Yorkshire Crafts

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Yorkshire Crafts
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Designer/maker of hand knitted, hand crafted, handmade items, avid collector and reluctant seller of vintage china, mum, home-educator and book lover. Blogging about our crafts and makes, our home education journey, and reviews of books we use.
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Copyright

We really hope you enjoy reading about our projects and products, but just because they're featured here in public, doesn't mean anyone else can copy them or reproduce them for commercial gain. Except where otherwise indicated, all items are ©YorkshireCrafts.

Vintage Watering Can

Vintage Watering Can

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers
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Daffodil

Daffodil
Sunday, 24 June 2012

Handmade ironing board cover

Today was the day I finally reached my wit's end with my horribly manky old ironing board cover.  Rather than buy a new mass-produced one, I decided to make my own.

Having looked at a few tutorials which told me how to carefully dismantle the old cover blah, blah, blah, I found one that suggested a much simpler option.  Simply strip off the old cover, turn the ironing board upside down on top of the fabric you want to use, and draw round it.

If you decide to use this method, make sure you leave a 1.5" gap between the edge of the board and your drawing line, all the way round.  Pin and sew binding all the way around your fabric, insert the string/cord or whatever you're using to pull the cover tight, fold the binding over and stitch into place.

Put the new cover onto your ironing board and pull the cord tight so you have a nice snug fit.

Ta-dah!

Handmade ironing board cover

Not perfect perhaps, but a darned sight better than my old one!!
Thursday, 21 June 2012

Worth a very long wait!

Today I'm a very happy bunny indeed, because I finally got my hands on a replacement copy of a book I was given by my Aunt when I was about 17 which some thieving git then helped themselves to.

I'd practically given up ever finding a copy of this book again, as despite trying book shops in the past and more recently Amazon at regular intervals over the years, there's never been one available from them and the Amazon marketplace sellers only ever had acceptable copies at best.  Ebay produced the same negative results.  So I was delighted last week to find a seller that not only had a copy at a reasonable price, it was listed as appearing to be "unread", which it has proven to be.  Happy me!!

The book in question is Around the World in Eighty Sweaters, by Sue Bradley and it contains a lovely collection of ... yep, you guessed it, 80 or so garments inspired by textiles and styles from various parts of the world which have been adapted and incorporated into knitting patterns.


Although the styles themselves are somewhat dated now - we're talking 80s here when everything was either very baggy or ultra-wide at the shoulders - the actual pattern charts are timeless.  And while I doubt I'll ever knit any of the exact patterns contained in the book, there's a very strong possibility I'll end up adapting the charts to work with more contemporary styles.

I do remember making this sweater though, before the book was lost, and my mum still has a photo of me on display, aged around 18, wearing it.  I was so proud of the achievement as I think it was my first attempt at colour work and strand-weaving.  If I remember right, the results were pretty good!!


I did make mine without the white "bamboo" parts though as I thought they detracted somewhat from the lovely colourful butterflies.

The chart for the back and front of the sweater
A very happy day indeed :D
Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Kids Crafts - Animal Alphabet

I started making Junior an 'animal alphabet' a while back, but as he showed no interest in his letters whatsoever, it was all numbers, numbers, and maths, he's suddenly asking "what does that say?" and "what letter's that?" all the time.

Time to finish the alphabet!

I found the templates here, a great site with all sorts of free printables and craft ideas for kids and good for some home education resources too.  Lovely, with colourful animals or birds on one side, and with the upper and lower case letters, plus the name of the animal on the other.

The finished results are great not only for teaching the alphabet, but also for role play as well.  They're also a great way to use up those coffee-stirring sticks they hand out at the likes of McDonalds!!  Older children can join in with this craft helping with the colouring in and cutting out/sticking of the animal shapes :)

Great fun!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Book Review: World's Scariest Dinosaurs

Continuing on from our review of Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex (published by Raintree), comes a review of a dinosaur book for slightly more advanced readers, World's Scariest Dinosaurs, by Rupert Matthews, from the Extreme Dinosaurs series published by Raintree.

Intended to interest reluctant readers - with Young Sir being a prime example - or to encourage further study of a topic of interest.  This book is actually way beneath Young Sir's real reading capabilities, but he thoroughly enjoyed reading it, whereas he sometimes struggles with the 'chapter books' he's handed at school.

