Capturing “Best Friend” Moments

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday!  It’s unbelievable that another year has flown by and the holidays are upon us once again.  This post is a very special one, dedicated to my daughter.

I have always loved illustrations such as the classic Winnie-the-Pooh images associated w/ the A.A. Milne storybooks. I thought that the the images of Christopher Robin with all of his friends, Pooh and company, are so timeless and sweet.

My daughter has recently been showing a lot of interest in some of her stuffed animals. She’s very attached to them and will want to say goodnight to them, or bring them to daycare, or tuck them in, feed them her milk, all the sorts of things that you want to do to show you care for someone or something. It’s really quite adorable. At the moment, she is particularly attached to a stuffed Hippopotamus that her Uncle gave to her.

She loves to color and draw, and loves for people to join her at her little table to draw things with her.  She especially loves to sit her stuffed animals at the table with her and have them “draw” (translation, I hold the hippo and put a crayon on his “hand” and make him color all over the paper). One day, on a whim, I did a quick sketch of her hippo and she was very excited, pointing and asking me to draw him again and again in all the different crayon colors. I tried drawing some of her other friends too and she call them each by name as she saw them emerge on the page.

As I was sitting there drawing with my daughter, it struck me that this was one of those priceless moments that should be captured. I decided to illustrate her and her stuffed animal friends, inspired by the very illustrations I fell in love with as a child.  There is something about the innocent quality of these illustrations that I feel is so appropriate to describe children and their imaginations.  The resulting image is what you see above, but framed and hanging on our wall.

Here is a photo of her with her friends.  This actually happened all on its own.  She came into her room and saw all her friends lined up against her bed, and decided to join them for a turn. I hope that when she grows older, she will love this illustration as much as I do.

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Shake, Rattle and Roll

It seems to be that time of year where we are learning about all the new babies we will meet in the coming year. It always makes me so happy to hear the happy news of expectant parents, whether it is for the first time or not.

If you recall way at the beginning of my blogging journey, I had mentioned my daughter’s daycare bff in this post.  We recently discovered that she is going to be a big sister! A big congratulations to the expecting parents and her friend, what wonderful news! I just know they’re all going to have so much fun together and her friend is going to be such a great older sister!

Well, I wanted to make something special for the new baby. I recall when we first had my daughter that we didn’t have a lot of toys that made noises, like a rattle, or musical toys. I thought that making a baby rattle would be such a great idea! My daughter is really into all sorts of animals right now, so I thought about what I wanted to do (and what I couldn’t really make into a hat) and decided to try and elephant.

I found a really great pattern for an amigurumi elephant here. I thought that it was so cute and would be perfect for the rattle.  I wanted to make it into a ring so I opted just to make the head and make a separate ring and attach them together.  I ended up using the “bee” ring pattern here because I thought the sizes may work well together.

I slightly modified the head by placing one of those rattle balls I talked about in my previous post here.  I love the way this turned out.  My daughter was so excited when she saw the finished product that she didn’t want to let it go and ran around shaking it for a good hour.  I guess I’ll have to make her one as well!  Congrats to the expectant family!

The Perfect Specimen – Part 2

Now that I have this great butterfly punch, I have all sorts of ideas on how to use it! I’ve seen all sorts of neat ideas on how to make attractive art for nurseries so I decided to try my hand at one myself.  I wanted to make a nice, calming, neutral piece that could work in a girl’s or a boy’s room, despite the subject perhaps being considered more girl-like.

I was talking to my brother-in-law’s fiance and telling her what I had planned and she gave me a great idea to present the butterflies like a specimen box.  Cute, and kind of a throwback to junior high school.  I remember getting the “bug” project in 7th grade, where all the students had to build a “bug” box in shop class and use it for their science project, which was to collect 25 different insect specimens and mount them professionally in your box.  I know I know, totally gross.  This is a much more attractive and pleasant project, I promise you!  See my previous post for how to make this project!

Note: I used the Ribba picture frame from Ikea for this go around.  I liked that the deep frame could cover the butterflies and protected them.

Hands Down

One week a hurricane and the next week a Nor’easter? What will mother nature throw at us next? I truly hope that all the people affected by Hurricane Sandy are starting to piece their lives together. I know that for me, sitting in my warm apartment with heat, electricity, and hot water, I feel blessed and lucky that we were able to avoid the hardships that we see many facing around us. It is incredibly heart-wrenching to see people lose everything to a natural disaster and hope that time will heal all wounds.

Well, this storm following the hurricane came as a bit of a surprise to me. Not only was I not expecting another weather-related incident for a while, I also had not really prepared for the winter to hit yet. We had to go the whole nine yards last week-end, buying a winter coat, lined pants, you name it, for my daughter. The one thing we couldn’t find anywhere were mittens!  Well… I should change that…. we found mittens, but they all came w/ hat sets.  I thought it was pointless to buy a complete set when I love making hats so much… hahaha….

I can tell you one thing.  Not being able to go to work has been good for my crafting.  I finally have time to make things again!  I took it upon myself to make some custom mittens to go with my daughter’s winter outfit. I had made some mittens before in this post, but now that my daughter is older, she really needs the separate thumb to be able to grab things. I settled on a color scheme, using the Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend and a type G (4.0mm) hook to keep the stitches tighter. I made this pattern up as I went along, comparing it to my daughter’s hand as I finished each row. I definitely ended up taking this apart at least 3 times because I would finish off only to discover that I needed to adjust something.  Aside from my impatience, I think that these mittens turned out really cute!  I can’t wait for my daughter to try them on and have all sorts of wintery fun!