Treasure baskets

Now that my little girl can sit up really well unaided and is interacting more with her toys, I decided to try out some different baby sensory games with her. This week it has been all about the treasure basket

Treasure baskets are simply baskets (or boxes or any other small holding device) filled with different baby-friendly objects for babies to explore. Ideally the objects should be a range of textures, materials and shapes to stimulate their senses, and things you can just find around the house. I like mine to have a different theme and I find a book to follow along with the theme, so we can read it afterwards as a ‘plenary’ (I’m a teacher, I can’t help it!). 

Here are a few examples of my treasure baskets:

Animals… in this basket I put a small fabric book, a butterfly teething toy, a wooden dinosaur, two finger puppets and a Peter Rabbit rattle/soft toy. 

Musical instruments… this had a few rattles, bells and shakers to make a lot of noise. 

It’s been fascinating to sit back and watch my baby explore these treasure baskets and take each item (including the basket!) to find out more. 

Here’s a sneak peek of tomorrow’s treasure basket with its dinosaur theme. 

Link here: http://pin.it/h_sCGvr 

50 post-iversary!

When I started my blog back in August 2015 my main aim was to keep it up and for it not to just be an idea that I then forgot and left behind. I’ve followed a fair few people (on Instagram mainly) who made grand announcements about their brand-spanking-new blogs for all their words, thoughts and noteworthy deeds, only for them to disappear after only one or two posts. I didn’t want to be like them. I think it helps that I kept my expectations of my blog low; I wanted it to be more of a diary for me to log all of the Pinterest projects that I tried out, rather than a place for me to gather all the followers I possibly could and become some kind of professional blogger! 

My trusty notebook, where I draft all my blog posts. One page per post, that’s my rule to keep the posts short and sweet!

And today I published my 50th post, which makes me really rather proud. That’s 50 posts in 18 months, with at least one post every month (except for a few when I had a newborn baby, which is a good excuse for a blog break) and I’ve gained 45 followers and one Liebster award along the way… pretty good going, I think! 

Jewellery pegboard

Whilst I have some nice jewellery boxes, they’re stuck beneath baby paraphernalia on my bedside table and so get forgotten. I came up with the idea of using some pegboard to create a hanging space for some of my jewellery (and to actually wear it!) after seeing on Facebook someone’s board that they use for their craft supplies. I looked first on Etsy and Not On The High Street for boards to buy, but for at least £30 each I felt I couldn’t justify the cost. Then I turned to Pinterest for ideas to make my own and got lots of inspiration. 

The end result

I bought a piece of pegboard, some dowels and pegboard hooks from Amazon – this all could be bought from a DIY store but with a baby on the scene I found using a seller on Amazon to be far more convenient. 

I used some leftover paint from painting my mirror frame and wicker basket (see links for old posts) and gave the board two coats of paint, as well as painting a few pieces of dowel. It was very quick, only taking about 30 minutes in total. I then rummaged around in my sewing basket for some ribbon to use to hang the board, and found some nice gold stuff that had probably been salvaged from an old box of chocolates! 

Yes, that is a baby changing mat underneath!

I love the end result and it fits in well with the mirror and basket in the corner of my bedroom. 

And the wicker basket is just underneath!

Link here: http://pin.it/RNACchY

Crochet baby booties

I am still on my quest to find quick and easy crochet projects, and at roughly one hour per bootie, this counts as one of those. For once this is a blog post for a video tutorial which isn’t by Bella Coco; I decided to try someone new out. The video was fine, though the woman on it has a rather insipid voice and repeats herself frequently, so I’ll probably stick with the old faithful, BC, in future! 

This is a quick and easy project (providing I can knock the hour for one bootie down to an hour for the pair) and the pattern is simple to follow; most stitches are half-trebles or doubles. The tutorial does use US terminology which took a bit of getting used to, and I did make a few errors when it referred to US single crochet stitches which are actually UK doubles. 

The pattern creates a neat bootie which has some attractive stitches up close. My first attempt turned out really well and I am pleased with the result. I’ve even ordered more of the chunky yarn I used to get started on some more pairs in different colours. First I need to work out how to alter the pattern to make bigger booties, as these fit my little girl perfectly and so won’t last very long! 

Link here: http://pin.it/gZLM3_s

Crochet tea cosy

I have a plain, white tea pot that I never use, so I thought a colourful tea cosy for it might encourage me to use it more. I also wanted to see how long it would take to make as I’m looking for quick crochet projects to work on and potentially sell much later down the line. 

The pattern for the tea cosy is incredibly easy to follow – it is mostly just the puff cluster stitch, until the end where you do a round of double crochet. Once you reach the sections for the spout and handle gaps, there is a lot of cutting the yarn and beginning again, which means a lot of ends to sew in at the end. However this also means it is easy to switch colours and have a striped cosy. I chose these colours simply because I had a lot of yellow and a little blue, but next time I’ll try out a multicoloured one and use up lots of scraps of yarn.

Cute button detail
The pompon is a bit rubbish as I made it quickly and without a pompom maker; I think a super-fluffy, multicoloured one would be perfect for a stripy tea cosy.

Rubbish pompom đŸ˜‹
Link here: http://pin.it/uJMM22w

Crochet tulip stitch headband 

I’ve had a tutorial for the tulip stitch blanket pinned for some time, but never got round to trying it out; then a suggestion popped up on my Pinterest feed for a child’s headband using the tulip stitch which prompted me to give it a go. 

My little model đŸ’•

I used the Bella Coco (who else?!) video tutorial for the blanket, rather than the written instructions for the headband, as I still can’t read them very well and I find the videos so much easier to follow. The tulip stitch is made up of double crochet, the v-stitch and the puff stitch, and it’s fairly easy once you get the hang of it. I simply did one ‘row’ of tulips measured to the size of my daughter’s head. 

Whilst it was quite simple, my first attempt is not very neat. It didn’t help that I used different thicknesses of yarn for the edges and the flowers, whoops! The ends didn’t match up neatly either, so I came up with a somewhat creative (i.e. lazy) alternative to sewing the ends together – I gathered all the ends of yarn and tied them in a knot. Not the best solution, but it works. I’ll try and be neater next time… when I have three yarns of equal weight! I’ll update when I’ve had the chance to have another go. 

Headband link here: http://pin.it/R3gUzVH

Video tutorial link here: http://pin.it/4kR0t9L

Crochet baby elf hat

A new crochet tutorial from Bella Coco (yes, her again, but her tutorials are excellent!) came up on my Pinterest feed and it looked too cute not to try out – a crochet elf hat for babies, just in time for Christmas.

The pattern starts off a bit complicated for a crochet novice like me and I had to undo the stitches and begin again a few times. You start with the headband which is a line of stitches which you join together, and then the rest works in rounds of treble crochet.

Once the initial headband is completed, the rest of the hat progresses quickly and easily. The tutorial is to make a hat for a 6-9 month old,  but I was making one for my newborn, so I adjusted the number of stitches to what I thought would work and estimated its size. It doesn’t look too messy though. 

The tutorial includes a pompom on the end, but I couldn’t find my pompom maker, so I just gathered in the end of the hat to make a point. It fits my baby perfectly and was quick to make during her nap times; I’m delighted with it overall and so is Elise! Link here: http://pin.it/5uIMgKh