DIY Doll Swing

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For all of her willingness to play along with her older brother in his games of police and fire rescues, Zoe is also beginning to really delve into her role as Mama to her baby doll. It is such a joy to see her imagination and ability to enter into pretend play of her own develop. And as you know… I love a good excuse to make toys for my kids.

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I got my inspiration for this doll swing from the book Creative Play for Your Toddler. (http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Play-Your-Toddler-Expertise/dp/1856752860/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419010634&sr=8-1&keywords=creative+play+for+your+toddler)If you are a long tie follower of Folk Haven you may remember seeing it before in this post.

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While I followed the project in the book as a basic guideline I didn’t use their measurements. It all began with this shirt that was gifted to me for fabric after it had worn out. (Thanks, Jacki!) IMG_3704

I took the front side of it, removed the buttons, and used the hem and button panel. I then hemmed the left side. Basically it is a rectangle 9″ (with a 1″ hem on each side) by 17″ (not hemmed although to original shirt hem is there), or get the book and use theirs.

IMG_3706The book’s directions ask you to glue the cloth to the stick (or dowel rod but I use what I had on hand, or rather, in the yard). I did that for the first stick, but didn’t like how that worked as much as just sewing a sleeve to slide the stick in… probably if I were using a dowel rod it would have glued on more nicely.

IMG_3707I sewed a sleeve for the other end and for the stick that goes in the middle  of the cloth to separate the seat from the back.

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IMG_3715Then using a craft knife I scored around the ends of the sticks at the top and the bottom of the cloth to keep the string from slipping off.IMG_3716A couple of eye hooks into the edge of the patio ceiling and the swing was ready to hang with a couple of lengths of yarn.

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The only thing I think I will change, is I will add a bit of a baby safety belt. Eli pushes a bit enthusiastically, which can send the baby flying… something Zoe finds MOST distressing (as any good mama would). ūüėČ

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IMG_3729And I really love that this project didn’t cost me a dime!

Llama Llama Returns

Long time Folk Haven readers may remember this post¬†¬†from almost two years ago where I shared a llama rag doll I was inspired to make for Eli. I created the pattern based on illustrations in Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series of books. The main character in the stories has as little rag doll llama that is seen on nearly every page, but never mentioned. Eli has always loved his llama doll and Zoe now loves it as well.

llama rag dolls 2

Recently, on a whim, I posted a photo of it on a local Mom-to-Mom sales page on Facebook to see if there would be any other mothers interested in buying a llama doll for their kids. I posted my question at 10 pm and when I checked Facebook again at 6 the next morning I had 14 people wanting to place orders!

llama rag dolls

 

So, lately any free time I can get has been dedicated to llama creation! As is almost always the case with my sewing, I use repurposed materials for these little llamas. I love the thought of pieces of fabric from well-loved clothing finding a new life as part of a snuggly children’s toy. I also am enjoying how each of the little llamas has a very distinct personality… truly there are no two alike! I can make only about 1 a week so it is taking a while to fill the existing orders. In addition people have contacted me about creating other sorts of critters and literary lovies for them.¬†My next pattern to draft will be a¬†pig inspired by Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a¬†Pig a Pancake.¬†I also will be designing a horse (not so very different from a llama), an owl and an elephant.

 

IMG_1458If I can ever catch up with local orders I plan to put some of these in my Etsy shop, which has been sitting empty and gathering dust for a very long time. I have also created a Facebook page for Folk Haven Creations to have a place to post llamas as they are created and available for sale.

corduroy rag doll

I haven’t done much sewing at all since well before Zoe was born, so I am enjoying this return to a bit of a creative outlet.

 

E is for Elephant

Elephant SoftieI’ve not been doing a whole lot of sewing or crafting as of late, but as I have been waiting for this baby to come I realized I wanted Eli to have something new and Mama-made to hold onto when I go to the hospital. Due to the flu season being what it is this year they are limiting all visitors to the maternity floor to spouses and the baby’s grandparents only, and certainly no children under 16 years of age allowed! This is going to be a bit hard on Eli (and me as well, if I’m honest) even though I know he will be well taken care of while I am absent.

