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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Felt food to fill little N.'s empty plates

For Christmas little N. got a lot of presents, some things for her dolls, books, some clothes, but mainly a play cooking and tea-set! She just loves them and since then we (the parents) have had to do a lot of pretend-drinking and eating. It is lovely to watch her play and pretend to be mixing stuff in her small glasses, pretend to be eating from her plate... But after a couple of days I became quite frustrated to seeing her doing it in the emptiness, so I took some felt, thread, needle and scissors and within 1h15 I made her about thirty farfalle of different colours (orange: carrot, green: hmmm let's say beans, brown: cereals, and yellow for the traditional egg pasta). It looks like it makes the game even funnier, so I will be making some more things for her (some lettuce, some different pasta, some tomatoes etc.). I just need a bit of time. Farfalle are the simplest and fastest pasta to sew.

Here are a couple of pictures:
  Actually I see something on that picture that will deserve another article. My mother made little N. a very nice set of reversible things for her play-table (such as table cloth and napkins for instance). But as I said, I will come back to that later.

You may have noticed in the sauce pan some things looking like green peas. That is simply a very long necklace which I bought some years ago in England for a costume party (hence the surprising green colour which I would not wear otherwise). At the moment I haven't decided whether I want to cut it in smaller strings so that it can be shared between several plates, or if I leave it as a necklace... But it does anyway make a great toy for the cooking set and little N. spends quite a while mixing them in the pan :)
The cooking set (metal pans, wooden spoons, rolling-pin etc.) can actually be used for real cooking. I am looking forward to getting little N. to make some small cooking with her own ustensils!

The next day I decided to make two fried eggs, and a day later I made four tomato slices... Little by little my young lady is going to have a lot of food to feed her little playmate and her dolls!


[Scheduled post]

Swap with Yencamade

Yencamade and I have been exchanging comments on our blogs and private emails for a while now, not quite a year but almost! You can find a link to her blog on the left of this article. We had been wanting to swap something for a while but were waiting to have enough time... Finally we managed!

C. asked me for felt tortellini for her son's birthday, as well as the pattern of the summer sleeping-bag I made for little N. last summer (see post here).

In return I asked her to make the health-booklet cover for my second baby. I can hardly wait to see what it will look like! 

Swapping is so nice and so interesting! It is funny to see how one can make new friends through blogging. Of course it isn't quite the same as meeting people in person, but actually I am looking forward to the day I can meet C. and another French blogger, S., (from Ecole et Bricoles) for real... Maybe soon :) in the meantime, emails are not too bad.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Concours Photo (Photography competition)

If you remember some time ago I mentionned a new blog: "Pour le Plaisir de la Photo". There is also a Facebook page which you can follow and like. The photographer - well let's say it: my sister - has decided to start a competition for those living in France, there will be a price for the winner. Since it is for people living in France only, I do switch to French now ;)

Si vous suivez les deux liens ci-dessus (surtout le lien FB), vous verrez qu'il y a un concours photo. En voici les conditions:

"Concours photo !

Pour participer :
- Faire une photo qui respecte le thème : "Noir & Blanc",
- Résider en France métropolitaine,
- Accorder tacitement le droit de diffusion sur la page Méo ~ Photos dans le cadre du concours, et l'éventuelle impression selon le choix du gagnant (voir ci-dessous le prix gagnant),
- Envoyer 1 participation par personne.

Comment participer :
- Envoyez via un message privé Facebook ou via un mail vers :
-> vos nom et prénom,
-> votre photo,
-> votre adresse mail.
Aucune coordonnée ne sera diffusée, c'est uniquement pour annoncer le gagnant du concours en parallèle de Facebook.

- A la mise en ligne de votre photo, les votes pourront commencer : la photo qui obtiendra le plus de mentions "j'aime" gagnera le concours. Les votants sont invités à rejoindre la page en cliquant sur "j'aime" pour suivre le concours, les publications et les actualités de Méo ~ Photos.

- Attention : les votes seront comptabilisés UNIQUEMENT sur la page Méo ~ Photos.

- Clôture des participations le 14 février. Comptabilisation des votes le 21 février.

Le prix :
Le prix gagnant est une toile imprimée sur chassis format 20x30 (ou 30x30 selon le format de la photo choisie).
Le choix de la photographie imprimée sur la toile se fera parmi tous les albums mis en ligne sur la page Méo ~ Photos (album du concours inclus).
Le gagnant du concours recevra sa toile sous deux mois par envoi postal.