World's Scariest Dinosaurs still has the same nice large font and relatively simple words of the beginner books, but has moved on to a small paragraph per page - perhaps two or three sentences - rather than just one sentence, so is ideal for improving readers and to encourage progression.  The book also contains the same vivid, imagination-inspiring illustrations found in its baby cousin, Dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

I do think though, that having read this book, Young Sir is no longer under the impression that any dinosaur was cute and cuddly!!

Highly recommended read, particularly for boys who aren't keen on reading but love dinosaurs.

World's Scariest Dinosaurs


The paperback version won't be published until February 2013, but the hardback is available via Amazon, using this link.  World's Scariest Dinosaurs (Extreme Dinosaurs)


Monday, 18 June 2012

Book Review: Dinosaurs - Tyrannosaurus Rex

"With life-like illustrations and simple text, the books in this series introduce children to different dinosaurs and their unique characteristics."

One of Junior's favourite things at the moment is dinosaurs, and in particular, T-rex.  I think the "dinosaur phase" must be something all little boys (and some little girls too!) go through, as I remember Young Sir having a similar fascination for them, and unusually for YS, it was an interest which lasted quite a while!

While visiting a lovely charity shop in Pocklington a little while back - Barnados, I think - which sells only children's clothes and toys and nothing else, Junior spotted a toy T-rex which he proudly bought with his pocket money, for the princely sum of £0.49.  It's gone virtually everywhere, including to bed, with him ever since, and I've had to sneak it out of the room without him seeing me just so I could photograph it!!


Naturally it followed that on a recent visit to a local library, he was instantly drawn to a book about Tyrannosaurus Rex, with a delighted comment of "There's my dinosaur, Mummy."  I couldn't not take it out for him could I, and since then, it's been renewed a couple of times as he doesn't want it to go back!

Tyrannosaurus Rex contains some wonderful illustrations, and nice large text specifically aimed at early readers in both font size and repetition.  It obviously works, because Junior can now "read" the word 'dinosaurs' which has also been stuck onto the bathroom tiles with his wet-n-stick letters.

The book conveys a good amount of information while keeping everything nice and simple for the beginner, and there's a nice little quiz at the end.

Tyrannosaurus Rex


I tried visiting the publisher's website given in the book, but it took me somewhere completely different to the URL I'd typed in.  I did eventually find the right website, but only after quite a bit of hunting around.

The author is Daniel Nunn, and there's a whole series of dinosaur books, which are also available in Spanish.  I've found the library does have the rest of the series, but for reasons best known to themselves, they're not letting anyone reserve the books :(
Sunday, 17 June 2012

Handmade Father's Day

I couldn't let Father's Day go by without showing off our handmade card and wrapping paper!

Handmade Father's Day card

Hand-stamped handmade wrapping paper

Young Sir had great fun getting all inky helping with the stamping, but unfortunately Junior decided it was more fun to rub his hands on the ink-pad than to stamp, and then promptly had a huge tantrum when he saw the mess he'd made of his hands!
Saturday, 16 June 2012

Book Review Oscar and the Moth

"Oscar is a curious kitten and one evening, as he watches the sunset, he is full of questions about light and dark.  Luckily Moth is nearby and can help with the answers."


Among the birthday presents Junior received this year were two lovely books about a curious kitten called Oscar.

The "Oscar" series is published by Walker Books, who publish awesome books for children and whose offerings include Maisy the Mouse, and "Oscar" is written by Geoff Waring.

Aimed at children in the KS1 age-range, the "Oscar" series is a clever way of introducing scientific concepts to kids through the medium of a story, so they're learning without realising they're learning.  As home educators, we like this way of doing things. :)


Oscar and the Moth introduces the idea of light and dark, and touches on the earth's rotation explaining very simply why we feel warm during the day but cold at night.  A great story all by itself, I love the way the book handles some of the common questions little ones ask about day and night, and the conclusion pages which encourage question-and-answer sessions discussing what Oscar (and the reader) has found out thanks to his helpful friend Moth.