I like seeing the softies that other people make in magazines at the book store. They are so ugly-cute and fun. It’s a no-pressure project because as long as it holds together you really can’t go wrong.

crocheting an elephant ear

I started off by crocheting a pair of ears. They came out slightly differently shaped but once sewn onto the head I found they were just fine.

Elephant softie side view

The body and trunk are made with a remnant from a man’s shirt that had been used previously in a quilting project. The arms and legs were from an old felted wool sweater.¬†I embroidered an “E”, added a braided tail and finished the critter off with a couple of button eyes.

Eli hugging his elephant

Simple, quick and definitely huggable.

Felt Play Food

Back when I was on bed rest I posted that I’d be spending some of my time sewing felt play food for Eli. Here is what I managed to accomplish in that time. Since being released I haven’t made any more but I hope to as time goes on as this is a lot of fun, for both of us. There is already a wealth of tutorials already available on the web so this is just more of a “show and tell” post. Scroll down to the bottom for links to tutorials if you also want to get started making felt food but need additional guidance or inspiration.bow tie pasta 2

First up is the whole grain bow tie pasta. Super simple to make! The pans and utensils were found uber cheap at Ikea. I think the cooking utensils (maybe 6 or so?) were $5, and the pots and pans set, including pot, strainer, lid, frying pan and sauce pan (perhaps something more but we aren’t living at home now so I can’t check) was $10.bow tie past 1

Fresh tomatoes. felt tomatos

Sliced tomatoes.Sliced tomatos

A hamburger to put the tomatoes on. Have you ever seen this Pink Panther scene where Steve Martin plays a Frenchman trying to learn to pronounce the word “hamburger” like an American? Eli cracks me up because he has a unique way of pronouncing “hamburger” as well and always reminds me of this scene. He asks for hamburgers often, but what he really wants is a hamburger bun slathered in ketchup, and perhaps a little mustard. He does use the felt version of the hamburger patty on the bun though.

felt hamburger patty

Would you like one egg…felt fried egg

or two?two felt fried eggs

That’s all I got thus far. I’ll share more if/when it gets made. ¬†ūüôā

Tutorial Links:

Felt Lettuce Leaves

Felt Corn on the Cob

Huge List of Tutorial Links (Apartment Therapy)

 
Here’s where I’m linking up:

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, jembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do, Keeping It Simple,  An Original Belle,

I Should be Mopping the Floor, The Dedicated House ,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities , The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Kammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination Tuesday, Take-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin, Heart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable,  Lil’ Luna, Someday Crafts, Whimsy

Wednesday, Whatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, 

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous, Diana Rambles,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands, Hello Weekend,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Pregnancy Update

The little one continues to grow steadily and is VERY active. Today we are at 27 weeks. I began bleeding a little bit on Friday though and the doctor directed me to go to the hospital. There monitoring showed that thankfully there are no contractions. I stayed¬†overnight for continued monitoring as a precaution. I am now home again, but on bedrest. Previously I had been on restricted activity, such as no heavy lifting, because of a marginal placenta previa. I had hoped it had moved by this point, but since I began bleeding that would seem not to be the case. I am now allowed to get up to use the bathroom, but shouldn’t even sit at the table to eat.

Being monitored for contractions.

Being monitored for contractions.

I was on bedrest for a month with Eli’s pregnancy as well until the partial placenta previa migrated to a safer location. It was much earlier in the pregnancy though. I’m finding it much more difficult this time around in that I now have a toddler to take care of, and it is happening¬†right in the thick of all of the Christmas preparations. I had so many projects on my sewing list between gifts I wanted to make and clothes the Eli needs now and the baby will be needing soon enough.

Yesterday I was up more than I should have been. Today, I’ve been doing a bit better, and tomorrow I’m sure I’ll do better still. It is hard to stop your life on a dime, when you weren’t expecting to need to do so just yet. When I have been up it has been to get some things organized so that I can have work to do with my hands as I rest, and to put things Eli needs where he can have more independant access to them, such as the pack of diapers down on the floor instead of up on the shelf. He has been great at fetching things for me that I need and being as helpful as a little boy can be. My husband has taken on the lion’s share of all there is to be done as well as his regular work. I am so glad he works from home these days. My sisters-in-law have also been wonderful:¬†Jacki has been¬†taking Eli back and forth to school, running out to the craft store and produce market for me, and coming to take Eli out to play; and Susan, who is an incredible cook, has sent over yummy food that we have just to heat up. At a time when I am tempted into a funk over this unwelcome development, I find I don’t have to look too far to see how truly blessed I am. Of course the most important blessing of all is that right now this baby inside me is still doing just fine.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

Eli slept the entire time I was being admitted and checked out.

