Treasure basket

I discovered treasure baskets when Big Critter was about 6 months old. They are boxes, baskets anything really filled with exciting non- toy objects.

This can be scraps of fabric, wooden spoons, pine cones, noisy objects, brushes.CIMG8713

Here’s couple of links for extra ideas:

Netmums

The Imagination Tree

These are better when child can sit & hold toys unaided however they have benefit from earlier age because parents can aid play.

SENSORY POUCH TUTORIAL

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ALMOST NO-SEW RIBBON HOOP

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I love making these & there is so many varieties you can make if I had more room I would definitely make different themes. I would love to see your pictures so get in touch 🙂

tracy

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Felt Biscuits

How to make calorie free biscuits.

I decided to do 3 types of biscuits so I drew a big circle for largest & smaller circles inside for others. This is to save paper 🙂 The outer circle is a Smarties cookie, next circle is a jammy dodger & inner two make up a party ring.

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Start with biggest & place on felt when folded. Cut.

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Next circle is for jammy dodgers so I cut 2 outers & 1 inner.

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I then cut about 0.5 cm off the ‘jam’.

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Trim outer edges with pinking shears. Set aside the ‘jam’ & 2 backs.

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Fold top piece in half & draw half a heart in centre. Cut out.

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Pin the ‘jam’ to the front you just cut a heart out of.

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Sew around heart so ‘jam’ is secured.

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Pin the front to back & sew around outer edge.

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You have your first 2 biscuits. Next you need to cut out the party ring template. Fold the next circle in half & cut the centre out trying to keep it a full circle.

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You should have a ring & a small circle.

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Set small circle to the side to use later. Cut out 2 bases & cut circle out same way. You don’t need to keep the base cut outs.

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Next chose 2 top colours & cut 2 more rings out. If you layer them you can cut both out at once.

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This time keep the cut outs from your ring.

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Use the cut outs you kept to decorate the first big biscuits to represent smarties. Pin to top layer.

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Use the template cut out circle from earlier to cut a few more ‘smarties’ out.

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Now at this point I decorated the front of my party rings through both layers (base & top) however you should decorate just the top coloured layer.

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Sew round outer & inner edges with pink in top & beige in bobbin.

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N0w sew the ‘smarties’ to the top of the biggest cookie.

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Once all ‘smarties’ on place on top of some wadding & cut out.

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Trim the wadding so is a little smaller than the cookie.

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Sew front & back together. Now you have a full biscuit set that won’t pile on the pounds 🙂These are fairly flat & you could stuff yours but I just wanted a simple design & most of all easy, quick method.

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tracy

Almost no-sew ribbon ring

Here is a simple almost no-sew ribbon ring for you

You will need:

  • wooden or plastic ring- curtain rings work well
  • scrap ribbon any length
  • lighter

Cut your ribbons to length you wish & seal off the edges with the lighter to prevent fraying. This was tricky shot to get lol make sure hold it over long enough to seal but too long it will set alight & burn.

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Once you have all your ribbons  & ring you can put them together.

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I decided to tie mine together but you can tie them individually. I layered them like so.

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Popped ring over top

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Then tied in big knot

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I then sewed across the ribbons to secure seen as we have such a big knot id worry about it becoming loose.

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If you decide to tie your ribbons one by one do a double knot & there is no need for over sewing & will be a truly no- sew project.

tracy

Sensory pouch- lazy way

You will need:

  • plastic CD wallet
  • beads, sequins buttons etc
  • material scraps approx 14 cm square
  • paper
  • pins
  • ruler
  • pencil

First Step is to fill your plastic wallet.

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I use beads, buttons & other goodies I found in my drawers. I made sure not to fill too much so the bits could move around.

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I decided to make my whole pouch approx 12 cm. So I cut out a 13cm square with a 9.5 cm square cut out middle. I worked this out because i want my border to be 1.5 cm & need 1 cm seam allowance either side for turning.

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First you need to cut each inside corner diagonally towards outer edge by 1 cm.

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Turn that edge under & pin.

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Pin in the middle pouch & place back border to the front enclosing pouch. Make sure the egdes meet. This can be fiddly so may find it easier if you iron your seam allowances so they stay folded or lots of pins!!

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Pin outer edge in same method, fold & pin. This part is a lot easier.

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Sew close to edge inside & outside.

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Sorry its slanted hehe. I sewed extra lines for decoration & extra strength & here it is. Not perfect and I’ve seen much easier better versions but as common for me I blogged as I experimented.

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tracy

Baby Sling/Carrier Benefits

There are many benefits to sling wearing & many ways to carry your baby.