 Vous aimez cette photo? Allez sur l'album "Concours photo" et cliquez sur "j'aime"!
You like that picture? Go to the album "Concours photo" and clik on "like"!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 8 : Non-edible Gingerbread

Fleece, wadding, thread, buttons and rick-rack band, here are the ingredients for my Gingerbread persons. The following one is for a little boy who is a dear! Size of the cushion/toy: about 50-60cm! I can tell you that filling it with wadding is quite a task, it took absolute ages. But well, as long as the boy likes his present, I don't mind the time spent preparing it :)
I know it has some defects, the head looks a little strange, the mouth as well... but in my defense it is not always easy to make something really regular when having Little N. on my laps insisting on helping me (I made the "mistake" of showing her how to place her hands on the fabric to make it go under the machine's needle). Since this Gingerbread man is for a friend, I guess it makes it ok then.


For one of my two nieces I made a much smaller gingerbread girl, she is about 20cm long which is alright (I think) for a nine months old baby :) Now, my sister does not really like pink, but I hope she will forgive me for making it so, the other colours I had were not nice enough for a girl and the blue was already almost gone in the other gingerbread person. Hopefully Baby M. will like it despite (see last image) the wobbly head.
 I just had a gingerbread man shape to use as pattern but I decided to make the arms and legs go a little deeper and to have the neck thinner (more curves to sew but nevermind)... MISTAKE! Had I left the neck as it originally was, I probably would not have had the wobbly head problem. Ah well... lesson learned for next time!

And the idea with both characters was to avoid making them look too Christmassy, especially for the boy's because in Germany Gingerbread is almost automatically associated with Christmas (it is much less the case in France, especially since the films "Shrek" came out).

[Scheduled Post]

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 7 : Tea for two cousins

If you remember in Summer I made this for my niece and my goddaughter. The plan is to get the same set done for Little N. for a second birthday (next summer). In the meantime she got a play tea-set for Christmas so I got her tea-tin ready at the same time as I got her cousin's made.

 So here we are, tea-time for two cousins who unfortunately cannot play together so often as they live some 1400 km apart...

P.S: if explanations are needed on how I made the tea-bags, just ask!

[Scheduled Post]

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 6 : A doll carrier

I hope you will forgive my lack of English vocabulary but the translations I could find for "couffin" (French) and "Tragetasche" (German) were not satisfying. But nevermind, here is one of Little N.'s Christmas presents:

 With the coming of our new baby, Little N. might be wanting to imitate a certain number of activities - such as carrying HER baby(ies) in this carrier, changing nappies, giving bath etc. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to make different pieces of clothing, nor nappies, nor a changing mat, but at least for now she has the carrier, a doll-bathtub, towel and cleaning glove. That should keep her happy and busy for a while ;)

I agree that the carrier should have had thinner straps, that the straps should have been closer to each other and that I probably should have used a more rigid fabric. But well, in my defense I made it fairly quickly and with a pattern which I invented and made-up as I went... Next time I will do better :)

[Scheduled post]

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Challenge : "Un mot, des titres" - Session 13

Et voici maintenant la 13ème session du Challenge! Je ne sais pas si je pourrais participer à la prochaine, nous verrons bien. Mais en attendant voici mon petit billet pour cette session dont le mot était "Ombre".
Lors de la dernière session j'avais eu beaucoup de mal à trouver un livre et je n'en ai pas du tout apprécié la lecture, mais cette fois-ci je savais que je trouverais mon bonheur dans ma bibliothèque! Je n'avais que l'embarras du choix. Je me suis alors décidée pour une lecture rapide (45mn au grand maximum) et facile d'un livre qui me rappelle mon adolescence. Je ne suis pas certaine que beaucoup de monde aujourd'hui sache qui est "Bob Morane", héros d'Henri Vernes dans les années 60 (si je me souviens bien) et immortalisé par le groupe Indochine dans les années 80, suivez ce lien pour écouter la chanson! 

