Monday, 10 July 2017

Tree in a circle

In the weaving class we made woven trees in branch circles. I made a test one for myself first and it was quite tricky to put the warp thread. I let the kids do it two by two, so one always hold the circle and the middle of the tree, where the trunk ends, and the other put the threads.
Next step is to wrap the trunk and a bit the ground around it. I let some strips hang down as roots. 
But the kids didn't like the roots and made just simple grounds. This is how far we got the first afternoon:
I even started some branches before starting the weaving and feared a bit that all kids want to do the same and would never finish, but no. The same with my weaving, I tried to do it with lots of different colors in spots and not half circles, but the kids weren't inspired to do the same. They had been happy by weaving lines.
During the second afternoon, we all added pearls to our weaving. And finally at the third afternoon, we finished the project. I didn't expect it to last that long. But everybody was happy in the end with his tree. Unfortunately I only have 3 of the four trees on photo:


The last one had used very thin wool for the weaving and it would have taken hours to finish, so I proposed some clouds that are a nice twist also.
During the weaving process I had to fix the warp threads for the kids with tape to the circle, because they always moved.
A nice project and the kids liked it, even when they were getting a bit inpatient in the middle. But this could have been also because of the incredible heat we had.

A bientôt,
Jane 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Paper bags

You remember I made squirt pictures on big papers with some kids from my crafting classes? The week after we made several little project with those papers. We had monster pictures, cards (like I did here), and we made big paper bags:
They are so easy to make. This are not like the bags you get in stores that are folded on the sides with a bend to the inside. They are more like the paper bags you got to put your fruits or vegetables in. But having a flat base, they are standing upright, like the more advanced bags. I always folded the upper edge over to add stability.  

We added also self-made cords as handles. The class with the kids ended in making lots of cords as bracelets.
I thought those bags might be great as gift wrap and at home I transformed some of the papers from my "already-used-gift-wrap" stock and made bags bags bags. The sizes depending the size of the paper.
I had lots of that cute elephant paper. Those bags will be great for new-born presents. I also made some little cards to go with. 
And this one has been used directly for little sons birthday!
I can also imagine to make them with simple plain paper and stamping on them ...

A bientôt,
Jane 

Friday, 16 June 2017

My new handbag

A new handbag has been necessary since a while! Have a look how necessary:
It has been so nice when I made it two years ago (look here), but daily use let his traces.
I loved the green color and have been thinking about using the same fabric again (yes, I still have it. One of my favourites and those are used only for special projects :-) ). But I also loved the orange of the handbag before (here). Oh, always those choices one has to make!
I decided I wanted something really colorful and took out my uni-colored orange and pink fabrics.

Yeah - that's a lot of warm colors! 
The circle is combining the two different sides. Also the quilting is different on the two sides. The quilting gives stability to the bag. Even empty it stays upright.
Because of my back I don't use big handbags. They are always too heavy and hanging only on one side, what causes irregular tensions in the shoulders. So I got used to have only the most necessary in my handback and if I need more I take a backpack.
Have a look, there is everything important in it: Papers of me and the kids and my car, my portable phone, my purse and on the ground (not visible) a painkiller, a tampon and a hairband. It fits also in my keys and a pencil, but that's it. Actually I don't miss anything more.
Very happy with my bag! Only I shortened the shoulder strap, and I am not used to that length jet. Not so convenient any more to carry it diagonally. But no big matter.

A bientôt,
Jane 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A fast little blanket in grey-red-white

In our office-and-kids-play-room we have a little couch. When we have too many guests in the house we can transform it into another bed. With a piece of fabric leftover from the curtains in that room and white moleton I made a simple couverture with a binding from the fabric of the cussions I have also on our living room couch. 

I did a very simple meandering quilting in red on it.

For the quilting I used the longarm machine my husband made for me already several years ago. At that time he saw that I always had trouble with big blankets under my normal sewing machine and he bought a simple machine cut it in the middle and put a 20cm extension in the middle. He managed to assemble everything correctly and it could stitch, but unfortunately the motor was too weak to handle heavy quilt sandwiches. A pity, but I stored the machine in a corner and never actually used it. Until last year I had the idea if my husband couldn't put in a stronger motor and at the same time make the maximum speed adjustable, so my quilting could get more even. It took him nearly a year to finish, but now it's done and this blanket is the first project I quilted on it. 
This machine is not a beauty and I still have some changes in mind, but now it works not bad and I will make some further tests (before demanding more changes :-)

A bientôt,
Jane 

Friday, 9 June 2017

First results of kids crafting courses

The first month with my children crafting courses in the new association is already over. Because of many holydays in May we hadn't classes each week, but still some nice results and fun. 
As it is nearly end of school year most people have already managed their kids programm for the afternoons, so I have only few kids in my classes. But this is great to gather experiences. 