Oscar and the Moth

We'll definitely be getting some more "Oscar" books.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Finished sweater

One of my UFOs has finally become a finished object!  This sweater has been languishing in my unfinished objects box for absolutely ages, with the back, a sleeve, and three-quarters of the other sleeve finished.  I dug it out the other day, finished the sleeve and knitted up the front.

It's been years since I did a V-neck, so I totally stuffed up the neck to start with, and had to unpick it all to start again. I'd forgotten to do the decreases that make the nice tidy V shape at the neck centre. Doh!

Anyway, some two years after I started it, my sweater is now complete, and fits nicely.  It's made in Stylecraft Special DK, colour copper, and is knitted to a Crucci pattern from their pattern book 24 that I picked up years ago in an op-shop for a massive 10c!

I like it so much I've started another in the same pattern.  I'm just hoping it doesn't take another two years before that one gets finished!!
Monday, 7 May 2012

Rip off England

I apologise in advance for the rant, but I feel it's necessary to highlight the fact that those of us who live in England are getting right royally ripped off yet no one seems to protest about it.

The Open University has always been extremely good at helping those less fortunate to gain a qualification on an equal platform with the better off.  Following the OU route to a degree or post-grad qualification is also a very good way for students to study part-time while working, and for home educated children to gain a university degree via an alternative route to a traditional university place.

I've been looking at the OU website following the recent changes to the fee structure.  I was aware that funding for people on low incomes was set to change as of 2012,  but I wasn't aware of just how huge the difference in fees was going to be, dependant on where you lived.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the fee structure for a level 3 science course, S339 "Understanding the Continents".

So much for the United Kingdom, or Great Britain.

Students who live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland are expected to pay £420.00 for the S339 course, yet students who live in ENGLAND, are expected to pay almost three times this amount - the fee for an English student being £1250.00 for courses taken 2012/13.

Why?

Why the hell is England constantly being ripped off, while the other three countries that make up Britain pay so much less?  Why should English based students have to pay almost three times what their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts pay for a degree level education, and presumably, finish their degree with three times the debt of their counterparts?

And when it comes to home-educated children who choose to pursue an OU-based degree and whose parents are helping pay for said degree, why should they have to pay three times as much to help their child gain his degree, just because they're English?

I for one, protest.
Sunday, 6 May 2012

Birthday preparations

Tomorrow, Junior will be 3.  I'm sure all parents say the same, but I'll say it anyway ... I really can't believe three years have gone so quickly.  It seems no time at all since I was holding that tiny bundle in my arms, gazing in wonder at this tiny, perfect little human being.

I bought the digi-image for Junior's card - he adores "Handy Manny" - ages ago, but being last minute Charlies as always, today has been a frenzy of card colouring and making, rosette making, and later, will come present wrapping.

Fixer Boy card

Inside the card

Handmade birthday rosette for him to wear

Just the cakes to make tomorrow morning, and we should be all set!
Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Eureka! moment

I read a great post the other day over on a fellow home-edder's blog, which tells us that if the child can't learn the way we teach, then we need to find a different way to teach the child.  Unfortunately, that doesn't happen at school.

I have a love/hate relationship with Fridays.  I love them because on Fridays we pick up Young Sir from school and he spends the weekend with us, much to the delight of little Junior who adores his big brother.  I hate them because with Friday comes homework, and the temper tantrums that come with it.

Personally I can't see the point of forced homework, and I certainly don't remember ever having any at his age (he's 7).  School insists the work is done, and so do most parents.  I can't help wondering how many parents insist on it just so they don't get into trouble, without giving any real thought as to whether the child is learning anything or not.  Just so long as the homework is done, that's all that seems to matter, apparently.

To my mind though all that this ends up achieving is a frustrated, bitter and resentful child who actually learns nothing from the experience but more frustration, bitterness and resentment.  He certainly doesn't retain or appreciate what the homework was supposed to be about, and certainly has no feelings of endearment towards schoolwork.  There's nothing fun about it whatsoever.

Homework also leads to extremely frustrated adults as we struggle to try and find ways to explain things to a child who has slammed up the "this is schoolwork" barriers and doesn't want to listen.  For us personally, this leaves us feeling we've failed Young Sir in some way.  Sadly, I know of parents who shrug their shoulders and say it's not their job, it's up to the teacher to teach the child.

