Colour + Sew Kit

The simple activity of colouring in isn’t anything new. Children have always gravitated towards a nice set of coloured pencil and a simple line drawing to add their creative flare.

In the quest to make sewing a bit more accessible to children and less “build a bear” and more “I made this” I started offering children fabric and fabric markers. The first I tried this can be seen here, the children used markers to design their own doll, then I sewed them up. The next time I tried it, I was working with an older group of children. They had a little more free range, they drew their designs (some with, some without a template) and hand sewed them up themselves.

I loved this concept so much that I have been developing the idea ever since. So when my sister said she was getting our niece a sewing kit for Christmas, I decided to run with my idea of making a “colour and sew” kit of characters for her to colour and then sew.

Whilst I still want to develop my concept a bit further, and potentially have them printed onto fabric, this is what I came up with for Christmas…

colour and sew kit

The kit included three dolls – an owl, a mermaid and a basic doll outline to be totally customized. Each doll has a “back” which is a simple pattern. I also included a pack of stuffing, a box of fabric markers and an instruction sheet. I wrapped it all up in one of my tie dyed calico bags.

I’m still waiting to gather feedback from this, but I hope she liked it!

I plan on refining this idea a bit more and hopefully get some designs printed – either through Spoonflower or a bit of backyard screen printing!

Would your children enjoy an activity like this?

I hope your staying creative
Much love
Cate

2020. What A Year!

Well. 2020. Not exactly what anyone was expecting, huh?

This was my 2019, and what I was hoping out of 2020.

I did survive the year, so that’s one thing I can tick off my list.

I’m glad I was smart enough not to make a very long list/resolutions going into the unknown of motherhood! But nothing prepared me for living through it within a global pandemic. Like, who knew!

I managed a few things before/whilst on maternity leave.

I finished a couple of quilts.

farm fresh baby quilt
Baby quilt for bub number two. This time with farm animals

The ribbon bear was probably my favorite make of 2020.

Because the printing on each ribbon was way too long to include the whole thing in one piece, I focused on using the name of the place the ribbon was from. The rest of the ribbon always read “pony club” so I stitched all the leftover pony club pieces together, gathered one side and made a beautiful flower bow for the bear to wear!

My Christmas star was pretty special. Looked even better on the tree!

finished star
My beautiful finished star!

But ultimately, BB was my 2020.

BB two weeks
BB two weeks old

Our chalk board read like this for most of the year…

chalk board of 2020

I want to say the pandemic mostly didn’t affect us, but it did, just a bit differently than it did to most.

BB was born 9 days before Australia went into hard lockdown. Most of the immediate family got to meet BB just before the lockdown was implemented, but not all.

One of my sisters was in New Zealand when he was born and everything started going pear shape. She had a couple of stressful days of cancelled flights before they finally made it home just to have to quarantine for 14 days. Eventually she made a grocery run for us just so she could come and meet the little guy.

My other sister didn’t meet him until he was 8 months old. She is a nurse and has been on the testing sites for most of it.

We also had to wait until he was able to have his flu vax before introducing him to his great Nanna. Nanna has probably been the worst effected with covid. She’s in a nursing home and has faced some really tough lockdowns and restrictions.

meeting nanna and cousin

With months where no one was allowed to visit, we got a whole lot of family bonding time, which was lovely. Guy had four weeks of leave, but worked from home for 8 months! We got to have family lunches and walks in his breaks.

We are very lucky here in Canberra to have been sheltered from the worst of it.

As for 2021, me and Guy slept our way into it.

I’m finding it hard to make any goals at all. Partly because I can barely get a load of washing hung out without BB falling down the back step or eating something gross, and partly because I am completely daunted by the prospect of returning to work and sending BB to childcare.

But here goes…

2021

  • Keep writing. So far I’ve prepped enough blog entries to have written more than I did last year! Here’s to keeping the momentum. The hardest part will be finding something to write about! My making time has massively reduced!
  • Find a new job. I just gave my notice to my old one. oops.
  • Finish a few projects. I’m working on a couple of things that are a bit secret squirrel for a little bit longer, but I’m actually making progress, so I look forward to sharing those with you soon. But in the spirit of de-cluttering, I think it might be time to work through my “to finish baskets” too…
  • Set up a play space for BB in the studio. At the moment he is having a ball pushing things through the cube storage under the table, and then crawling through, or finding jars of buttons to rattle. He even managed to crawl completely under the guinea pigs. My main concern with letting him be too free range in here is him finding a stray button or pin and trying to eat it.

It’s always interesting looking back on these post 12 months down the track. I sense a lot is going to change that I can’t even identify at this moment.

Have you made any plans/resolutions for 2021? Did you accomplish your to-do list for 2020?

Here’s to a creative 2021! And here’s to it being better than 2020!

<3 Cate

Christmas 2020

I always try and make a few of my gifts for Christmas. I’ll admit, 2020 was a little on the light side for handmade, but between the whole family, there were still plenty of hand made gifts to go around!

To start, I HAD to make BB a Christmas stocking! It’s a tradition for the children to have a stocking which gets filled with small gifts and treats that they can open before the adults wake up!

stocking

I made BB a ball using this tutorial from Kid Giddy. I don’t have an AccuQuilt, instead I just used a 3inch triangle template to mark out my triangles. I love making these balls! I get to use all my scraps of bright fabrics!

star ball

I made my niece a “Colour & Sew” doll kit, I’m really looking forward to seeing the results! (I’ll write a post of it’s own with a little more detail)

colour and sew kit

My lovely sister Jodie knitted BB this gorgeous fox lovey! The pattern is by Carol Hebling and can be found here on Ravelry.

fox lovey

Sticking with the fox theme, my sister Sophie made BB this toy fox! He’d claimed the fox as his own before it was even given to him! The pattern is out of Homespun Magazine, June 2012 “Foxy and Waddles”.

Mr Fox

And how awesome are these “2020 Survival Kits” my beautiful sister in law put together for us! Just what we needed after the year that was 2020! She wrote the all too true poem to go with it!

2020 recovery kit
2020 recovery kit contents

Guy also enjoys making survival kits. Many years ago, he started making “Zombie Survival Kits” for friends and family. Every year, or when he feels like it, he makes another kit that adds to the original. This year he found a pouch which the original tins fit into, a neat pen and some other stuff. I got roped into putting the info sheet together for it!

zombie kit

My Nanna turned 97 years young in November! And she is still making us lovely gifts! She made us all pillows! We are loving their extra squishyness during playtime!

nannas pillows

We made a team effort to make some keepsakes for the Grandparents as well! These little “LOVE” hand and feet prints took all three of us to make! BB with his prints, Guy to hold him and me to spread the paint around!

Love BB

We had a lovely family gathering on Christmas day. Everyone was excited to spend BB’s first Christmas together! He had a ball! And everyone went home happy and full.

Edgars Christmas

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas however you spent it! I know it was a tough year for it, we even hosted family we don’t usually get to see because of lockdowns in some parts of the country.

Now that we’re into 2021, I think I should probably start making some goals! The first one will be to write some more! So here’s to getting more than two blogs out there for you to read this year!

Stay creative
<3 Cate