Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Building Blocks for the Future

I was flicking through the May 2011 issue of Sew Magazine, when my eye fell upon this article called ‘Easy as ABC’ and showing how to make lovely nursery blocks from fat quarters of bright fabric. I had one of my déjà vu moments. Yes folks, I’d been there and done that some 32 years previously. The pictures are a little grainy but you get the idea. The close-up is taken from a slide and the colour is somewhat faded. I was reminded that this was the Christmas I made many of my children’s toys. It was my son’s first Christmas, which also saw the birth of Blue Bunny. And if you click back to that post you’ll see bunny and blocks side by side. The ones in the magazine used die-cut shapes ironed into position. Back in 1979 I made my own templates and appliqued them in place.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A Makeover for Blue Bunny

I am linking this updated post to Sepia Saturday, where Alan has given us a picture which prompts a rabbit-themed post. Alan himself has posted a photo of his brother, when small, with a toy rabbit. This gave me the idea to link to my ‘other blog’ for a change, as I was able to tell Alan that I recognised the very pattern that his brother’s toy had been made from. The book was ‘Felt Toys’ by Mochrie and Roseman and was re-issued by Dryad press several times. In the sixties I learned to make soft felt toys from that very book and its companions; ‘More Soft Toys’ and 'Rag Bag Toys’. That was really how it all began and I carried on and from there I went on to make toys for my children and now for my grandchildren,

When the children were small I made them each a soft toy rabbit using a pattern from Pamela Peake’s ‘Creative Soft Toy Making’. The rabbits were named Pink Bunny and Blue Bunny; not very original I know, but it suited them perfectly. The above picture is of my son using Pink Bunny as a pillow, with Blue Bunny keeping a watchful eye. The picture below shows Blue Bunny when he was very new, sitting proudly in my son’s Christmas sack, and surrounded by other handmade toys, including the appliqued alphabet blocks. I see this was also the time when I was into patchwork, evidenced by the cushions on the sofa behind. There’s a story attached to Pink Bunny, who was to perish in a devastating house fire only a couple of years ago, but more of that in a later post.

If you look back at If You Knew Susie, you will see both bunnies enjoying a tea party when they had become much loved companions of my children. Blue Bunny was passed back to my son a few years ago and now belongs to my grandson. Pictures sent to me by my son showed that although Blue Bunny was still complete and surviving the rough and tumble of life with three year-old twins, he wasn’t the bunny he once was. Here he is in hospital awaiting a tonsillectomy (my grandson’s not Blue Bunny’s) and being potty-trained by grandaughter.

I could see that poor old Blue Bunny needed re-stuffing, as he could no longer sit unaided, and there were unsightly neck wrinkles behind his head. Where his limbs joined his body there was no stuffing at all; he definitely needed building up. A holiday in the sun was prescribed and he travelled to see us in Lanzarote, bringing his owners with him.       

At last I was able to give him the makeover he deserved. New stuffing added, joints and ears strengthened and a smart new bow -tie to match my grandson’s shirt. He now can sit and stand too! Not bad for a 32 year-old bunny. I wonder if he’ll be around for the great-grandchildren!

If you like old photographs, sepia or otherwise, why not hop over to Sepia Saturday and  burrow into some of the stories you find there.