Archive for the ‘Crafty’ Category


Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Sunfalows is Munchkinese for sunflowers. She loves them and sings about them a lot these days, so yesterday, we painted a bit:

I think I’ll keep them in our living room, they’re so cheerful!

Quick Dresses

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

The Munchkin and I are spending a few days at my father’s house in Hesse. The heat around here is smothering, so I made these three dresses for our littlest to take with us:

I know it’s not exactly original to sew three dresses that look the same except for the fabrics, but this cut is just soo practical, light and airy and looks adorable on my baby girl.

I’m trying to get some studying done while I am here – which actually was the only reason for me to come here at this point, without the Lad. I miss him terribly. We’ve only been really apart on two occasions that I can remember since we got married and both of these times weren’t by choice. This time around, the Lad had to stay behind because he has work to do, which sucks, but who am I to complain? I am very grateful he’s back into work – and doing something he enjoys, I might add. Meanwhile, our baby’s Kita is closed for three weeks and I had noone to look after her when I needed to study, so my father suggested I come here to have him and my sister and brother in law watch her a few hours per day. Well, this arrangement has not really come to pass so far and I am increasingly worried and anxious. I am not getting anywhere as far as my studies are concerned. I feel overwhelmed and I have no idea how to fix the situation. For a number of reasons, I have to be done with uni in a few months, but right now, I have no clue how to get there.

Done, finally.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Somewhat exhausted, I present to you the remaining birthday stuff for our Munchkin:

Birthday outfit number one

Pattern: Modkid Nina. Fabrics: Michael Miller Treetop & Dumb Dot Cocoa.

Birthday outfit number two

Pattern: Leila & Ben Sweet Dress. Fabric: Michael Miller Joy Red.

Headbands for the outfits (sewn by the Lad, no less)

A shopping bag to go with the kitchen that the Munchkin will get for her birthday

Two little fabric baskets for doll stuff

Doll bed with new bedding

Not sewn, but spruced up a bit. An IKEA doll bed, painted white and partially covered in gift wrap, sealed with Mod Podge

A dress and headband for the Munchkin’s baby. She’s still missing a shirt and shoes here.

The Munchkin’s newest baby (she’ll get her on her birthday) in new outfit and headband

No more sewing for a little bit. I do have some fabrics already laid out for a few summer dresses, but I suppose that could wait a bit. I am in love with the Sweet Dress pattern, I am sure I will make a few more of those. Off to relax for the first time in quite a number of days.

Birthday Bunting

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Finally, the bunting is finished. It is painfully obvious that I am an absolute beginner as far as sewing is concerned. Things I learned while making this particular thing:

1. It does actually make sense to buy heavy-weight, good quality fabric when any degree of precision is required. Both fabrics used here were of relatively poor quality, unfortunately. I am now very intimately acquainted with my seam ripper.

2. I need to invest in yet another tape maker. I had to use the smaller one of the two that I have. The resulting tape was way too small in width and I had serious trouble folding it around the tops of the triangles to sew. Hence the backside of said triangles looks terrible – I need to see if I can somehow fix that later, but for now it’ll have to do, as I have more sewing projects to take care of before the Munchkin’s birthday.

3. Doing appliques was not as easy as I thought it would be. I found going around the bends inside the letters quite difficult.

Behold, the bunting:

Well, you certainly never cease to learn. I will get started on the Munchkin’s birthday dress tonight. And maybe add repainting our table to my ever growing to do list.

Wonky Birds

Monday, April 5th, 2010

The birds are a co-production between the Lad and myself and turned out somewhat less than perfect. We do think we know where we went wrong, though. First of all, I need to perfect my blind stitching and get a better feel for stuffing animals like this. First I put in too much stuffing, which resulted in the seams pulling apart and now there’s too little in them to make them look nice and plump. Also, stitching around small bends is not as easy as it looks. Anyway, next up on my list are birthday bunting and the Munchkin’s birthday dress, so the birdies will have to wait a little while.

Step by step

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Of course, Molly was right. Doing one thing after another, things are getting sewn and finished. I am slowly working through my list.

First came the bags

Then it was time for the Easter basket

Who would have thought I’d have such trouble sewing in a straight line? That’s definitely something I need to work on. For now, though, I do think the basket is usable and cute. Only it turned out much smaller than I anticipated. When I realized how small this basket was going to be, I’d already cut the fabric. I’ll probably make more of those baskets, though slightly bigger, next year.

Somewhere in between all that I managed to paint the Munchkin’s doll bed. I am still missing some Aslan tape and pretty paper to finish the bed base. After that, I’ll need to make the bedding.