Part of the problem is that I believe Young Sir is a visual learner, so no amount of worksheet written instruction sent by school is going to work for him.  He just doesn't "get" written instructions, and spoken ones are easy to shut out, but that's the way school does it so YS switches off.  Aaaaaaaaargh!

Last night's homework was, to most adults, what should be very simple fractions - halves and quarters.  Try as he might, Young Sir could not relate the written instructions to what he was seeing on the sheet of paper, and we ended up with the usual shut down.

This afternoon, Junior was doing his maths on the computer.  I use the word "doing" loosely as he doesn't really understand any methodology, he's not 3 yet , but he has worked out how to do most of the exercises and he gets great enjoyment from getting them right.

We use Starfall, which is an American site, but one which we find very useful.  We found it a few years ago and used it to encourage Young Sir to read, and the site has added so much more in the intervening years, including the maths, that we have bought a year's membership as Junior really enjoys it.

Young Sir was watching, and I could tell from his face that he was itching to have a go as well.  Junior treats the whole thing as a game, not realising he's actually learning the whole time.  Mr YC set YS up on his computer, and we left him having fun with maths for a while until I had that Eureka! moment.

I googled for 'fractions games' and found "Maths Games Online".  Bingo!  There were lots of different links listed, including one for designing your own flag using fractions.  Perfect.  Because Young Sir was already having fun, he was quite happy to move on to the new site and play with the flags.

He did look a bit bored, but he was actually enjoying himself and concentrating hard.  Within a very short space of time, halves and quarters were going swimmingly.  Eureka!  Young Sir appeared to have got it.  The test though, was to put the abandoned homework in front of him, which he was happy to have another go at.  Homework done in three minutes flat.

Now that's what I call a result!
Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fabric heaven

Having found out about a shop that sells fabric at a mere £1 per metre, I'd be insane not to investigate further, wouldn't I.

The downside is that the shop is only open on Mondays and Thursdays, so this morning we set off in the most awful downpour I've seen in quite a while.  Whoever said we were in a drought has got to be kidding, as there was water everywhere.   Reservoirs were full, rivers had burst their banks, waterfalls were catapulting down rock faces in torrents and roads were overflowing with water.

Once we arrived at our destination though, all thoughts of rain were forgotten.  Well, temporarily anyway.

Fabric-wise, the shop turned out to be a veritable Aladdin's cave, and if I'm brutally critical of it, then it would be to say there was too much fabric there.  There was so much fabric piled from floor to ceiling that it was impossible to really see what was there and although I came away with quite a nice sized haul, I might have bought even more if I could have actually seen what was buried in amongst all the rolls of fabric.

All the rolls are just one side of the £1 area - round the other side of the rolls on the left is another aisle with yet more rolls!  And this is the room at the back of the store!!

There's another room to go through before you even get to this one, with similarly large mountains of fabric, all tightly packed and higgledy-piggledy so again, it's not an easy task to actually see what's there.  Prices range from £1 to around £6 per metre, although there might be some fabrics that are more which I didn't see.

Our haul

I got some lovely cottons/poly-cottons, some great Winnie the Pooh material, some fabric I'll use for cushions, and some lovely embroidered material I hope to turn into some skirts.  Mr YC got some corduroy and some other stuff he wants to experiment with.

On the main road opposite the fabric shop, which BTW is called Immanuel Fabrics, and is on Bright Street in Burnley, there's a charity shop which has made use of an old school building.  Naturally being charity-shopaholics, we couldn't leave for home without calling in.

I got a lovely bone china tea trio for my mum and a cute teddy bear tin - both items came to a whopping £1.50, and Junior got some books which were a further £2.  Bargains!

All in all, despite the rain, a good day was had by all.
Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Hand Knitted Hat and Bootee Sets and more books

In yesterday's post, I mentioned I'd knitted up some hat/bootee sets for the Yorkshire Crafts shop.  Today, I managed to get one set made up, photographed and listed in the shop all in the same day. Quite an achievement for me!  I have a darker royal blue set to finish, and also a gorgeous plum set which includes a pair of mittens as well, but for now there's a lovely turquoise hat/bootees set available in the shop for £6.50, which includes postage to a UK address.


