Tag Archives: Gift

Toddler Toys for Sale

New and exciting soft toys in my Etsy store!

First of all, a fun puppet set which is based on the book Cat on the Mat by Brian Wildsmith. My boy loves this set. I made it to him just before his first birthday and he adored it from the beginning. I combine the puppets with the reading of the book, or sing the book’s words to him putting on the puppets one after another as we go. He is fascinated by this and loves to play with the puppets on his own.

The Cat on the Mat Set

Second, these adorable sets, that include each: one felt doll, her beloved teddy, her wardrobe and an easy to carry around case (her bedroom).
The bedroom contains a mirror, a dresser with a pocket where all the cloths can be stored, and a bed, where the doll can get her rest. The case closes easily with a plastic snap, and has handles for easy carrying.
These sets are perfect to bring along to a long car ride, restaurant, or any other place, and will make wonderful entertainment for any child Smile 

Travel Dress Up Doll Sets

The Travel Dress Up Doll Set - Michelle

I also uploaded my first teddy (whom I told you about here) cause why not, really.

 plaid houndstooth teddy

Hold the press!

I got an exclusive pic of our newest family member posing his new quilt  Winking smile

New ♥

It’s Quilting Time!

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For some time now I’ve been harbouring a growing itch to start experimenting with quilting. It’s a form of design and sewing I’ve never tried, and recently got more and more exposed to it, starting with related Pinterest search results, this inspiring blog I stumbled upon, and just random items I started noticing, online and also in real-life.

So, after it was nesting in me for a while, two months ago I got my chance to try and quilt something. I decided I’ll sew a quilted baby blanket for my newest family member soon to be born. Now that he is all born and healthy (Mazal-Tov cute new nephew!), and I’ve given the present, I can finally share the process and the results here.

an Isosceles triangle!

A baby’s blanket was just what I’ve been waiting for, since it is quite small in size and fits a first attempt at quilting. But, because it’s me, of course I had to upgrade at least a tiny bit, and not to settle for the big-square-blocks frame of a normal person. I decided to go with triangles. Lots and lots of small triangles. I scribbled a pattern (basically an Isosceles triangle), while waiting for Idan to come back from the store with a shiny new rotary cutter (my first!). Then I started brutally cutting through a pile of blue and red leftover fabrics I had. It was tiresome, but the rotary cutter was a very good investment that saved me lots of time.

Ironing :(

When all of the cutting was just about done, came the mind-boggling phase of mixing and matching the parts. This took me a while, and also sent me back to the cutting board to better balance the colours some more, after which came the relaxing sewing phase. Eight rows of thirteen triangles each later, I was almost done.

I cut a backing fabric, and an Acrilan middle layer, and started sewing them together to the front, not before ironing the whole patchwork to make it nice and flat. Then came the top stitching, which gave the blanket a real puffy and nice look.

Cutting the back fabric

The whole process went surprisingly smooth. The mix-matching step was harder than I expected, and I wasn’t sure the combination looked remotely fine until it was sewed, and everything suddenly received shape. The one problem I did face was at the top quilting phase, as the sewing machine kept pulling the layers unequally and forced me to nip some parts. From the little I read online I got the impression that this is a common problem in quilting, and I guess purchasing a walking-foot would help, but it is very expensive and I’m not even sure it would do the job. A walking foot for my 215 Bernina would cost almost as much as a whole new (-yet cheaper and smaller, maybe even second hand-) sewing machine.

All in all, this took about a week of evening work (and a small while later, another evening for sewing the binding). It measures about 70 by 100 cm, and contains 106 triangles. And the most important part: it left me wanting to quilt again.

All finished!

Tom and Yoni’s Quiet Books

Book covers, reading “Tom’s Fabric Book” and “Yonatan’s Fabric Book”.

One of my favorite toys when I was a toddler was a soft book sewn in fabric, which had a different ‘mission’ in each page. I remember one page that had a tree with red apples attached by snaps, and I would “pick” them off and place them in a small pocket that looked like a basket. Another page had an outfit with a real belt that I was supposed to buckle and unbuckle. I don’t remember all its pages but I do know they were all focused on different wardrobe challenges (there were also zipper page, buttoning page and so on).

