A friend of mine had her baby shower today to celebrate a baby boy that she is expecting in July. She has decorated the nursery room with a nautical theme and I knew that she wanted a lamp for it. Little did I know however that trying to find a nautical lamp let alone any nautical, beach or fishing themed adornments during winter was a big ask. I was told that during the summer there would be plenty of options for me, but it wasn’t the right season for it now. The only nautical themed adornment that was remotely suitable was a flat wooden anchor from Spotlight. After visiting over a dozen stores I finally came with a solution to decorate a basic lamp myself in a nautical theme. Out of all the lighting, hardware and department stores I visited I found the most ideal lamp from The Warehouse. I knew that I would be able to sew a lamp shade cover easily due to the even circular shape of the shade (rather than a cone like shape tapered in at the top). I was also able to locate the same material that she used for the blinds in the nursery so that the lamp shade matched the blinds. I had also specifically chosen the lamp design as it was perfect for tying a piece of Sissal Rope around the base (sourced from Bunnings) which I could incorporate the anchor into. The trickiest part of the entire project was neatly joining the ends of the Sisal rope together at the back after knotting the front, so that the ends were sitting in the groove of the lamp. I don’t have a photo unfortunately, but I simply wrapped a matching tan coloured cotton around the end of the rope to stop it from unwinding and fraying, and then had to loop the cotton perpendicular around the two ends of the ropes so they would stay together. Those in the industry call it a ‘Whipped End‘. It was a simple yet fun project which now looks great in the nursery matching the blinds. The beauty of the lamp shade cover is that one day if she is finished with the nautical theme, she can just pull the cover off and start again.
We had a dressup day at Playcentre on Monday. I didn’t really have much in the way of costumes for Israel but I knew I had seen something on Pinterest that I wanted to make – a Dinosaur Tail! The techniques used to make the Dinosaur Tail were straightforward and particularly easy to follow using the Running with Scissors Instructions. In my bag of sewing goodies was already everything I needed to make it. I also had some very thick felt that was a perfect substitute for the spikes and the waistband. The biggest hurdle was actually getting Israel to wear it and sure enough role-play was the answer. You can just imagine me running around wearing the tail yelling “Roar”, right? Well it worked! He was happily wearing it and in true Israel fashion didn’t really want to sit still for a photoshoot. I am sure as Israel gets older there will be years of Dinosaur Tail wearing to come!
This weekend I took the opportunity to learn how to make a sock monkey. I had never previously had the desire to do so but a friend of mine needed to make one and had organised for another friend to teach her. I decided to tag along and make one for a little girl turning three. There are so many sock monkey tutorials online but our friend has made so many herself that she gave us her own directions with tips she had learnt along the way. Sock monkeys are certainly not the fastest things to make. I would recommend making the monkey in stages so that you don’t feel so overwhelmed. First stage would be cutting and sewing. Second stage, stuffing. Third stage would be sewing on the extremities and adding any detailing. I think I need a break before I ever make another one. To make this sock monkey, which I named Freckles, I had bought a multipack of socks which now means I still have four potential sock monkeys just waiting to be made… definitely on a rainy day!
Whenever we have guests come to stay I feel bad that the pillows they are going to sleep on are rather uncomfortably. I recently upgraded the four pillows to rectify this problem, which left me with four spare pillows without a home. Immediately I remembered I had pinned something on Pinterest, waiting for this very moment. Now the four pillows, along with an unused duvet in my cupboard, have resulted in the creation of a pillow mattress. Courtesy of the Pillow Mattress Instructions found on Pinterest, this was a relatively simple procedure. Unfortunately my four pillows weren’t identical in size, so I had to modify the way I divided the material. Otherwise it was a very easy method to follow. The best thing about the design is that you can remove each of the pillows in order to wash the cover. Hopefully when Israel learns to be a bit more still, he will enjoy reading, sitting, lying and playing on the mattress both indoors and outdoors.
It is a busy week ahead with a variety of different guests joining us for dinner four nights this week. The one I am most excited about is Sunday night. I was fortunate enough to be selected onto a panel for kiwi chef Annabel Langbein, which means I have received an exclusive preview of her new cook book A Free Range Life, which hits the shelves this week. All I have to do us give her recipes a whirl! So on Sunday night I have invited four friends over for dinner with Michael and I. I have decided to take the opportunity to have a slightly more formal dinner party, as it’s not often I have the excuse. I feel like I am planning a wedding dinner! The guests will enjoy three courses of Annabel Langbein’s summer meals and they will even have a little party favour to take home. It has been a fun little project to plan for, so I hope it goes well. I decided that paper napkins weren’t going to cut it, so I used some fabric scraps to make some napkins. Hopefully they will get used past Sunday night too!
A little while ago my sister asked if I could embroider a name onto something for her. At my beginner sewing level I thought it would be too difficult to produce something attractive. I had tried one for the bib I made, but the style of the bib didn’t require it to be as precise. I searched online for a tutorial on how to do this and had a few giggles from this embroidery tutorial. I actually learnt a few things from this lady Lo-Ann, despite being humoured by her photo title page, using lined paper for the backing of her customers embroidery and music in a variety of her videos. I think I need to buy one of those hoops to help keep the material tight, but I seemed to manage ok. Despite laughing, I actually tried the paper myself as I didn’t have any of the commercially promoted backing.. for which I don’t even know the name. I managed to sew a single line okay, but struggled with the zigzag. Whilst the second zigzag attempt was better, there is much I have to practise and learn!
Kids love to use their imagination and seem to enjoy trying to be like their parents. My sister loves to bake cakes and so they had planned to get their daughter a toy kitchen set for her birthday. I had bought her some clothes for her birthday but decided to also sew a little apron that she could wear in the toy kitchen. Just as well I had already purchased her clothes, as I got to use the dress I had bought as a guideline for size. This didn’t take long to whip and was a cute way to personalise the gift with something handmade.