To see a bigger photograph, visit the shop listing.

I also got an email from the local library this morning, letting me know that some of the books I'd ordered were ready for collection.  Lots of Usborne goodies!  I do try books from other publishing houses, but for some reason, I keep coming back to Usborne.  It's simple really, their books are very, very good.

For some reason, they'd sent two different copies of "Prehistoric World", which I was in too much of a rush to notice as we were in a hurry to get to the doctors, so I ended up checking out both copies and only realising my mistake when I got them home.  Apart from the fact that one says "internet linked" on the front and the other doesn't, the content hasn't changed over time, just the cover.

Copies of all barring the "Big book of Christmas things to make and do" have now been ordered, so we should soon have our own books to add to our ever-expanding home library soon!  You can expect reviews of some of these appearing on the blog in the not-too-distant.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Handmade Envelope Pack

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days, but the entire family has been suffering from a particularly nasty bug and there just hasn't been anything worth posting about.

I've tried to get back into the crafting groove this evening (Monday, 23rd April) - although it'll be Tuesday before this post goes up!  I've managed to add another 5 squares to my growing stash for the bed cover blanket, knit up two pairs of bootees which still need sewing up to put with matching hats for the Yorkshire Crafts shop, and have put together another set of 6 handmade envelopes, again made from pretty scrapbook papers.

Handmade envelopes
What with it being world book night and all, I had fully intended sitting down to read something tonight, but other things just took over and before I knew it, it was well past midnight.

Not that we haven't done well with reading today, just not any of *my* books.  I must have read some Mr Men books to Junior at least half a dozen times today, and he also did quite well with "Pirate Pat", one of Usborne's very first reading books - although he seemed more interested in reading the page numbers than he was in reading the words!!

Pirate Pat (First Reading) (Usborne Very First Reading)

Later he did some of his favourite geometry on the computer and then we worked through most of an M&S "Bright Sparks" maths book for 3-4 year olds that I'd picked up at a charity shop, which, considering he's not yet 3, he did really well at.

It did make me laugh though when we were doing a matching exercise to watch him pretend to "click" on the book page and "drag and drop" it on its mate!  I don't think he's quite fathomed yet that this only works on the computer :))
Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Another handmade birthday

It seems to be birthday party season among Young Sir's friends, and as he's with us this weekend and the party's on Saturday, it's time for another handmade birthday.  The recipients might not appreciate handmade, but I like to give something that's unique and not found anywhere near a high street shop.

I've gone for a pirate theme this time, with a handmade and hand coloured card, a handmade pirate bookmark, and a pirate notebook/drawing pad.  I was going to make a holder for the notebook and some colouring pencils but discovered I had only enough pirate fabric to make a pencil case, so that's what I've made.

Handmade Pirate birthday card
Pirate bookmark, with matching sailing ships on the reverse
Pirate themed notebook/drawing pad
Pirate pencil case
Thursday, 12 April 2012

Book Review Usborne Mysteries and Marvels of Science

"Amazing photographs and illustrations reveal a world full of wonders - proving that science is truly more astounding than science fiction."

I have to admit that when I first started reading this book, I didn't like it.  There simply wasn't enough detail or in-depth explanation for my liking, but then I remembered to take off my science hat and to try and think about the book from an 11 year old's perspective.  Once I'd done that, the more I read of the book, the more I warmed to it.

Aimed at children aged 11+, Usborne's "Mysteries and Marvels of Science" contains "bite sized" scientific facts that are just enough to whet a child's appetite and curiosity without overloading them with information.  Some of the science fiction that's become science fact is so way out it had me shaking my head in wonder!

When you couple this book with the internet links which often lead to some cool experiments requiring no specialist equipment and items which most parents will have readily available, actually makes this a very useful book that positively encourages questions and further investigation.

Mysteries and Marvels of Science (Usborne Internet-linked Reference)


I can certainly see us using this book at some point as a springboard to more thorough investigation and study of science.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Recycling, Upcycling and Handmade Envelopes

At Yorkshire Crafts, we're very keen on recycling and upcycling wherever we possibly can.  To keep costs down, we use recycled packaging for all our parcels, and if we can't recycle a ready-made box to pack an item in, we'll custom make one to fit it out of recycled cardboard.  We also upcycle things such as cereal boxes to make book envelopes, so not only keeping our prices low, but also doing our bit for the environment as well.

