Monday, August 27, 2012

Esme is four!

Esme is growing and changing so quickly, I can't quite believe she is four already!  I look back at photos of her from January this year and there has been such a change.  Not only has she grown a lot but she is no longer our baby.  In her place is a little girl with a strong will and determination who has very definite ideas on what she wants.  Esme is very different to Jacob and has provided us with plenty of challenges in our parenting that we never thought we'd have to face.  But we love her lots, and wouldn't have things any other way.  She is such a happy little girl and constantly lights up our world with her cuddles and kisses.  She approaches everything with boundless energy and sometimes we have to restrain her to make sure she doesn't hurt someone in her exuberance!  I'm amazed at her comprehension of things sometimes as she asks me tricky questions with big, wide eyes and lots of curiosity.  Happy Birthday my big 4 year old girl!  I can't wait to see what the future holds for you! 

Waiting for the candles to be lit
Finally getting to cut the cake! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 34 of Craft Project a week: Fairy skirts

Esme chose to have a fairy party for her birthday this year.  So of course I had to make sure my little fairy was suitably attired.  The first thing to make was a fairy skirt.  I found the tutorial for this skirt and thought it would be a quick and simple fairy skirt to make (little did I know how much trouble it would cause!!)  I decided to make skirts for the girls coming to Esme's party too instead of giving out party bags this year.  

One of the pink fairy skirts all done - they're quite tricky to get a good photo of!
After attempting to follow the original tutorial and making a waistband with the satin and getting incredibly frustrated (I hate sewing with slippery fabrics!!) I decided to make it a little differently and made a wider waist band out of cotton fabric which worked a lot better.  The skirt is basically four squares of different fabrics (I made each square 75cms) placed in an alternating pattern of square then diamond, etc.  A circle is then cut in the middle for the four layers (made to fit the child's waist measurements) and then the waistband sewn around the circle.  I used fray-stop around the edges of the organza and satin layers as they have a tendency to fray.  Once I'd worked out the pattern and the size of the waistband, sewing the skirts together didn't take too long.  Even so, the night before the party found me sewing skirts until 2am in the morning!!

Four party skirts all ready to go!
The skirt is probably a tad too long for Esme at the moment but I figure she'll get lots more use out of it that way!  All the kids were happy with their skirts too which made it all worthwhile. Stayed tuned for the fairy wings ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 33 of Craft Project a week: Wheat bags Part 2

This week's project involved making some wheat bags to fit inside the covers I made last week.  They were very simple to make.  All it involved was folding over a piece of calico to form a bag and overlocking each side.  I then filled each bag with wheat and a little bit of lavender (got to have a nice smelling wheat bag!) 

Voila!  Instant wheat bag.  They all fitted together perfectly.

I suspect that all four bags will not end up being donated to the Breastfeeding Centre though as Esme has already claimed one!  I can't wait to donate the wheat bags though and find out how they worked.  So simple to make that it wouldn't take me long to knock over a few more...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 32 of Craft Project a week: Wheat bags Part 1

 Before I begin this post I will need to give you a bit of background.  Many of you are aware that I am a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association.  My role is quite varied.  At the moment I do counselling on our National Helpline, and am co-group leader of our local group as well as undertake a number of jobs within our group.  I love being able to provide support to fellow breastfeeding mums as well as provide education within the community of the importance of breastfeeding.  Anyway, I digress!

The Victorian Branch of the Australian Breastfeeding Association has their head office in Dandenong and as part of their services offer a 'drop in' centre where mums who are experiencing breastfeeding problems can drop in and get some guidance from one of our counsellors.  It's been operating for a few years now and they've had great success in helping and giving support to new mums.  I suspect that's largely due to the wonderful and very experienced counsellor who manages the centre!

Recently it was mentioned that it would be lovely if mums who were experiencing common problems such as engorgement and mastitis could actually take home a wheat bag.  They have access to wheat bags at the centre but could not take them home.  The suggestion was that perhaps some people involved in the ABA could make them and donate them to the centre.  So I set out on a mission to make some wheat bags that I could donate (even if it was only on a small scale!)

I actually got a wheat bag for my birthday so I simply copied the design which was relatively straightforward.  I used some old scraps of material to make the cover (basically just like a pillow case!) and ended up making four covers in about an hour maximum.  Of course, it helps a lot to have an overlocker ;)

Next week I will make the actual wheat bags to go in the covers - easy! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week 31 of Craft project a week: Flower Power


 I made Esme a pair of new pants this week using this awesome flower-y material.  This material has been in my stash for awhile (ever since I made a skirt out of it ages ago and just 'had to' buy extra to keep for a special project!)  I teamed the flower-y material with this cute polka dot material that I also had and adapted a pants pattern I already had on hand to make some cuffs for the bottom and pockets.  I love how they turned out in the end and can envisage lots of other material that would look great for these pants. 

The front of the pants

The back of the pants - complete with coordinating pockets
Esme absolutely loves the pants and is looking forward to wearing them to Kinder tomorrow! 

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