The Wooden Blocks Pa Murphy made

Here are some simply delightful wooden blocks, and a special red and green wooden train made by Pa Murphy as a gift for Thomas!

Isn’t this collection of wooden toys just lovely? Its so much nicer than the mass produced blocks you buy from the store. All the more special are these toys because they were made for Thomas by his grandfather. These are something you would want to keep and treasure, and hopefully pass on one day, because no one has anything quite the same as these wooden toys. I’m not sure where the wood came from originally, but I think these are at least some what environmentally friendly because they were made from scraps of wood from Pa Murphy’s workshop. For something like this you really shouldn’t buy any wood especially, as any tiny bits of left over scrap wood of any shape will do. These were lightly coated with vegetable oil so a very nice, environmentally friendly toy for Thomas!

Another reason why I like these toys is because they are a classic and timeless toy that doesn’t have the branding you see everywhere nowadays. As much as possible, I’d like to help Thomas learn the true value of things, and not according to if they have some recognisable logo or image on them, as hard as I know that is going to be!

Definitely an addition to my collection of hand crafted family heirlooms! Thankyou Pa Murphy ❤

Colourful Crochet Baby Cube

I was going to make a set of these soft baby blocks, and did this first one last year before Thomas was born. Now, I don’t think I’ll make any more quite like this.

I simply made 6 x 10cm squares of various colours in the same thick cotton I used for the drink coasters. They were fairly quick to make up, then I started joining them up into a cube with the black. I chose these colours because these were the brightest colours I had at the time, and the contrasting black is attractive to the eyes of babies. I then packed the inside with stuffing consisting of scraps of material saved from my sewing projects. I was unhappy with how the cube shape came out. If I packed it too much, it started to resemble a sphere! So I had to remove some stuffing, then the cube was a bit sloppy. So if I make any more cubes like this, they will need a firmer stuffing in the shape of a square, and the cube will have to be made to fit the stuffing. Hence why I probably won’t make any more, as I don’t have any stuffing material like that on hand, and I don’t want to buy it as I think it’s too expensive for what it is!

So here is an odd shape to throw into Tom’s toy box. Maybe in future I can make a sphere and a rectangle to match …

In other news, our little family has just got over colds that Thomas caught at a playgroup I took him to last week. That was the first time I’ve taken him to a playgroup and I won’t be taking him back. All we got out of it was the cold! This is the first time Thomas has had a runny nose and only the second time he’s been sick as the first time was a sore throat with fever. It was so awful listening to him breath through a runny nose all night! I know it’s good for his immune system to start building up resistances to these germs, but I don’t think he should spend his entire babyhood sick and uncomfortable. Getting sick only twice in 10 months is doing pretty well so far, considering how much illness is around!

Three Small Things – blanket, beanie, curly worm

<<< I bought 2m of this warm brown fleece last winter from Lincraft, thinking I could make myself a skirt or wrap dress which I didn’t end up doing. So the other day I cut it in half, and then one half was cut in half again to make a 80x80cm square. I then edged it with blanket stitch in a contrasting blue cotton. I didn’t do so well when I needed to sew in more thread. I’m sure there is a trick to it, I just don’t know it. This is like the material the blankets are made of, and the nurses hospital are using these not crochet rugs which have been donated. But I don’t think I’ll edge the next one with hand-stitching, I might use my trusty sewing machine instead!

>>> I made up this beanie using the cream yarn from Wangaratta Mill, which is part of the Australian Country Spinners. If I ever sell anything I make, I would prefer to be using locally made yarn, much like this. I used a 4mm hook and the pattern has the ridges at the increases for the 1st 5 rounds. This one has a turned up brim of 3 extra rounds. I call it a “junior fisherman’s hat” because the look of it reminds me of the beanies fishermen wear on their boats on cold, early mornings.

