Last month I wrote about the Japanese Paumes books. These books are so inspiring — every page is full of great ideas. I decided to start a series where I pick an image or room in one of the books and do a project or design a space based on the inspiration.
The inspiration for this month is the awe inspiring home of stylist Susanna Vento featured in Finland children’s spaces. I love the peachy/pink color scattered in parts of her daughter’s room so much I decided to paint something in my house that color.
I found this great set of wooden mushrooms (I collect mushrooms), primed them, and then mixed two paint colors together; acrylic white and craftsmart’s Neon Orange. This was such an easy and fun project. I hope you enjoy!
I saw this cute idea in a book the other day. It is a folded flower shape that you can use for invitations, decorations, notes to loved ones, etc. — the possibilities are endless. I made a template which you can see (here).
Trace around the flower shape then mark the lines in pencil. Fold the card along all the pencil lines then you can shape into the flower. Let me know what you are going to use it for!
School’s out for summer over here in Paris and how better to end a year of hard work and play, than by going to school dressed up in your favourite dress up clothes? Violette did me the honour of wearing a costume I made for her, a little bunny rabbit costume, which she is very proud of (and so secretly am I!).
It is actually really easy to make: I used a pattern by Citronille for a bumble bee costume and amended it slightly. I used some old fur fabric I had for the dress and lined it with red gingham. For the hat I just added in some bunny ears. It could not have been easier.
Next: a little brown bear, me thinks…
I think everyone must have had some experience with spool knitting as a child? I remember enjoying it for a period, and I also remember it could be quite tricky to do (I think I had a homemade knitting spool)! Nowadays, you can get this ‘Wonder Knitter‘ from Clover, and it makes the whole procedure so easy for little (and big!) hands. It lets you use your thumb to rotate a disk on which the pegs are mounted, and keeps the yarn to a certain stretch automatically. And because of the grooves in the pegs and the hooked needle that it comes with, the yarn doesn’t slip away when flipping it over the peg. I bought one for Pim (5) a while ago, and he loves using it — every now and then I find him comfortably snuggled up on the couch, with his spool knitter. Cute!
One of the things that we most love about the arrival of summer is to have picnics! Prepare a simple meal and eat it outdoors — it is just sooo nice. And I am definitely ready for it. I loved it when I found these cute carton picnic boxes at SelpPackaging, so ideal for giving them a “personal touch”.
Today I would like to show you my final result. With a bit of washi tape, lace, craft paper and a spring mood stamp… and that wooden cutlery that is just too cute to resist!!!.
There are many options, I am sure my little boy would do something completely different, but the boxes are perfect to carry food in a very stylish and personal way!!
How darling are these little baby shoes? My friend Marina made these the other day, and I now want all my friends to have newborns so I can make everyone a pair. Apparently they take no time whatsoever to make and even I, with my very limited knitting skills (the only thing I know how to make are scarves) should have no problem making these. The pattern is from a French blog which has a easy to follow tutorial, but I also tried my best translating the instructions. It really is super simple:
Use European size 5 needles and wool. Cast on 6 stitches. Knit 22 rows of pearl stitches. The piece you have knitted should roughly measure 4 cm x 7cm. Cast on 10 stitches on each side of the 6 stitches. You should now have a total of 26 stitches. Knit 10 rows of pearl stitches. Cast off the stitches. you piece should now look like a T. Fold the two side bars of the T over and sew them to the tip of the T and sew the side of shoes together. Voila, one shoe is made! Repeat the process and you will have a cute little pair of shoes.
Last week I was so caught up with my sewing projects I forgot to write a post for you — so sorry! For my last project I decided to sew up some one-piece pajamas for the kids from some organic cotton I had. The kids and I collaborated — the kids got to choose the fabric color and an animal for the all over print, and then we created a potato stamp together.
As my daughter napped, my son and I got to work; we printed the all over pattern on the pajama fabric and it was so much fun we even stamped on a t-shirt. It was only later I had the idea to add little bow ties with a green sharpie pen.
If you are looking for a potato stamp tutorial, here’s one from one of my favourite blogs — Llevo el Invernio or here is a really easy tutorial by Homemade Serenity which uses cookie cutters. Careful it’s addictive — I had so much fun, and I now want to print everything in my home…
And if you are curious and would like to see what else I put together last week, everything is on my flickr.
When we moved back to New Zealand I had grand plans of what the kids bedroom would look like. I had bought them matching beds to bring back and bought loads of dark grey gingham to make matching duvet covers. In my head it was going to look so cute! When we finally found a house to rent, the bedrooms were so small I couldn’t fit in their matching beds. Luckily, we had bought Mia’s toddler bed back with us so Kees ended up having to sleep in that. For a while he also had to use his sister’s girlie duvet covers. Last week I finally got around to making him his own duvet covers so his bed feels more like his own.
