Wednesday afternoons, I so love these times together and along with eating lunch and going for a walk to pick up my veggies from our local co-op we settle into a craft.

This mobile is pretty clearly inspired by Pinterest. I added the toadstools in though so I feel like I can claim it. Rosita made the owl and the bunny and I made the toadstools and the fox and sewed the faces on. I had all the elements sitting there ready to hang but for some reason it took me until about Christmas time to grab a stick from the garden and string it all together. Now it is hanging above the change table but I waited too long because Addison can now reach up and grab it and yank it down so it might have to go to a safe place in her room!

How do you like that wall colour? Assaulting to your eyes? It isn't so bad in a whole room of it but I am happy to say we have finally got our bums into gear, chosen our paint colours and are veeeery slowly starting all the hard and boring prep work that leads to painting! Addisons' room is up first as well as the exterior. So many windows to strip and sand! I have been a busy beaver stripping wallpaper and after a week I nearly have it done (since it is only available during awake time). Then to prep the cracked gib, plaster, sand, plaster, sand and PAINT! Wohoo!

Monday 19 January 2015

Christmas 2014

Christmas feels like a distant memory now doesn't it! It sometimes feels so silly to put in so much hype and effort into a day that is forgotten so quickly but once you introduce children into the equation then suddenly you want to make it extra special for them by starting traditions.

This year we decided to do another handmade Christmas. We have a relatively small extended family which means we can put extra effort into the presents we do make. As long as we are organised enough or have inspiration which can be so hard to get!

This year I came up with the ideas and Dave was the one who executed them. Thanks Dave! I did do a few crafty type gifts though!

I'd like to say that I came up with this idea but I can't. We blatantly stole this idea from a toy that our friends have for their little boy. By we I mean Dave.

This cute little bunny has been loving made by Dave out of an offcut from our Dining Table. Every single part on the bunny is handmade except the washers between the wheels. So the wheels, the little wooden axles, the knob at the end of the rope and the little wedges that hold the string in place were all turned or carved by Dave. I am so impressed by how quickly his woodworking skills have improved and the care he takes to get things perfect.

If you couldn't guess, this bunny has offset wheels so that when it gets pulled along it hops like a rabbit. I made the rope - braided cotton yarn.
I added Dave's instagram username on these photos in case you wanted to go check out some of his latest projects.

Addison loves her little rabbit, she knows she can pull the string to get it to come to her and she likes to play with the bit on the end with all of the different angles.

A while ago Dave made us a new letterbox out of pallet wood. It has been admired by many since then and I had the idea for Dave to make another one for his parents. What better way to brag about your child than a letterbox out for all to see that you can say was made by your son?

So Dave set about putting this together and didn't it turn out amazing?! I love the touches of brass on the letters and also on the hinges on the back. 

This idea was inspired by good old Pinterst. After doing our Fox Wall Art last year, I have wanted to make some more large canvases out of these ceiling boards. I have been seeing fancy monograms around a fair bit and I thought that I could pull one off to create some art for Dave's sister and bro-in-law.

Turns out I couldn't. I cut all the boards to size and nailed them up but did a terrible job that Dave ended up having to redo. See those perfectly lined up nails? Dave.

Then I spent a whole day doodling trying to come up with a monogram that incorporated a G, C and P in a circle. Trickier than I thought. Dave to the rescue once again and with his mathematical precision he came up with an awesome monogram that is in proportion and you can actually tell what the letters are. (Bro and Sis, you can thank Dave that you didn't end up with something horribly different this year!)

Look at these tiny baby handprints! I got Addison to co-operate for a few seconds and managed to smoosh her hands into some salt dough. WAY more difficult than you think. Baby hands are in fists almost all the time they aren't trying to grab things they shouldn't. Plus 7 month old Addison learnt how to wiggle and pull away. But eventually we got handprints that resemble hands. I let them air dry for a few days then painted the outside of the prints with a metallic pink paint. The imprints were left au naturale. I then painted the backboard of a photo frame black, glued the handprints on and fancied it up with some calligraphy. I took the glass out of this frame but it has a nice boxy border to give it a bit of a 3D effect.

You may remember this blanket from a previous post. 'Twas the night before the night before Christmas and I should have been in bed but I was sewing in the last of the ends of this blanket for my nearly-born baby nephew and I had it finished in time for Christmas so why not wrap it up and give it as a present to the mama-to-be! This one is cot sized and she also has a bassinet/pram sized one on its way too.

So there you have it. Another Christmas down and not too much of a dent in our wallets. Phew! Next year we are hoping to host Christmas at our place so hopefully we can be even more organized and have more handmade gifts and decorations to show.

Merry belated Christmas everyone!

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Dear Addison - 8 Months

Dear Addison,

We are nearing the end of your 8th month and since you were two weeks early, you have now officially been earth-side longer than inside!

This 8th month has been full of new skills learnt and you discovering your personality. You are such a smiley little girl and that is the first comment we get from everyone you meet. You have discovered how to laugh without us tickling you and our hearts melt when we see you in your highchair laughing at Killer the cat. You have also discovered your independence and are becoming more and more determined to do things yourself.

You still only have two bottom teeth but the top two and the next two bottom ones are threatening to break through, probably in the next couple of weeks. We have learned from last time and have ice cubes and Pamol at the ready.

