It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Craftiness, Day 3

I now have my storage bags. Another thing I’ve wanted for some time is bibs. I had a set for a while — freebies from Huggies — that I loved, but eventually they were just plain used to death. Since then I’ve found it remarkably difficult to find a set of bibs that do the job as well.

I bought half-a-dozen from IKEA a year or so ago. I checked the website so I could show them to you… and they don’t seem to be selling them any more. Good marketing decision, IKEA! They’re some form of plastic (good! wipe clean and saturation-proof!). They attach with velcro at the neck … weak, insipid velcro that FALLS off, people. Just … falls right open. Doesn’t even require a child to tug at it. Moreover, they’re too big round the neck. Even when the bib stays put, which is not often, the children still stain the necks of their shirts.

Pointless, really. An anti-bib.

Next I tried some of those molded plastic ones with the trough at the bottom. Equally wipe-clean-able, and saturation-proof. The closure at the neck was better (though still not flawless – a child could tug it off, but at least they didn’t FALL off), and they fit properly at the neck. Problem is, those plastic troughs don’t fit in behind a high chair tray. They’d work in a booster seat at the table, but in my high chairs the child ends up squashed at the belly and/or has the top edge of the bib digging into her pudgy little neck.

Boo.

So. Bibs have been a problem for a while. But, hey! I have time — I’m on holiday! I have space — my very own Craft Room!!! AND, I have fabric! Lots of that Value Village denim still left over.

But of course, these are fabric bibs. Fabric doesn’t just wipe clean, and it will saturate. Thus, I’ll need to line them: two layers are better than one. Something with a nap, something absorptive. I thought of towelling, but I didn’t have enough. Once again, I trawl my fabric stash, and… oh, isn’t that so cute?

The kitty-cat lining is flannel. Perfect. Not quite as good as terry-cloth, perhaps, but decently absorptive. Once upon a time, that fabric was a set of sheets. Then they became a duvet cover, and THEN they were curtains. Now they are bibs. Really cute bibs.

I am the queen of fabric recycling.

And, because I won’t be able to wipe them clean, and will probably never be able to use them twice in a row, I’ll need to make enough so that I can have a set in the laundry while I have a set in use. They attach with a press-fastener (aka ‘snaps’). If these prove to be inadequate to the tugs of a toddler, I will attach ribbons for tying.

Oh, they’re just so gosh-darn CUTE! I can hardly wait to see the tots in them!

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September 1, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Craftiness, Day 1

I have been woefully absent this month, I know. I have been taking some time off both work and blogging. But never fear! I have abandoned neither!

My children are growing older, leaving the nest, flying the coop. Early in August, I flew to St. Louis for a few days with my eldest daughter, who will be living there for the next five years. Now, she’s been living on her own for some years, so her move didn’t change the constitution of Mary’s house, but it sure does feel like I have an Adult Child when that child is living in an entirely different country!

My son and middle child has been living with a bunch of college compatriots in a townhouse across town for two years now. Various stepchildren have begun college, and even gotten themselves married.

What does all this growing up and taking flight mean to Mary? It means that, for the first time in DECADES, an empty room in my house. A room that is not required to house one of the hordes of children. A spare room!

But not a guest bedroom, oh no. Guests can fend for themselves. This room? Is MINE.

This room is a craft room.

It is furnished with our old dining room table, and enormous rectangle perfect for sewing machine and work space. (Given that we no longer need to regularly seat ten, we now have a smaller, round table. With a leaf, just in case!) My ironing board sits there. There are shelves in the closet filled with fabric and plastic bins. It’s not done yet — I’m envisioning a warm cream and deep red colour scheme, and lots more sewing-specific storage — but it’s MINE.

I have my very own room, a space just for me, for the first time in… goodness, could it be thirty years?

I think it could.

Good lord.

And in that wonderful (though teeny) space, I have been sitting and CREATING.

Emma asked me to make her a pencil case for school. No sweat!! Because, hey, I have a fabric stash, and now I can actually get at it! Her pencil case is made from leftover fabric from the blind I made for the dining room a couple of years back, and the zipper from a pair of jeans. It’s lined with denim from the same jeans. (Yes, they were pink jeans. No, I never wore them.)

When he saw it, youngest stepson also wanted one. His is a nice, understated blue denim, also from the fabric stash. In fact, the only thing I needed to purchase was the zipper for the second case.

(Update: Youngest stepson has requested that his blog name be “Cloud”.

“Cloud?”
“Yeah, it’s my favourite video game character.”

Okay, then. ‘Cloud’ it is.)

(That pink thing is a bit of fluff from the pink denim, which I noticed only when I uploaded the pictures.)

I’m so pleased. More importantly, so are the kids. Which pleases me. 🙂

August 30, 2010 Posted by | crafts, my kids | , , , , | 7 Comments