How I made them:
- I cut up an old white sheet.
- I printed Kees’ name on normal printer paper
- I traced Kees’ name with pencil onto the sheet.
- Then I hand embroidered over the pencil line.
- Finally I sewed on a matching grey gingham back.
I think his new duvet looks very smart and its always good to recycle old sheets.
A while ago my friend asked me if I could make something to go above her daughter’s bed. She asked that it not be too girlie, pink, princess-related or too young… oh and she asked if I could sew a picture of her on there too. Not too much of an ask then! As they live in the Netherlands we decided on a canal house theme. I must admit I’m pleased with the result and the most important thing is my friend’s daughter loves it. I have to thank my dear friend Becky for finishing it off for me by doing the quilting part as I haven’t learned that skill yet. For my part I simply just cut out the canal houses and sewed them on then added on the other items (windows, curtains, trees etc) layer by layer and finished with the hand sewing. Now for my next project…
With a few sheets of felt and a 6-year-old daughter who now masters the blanket stitch, we’ve had some fun creating the above Easter decoration! If you feel inspired, you can download a template for the bird and the egg-cozy here. (You can also quickly make the egg-cozies on the sewing machine, if you have one.)
My friend Becky just had her third baby, a little boy named Olly, and I knit him a little baby hat that first of all was extremely easy to knit (perfect for beginners like me!), and second of all looked super duper adorable on. The basics of this hat are simple: just knit or crochet a square, approximately 19 cm (7.5″) in width and 27 cm (10.6″) high. Sew the sides together (wrong side out if applicable), turn around, and presto! You could make little pompons and sew them to the two pointy flaps, or stitch through them as a triangle to make them look more like little ears, but I preferred to keep it simple…
This is what I did exactly for Olly’s hat, using a pure cashmere yarn and 4 mm (UK6, US8) needles: Cast on 40 stitches. Knit 4 rows (alternating knit and pearl), then change yarn colour, knit another 4 rows, etc, until you have knit 8 stripes. Then, knit 8 rows in the first colour (in my case blue), so you’ll end up with one extra wide stripe, and start alternating again, 8 times, finishing with the first colour. Sew sides together (wrong side out), making sure to align the stripes. Turn around, and done!
PS Thanks to 2-week-old Olly for being my perfect model!
For Christmas my thoughtful husband gave me a set of lino cutting tools and some card-size sheets of linoleum. Do you remember linoleum cutting from when you were a kid? The smell of linoleum brought me right back to the craft room of my primary school in the countryside — amazing, the memories smells can bring back to you.
With Pim’s 5th birthday fast approaching I had good reason to make a stamp: the party invites! Pim had been requesting a knights party, so I asked him to draw a knight for me. I transferred his knight to the piece of linoleum — you can trace the drawing on tracing paper using a soft pencil, put it face down on the linoleum and rub so the drawing transfers on the stamp, or use old-fashioned carbon paper (another thing from the past).
After having cut out the stamp, which takes a bit of time but is extremely relaxing, you can ink the drawing using block printing ink and a little roller, and press down on a piece of paper. A rolling pin works well to press the stamp down evenly. Carefully lift the lino up and let dry. Done!!
You can also print on fabric using fabric paint — the possibilities are endless…
That was fun! And I already know how I’m going to decorate the party bags!!
Do you remember doing finger crochet as a child? I recall a little boy in my class, he must have been around 7 or 8 years old, and he had made a string of finger crochet so long it could wrap around the classroom twice! I recently taught my daughter Sara and some of her girlfriends to finger-crochet, and it has started a real crocheting-mania! The girls love it, and I’ve seen all the mums walk around with finger-crochet bracelets made by their daughters! Cute.
Finger crocheting is really easy, and a six-year-old child should be able to do it. My nearly-five-year-old son Pim was still a bit clumsy and didn’t really have the patience to learn. But he made an effort (and is very proud of his little bracelet)!
PS Do you remember how to finger crochet? I put a little film on YouTube here!
Proud mama speaking: my first real knitting project is finished!!! (I’m not counting the scarf I knitted last year — we’re talking about following a pattern here.) The pattern for Ava’s little vest above is from Citronille, and called ‘Le Gilet de Berger‘. It was really easy, and I’m loving the results!! The same pattern can be used for boys or girls, and you can play with a cute wooden button or a little bow for the front closure. The yarn is also from Citronille and is a wool/alpaca mix called ‘Pôle‘. So — did I inspire you??
PS The dress is from ‘Nils & Happy to see you‘ — the ready-to-wear line by Astrid le Provost (the same owner as ‘Citronille’), which we adore!!
