Wednesday, 25 February 2015

for my little nephew

The family is growing. My sister gave birth to a little boy last week. 
As it is custom in the part of Switzerland where they live, friends, family members and work mates "plant trees"- which is usually a long pole, sometimes with a little decorated tree on top, and a sign with the name and birth date of the small baby. It is expected that the child parents will invite the "tree planters" later on for a feast to honor the new baby. Sometimes you can see gardens full of those trees- very colourful.
It is a nice custom and I missed it with my 3 nieces. This time I thought we should make at least a sign and send it- see above.

I made a small mobile for the baby. A wooden sailing ship and connected to it fishes and jelly fishes from fabric, felt and ribbons. I loved doing it and I think it turned out pretty nice.

The idea for the jellyfishes I got from here. They are just great!

Monday, 23 February 2015

this and that

In Neomi's after-school care they started to sew little puppets and animals from old socks. Helen wanted also to sew something. With my help she made this red, adorable cat. Now she carries it with her to wherever she's going :-)

If the kids are bored they sometimes readily help to prepare dinner. Even Yotam, at 2.5 years, cut last week all the vegetables for the salad.

If it's not freezing and rainy outside, Yotam is at his best when he can work with his (or mostly his father's) tools outside- hammering, screwing, sawing, drilling- some of it for real, some just acting. Maybe he will take up his grandfather's profession and will become a carpenter one day ;-)

But lately there was a lot of rain and cold weather and we were mostly stuck inside the house. Playing cards (Ligretto, Elfer raus, Uno/ Taki), drawing, playing other things. Yotam loves this one game we have with magnets. He can keep himself busy for a long time with it. Last week I added a baking tray- hurray- even more possibilities. 

And... my little sister gave birth to her second child. A boy. I am happy and sad at the same time. Sad because once more I can't hold one of my sisters babies in my arms and watch her/ him grow... I will see him in summer... 4 months to go. I will show you pictures of what I made for him as soon as the parcel will rech my sister. Don't want to spoil the surprise in case she's reading this...

Thursday, 19 February 2015

paper airplanes

Neomi knows how to fold a paper airplane. 
Helen does not. 
So Helen requested that I will fold one for her and after some more research on the internet we tried out all kinds of paper airplanes and "flying objects". We had small competitions and lots of fun.
Above the winner-airplane that flew the best.

The flying ring- very easy to do and flying nicely too.

The "helicopter".

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

visual rules

Meals with kids are not always enjoyable... at least not in our family. Still- it is very important for me that we enjoy meals together. It is a time of day to be all together and tell eachother what we did during the day, what bothers us, what we are looking forward etc. 
Since the kids eat breakfast and lunch in the daycare this one meal in the evening is even more important to me. 
But for some time now we were struggeling to have an enjoyable dinnertime. My oldest has a hard time sitting still and since I can remember she has a hard time using fork, spoon and knive instead of her hands. They all want to talk at the same time and sometimes start to fight.

Last week I made a small poster where the basic rules are visually stated. The icons are not mine- I just took them from the internet. I could have drawn something myself but had no time and I was so fed up with dinnertime that I urgently wanted to try this visual way of stating the rules instead of always repeating myself in telling them what to do and what not.

And- it worked!!!!
I fixed the rules on the wall beside the table. Before we ate, I went with the kids over the rules and asked them to try to stick to them. Here and there I silently pointed to the rules during the meal.
It works nicely since them. Not always perfect, but MUCH better and they even remind themselfs by checking out the rules (Like- "oops, I still need to clear my things from the table...")

What do you do to have a pleasent meal? Any other tricks?