<<< This curly worm I made for a mobile I’m working on. Its a common pattern, I found one at Art of Crochet by Teresa. You just make a chain, then trb 4 times in ea ch. For a contrasting colour, I did a second round in red with 2 dc in ea trbl. You can make these into bookmarks, Christmas decorations, cats’ toys or anything else you can think of. For this one, I used a 4.5mm hook and it just took me a few minutes, so it’s a fun little project to do.

White Sunhat with Daisy Garland

The purpose of making this sun hat was to practice before trying to make one for a child, possibly my niece who has gone back to live in Darwin and has no use whatsoever for one of my winter beanies!

This is a very special doll my mother gave to my grandma. When nanna went to hospital I was given this doll for safe keeping. I think my mum wants this doll back one day but when I offer she says ‘next time’. So I am taking good care of her by making her a pretty hat, so she doesn’t feel left out because all the other toys are getting clothes made for them, too!

I have real trouble reading patterns as I often say, I need to understand in my mind beforehand how what I am making will work. This means I have a lot of trial and error while I try and make up my own patterns when I want to do something a little more complicated. I looked at images of cotton crochet sun hat on google but did not follow a pattern or any one image idea. I started with a five petal flower then continued with a flat round, then stopped increasing down the sides, making gaps in the five corners. With the brim I started increasing again at the corners, filling in the gaps with increasing stitches. I mostly used double trebles (American trebles) for this hat.

The hat was a little loose on the doll and I made it that way so it wouldn’t ruin the doll’s curls. But it wouldn’t stay on! Looking at the completed hat I decided it needed some more five petal daisies to match the one in the centre. So I came up with the idea to make a little daisy garland to go round the hat to keep it tightly on the doll. The daisies in the garland are the same size as the daisy on the hat, but are made differently so the tips of the petals are not joined in a round. The daisies on the garland were (3 ch, sl st, 3 ch US treble into centre cluster, 3 ch, sl st into centre) repeat 5x, then each flower was joined with 15 ch. I had to do the final sl st of each flower on the opposite side to front so they would sit properly on the garland, all nicely facing the front.

I’m still not sure how I will make one to fit a child though. This used cheap 4ply mercer cotton from Lincraft and a 1.5m hook. It might be a bit fine for a child’s hat, but I wouldn’t want a summer hat to be much thicker either. Making a child’s sunhat is just one more thing on my ‘list of things to do’!

❤ ❤

Barbie’s White Kaftan and Sunhat

Oh, isn’t she gorgeous? This is the current base Barbie brunette model, only $9.95 from K-mart although other places ask for more. I think her flat feet are gorgeous, but of course getting shoes for her is hard so I made my own! Today I am tagging along with White Wednesday.

When my sister visited me last week with her beautiful 3 year old daughter, I had this doll ready to give in case my niece  liked it, which she did! As new, the doll only comes with a bikini, so I had to make a kaftan as David suggested! And because she is going to Darwin to live, she needs clothes for the tropics! Everyone going to Darwin absolutely must have a hat, so I made her a cute white hat to match the kaftan! The day after my niece left with this doll and the white outfit, I made another hat with white wool, this time with a wider brim.

I also made the cute pink scuffs which were very easy to make with a tiny bit of vinyl plastic and fine crochet cotton. As well as this special outfit, I gave my niece some of my other Barbie clothes, like a blue dress and a rainbow top which I don’t have a foto of. So now I have an excuse to make more Barbie clothes!
Hurrah!!

Sunhat, using 2.5mm hook and medium yarn.
Top of Hat
1. small beginning chain then 12 trebles, sl st
2. ch 2, 2 trebles in ea treble, sl st
3. ch 1, (1 x double, 2 x double) to end (optional for a bigger hat, omit for a tighter hat)
Sides of Hat
4. ch 2, 2 trebles in same sp, sk 5 trebles (skip 3 two times then 4 in smaller hat), (3 trebles 1 ch 3 trebles in 6th treble) to end, 3 trebles in same sp as 1st ch 2, ch 1, sl st
5. (repeat row 4 which has 6 pairs of shells) ch 2, 2 trebles in same sp, (3 trebles 1 ch 3 trebles in next chain 1 sp) to end, 3 trebles in same sp as 1st ch, ch 1 sl st
Brim of Hat
6. ch 2, 4 trebles in same sp (9 trebles in next ch 1 sp) to end, 4 trebles in same sp as 1st ch 2, sl st (6 x 9 trebles)
7. ch 2, 2 trebles in same sp (1 treble in ea of next 4 trebles, sk 1 treble, 1 treble in ea of next 3 trebles, 3 trebles in next treble) sl st
8. for optional wide brim hat, 1 treble in every treble, except 3 treble in the 5th treble (middle)

