a trip to the craft store “mecca” – with children

beautiful fabric sourced from a stunning perth based store "Calico and Ivy". To be used for my next projects - cloth dolls and softies.

beautiful fabric sourced from a stunning Perth based store “Calico and Ivy”. To be used for my next projects – cloth dolls and softies.

So I was a little bit excited when a friend of mine asked if she could place a custom order for a doll to be made as a gift for a friend expecting a baby girl. Well, excited is putting it lightly, I was ecstatic. Up until now I have been using fabric that I have collected over the years including stunning Laura Ashley cottons, sourced vintage fabrics and those bits and bobs that have been handed down to me either by my mother or from my nanna. But, a paid project…well I couldn’t resist buying something tremendous and new from the most amazing craft store, Calico and Ivy. For crafters/knitters/sewers and the like it is literally paradise and a place of beauty. When I was there one of two staff members struck up conversation. She said that people have spent hours in their store, literally hours. I wish I had hours to swish around the store dreaming of all the things I could make, perusing the beautiful inspirational books at leisure, looking at all the trinkets, conversing with the staff about my next project. But I had minutes, because I took children. I took boys to a place of peace and tranquility and wrecked it. I just wanted my little piece of heaven.

When I parked out the front of the store, Master two was snoring peacefully in the car. Perfect. He even transferred to the pram. Hoorah! Only one child to have to worry about. Enter Master one at the top of his lungs “Mum LOOK! He’s awaaaaaake”!. I laugh now writing this. I was not laughing when it happened. We enter the store and are welcomed by the staff. Thankfully I had a goal. We conversed. “It’s Ok I have children too, I understand” said the staff member. And she did. We chatted some more but internally I was frantically trying to “take in the paradise experience” in enough time before Master two potentially screamed the place down from not getting enough sleep or master one from breaking something VERY expensive. WTF was I thinking?! I don’t think we had made the 5 min mark and I went looking for “the toy box”, praying they had one so that he could sit down and play with the toys. They did have one, but there was a ball in the box ………….and my paradise session ended. Game over. You know when they find a toy and they look at you with that “if you try to take this off me I am literally going to make a scene of epic proportions” look? The one where they have the potential to run around screaming like a crazed animal? Yup, we had THAT moment. So I allowed the ball. For those who know my son well, for a three and half year old, his ball skills are very, very good. So, every opportunity he gets, he likes to practice. Thankfully the instructions of “no kicking” and “no throwing” were adhered too. He impressed the staff with his bouncing and catching skills. How old is he? My son can’t do that and he is seven. Ok, awesome that you are bedazzled by the ball skills, but I am quietly praying I can source my fabric at a store that I get to visit once in a blue moon without actually buying the contents of the store, because we have broken everything in it. When the ball was bounced down the stairs with a “thud, thud, thud…and boing!! in an unknown direction with a “look! LOOK MUUUUUUUM! Look what I am DOOOINGGG”. I magic mother inspector gadget extender armed the ball to safety, caught one handed of course whilst holding crying baby, promptly paid for my fabric and handed the ball to the shop attendant. And she calmly said “Oh, is that our ball?”.

from the sewing room – personalised bunny softie and memory doll

colours of motherhood

Bunny Softie with felt earsPersonalised Bunny Softieback of bunny softie

So I have been busy “mothering” my two boys who get busier by the day. Master two is nearing 1 and whilst he isn’t close to walking I have deemed him a “race crawler”. You cannot leave him for a second and as soon as he knows you are watching, he builds up his pace to race. Particularly when you catch him trying to chomp down on a shoe, a rock or any other inanimate object he suspects is tastier than the food I serve him on a daily basis. Nothing like a good old fashioned chew down on a rubber door stop. Yum mum. A lot of things have changed for me in the last month or so, mainly around the supervision of the boys and the intensity of their play. Its become….boyish, rough and tumble, physical. It is incredibly difficult to discipline your three and a half year old…

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from the sewing room – personalised bunny softie and memory doll

Bunny Softie with felt earsPersonalised Bunny Softieback of bunny softie

So I have been busy “mothering” my two boys who get busier by the day. Master two is nearing 1 and whilst he isn’t close to walking I have deemed him a “race crawler”. You cannot leave him for a second and as soon as he knows you are watching, he builds up his pace to race. Particularly when you catch him trying to chomp down on a shoe, a rock or any other inanimate object he suspects is tastier than the food I serve him on a daily basis. Nothing like a good old fashioned chew down on a rubber door stop. Yum mum. A lot of things have changed for me in the last month or so, mainly around the supervision of the boys and the intensity of their play. Its become….boyish, rough and tumble, physical. It is incredibly difficult to discipline your three and a half year old around being gentle with physical contact when Master two is laughing after being almost full body slammed. Or when I am trying to snap the older one out of ridiculous nonsensical talk which is loud and literally grating on my nerves, because I would like our baby to actually (eventually) develop proper words, only to find that he is being incredibly amused and thinks his older brother is a hero for entertaining him with gobbledy-gook. I was telling a friend just today how amazing the difference between the two boys at this age. Master One was page turning at 10 months of age and would sit with great intensity listening to stories (and still does), and by 11 months we would have book marathons. Number two wants to chew. Chew the books. I have tried to sit with him and just when I think the story session is going swimmingly, he grabs the book, flips it over and tries to give it a good munch. I have the thinker and the do-er. Oh what a pair!

