Carnival Costumes

As the new year begins I have to start thinking about the kids’ carnival costumes. This has been like this ever since our oldest son started kindergarten which was three four carnivals ago (was it really four years ago? I can’t believe how time flies!). Some of you might remember his first costume: the frog. He had a stuffed frog back then (he still has it but the dragon took its first place about a year ago…); he started in the Frog Group in the kindergarten and in general, he was crazy about frogs. It was an easy choice for the costume.

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Then came the “firefighter phase” which still comes back from time to time. It was again quiet obvious what costume I had to make that year.

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Last year was the year of the knight costume. What I love about creating his costumes that he still plays with them (at least with those that still fit). He enjoys dressing up very much and he has a wonderful imagination.

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This year was a bit difficult in terms of decision making. Our oldest is caught up in the Star Wars world thanks to the other kids from his kindergarten group (and his father). He has not seen the movie(s) and if it’s up to me he will not watch it for a couple of more years. We are very strict about television watching: our kids are allowed to watch only ten minutes a day and 30 minutes if they are ill and have to stay at home. Anyway my son wanted to be Darth Vader but we said no. I offered him an astronaut costume as a compromise and he gladly accepted it.

Then I only had to create it. To be honest I wasn’t very thrilled about the idea to spend so much time with a costume and I checked out a couple of stores in the city center but once again I faced the same problem: all the costumes are made from polyester which my son is sensitive to. Not to even mention that in his size a full costume would have cost about 38-40 Euros…

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Finally I faced my newest challenge and started working. First I made the helm using a balloon as a base, old news paper and wall paper glue. It took five layers to make it sturdy enough. Then I cut the hole for the face and painted it.

Next I sewed the pants and finally the top. But I started with a store bought T-Shirt: I cut it up in the middle and added some velcro and a belt to the sides. I put a Hungarian flag on one sleeve and a very high collar (also with velcro). My son wanted to have white booths as well but instead I gave him my white socks and he loved them because then he was allowed to be in socks in the kindergarten for a whole day!

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One day before carnival a decision was made: let’s have rockets too! I wanted to just duct tape two bottles together and attach it to some strings but we ran out of tape. Of course something like this happens at the last minute. I had to came up with an other solution because he was standing beside me and waiting for his rockets to put on. You can imagine how excited he was the night before carnival! I couldn’t let him down! So I went through my stash and found a piece of fabric from last years knight costume: I taped the bottles with regular tape together, added shoulder straps from an old belt, then I covered the whole thing with that fabric and hand stitched it. The flames were made from paper- that was the easy part.

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My oldest son is very happy with his costume although the helmet will give up soon. But at least I made the costume itself one size bigger hoping that he can play dress up for a few more months.

But the story does not end here because our little one joined kindergarten this school year as well and he needed a costume too! Luckily it was also an easy choice because he goes to the mice group and he is crazy about them. So my Husband decided and I made the Mickey Mouse costume!

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For that I used an existing pair of black leggings. I bought a black and a red T-Shirt and used their fabric to make a smaller T-Shirt (because it is impossible to find a plane black T-Shirt in this small size!) and for the red shorts. I sewed two felt ears onto a cheap black hat and a felt tail onto the shorts. This costume was done quiet quickly and again, our little one loves it! Although he is just two years old and can only say “Micka Mouse” he got the idea and was very happy to wear the costume!

And for me it was a whole lot easier then his dragon costume last year! Do you remember it?

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Fortunately I had no time to sew a costume for myself and I came up with a better idea. I asked a friend if she could lend me her saree because she is from India and has many wonderful sarees. She was very kind and gave me this amazing dress:

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She also brought the matching accessories with her and gave me instructions how to put on this red beauty. It has been a dream for me for years to try on an original Indian saree and last week this dream has come true. Unfortunately the kids got sick (again) and we couldn’t make it to the party where we were invited to but I decided to have fun anyway so we put on our costumes with the kids and had a party at home.
What was your favorite carnival/Halloween costume so far? Mine definitely is this one. I might have to borrow it next year again!

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Firetruck Themed Birthdayparty

As I promised last week I’m  back with more details on our son’s firetruck themed birthday party. His birthday celebration went on almost one week long because it was celebrated once in the kindergarten, once in our Hungarian play group and finally once at home where he invited his kindergarten friends. Let me tell you that this was the very first time our child had his own party because previously we either celebrated with relatives or we just took him to the zoo.
I heard from a friend that she lets her kid invite as many friends as how old her kid turns to. For example my son turned five, so we let him invite five friends, although he ended up only with four. If he wants to invite less friends, then it is even better for us, parents! But in general I find this rule  great!
I found a couple of nice looking invitations online and I let our son choose the one he liked. This is what we ended up with:

wp_20160828_22_27_44_proI made them myself, it took me a couple of evenings, even though I needed only four pieces. But this is something one can do while watching tv, so I didn’t mind.

tuzoltos-001I also made four party favors bag: sewed the bags from a simple beige cotton fabric and added a firetruck and the kids’ name with a fabric marker. I thought with the names on it they would be special for the kids.

dsc_3899I also painted a card board for a photo booth and most of the kids loved it (not everybody but it was fine by me). I used acrylic paint and an old box for this project. It took me about 3-4 hours to complete it but it was worth it. Even a few parent wanted to have a picture just for fun!

Here is one more picture of the photo stand in action:

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dsc_4082When the kids were arriving to the party, I sat them down to color firetruck related coloring pages. They had so much fun doing this, that they actually colored for a half an hour! Then we made our own exhibition of their pictures!

tuzoltosI cut out a few flames and taped them by the doors for decoration.

dsc_3931I even prepared a couple of games for the boys, so the party wouldn’t get too crazy and they ‘d have things to do. One of the games was target shooting with water guns in the bathroom. Once again, the flames were cut out of paper, three of them were glued together then hot glued onto a cup. I put a baby bathtub upside down in the big bathtub and built the “fire tower” on top of that. Then I closed the bathroom with “safety zone bands” (or whatever they are called), put a bowl of water and a couple of water guns by the door and the game was set up.

dsc_4049They absolutely loved this game! Each of the kids could shoot the flames once (then we rebuilt the flame-tower) and at the end all of them at once! Unfortunately our bathroom is very small, so I wasn’t able to take good picture of the kids while playing. But believe me, this game was a huge success!

dsc_4087The other big hit was the fire hose/helmet cake. Once again I let our son choose his favorite cake design from a couple of options and then a talented friend of ours made the cake for us. I think she did a great job, don’t you agree?
Although the preparation for this party took a lot of effort and time, I really enjoyed the process and I would definitely do it again. Probably I will have to do that anyway since the kids are still little and they have many birthdays to come.

Firetruck Birthday T-Shirt

My son turned five this week and as you already know by now he is crazy about fireman and firetrucks and all that. On Sunday a local church organized a big party outdoors and they even got a firetruck for the kids (and everybody else) to check out, so we absolutely had to visit them. My son enjoyed this visit so much! He had questions and he learned a lot. Actually we did, too! The firemen were really nice and at the end of the day they even let a couple of kids try out one of the hose’ of the firetruck. And of course my son was one of the kids who had the chance! It was really cool!
This is how we started the one week long birthday celebration.

