Owl HQ has been in a bit of a creative frenzy for the last month or so. Nothing unusual there. We’re always busy making stuff. What has been unusual is that most, if not all, of my making has been focussed internally, on the kids.
It’s a nice change from being in a constant state of focussing outwards, making stuff to send to other people or sell in the shop or at shows. (The mini-Stitch Up was great, by the way. A really lovely day. But that’s by the by.)
The shop’s still open and I still have a pile of stuff I wanted to make for Christmas but it’s so nice to not have a deadline, self-imposed or otherwise.
So here’s a bit of a round up of Stuff What I’ve Been Making with and for the kids.
Orlaith’s has started on the inevitable and endless round of Doing World War 2 at school. They were focusing on children’s experiences as evacuees. They were asked to make something to bring in for a presentation, something that would show an area they had been interested in during their learning at school.
Orlaith’s a keen fan of history – she owns and has read pretty much all the Horrible Histories books and she’s a sponge for random facts. Much like me when I was that age, sans the HH books.
Anyway, she wanted to make a house. We had a handy carboard box, some fabric and a glue gun. Why the heck not?
I did all the heavy lifting – that glue gun gets blinking hot- but she chose and justified all the fittings and trimmings. The fabric is meant to be wall paper and it’s all a bit mismatched because she decided it would be hard to get nice carpet or matching wallpaper in the middle of the Blitz.
Everything in the house is made from fabric and cardboard. I think it turned out really well, if a bit ramshackle as it was my first time making something like this.
I added an outside loo and a vegetable garden made from matchsticks and scraps of green wool but unfortunately Elias happened to it before I could get a photo. So you’ll just have to believe me when I say that that tiny cardboard thunderbox was probably the best thing I have ever made.
Next up some knitting. The girls were in dire need of woolly hats so I made them a couple of little beret type thingies.
All made from leftover sock wool. Esme is particularly pleased with hers as it’s the leftovers from making her beloved Reception teacher a pair of thank you gloves.
It’s surprisingly difficult to get photos of my children standing still. I like these ones as I think they give a fairly good indication of how their relationship works most of the time. Also, Orlaith is corpsing hilariously in at least one of these. She was trying so hard to look serious and gloomy and Esme kept photobombing her and doing crazy faces until she just couldn’t help cracking.
Each hat took a couple of evening’s knitting and there was no pattern as such. I found some basic instructions for a recipe: http://throughtheloops.typepad.com/through_the_loops/2008/01/beret-recipe.html and just knitted till they were big enough.
Very easy and a nice way to use up scraps. Elias has asked for a Norange one. But as he thinks every colour is orange so I’m not entirely sure which wool to go for.
The piece de resistance this month though has to be the girls’ Spooky Disco outfits.
I am incredibly proud of these.
Orlaith, never one to go for the easy option when someone else is doing the hard work, begged me to make her a werewolf suit.
I, being both foolish and fond, agreed I would try to make it happen, as I do every year.
(Making Halloween costumes is a little like childbirth: the end results are so great that you forget all the screaming, tears, pain and horror of the process and blithely agree to go through it again.)
So we searched the internets together and found a tutorial that she was happy with. No simple hoody with hotglued on fangs for this girl. She had a Vision and that Vision involved me spending hours putting together an elaborate wolfsuit that would fool and terrify all her friends and teachers.
In the end, despite my attempts to downgrade the complication factors, she picked this one: http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2012/10/halloween-costumes-2012-the-wolf-from-little-red-riding-hood.html
The tutorial is nice and clear. The photos help and there is enough information about the process she went through in making it to help clarify any thing you may be worrying about if you’ve never attempted a project of this kind.
Not so much Howling Wolf as Obsessively Reading Wolf. Nice plump cushiony tail for perching on while sat in a library.
And the process was actually simple enough that last week I made a second one in about three hours. Esme was so struck by her sister’s wolfish good looks that she decided that this was the year she would abandon her standard princess hybrid costume and wolf out.
(She normally goes as a Vampire princess or a Witch princess etc. )
And here they are on Sp0ooky Disco evening, complete with a tiny cross dressed Red Riding Hood.
You may note Elias’ fetching head gear. He split his forehead open on Bonfire Night so we spent the evening sitting in A&E waiting to get him superglued back together. It’s still healing.
Note also Esme’s Attitude Pose in this photo. The amount of howling and fighting it took to get these two to put their costumes on for a photo made me question the worthlessness of my own existence for a while there.
But it’s okay. The pain has already been largely forgotten and I’m already planning for next year.