Thursday, 30 July 2015

When Reuben Turned THREE!

This absolutely gorgeous boy turned three back in April! Three! Can you believe it? He is growing into such a beautiful little fella. He still owns the cheekiest smile ever, with a contagious laugh to match. He is just so much fun to be around. He has a great sense of humour and the biggest heart. He's loud and loves all the boy things. Dinosaurs, trucks, trains, planes, cars, superheroes. All the boy stuff.

So Reuben asked for a Superhero party for his birthday, and boy did Mama deliver.

I decided to make it a party where the kids could do stuff, so we turned the party into a Superhero training boot camp!

Each guest got one of these checklists, and each party game fulfilled one "competency". (***see the end of this post for a link to the prints!!***) When they had completed the whole list, they were presented with a certificate of completion. And yeah, I may have laminated stuff. I'm so a teacher.

First up they had to look the part... they came up with names, decorated capes (really simple ones I made with pieces of white cotton with a hem sewn at one end with elastic threaded through it), and had their faces painted.

They pinned the star on the SHIELD...

Single-handedly demolished "brick walls"...

Rescued a baby from a burning building... (and yeah, my husband does own a smoke machine)

Made their way through a laser maze...

And for their final challenge, they had to work together to defeat the evil villains (played by my brother and his BFF who turned up on motorbikes just at the right moment). The kids went to town on them with silly string and foam swords and karate chops.

The food was all allergy free, and I made little labels for each thing stating which superhero power it helps to build... like 'builds muscles', 'every blast', 'increases elasticity', 'boosts invisibility' and so on.

It was so much fun. The kids had a fabulous time, and I really enjoyed putting it on.

I also took allergy free cupcakes to kindy for him to share with his friends later that week...

All in all Reuben had a VERY happy birthday.

And now he's THREE!!! My beautiful big boy.

***If you're interested in the printable I made for Reuben's party VISIT THIS LINK. You will find the training checklist, the food labels, and the certificates. Enjoy!!


If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I am a notorious crafter. I'll give anything a go... I like to draw, and paint, and scrapbook, and sew, and cross stitch... But my craft of choice for the last few years though has been crocheting. I ALWAYS have a project on the go. I make hats, and little shoes, and cardigans, and blankets. I love it!

This is my most recent blanket, made from a beautiful pattern book I was given for Christmas. It was quite time intensive (took me months) and very challenging. I learned a new style of crocheting called Intarsia, where you work by the row, with multiple colours of yarn attached simultaneously. I think on my most difficult square (the spiral) I had about 8 balls of yarn attached at once. Definitely not one to do while the kids were around... I quite often landed myself in a tangle. I'm very proud of this blanket though, it feels like a huge accomplishment.  also learned how to crochet by reading charts while making this blanket, so that was pretty cool too!

I've also whipped up a few hats for the kids recently. The minion hats are proving quite popular and I have a long list of requests.

Recently, my Nana challenged me to have a go at knitting. Being that I'm mostly self-taught with crocheting, she thought I was up to learning a new skill. So, I did what any Y-gen gal wanting to learn a new craft would do, and got out my iPad. I spent a while on pinterest finding a pattern that a) didn't look too difficult, and b) were still cute. Then, I switched over to youtube, and found myself some tutorials. YouTube is seriously fantastic for things like this. It doesn't get cross at you for holding your crochet hook differently (I'm looking at you Nana!), or get frustrated when its student just doesn't *get* the whole tension thing... Plus it lets you stop and rewind as much as you want. I mostly learned to crochet via YouTube tutorials. I would simply search for the name of the stitch in the pattern I was using and voila, hundreds of wonderful tutorials would appear! And it's the same for knitting.

In one evening, YouTube had taught me to cast on, knit (actually those two skills were just a brush-up, my Nana taught me those when I was about 8, and I was amazed that it all came flooding back), purl, add stitches, drop stitches (like, intentionally) and cast off. And within a couple of evenings, I had made myself (well, Mayana actually) a knitted beanie! It's such a feeling of accomplishment to figure out how to do something like that, and to construct a piece of fabric from a single length of yarn is just so cool.. it never gets old for me!

So beanie done, I decided to move on to something a bit more involved. My next project was a little sleeveless cardigan, also for Mayana. I just love the way knitting looks.. and I'm really enjoying watching pieces of clothing evolve on my needles. With crochet, I have a pretty thorough understanding of how it all works, and can visualise how things are going to work or come together, adjust patterns to suit my imaginings, and quite easily create my own patterns by just looking at something. At this stage, knitting is more like a paint-by-numbers experience. Working row-by-row, unsure of what each stitch is going to achieve on the actual garment. The downside to this is that if I made a mistake I'm not sure how to un-make it, and I did have three very time-consuming false starts on my little cardi before I realised that I was misunderstanding some of the instructions on the pattern. But I got there eventually (thanks again internet!!) and there's no stopping me now.

Next up, something for my Quinny-bean. I decided to use up my left over bamboo/wool blend from the gorgeous Intarsia crochet blanket I made. I found a Patons pattern at Big W for a cute little vest, and adjusted it a little to make it striped. It worked out beautifully, though I've just realised I don't have any good photos of him modelling it!

Currently on my needles is a vest for Reuben. He asked for his to have buttons down the front, as he's just learned to use them and LOVES them. Luckily the pattern I bought has a button option, and it also has pockets! So a few new challenges ahead.

So look out world, Zoey has a new addiction.... who knows what will come of this! I'm pretty excited to find out!

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