I’m not sure how much blogging I’ll be getting done over the the duration of Operation Bedbound. On one hand I have more time now, and now that I’m slowly figuring out my husband’s old laptop it looks like I will still have computer access. On the other, I have to see how streamlined I can make the process of photgraphing and downloading pictures, etc. Not that my photography tends to be spectacular anyway, but for now I may have to be content with flash photography with the bedspread as a background. Then there is the issue of all of the projects I had slated to accomplish and share here being mainly things that require the use of the sewing machine.¬†That, of course, remains a big no-no.

My plan thus far is to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but haven’t had the right circumstances… learn to knit and crochet! Using YouTube I’ve already learned to cast on and begin knitting. I’m about 1/3 of the way through my first washcloth! Not exactly blog-worthy eye candy, but I’m very happy about it. I hope to quickly learn other stitches and how to read patterns. Then it’ll be off to the land of all cuteness, knitted baby clothes! I’m also planning to try my hand at crocheting this baby hat. Jacki gave me this lovely crochet hook that is the perfect size for the project this morning.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My first knitting project and new crochet hook.

My other focus will be sewing felt food for Eli. He will be getting a play kitchen for Christmas and will need some food to prepare in it. I think it will be a lot of fun to wade through the many felt food tutorials I’ve pinned and sew away. Maybe I’ll be able to work out and share a few tutorials of my own.

My apologies to the many people who have commented on other posts here at Folk Havenover the past few days for not responding. I read them all, and appreciated them. Now that I can use this laptop I hope to keep on top of these things a bit better again.

Going Fishing!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on blogs and in books about various styles of preschool education as I begin to think about homeschooling Eli. Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia all have aspects that have captured my attention.

One thing that I find attractive about Waldorf philosophy is the importance placed on using toys that encourage open ended play. I also like that the types of toys recommended are made from natural materials. I doubt we will ever do away with plastic toys entirely in our household, but I have begun a process of weeding out all that aren’t particularly loved and are contributing to general clutter. And I’m making an attempt to make many of his new toys myself.¬†(Also here and here.) For those that we buy, I’m being more conscious in making decisions in favor of quality materials and toys that inspire creative play. If I make many of his toys we will be buying fewer toys, so those we do purchase can be better quality (unfortunately, otherwise known as more expensive).

Creative Play for your Toddler by Christopher Clouder and Janni Nicol is full of wonderful toys that can be made at home. The first project I’ve made from it is the Felt Fishing Set. I’m sure you will see me refer to this book many more times in the future.

The fishing set I made isn’t felt. The felt I have at home is made of recycled soda bottles, and the wool variety is pretty expensive. Also, if you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I like to use what I have on hand. This is a great project for putting those little scraps leftover from other sewing ventures to use.

I will have fun pointing out to Eli which fish were made from a former favorite shirt or his Great Great Aunt Jenny’s linen napkin.

Oh, how I loved this shirt… loved the elbows right off of it, unfortunately!

The directions in the book call for using magnet washers. I went to Lowes, Home Depot, Michael’s and Walmart… nobody seems to carry them. Then it¬†finally occurred to me that perhaps I just needed to drill a hole in the center of a coin-shaped magnet. Easy peasy!

Excuse the blurry photo… It’s hard to hold an electric drill and take a picture with the other (non-dominant) hand.

My lack of attentiveness with the metal washers on the fish also held up this project by a bit. Toward the end I happened to look a little more closely at the packaging out of which I was pulling the metal circles.

In my defense I grabbed it at the store while accompanied by a two year old determined not to ride in a cart or be carried but instead to touch every last item in the Lowes. I’m not supermom enough to inspect packaging very closely under such circumstances.

