Tuesday 26 September 2017

Aurélie for Mia

Of course my Little Miss No 2 shouldn't be without a self-made doll, either. She will get this little cutie (called Aurélie) for her 3rd Birthday. She's been asking for a while already, so I hope she will be happy when she finally gets her own doll.

I used the Mariengold.net patterns again, and I still love them so much.

For the hair I used Dolly Mo Wooly Mohair in Dark Brown. The pullover/knitdress is also made following a pattern by Mariengold and I used some leftover sock yarn (the one I used for Bina by Lalylala...). I made two strings to close the back, with two pompoms (i LOVE making Pompoms!) also from leftover yarn. The shoes are also made following the Mariengold (oh girl!) instructions (cotton in a rusty red).

The dress Aurélie is wearing underneth the pullover dress is made from a lovely fabric by Tilda and then from a scrap piece of fabric (cotton batist) I applied a ruche at the bottom.

And why is she called Aurélie? - Because I like the Song by "Wir sind Helden". :)

Tilda Wildgarden fabric

Wednesday 20 September 2017

DIY Magnets

The children loved making these magnets and I have to admit - I love them, too!
We will be using them as Christmas presents this year and of course we are going to keep a few.
This project was suitable for my 5 year old (cutting the circles, glueing), the 2,5 year old helped and we gave her some pieces of paper and some scissors so she felt included. She also put the glasnuggets on the paper quite well.

What you need
- 2 pairs of children's scissors (because I have 2 children)
- a catalogue, magazine, newspaper, flyer... whatever motives you like. We used a book catalogue from a local book shop mainly. Completely for free.
- clear glue
- clear glas nuggets (ours are 17-20mm, the base is about 14mm)
- magnets (ours are 12,5mm in diameter)
- thin coloured carton (we used dark blue and dark green) to back the cut out paper
- felt tip pen to mark out the circles
- optional: efco circle punch 14mm

I bought the glass nuggets  and magnets here: https://www.bastelweltcreativ.de/glasnuggets-muggelsteine/c-145.html
And the puncher is from amazon. We used the 14mm hole (but it comes with 3 circles, maybe we use those for another project...)
(and I am not getting anything out of recommending my sources, it's purely informative)
Cost: I suppose this depends on where you live, we bought 30 glassnugets and 30 magnets and the circle punch (which is only optional...) for about 11 Euros altogether. The rest was from the stock or available for free.

How to do it

1. Mark out the areas you want cut. I made the circles slightly larger than the area we actually need, because the girls tend to cut well inside the circle I made. If you have the circle punch - still let them cut the circles, it improves their dexterity AND they love looking at the pictures and help choosing them enthusiastically.

2. The circles are then glued to a piece of dark blue construction paper by the children and after drying I punched them (the pictures, not the children). If your pictures have been printed on relatively firm paper, you can skip this step, but ours was just normal paper, so it is better to back it so the magnet doesn't show through. the puncher makes the circles nice and even and with the darker paper underneath eventual gaps (from too small cut circles... happens...) are filled out. If you don't want to invest in a puncher, you can also cut the circles with scissors. Depending on the age of the children they can do that, too...

3. Here comes the magic. Now you put one relatively small dot of liquid clear glue (we've used just ordinary liquid hobby glue... I have to admit this one wasn't solvent free... that somehow slipped my attention... we normally use solvent free glue...) Make sure the glass sits with the right side and nicely centered on the paper. They can be a bit slippy in the beginning. My youngest just sort of throws the glass on the paper, and then I adjust it. She loves it, though. Put them on a carton o piece of wood or something else that gives them stability and put them away for a night for the glue to dry. Before you leave them, check again, that the glass hasn't travelled away from the paper.

4. After drying thoroughly, you can attach the magnets. We've used magnets made for DIY, so one side has a little "dot" in it and is less magnetic than the other side. Again, one dot of liquid clear glue, careful adjusting and drying time. You can see in the picture (maybe) that the two WITH the magnets are sligthly higher than the ones in the middle that are still waiting to be magnetified.
If you are worried about scratching surfaces, you can then glue a small piece of 1mm thin felt underneath the magnet, but we don't worry about it much. :)

We made these over a time of 2 weeks, on rainy days. Cutting the paper circles took about 2 days and I didn't anticipate how much the girls would love it. Especially the older one LOVED to choose the motives and look through the catalogues. You can stretch this to whatever time you need, it's great in how many small "bitesize" portions this project can be diveded. Glueing them all to the paper took about 2 afternoon sessions again (the punching took about 20 mins... alone...). Glueing the magnets to the glass was like a "special treat" and we did this in batches from 5-7 at a time so the magic wouldn't go away. That worked quite well, especially as Little Miss No 1 got to choose the 5-7 pictures she wanted to glue herself.

