Daniel the Tiger

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So now the festive season is well and truly over and we have passed the milestone of Roo turning one, I can finally catch my breath and check in here; I’m sorry I’ve neglected you!  I also went back to work at the start of January – it’s been emotional.

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One of our nieces, drew Roo this picture of ‘Daniel’ the tiger before Christmas, he’s so sweet:

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I thought it would be fun to make her drawing into a toy to send to her as a Christmas gift.

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I cut him out of lovely organic linen and embroidered his stripes and face using cotton embroidery thread.

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I added some embroidery on the back and gave him a little knitted jumper to keep him cosy.

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He is a little mischievous though!  When it came to posting time, Daniel had to burn off some of that energy and Christmas excitement before his long trip to the USA.  First I found him here:

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And then here hanging with the swallows:

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It took a while to find him here:

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And here:

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He listened to a couple of his faves before getting into the Christmas spirit and then into the post:

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Making a toy from a child’s drawing was possibly one of the most fun things I’ve done!  I really enjoyed trying to make him resemble the drawing and seeing him come to life.

Little Mountain Bear Cub

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So, all has been a bit quiet over here as I have been beginning to prepare for the Magdalen Road Christmas market in Exeter,  it’s on December 6th so I haven’t got that long before I need to have things ready!  I’m doing it with my friend Laurel from Arrietty who has a stall there every year.  Laurel has been knitting up some soft and lovely lambswool into beautiful patterns and she has kindly donated me a few bits for creature making:

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I used Laurel’s lambswool, linen and felt and the little bear cubs aren’t too big, they look like little totems.

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Im also working on some dinos and trying out some embroidery, I like the little touches of detail.  As well as being on sale at the Magdalen Road market on the 6th, they are available in my Etsy shop.   I’m sure they would make lovely Christmas presents, remember it’s great to shop handmade if you can, support small businesses and avoid mass production.  Everyone wins!

Winter Mountain Mobile

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I’m just a little bit obsessed with mountains at the moment, they are popping up everywhere over at our place.

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Oh and bears, bears feature heavily too.

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I have been meaning to make Roo a mobile since he was born, but it’s taken me a while!  Anyway, I was forced into it yesterday as at the weekend he destroyed his swallows mobile, which was my fault really as I should have moved them before he could get his paws on them.  They were still attached to the cot, from when he was very small, now that he is moving around and grabbing etc it was only going to be a matter of time before they got it.  They ‘got it’ after nap time two days ago when I walked in to find one of the birds crumpled in his hand.

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So yesterday afternoon I sewed the trees, mountains and bears:

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I spent the evening assembling the rest.  If you would like to have a go at making a mobile like this you will need the following:

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I knotted the fishing wire, and used a needle with a large eye to thread on the shapes and felt beads.  I tied each length of wire onto the inner circle from the embroidery hoop as well as some lengths for hanging and then tightened the outer circle over the top.

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I like the muted colours of the shapes with the brighter colours of the felt beads and the different lengths of wire.  I am going to add one of these on a ‘made to order’ basis to my Etsy, as well as some hanging decorations just in time for Christmas.

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Roll up and run away play mat

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Here’s my version of the ‘I Spy Toddler travel game’ from Stitched by Crystal. I really love this idea for three reasons:  it’s a great way to keep a little person occupied, it’s not made from plastic and you can throw it in your bag and run off to the beach/park/restaurant/gig with your baba because it rolls up really small.

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I used a selection of fabric from my stash which I thought would appeal to the little bear cub, some old, some new.

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It’s a really great project for using up those small pieces of fabric that you just can’t bear to throw away.

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I didn’t have that much fabric with pictures on so I thought it would be nice to add numbers and some images in felt.

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Roo is still a little young for this, but, he loves looking at it and touching the images.  Here are the changes I made:

I cut 20 small rectangles, I added numbers and images in felt, I used one piece of material for the back and I chose a nice big button fastening which is very secure and too big for little mouths!

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Father’s Day Hand Claps Cushion

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This year, it was Matt’s first Father’s Day, so I thought I would make him something special that he could keep for years to come.  I decided it would be a nice memory to have Roo’s hands printed or something and this idea came about as I love embroidery and thought it would be something we could pass on to Roo eventually.

 

I know Matt is a fan of tweed and I picked up a nice Magee tweed jacket a few years ago in a charity shop, it was lovely fabric but huge!  My first thought when I bought it was to give it to someone who would wear it, but I just didn’t know anyone it would fit.  So, the Fantastic Mr Fox jacket became this Father’s day cushion:

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The cutting was all very free hand, but you could easily make your own version.  You will need these things:

One lovely old jacket,  one fabric pen or Sharpie, a tape measure or ruler, embroidery threads in your choice of colour,  cushion insert and a needle.

 

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I (carefully!) deconstructed the jacket to begin with, then I cut a 15 inch square from the back panel of the jacket, there is a seam that runs down the front of the cushion.  Then, I constructed the back of the cushion from the jacket button fastening and some squares from the front panels.

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I sewed the parts together and then fashioned this into a 15 inch square too using the front as a guide.

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I then drew round Roo’s hands and cut them out of paper.

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I used a fabric pen to draw around his hands and I was ready to start embroidering.  I split the thread into 3 strands and used chain stitch and a simple running stitch but the possibilities are endless.

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The last thing to do was to pin the front and back right sides together and then sew around the edges.  You could overlock or zigzag along the edges to make sure they don’t fray and I cut the corners to make it easier to turn out.  Lastly turn right side out push the corners out and stuff with your cushion insert. C’est fait mon cher!

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