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Monday, 26 March 2012

Monday in the making

Over the weekend, I managed to finish 'Leah' (her body at least). Once again, I have given her modesty as she is clad in a clean (but scrunched??) hankie...

I am busy making her clothes. I am making a similar sundress to 'Nicky's'. I have found a bold purple and pink pattern on a white background material which I am going to use as the body of the dress. I will have a pink band down the bottom of the dress and her straps are also going to be pink. I am also making a 'clip' to have in her black, short hair.

 I can't wait to show the finished product...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Weekend Wonders - Sewing and sowing

Weekends seem to go very quickly...

 This one was much more quieter than last weekend. I have completed another doll (her body at least) and I will introduce 'Leah' to you tomorrow. Doll making is quickly becoming a favourite craft of mine and I have a special little dress and hair do in mind for Leah. I love how I can make each doll different.

A couple of our garden helpers

I also enjoyed spending time out in the garden. It was cloudy and cool, which made it perfect weather to get into the garden beds and dig! Cooler weather also means the end of Summer vegetables and the beginning of cool weather vegies. Today I sowed broccoli, spinach, kale, pak choy and carrot seeds. I love eating vegetables seasonally. It ensures that the vegies are fresh and full of flavour and vitamins. We have just gone through the tomato,corn and zucchini season and I am now looking forward to these green vegies (besides the carrots). We will also leave some space for peas in the garden.

 The last of our carrots out of the garden bed

Whatever you did this weekend, I hope that you had a lovely one!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Friday thoughts - Splish, splash

Swimming is not one of my favourite sports...sure I enjoy getting into water and having a bit of a splash, I am not a particularly strong swimmer. Plus, it needs to be really hot weather for me to get into water and although swimming is suggested as an ideal sport for asthmatics, I find swimming (in pools) seems to make me wheezy. However, despite my avoidance of water sports, I do see the benefits of teaching children to swim and I am very thankful that my parents took me to swimming lessons.

This week I have had my dose of chlorine as I have supervised children at their swimming lessons. It has been wonderful that all of the children have looked forward to their lesson everyday. However, once they are in the water, it has been interesting to see their reactions. Some children are very confident in the water, perfecting their strokes, ducking underneath the water and up again with ease and enjoyment. Others, are more tentative. They are confident when they can touch the bottom or if their heads are above the water, but as soon as they are out of their depth, they are apprehensive and want to cling to the instructor.

Living in Australia where water activities are common, I do see the importance in equipping children with skills to survive if they ever get into trouble in the water. Not only do children gain in confidence and enjoy time in the water with swimming lessons, they could be life saving at some stage in their lives. Check out lessons from your local pool or swimming association. Laurie Laurence developed a program called 'Kids Alive - Do the Five!' to try and prevent accidental drowning deaths of children. The link to this website is http://www.kidsalive.com.au/index.php

Whatever you do this weekend, have a happy and safe one!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday in the making

I have finished...

It has been wonderful to design and make 'Nicky'.

Her body is made out of felt, all handstitched, including her facial features. She wears a stripey sun dress (that is stitched in place) that is embellished with blue ric-rac and white lace down the bottom edge and also a bright, green crocheted flower. Her dress is machine stitched, however, all embellishments are handsewn in place. Underneath her dress, is lacy underwear, all handsewn on. Her pigtail holders are ribbons that are handstitched in place.

I will definitely be making more dolls! Nicky was a lot of fun to make, although I will ensure that all dolls will be a different in some way. Mostly handsewn, but all with lots of love and care. I might even try my hand at a 'boy' doll.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Weekend Wonders - Country, cakes and craft

What a lovely weekend...

We visited a Field Day event in our area over the weekend. I am always fascinated how this little, country town, puts on this huge event and I must say, they do it very well. I love attending the Field Days as it is my little dose of country. I love looking at the farm machinery and watch the sheep dog trials. Then, there are heaps of stalls to look at varying from plants, crafts, stain removers to tools. Something for everyone.

It was also St Patrick's Day on Saturday and our Bible study group celebrated it by having an Irish inspired night, complete with green food, baked potatoes and Baileys and Guinness flavoured cupcakes. A very busy, but enjoyable Saturday.