Venons-en maintenant au livre:

L'Ombre Jaune, Henri Vernes

"Qui est l'Ombre Jaune, alias Monsieur Ming?
Qu'un crime mystérieux soit commis, on entend parler de l'Ombre Jaune.
Qu'une catastrophe se produise, on se tarde pas à entendre parler de Monsieur Ming.
Il est partout à la fois. Il fait régner la terreur. Son intelligence est prodigieuse. L'Ombre Jaune contre Bob Morane. Les paris sont ouverts

Bob Morane aurait cependant été plus intrigué encore s'il avait pu voir la Rolls arrêtée un peu plus loin dans la rue Montaguë. Tania Orloff n'était plus seule. Un homme se trouvait assis à ses côtés. Un grand chinois vétu de noir, comme un clergyman. Un chinois, ou un mongol, au visage de lune, aux yeux couleur d'ambre et dont le crâne rasé brillait doucement dans la pénombre. On l'eut dit vomi par l'Enfer.

À l'origine écrits pour les 10-16 ans, je dois bien admettre que je ne me lasse pas de lire et relire les "Bob Morane" et je dois toujours et encore écrire la liste de ceux qui sont déjà dans ma bibliothèque et de ceux qui me manquent encore!

Un ancien commandant de l'armée, journaliste à ses heures, qui parle au moins une dizaine de langues étrangères, et qui parcourt le monde, souvent avec son meilleur ami, un écossais costaud qui ne refuse jamais un verre de whisky. Je ne sais pas trop pourquoi mais ces livres d'aventures, toutes aussi improbables les unes que les autres, m'ont toujours beaucoup attirés. Alors qu'adolescente la question du temps ne me chiffonait pas, je dois bien avouer qu'aujourd'hui cela me fait bien sourire: Bob Morane vit des centaines d'aventures, mais jamais l'auteur ne le vieillit. Bob est né un 16 octobre, c'est tout ce que l'on sait. 

Dans cette aventure "L'Ombre Jaune", on rencontre un personnage déjà vu auparavant mais sous un autre nom. Mais c'est cet épisode qui nous montre le personnage, M. Ming, dans toute sa cruauté (ou presque), son génie malfaisant, et c'est cet épisode qui pose le décor pour toutes une série d'aventures (au moins 25 sur les quelques 227 récits d'Henri Vernes). On y fait connaissance de Tania Orloff, la nièce de l'Ombre Jaune, qui déjà montre son double visage: elle est obligée d'aider son oncle dans ses méfaits, mais en secret elle fait tout pour déjouer ses plans en soutenant Bob et en lui donnant des informations importantes.

Je ne vais pas en dire plus au cas où certain(e)s d'entre vous seraient intéressé(e)s et s'empresseraient d'aller lire ce livre.

J'ai hâte de découvrir tous les autres billets comme d'habitude et peut-être trouver de nouvelles inspirations. En attendant je vous dis à bientôt!

[Scheduled Post]

Christmas presents - part 5 : A Clock

When seeing all of the posts that are ready to be published (all scheduled), I can hardly believe how much I actually manage to make this year (writing in dec. 2012) for Christmas! It takes a bit of time and energy, but I think I will do it again next year IF the people receiving the presents enjoy them obviously.

This particular present was for my beloved husband, not a mathematician but a physicist... all the same to me ;) scientists! I had seen an image of a "Maths Clock" online and thought it would be a nice idea, but ouch! they are expensive!! So I decided to make one myself and paid a little amount for a clock, dismantled it, replaced the back sheet, let my daughter decorate it and put everything in place again. Fairly simple really.
At first I was about to use the same formulas and calculations as on the clock I had seen online, but after checking with a dear scientist friend of mine (thank you so much again J.!!) there were some mistakes and apparently some of the calculations were repetitive and boring... I believed her without checking myself (I am much more of the literary type). She suggested that I should find better ones, but I could only think of basic multiplications, substractions etc. So she very generously offered to help and managed to get me something looking pretty good. 

Shall I stop writing and show you some pictures?
The background was not removable, so I painted over the numbers in white.
Here are the "fun" equations, calculations, numbers etc.
After letting little N. do her work (with a bit of help for the centre part)
And the final result, hopefully we will have a happy Daddy ;)
I have been wanting to make a clock for Little N.'s room for a while now, that will be the next clock on the list I suppose, but not to be started nor achieved before at least March 2013!
Anyway, what do you think of that one?