If you make them as presents, you can choose paper matching for the recipient -
- an ardent "Game of Thrones" or "Lord of the rings" fan - print the maps!
- a traveller - you can get really old maps for near to nothing
- a book enthusiast - old books in pretty languages (e.g. kyrillic) or said book catalogues a brilliant
- an arts specialist - print pictures or photographs of his or her favourite artist
- a movie lover - black and white photographies make brilliant backgrounds
- a super cook - food photography can be fantastic!
- ... the possibilities are endless... whatever is printed, can be made into these magnets. Those glassnuggets also come in different sizes


Wednesday 13 September 2017

Where has all the historical costuming gone???

Hello everybody who comes here for the historical costuming stuff.

It's been a while. Sorry about that.

Since the arrival of my two lovely and spirited daughters my life has considerably changed (in many ways) and has been enriched so much. But that also means, that I have considerably less time for historical costuming. I've not left it, no worries, I have SO many ideas in my head what I would like to make or reinterpret or what project I would like to revisit to adjust to my changing taste. I am still following the reenactment community, but more passively.

Because at the moment, I have other priorities.

I have my children, with who I like to do arts and crafts. And I do a lot of research around the topic. And prepare, collect the materials. Think about when and how to make it with them. Check the weather forecast. Stuff like that. Stuff that I never even imagined, when I didn't have children. Stuff that I love doing with them. Even if they loose interest after 5 minutes. It's a learning process. :)

So I invite you to look through the labels on the right for a special period of time if you are only here for the costumes, of look at the pictures (link at the top of the page). Otherwise - just browse, maybe you find something that catches your interest - arts and crafts wise, in my articles about consumerism/minimalism - or you start you own "make and mend challenge"?!


Tuesday 5 September 2017

arts and crafts and waste

It's been a little quiet here lately, sorry. But I was researching something (and still am): 

As some of you might know, I have two wonderful children. Small children aged 2 and 5. And I like arts and crafts. And I would like to share this with them in a way that is fun for all of us. 

So I was looking for a book about arts and crafts with young children  - and I have to admit, i was a bit disappointed by what i found.

Some of the books were like "you can make something from EVERYTHING". As in "use food for fun". Or a lot of expensive material was required. Or it was really mostly pre-manufactured. No real skills necessary.

I didn't like that. I also didn't like the fact that some things just looked really ... erm... not nice.
Ok, not all of the things my children make are masterpieces (incredible, I know), but I thought we could at least TRY to make something to put up on the wall and in the house. Something tasteful. Or useful. Where they learn something new and enjoy it. Don't need to buy an awful lot of expensive or wasteful material.

I again started appreciating the internet an awful lot. I can access blogs from all around the world about things to do with children on rainy days. I can access books from all around the world. Brilliant. 

So I started making a folder with things to do for rainy days throughout the seasons and "always". 

And: We now have a wall with frames to put the children's artwork (and also ours or from the family) in, which I will post about in the future, too. 

And I will also post the things we've made. It will be quite random, but such is life. :) 

You will be able to access all the ideas from the label "Ideas for rainy days with children". 

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do!


PS: If you have ideas or links to blog from creative people - let me know!!


Now, arts and crafts and waste also is a big topic in all things DIY. The amount of fabrics I have sitting in the cellar, that are waiting to be made into something, is ridiculous. Sometimes I can't even remember, why I wanted them in the first place and what I intended to make from them... and I have also lots of other arts and crafts "stuff" that I can't possibly use all at once. But it's a tricky one - if I would throw away or give away all of those materials, I wouldn't be able to revisit the project (e.g. hatmaking or silk flowers). Even if it takes years. It is also great to just be able to go downstairs for some coloured paper for the kids... But strictly speaking these are all leftovers from a time of vast overconsumption. Which makes me feel a little sad. And now... what do I do with them?

I am more careful now with getting materials and equipment. Unless I know when I need the material and want to make something from it, I am not buying it. Even if the price is wonderful and sometimes it is SO tempting.
Instead, I am using what we have stored and I am also taking pride in reusing material that we already own. E.g. old clothes. Sometimes it can be quite tricky to be a crafter and at the same time you don't want to have all the things you make - e.g. I've seen a book on making baskets out of old newspapers - brilliant idea... only... what would I do with all those baskets?
So I am trying to combine the idea of making something that we can use in the house or maybe give away as presents PLUS taking the material from what we've got at home. It doesn't always work (which is a good sign... more and more material is being used up!) but we are turning more and more to resources readily available around us instead of going shopping for arts and crafts supplies first. The amount of things you can make from leaves is incredible!

So, my aim for the rest of my "Make and Mend II" year is also, to use material that we have around us and/or in the house and make things that are of certain use. Let's see, how that works out. :)