Penguin turned three today so we held a party (and simultaneously a sand party on the bed, which involved digging in the bed covers and going to the "meta" place with a jeep — I still don't know what we were talking about, but it might have been really deep, heh). For some reason Penguin inspires a lot of hats, which I find funny because I think he looks quite put upon. Above is his "rainbow hat".

This is a boat hat (made from Windy's boat pattern) — which looks like a sombrero from the front.

Auggie requested a boat hat which was a surprise to me. He's not really a dresser-upper. I used two pieces of construction paper taped together, but it still wasn't big enough, so we had to use an elastic to hold it on, so I thought for sure it would get pulled off right away. He kept it on for about 15 minutes. You just never really know what they're going to be into on a given day, I guess.

Birthday Party

I tried to set up Easter crafts a few times this week, but it just didn't take. Auggie is not yet too interested in Easter anyway, and our last session turned into making a birthday party for Trudy (as we are in the middle of a long birthday craze around this house). This is Trudy.

We spent a lot of time making party hats for the guests. Hats are a pretty forgiving sort of shape, so it was a good craft to practice cutting. Putting on pom poms was the most exciting part and led to a lot of running around and discussions about our favourite colours. One of our guests, Bulldog, turned 32 the day after Trudy's party. (Trudy turned 2).

Next it was time to choose the present. A zoo train full of pom poms. We were going to wrap it, but then Auggie decided against it. We then a fun time surprising Trudy with almost every toy in Auggie's room.

And the party food. Well, every good party needs something to go wrong to laugh at later. I earned the nickname "Silly Mama" for putting out ice cream cones for the guests. Auggie found this hilarious and could not believe a body would think of ice cream cones for a party. Once they had been safely cleared away and replaced with a bulb of garlic and two eggs we were ready to carry in the cake and sing happy birthday.

As I am not a talented photojournalist, I couldn't photograph and play at the same time, so I just grabbed the guests and photographed them while dinner was on. By the way, we found this great washable neon paint at Michael's last month, which we used for the hats. And we also had an impromptu wheel painting session midway through the party planning.

Textile crafts from the Brooklyn Children's Museum

Kente cloth, Adire and Adinkra are different types of patterned textiles from Africa. Kente is woven. The colours of Kente cloth have different meanings (image Kaylor Jones via pinterest).


Adinkra (left), from Ghana and the Cote d'Ivoire, is patterned with symbols. Adire is resist-dyed with Indigo in Nigeria (Adire cloth, c. 1950, Joss Graham).


Auggie trying out the Adinkra stamps at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.


The child-scale grocery store they had there was fun, too.


The boy in the hat was so cute and so nice.


Vintage Baby Knits

We tracked down a copy of Vintage Baby Knits: More Than 40 Heirloom Patterns from the 1920s to the 1950s and it was fantastic. Our little ones are getting to be too big for the patterns (the patterns are for 1-24 months). However, our Henry has just grown into this sweater, started last summer — lucky thing, too.

He wasn't happy that I stopped to take a picture (although, even though it's not such a good picture I am terribly fond of him in it), so I had to put the camera down and try again a few months later when he was distracted. It still fits.

The Jasper hoodie is a seamed, hooded sweater. It is knit in Rowan Purelife organic cotton (DK). It is a bit nerve-wracking doing a seamed sweater, since you can't tell how it will fit until you've finished knitting. However, it came together very easily and the diamond pattern is easy and handsome.

Here's a tip: use the Zimmerman trick where you make a buttonhole on each side instead of just one side. At the end you have 2 matching rows of buttonholes along both button bands. Then you use the buttonholes on one side to place the buttons, so they match up perfectly with the holes along the other band.

While searching for the book title online, we came across a site with free vintage baby patterns, like this little pony vest. Looks nice!

Shoelace Sewing

Simple shapes with pre-cut holes that your little one can use by sewing around the edges (this isn't a practical sewing project). This activity was originally inspired by a 5-year old boy I spoke to. His kindergarten class has a wooden sewing set which is very popular with the children. Here are instructions and templates so you can make your own sewing set.

This is great for the 3-5 set and is a surprisingly easy craft project to set up.

Instructions are here and a set of templates to download so you can make this at home. There are 4 shapes to sew: Windy's kite, Sunny's guitar, Snowy & Chinook's flower and Foggy & Cloud's boat.


· Card stock (such as an empty cereal box)
· Scissors
· Hole punch
· Shoelace (yarn with scotch tape on the end would work, too)
· Templates


1. Print out one of our templates.
2. Trace shape from template onto some card stock or cardboard. We used the inside of a cereal box.You can also hold the printed template together with the card stock and cut the shape out directly.
3. Use a standard hole punch to make a series of holes around the shape you have cut out.
4. Child may then use a shoelace to sew around the edge. You may also use a thick piece of yarn with some scotch tape rolled around the end for stiffness to mimic a shoelace.