My mother didn’t remember anything about this book, so I started looking for evidence on the internet that I haven’t imagined this. When searching locally – I found nothing. At first I didn’t find anything even when I expanded my search for international results. This was just about when I’ve decided to use my magic sewing skills to make my kid and my nephew their own books. Then I researched some more and found out that these books are usually called ‘Quiet Books’, and this opened up a shiny new world of inspiration for me. Unfortunately for me, I have this thing where I think copying someone else’s work kinda misses the whole point in being creative, and therefore the more variety I see online, the harder I need to wrack my brain later in inventing new ways to go about it, making sure I can full-heartedly call the final product mine. I think the only page I left completely standard is the shoe-lacing page, as I vividly remember myself learning to tie my own shoes with it as a child.

During my research phase on this toy, I found some extraordinarily complicated and detailed creations that really got my creative juices going, but after some more thought on the subject I decided it was best to keep the book as simple as possible. For older kids complication is good, but I figured that for toddlers, it is best to keep the pages clean and avoid distractions, to help them focus on the assignment of each page.

Even so, I find the final pages I made varies widely in their levels. Tom is seventeen months old and his favorite page is the shape-matching page. He also loves the baby koala but cannot yet open the pocket’s zipper himself to get to it, not to mention much more advanced pages like the shoe laces or the horse’s braid that I haven’t even started showing him yet (he does like to pet the horse’s mane).

The materials I’ve used for the books are miscellaneous fabrics for the pages themselves, and jeans for the cover. I layered the covers with acrylic filling for a softer, puffier, pillow-like fill. most of the details inside the books are sewn from colorful felt, in order to simplify the sewing process (no fraying). I also used parts of old clothes which were headed outside, and therefore saved some fidgeting with buttons, button holes, snaps and pockets. Overall it took me about six months to design, pattern, cut and sew the two books, all in between other projects, of course, when Tom is asleep.

 

braiding and snaping

On the left: braiding page. The horse’s tail can be braided and unbraided, and decorated with hair clips from the basket.
On the right: snaps page. Underneath are family pictures.

zipping and clock reading

On the left: zipper page. Mommy koala has a cub in her pouch.
On the right: clock page. Move the clock’s hands around.

buttoning and Velcro-ing

On the left: buttoning page. Take the tooth-brush bunny out of the pocket, bring it to the mirror and brush it’s teeth.
On the right: Velcro page. Match the shapes to their proper place.

tying and hatching

On the left: shoe lacing page. Tie and untie the shoelace.
On the right: hatching page. Help the chick out of it’s egg.

 

Front and back cover

Front and back cover.

A Fennec Fox Named Jeremiah

Jeremiah Fox

When my husband said jokingly, after watching this video, he wanted a fennec fox for his birthday, I laughed, but made a mental note to find him something cute when the time came. In my discreet online search later on, I found some nice stuff, but nothing that felt exactly right.
I knew what I had to do. I sat down and started the work on his fennec stuffed doll. This took some time, and as it was a surprise I couldn’t work on it when Idan was home. From time to time he would jokingly ask if it was true that I was getting him a fennec fox for his birthday, and I would say stuff about laws against raising wild animals in a private residence and so on. On one of these occasions I casually asked Idan how would he name his fox if he had one, and he replied immediately and without hesitation “Jeremiah”.
I created a pattern, loosely based on the teddy pattern I already had, completely changing the ears, nose and tail.
I recently threw out a big bunch of unused fabrics due to lack of space in my house, so when I didn’t find a suitable fabric for the fennec, I really didn’t want to go out and buy what I already threw out. I settled for a bright yellow fabric I had lying around, but gave it a little extra flair by printing on it in black and white fur pattern I made.

The eyes are also custom made, as I wasn’t satisfied with the snap-on ones I got.

For the finishing touch I went to the pet shop and got a small collar, and a cute heart shaped dog tag that I had engraved with “Idan Mazal Tov” on one side, and on the other, “Jeremiah” ♥.

Jeremiah Fox DrinksJeremiah Fox and Crane

Door Signs for All

 

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The first thing I made for my baby, before the delivery, was a cute door sign (I filled in his name later…). I wanted to give something personal to my nephew, and couldn’t resist the temptation to make another gift for my own child, with whom I was seven or eight months pregnant at the time.

 

My son's sign

Door signs are a fun way to give a personal touch to a room or house. they are easy to make and I like the complete freedom to create it as silly or elegant as you like. In this case, I made the signs for 2 baby boys’ rooms, so I wanted to make something cute and fun. My main guideline for colors was to try to avoid the light-blue cliché. I chose a stegosaurus for my son’s sign as it was our in-utero nickname for him.

My cute nephew's sign