As we also enjoy making handmade cards and altered stationery items, it made sense to progress to making some handmade envelopes.  These are currently available in packs of six, all different designs, and come with address labels.  We'll also be producing sets of handmade envelopes made from recycled magazines.



We'll be adding these to the shop over the next few days.
Saturday, 7 April 2012

Book Review Usborne Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths

"Heroes and heroines battle with terrifying monsters, mighty armies and scheming gods in this thrilling collection of famous myths from Ancient Greece"

With its colourful cover, this book shouts out "read me", which is exactly why I grabbed it when I spotted it recently at our local library.  I often take books out from there first, with a view to buying a copy of our own if I think it'll help with home ed.  Ok, so Junior isn't old enough to read anything by himself yet, but by the time he is, I hope to have greatly expanded our home library.

A hardback book in a child-friendly size (albeit a tad heavy!), and with a built-in ribbon bookmark, Usborne's "Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths" is beautifully illustrated on each page.  A collaboration of several authors and illustrators, many of the classic tales are retold here, and of course the stories include all the plots, battles, scary monsters and triumphant heroes.  Although it's a chapter book, the words are mostly limited to three or four lines per page so it isn't too taxing for young readers.

The book is internet linked, with links to lots of informative and fun websites giving more information and activities related to Greek Mythology.

Image © Usborne Publishing



Aimed at readers in KS1 (6+) and beyond, I found the book enjoyable as an adult, and what delighted me even more was that my reluctant-reader stepson Young Sir picked it up and sat down to read one of the stories (The Minotaur), and was sufficiently captivated to read the story all the way through.  He commented that he'd "really enjoyed" the story, and when I asked if he'd be likely to read any more, he gave an enthusiastic "yes".

Any book that encourages Young Sir to read gets the thumbs up from me!


Disclosure: The above link is an Amazon affiliate link
Friday, 6 April 2012

Knitted Easter Chickens

I saw a lovely idea yesterday over on a fellow home educator's blog, for making little knitted Easter Chickens.  Very simple to make, and if your children can knit, one they can join in with.

None of my boys can knit, so with a bit of left-over yarn from some squares I've been knitting up towards my knitted square blanket (133 down, 187 to go!), I knitted them one each, and you can see two of them below.  A bit of red felt sewn on for the comb, and as I didn't have any self adhesive googly-eyes, I improvised and cut a little black felt triangle and did the eye centre with a bit of Tippex!

I'll pop a little chocolate egg into each one on Easter Sunday, and they can form part of the egg hunt :)

Knitted Easter chickens
A great idea, thanks Lisa for tweeting about it!
Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Handmade Teacup Pincushion

I'd had this gorgeous vintage 1930s teacup sitting around for a while, and I've decided to keep as it was so pretty.  Trouble was, what to do with it, so when I spotted the idea for making a teacup pincushion here, I decided I just had to give it a go.

The fabric for the pincushion part is from a fat quarter I've had in my stash for ages, the ribbon has been recycled from some used to wrap a pack of card blanks, and the gorgeous mother-of-pearl look button is one I found in a vintage sewing box I bought at an auction.

I love the result, and I can see myself making similar unique items for the Yorkshire Crafts shop!

Handmade Teacup Pincushion
Comments appreciated!!
Thanks for stopping by
Sunday, 1 April 2012

Handmade Easter

As we won't see Young Sir until next weekend (Easter weekend itself), I've spent a goodly part of today crafting with all the kids, making decorated polystyrene eggs, Easter cards and paper baskets to hold little chocolate eggs.

The eggs didn't turn out quite as I'd envisaged - the photo in my Usborne "Easter things to make and do" showed some beautifully decorated eggs, filled with pretty patterns.

Usborne's prettily decorated eggs
Easter Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)

Our efforts

Our efforts though, didn't look anything like those in the book.  The children ended up mixing all the colours together, so we ended up with somewhat splochy eggs, but on the plus side they dried with a very attractive marbled texture so were actually very nice!