Today, though, has been much slower in pace. I was very determined to finish 'Nicky' (the doll that I have been working on) this weekend and I managed to achieve that goal this afternoon. I have thoroughly enjoyed making her and I can't wait to make more. I think this is so because, for me, doll making involves a number of crafts in one. Firstly, designing and making the 'body' of the doll. Secondly designing and making a little dress to fit the doll and finally adding all the 'prettiness' - the embellishments (in my case ric-rac and a crocheted flower). I will post photos of finished 'Nicky' tomorrow, for 'Monday in the making'.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Friday thoughts - A growing idea!

Growth is amazing! It is amazing how a seed, in the right conditions, can turn into a plant, which in turn provides flowers and fruit/vegetables. The family of Tupsy Turvy enjoy home grown fruits and vegetables. It is very rewarding when after time and effort spent in the garden, a crop of delicious, organic, healthy, freshly picked produce occurs. Of course, it doesn't happen overnight, but rather, plant growth is slow and purposeful, taking weeks or months.

The children that I have been working with this week have enjoyed how plant growth occurs. They looked at the difference between dried beans and soaked beans. They opened up these soaked bean seeds to find out what is inside. They thought about how a pea seed turns into a plant and then planted some seeds to find out what happens, in clear cups so that they can clearly see. They also placed seeds in different places, in different conditions to see which seeds grow the best. A helper came into the class to make 'seed heads', which the children thoroughly enjoyed. So much planting and growth!

Children are fascinated by seeds and how they turn into plants. Cress, alfalfa and mustard sprout seeds grow very quickly and can be placed on a plastic plate on cotton wool, sprayed with water, to germinate.

 'Seed heads' are also a fun, growing activity:
In a 'toe' of a stocking, sprinkle lawn seeds. Add some potting mix and tie a knot. Cut the stocking below the knot, leaving around 10cms of stocking. Stand the 'head' in a cup, knot side down. Eyes, nose and mouth can be glued on the 'head'. Spray regularly with water and after a few days, grassy 'hair' should appear.

Have a lovely weekend and happy sprouting!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - New editions

New fish in the fish tank! Sorry that the image is a little blurry, but fish don't seem to pose well for a camera!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Monday in the making

As it was a holiday weekend where we are, I had a little more time to spend on my latest project. Meet Nicky...

Today, I finished her body (I thought I would give her some modesty and photograph her with a clean hankerchief over her). Her body and features are all hand-stitched. Nicky has a sun-dress, hair ties and pants awaiting her (they will be machine sewn). I hope to get them finished soon...

I have had SO much fun designing and making her. She is definitely going to have some siblings, perhaps even a brother, each different in their own way.

Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Weekend wonders - The lure of handmade

What a blissful weekend! It is a holiday weekend where I live and I have enjoyed a little bit of extra time.

Mr T and I met up with family in Port Fairy yesterday as there was a festival happening there and we decided to go for a bit of a look. There were HEAPS of people there. There were also market stalls throughout the town. I must admit that I was a little disappointed that there were not a lot of handmade product stalls, rather there were more commercial/import items. However it was promoted as a festival rather than a market. It was still a wonderful day - beautiful sunshine and catching up with wonderful family members.

I also visited a market in my own hometown today, that is held every month. Despite the cold start to the day, there were still quite a few people around. There were some new stalls today and I ended up buying quite a few handmade goodies today.

 One of the items that I bought at the market. I can't acknowledge who made it as I wasn't given any information when I purchased it. I apologise that I can't acknowledge it's creator.

I couldn't help but see the contrast between the different stalls at the two different places I visited. I loved spending time looking at all the handmade goodies, amazed at the care in the crafting of the item. They were all unique. At the festival, I saw many stalls that had very similar items, however at the market, there was a lot of variety. Yes, there were stalls that had essentially the same item (eg. hairclips), but the variety was amazing. Some had fabric flowers, some had crocheted flowers, some had buttons, etc. I think because of the uniqueness of handmade items, people value them as gifts and the items that I purchased today will indeed become very special gifts.

I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Friday thoughts - That sinking feeling

Water is fascinating...

There is so much people do with water - swim, drink, bathe, wash, freeze, boil, mix...the list goes on. Without water, life simply does not exist as every living thing relies on this precious resource.

I have spent part of this week playing with water. The children that I work with (and myself) have been discovering what items can float and what can sink. The children made predictions whether items would float or sink and then tested them out. They had so much fun performing this simple experiment! We then used this knowledge to work out why a heavy, metal boat can float. Out came the toy boats and we analysed the shape. We then became boat builders and constructed boats for ourselves out of aluminium foil. What was really exciting was the way that the children brought in their own aluminium foil boats that they built at home because they were so motivated by the notion of floating, sinking and boat building.