I started one class that calls "initiation to weaving". That is with 3 to 4 kids, depending if my elder son wants to participate or not. We started the first lesson with paper weaving like I did here. I think paper weaving is perfect to understand the principle.
The next project has been a paper cup:

We also started little rugs on cardstock looms. We made the beginning during the session and then the children took the project home to finish the weaving. For the weaving we are not using needles but popsicle sticks, which I smoothed and drilled holes for the wool. Working great!

And right now we are working on trees in branch circles, but I will make an extra post when that project is finished.

The second class is for "different craftings". I have only two students, a girl and a boy, but the two are fun. We made some paper toys. One game to catch a ball on a thread and spinners. 


An other session I let them paint wooden birds for garden decoration and little wooden butterflies that we fixed on wires to put in a flower buquet for mothers day:
 
 
Our last project has been on a very hot day, so I took them in my garden and not in the usual room that is extremely hot in the summer. We first made squird pictures like I did last year with my boys (look here). We painted big papers and next time we will do different craftings with the colorful paper. 

Later we sat down in the shadow and started to work with knitting spools. In that moment I had been glad that there were only two kids with me. It took a while for them to figure out the technic. But now they got it and they took the spool home to work with it, whenever they feel like crafting. In the last lesson before vacation we will form them into a shape like I did here.

For me the time crafting with the kids is a lot of fun and it is very interesting how differently the children are interpreting a project and often I am surprised what comes out when you let them chose their colors and styles themselves. 
I will make some modifications to the times in which we will have our crafting sessions as I better realise now how long they can stay concentrated. And then I hope for some more children in the classes from September on.

A bientôt,
Jane 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Garden party

Last week we had a big garden party with all our friends, our neighbors and my parents (the rest of the family is too far away, but my parents insisted in coming to my birthday - why? 40 is a number like all the others ;-)Fortunately we had great warm and sunny weather!
For decorating the garden I made some new fabric garlands. Normally I do the buntings by sewing together the triangles from the left side, cutting back the seam allowance, turning, ironing, assembling all buntings .... way too much work if you want to make a garland of 15 or more meters. So this time I it's less precise, but will hold anyway for a while I hope. I just surrounded the buntings with the overlock and after I pulled a cord through.
Our garden is on a slope and it's impossible to put a table in it. For our guests we had tables and chairs on our terrace behind the house and on the tarmacked front yard and some benches and camping chairs around the fire-place. But I found a great idea on pinterest that I had to try: I put three wooden pallets for tables on the grass, covered them with white sheets (big fight with some spots later, but okay) and around I arranged all picnic blankets, an old rug and all the cushions available to have a cosy hangout. 
On all tables we had bottles with some flowers from the roadside and the meadows that my mom put together.
When it became night, the picnic area transformed to a children campsite ...
There had been plenty children at the party and kids are not made for hanging around like the adults only chatting-drinking-eating. To get them busy and distract their mind from too much nonsense I prepared a photo-tour. They formed little groups of 3 to 5 kids, took a camera or a smart-phone and had to take photos of 10 motifs that I chose.
When the children returned with their 10 photos, they got a little box full of cap bombs, with which they made nonsense for the rest of the evening :-) But fun!

A bientôt,
Jane 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Floating wood garlands

Lately I went with younger son down to the river and collected little pieces of floating wood and pebbles (those for a later project). In front of our house we are having a balcony under which we like to sit when the sun is too hot for terrasse, balcony or garden. My wooden birds are flying there all the year except for Christmas and wintertime. Early in spring, when I let them out, there had been also giant pin cones, but those are not really summer decoration, so I made some garlands with the floating wood and some other pieces I found in my stack.
The first garland is with red perls and twig balls. 

The next only with twig balls
And the last is very basic with only branches.
My husband says it's looking like pirates decoration. He says it's looking like bones on strings! I replied that I will make a bones garland for him for Halloween :-)
But if the wood are looking like bones, what is this looking like? A hanging man?
 

A bientôt,
Jane