Some of you might remember that in the past years I made a few birthday T-Shirt for kids. If not, here are a couple of pictures as reminders for you:
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Well, this year I wanted to carry on this tradition and I had to make one with a firetruck. But this time instead of using applique I wanted to try out fabric paint. I printed out a firetruck and cut it out as a stencil. I used little pieces of tape, rolled each piece up and used it to fix my stencil onto the fabric.

DSC_3977Then I pulled out my fabric paint and realized that I only had pink paint instead of red. Well, I thought that this firetruck can not be pink, no way! What else can I do then? Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I bought textil/fabric markers, so I used those instead. Not ideal, I know, but it was a good alternative.

DSC_3980At least it was easy to use and there was no mess to clean up afterwards.

Polok-001After I finished it up, I had to iron it and then the project was done. To be honest I haven’t washed the T-Shirt yet but after ironing the ink shouldn’t fade, so I’m crossing my fingers.
My son really like the T-Shirt and he will be using it a lot, I think!
dsc_3909I liked that this project was very easy, even kids could do it and decorate their T-shirts or tote bags or whatever they’d like. No mess and it could be done in 15 minutes.
More firetruck related posts are coming next week! Stay tuned!

Travel Binder for the Kids

My very old post about traveling with toddlers seems to be a big hit and it made me realize that it might be a good idea to share an other travel tip with you. Our son is about four and a half years old now and we were recently having a longer road trip with him again. Before the trip I started to collect ideas for his age: what should I prepare for him this time? I needed something age appropriate for him (and we were able to use the old tricks with his little brother from my previous post). After much consideration I made my son a TRAVEL BINDER!
This travel binder was full with stuff that he enjoys now but I think something very similar would work for older kids, as well.

DSC_2727Firs of all, I let him choose the binder itself and he instantly got excited about the hole thing and was looking forward the trip.

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As you can see on the picture above, I added a plastic pouch to keep the pencils etc. together with the binder. I just cut two holes with scissors and it was good to go. It worked out very well throughout the road trip.

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Beside the pencils I bought two non-permanent markers for this binder because I thought he could use those on the plastic and solve the mazes and other worksheets with them without taking each sheet out. He even tried it but his hand ended up all dirty from the ink, so he rather took out the pages from the plastic and worked on the paper itself.

The very first page in the binder was a map of our route. I even marked the three places where we would stop and stay overnight. My idea was that he won’t be asking all the time how far we are but he still managed it although to be honest he asked this question a lot less, so my plan worked. And he also enjoyed drawing on the map: he added a couple of large islands to Europe and some ships in the sea.

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Next I printed out some coloring pages. Most of them were knight and castle related, or Easter related, since we were traveling to see our relatives for Easter.

DSC_2730Then I printed out a couple of mazes which he enjoys lately a lot.

DSC_2731His other favorite worksheets are the ones where he has to find the (5-10) differences on the pictures. Great stuff for a 4/5 years old kid! You can find those online, as well and just print them out.

DSC_2732I also added a few pages with pictures of family members to doodle on them. Although I showed him how doodles work prior to our trip, he didn’t bother to try it on the trip. Maybe in a couple of years it will be more fun for him.

DSC_2736What he loved most were simply stickers. This one never gets old, I guess.

 

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I stored the stickers in a buttoned folder at the end of the binder. I added this folder by punching two holes into it with the normal paper puncher.

DSC_2734I also added two worksheets: one where he had to check the vehicles if he saw one on the road (tracks, helicopter, fire truck, bus, etc); the other one was a color match game, but the same method.

DSC_2737We also had some fun with scratch off pages that I found in our local dollar store.

The last thing in the binder was an other folder to keep the plain white papers in and it also doubled as a tiny desk for drawing.

DSC_2740Look, he drew himself on the top of the walnut tree! He was climbing that tree during our stay at the Grandparents’ every single day!

DSC_2741We spent about 4-6 hours in the car twice, and after the vacation two whole days in a row on the way back. I think our son enjoyed the travel binder very much, maybe a bit less then I hoped but I am convinced that it was a good idea and we definitely enjoyed some quiet time in the front seats. We are traveling this week again and although it will be just a short, two hours road trip, we’ll bring the binder again and try to finish it all!
I hope you like this idea and find it inspirational. Please, let me know how do you occupy your kids on a road trip! I would love to hear more tips!

 

Birthday Present for Great-Grandma

Before we visited our relatives in March again, I was thinking about getting lovely personalpresents for both great grandmother in our families since they were celebrating their birthdays in a few weeks apart. My Grandma was turning 80 and I made a cake box holder for her which I will present to you very soon in an other post but first check out what we made for my Husband’s Grandmother! She turned 86 and she is still a fit and amazing woman!

DSC_2424This is a small tray made out of bamboo and we added my son’s family drawing by burning it onto the try. My son is 4,5 years old now and he made this beautiful picture short after the carnival, this is why dad (left) is dressed as an Indian, next to him you can check out me as a princess with a crown, then he drew himself and finally the little brother in the brand new stroller. As a mother I absolutely adore this picture because this was the first time he drew all four of us! I love it!

I traced the drawing from paper onto the wood with the help of a carbon paper:

DSC_2312Then I started to burn the bamboo tray along the lines:

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Grandma loved this present and I wish her many more years to come!

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The great thing about this technique is that you can transport any kind of picture or text onto wood and the possibilities to make a personal present are this way really endless! And buying a wood burner does not cost more then a couple of bucks and it is worth it!

 

Where to find Hungarian Blue Print

A few weeks ago one of my dear readers asked me if it is possible to buy Hungarian blue print fabric online. I’m sorry that it take me so long to answer this question but I am also glad that I waited so long, because I found a newly added video on the web-shop’s page as I was searching today!
There is an online store in the UK where it is possible to buy the blue prints and the good new is that they ship world wide! Here it is:
http://www.kekfestocotton.co.uk/index.php

And check out the video that I found on their website:

The video is actually from 2012, from the Huston Quilt Festival where a Hungarian quilter lady explains very well why is quilting a new thing in Hungary. And those quilts, which are presented on the festival, are absolutely amazing and I will most definitely try to look up those ladies and learn from their work! Wow! I am truly amazed because their work is very similar to what I have in mind, only they are so much more advanced in their techniques. A long way to go for me but I am happy that I found my quilter soulmates!

DIY Knight Costume

Carnival season is already over but I promised you to show how our diy costumes turned out. Today I’m going to share pictures and a step-by-step description of my older son’s knight costume.
As some of you might remember, last year he was totally crazy about firefighters, so I had to make him a firefighter costume. This year was more about knights and his wish was of course a knight costume. But he can be quiet picky sometimes and he usually knows exactly what he wants, so I sat down with him one day at the computer to check out costumes online and to gather ideas. Finally I made a drawing of a knight looking how he imagined it and he even wanted to color the picture. While we were searching, he had the idea, that his little brother could be a dragon, my husband the king and I could be the princess. “All right then, let’s make four costume instead of just one…”-that was my first thought.

Anyway, I said yes and the next step was to buy all the fabric we needed. I think I did not spend more then 50€ for all four costumes which I consider a good price. Although I spent hours (if not days) making them all and at the end my mother sent me two old dresses of mine for my princess costume because I didn’t have the time to make a new dress.
Back to the knight costume. I started with a cotton long sleeved T-Shirt: I added some shiny fabric to the sleeves to make it look like an armor.