It looks innocent enough, but listen closely and you’ll hear the Jaws theme playing ominously in the background.

As to why I didn’t notice once I was home and removing washer after washer from the package to sew onto fish after fish I have no explanation or excuse. I’m just glad I noticed before I gave any of the fish to Eli! Going back to the store for new washers and then swapping them out set this project back by a few days though. Hopefully I’ll have learned my lesson before my next trip to get materials for toy making!

Here are the fish, complete with non-cancer-causing washers. I have a few more partially completed fish. I think I may keep making fish from time to time as I create more cloth scraps while sewing. It’s a fun hand-sewing project that is easy to take along for times when I can take a cafe break or need to sit in a waiting room by myself. I also have another branch cut and scored for a second fishing pole. I just need to braid the candle wick yarn string and drill a hole in another magnet.

Now I just need to decide if I will give this to Eli now, or hold onto it until Christmas. Something tells me I won’t be able to wait!

Thanks for reading!

Karen

I’ve been featured!

I'm Topsy Turvy

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, jembellish clothes upcycling page, Threading My Way

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising, Sarahndipities ,

Everything Under the Moon, The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots,

Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805,

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Llama Llama Rag Doll

Eli has been loving the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney lately. So do I. Between the rhythm, rhyme and delightful illustrations they are a joy to read out loud. Which is good because Eli wants me to do so again, and again and again.

In the stories Llama Llama is never without his little rag doll. I thought it would be fun to make Eli his own version.

Illustration detail from Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.

Kinda cute, right?

So here is how I did it.

First I sketched out some pattern pieces. If people express an interest and if I can figure out how to make and attach a pdf file I might be able to make this pattern available to others who’d like to make this but don’t feel comfortable sketching patterns. (Since I don’t feel comfortable doing technological things, that’s a bit of a big IF… but it’s good to make myself learn new skills so I could at least try.)

Then while my wonderful husband followed Eli around Barnes & Noble, I sat in the cafe, retraced the pattern pieces onto printer paper and cut them out. These pieces were pinned to a linen napkin before I cut them out leaving about 1/4″ for seam allowance. I got all on the pieces I needed from one linen napkin. I used a different pink linen napkin for the insides of the ears and some bleached black t-shirt material for the bottoms of the feet, but if I had wanted the doll all one color I would have been able to get those pieces from the one napkin too.

I wanted this project to be completely handmade so everything was hand stitched together.

I also wanted all of the materials to be natural and all things I already had on hand, so instead of using polyester fiberfill or going out and purchasing cotton stuffing I cut leftover scraps of cotton and wool fabric into thin strips to use to stuff the doll. I really like how this resulted in a heavier doll. It just feels good and solid (but not hard) in your hands. It is slightly lumpy, but I like that aspect too as it underscores the “handmade” quality.

The arms were sewn into the side seams of the body, and the ears into the side seams of the head, but the legs and neck and head were sewn and stuffed and then sewn onto the sewn and stuffed body.

Here’s a shot of the head being attached to the neck.

I debated on whether or not to use these buttons for the eyes or to paint on eyes to make it look more like the llama doll in the book. In the end I opted for the metal buttons in keeping with natural materials only decision I’d made earlier. I can always easily change them later, if I find wooden buttons I like better or if I decide to go ahead with the paint after all. These look cute enough for me now though.

Not only did using different fabric for the bottoms of the feet allow for a change in color, but I like how the knit stretches to balloon out a bit. I couldn’t resist adding the belly button.

I used the sewn edge of the napkin to cut small lengths to use for the tail.

Eli likes his little llama and immediately had to “match” it to the illustration in the book.

Llama Llama, nighty night…

 Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

Update: Here are links to download the pattern…

Here’s where I’m linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday, Threading My Way

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising, Sarahndipities ,

Everything Under the Moon, The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie, the space between,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots, Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear, Thriving on Thursdays

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Saved by Love Creations, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805, Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Hashi Stool Face Lift

Remember this… one of the most versatile toys ever that can be created in your very own living room from discarded cardboard?

No? Go here to learn to make one of your very own (and also a bit more about why you might want to)!

Yes? Great. Then you also remember that I was not a fan of the brown bunny decorative paper it was covered with.