[Scheduled Post] 

Friday, 11 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 4 : A photo album

One of my sisters is gone to Ireland for the year. Unfortunately she cannot carry much in her luggage and had to leave a lot of her belongings at home. Living myself abroad I know how difficult it can be to be away from family and friends, so I decided to make her a very small album where she can put her favourite pictures (potentially replacing the ones I have put already) and therefore not feel quite so far away and lonely (although I think she is mostly having fun!).
The idea is not from me, my mother-in-law bought a similar album from a market - if I remember well - so I cannot give you references. I just measured it and had a good look at it in order to be able to produce something similar.
Here are some pictures:
and here are the dimensions of the needed cardboards and papers: 
*2 pieces of decorated rigid cardboard = 12,5 x 17 cm [I did not have already nicely decorated cardboard, so I glued some yellow paper on it, and covered with a piece of foam paper on the outside. The decoration does not look great, but I have to confess that I lacked time and imagination to do something better.]

*strong paper (in France I would have used Canson sheets of paper) = 94 x 16 cm. It is to be noted that I did not have enough paper to get the required length, so my album is shorter than the original one and therefore containing less pictures (10 instead of 12). 

You then need to fold the paper in the shape of an accordeon every 11,5 cm - so if you have the requiered 94 cm, you fold it 8 times I believe obtaining a side with 8 photos and one with 6 (the two ends being glued to the cardboard).

It is very easy to make and I shall be making one for myself at some point in the near future because it is also a very practical way to carry around a sample of pictures you want to show to your friends or family when you go visiting :)

If anybody reading this blog more or less regularly is making this album too, I would love to see the pictures!

[Scheduled post]

Monday, 7 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 3 : A Mice Game

The very first time I visited my future parents-in-law, we played a GDR game: "Mäuschen, Gib acht!". The rules are fairly simple: one person holds a small container and rolls a dice when everybody is ready, the others place their mice in the middle of the playing area, holding them by the tail. Then when a 6 appears, all mice try to save themselves from the cat who is trying to catch them... Big fun even for adults!
In the same year, or the year after, my parents-in-law (well still to-be) gave me the game to take it to France and play with my family. It was a big hit especially with my younger brother. But I took the game back with me and they haven't been able to play since. 

This year then, I decided to make a copy of the game rather than buy one on Ebay (could have done though, the ones you find on Ebay are original ones!). I searched for a quick easy mouse pattern and found this one, which I transformed slightly in order to get smaller and thinner mice (about 5 cm long and 2,5 cm wide). As per usual, while making them I cursed myself for always making things smaller than the original pattern and therefore getting achy fingers afterwards - I do get pretty tense and stiff when I work on small things!

 The original game:

 And the new one:
 I am hoping several things: first that my brother is going to enjoy it as much as he did before, second that the tails will hold!

[Scheduled Post]

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christmas presents - part 2 : House-shoes

Yet another programmed post, it is after Christmas now, so I can finally show what I have been making in November! Part of my work where house-shoes! After making four pairs in a row, I have decided to stop making some for a while ... well until Little N. needs the upper size really. I have talked about shoes already before here, here and here :) and you will also find the link to the website where I got the pattern from.

For two sisters (my nieces):
I just hope Little L. and M. do like them (and their parents too!). At least on thing is sure: they should not get cold feet this winter! 
The "G" and "D" stand for "gauche" and "droite", meaning left and right for those who do not speak any French. The smallest pair is not meant for a walking child (size 9 months), but in case the little one starts crawling and standing a bit early, I thought it would be better to be on the safe side and use some of that anti-sliding liquid I talked about before (Sock-Stop).

For two brothers (mine):
 Those two pairs were less easy to make because of the sizes (30 and 39!), I needed bigger socks for the soles but it is feasable. You might have noticed that the green pair looks a bit different underneath. That is because I could not get more Sock-stop in the shop, but got ABS-socks (or something like this) instead. It smells less horrid, seems to dry faster, now I can only tell you about the anti-sliding quality after they have been worn a bit. I will try to remember getting back to you about that (if anyone is interested really). 
As for the colours, I probably haven't made a mistake - I know those boys and what they like ;)

And just for fun I collected all the shoes I have made so far (save one which is packed and in the basement):

 Doesn't that look nice?

[Scheduled post]

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very happy new year. May 2013 bring you joy, peace and everything you may wish for!