Next we did the Easter cards, one from the Easter bunny to all of us which I coloured in with Promarkers, and Junior and Young Sir each did one to me and Mr YC.  Tiger wasn't here today, and Possum can't write yet, so he didn't make one.

Mine on the left, Young Sir in the middle, and Junior on the right

My card also had the Easter bunny on the inside of the card.

The inside of my card

Last came the Easter baskets, which I'm going to use to hold some mini chocolate eggs.  I'd already printed out some Easter-themed papers, and Mr YC found a great tutorial for making origami baskets.  A bit of paper folding later, and we had four lovely baskets.  I finished them off with some Easter sentiment punched circles.

Origami Easter Baskets for each of the kids
A filled basket

Mr YC meanwhile, had been busy making a gorgeous little origami gift box from some of the leftover pieces of paper we used for the baskets.  The result?  A super little lidded box, just big enough to hold one egg, which we'll give to his Mum, who's on a strict diet at the moment!

Origami lidded box for MiL

I'm pretty sure we all had fun making our "handmade Easter".

Thanks for stopping by!
Saturday, 31 March 2012

I need a present for

Don't you just hate it when one of the smalls drops the following bombshell:

  1. I need a costume for so-and-so,  it's tomorrow, or
  2. It's {insert name of relevant child here}'s birthday tomorrow, I need a present and a card
In this instance it was option 2 that greeted me when Young Sir arrived this weekend, so after spending what seemed an inordinate amount of time trying to extract information from YS as to what his friend liked, we came up with two definites:  Moshi Monsters, and drawing.

Having never heard of said Moshi Monsters, I googled them and discovered they're part of some sort of  online social networking for kids, where the child "adopts" one of these pixel characters.  Googling a bit further and I found some printables, so downloaded a couple of things.

A quick hunt through the craft cupboard turned up a sketch pad, so this was covered with some Moshi paper, and a name tag.

A coordinating bookmark - this particular friend loves reading - followed, together with a matching card.  I'm entering the card into CES Challenge Blog's challenge #79, No Girls Allowed.



A couple of days ago, I'd been looking up making a fabric cover for a notebook and while searching, I found a great tutorial for a sketch book cover, and decided to adapt this into a case to hold not only the altered notebook, but also a set of 12 colouring pencils and a couple of pens.

Here's what I ended up with, and I put a little "skull-n-crossbones' motif under where the sketch pad sits, and slotted the bookmark in behind the pad so it doesn't get lost.



I hope Young Sir's friend likes his truly unique and personalised birthday gift.

Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, 29 March 2012

Quilted Magnolia

I've put together a couple of Magnolia Tilda cards on a quilted-look background, using four coordinating squares which have been stitched on the sewing machine to give a quilted look, overlain with a cute hand coloured Magnolia mini, which has been coloured using Promarkers.  Both cards have been left completely without embellishment or sentiment so they can be used for any occasion.

I've also used Magnolia with butterflies to create an altered notebook.

I'm entering the card below into the latest challenge from DoYouStackUp - which is "Sew It" - and to use sewing (faux or otherwise) in the project.

Magnolia with butterfly quilted card
Magnolia with flowers quilted card

I'm entering my altered notebook into the Creative Craft Challenges which is "Anything but a Card".
 
Magnolia Tilda altered notebook
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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mum's the word

Is it a bit off to make your own Mother's day card?  Well if it is, tough!  My littlest boy's only 2 and although he did make me a lovely card at his playgroup yesterday, I wanted a really pretty card as well.

As soon as I saw this gorgeous image over at Elisabeth Bell Designs, I knew I wanted it for my Mother's day card this year, and I'm entering my card into My Mum's Craft Shop Challenges Mum's the Word challenge.


I found a great piece of ivory card in a bumper pack I'd picked up, which I've inked with purple and made into the card base, the image has been coloured with a mixture of watercolour and Promarkers, then put on a pretty purple backing that also came with the pack.  I've added two purple rose embellishments from my stash, along with a lilac bow.  The inside has been stamped with my one and only mother-y sentiment "To a Special Mum".

Mr YC will get Possum to sign the card later, and I shall thoroughly enjoy getting this on Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by.