We're geting ready to head out of town for a few days, it will be our last escape before the little man arrives. So I'll probably be taking a wee break from blogging for about a week. Before we go, I'm hoping to add a couple of new toys to my etsy shop. This bunny brother and sister will be among them. Er, and a couple of dolls if the planets align and I don't fall asleep on the sofa before embroidering their faces this evening.
Have a good week, everyone!
Two of our favourite people turn four this weekend, and I realised during preparations for back-to-back parties (yikes!) that there was a bit of a feline thing going on. The cupcakes are for our friend F's jungle party this afternoon. They are supposed to be tigers, so please pretend there are stripes and whiskers and try to ignore the fact that they just look like orange cats.
This kitten with a patchy eye is for Audrey's good buddy A. Her parents bought her a kitten for her birthday (every little girl's dream!), so I made this to go along with one of my favourite kid's books ever. Hope she likes it.
OK, dog people, it's safe to look back again now. Have a good weekend everyone!
We're beginning a new routine around here as of today. Audrey starts Kindergarten proper this week. She's a very sociable girl, and has taken to it like the proverbial duck to water. I'm so excited for her. And a teensy bit excited for me, too, as the new routine means a little (like, 2 hours) more work time for me, which is a nice development. I doubt I'll be using it for work, though. It was 30 degrees today and will only get hotter from here on in. Walking the kinder pickup in the heat this afternoon make me realise that as time goes on any 'extra' hours would be best spent with my feet up rather than taking on more work. I'm feeling so huge lately, and accordingly, my behaviour is increasingly similar to a
beached whale crossed with a sloth.
I'm hoping, though that I can use a little of this time to get in some relaxing pre-baby sewing. It's probably not very realistic, but I'd love to make a quilt for both Audrey and baby before Christmas. I'm pretty keen to sew up some more bibs and wraps, too. There's a doll
quilt for Audrey in 'pile' stage. Plus cushions for the new bedroom,
and a swap that is shamefully late. Then there's my pie-in-the-sky
plans to fill my shop
with toys between now and Christmas. Actually, those last two are all planned and in the works. We'll see about the quilts. Hey, doesn't this
make fascinating blogging?! ;)
On the subject of dolls, Tilda, the little girl above found a new home with five of her sisters last week. Thanks to everyone from my mailing list who adopted them!
Thanks, too, to everyone who commented on my last post about shared kid's rooms. I'm feeling much more confident about the process now. Can't wait to get started with it.
It has recently occurred to me how relatively laid-back I am this time about getting everything ready for baby. By this stage in my pregnancy with Audrey, we'd already chosen paint colours and were well underway preparing her bedroom. This time around, all nesting to this point has been conducted purely in my head. Last week we decided that we are going to knock out another wall and change the function of every room in the front part of the house before Christmas (admittedly, only 4 rooms, but still, it's definitley not in my character not to have such things planned and executed months ago). I sure hope this unexpected, yet welcome, 'relaxed' approach continues after he's born!
Audrey is very keen to share a bedroom with her little brother - which is lucky, because it's really the only option we've got! In practice, of course the little fella will sleep with us until goodness only knows when (and if the sleeping record of his older sister is anything to go by it will be, ahem, years before they move in together). I was wondering, though, if anyone had any advice/cautionary tales about siblings sharing rooms? I realise it totally depends on the children involved, but what have you found to be a good age to initiate sharing?
So I've been obsessing about how to decorate a shared room: boy and girl, 4 years apart. These are some of my favourite images from a couple of the children's rooms books from Jeu de Paume: Stockholm and London, and the Judith Wilson book, Children's Spaces. We're thinking white walls with plenty of coloured textiles and pictures to brighten things up - primarly lots of pale blue and orange since it's a combination I like which is conveniently gender neutral. I love the blue wall in the first picture, and in the one below (both from Paumes' Stockholm). The white room above - a room shared by a little girl and boy- is from Paumes' London. I love those shelves.
Again from Paumes' London. Love all the knitted goods in this boy's room (apparently his mother owns Loop)
And this is just sweet (from Children's Spaces).
And then of course there's the children's rooms pools on Flickr here and here. (via Kiddley) There's so much inspiration to be had, all we need to do now is stop daydreaming and start painting.
Thanks so much for all the boy's name suggestions! A few of them were already our on favourites list, but there were a few in there that were new to us as well (and a couple of names I'd loved but forgotten, like Rupert and Fergus - so sweet). It's been so much fun reading through them.
Completely unrelated, but I've been asked a couple of times recently about where I source the wool and wool blend fabric that I use for toy bodies, so I thought I might post about it just in case the info might be useful to anyone else. Particularly for those of us in the southern hemisphere, where ordering by mail is often prohibitive due to high international postage costs (sorry to anyone reading from outside Australia, this list is fairly local).
My favourite fabric for toy bodies would have to be Doctor's flannel (used in the white toned dolls in progress above) - it's a lovely weight and soft to touch. Unfortunately, it's also quite expensive by the metre, so I tend to use it sparingly. Thankfully soft toys usually only use small cuts, so a lot can be made from a small piece. I source mine from a local fabric store, literally just around the corner from my house, but have also found that this place has a small collection of doctor's flannel in different shades available via mail order.
It's very much a personal preference, but I've found that the heavier the fabric, the more cumbersome your toy will be to put together (especially when it comes to the turning inside-out of little legs & arms and running 4 layers of it through your sewing machine!) For that reason, I tend to stay away from blanketing and coating, beautiful though many of them are. Lighter weight wools and blends have treated me better (although when I go for blends, I always try to get at least 65-70% wool, otherwise you lose that nice feel that you only get from natural fibres) - flannels and some (non-shiny!) suiting weight fabrics have worked best for me. At the start of the winter season, I've ocassionally found pretty good selections of these in run of the mill fabric superstores like Lincraft and Spotlight, but if you're lucky enought to have a local store that specialises in wools, then they will probably be your best friend. In Melbourne, Artextil is a fantastic resource (thanks Kristine!) When I was there last, the wonderfully friendly staff told me I could send them a swatch of a favourite fabric and they would try to match it, then mail it on to me. Gotta love that.
Ok, almost enough raving about wool from me, other than to recommend Winterwood for wool felt here in Australia. The service is fast and friendly and they have a lovely selection available via mail order. (Thanks Sooz for putting me onto them!)
That's it. If you have any more woolly recommendations, please add them below. Thanks!
We've had a long weekend here, so a bit of extra time to tend to things around the house - some baking (banana cake's in the oven) and planting in our inaugural vege patch (only took us six years to get our act together on that part). Lots of planning, too - lists of things that need to be repaired/purchased/knocked over/painted before the little guy arrives in early February. Not to mention the revolving-door list of potential boy's names. Is it just us or are good boy names more difficult to come across than girls? We're looking for something 'interesting' (whatever that means), old (in the same way that Audrey might be considered an 'old' name) and not terribly overused. I guess with so many criteria it's no surprise we're having a hard time. The search continues.
One thing is (fairly) certain: unlike Seabert, Osbert and Cuthbert, Audrey is unlikely to have a brother with one of these names. Although I do think they suited their toy monkey counterparts pretty well.
Oh, and thanks to those folks who noticed that I've done a little blog housekeeping too. :)
I'm Fiona. I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband and two small kids. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly toys and quilts). Sometimes I also write about my little family, and the things that inspire me. Thanks for swinging by.