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I made the pattern for it using the same T-Shirt: I cut out the fabric 2cm bigger on all sides in order to have enough room for the seams. The T-Shirt looked like this:

DSC_1795For the next step I was going to make the knight’s vest or top. I was using a plain grey cotton fabric and this is how I made the armholes and the neckline:

DSC_1798I cut out the hole for the head and neck.

DSC_1801Then I cut out the armholes and a 3cm wide piece in the same shape (twice, for both sides).

DSC_1804I sewed those on, facing the right sides, turned inside out and added one more seam which is visible on the right side. Finally I made a bias for the neckline.

DSC_1807Then I made a cardboard sample for the red bottom line and cut out four pieces from a plane red cotton fabric.

DSC_1810I took two of them and sewed together along the edges. Then turned it inside out and made one more seam on the right side, as well.

DSC_1815I repeated this step with the other two pieces, then press ironed both.

As the next step, I sewed them onto the bottom of the vest, sewed together the sides and I added one more golden ribbon to it, to make it look even more beautiful. So far the T-Shirt and the vest were done.

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For the “neck-protecting piece” (does anyone know what’s it called?) I used the same silver fabric that I used for the sleeves and a white jersey for the inside. This is how I made the pattern:

DSC_1818I made two of them, then sewed them together on one side and used velcro on the other side.

DSC_1819Using one of his pants as a pattern, I made a new pair from an other shiny silver fabric:

DSC_1821I used rubber band for the waist, made the pants a bit longer and added the same golden ribbon to the bottom.

And with this, my job was actually done because I made a cool knight cape for him last year which he wanted to wear with this costume, he had a plastic helmet (his dad bought it for him last summer), and of course he already had a shield (also made by me using cardboard) and a belt.

DSC_1858I think he looks total bad-ass in his costume, very cool.

DSC_1856Here is a closer picture of the belt with the sword-holder:

DSC_1862One more thing: did you notice the castle in the background? When we moved in my son got a loft bed which he loves! The bed is quiet big and there is lot of space underneath for playing or for toy-storage. After moving in we had lots of empty boxes and I used some of them to make a castle under his bed. The walls run on two sides, I added a few windows and the gate is made out of duck-tape. If you are interested in the details how I made it, please leave a comment.

I had enough left over fabric to make a similar vest for the king (my husband) and using yellow felt and a little velcro he also got his crown! Here we are with the little dragon: me in the blond wig and my proud king! (The description of the little one’s dragon costume is coming soon!)

12628440_10153606492274039_425936819598706097_o(Thanks for the picture kissadri!)

But back to the knight costume, what do you think? Do you celebrate carnival or dress up at Halloween? And do you prefer to buy or make your own costume? I think I would always make my/our costumes because the whole process from the idea to finishing it gives me great pleasure, perhaps as much as wearing it.

Confession

I have a confession to make to you, my dear Readers…

I often search on Pinterest for inspiration or read other blogs but sometimes I get the feeling that those writes have it all figured out and everything seems to be perfect in their lives. Well, it is certainly not in my life and I do believe that everybody has their own struggles and makes mistakes, they just chose not to share that part of their lives publicly. I get that and some part of me agrees with that because why would I share my everyday struggles if this blog isn’t about that? This blog tries to be the opposite of that: inspiration and (hopefully) good ideas to make our lives a bit happier.

But I also believe if a project fails, I have to share that, too because my failure can help others to grow, as well. Not just me.

Anyway, do you remember about my idea for advent? I was trying to write letters and reconnect old, good friends throughout advent: each day a friend. But this project failed because I was able to write only four letters instead of 24. This wouldn’t be a problem if I hadn’t write about my plans on this blog because nobody would know about it. But I fear that some of my friends might had been expecting letters from me and they might feel left out now.

Still, this problem might exist only in my head but I apologize if I did hurt someone’s feelings.

When disaster occours…

This time I am not talking about flood or volcano eruption although I admit those are real catastrophic events. But in a sewers life it is most certainly a disaster when her sewing machine breaks and unfortunately this is exactly what happened to me. Of course it happens a few days before Christmas when I was about to get four more projects done…

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My little precious thing started skipping stitches a few weeks back, then I went through several check lists: what to check, where to try to solve the problem but nothing seemed to help. Yesterday I tried even more thing which eventually lead to the end of my story: the sewing machine even started to break the thread and I can’t find the problem. Believe me, I tried. Even my husband tried. There is nothing else left to do but to take it to the repair shop which would be an other time of the year all right but before Christmas? It’s not going to be easy and it’s most likely not going to be repaired before Christmas. I am devastated.

Just an idea

When I prepared the advent calendar for my son, I was thinking that I should do something for myself, as well. But not getting chocolate every day (I do it anyways and not just in advent…), instead something that actually means something to me. Than I came up with the idea: lets make a list of 24 friends and send them letters. Sounds wired, right? Let me explain.

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We have been living abroad ever since we got married in 2007. I consider it as a long time especially because we only planed to have an adventure for one year. These years passed by and we were not able to keep in touch with all of our friends. Not just from Hungary but we also lost contact with the new friends, too when they moved away or we did. This is not entirely a bad thing. What I mean is that you don’t need to keep in touch with every one but you must appreciate your good friends who stood by you when you needed them. And moving to a foreign country shows you exactly who are your true friends. Many of them will probably think that you are the one who moved, you shall make the effort to keep in touch. But I disagree. It takes two. For me it was hard to realize that many of my friends didn’t even care to send an email once in a while, they just didn’t care about me as much as I thought they would.

But what can you do? You take a deep breath and move on: appreciate your real friends!
And this advent I am trying to do that by making the time and effort and sending them a decent letter instead of making an empty new year’s resolution or just signing a Christmas card. I might not finish my list before Christmas but I don’t think that it matters. Just make the effort and show your appreciation and love!

Baby Co-Sleeper

As we were getting ready for the new baby in the family, we decided to get him a new bed. The first reason for that was that our three-years-old son still sleeps in his crib which we changed into a small bed. We did not want to bother him with a new bed at the same time when his little brother was arriving into the family. And also because he would love to have a bunker bed with his little brother but of course he will have to wait for that a bit longer, and then they can share the kids’ room and the bed.
Until then the baby is staying with us in the master bedroom. My oldest stayed with us for five weeks and then we moved him to his own room and I was the one of course who got up many times in the night and went out to the nursery. But this is no longer an option for us: the baby is staying in our room, so we decided to try out a co-sleeper bed with him. My hopes are quiet high: I don’t want to get out of the bed and pick him out of his crib each time but we still want him to be safe. This is why we were looking for a co-sleeper bed. In Germany those beds start around 100€ if you get it second hand but the prize for a new one is around twice as much.
What I did was go online and search for a DIY option when I came across this post. I followed the links in it and with the great help of my husband and my son we created this amazing co-sleeper for our baby:

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We attached the co-sleeper to our bed to make secure. We will also purchase this thing from IKEA, cut it to the right size and put it between the two mattress, so there is absolutely no gap between the two bed. And voila! Costs of this project: bed (IKEA-SNIGLAR) 35€, mattress (IKEA-VYSSA SNOSA) 20€, mattress divider (IKEA-SIGGERUD) 8€. TOTAL COST: 63€.
Plus this bed is 120cm long, longer then the usual co-sleepers, so it will last longer and we can put back the side if we wanted any time.