Eli and I went to the library this week and on the cart outside was this book for sale for a quarter. Pretty damaged but full of delightful vintage illustrations.

Eli did not help me with the events to follow as I don’t want him getting the idea that it is a good idea to take scissors to books! This was a naptime project if there ever was one.

Who Killed Cock Robin? Really?

I like the illustrations on these pages, but definitely not something I’d deem appropriate for any small child. Basically it outlines the murder of a robin by a sparrow and the disposal of his mortal remains. For those as uninitiated as I was, here is a little sampling:

“Who caught his blood?

I, said the Fish,

With my little dish,

I caught his blood.”

So… Moving on.

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

Since this toy can be used in two different orientations I decorated one side right-side up and the other upside-down. Which is which depends upon if it is being used as a bridge or a rocker.

The other side received three different short nursery rhymes: Baa Baa Black Sheep, Jack Be Nimble, and Mary Had A Little Lamb.

I like it a lot more now. That’s all I got for ya today. Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

It’s a Bridge… It’s a Rocker… It’s a Stool!

I’ve taken a break from sewing over the past week, but it’s been for a good cause. I found this tutorial for creating a great new toy from discarded cardboard. It’s a stool, no… it’s a chair, no… it’s a bridge, no… it’s a rocker, no… it’s a mountain… What Eli and I can both agree on is it is a very versatile toy/piece of kiddie furniture.

I had pinned the tutorial for the Hashi Stool a little while back, and when neighbors set out two HUGE boxes from their new set of patio furniture I knew it was time! One of the boxes is waiting to be transformed into a playhouse of sorts, and the part of the other that isn’t now a Hashi Stool will perhaps become a painted playmat for cars and trains. (We’ll see how motivated I am for the follow through on that one.)

The slideshow tutorial can be found over at The Cardboard Collective. A printable pattern is also provided. It’s a blog full of fun, cute and things to make from discarded cardboard, written by Amber who is currently living in Tokyo with her family. I highly recommend her blog and look forward to trying more of her projects in the future. This link will take you to their project gallery. Go on… have some fun and keep just a bit more cardboard out of the landfill or recycling center!

Tracing the pattern onto cardboard. I enjoyed how the pdf pattern we printed off had been originally drawn onto a Japanese newspaper.

I asked my brother what the word “hashi” means. It is a Japanese word meaning both chopsticks and bridge. I think in this instance the reference must be a bridge as it would be most difficult to eat much of anything with this contraption.

Eli enjoyed squeezing glue out of the bottle…

…almost as much as he enjoyed spreading it.

This was the first project I’ve ever done WITH Eli, although admittedly most of the action took place during naptimes. I like that he now feel like he had a part in it’s creation. I look forward to many more such experiences with him.

I really like how Amber decorated her Hashi Stool by attaching discarded retro album covers she found to the sides.

Eli helped spread the glue for the paper on the side as well.

In the absence of such a windfall of decorative-goodness I settled for children’s wrapping paper. The little brown bunnies are a little too cutesy for my taste for this project, truth be told, but I wanted to use what I had on hand. (I also just wanted to finish this project already and get back to some sewing!) As it used only a bit and the roll came from the 99 Cent Store I think I can still consider this basically a free project. (Well, I guess I did buy glue, but we still have plenty left of that as well.) If I happen upon paper I like better in the future I’ll just cover this current layer of decoration up!

Showing off how it can rock… he rocks ON it plenty, just not when Mama has the camera out!

Then he decided ‘Raffe can demonstrate the rocking feature.

Tentatively climbing up. When we initially made it too narrow it tipped over on him, so now he’s a bit wary. We have since made it wider and it is very stable.

A little more confident climbing on it if Mama does it with him. This thing is sturdy and can hold a lot of weight.

It makes a great tunnel…

…although this truck is too big. Good opportunity to work on that concept.

This car fits though!

Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

This was featured!

Too Much Time On My Hands

Here’s where I am linking up.

