Friday, November 22, 2013

Off the Needles and On Again

I have been knitting as fast as these fingers can go lately. It really has become my go-to craft for when the baby is asleep and my hands are free. I finished up this Baby Sophisticate, which I'm pretty sure was the last knit on my baby list before Josh was born! It was quick and easy, but I really did not like the yarn I chose for this. I picked out Cascade Pacific Chunky. The colour is ok, but the yarn felt almost greasy to me. I did not love working with it, and Josh is not a fan of wearing it unless he has long sleeves underneath. I guess it is a bit scratchy. Despite the issues, who can resist a teeny grandpa sweater?? Not this lady!

Next, I set off with the Christmas crafting. I mentioned that growing up I was all into traditions. I am a sentimental fool, really, which means my son is going to have to grow up with a bunch of traditions of our own that he will eventually roll his eyes at and think I'm the most embarrassing mom ever. I'm ok with that! One thing I grew up with (and I guess most people who celebrate do) was my own special Christmas Stocking that my mom had made. Mine was the white one with the puffy Santa on it, and my brother's was the red with the snowman. It was just nice to always have that one that was made especially for me. I decided Joshie needed his own mama made stocking and got to work.

Honestly? I don't love it. It is growing on my though. I used the Mix-it-Up Christmas Stocking pattern by Terry Morris as a base and added in a few other charts to go with it. A couple days ago I cast on another for Jer since I was giving him 'stocking stuffers' each year in a gift bag. Not this year! We'll see how his goes. There is more Christmas crafting aside from knitting going on, but that's for another post.

This past weekend was a Leslieville one! The Flea moved inside, which is a very good thing since it was rainy and cold. I was a bit nervous about how we'd fare with the change. I was sure that a lot of the outside Flea traffic was coming from people who happened to be passing by. I guess the organize advertise extremely well though because it was packed! It was hard to move around the main room. We chose to set up in the second room so we'd have a bit more space and it ended up being a good choice because we still had a lot of foot traffic. We had three clothing racks this time! The only downside was we couldn't hang up our bunting or sign.

I'm working on some new displays for next month, including a suitcase display case for jewellery. This messy pins on a plate set-up has worked so far but doesn't really showcase how pretty these are. I'd also like to get a hat rack since we have some amazing vintage hats that are not showcased well enough either. This month is going to be devoted to display.. and opening that Etsy shop I've had set up for a month already. It would be great to have an online avenue for our goodies and I do miss selling on Etsy.

We've also brought out the vintage Christmas we've been collecting, including some very creepy Santa dolls. I'm glad these stay at Lucy's house and not mine! I do think the lampshade is a nice touch.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Starting Traditions - a Seasonal Table

It can seem a little silly starting traditions so young. He won't remember and cannot take part in most activities aside from being present and watching. I want to start now anyway so it is something that has always been so for him. I thrived on rhythm and traditions growing up, and still love them as an adult. One of these traditions I wanted to start is a seasonal table, or nature table. I've seen these most often within Waldorf families, and it's a way to celebrate the season by being aware of what is happening around us, being present in the rhythm of the seasons, and to bring elements inside. This post is a little late coming as the Fall season is on its way out and these pictures were taken back when it was in full swing.

Searching on pinterest or flickr there are many beautiful examples. Some are filled with man made objects that represent the current season, some are filled with items only from nature, and others are a mix of both. Some are elaborate displays that tell a story, and others have items displayed at random. Right now ours is a mix of both. The tree slice is from one of the centerpieces at our wedding, the wood figures and tree are toys that will belong to Josh when he's a little older, the Waldorf apple doll is from Etsy, the Autumn Harvest Pyrex (had to have a bit of that in there!), acorn salt & pepper shakers, and the little squirrel planter were thrifted, the acorns were collected at my cousin's cottage, and the money plant cuttings were a gift from a family friend. Jer and I added some mini pumpkins after our pumpkin farm outing.

As well as being a fun tradition and ever changing display, I think it's a great starting off point for many activities and learning opportunities. It is something that Josh will be able to contribute to as much as he likes as he grows. I cannot wait to start new traditions with him and continue the old with him now involved.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Simple Sensory Toy

The bird has been very much into his hands lately. He's always reaching, grabbing, and trying to fit all ten fingers into his mouth at the same time. To help his exploration and fine motor skills I decided to sew up a simple toy for him - a taggie blanket.

This was another project done with materials I had on hand. I pulled out every bit of ribbon and trim I had, wanting to include a variety of textures for his little hands to explore, and scraps work perfectly in this case. Once I was happy with my selection, I folded different lengths in half, sandwiched them between two pieces of fabric (a cotton print, and some cotton velour for the backing.. I also added a layer of interfacing to make it a bit more sturdy), sewed, turned, and top stitched. I sewed back and forth over each ribbon to add some extra stability. Even doing this, I wouldn't use this without supervision as tiny fingers can become trapped in the loops and may need some help getting back out.

The fabric I used is Windy Day in Aqua from Michael Miller's Backyard Baby collection. The ribbons and trims were all from my stash - some vintage and some new.

It's so exciting to see him learn and explore in these early days, and he's perfectly happy to work his taggie along side me while I do whatever I need to get done. A project well worth it forsure.