In the corner of the master bedroom there is a small chest of drawers and a changing table. It is tiny and won’t be functional longer then two-three months but for us that is fine because we plan to move to a slightly bigger apartment in a couple of months and we want to use an other (bigger) changing table in the new place anyway.

DSC_0851As I said: have big hopes for this co-sleeper but I promise to share later how did it actually work out for us.

UPDATE: Our son was born on 25th of January and ever since he has been sleeping with us in his co-sleeper. So far I can say only good things about it: it is very confortable for us, especially for me! I don’t have to get out of the bed to feed him and I don’t even have to bend over to get him out of the crib (and then put him back). And this is a big plus considering that he is a gigantic baby (only 5 weeks old and already 5,2kg)! I would just slide him close to me, then brestfeed him and finally put him back to the crib. I absolutely love this co-sleeper!

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Although there is one thing that I find a bit difficult: getting into and out of the bed. I mean for me. But it’s a small prize I have to pay for beeng ablo to be so lazy with night time feedings. Actually it is so much comfortable that sometimes I feed him and fell asleep so fast, that in the morning I can’t tell my husband how many times did I feed our baby or when was the last feeding time. This co-sleeper thing really allows you to be a lazy and a good parent at the same time! Do you need more than that?

 

New Year- New Start

Many people make new year’s resolutions, so did I last year. Mine was to try to post on this blog every week. I did not tell about it to anyone because usually when I do, things don’t work out as well as I would like to. Well, I did not achieve that goal but I think I did pretty well considering that writing a blog was completely new for me. Let me boar you with a little bit of statistics. Here is a list of my posts in 2014:

  • -January: 4
  • -February: 5
  • -March: 5
  • -April: 1
  • -May: 5
  • -June: 4
  • -July: 2
  • -August: 0
  • -September: 3
  • -October: 3
  • -November: 4
  • -December: 4

TOTAL: 40 If you take a quick look you can immediately tell that we went on vacation in August and this is something that I have to figure out and do better this year if I want to improve my blog’s stats… But the total of 40 is actually not that bad. The three most popular posts were:

  • Nr. 1: Tipps on travelling with toddlers (6440 views thanks to pinterest)
  • Nr.2: Hungarian Blue Print for Christmas (180 views)
  • Nr. 3: IKEA hack (135 views)

Which post was your favorite? I tried but can not decide which project was my favorite because each of them brings up different memories… Besides the dry statistics I would also like to mention that I changed the design of the blog and I still like the look of it. The “FabRita” or “Rita’s Design” is also on facebook and on pinterest, so there are more possible ways to keep track of my ideas and crafting activity. I would like to thank everybody who signed up to follow this blog, it means a lot to me! I have 33 readers now: some of you I know personally, some of you through comments and mails, some of you stay silent but I am very thankful to all of you! I also got a Liebster Award from a fellow blog writer and I was very surprised and honored. Thank you very much! I will try to post and share my thoughts on that a.s.a.p. The question now is that what about 2015? Well, I would definitely continue sharing my ideas but I can not guarantee that I will post as oft as I did in 2014. Why? Many of you already know why: because in 1-2 weeks we are having a baby and he will take up most of my time. At least in the first couple of months. But I love this blog and like the way of how I can connect with you, dear Readers through creativity, so I promise to write as much as I can. 10815098_10152698369024039_2128385037_o

Photo by kissadri

Last year in August I got a great camera from my husband as a B-Day present and I am reading up on baby-photography, so be prepared for some experimental baby-photos in the near future!

I’m back

I’m back from our vacation and with some news. About a month ago I started a volunteer job at the local fair trade shop (Weltladen Aachen) and so far I love it. You all know that I absolutely love sewing and creating but I was doing these things at home which also meant that I was alone a lot. It was time for me to get out there and start making contacts with people again. Besides that I had many reasons to change a little bit my life and I am happy that I did. I am learning something new and have fun at the same time.
Unfortunately this also means that you will probably read less posts from me but I definitely not giving up this blog or being creative. I couldn’t even if I wanted to because that’s a very big part of me. I hope you’ll understand it! Thank you!

And for now let me give you a sneak peak of what I am working on right now. Many of my dear friends are getting married (or they already did) and I am kind of behind with the wedding presents. I know it’s lame but I decided to take action and give everybody a nice and personalized present as they deserve it.
Two of my girlfriends are getting recipe books from me: a hard cover notebook with few of my favorite recipes, a quilted cover and with their names that I cross stitched. So far I am almost done with the names, was able to choose the fabrics and bought the notebooks.

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Of course this is not all what they are getting but this is the hand made/ personalized part of the present. What do you think? I can’t wait to show you the final recipe books!

Lothringair

This week is all about the Lothringair Festival for me. I have been busy making inventory, pricing my products and getting stuff for making a booth, etc. The festival is going to take place tomorrow in Aachen, so if you are in town, come and visit me at my booth!

If you are interested, here is a link to the festival’s website: http://www.lothringair.de

Other then that I have many on-going projects that I would like to present to you soon but you have to wait a bit longer.

Have a nice weekend!

Monthly Give Away: April-May

Our monthly give away game is finally here! You might have noticed that this game is actually for April and May and there is a reason for that. I was out of town for couple of weeks and couldn’t take care of the game (and the blog in general). Also, there was only one person who signed up last month and she can participate in the game now.

The rules didn’t change but here is reminder:

Everyone who signs up to follow this blog automatically participates in this game! You don’t have to do anything else: you don’t have to share this post (only if you would like to) or like it etc. At the end of May I will make a list of those who signed up, throw all the names into a hat (that’s right, old fashioned way!) and draw one. Then I will publish the name here and contact the lucky winner by email.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important thing: the prize!

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Yesterday I came across this great tutorial and tried it out right away: an envelope clutch! I absolutely loved this project because it is not complicated at all and the result looks awesome!

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I changed one thing though: instead of a ribbon I used a magnetic button. I also added a circle on front to make the fabric even stronger around the magnetic button but I think it makes the whole clutch look better.

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Summer and vacation time is around the corner and I would use this small clutch for the passport and other important documents while traveling.

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Or afterwards keeping the pictures in it until you have time to put them into the photo-album. Or anything else, really…

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Note: the tutorial above is in German. If you want to make a clutch like this and have difficulties with reading the tutorial, just let me know and I will try to help. So this small clutch will be the prize of the monthly give away. Fingers crossed!

Tips on travelling with toddlers

I started to write this post almost a year ago but as the good weather is approaching, I feel like it’s time to finish it and give some tips to other parents who are planning a road trip with their toddlers.

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This post is not much about getting the car itself ready but preparing ourselves for traveling with a 21 month old toddler for at least 12 hours. And our son is quiet active, likes to run around and climb on things. No, he is not a girl who can sit and play quietly alone for twenty minutes… And we are totally against the electric baby toys, or giving our child an iPad, or letting him watch a movie or something on a screen. It feels wrong and unhealthy. Plus our last long trip with him was a disaster and we don’t want that happen again. We learned the lesson and this is why I prepare as many activities for him as possible. And I am pretty sure that there are many other families who happen to travel with toddlers and hopefully they will find this post very useful. My first advise would be to prepare everything in advanced (I started 2-3 weeks before traveling), do not think that these are last minutes projects! So here is my list:

1. I found many great posts and  tips online about the “travel tray”. Yes, it’s a real thing. You can buy one or make one, as you prefer.

