Spring tent and easter egg hunt

My son Henrik loves to make tents and forts.  He builds one practically every day.  This year for an Easter surprise I decided to make my children a tent that they could leave up and play with all day every day.  I used the genius tutorial featured on a beautiful mess invented by Rubyellen.  I then made some of my own modifications.  I added an extra wooden piece of moulding at the bottom of both sides so that the tent won’t slide down and will stay upright on hard wood floors.

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I also added a window with a roll flap that snaps open.  I lined the inside of it with a blue geometric fabric.  I trimmed the window and the outside of the tent in a solid aqua fabric bias tape that I made.  I ended up using a small black polka dot fabric for the tent.  I cut and sewed the green fabric on the bottom to look like grass and make it feel more like spring.  To make the tent more cozy I made a few floor cushions in corresponding colors (even a star pillow).

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I think it’s safe to say they love the tent.

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Besides giving my children the tent for Easter, we also had an egg hunt.  To match the tent I made each of my kids black polka dot bags trimmed with grass.  Henrik loved looking for the eggs and other little prizes.

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Maja, on the other hand, was not interested in looking for eggs.  She was content playing with the sponge pellets that expand in water.  She decided she needed to clean all the surfaces with the tiny sponges, it was a bit of a watery mess.

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We may have also got our children two bunnies.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had bunnies growing up as a child and had so much fun with them.  Henrik named the black one hoppy and Maja named the brown one honey.

Aren’t the bow tie and bow so cute that Henrik and Maja are wearing?!  If you’re interested in some for your little ones my sweet friend makes them and you can get them here.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  Ours was lovely filled with lots and lots of love, and chocolate.

bunny brother and sister dolls

For quite some time I have been wanting to make these brother and sister bunny dolls, but to be perfectly honest I haven’t had the energy or been in the mood to make anything lately.  The other day I was having a particularly rough day and decided I needed to make something.  The bunny dolls were so easy to make and as soon as I started working on them I began to feel more happy and optimistic.  There is so much joy that comes from creating.  The process of creativity helps me step outside of myself and focus on bringing happiness to someone else, particularly my children.  I hope you enjoy these bunnies just in time for Easter.

To make the bunnies you’ll need:

* white canvas fabric or duck cloth about 1/2 of a yard

* a black fabric marker

* fabric paint.  I used green, aqua, red, white and blue

Here are the steps for making the bunnies.

1.  Sketch out the style of bunny you’d like to make.  I drew a couple of bunnies before I  settled on what I liked.  I drew my bunnies about 12″ tall.  I drew the bunny with a black marker on two 8.5 x 11″ sheets of paper.

2.  I then traced the bunny with the black fabric marker onto the fabric.  Make sure to draw the back of the bunny too.

3.  Paint the bunnies clothing and pinks of the ears with the fabric paint.

4.  Cut around the bunny, leaving about an inch or so for the seam allowance.   Put the right sides together and sew around the bunny leaving about a 3″ opening.  Turn out and stuff with batting.  Hand stitch the opening closed and you’re finished!

Both Henrik and Maja love their bunny dolls.  I think I’m going to hide them away until Easter and put them in their Easter baskets on Sunday.

Maja enjoyed cuddling both the brother and sister bunnies.

These two (for the most part) play so well together and loved playing with the bunnies until they discovered the balloon…

 

my broken heart

On January 18th my heart shattered into a million pieces, I found out my 23 week old baby boy whom I’d felt move inside me and already loved with all my heart was dead.  The next day I had to do the impossible, I had to deliver him.

I remember hearing about one of my sister’s friends losing her babies and thinking ‘that can’t happen to me I’ve already been through so much, I’ve already had to fight so hard for my children!’.  I don’t think like that anymore.  I am forever changed.  I see differently.  I love differently.  In some ways I’ve learned more of what it means to be a mother and love unconditionally in the death of my son than in the lives of my two children.  Some of the most beautiful lessons in life are learned through the hardest experiences.