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

What I Wore Sunday

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising, Sarahndipities ,

Everything Under the Moon, The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie, the space between,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots, Whimsy Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Saved by Love Creations, Anything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805, Pencilled Daydream

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Ribbon Streamers

One of the things the occupational therapists are working on with Eli is motor planning (basically thinking about and carrying out a specific body motion.) Because of his Sensory Processing Disorder he has trouble seeing a certain motion and mimicking it. Many of the signs he uses are approximations of the actual sign… and sometimes not so very approximate. He does stick to his version though and I am able to understand him, another person who knows baby signs though probably wouldn’t recognize many of his signs.

So to work on this skill, ¬†one activity is to play with ribbon streamers. I don’t know if there is another name for these, it’s just the best one I could come up with. They are just lengths of ribbons attached to a handle.

He holds one and I have another. I try to get him to imitate me swinging it from side to side, up and down, around and around, etc. Add some music and dancing and a mini party can be had!

Of course hitting the wall and other things with them is also great fun.

Want to make some yourself? It’s cheap, quick and easy!

I started with two scraps from an old pair of pants. I didn’t measure… I just cut them the length I wanted the handle loop to be and wide enough to fold over a few times to give the handles some stiffness. I chose to use the existing seams to add extra weight.

I folded the raw edges in and folded them again to get the width I wanted and pressed them with an iron.

I stitched down the length of each handle.

This was a perfect project for the $1 box of ribbon I had picked up long ago at Michael’s. I had two of these boxes. Each ribbon is 18″ long which isn’t really even enough for wrapping most presents, yet just right for these ribbon streamers.

I unrolled all of the ribbon spools and sandwiched the ribbons between the two ends of the folded over handle. This is a quick and dirty project… finishing before the end of naptime took higher priority to craftsmanship, so the handle ends are just raw edged.

I then sewed the ribbon into place with three  lines of back and forth stitching. The first handle went relatively smoothly.

The second which used fabric with the outer seam of the pant leg, not so much. Besides the six layers of ribbon, each side of the handle was by this point at least six layers of heavy material thick. I should have clued in that this would be a problem when I broke the first needle.

But no, I had to keep going with a new needle that promptly broke as well…

after being driven through the bobbin case! Ahem…

I managed to hand sew the rest of the handle, not easy let me tell you. We will see how long it lasts.

For now they are working just fine. A therapeutic toy for only $2 (not counting the replacement sewing machine needles!)

Update:

I have now finished a couple sets of these streamers to put in my Etsy shop Folk Haven Creations.If there is continued interest I will make more. As you can see the ribbon streamers for sale are not the quick and dirty version shown in the first part of this post.

I’m quite pleased with how the handles turned out on these (and with the fact that I didn’t break any more needles!) I used a pair of jeans that are part spandex so they are a bit stretchy and softer to the touch.

These streamers are also longer, measuring 28″ long from the top of the handle to the ends of the ribbons.

I was featured!

Here’s where I am linking up.

Friday:

Simply Designing, Whipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects, kojodesigns,

Joyful Stamper, Making Lemonade Blog, Thirty Handmade Days,

Release Me Creations, Naptime Crafters, Romantic Home, Finding Fabulous,

Shabby Nest, French Country Cottage, The Charm of Home, The Grant Life,

At the Picket Fence, Fingerprints on the Fridge, One Art Mama, 2805

Saturday:

The Gingerbread Blog, Too Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity You, Be Different Act Normal

Sunday:

Homemaker on a Dime,  I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toes, My 1929 Charmer Blog,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head Please, Skip to My Lou, The Gunny Sack, Sew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds, Etcetorize, Dittle Dattle,

C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home, Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Artful Rising,

Sarahndipities , Just Winging It, Everything Under the Moon,

The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

At Home With K, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios, Funky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s Korner, The Kurtz Corner, I’m Topsy Turvy, Tip Junkie,

Raising 4 Princesses, The Creative Itch Boutique, Schwin and Schwin

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday:

Sew Much Ado, Frugally Sustainable, The Shady Porch, Tea Rose Home, Lil’ Luna,

Someday Crafts, Passionately Artistic, Whatever Wednesday, Trendy Tots

Thursday:

Mom On Timeout, Thrifty Decorating, Bear Rabbit Bear,

The Crafty Blogstalker, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful Order, Saved by Love Creations,

Between U & Me,  Anything Goes Linky Party,

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