2. The first thing on my list is BOOKS. Bring as many books as you possibly can. Beside running around reading books is the most beloved activity of my sons’. Before the road trip I bought a couple of new books, but also hid some of his favorite books a few weeks earlier. This way he will enjoy them more on the trip when he gets those back.

3. A few new and small toys. For example this wooden block puzzle seems very interesting because our son loves building and animals, as well. IMGP7204

Or these building blocks with buttons and small doors etc. On this picture you can also see the tray that we use: a plastic tray from IKEA called ANTILOP and costs about 4€. We cut the sides a bit shorter, made holes on both sides and added a belt, this way we are able to attach the tray to the seat. IMGP7272

4. Different kinds of drawing material. IMGP7212

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5. I read that many people use a baking sheet or some kind of a metal tray so the kids can play with magnetic toys. I wasn’t really convinced with the idea because in an accident a metallic try can be very dangerous for the little one. Instead we bring along our cake sheet and he can still play with magnets. And this one has a sheep on it and I think he will also like that. IMGP7195

Note: after our road trip I must say, this was our son’s favorite activity on the road. I would highly recommend it!

6. Crafting is also a good way to keep kids busy but at this age it might be a bit difficult. Still, there are options, like cutting out different shapes out of paper, color them and punch some holes in them. With colorful pipe cleaners and strings they can try to “sew” the papers. Our son loved the shoe shape and the shoe lace but he didn’t care much for the other ones. I think he did not understand why he should pull the wires through a flower or a sun. IMGP72007. Once again, I cut out a few animals out of paper and bought a bag of google eyes. We will stick the eyes onto the animals, or just create new “monsters”, as we go along. He liked this one also very much but I had to sit with him on the back seat and do this activity together. Still better then a board or crying kid. IMGP72038. Stickers. I think there is no explanation for this one. Only that it also requires some help. IMGP72069. Puzzles. We are going to visit relatives in Hungary, relatives that we haven’t seen for months. I thought my son would enjoy some puzzle games of his little cousins. And also fire tracks and ambulance car, since he is crazy about those. So I printed out a couple of pictures, glued them onto cart board and cut them in few pieces. Voila! But you can also buy or bring along puzzles, or if you have a metallic sheet, maybe use magnetic puzzles so the little pieces don’t get lost in the car!IMGP7196 10. Pompoms and a tube to stuck the pompoms into it. He loved it and still does although he is two and a half years old now. IMGP719811. CDs with children’s music and/or audio books. I read somewhere that you could also record your own voice reading a story, or ask grandma etc.

12. As I mentioned before our son is crazy about cars and the siren. He always wants to sit in front and pretend to drive. That’s why I decided to buy a toy steering wheel for him. It did not have batteries in when we bought it and as it turns out it plays not just car-noises, but also stupid children music. And it’s loud. So I am not sure about that but the little one loves it (of course). And it might be better to hear that for hours instead of crying. We will see… IMGP7214

Note: it wasn’t that bad because our son played with it for not longer than 20 minutes. I think his and our limit is set to the same… But if you can buy a steering wheel with a volume button.

13. Don’t forget to get ready for sleeping time. Bring everything what your child is used to sleep with. And maybe an extra blanket and a special pillow that is made for car-seats, like our one in the picture. IMGP720914. We do not like to play with puppets because our son loves it and he would demand on a show for hours which is exhausting. But we have puppets and lots of finger-puppets for traveling time. The finger-puppets don’t take up much place in your bag but if you have a bit of imagination they can provide hours of fun for your child. We also take them with us when we are flying. But to keep it real fun, we don’t play with them at home and it makes the whole game more fun on the road.

IMGP720715. Print out a sheet for toy cars and bring along a couple of smaller matchboxes.

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Pack up all the different activities in zip-lock bags and store them in a bag beside your child’s seat so he or she can reach in and seek for new adventures for him/herself.

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If you liked this post then you might find my other articles about “20 toddler activities for rainy days”  or “travel binder for the kids” interesting, too!

Monthly Give Away-March

We just finished the last game and the next one is already started! The next prize will be a luggage tag that I made from Hungarian blue print fabric.

IMGP9669As I mentioned this before in other posts, this fabric is really special to me because it represents the Hungarian heritage in my work and I love to find new ways to use this traditional blue and white fabric in our modern word! (A tutorial on this luggage tag is coming soon for those who are interested in making it!)

About the game: everybody enters the game who sings up (per email) to follow Rita’s Design between 1st and 31st March 2014.

You don’t have to share this post or anything else only if you would like to. Everybody can enter the game, it does not matter which country you live in.

Good luck!

 

Alaaf!

Excuse me, what did you say? Alaaf! I still don’t understand you…

Karneval 20141Well, “Alaaf” is something that people would shout at the carnival in Aachen and other parts of the region. I tried to look up its meaning but it is still not quiet clear. According to one explanation it has something to do with laughing, the other one says to ‘get out of the way’. Anyway, people were shouting “Alaaf!” at the carnival on the last weekend in Aachen and after a while we did too because it seemed easier to get more sweets by doing so. Even our son shouted it which was quiet funny to see.

The whole party started on Thursday (Fett Donnerstag=”Fet Thursday”) at 11:11am when everybody had some kind of a party at their workplace (or school or kindergarten). Usually men have to wear a tie and women would cut them with scissors. I don’t understand exactly why but they say if you don’t wear a tie they would cut something else off… And women are allowed to cut ties on the streets, as well. Most people dress up and wear costumes and there are always “carnival donuts” at the parties called Berliner: filled with jam and covered with lots of sugar. After the party at work usually everybody gets home early this day.

The party goes on as the weekend approaches. Many private parties take place in the city along with huge balls. In Köln (Cologne) there is a great carnival on Friday.

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On Sunday (Tulpen Sonntag=”Tulip Sunday”) There is a big carnival in the city center of Aachen organized mostly by schools and more for children. But it is huge. There are tractors pulling big vehicles called “Züge” (=trains) especially made for this carnival and they would build a new one with an other theme every year! People come dressed up and wait for this really nice trains (most of them come with music on) along the streets, everybody shouts “Alaaf” here and there, and candies and other sweets are thrown from these trains to the crowd to collect them. The real “hunters” go home with at least one full bag of sweets.

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The whole carnival reminds me of the Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit where we previously lived. Both are great parties and lots of fun. Except that this year the weather was much-much warmer in Aachen then it is usually in Detroit at the end of November.

Karneval 20142The next day comes “Rosenmontag” which means “Monday of Roses” and the whole thing with the trains is repeated. Well, not exactly the same because instead of trains representing schools, now there are trains representing associations, clubs and work places. It’s a bit more grown up. But the candy-throwing and the music is the same.

The lucky ones who live on these streets can even collects the sweets in their own window. Some might even use an umbrella or hammock for this reason…

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Well, we were blessed with the weather this year and with our two and a half years old son it was a lot more fun then previously. I am glad that we could be there and finally had some fun because we needed it. And for the last time before the lent starts: ALAAF!

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Monthly Giveaway

Dear Friends and Followers!

I decided to start a game on this blog. Yaeh! From now on each month I will be giving away one of my creations to someone who signs up to follow my blog in that month. This is my way thanking for your attention and kindness.

