Tag Archives: kid art

A mandarin dress for the baby

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drressThis coming cool-weather season has a little bittersweet sense to it for me. In all likelihood, this is the last season I can dress the baby without her input. If she’s anything like her older sister, she’ll be nudging her own little self into the closet by the time her age approaches 2 and then my days of selecting her outfits are over. (You pick your battles, right?)  So my hope is to buy her staples like leggings and solid-color bodysuits, then slip sweet little handmade items over them for me to enjoy while she’s still small and has amiable tastes. This dress was the kickoff of what I hope is a cluster of over-dress projects for this winter.

dress-on-baby2I used the Mandarin Dress pattern from the book Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders. I made a size 2 but cut an inch or so off the hem.

dress-on-baby

I love the elastic loop and button closure on this pattern, but my little green buttons don’t show up all that well against this busy print. If I make again I’ll choose a tamer print and brighter buttons. It’s a sweet pattern so I’ll probably do just that.

capes

And here’s another project of my oldest daughter’s, because she loves it when I show off her goodies on my blog. She made matching superhero capes for herself and her two siblings. She tells me the “DS” stands for “DeWees Superhero.” Love it!

 

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The continuing evolution of our playroom and studio

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playroom-w-curtains

This room has appeared on my blog a few times in the almost four years since we moved here. There was the time I made the futon and pillow covers, and the time I painted the sun on the floor (now painted over, due to water damage). We don’t use this basement space as our primary homeschool spot anymore. It has evolved and changed, and I work on it periodically–sometimes because I want to and sometimes because it floods (or did? Supposedly that’s fixed now). This summer I made some more changes to it to continue to meet our studio and play space needs. It’s just a basement room with a low ceiling and a concrete floor; it’s never destined for Better Homes and Gardens or to be the room we spend the most time in, but it is good space. It’s a place to put the bulky things that aren’t in the kids’ rooms or our shared living space. It’s the kids’ art spot, the dress-up spot, the home for games and toys. It’s the only spot in our home with a television. It’s the room where my fabric is stored, and is a cool place in summer and made cozy in winter with a fire in the fireplace. Some day it’s going to get a chair that doesn’t have an arm that falls off occasionally, a bigger and better rug, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve in other ways, but here are some scenes from this creative space right now. This summer I bought new storage furniture so the kids can easily access all the treasures.

craft-area

I set up a desk area dedicated to their crafty needs. Colored paper, art books, clay, melt beads, yarn and assorted other supplies are organized and at the ready. The labels are serving the dual purpose of reminding my little artists to clean up after themselves and helping Worth learn to read.

paint-bottles

I saved coffee syrup bottles, washed them out, and filled them with tempera paints. A color-mixing chart hung over the supply table helps the small artists mix their choice of hues. There is a bin under the table with clean, empty yogurt and applesauce containers we save. The older kids know how to wash the brushes out themselves so they are able to paint independently, without me dragging out supplies or cleaning up their messes. I hope to fill two more bottles with black and white paint, but first I have to drink more vanilla lattes.

easel

This is the easel, a half-turn from the paint-mixing spot. Bright oilcloth protects the floor, the canvas aprons protect the kids, and just out of the scope of the photo is a cord with clips for the kids to hang their masterpieces when they are done.

ribbons

My crafty storage area got a few upgrades too. I’m not very handy with tools but I knew just enough to drill holes in an old scrap board, insert some dowels, apply some paint, and enjoy my much-needed new ribbon organizer. For several years I’ve been buying ribbon every time I see it on sale because I can never find it when I need it. Now I see clearly that the problem was my storage method–not my lack of ribbon!

jars

And I used a Pinterest idea to transform some recycled glass jars into cute, quirky storage with the addition of one tube of little plastic animals and some spray paint. The work table beneath this supply counter is covered with the same apple oilcloth that is under the easel for an easy-clean, cheerful work surface. I sew upstairs in our living room, but this table houses all projects involving glue, paper, glitter, or general happy mess. (It is also housing me at my laptop right now, while my kids play in the room behind me!)