I also ordered fabric from the US for the first time – what I wanted was so much cheaper there than it is here, despite the 19% tax I need to add to every shipment.  One of my two parcels arrived yesterday and I am smitten. I’ll most definitely order from that shop again. I’ll post a picture of the fabrics as soon as I get the last parcel in.

In between all that, the studying is going ok. I will need to set myself some deadlines this week – Ideally, I’d like to take one exam every four weeks. I hope that’s manageable.

We have a friend visiting this week, so things are a bit more stressful than usual. Of course it’s lovely to see her and our Munchkin seems to have taken an instant liking to her Auntie J, so all’s well.

Off to study for now, hooray.

Munchkin Table & Chairs

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

From the first day our baby girl visited Kita, she has been very drawn to tables and chairs that were more her size than the ones that we had at home.  She’d run to sit in a little chair, play at the table and push the chairs around. Seeing all that, we eventually decided it was time to get Munchkin her own little table at IKEA.

I intended to paint the whole set of one table and two chairs and thought it would be easy to do what I imagined – put on a coat of nice, sweat and saliva resistant paint, add some sort of floral ornament, make some pillows for the chairs and voilá! A masterpiece would be born. Or something like that at least.

Anyways, my preferred paint for these things did make things quite a bit more expensive than I originally thought, but I have used it several times before and just love how easy it is to use and that it’s the only paint I know of over here that’s recommended for kids toys, so that’s what I got: Osmo. It’s what I used on the rocking horse, too, and that worked out wonderfully.

As far as color goes, I initially wanted to paint everything white again, but then decided on something much darker in the end. I did not want to cringe every time I’d see our Munchkin use her pens on the table rather than on the paper designated for that very purpose, as babies are wont to do.

I ultimately decided on palisander as the overall tone, as I felt that the floral elements on the table and the pillows on the chairs would add a nice splash of color when it was all done. The Laddie and I chose a red fabric (again IKEA) for the pillow covers and I bought a few different types of paints in various shades of red and pink to use for the flowers.

As it turned out, I should have researched the flower bit of my painting a bit better. I had no idea that none of my paints would properly stick to the table after my intial brown coat of paint, so the whole thing ended up looking rather, um, shabby, I guess. Desperately trying to minimize the damage, I only added a few more blossoms after the two I had started with, so everything would look intentional rather than the train wreck that it was.

In a last step, I applied a thin coat of clear varnish in hopes of protecting the wood at least a little bit from potential spills it might encounter in Munchkin’s service.

We have not yet gotten around to making the pillows for the chairs, but the Laddie is working on them. Until they’re done, have a few pictures of my latest craftastrophe:

Before disaster struck.

Botchy Blossoms:

The whole thing, awaiting pillows.

Unfortunately we have only very, very limited room to work with in our current apartment, so Munchkin’s table will have to remain crammed into this rather unseemly corner until we eventually move. I am not happy about that, but at the same time am unable to rearrange things to improve the situation. I’ll see that I get some pictures up on one wall and maybe a little chalkboard on the other to make it look less bare and also a bit more interactive for our Munchkin.

Anyhoo, despite its shortcomings, our baby seems to love her very own table and chairs. Once she’s awake in the mornings, she’ll often crawl out of bed, pad through to the living room and take a few minutes to plop her little butt down on one of her chairs. It’s just too cute!

My next smaller project is a binder for Munchkin’s Kita. Every child in her class has one, her language development and the likes will presumably be documented in it. Provided by the government, the binder comes in a rather unpleasant, boring shade of green mixed with yellow and complete with sponsor logos. A few days ago, all parents new to Kita were instructed to do something pretty with it. I will need to finish the binder this weekend, so maybe I will have pictures of this a little later on.

Other, slightly bigger craft projects will be a quilt and an advent calendar for our baby – both of them in the making for ages, I am ashamed to confess. I’ll need to see that I squeeze in a little bit of time for all that every week.

Off to lie down and continue to recover from that persistent stomach bug I’ve been having problems with for the past four days or so. Have a great weekend!

Waltzing Matilda!

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Hey guys,

This is the first craft pill post and I sure hope it’s not the last.

I would like to introduce to you Matilda!


Matilda is a little monster I made for our little Munchkin, in the hopes that she would take her to Kita (daycare). As it turns out, our little one has no real preference when it comes to soft toys, so Matilda is yet awaiting her turn.

One side of Matilda is pink terry cloth and the other is brown corduroy with a pink floral design.

You can find the template at the site  “Cut out and keep”, so you can download and make a little monster for yourself. One note: because you need to print the template out, you might be tempted to print it just in A4, but I found it too small. Since it’s a PDF, you can span the print over 2 A4 sheets and then stick them together. The monster will then be a much more acceptable size.

Have fun, kids!