  • Baby is less clingy- if you carry baby/child out & about a lot once your home they’re a lot happier to go off to do their own thing
  • Happier baby- if your baby/child is ill, teething or just having off day the carry gives them much needed hugs & closeness but means you can get on
  • More interactive- with baby right by you you’re more likely to talk them whatever their age
  • Baby/child is more interactive & alert with others because they are happy in mum or dads arms
  • When a baby is newborn it allows for easier transition from womb to world & as they get older you can put them on your back & they can see the world from safe distance

There are many types of slings & carriers here’s a small list of what I have or have tried:

  • Wrap- stretchy & woven
  • Mei tai
  • Podegai
  • Soft structured carrier
  • Ring sling
  • Buckle carrier

The best way to know what suits you is to find your local sling library or sling meet. You can try different ones that suit you then borrow them.

 

tracy

Firsts…..

During a child’s early years there are many firsts: teeth, smile, walking and holidays!! As we prepare to take Baby Critter on his first holiday I think back to Big Critters first.

Big Critter was 6 months old when we went for our first holiday camping 🙂

He was just recently weaned & we had borrowed a baby bed was perfect! He slept like a dream, ate like a dream & smiled like a proper cute baby should.

The stuff we had to take though!!! oh my nothing prepares you for the first trip from home you suddenly realise how much baby’s need and as desperately as you try condense it you just can’t.

We had to look for all sorts of amazing folding items get rid of half my own stuff because there was no chance the baby’s trousers would last longer than an hour nevermind a day or 2.

Its also amazing how little things take up a lot of room.

We survived though. Our second holiday was by far harder he was 9 months by this stage & we went camping again. He was too big for the camping bed this time so we had a insulated, padded mat with lots of blankets. Again slept a dream but every morning he would have such a mad wiggle he’d be off the mat at bottom of tent waving my bra about like was best toy in world!

After that year we have 3 years of bed troubles. The following year we had a double & 1 single. Mummy & Big Critter would sleep on the double with Daddy on other side to stop him rolling off. Again he ended at bottom of tent.

Year after he was 2 & a half so thought great he’s big enough for a ready bed! We quickly realised that was no good either the only way to describe it was a stranded turtle with its shell on the right way … he would be face down bed on top.

We went to a local camping shop in search of a solution because was beyond a joke the lack of decent beds for kids when we found a bed we have successfully used for 3 years now! Its called a kampa well here’s a picture explains it better..

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This has been our life saver he no longer ends up at end of tent, he doesn’t roll off & he stays there all night safe & warm. I’d have no hesitation putting Baby Critter on this either so begins the search for another solution because unfortunately we can’t fit 2 of these in our tent. Yikes!

Luckily this year were off to a chalet. This feels so posh for us after nearly 6 years of camping in rain, mud freezing temperatures rarely sunshine. We have close amenities of our own, somewhere to cook.

However my one prediction is the extra bedroom for the kids won’t be used as both will probably end up in with us.

UPDATE: Small child stayed in with us in a cot and big child stayed in his bed! We’re off again next year and this will be small childs first year trying out the big bed! eeek

tracy

Swapsies

I do a lot of swaps so thought would outline them & see if we can start a revolution. There are a few kind of swaps. The first is a secret swap you get given a name & your name is given to someone else but you don’t reveal who you are 🙂 Traditionally named Secret Santa, Secret Stork, Secret Sewer etc.

Items I’ve received from such a swap:

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I also got bath items, candles & chocolate but got used.

There are advantages to this swap you get a fab surprise from some unknown & because you do it as a group can share ideas & excitement.  You also get a set budget which is often low x

There are disadvantages too though as some people don’t see it as necessary to actually complete their end of bargain & 3 swaps I’ve run now at least 2 people haven’t bothered which is very sad. However with it being secret the receiver who receives nothing doesn’t know who it was.

The second kind of swap is a craft swap. You basically swap craft for craft. I make you something you want & in return I get something I want of a similar value. So far these are the most successful swaps I’ve done because both parties would be out of pocket if both didn’t fulfil there part & because you know each other less chance of skulking off . I use this method a lot to purchase presents especially at christmas when other crafters are  looking to do the same! I also recieve bath goodies this way.

Item I got from craft swap:

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The third kind of swap I’ve recently partaken in is Box of Joy. These occur on mummy groups & you are partnered up. So although a group of you are doing this so get some advantage of sharing ideas you also get the advantage of knowing who is sending to you so there’s no hiding. These also seem to have higher budget attached to them which as the sender & receiver I find really good. Item I made recently for such a swap:

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As a crafter I find swaps good because it often works out a bit cheaper to make lots & build up a good stash to send off! You can also do a lot from home & not trawl shops for something you may never find.

I made this stash recently for a £5 craft swap:

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Swaps are good for other items too for example clothes!! Ask friends of similar size if have stuff to get rid off & do a swap for them. Same with baby & kids clothes save the ebay fees & table costs & just swap.

tracy