My heart is broken and may be forever, I’m okay with that.  I am in the process of rebuilding it.  I feel that there are two paths I can choose in this reconstruction.  I can choose to become a hardened, bitter, cynical person, or I can choose to be a more loving, giving, compassionate one. Each day I have to fight for the latter.  Some days I succeed and other days I fail miserably.

Stillborn baby boy

A week ago Friday the 18th I received some very heartbreaking news.  The baby boy I was carrying had died, I was 23 weeks along.  On Saturday, the next day, I had to deliver him.  As you can imagine this has been very devastating and heartbreaking to me and my family.

I will be taking a break from blogging to grieve and try to heal.

 

lamb pull toy

My daughter Maja loves to push and pull her toys around, so naturally she needed to have a little pull toy of her own.  Recently we celebrated Maja’s second Birthday and as one of her gifts I made her a lamb pull toy.

If you’d like to make a lamb pull toy here’s what you’ll need:

* a drill with 1/4 inch and 3/16 inch drill bit

* hot glue, stik’n seal indoor adhesive and wood glue

* scissors

* 1/2 a yard of cream faux fur fabric

* a small piece of cream felt for the face and black felt for the nose

* two plastic black eyes

* a styrofoam egg shape for the head and two styrofoam rectangular pieces for the body

*  1/2 inch thick piece of pine wood approximately 5.5 x 32 inches for the toy base

* approximately 3/4 of an inch thick dowel for the legs

* a small piece of vegetable-tanned leather for the collar

* paint brushes

* red acrylic paint for the leather collar

* black acrylic paint for the legs

* mint green acrylic paint for the wheels and base

* 4, 1/4 inch thick dowel pins

* 4 wooden wheels

* 4, 1/4 inch thick wooden axels

* 34 inches of ribbon or twine for the leash

* batting

Here are the steps to making your own lamb pull toy.  I got some great tips on making a pull toy from Martha Stewart.

Step 1.  Cut the pine wood approximately 11.5 inches long for the base and the dowel into 4, 4 inch pieces for the legs (I used a banned saw to cut them).  Sand the edges.  With the 1/4 inch drill bit drill into the center of each of the legs.  Glue (wood glue) the dowel pins into the wooden legs.  With the 1/4 inch drill bit, drill the holes on the base for the legs.  With the 3/16 inch drill bit, drill the sides of the base for the wheels.  It’s important to have the wheels fit tightly.

Step 2.  Paint the base and wheels in the mint green paint.  Paint the axels white.  Tape off and paint the bottom of the sheep legs about 1/2 of an inch in the black paint.

Step 3.  Carve the styrofoam egg into the head for the sheep.  Carve the two styrofoam rectangular pieces into sheep’s body.  Glue (stik’n seal glue) the pieces together (you may want to use a skewer to attach the head to the body.  I wrapped some batting around the neck.

Step 4.  With the felt and the faux fur sew together the ears and the tail.  Stuff with the batting.

Step 5.  Glue (wood glue) the legs into the base.  Insert the wheels and axels into the sides of the base You may need drill the holes slightly bigger than the 3/16 inches, so that the axels will fit.  Don’t drill them 1/4 inch or the wheels will fall off when pulling the toy.

Step 6.  With both glues (stik’n seal and hot glue), attach and shape the felt around the face, cutting a small hole for the eyes.  Glue and insert the eyes into the felt and styrofoam.  Cut a small piece of black felt in the shape of a rounded triangle and glue on as the nose.  Attach the ears.  Wrap and glue the faux fur onto the sheep, attaching in pieces.  I also filled the body with extra batting, to make the sheep extra round.  Attach the tail.  Cut the vegetable tanned leather into a thin rectangle for the collar, paint it red and glue around the neck of the sheep.

Step 7.  Glue (stik’n seal and hot glue) the body onto the legs.  Drill a hole straight through the base for the leash.  Tie the ribbon through the hole for the leash and you’re finished!

This was quite an involved project and I definitely need to work on my fabric wrapping and toy making skills, but the look on Maja’s face when she saw her little lamb made it all worth it.  She loves to pull it around all over the house and every once in a while I mistake it for our dog Hazel.