Meet Beastie Laura!

I have been following the creative crafting of Helen at CrawCrafts Beasties for a while now.  Helen is incredibly skilful in the way she creates her signature Beasties and their amazing accessories.  I love to see the photographic portraits of her Beasties but I also love to read about her process and inspiration.  The way she captures people’s ideas, personalities, and interests and incorporates them into their knitted and stitched counterparts is most impressive.  Helen is also very clever and witty and is fond of a good pun.

Knowing my fondness for Helen’s Beasties, my husband and kids decided to gift me a Beastie of my very own for Christmas.  As a monster fan and nerd, I had plentiful ideas for what I could commission Helen to create but I decided to be a little bit of an ego-maniac and commission her to make a mini-me.  Helen did a magnificent job of identifying details that spoke to my hobbies, interests, and really capture the essence of me.  You can read all about the creation of my Beastie on the Beastie Blog where you will also see the amazing details of wee monster me and her accessories.  Knowing how talented Helen is, I had high expectations but she far exceeded them.

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You can follow Helen’s amazing creativity on her blog and on Instagram.  I guarantee her Beasties will make you smile.

Tie Dye Fun

Between our own road trip out west and the grandparents taking a brace of boys on a brace of vacations, we have not had a huge amount of time this summer for group activities.  It is for that reason that I did no run a summer project this year.

One group activity we did do, however, was tie dying t-shirts.  We decided to work outside so that we reduced the risk of staining things we did not want to dye and essentially reduce my stress levels.  Since we have done tie dying before, this time I felt able to let all four of the boys take complete ownership of their shirts and complete the process for themselves from beginning to end (though I did do the laundry stage).  My youngest son needed a bit of help with getting the elastic bands around his spiral folded shirt but otherwise they all worked independently.  My oldest even decided to go for an ombre effect which was a style we had not attempted before.

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Predictably, we did make a bit of a mess but that may have been because we were outside and knew we had the freedom to be a bit more lax.  Blasting the patio area with a hose was all it took to make the dye puddles disappear, however.  I think we will definitely do all future tie dye outdoors.  I think the kids did a great job with their t-shirts and they seem pleased with what they created.

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Birthday Kid Crafts

Today is my second son’s 11th birthday.  One of the many things I love about my kids is that they get almost as excited for each other’s birthdays as they do for their own.  They love to celebrate their brothers and to make each of their days special.

They always make each other personalised birthday cards and sometimes some other paper crafted gifts.  This year, however, my 9 year old decided to get a bit more ambitious and make more elaborate presents for his big brother.  The first thing he made – and which he decided to present in advance of the birthday – was a Vanishing Cabinet from the Harry Potter stories.


The second item took a lot longer to craft.  He decided to put his new found love of sewing to the test by making an Ewok out of felt.  He designed it and I showed him how to create the pattern for the pieces (a little bit of the blind leading the blind) and then he worked diligently and in secret for a few days in order to stitch it all together.  I think he did a superb job, don’t you?