Translation of the rules on the poster: 

  • wash your hands (before and after the meal)
  • use cutlery
  • don't shout
  • wait your turn (for talking)
  • be nice (say thanks and please and don't fight)
  • clear the table 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

magnetic pinwall- an idea for a present

Now that Christmas is over I want to show you the Christmas presents the kids made for their grandparents/ godmothers and godfathers.
The magnetic pinwalls are very simple and can be done even with smaller children.
We took metal plates/ sheets that we arranged from a metal-workshop in town. I thought to use baking trays but it was hard to find and expensive.
The kids chose fabric and we cut the fabric to the size of the metal sheets- leaving some spare on each side.
I made glue from flour and water and we brushed the metal sheets with it.

We then glued the fabric onto the metal.

We cut the edgesof the fabric so it could nicely be folded in.

Et voilĂ - just fold in the edges and leave to dry and the wall is finished.

The magnets can be done in various ways. We had some small wooden cubes left at home and we had some tiny, very strong magnets.
The kids painted the cubes (well- more dipped them in colour after a while when they did get fed up with painting them carefully)
And when the cubes were dry we drilled tiny holes and fitted the tiny magnets in. 

I loved the result. It is something nice and usefull to give as a present. I will make one for us too- maybe bigger and I have some other projects going on using fabric to cover wooden shelves.

And I forgot- we drilled two holes into the metal sheet so it can be nailed to the wall.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Back from almost 2 weeks with my family in Switzerland. It was so nice to see everyone again after one year. This time we will have to wait less time- in summer we will see them again- including the new baby of my sister that is due in one month. We are already looking forward.

We enjoyed the snow, the cold, the warm fires, hot punch, the cheese, the christmas lights and so much more :-)

For the new year I wish you and all of us mainly peace. Peace and good health and many moments of joy and happiness.

I will hopefully post more later this week.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

sunny days

The rainy season started early and with a nice amount of rain. But since some two weeks it is mainly warm and dry again...
We are in the middle of the pecan nuts season. This will hopefully and sadly be the last pecan nut season for our tree. I really hope that in spring we will be able to start building/ renovating- with a year delay... but things are not sure yet. And sadly the tree will have to make space to our addition to the house... there was no way around it.

We spend our time collecting the nuts, making heaps of leafs and play in them. We spend time in the fields and wadi and enjoy how nature is getting green.

Sometimes even I get a break- when the kids are busy playing in the woods, collecting things, discovering things- or in the case of Yotam- fixing things (He's always busy with "drilling", "sawing", "hammering" etc. :-)

Today they were very busy in the garden and worked quite hard to get a big pile of leafs :-)

Monday, 1 December 2014

a princesse doll

Helen's birthday is comming up. She wished for a Rapunzel doll. Well- for her, Rapunzel is the one from the movie and she has blond hair. I asked her if she would mind, if it would be a princesse with brown hair (since I only have brown wool at hand)- and that's what I made her.

There's a very talented doll maker from Spain- I guess her name is Ana- and I just love her dolls. I let myself inspire from her work and I am quite happy with my prototype.. some things I would have to change next time (If there will be a next time- but I have a feeling that neomi will want a doll too). The head is a bit asymetric and I would make it a bit bigger.

You can check out Ana's work here. Be warned- her dolls are BEAUTIFUL!

I made a collection of clothes- like pants and dresses, skirts and socks, shawls etc for the doll, in case the princess is getting bored of her crown and princess-dress. :-)
I am not sure yet, if I should braid the hair or not...

Saturday, 18 October 2014

a bunny for a baby

I made a bunny for a dear friend's baby. I hope I will be able to see her little boy when we go to Switzerland for Christmas.
I used whatever fabric I had left from other projects and some recycled fabric.
The bunny also got a felt carrot- but it's not in the picture.

Now I need to start to think about Christmas presents and two more birthday presents...

Thursday, 16 October 2014


We spent the morning outside and went for a nice walk. I need to keep the kids outside otherwise they go crazy and I keep getting mad and we just fight...
We found some nice big pine-cones and took them home for a crafty project. We decided to make owls... well they turned out to be a mix between owls and parrots and penguins, but I really like them :-)

Helen added a hat- it's her wizard-owl.

My humble creation.

Neomi made the "queen of stars"- owl.