Kaftan
To make the kaftan I merely cut a very simple piece out of very fine material and handstitched it. I did not double over my thread like I normally do to reduce the bulk, I also only fold the edges once instead of twice for the same reason. Although its a very simple pattern, it took me all morning to hand-stitch. But it was good to work out how to do, if I do it again it will be quicker and also, better!

Here is an image of our farewell party for the new Barbie that went to Darwin with my niece! For future reference she is Barbie in “A Mermaid Tale”, also otherwise known as a Beach Barbie. In the picture you can see a baby doll, which I will be making an outfit for in a future post!

Be sure to check out other beautiful whites @ Faded Charm, which is host to the White Wednesday blog party.

My selected highlights from this weeks party

Tiny Pink Treasures

When I went to the Salvo’s store a couple of weeks a go with David, I picked up a couple of special pink treasures! This is my Pink Saturday post for this week, which is hosted by How Sweet the Sound!I had already looked on ebay for some miniature doll’s tea sets and found they were a bit overpriced for my very modest doll collection. I remember when I was little, I was given a couple of tiny doll’s tea sets. I’m really sad I haven’t been able to keep any of them. I did treasure them for a little while, but as a child I lost them or they broke. Then I saw this set for just $1! This tiny tea set is part of my Barbie’s Pink Tea Party setting.
Also at Salvos, David spotted this small bag of cheap crochet cotton. Well spotted, David! Most of you will know how expensive new crochet cotton can be, but I picked this up for a total of $2. I’m really keen on that unused ball of pink, it’s the perfect shade for something special! And it hasn’t even been used, what a bargain find! I’ve already made my first small pink doily with it, which I use as a doll’s coffee tablecloth.
Using the pink cotton, I also made these special tiny pink scuffs for the flat footed Barbie I gave my niece. They were very easy, I just pierced some black plastic vinyl with a large sewing needle, then used those holes to crochet tiny straps to form the top part of the shoe. Easy Peasy!
Thanks for stopping by for my Pink Saturday post this week, be sure to check out the other great pinks at How Sweet the Sound!
❤ ❤ ❤

My selected highlights from this week’s party

Embroidered and Scented Toybeanbags (1 2 3 4

I’d already decided to make these to use up a bunch of dried basil flowers, and cut up the squares last Thursday afternoon. This project turned out to be a way for me to practice my embroidery, and I’m pleased with how that’s coming along.

On Friday morning I was looking through the Transformation Thursday’s party link and found number beanbags at Lemon Tree Creations. I’d already planned my bags, so the ones at Lemon Tree are slightly different, but it’s still good to see how they do theirs.

After I sewed the bags on my trusty Husqvarna 2000, I stuffed each one with three tablespoons of old lentils and dried basil flowers. I put 15 tablespoons of lentils and a big heap of basil flowers into a bowl, and then a spoon of lavender oil, so these bags smell lovely. A little aroma therapy there for the kiddies!

I planned to do my stitches in thick contrasting coloured cotton. When I went to embroider the “D” on a hanky for David, I had a vague memory of my mum teaching me a chain stitch and tried to replicate it but had a lot of trouble. So for this project I did some research and looked up images of basic embroidery stitches and found a very helpful page at Tipnut. The chain stitch in particular came back to me easily. I also found some youtube videos on how to make a lazy daisy and a french knot.

For this project I used the following embroidery stitches
running stitch
blanket stitch
cross stitch
chain stitch
lazy daisies
french knots

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