Liberty zoo print Geranium

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Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and we say… “It’s alright”.

At last the summer has arrived here in the uk, a good excuse for a new Geranium dress for Boo. Back in April I went for a day trip to London with my mother (my first visit since having children!) and we kicked off the day with a visit to Liberty. If you have never been the beautiful building alone is worth taking the time to see, but if you are interested in fabric it is definitely one of those places on your tick list to visit. Liberty floral prints are so instantly recognisable, beautiful and timeless, that I was drawn to them. However, when I spotted this animal print I wanted it immediately. It has that beautiful softness of liberty lawn, perfect for a hot sunny day with a light breeze to catch it.

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I immediately new I wanted to make one of Rae’s Geranium dresses using it, and I haven’t been disappointed. I made my favourite style- cap sleeves, button back, and as usual simply cut one length of fabric for the skirt and placed the seam at the centre back.

This has already been worn a few times, with leggings on a cooler day…

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… And today on our country walk looking for damsel flies. I have to add this picture of Big and Little Boo walking hand in hand marching ahead to be the first to spot them. A moment of sibling camaraderie captured forever- or blackmail for my son who ‘does not hold hands with girls’! Oh the things we get carried away with in the sunshine.

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I hope you have been enjoying the sun wherever you are.
Watch this space for yet another geranium (think I am becoming slightly obsessed).

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A Bucket Hat Sewn for Boo

We’re off to a slow start in my house. I have been ill the last couple of days (don’t you just love a jippy tum?) so haven’t been able to make the start I wanted on my KCW challenge. Nap times have been spent in slumber myself and 8.00 bed times aren’t conducive to much sewing. That said I have almost finished my first project. This is my first ever hat and it is by the lovely Oliver and S (you can get the pattern for free on their website!).

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It hasn’t got the inside ‘bucket’ section attached yet (which will make it reversible) and then it will get a top stitch around the bucket rim near the brim, which will make it look much smarter. One side is a denim chambray and the other navy with a white spot (you can just spot it – ha – if you look carefully). Despite that Little Boo was happy (phew!) to wear it today as the weather has suddenly turned sunny.
I might have a change of plan on my next project now – Big Boo’s immediate comment was ‘Have you made my hat yet mummy? Does it have dinosaurs on it?”. Here we go again….

Rip Roaring Dinosaur Apps for iPad

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Anyone who has visited this blog before will know that my son, Big Boo, is a major dinosaur fan.  He spends most of his day lining his toy dinos up, building Dinosaur World, creating volcanoes, or badgering me to play dinosaur apps on my iPad. We do have a stack of educational apps on the pad (that’s another post…) but I thought I would share our top apps with you to put a smile on any of your dino fans put there ( plus the bonus is there are some educational points to them too…). So here are Big Boo’s top recommendations:

image Connect The Dots Dinosaurs- This is a clear and simple to follow dot to dot game, great for learning number recognition and ordering up to and over 20. BigBoo likes the fact that when you join the dots the image is not a cartoon but a more ‘real life’ image -with a sound effect (this always scores extra points). You get five level one dot to dots for free, and the full version costs £1.49. This is one we did buy, and it   has helped Big Boo with his numeracy skills greatly. A real hit with us.

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Dino Digger – Just as it says, swipe your finger across the screen to dig up you dino fossil, then watch it put itself together to create a full dinosaur skeleton. Then click on the skeleton to bring your dinosaur to life, he makes a noise, stands on one leg, moves his head, falls over if you shake your pad. Simple but well made, no facts apart from names but fun for 69p.

image Puzzleosaurus – our favourite dinosaur puzzle app. This has two ability levels (the harder one requires pieces to be turned to the correct orientation) both of which are good for motor control at different stages. Pictures are appealing and well created, with fun facts being simply illustrated on completion, with a dino roar (hooray!), if your little one enjoys puzzles they may like this.

image Dinos 360 – Start by looking through the photo list of dinosaurs (with three pictures of each dinosaur and some simple facts) – ther are dozens to choose from. Match the dino to it’s sound game (this sounds impossible but my son has got pretty good, although it is not definite they even made sounds at all!). Also a slider puzzle with two levels, though the 35 piece one can become a little tedious. The let down with this app in my opinion is the dinosaur tour where you can view groups of dinosaurs from different periods, the pictures are blurred and spoil the quality of the activity. Still Big Boo enjoys skimming through the pictures.

image Jurassic Park Builder – download this app with caution! Big Boo was addicted to this when we first got it and it is quite advanced and so required adult support to follow the missions and set up the park. This game develops some problem solving skills and Big Boo enjoys counting the coin values and telling me how much meat he has to feed his carnivores. We use it more as a reward game rather than everyday. Graphics good, but it does ask you to link up with other  players, which we ignored. A good freebie intro to this type of game

We have played lots more dinosaur games, and there are many more out there, but hopefully this will be helpful in choosing some good apps for your little one to enjoy and learn something new. We have our own rules about when and where the iPad can be used in our house but believe it is a useful learning (and play) tool if handled correctly, and the future for our children will inevitably include even more technology than we can probably imagine.

Happy Easter!

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Did you get woken bright and early today with very excited children? “Mummy, has the Easter Bunny been?” I don’t know when the commercial side of Easter went so crazy but my Big Boo has certainly cottoned onto it, asking for carrots to leave out for the ‘very shy rabbit’ (so I am told!). The concept of new life was discussed over our decorated dippy eggs, but the highlight was definitely hunting for chocolate gifts deposited by the bouncy bunny himself (I think he almost has the same status as Father Christmas)! Hope you enjoyed your celebrations.

Number Recognition

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This is a game we started playing about a month ago as Big Boo is getting into his reading and is starting to blend sounds, but his number recognition was pretty non existent, he just wasn’t interested. This game was the start of things. He instantly loved the dinosaur and sticker combo, rolling the dice to find out which number to cover to make his stegosaurus spotty. This along with some other games and great apps (which I may add a blog about soon) mean that a month on he recognises his numerals beyond 10 and is starting to do a bit of adding too. He can also count beyond 30 now with a bit of help, no great shakes but we are on the move. The good thing about the is you can adapt it easily to your child, draw a horse, a car, add star stickers, use paint dabblers, mix it up using whatever you have at home. Why not give it a try?

New bike and basket for Little Boo

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Little Boo is 2 on Sunday! Although I can’t believe it she is doing so much already as she is number two child: counting, naming shapes, navigating the ipad far too well…. She is also more adventurous than Big Boo was (and is!) so she has her own balance bike in the hope that it will encourage Big Boo to use his too. He has just this week started to use his scooter so I am hoping his confidence is growing in all things wheeled. I wanted to make a basket so Little Boo can carry some of her treasures with her on her journeys, and found this great tutorial at noodle-head.com. I made mine out of vinyl to make it a litte more weather resistant, seeing as it will probably be snowing on this bike’s first outing!! Hope she likes it….

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More Home Sewn Gifts

I have been busy sewing lots of projects as gifts for family and friends over the past few weeks, and have used some great tutorials found via Pinterest which I thought I would share with you here.

First some more pencil rolls and a make up brush roll for nieces and nephew following this great tutorial by sew scrumptious.
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Also some simple lined purses which look really well finished if you use this tutorial from Flossie Tea Cakes.

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If you try these out let me know what you think, I hope you find them as useful as I did!