PPS Astrid will include an English translation when you purchase a ‘Gilet de Berger’ pattern, which we made when we were in Antwerp last year.
After joining a little craft group a few months ago, I’ve been making more time for sewing, knitting and crocheting. My 6-year-old daughter Sara is entranced by the idea — she loves nothing more than sitting next to me when I’m creating and always asks me when she’ll be old enough to join my craft group. She actually already does some easy sewing herself (last year we gave her a sewing machine for Christmas), and I recently taught her how to knit (and I was surprised that she was able to do it)!
I thought it would be fun to share some fun sewing/knitting/crocheting ideas with you that are easy enough for children to enjoy. The first idea is the Lucet. Have you ever heard of it? It a very traditional and really simple wooden utensil that has been used since the Viking times to ‘knit’ cords. The process is easy enough for children about 5 years and older, and Sara loves doing it. She already made a beautiful long cord — and is of course very proud! Now we have to come up with a fun project to use the cord… Any ideas?
I’ve been doing a lot of crafting lately, but not so much sewing. However this weekend I made a sweet little dress for my daughter (pictured). There is something very satisfying about creating clothes for your children, although let’s face it: it’s usually much cheaper and easier to just go to the shop or order them on the internet!
I used the Butterick 4176 pattern for this dress and it is a very simple and straight forward pattern to follow, even if you are a novice. There are no zips or button holes involved! I bought the material in a little shop called Fanny Mia when we were in Copenhagen earlier this year… I’m really going to miss travelling in Europe when we head back down under in a few weeks!
The Japanese have an amazing eye for style and simplicity. I’ve never visited the country, but I’m pretty sure I will love it as I love their food, their architecture, and their product design! The Japanese also make the most amazing fabrics and print the most wonderful craft books — it’s all so tasteful and simple and inspirational. Now that I’ve decided to start being creative again (I’m attending a craft night every 2 weeks), the gorgeous Japanese craft shop ‘This and That Japan‘ is a true treasure chest! They have an amazing selection of Japanese fabrics and books in stock, plus a good selection of stamps and stickers and haberdashery. I’ve recently ordered some fabulous fabrics (this one with buttons is gorgeous!) and a few books — even though I don’t read one word of Japanese the photos are inspirational and the drawings are clear enough. So now I have to decide — which project to start first? Pot holders? Shopping bags? Baby shoes???
PS This and That Japan is now offering an additional 15% off to Babyccino Kids readers for one week only! Just enter coupon code Babyccinokids at the check-out page. This discount is additional to the current sale but excludes shipping. Happy shopping and crafting!
So… Ideally this craft project would have been finished long before posting about it, but I have to face reality — it was started 3 years ago and didn’t progress much since. Maybe this post will inspire me to finish it before the next birthday in our household?
The idea is simple: don’t just trash old (ripped) jeans and trousers, but cut them into flags instead (a simple cardboard triangle will help you cut out the shapes). I personally like to create the bunting out of two layers so there is no front or back to it (leave the top of the triangle open so that you can turn the flag right side out). Next (and last!) step will be to sew the flags to bias band. I’ll post about the finished bunting soon I hope!
What I like about the idea of using jeans and cords besides simply re-using is that the colours are really cool and stylish — so much so that maybe this bunting can be left hanging all year long. Because really, shouldn’t every day be a little party?
Who doesn’t love a piñata? They make great party decorations, they offer entertainment (if you decide to bash the beauty up), and they’re filled with candy! Such fun! Jordan at Oh Happy Day has recently started a Piñata DIY series and offers all the tips and necessary steps for how to make them. It actually seems quite easy to do — I think I might give it a go for our next party… although I’m not sure I could stand watching it get destroyed after all that work, no matter how many sweets it bears.
Images from Oh Happy Day
I love sewing, knitting and the like. It’s in my genes — my oma (grandmother) was always sewing, crocheting or knitting (I inherited her sewing machine, a mid-century Pfaff). So was my mum. But with three children and two jobs, a house and a husband to look after, I have found that time is not really on my hands… There’s always something more important to finish and the sewing machine ends up workless on the table top — nice to look at (longingly!)… So a few weeks ago, some friends and I decided to start a Monday night sewing evening.
Every other week we get together in one of our houses, drink tea, eat cake and cookies, and most importantly, we’re being creative! It’s such a relief, having picked up again something that is such an important part of me. I started with a project I thought was very simple, a personalised pencil case for our 6-year-old daughter, Sara, who just started to read and write at school. The project ended up being much more complex than I first imagined, and it took two craft nights to finish (plus help from my fellow crafters!), but it’s done and cute and I’m proud to be able to send Sara to school with something her mama made for her.