Easy Things To Make For Your Kids

I spend so much time making things for Noctiluna, things to sell, things for other people’s kids and homes, and I love what I do. However, I have an admission to make; I rarely craft things for my own kids, I never seem to have the time. We do a lot of crafty projects, but I don’t really make them things. This reminds me of the old saying “the carpenter’s children have no shoes”. My kids often wear Noctiluna shirts, but more often than not, they are the shirts that I can’t sell, the ones with the little smudges on the collars, or the wonky labels. Once, I specifically designed and printed a unicorn shirt for my daughter, and I did print a rocket on my son’s school bag last year, but more often than not, I just buy them things made by other people. They both have their birthdays in May, and this year I have been making things for them. Easy, foolproof things, nothing complex, because, well, I don’t have much time, and I can be a bit of a scatterbrain.


My nine year old daughter is obsessed with two things: the new Cinderella film, and Paris. She is learning French at school, and is fascinated by French culture.She likes nothing better than sitting outside a cafe with a croissant, and practicing her French on very confused friends (poser).  Well, the stars just happened to align in her favor this year, and during my summer camp research sessions, I kept bumping into things that she would love.

I have blogged about the website madebyjoel.com before, it is an amazing resource for parents and educators alike. I found a great printable “mini Paris kit” on the site. Easy as pie, print, cut, and fold, find a tin of Altoids, empty the contents (don’t eat them all at once), jazz the tin up a bit, et voila! There are loads of other free printables on the site as well – I printed out some cityscapes for my son and his friends to color in and play with at his birthday party as well – they are a great party give away.

My daughter is still into dolls, and she fell in love with Maileg’s knitted mice in match boxes – they look so vintage and cute. I cannot knit to save my life, but I just happened to be researching paper dolls for a camp. So I drew a family of mice on some paper, stuck the drawings onto card (empty cereal boxes work well), and cut them out with little flaps to stand on. I used fabric scraps to sew a little mattress to fit into a matchbox (unsure what to do with all the matches, though), and put the whole family into one box.  Matchboxes aren’t very pretty any more, so I decorated the box as well. I got so into this that I foolishly made a family of animals for my four year old son as well, knowing full well that they will be destroyed in a matter of minutes.

Finally, have a look at this EASY knotting method for making tutus that a friend found for me on Pinterest. I have been using it to make tutus to sell with baby onesies, and decided to make my daughter a Cinderella tutu. You can buy beautiful long Cinderella tutus at Kohls, but again, they are so, so, pricey. Just use longer strips of tulle (the glittery tulle really put a smile on my daughter’s face), and pop a few fabric butterflies into the skirt.

Also, I found the BEST skin markers for drawing tattoos on the kids. The colors are so bright and glittery that It doesn’t matter that they get rubbed off in minutes. I want to use them again and again, and the kids are very pleased.

Now if I could only come up with a project that involves using up large quantities of Altoids and matches. Hmmmm…..

Montessori, Murals, and Mayhem!

I never managed to blog last week; May is always the busiest month of the year for me. I had my babies in May and, weirdly enough, so did many of my friends, so there are birthdays to plan and attend, and many, many presents to buy and give. May is also a month of festivals – this year I am selling at the MoCo Strawberry Fest, and ViVA Vienna.
Aah May, bringer of annual pediatric check ups, school orientations, end of year exams, and end of school mayhem (Sorry, I pun like an idiot when tired), and the Noctiluna Summer Camps loom ever nearer.
Long story short, May is a busy month.

I was going to blog about the stress, but you don’t need to hear any more about that.

Instead, I’ll tell you about something lovely:

A friend of mine is opening a new Montessori preschool in Vienna. This is wonderful, because my friend is wonderful. She is a wonderful educator, who has helped my 4 year old son immensely, and there aren’t nearly enough good full-day preschools in Vienna (I should know!).

I visited the site last week, and I’m beyond excited. The building is full of big, bright windows, and has great outdoor work/play areas. I’m also excited because in all probability I will be running the Noctiluna camps from this awesome place next year.

As if all that was not exciting enough, my friend has asked me to paint a mural at the entrance of her school. Of course, I squealed in delight, and made the builders knock things over.

It’s a little known fact, but I have actually painted a public mural before. It was a long time ago, when I was a twenty-something, on Cable Street in East London (no, no, not the famous one, the other one). I’m not sure if it is still there, it’s possibly covered in graffiti, or a fresh coat of paint, which is fine. I painted it to publicize a new youth IT training center opening nearby. I have  been wanting to paint another one for a while now.

To celebrate, I tried out my skills on a small wall in my family room, and now I just want to paint on everything!! My kids are delighted, the house may look very different by the Summer.  I’ll keep you posted. 🙂