Thursday, October 6, 2016

Creative Space

This post could also be titled "How Felt Food Saved My Sanity."

It was 9 AM - just 9 AM - on Saturday. And already I couldn't take any more noise. Dassah was being her usual full of energy self, getting ready to go out with Ryan, and Ellie was slightly protesting her morning nap from her bed and I just had to cover my ears. It felt so weird to be so affected, but I so needed quiet! I'd felt the urge for a few weeks, the urge to have some time alone to create, but each weekend had been full. But finally, there was space and quiet. Twenty minutes later, all I could hear was the hum of the sewing machine and the praise music of Chris Tomlin, and I felt at rest. It had been too long since I had time to work on a fun project in the morning hours before my brain felt totally fried. After an hour and a half of such glorious, creative quiet, I was ready to be Mommy again. Sometimes moms just need time off...

This week has been an "off" week for the country of China. As most everyone celebrates the nation's birthday, and a ton of people travel to see family or sites, we've been having a quiet vacation at home. But it's been far from boring! While we've gotten out to a few parks, spent quality time as a family, and had dinners with friends, I've also gotten wonderful creative space.

I always have things I want to make. Always. About 10-projects-in-mind always. Sometimes it's discouraging, because there is so little time with small children to work on projects! But overall I am thankful, because I am definitely never bored! So with Ryan home during the week, he took Hadassah out three different mornings during Ellie's nap, so that I would have glorious time to craft. Getting a project going also gave me motivation to work on it in random other moments, such as while playing a game or watching a show with Ryan. I also gave myself a slight break with cooking and other chores... I figure if we had traveled we'd be eating out anyway, so I "let" myself take the excuse and go out for one meal each day, saving on cooking and cleanup, and thus giving me more creative time! And while the pile to iron has become a mountain and I really don't want to look at our bathroom sink, my brain is happy and all 'a buzz. I've done things that won't be undone in a day - or an hour or a few minutes! ;)

 First I cut up ingredients for a felt pizza. And while Dassah had fun making it a few times, I quickly saw she was a bit more interested in putting little pieces in her mouth. And I could see little pieces going everywhere, or Ellie eating them...

 So I glued and sewed, and now we have four slices of different kinds, so everyone can have their favorite! :)

For the following food, I found free patterns online, and tweaked some for my own preferences. Links to most of the patterns (and more ideas!) can be found here.

 Cookies were the easiest to make and seem to be Dassah's favorite. I can see myself making these for gifts for children of friends, as they're easy and a hit! Dassah seemed to be on a high the first few days to have so many cookies for her to pretend to eat, since we only ever give her one (or even just half!) cookie at a time. :)

 These ice cream cones (pattern here) took a while to make, but it was fun seeing how all of the lines make a cool weave. I have cut out four different flavors of ice cream to make as well, but they'll require a lot of hand sewing, so will happen in moments over the next weeks. ;) But Dassah woke up from her nap before I was done, saw all of my cotton filling and the cones, and started filling them with "ice cream" herself to gives us. ;) A fun idea, though not a lasting one, as I could see cotton going everywhere!

 These donuts also took a while, with all the hand sewn sprinkles. But they're pretty and fun!

 We have a complete breakfast set... The eggs make me smile every time. :)

 And Dassah enjoys making us sandwiches!

 It's amazing how simple felt can really look like food and provide for so much fun imagination!

A set of chocolate cupcakes is just right for playing birthday! I thought about making a cake, but directions seemed pretty complicated. These were time consuming enough since they were almost completely hand sewn, but I did them in moments watching Downton Abbey while Ryan stretched before bed, and now that they're made, they'll provide years of fun! :)

 We set up a restaurant the afternoon I finished it all and Dassah had great fun serving us. :) She's proceeded to even serve guests that come over - I love that these toys are great for imagination and will last!

Once I finish the ice cream scoops, I plan to make a menu for Dassah to give us, complete with pictures of what she can make. Playing with this food will hopefully provide many hours of happy play for her and Ellie and children to come (should the Lord so bless!).

 And then there were skirts to make!! Cute and pink and polka dots and ruffles, I mean, what could be better?

 An adorable little girl laughing as she walks to you, that's what! :)

 Oh how I love our not-so-little baby Ellie! She is taller and rounder than Dassah was at her age, so I didn't have enough skirts that fit her well in the size she needed. Sounds like a good excuse to make cute skirts to me! ;) I patterned it after a skirt I liked of Dassah's, and used materials I already had on hand. I think little skirts may be my new favorite thing!

Especially ones like these - so easy! I took a shirt of mine I'd retired due to the neckline being annoying, and cut off the bottom - instant fabric with a hem already in place and a great width for a baby skirt! I angled it slightly, sewed the edges, added trim (bought cheap on Taobao!) and elastic at the waist. So easy and so cute!

 Especially when I hadn't even remembered that Ellie already had the perfect outfit to match for a happy fall outfit!

Ryan goes back to work tomorrow - he's working on Friday, which is technically still a holiday, so that he can take off on Sunday (because, yes, both weekend days are work days now to "make up" for the holiday!). My goal was to finish these skirts and, thanks to him taking Dassah on another Father-daughter date, I did it! I've decided sister skirts are likely to be worn more than sister dresses, since nice dresses tend to be mostly just worn for church. I accidentally cut things wrong, so ended up having to piece together the bottom of Ellie's skirt. But nothing an extra row of trim couldn't fix!

I think they like them. :) So far Dassah is always excited to match! When she put hers on this morning and I told her Ellie was wearing a matching one, she ran out to her, gave her a hug and said, "We are sisters, so we love to snuggle!"

Making some of the things I've been wanting to make for months also cleared creative space in my brain to plan more of the girls' birthday party. As in my-brain-won't-turn-off so it kept me up 'til 1 AM one night, but I got the details planned of the human "candyland" game we'll do at the party, with fun crafts along the way. Paid for it with a headache the next day, but it feels good to have a head start. Hard to believe we'll be celebrating them turning 1 and 3 at the end of this month!


  1. Cuteness overload! =) What a great gift idea for the little people in my life. Fun to see some of your many creative projects - thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow! I love those projects! You are a great sewer!