Crafting with Kids

Don’t do it.

And if they are your kids? Really don’t do it.

I have SO MUCH respect for people who can do art with kids. Who can encourage them beyond the fear of “I’m doing it wrong” and get them to just create art. My eldest sobs, wails, and generally just stalls herself unless she knows what she is doing. And it drives me crazy. Because then she does it “her way” and basically crumbles paper and calls it whatever she wants or otherwise makes a mess.

So I put on my buddah pants, and calmly embarked on a felt craft project inspired by these super cute pencil toppers.


A few hints if you simply must craft with your children:

  1. Don’t sit down and expect to do your own project. Not only are you simply going to get frustrated as they stick their jam hands into your stuff, they haven’t seen the years you spent learning to smoothly cut and they may become upset that they can’t instantly reproduce what you did.
  2. If you simply must craft with them, try doing the type of project where you do all the prep and they assemble. Then you are all starting from the same playing field.
  3. Find your inner peace first and try to remember that a lot of this is totally brand new and actually really hard for them! Cutting, knowing which side glue goes, learning that you’ll have more fabric/paper if you cut from the edge instead of the middle.

Colette Moneta


I started by ordering the downloadable Colette Moneta pattern before heading off to buy fabric. Since I’m a pretty straight forward XL and I’m doing version 1, minus the collar, I printed all 40 sheets. Next time I’ll print sheet 1 to check printer settings, but I’d leave off 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, 27, 31, 34, 35, 39, 40. I realize that’s only 11 sheets of paper, but that’s still 11 sheets of paper!

One idea I have for this is hacking it a bit and using a different top and bottom fabric. Nothing as out of the box as this Wrenata hack, though. (BTW, even the founder of Cashmerette loves the Moneta, which is what really swayed me to this pattern.)

I made a similar dress for my daughter. I love the super heroines! & I’ve got super helpers.


Sergers are messy, but man, I love using it for knits way better than I do the sewing machine.IMG_20170625_103120908

One of my favorite carry-overs from knitting is that I can “read” which is the right and which is the wrong side of my knit fabrics.


This turned out…ok. THe extra 6″ would have been great on a top. In fact, I’m thinking I need a tank or two like this. But it’s just…ok.

So I went back and hacked the skirt. Chopped the top, re-did the pockets (still crap).


And added a belt! It’s basically a tank dress. And, ideally, the skirt would maybe be a little wider since it doesn’t have a lot of give, but I like it and I’ll wear it. And I totally like the belt addition and will be using it on my next one. And making the pockets way bigger.

BTW, it turns out I thought that ironing/pressing was one of my less favorite sewing activities. Trying things on over and over? Way worse.


Biscotti yes, but banana?

We accidentally picked up squeezee yogurts instead of squeezee applesauce, and it turns out the banana flavor is not popular round these parts. Since we had a banana on the counter turning brown & someone around here has gone through all the “Great British Baking Show” on Netflix and has moved on to “Master Class,” well, these ingredients just called out for biscotti.


The batter looked ok in the mixer.


Unfortunately, I don’t think this recipe is going to work out. That is way flatter than it should be.


I’ll return to my more classic Chocolate, chocolate chip recipe. And maybe try a rosemary orange one, too.


Half the kids ate them, the other half wouldn’t go near them. You win some, you lose some.

(cup)cake boss

After watching an episode of Cake Boss, my kid was excited to try her hand at cake decorating. So I got together with my sister and set up a mini workshop for all our kids.

At my husband’s suggestion, we ditched the store bought fondant (up to $17 bucks for way more than we needed) and spent about $4 to make Marshmallow Fondant! Not only did it taste good, but we did ourselves.

Sis mixed up some buttercream, adding color to half, so we had two choices for piping. A nice spring green for “grass” and an off-white as a simple background.

Using the Wilton’s icing dye, we got some good colors on our fondant.


And the kids really took to the notion of edible modelling clay. Making some fantastic creations.


And lest you think “Man, she’s good at everything,” my modelling skills leave a lot of room for improvement. That is one wonky elephant.


The sewing continues


More sewing with free stuff (or semi-free, re-used stuff). The top is some cream jersey I got in a free bag from a NextDoor neighbor. The bottom is a sheet that I loved but that never fit even though it was “fitted.” This adorable pattern was on pinterest and I’m really loving the LBG website. I need to add it to my Feedly so I can see the updates.

I used the serger for everything but the pockets, I just don’t have the same control on it as I do on the sewing machine. So I sewed the pocket pieces together a little neater. Of course, neither of my children wants it. Thank goodness my sister has a girl about the same age.