Floating and sinking experiments can easily be performed at home to help children discover this scientific concept and the properties of items. A bath or large plastic container filled with water can be the 'sea'. Household items can be used as testing items. These could include a ball, marble, pebble, cotton wool, feather, sponge, cork, apple...to name a few. Look at bath toys that float, especially toy boats and think about what makes them float. Aluminium foil is a great product to use to make little boats as it is easy for little hands to crunch, shape and fold into a 'boat' like shape. A test could be performed to see how much a foil boat can hold by placing marbles in the boat one at a time until it sinks.

Learning can occur through play and can be fun!

Have a wonderful weekend!

(P.S - Adult supervision is a MUST when children are playing with water!)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Piece by piece

I had a lovely time designing, cutting out pattern pieces, cutting out felt, now starting to stitch together...

Monday, 5 March 2012

Monday in the making

After making a wall hanging and a cushion, I craved making something cuddly over the weekend. The result is another set of 'Jellybean Buddies'.

This sweet, little set comprises of two 'Jellybean Buddies', one being a 'parent' and the other being a 'child' (which is smaller in size). They are cute, little, cuddly toys that have been totally handsewn with care using polar fleece/fleece, stitched with felt embellishments. This set is available in my store and are looking for some cuddles. Please email me if there are any questions (tupsyturvydesigns@gmail.com).

I've got some new projects in the pipeline. I can't wait to share them with you later on!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Weekend Wonders - Inspirational and crafty

What a contrast in weather! Last weekend it was sweltering hot and this weekend has been much cooler with some showers of rain. I know that there are areas of Australia that are in flood, whereas where we are, it would be nice to have a heavy shower of rain to top up our water tanks.

I was able to spend some time today to sit down and do some craft. I made a Jellybean Buddy set (I will show photos tomorrow) and I have worked out the final details of cushion #1 of my train series. I can't wait to start to cut out the felt and make some progress on that project! That will be this week's project.

It is funny what inspires designs. Mr T had the 'V8 Supercar Clipsal 500' race on the TV over the weekend. I don't usually spend a lot of time watching TV these days, but it was on when we sat down briefly for a bite to eat. As I watched, another design for a cushion popped into my head...another one for the boys! I will draw a quick sketch, but I think it might need to be put away for a little while, at least until I have finished my train cushion series.

Whatever you were up to this weekend, I hope that it was restful and enjoyable!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday thoughts - Patterns, kids and the world around us

Mmmm fabric...

I love it! I obviously use lots of solid coloured fabric to make up various designs and products. I also use fabric that have patterns that catch my eye. Often the main colours in a chosen fabric become my colour scheme.

Patterns are everywhere and are the basis of art, numeracy and you could even argue literacy, with rhyme in poems. Grasping the concept of simple patterns enables the understanding of more complex patterns and concepts.

 Lisette Printed Cotton Poplin, featured on Spotlights' blog - The Warped and the Weft

I have been working on patterning with the children that I work with this week. We began by looking at patterns on sea creatures (amazing coloured fish) and what was happening to the colours ('taking turns'). The children were presented with a vast array of simple materials (counters, pegs, popsticks, etc) to create their own patterns. Often we would stop and have a look at the patterns that we all made, learning from others. We incorporated art into our patterns by sponge printing patterns.We focused on colour patterns and shape patterns. We made some more complex patterns (eg. pink, pink, pink, blue, pink, pink, pink, blue). Simple patterns could also lead into number patterns - counting by two, counting by five, counting by 10, etc).

Creating opportunities for teaching the concept of patterning to children is quite easy. Highlight and point out patterns in the environment - around the house, in books (pictures of animals that have patterned fur, etc). Use objects around the house to create patterns - use buttons, straws, paper, lollies/vegetable pieces, cutlery, toys, lego...the list is endless. Start with simple patterns ('turn taking') and build up to more complex patterns. Incorporate patterning into play - Play 'guess my pattern' games or 'copy my pattern' or 'continue my pattern' games. For more older children, print out a number grid (1-100) and use it to highlight number patterns - colour in every second number or every third number - what numbers are highlighted. We use patterning in so many ways, often without knowing.

Have a wonderful weekend!