So, I suppose as my boys get more boy-ish I choose to enter my zone of extreme crafting! My most recent piece is photographed above. A personalised bunny softie made especially for a new baby girl. What a perfect little gift for little babes due around Easter. I also embarked on somewhat of a “memory” doll. It gave me much pleasure to design and make a doll for the daughter of one of my best friends. But this was a special doll as it was made out of one of her favourite little tutu dresses. I would love to make more of these if people are willing to sacrifice a dress that might otherwise just end up in a box somewhere, instead, they can have their own little memory doll. A wonderful keepsake for their daughters.

From dress to dollRosie's Doll

from the sewing room – cloth necklace

photo 3photo 4photo 2photo 1

In addition to the doll making I have embarked on creating other handmade gifts wherever possible. I got the idea of the cloth necklace from Pinterest but the design is completely my own. It was super easy and would be lots of fun for little girls to make. It really only requires three long pieces of fabric (length depending on how long you want the necklace to be). Braid the strands together using a bulldog clip to hold the end so it doesn’t fall apart as you go. Hand sew the ends together and embellish as you see fit. I found a pattern for flowers cut two out and added a button to give it strength.

from the sewing room

From time to time I will post from the sewing room my creations for the little people in my life. These two little beauties are ‘Mother and Baby’ who will be off to a good home soon. They are quite small. Perfect for little hands. I got the idea of the hearts from my “100 Dolls, Countless Hearts” book. There was a lady who mentioned that every doll she created she would always add a heart (even if it couldn’t be seen). I loved this idea so thought I would add them to these two.

Mother and baby

thanks Frankie

colours of motherhood

Welcome dear friends to the first post of my new venture, Colours of Motherhood. A couple of little pieces of information to get us started. I have ideas. Lots of them. I am pretty sure my husband could have a small savings account by now from all the times I have said to him “So I have an idea”. I have house reno ideas, craft ideas, business ideas, story ideas, cost saving, environment helping and recycling ideas. The list goes on. Some of my ideas become something but most get written down in a notebook to read during my rare moments of reflection and contemplation as my little Masters 1 and 2 sleep long enough for me to reheat my cold cup of decaffeinated coffee and fantasise about said ideas.

Colours of Motherhood was of course one of these ideas. I thought it would be a sensational title for a…

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thanks Frankie

Welcome dear friends to the first post of my new venture, Colours of Motherhood. A couple of little pieces of information to get us started. I have ideas. Lots of them. I am pretty sure my husband could have a small savings account by now from all the times I have said to him “So I have an idea”. I have house reno ideas, craft ideas, business ideas, story ideas, cost saving, environment helping and recycling ideas. The list goes on. Some of my ideas become something but most get written down in a notebook to read during my rare moments of reflection and contemplation as my little Masters 1 and 2 sleep long enough for me to reheat my cold cup of decaffeinated coffee and fantasise about said ideas.

Colours of Motherhood was of course one of these ideas. I thought it would be a sensational title for a book and although I have written a few words down, there is probably enough for half a chapter. Awesome job. Not really going to get half a chapter published any time soon so thought it could work as a great title for my jump into the virtual world. So that’s the title. Let me tell you the picture has already been my first stumbling block. I trawled through an excessive amount of photos from past overseas holidays hoping to find the perfect landscape, sunset, garden or water shot that would do a supreme job at helping you the reader to feel serene, contemplative etc etc. I love taking photos and there were many to choose from but none matched the title. And then it dawned on me. Colours of Motherhood is pretty much the complete opposite of serene. I am a stay at home mother of two adorable boys and my waking hours are spent feeding, cleaning, tidying (yes, they are different), washing, drying, cooking, and being an amateur at all things art and craft, ball sports, healthcare and general house and garden maintenance. In fact just the other day I embarked on some trimming in the garden whilst kicking a soccer ball to my three yr old. Yes that did happen and yes, it was difficult. But, I wanted to garden and my son wanted to play ball. These are the things one does when you have different daily priorities to a three yr old. Anyway back to the picture, I needed something that depicted my average day. Really, there was nothing more fitting than one of my sons paintings. It was perfect. Colourful, messy, spontaneous and in the moment. I am not the careful photographer travelling the world pre-engaged DINK (double income no kids, love that term), I am a mother in a house filled with boys. Things have changed.

And then lastly, the title of my first post. About two years ago I was sitting in my friends toilet and like all good toilet rooms it had reading material. Now I know some of you might cringe at the reading on the toilet idea but lets face it, for those of you who have children you understand one very important thing, time to yourself is so precious that you will take any time you can get to yourself, even if its on the toilet. I picked up a Frankie magazine and my life changed. For those of you already acquainted with Frankie your heads will be nodding and you will be mm mmm-ing in quiet approval. Frankie is an amazing magazine filled with all the things that I love and have very little time to do any of – art, photography, travel, craft, home and things about life. It is incredibly well written and showcases all things and all people who are, in their own way, crafty. I am entering my third year of subscription and it is one of those “looking forward to getting a letter in the mail when you were 7” moments, when it arrives. I wait till the boys are asleep and I escape to a world where other peoples’ ideas have actually come to fruition and of course, I get inspired. So, thanks Frankie for being my inspiration and for reminding me that there are fantastic, creative little bodies out there just going about their business and making things just that little bit more interesting.

So, what can you expect from Colours of Motherhood? Little snippets of my ideas I guess. You might see crafty things, little stories or poems about my experiences in life and with my children, quotes that I like to help us get through the day, maybe a recipe. General musings about life and the universe.

I hope you enjoy reading.

PS – apologies in advance for any grammar no nos or anything like that. It is a christmas miracle that this was written in one sitting (during nap time). I had just enough time to skim proof read to ensure it sounded ok.

Have a great weekend.

E