I’m really enjoying learning to crochet. For some reason my brain didn’t ‘get it’ for ages, despite being shown by friends and associates, all I could make was uneven triangles.
I recently spent some time learning (thanks to a charity shop crochet kit and YouTube!) and have been experimenting a lot, writing my own patterns and learning to make appliqué as well as amigurami characters. I’ll be showcasing my makes here and welcome commissions. This little shark was made for my husband, a huge shark enthusiast. What do you think?
Comment below or email bluebeaglebaby (at) gmail.com for more info or follow me on Instagram @bluebeaglebaby
One of my favourite things to do on a lazy day with the Lamb is to look briefly at my ‘Toddler Craft’ board on Pintrest & see what project she chooses.
Last week she was really taken with this photo of ‘tissue box monsters’ (apologies, I’ve looked to see if there’s a link to a website but can’t see one).
It was super simple and it was lovely to see the Lamb’s imagination run wild. Firstly we gathered our materials, and we were very lucky that it was the day before the recycling was collected so we had plenty of egg boxes and tissue boxes to use, plus some pipe cleaners, felt balls, paint, paper and glue.
The Lamb kept referring back to the original photo but her imagination really ran wild as she painted the mouth black, added fuzzy balls inside, wanted yellow horn and chose bobbly eyes for him. It was really fun, messy and creative. I was surprised at how long it took as the Lamb took a lot of care painting and considering what to add next.
And now her monster is pride of place on the mantelpiece.
Have you made a tissue box monster? What decorations are you making for Halloween?
We recently celebrated the Lamb’s third (THIRD!!) birthday. She’s heavily into dinosaurs at the moment so I had planned a dinosaur theme for her birthday. However, as always, the best laid plans for scuppered when two weeks before her birthday, she announced she wanted a ‘Sarah and Duck’ theme. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Sarah and Duck is a charming and quirky cartoon featuring a young girl ‘Sarah’, her friend ‘Duck’ who lives with her and a plethora (I really don’t use the word ‘plethora’ enough. Plethora. Love it) of interesting characters, from ‘Scarf Lady’ who is perpetually knitting and her grumpy knitting bag, Umbrella who doesn’t like the rain, Bug who collects buttons, Plate Girl, Ribbon Sisters, the list goes on.
Which luckily means there are a huge number of characters to draw inspiration from. As we do every birthday, we decorated our fireplace.
With help from the Lamb, we made pom-poms. Pom-poms are a craft I’d been looking forward to doing with the Lamb for a while. It’s very simple and mess-free, plus we loved throwing our pom-poms in the air. Their ‘bed’ was actually a cleaned out croissant tray and we shredded some brown packing paper to make soil. We stuck some eyes on the pom-poms, then it was a case of ‘Hello!’, ‘Hello!’, ‘Hello!’, ‘Ahoy!’
Duck was another toddler-friendly craft with lots of tissue paper stuck onto a cardboard duck. Sometimes the simple crafts are the most fun and effective.
Next up was the paper chains, because it’s not a birthday without paper chains. I found an umbrella shaped hole punch in Tiger (I’ve seen them in multiple stores) and set to work. ‘Umbrella’ in Sarah and Duck is red so I tried different methods of creating a red umbrella. Finally I opted to punch strips of yellow paper, then highlight the holes with red paper, which I think created a lovely effect. It was time consuming but looked pretty good, although I cut the red backing paper a little too narrow so from the back it looked a little messy. The Lamb didn’t mind though.
Another view of the paper chains and the paint blown ‘Moon’ to created a few weeks ago.
In one episode Sarah’s plant isn’t too well. It turns out that ‘Bug’ has been storing buttons in the flower pot. Sarah makes Bug a ‘Button’ bank so I filled a jar with my most colourful buttons and added a label. I think Bug would really like this little Bank, don’t you?
Some paper lanterns became ‘Moon’ and ‘Venus’ and more tissue paper helped create ‘Flamingo’ .
And of course, what would a birthday be without ‘Cake’. Fans of the show will know the talkative cake was make for Duck but ended up helping ‘Bread Man’ in his shop. And what flavour was the cake? Lemon drizzle of course!
Does your little one like Sarah and Duck? Have you thrown a Sarah and Duck themed party? Let me know!
We seem to be in the midst of the most quiet invasion ever at the moment, namely moths! They appear randomly all over the place and I’m determined they don’t eat any of our woollens so am fighting back!