You are a huge eater, getting great at using your hands to grab finger foods and you can manage almost anything we give you. New foods this month have included: berries, apricots fresh from our tree, rhubarb, plums, pasta, pesto, hummus, cheese on toast and ham amongst others. Ham has been a clear favourite, you hold it in both your hands and gobble it down like a squirrel. There was much protesting when you discovered it was all gone and then you flat out refused any other food until you had more ham. Next time ham will be the 'treat' after the rest of your food has been eaten.

You have figured out how to drink from your drink bottle that has a straw all by yourself. I gave it to you to keep you occupied one day while I was getting your dinner sorted and Dave and I noticed you sucking and actually getting water from the straw! You used to just play with the silicon straw. You can also pick it up yourself and turn it over to find the right place to suck from. Clever girl!

Not your drink bottle, but you love any and all bottles!

You have started to jump to the next stage of baby-to-toddlerhood by reducing the amount of naps and breastfeeds you have per day. You have decided that two naps a day is plenty and you only feed from me morning, noon and night. It seems crazy that you are weaning yourself slowly and that magic age of 1 is approaching fast. I plan to keep at least a morning and/or night feed until you are around 1 but we will play it by ear and follow your lead.

This month of your life included Christmas and New Years as well as a family wedding in Dunedin. You couldn't have cared less about Christmas, as people had told us, the wrapping and ribbons were more popular than presents. We chose not to go overboard with presents this year and will try and keep it that way and stick to a bit of a formula - something to wear, something to love, something to read, something you need. From us anyway. Family can feel free to spoil you! You got given a paddling pool from us, a wooden pull-along rabbit that Daddy made, some cute clothes, an audiobook series of the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, a big comfy sleeping sack for winter and four Dr Seuss books. Not a bad haul from your amazing immediate family. I got you a Christmas outfit and dressed you like a reindeer. You looked super cute and we got some obligatory photos.

New Years was a bit of a non-event, we went to a BBQ with some friends and you lasted until about 8.30pm before you lost it. So we took you home, put you to bed then hung out and went to bed ourselves. We were still awake at midnight and just lay there listening to the fireworks wondering if they would wake you - they didn't. Happy New Year!

We traveled down to Dunedin for a cousins wedding just after New Years. I was expecting the drive (4.5-5 hours with no stops) to include a lot of screaming/fussing but we managed to time it so that you slept the first 2 hrs to Timaru, then you had food and a play then slept the next 2 hrs and were awake the last wee bit just happily chatting away. It was AMAZING! The same happened on the way back so I think timing is everything.
During the wedding you were super happy. The ceremony was in a church and the organ was being played. You LOVED the organ and squealed and smiled and bounced up and down while it was playing. However you kept up the chatting during the service and Daddy had to take you out because you were distracting everyone. It was nice to see you happy rather than upset though. We also put you in a pretty outfit which you were given for Christmas from Aunty Isla and Uncle Tim. We had to leave the reception a bit early too because you were ready for bed by the time dinner was served. We scoffed ours down and left. You got to meet a lot of extended family there which was lovely and we took a photo with four generations in it: Great Granny, Grandma, Dad and you!

Another new thing this month has been playing in your paddling pool. After your aversion to baths for so long we weren't sure how it was going to go but after you protested about being squished into your togs you enjoyed the cold water and splashing with toys. Pegs that floated were a big hit and so were leaves. We have a bigger paddling pool that I can fit in too so when the next hot day comes along I will hop in with you and see how you go with deeper water.

Tricks we are learning this month are: clicking your tongue, playing 'drums' and making noise with objects, dancing to a beat or music, waving is coming along slowly, playing peek-a-boo, rolling from back to front, your pincer grasp is great and you can pull yourself up from sitting using our hands to help you balance.

Crawling is still looking like it is a while off. You are a lot happier on your tummy and will spend 5-10 minutes at a time there if someone is around you and there are toys to look at. You can pivot around to get a toy, not quite 360 degrees but you have the idea. Your little toes dig into the floor and you straighten your legs but your arms stay flopped out and you don't quite push up on them yet. I think once you figure it all out it won't take you long to get into it so we have already taken measures to babyproof most things.

Addison you are such a wonderful little girl. The baby days are slipping away quickly and soon you will be a proper little girl running around the place. You love your Daddy and can say his name Da-ddy, Dad and Ad-dy. You are still our little thrill seeker and like to swing, no matter how high we push you. I hope you grow up cherishing all the wonderful friends and honourary Aunties and Uncles you have that love you so much. Family is very important to us and anyone who loves you is considered family.
Be blessed, little one
Love Mummy.

Monday 5 January 2015

Granny Square Baby Blanket

For those of you who I have not excitedly told, I am going to be an Aunty in less than 2 months time!
Dave's sister is having a wee boy and I cannot wait to have another baby in the family! I don't get nice sleepy cuddles from Addison anymore so bring on the newborn! Plus having cousins 10 months apart will be great once they grow up just a teeny bit.

It also means that I get to make lots of things for him! After consulting with my sis-in-law and Pinterest, she decided on the blanket style and colours she wanted. Off I went to Spotlight to get the yarn and I crocheted it up over a month or so.

The blanket uses this pattern and uses pretty much the same colours - except the dark colour I used was dark grey. There is no formula for the colour combinations in each square, I just did them all different and randomised them at the end.

I bought two balls of each colour and only ended up using one of each for this blanket so I have started a smaller pram/bassinet blanket with the rest of it. I quite like these colours together, they are light and refreshing.