Let’s start it right now!

1. To enter the game you must sign up to follow this blog with your email address. And that’s all.

2. Those who sign up between today (6th February 2014) and the end of this month (28th February 2014) will participate in a random drawing on 28th February. I will pronounce the name of the winner on the 1st of March. And he/she will be soon receiving the prize by post.

But wait a minute! What is the prize? Oh, I didn’t tell you? This month I will be giving away a gorgeous binder cover including the binder. Take a look and please share this information among those who might have a thing for owls…

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IKEA hack

We had a huge EXPEDIT desk from IKEA previously but it wasn’t really eye-catching or practical, so we decided to get rid of it and buy a new one. Actually my husband wasn’t happy about it because he kind of liked it but he agreed that it didn’t have much storage. We were also in need of toy storage, so after all it was his idea to take apart the old desk, use the shelf from it in the kid’s room as toy storage and surprise ourselves with a new computer desk. Great idea: two birds with one stone! Then we started to search for a new desk. I really wasn’t happy about what we found in the furniture stores. Either the desks looked just the same to me or they were quiet expensive. I wanted to have a real wooden desk,  some storage, and enough space for the two of us to sit at the desk. As it turned out, it was too much to ask for, at least not for our budget.
My husband found online the most beautiful desk ever. It’s handmade in the UK. Guess how much is it? 4890 GBP.

Take a look at it, it is certainly a masterpiece (more info on their website here):

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Maybe one day… Or I will ask my carpenter brother if he can make something similar for us when we have a house and no small children around but for now we had to stick to the budget. It’s always the budget… but at least you’ll use your creativity a lot when it’s about the budget.

And again, my husband came up with the idea of an IKEA hack. RAST chest for the side and for storage, a dining table top (GERTON) and two wooden legs. We were looking at other chests as well, but only the RAST is as high (70cm) as the desk legs. We also added two bookshelves to the wall because we needed place for the printer and other stuff to keep away from our two-years-old son. The bookshelves were assembled using EKBY VALTER consoles and EKBY TRYGGVE shelves.

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How did we built together the commode and the desk? See on the pictures! We used only 8 small screws and 4 L-shaped hinges on the two sides of the chest. You might ask why not drill through the top of the chest and into the desk. Because there is a very small gap between the two.

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The only thing that we really have to pay attention to is our son. If he draws on the desk, it is difficult to remove it because it’s made out of real wood and not painted.

I am very happy with our desk! It has storage, made from wood, two people can sit at it and it is a very nice looking piece of furniture. Everything checks from my whish list! And this desk is definitely brightens up the living room. What do you think?

Nikolausmarkt

The “Nikolausmarkt” in Aachen was the first craft fair where I got a booth and possibility to sell my crafts. It was a great adventure and I learned a lot from this experience. For example it does matter where your booth is on the market. My booth was kind of hidden on the back side of the market and there were two or three booths in front and close to the food court, who were selling very similar products. Solution ideas: 1) come up with other product ideas or 2) insist on a different booth location next year. Or do both.

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I did not sell as many products as I hoped but I am not disappointed. I had a lovely time thanks to the people who were helping me, including two friends, my husband and the neighbours who were selling next to me. And I still have the rest of the products to sell online. Also, I gave out lots of business cards hoping for orders in the future.

Nikolausmarkt

I am getting very nervous and excited about the up-coming “Nikolausmarkt” here in Aachen, where I will be selling my little creations for the very first time! This is going to be a double test for me: test of my German knowledge and of course test of my products. As I mentioned before, from January I plan to open an online shop and this market will definately help me to decide which products are sellable and which aren’t.

Please, let me show you a couple of things that I made for this market:

1. The newest pictures sewed from fabric and felt:

Varras+Blog182. Mug and mug sleeve made from felt:

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3. Hand stitched pictures made by my Mom (framed by me):

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4. A recycled throwpillow with air plane theme:

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5. Folders with covers:

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6. And finally my monster: a cover blanket for double bed. I worked on this for weeks and learned a lot doing so.

Varras+Blog17 The Nikolausmarkt (crafters market) will take place in Aachen, Marienhospital (in Burtscheid) between the 6th and 8th of December. Friday 4:00-8:00pm, on Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm. There will be good food, drinks, concerts and of course the crafters! Come and have a great time!

 

Mill game

I have been thinking about this project for a while now and finally I was able to make one, as I imagined it. As a child I used to play Mill and card games with my Mom and I cherish these memories ever since. Now I barely get the time to play any kind of games, or I just play with my two-year-old son, but clearly it is not the same. But I do hope, he will remember me one day as a mom who sat down with him and took the time to teach him play Mill (and other games of course)!

So here is what I created using applique technique, sewing and also woodburning.

IMGP8643The most difficult part was to sew onto the board the little circles. There are 24 of them! You can guess how many hours it took me to finish it. But at the end I was very proud of what I created.

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Then I made a matching little bag to hold all the pices of the game.

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IMGP8639Once it was done, I still needed the little wooden “bottons” (18+1 extra), which I decorated with my wood burning iron while I was whatching TV.

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IMGP8664To tell the truth, I made this set to sell at the fair I am going to in a couple of weeks but I will definately make one for us, too. But because it takes so much time, I won’t make probably any more to sell, unless someone orders it and is willing to pay for it a lot. I think it would make a great present to a Mill game fan or a game collector.

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IMGP8670And because the bag is so nice, you wouldn’t even have to wrap it! Well, what do you think?

Finally getting into business

I am happy to share with you some good news! There will be a three-day long craft fair in Aachen, where I got in and can sell my products in a booth. The fair will take place in a courtyard of a hospital (Marienhospital) between the 6th and 8th of December and called “Nikolausmarkt”. I am very excited and extremely nervous at the same time, mostly because I still don’t speak fluent German and I am very scared of the questions of my buyers. I really hope that I will understand everything and be able to answer. Now I have exactly three months to create lots of products because many people will visit this fair and I have to fill my booth with stuff for three days! Amazing opportunity, I am looking forward to it! Fingers crossed!

Here is a link to the official website:
http://www.marienhospital.de/de/veranstaltungen/nikolausmarkt-im-marienhospital-aachen

Bedroom makeover

A couple of weeks ago I had a crazy idea: surprise my husband and paint a wall in our bedroom while he is at a meeting in Antwerp. Actually we talked about this a few months back but we never did anything about it and just forgot it. I needed some help, so I called a dear friend and she even came with me to buy all the supplies and paint, and then I hid all the stuff in my son’s wardrobe. Clever, right?
The next day we droped off our son at day care, had breakfast together then I doped off my husband at his workplace (he was leaving for the meeting from there). After that I got home very quickly and started to prepare the room. I was already busy pushing furniture around and taping the walls, when I realized that I didn’t take a “before picture”. So here is the one where you can see, that all of our furniture in the bedroom and the walls were white.

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Very boring and this is the main reason why I wanted to paint but decided not to paint the whole room, just one wall.

Next day my friend came over and we had lots of fun painting, some challenges, as well, but after all we were done by noon. And voila!

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I was very proud of the work we did but something was still missing. Yes, some kind of a wall art above the bed.
The next day I cleaned up the whole room and around 9pm my husband came home. I was a bit nervous but he absolutely loved it! Thank God!
And he also had a great idea: somewhere at my parents’ we had a beautiful painting of sunflowers, that we got as a wedding present from one of my husband’s friends but we never had a proper place to hang it. And finally we did! Six years of waiting, but worth it! Take a look:

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IMGP7604Much better, right? Thanks again, Smuki!