Normally I buy the chemical ‘patches’ or insecticide soaked paper, but I can be very forgetful at removing them once they are no longer active and am more than a little paranoid that the Lamb or Pup will find them and decide they’re the latest chew-toy so, inspired by this post from Garden Therapy I decided to make some ceramic ‘pendants’ for our wardrobes which I soaked in cedar oil (I made these one weekend when I had a horrendous cold so kept adding more and more oil until hubby intervened as apparently the house stunk).
Cedarwood oil is derived from the cedar tree and can be bought in blocks, oil or resin. It is a natural moth repellent, with the added bonus that it’s non-toxic to dogs (obviously check with your vets if you have any doubts. There’s a plethora of products with cedar oil in aimed at removing fleas and ticks from dogs, with the added benefit that your furry best friend smells a little fresher too!), a major concern here at Beagle HQ.
The pendents were super simple to make and I think look adorable. I bought some air-drying clay which I rolled out, then using assorted cookie and play-doh cutters, I cut different shapes, using a straw to punch a hole for the string and of course I had to add a little dog paw for decoration. I left them to dry overnight, then started adding the oil, allowing it to sink in fully before adding more. As I said, I may have used a *little* too much. Once they were fully dried I tight some string around them, and then popped them between clothes, in cupboards and generally around the house. We’re now moth-free AND the house smells fantastic!
Have you made any natural moth repellents? What did you use? Let me know in the comments below.
I remember birthdays as a child, mostly the cake (the infamous ‘Rabbit Castle’ will go down in family history but that’s a story for another day) but parties and fun. Since having the Lamb we’ve tried to put extra special effort into celebrating birthdays, decorating the house and of course, baking a special cake. This year hubby celebrated a special birthday so the Lamb and I made and decorated the house, as well as baking an extra-special birthday. Can you guess the theme?
The assorted books by JRR Tolkien have long been hubby’s favourite so we created Middle Earth here in Devon!
It was a lot of fun creating the decorations and we used different craft skills.
It took quite a while to do all the lettering but luckily I found some sites on Pinterest to help. Of course, we needed a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner.
And I also made a number of small banners, based on the different characters……
Of course, we needed Sauron’s Eye to watch our celebrations….
And I tested hubby on his Elvish…..
Our hallway. Down the banister I knitted brown ‘branches’ with the leaves of Lothlorian while there were streamers and balloons from the ceiling as more branches and leaves.
I needle-felted Gandalf (if you’d like one made to order, comment below or email bluebeaglebaby(at)gmail.com) which was fun and I look forward to making more. Perhaps I’ll eventually felt the other characters.
And created these luggage/gift tags
And finally the cake. And in-keeping with the books, we celebrated in Hobbiton!
A very happy birthday to hubby!
What did you think of our Middle Earth birthday? Have you had a themed party? Let me know in the comments below!
As Summer in the UK, you can never tell what the weather will do. One particularly dull day, I was trying to think what to do with the assorted ends of my knitting. As part of my ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ pledge for Earth Day, I normally add them to the ‘rag bag’ which I donate to the local charity shop, but suddenly inspiration struck, the Lamb and I would turn it into art!
This was possibly one of the easiest, although muckiest, projects we’ve undertaken and the results were as fun as the making!
We started off by drawing an outline of our chosen design on greaseproof paper, an ‘E’ for the Lamb and I thought I’d get a head start on some of our Halloween decorations so I wrote ‘Boo’.
Then came the fun part! We soaked the assorted wool remnants in the glue water, then draping it around the paper. I wrung the wool a little, while the Lamb popped it on still dripping. Aside from excess liquid, neither method affected the final result. Longer pieces were used to create an outline while the others were layered inside. We both really liked the blends of colours.
The school holidays seem to be particularly dreary this year. The toddler seems to have fallen slightly out of love with painting so I decided to come up with a new method to renew her passion.
This was a super-simple, fun and VERY messy project and one we both enjoyed. Seriously though, if you decide to try it, paint goes EVERYWHERE so make sure you put lots of paper down.
Those who know me, know I’m terrible at drawing (I once drew a stick an with three knees….) but luckily ‘Moon’ from the toddlers new favourite show (Sarah & Duck) is easy enough for even my cack-handedness to draw. I also did a few other simple outlines, including a tree, Spidergirl and a hedgehog.
Next, it was time to pour the paint. I bit of trial and error taught us that small drops, fairly close together worked better.
Then it was time to blow!
It was fun trying different lengths of straw and different ‘blowing’ techniques from short, sharp puffs, to longer blows while moving the straw around. They created surprisingly different results.
The tree is a little abstract.
Spider girl turned into a Deadpool/Venom hybrid. We used slightly too much paint on this one….
And here’s Moon, waving on his way to work.
Have you tried blow-painting? How did you get on? Let me know in the comments below!