Ok, this was done. But not the bedroom. On the opposite wall there was still a big empty space and in the living room we were short on bookshelf-space, so we decided to put up some shelves in the bedroom.

IMGP7257And now it looks much better with the new shelves and we love it!

IMGP7608Do you like the results? In the middle you can see the reproduction of my favorite painting: The nut gatherers (1882) by William Adolphe Bouguereau. I saw this painting and fall in love with it in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Good memories…

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Getting the car ready for a road trip (Part 1.)

Finally the summer has arrived to Aachen, too and we are planning a trip to Hungary again, to visit our relatives. We will travel by car and the last few trips to Hungary taught us a couple of lessons. Our car (Opel Astra) is not 100% comfortable for long trips as it is, although we love our Opel and otherwise we are very satisfied with it. But a 12-14 hour long trip is a lot, especially with kids.

The first problem to solve was some kind of an arm-support for the driver. Mostly my husband drives on these long trips and after a few hours he usually has pain in his right shoulder/upper back because there was nothing to support his arm. And the pain stays with him for weeks after these long trips, which is a very bad way to start any vacation. So I searched on the internet for some kind of a solution and you can buy these parts for any car (sorry, I don’t know its official name if it has one), but they start about 34-45 Euros. Hmmm… Then my husband had an idea: try to make one out of scratch. This is how I ended up with the biggest puzzle in my life (so far). Take a look:

IMGP7172I measured the place between the two car seats including the space for the seat belts and the parking break. Then I took a shoe box and lots and lots of tape. After a couple of hours of taping and trying it out in the car this box was my final result. Looks crazy, right? I also cut out a circle for a plastic cup, that used to be a salad-cup, and our mug or a small bottle of water fits into it.

IMGP7173I stuffed the whole box with wrapping paper for more stability. Then I taped some betting (which I usually use in patchwork blankets) onto the front top of the box.

IMGP7177After that I measured a good piece of fabric (inside out!) for upholstering.

IMGP7178Then I cut out a hole for the plastic cup and just slid it into the hole.

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This way I can take out the plastic cap and wash it or the cover of the box any time I need to. Tada!

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IMGP7182Take a look how it fits into the car:

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IMGP7187Ok, I must admit, that I have doubts that it will fit perfectly but I thought we give it a try and if something goes wrong, we can still buy the professional-arm-support-thing. We will see and I promise to get back to you and tell, what happened on our road trip.

The other ting that I bought for the car is an organizer on the back of the seat.

IMGP7193I truly believe this will be very helpful on the road.

In my next post I will show you some ideas on surviving a long road trip with your kid(s).

My corner

Who has ever been in our apartment knows, that it is very small, especially the living room. But somehow it works for us and we use it as an office, a play room, a guest room and now as craft room, as well. And the whole room is just about 16qm! Can you believe it? Take a look at my corner: this is where I create. IMGP7159I like this corner because it’s close to the window and it’s bright. The desk was previously a smaller one (about the half size of this one) but with my husband we decided to update and I love this new desk. It works well so far and it smells really good because it’s real wood. And while we were shopping for a desk, I saw this small organizer above on the shelf with the drawers on sale! I was lucky to find it because now all the threads and other small stuff are organized and I can  keep these things away from my son. Practical and safe at the same time!

The lamp in the corner was a full-length standing lamp until my son ruined it as he started to crawl. Then I cut the bottom part off, put a lace on it and now it helps my work beside the desk when it gets darker.

And finally there is the green cutting mat and rolling cutter on the left side of the desk. I got those just yesterday but I already tried them out: they are very useful and looking forward to work with them. And of course there is a picture of my husband and son on my board. They inspire me the most… 🙂

Lately

Lately I have been working on couple of things but nothing really new.

I made an other felt-picture but this time I put it in a real frame and it looks much better this way.

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Then I sewn two new notebook covers (U-Heft Hülle). It is very amazing that on a simple product how many changes can be made! Use a different fabric, or just change one color, maybe put onto it a ribbon…really there is no limit!

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Well, there is a new thing that I created: a small apron for my son. I know it’s a very girly thing but I tried to use darker colors and I put the letter “B” on it, as well. (You know because his name starts with B.) Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of him wearing the apron but hopefully soon! What do you think?

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And finally two baby blankets. The first took me a while to finish it because the stars in it are so complicated but it’s finally done! It’s really not perfect if you look closely but for now I think I did a good job. I made mistakes and I learned a lot, so next time it will be better.

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For the other blanket I really just wanted to use my scrap-fabric because it had been piling up and we do not have a space for that. It was a simple project: I cut out the same size squares from the left over fabrics: as many as possible, then I laid them out on the floor and played with the pattern until I thought it’s gonna be nice.

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Family tree

Before you start to read this post, please, click on this song and listen to it while reading!

As you probably already know, we are from Hungary but currently live in Germany and we get to see our families and relatives only a couple of times a year. I started to think how on Earth will my 18 months old son recognize them? Of course we speak with most of them on the phone regularly and we also skype occasionally but for example there is my older brother and his family, who has no internet, no land line and we rarely speak on the cell phone. My friend is in the same situation and she made a photo-album of relatives for her son which I find very inspirational but I wanted something different. Then it hit me: there is a huge white wardrobe in my son’s room and there is plenty of space to put pictures onto. Why not make a family tree then?

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The next question was of course: HOW to do that? Should I paint it? Definitely not. I don’t want to ruine the furniture. Ok, then let’s use self-adhesive foil! I have been working on this project for a very long time now, mostly because there was always some material that I didn’t have at hand and I had to go and buy it.

I bought a wood-looking foil for the tree itself and green and red for the leaves and apples. It was a bit difficult to find these foils. First I looked in the local hobby-shop and they had a few to choose from but they were a bit expensive. Then we found more and cheaper in the hardware store (look where you can find wallpapers!).

First I made a sample on the wardrobe using my son’s drawing paper because it’s in a roll and was big enough for this. I taped it onto the furniture and started to draw.

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Then I cut out my sample and transformed onto the foil’s back. Unfortunately I had to cut up my sample and transform it in peaces but it worked. Pay attention at this step: if your tree is not symmetrical careful which side is up and which side is down! Draw around your sample, remove it from the foil and cut it out!

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All three foils that I bought had an instruction on many languages on the back side how to use them. Just peal off the back side and apply the foil onto the wardrobe following the instructions! I used a ruler to get all the bubbles out from underneath.

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As the next step, I cut out the leaves of the green foil and applied them to the wardrobe.

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Then I did the same thing with the apples.

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And then I had to find good pictures of our family-members and make a collage out of them. At the end I had everybody (18 people) on three pictures (for this I used Picasa3) and we went with my son and printed them out in 13x18cm size. When we got back from the store I cut everybody’s picture out and taped them on the apples using double-sided tape.

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TADA! It’s done! And we love it! My son started to point immediately at the pictures and I had to repeat the names several times, which was so much fun because he starts to speak now and he tried to say the names! He is so cute!

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A couple more things about this project.

I choose the foil because it won’t ruine the furniture, but also because you can remove it any time and it won’t leave a mark! This way I can even change the tree whenever it is needed. Great, isn’t it?

I did not make our tree randomly, it has a concept: at the bottom of the log, the two apples are the great-grandmothers (from my son’s view), in the middle are the grand-parents (left from my husband’s side, right from my side). Up, in the middle is our family, where the two hart-shaped branches are. On the left side are my sister-in-laws, and the branches in the right side are my siblings and their families.

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In addition I made a similar decor onto the changing table, where the birds are sitting on the branches and they are also the doorknobs.

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I could have put the whole family-tree lower on the wardrobe, so my son can see it standing, but I wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t scratch off the tree. So he can take a look now from our hand and he will grow anyway…

The good thing about this project is, that you can customize it very easily. You can make the family tree as big or as small as you like. You can put it on a board, or furniture but even then, you can transport it to an other surface any time. The tree can grow with the family and I do hope that our tree will have many more little branches in the future!

Indoor play area

IMGP6576My dear readers, first I must say sorry for not posting for more then two weeks! I had a little vacation with my son in Hungary where we visited our relatives and also had time to think of new ideas! But now I’d like to share this big project with you, that I have been working on for a long time.

Our son does not spend much time in his room, mostly because he is too young to play alone. He still needs to learn how to do that but in the meantime, he is where we are: mostly in the kitchen or in the living room. In the kitchen he is allowed to play with anything that is made of plastic or will probably not brake easily. But in the living room he only had several books and he brought out toys from his room anyway. Then we decided with my husband that we would like to make a play corner for him in the living room. We don’t have guests very often and we don’t really mind having kids stuff in the living area. At least not yet.

In this corner of the living room we had a small chest of dawers previously but we moved it to the bedroom and it’s now my night table beside the bed. And I like it that way because it’s bigger and more stable then the previous one was. This problem solved!

Second was our dark-colored coffee-table. We got rid of that, too. We disassembled it and now rests in the basement. The reason why we did this, because we bought a toy-storage from IKEA. It’s called “TROFAST” (60 Euro). Just the cabinet itself, the drawers you can choose: which sizes and colors you prefer. We got the small green rug also from IKEA, it’s called “HAMPEN” and it’s 80x80cm (10Euro), the two red pillows called “EIVOR FRAGEL” (4 Euro) and material for the other two blue pillows. In a previous post I described how did I make those.

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And there are the two wall-covers for protection and because I put several pockets onto them, also for fun! On the pockets you see blue stripes: I used the same fabric as for the pillows below.

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Two more things that I would like to mention: one is that the toy-storage cabinet is quiet light and easy to pick it up, which is practical because when we actually have guests coming over, we move it to the middle of the room and it also serves as a coffee-table. We already played board games on it and it’s totally works! The other thing is, that the little one got the lowest shelf on the book shelf and he loves to just sit in his reading corner with us, brings us books and we read them together. Yes, that’s right, we also use the play/reading area with him, and we like it, too!

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Finally let me thank my beloved husband, who got us a drilling machine (so we don’t have to borrow one each time, when we would like to drill a new hole into the wall) and put the wall-covers up! Thank you again!

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Happy New Year!

My Dear Readers, I wish you all a very happy and crafty new year! Sorry for not writing during the Holidays, I really wanted to but  my whole family including me got very ill. Why not during the Holidays, right? Anyway, we are trying to get well and I already have tree new ideas to create and then share with you and I promise, it will be worth waiting a bit more!

Cup sleeve

Have you ever had the feeling that by the time when your cup has cooled down enough so you can hold it, your tee is not as hot as you like it? I know, it’s not the biggest problem on Earth but there is a solution. I admit it’s not my own idea because I saw it in many places but I made it mine.

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So I bought a mug and it had to be green because for the cup-sleeve I used some left-over sweater-fabric which was also green. I simply cut a piece from the sleeve of the sweater: as long as tall my mug was. Both top and bottom turned up about 1cm and sewed a hem. Then cut out a hole for the holder and sewed a button on one side and a loop on the other side. The next step was to cut out a 2,5×3,5cm square from white felt and hand stitch the word “HOT” onto it. Finally I attached this little tee-label on front of the cup-sleeve.

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If you know how to knit then you can make the cup-sleeve from scratch. Unfortunately I don’t know how to knit but at least I was able to recicle some scrap-fabric. IMGP6049

Spice jars

My baby-food-jar collection seems to conquer our whole pantry and we do not have any more space, so it’s really time to come up with more ideas how to use them. The easiest way, that came to me first was spice jars of course and I searched on the internet for further information. Most of the projects evolve glass painting but I am not a big fan. Then I dig through my craft-shelve to see what do I have and bingo! Cray-on stickers! That’s easy to use and also very practical because you can change the label any time (for example if you want to mess with the cook:).

I might keep them because they look pretty, but they might become someone’s Christmas’ present…

 

Autumn decorations

I know, it’s already November but I thought I would share this idea of mine. We don’t celebrate Halloween in our culture but I still wanted to decorate our home a little bit for the fall, so I made these paper-pumpkins or paper-globes. I used scrapbook paper which is great because it has pattern usually on both sides and for this project it is awesome. For the orange “pumpkin” I cut out 8 strips: about 1,2 cm wild and 28 cm long. I made a little hole in the middle and 0,5 cm far from both ends with the help of a pin. In the inside of the “pumpkin” runs a thin wire: I put beads on the wire at the bottom of the “pumpkin”, inside and the top, so the beads keep the globe form in shape. Starting from the bottom with two or three beads, then go through all the paper stripes in the middle with the wire, beads again, close up the paper strips on top and a few more beads. And finally make a tiny loop out of the wire. Tie a nice ribbon onto the loop and it’s done.

For the globe on the right side I used only 4 stripes. It’s a very flexible project: you can make smaller, bigger paper globes, or using different colors. Hang them on windows, doors, lamps, use them as center pieces for Thanksgiving…

Last year I created a couple of Christmas tree ornaments using the same technique but of course I measured everything to be a bit smaller and I think the result speaks for itself:

 

My little precoius thing

This would be my new love: my sewing machine. It is a Janome JR1012. It knows only 16 different kind of stitches but it is a very reliable Japanese machine. All of it’s parts are made out of metal and I got five years guarantee which is pretty good comparing with my last machine. That was a cheap Chinese machine with only six months guarantee and of course it needed to be repaired after eight months for lot of money…

God bless my husband who bought my new machine for me and made me very happy!

The beginnings

My name is Rita Rajna and I am Hungarian. I fell in love with sewing when I was a little girl: I used to sew dresses for my dolls and also for myself. At least I tired… Sometimes it was a catastrophe.

I’ve never actually learned to sew in a course or a school but I educated myself as I could: first of all by practicing and making lots of mistakes but also learning small tricks here and there. Thank you for that to my friends and my relatives!

Beside sewing I also like to do cross stitching, drawing, baking and many other things.You’ll see!

I started this blog in 2010 because after so many years finally I got a very good sewing machine and I hope that I can create as many things as I imagine. And I would like to share my ideas with you too because sometimes I check out other people’s blogs and get inspired. I hope that you’ll like my ideas as well and try to create something for yourself, just to have fun! Enjoy my blog and don’t be afraid to comment!

Also I am starting a business under the name “FabRita”, where you will be able to buy some of my products, that you see on this blog. More information on this soon.