Glove Monster

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Some friends and I were thinking of doing a sockmonster flashmob type thing. Now… I already have a handful of sock monsters that I bought a couple of years ago. I fell in love with them and figured if I bought them, eventually I’d be able to get round to making some friends for them.

Glove Monster Bob - tutorial with photos - by the messy mama

And all of a sudden it’s flashmob time and I thought I’d see just how hard a basic glove monster was to make! I told my friend to stuff one glove with another, but I have three cushions that are literally falling apart so now I have three cushions’ worth of stuffing to use. Hurrah!! I foresee a lot more sock and glove monsters being made MWAhahahahahaha……. hehe…..

Glove Monster Bob - the beginning - by the messy mamaGlove Monster Bob is taking shape by the messy mama

First, turn the glove inside out and carefully cut off the thumb and the two middle fingers. Use wool to sew the edges together using a blanket stitch. Then you can turn the glove right side out again.

Glove Monster Bob is given eyes by the messy mama

You would not believe how hard it was to find a tin for my buttons this morning. I am obsessed with pretty little tins, and had recently acquired a few bags of buttons (also an obsession) which needed a home – and could I find any tins?! Eventually I found one I’d bought for Messy Boy to use as a treasure tin and re-homed it in my sewing box. So Glove Monster Bob (yes, he has a name already) now has eyes, sewn on with wool. I’m not taking my chances with an inquisitive baby around – they are sewn on properly.

Glove Monster Bob gets sewn up by the messy mama

Time for stuffing! Stuff the ears first using small balls of stuffing so you don’t stuff them out of shape, then fill in the body. Sew the bottom up with wool using a blanket stitch again.

Glove Monster Bob gets a mouth by the messy mama

Glove Monster Bob was given a red woollen mouth using a cross-stitch. I waited until he was stuffed and sewn up before giving him a mouth because it was tricky enough sewing his eyes on before he was stuffed!

Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and .... Bob.

So here he is with his friends. Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and …… yes, Bob.


Sweet greens and blues…

July 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Today we painted.

Well, I painted, to start with. I’ve been dying to have a go all by myself at some swirly gooey hand painting. Messy Boy was occupied with playdough and flour and enjoying making a fair old mess, and then occupied washing his hands and giving all the bottletops a big bath.

So I set up my own invitation to paint…

the messy mama - invitation to paint - sweet greens and blues

And oh my word did it look inviting to me! I go stuck straight in. Messy Baby was wide awake and watching intently (I have no pictures of him though as the camera was set up pointing the other way), and I had to move things several times as he had a farther reach than I thought he had!

the messy mama - artist at work - sweet greens and blues

No wonder Messy Boy enjoys this, the paint feels gorgeous!!

the messy mama - artist at work - sweet greens and blues

Anyway by this point Messy Boy had finished flooding the kitchen again and wanted to do his own painting.

I set up a fresh invitation to paint:

the messy mama - invitation to paint

Which was hugely well received!

We started by squeezing the paint onto the paper. Messy Boy directed. Blue here, green here, yellow here. Stop mummy, stop! (Not until the camera clicks, honey!)

the messy mama - messy painting

Then it was time to paint. Here’s where I hold him under his armpits and he swings his legs wildly in the gloopy paint. HE LOVES IT!!

the messy mama - messy painting

And then when he’s swung his legs around enough I let him get on with it with his hands and anything else available as well. Today he chose the tractor to help make marks in the paint. I’d already used it, and the tape roll, and the cork…

the messy mama - messy painting

He enjoyed bunny-hopping across the paper, and now I know how this particular paint works I know that we can easily paint over the green with yellow and it show through so I have some fantastic prints of his feet at last!

Everybody’s Different

July 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

How many times have you thought, ohhhh that’d be such a fab thing to do with my little one, only to find they were stunningly underwhelmed?! Yeah, me too – lots! Today I made pizza and invited Messy Boy to help me decorate it… he sounded like such a stroppy teenager with his grumpy “no” response!


The craft kits that I do, he will tolerate but wants to get on with other stuff usually.

Decorating biscuits – well, he’ll do a couple, eat one, and delegate the rest.


Playdough – ha! He loves it! Especially if it involves burying his tractor!!


Painting – doesn’t especially enjoy getting his hands gloopy. I really hope it’s a phase he grows out of. On the other hand, or possibly foot, give him a canvas and some paint on the floor and take his socks off and he’ll slip and slide in the paint until the paper gives up and breaks!


What have you tried with your little ones that you’ve discovered were an unexpected hit (or miss)?

We Do Love

July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

Do you remember the homemade fingerpaints we made the other week, and the painting Messy Boy and I did? Well, I finally got around to drawing on it! I can’t take credit for the words although boy would I love to ;o) If you know where they originated, please let me know!

Following on from yesterday’s Beautiful Mess, this is the latest thing I’ve committed to canvas. It means a HUGE amount to me. This whole parenting thing especially. And our marriage. We make so many mistakes, but we’re learning that actually making mistakes is ok. They’re not bad in themselves. We learn through making mistakes. It’s how we deal with the mistakes, how we learn from them and move forward rather than making the same mistake over and over. And we learn how to say sorry, and we learn how to do second (and third, and fourth, and on and on) chances, and we learn about grace and just how big it is.

In this house we do love we do i'm sorry we do grace

And right now, “we do loud reeeeeeeally well” is ringing in my ears with Messy Boy’s non-stop noise-making, whether that’s singing or shouting or squealing or drumming or being a racecar or a spaceship or hammering and fixing things, and Messy Baby’s contented gurgling or insistent shouting or happy squealing when presented with a juicy strawberry!

Being genuine with each other, being “real”, is also a big part of our lives. Honest emotions are so important. When you are honest with your emotions, it is not emotional blackmail. It is truth! And then you learn how to deal with those emotions safely, without bottling them up inside. We do funny too 🙂 Messy Baby is growing up laughing! And Messy Boy – well. Last night we were remarking at how he is such a serious wee man. And then he just came out with some crazy gobbledegook, waggling his head around and cackling loudly – yeah, he’s the serious one, alright….

We do hugs. A lot. Big ones. Physically connecting with each other. A gentle touch, through to a big bear hug, all speaking volumes where words just wouldn’t do the feeling justice. We are a family! When Messy Dad and I married, we became “one” unit. Our lives changed to accommodate each other – neither of us was just tacked on to the other, we are not two individuals who just happen to occupy the same space. And when our children came along they weren’t just tacked on to our husband-wife dyad, they became part of our lives, and we changed to accommodate them because they are as much a part of us as we are of each other.

we do love the messy mama

But most of all, we do this thing called Love.

Jesus came along and said the commandments that God gave way back when were great but they lacked one great big thing – grace. And the new commandments that Jesus gave, Love God, and Love your neighbour like you love your Self, encompassed everything. But Jesus brought grace into the equation to say that no matter how much we mess up, God still will love us.

And I hope that the way Messy Dad and I interact with each other, by ourselves and in front of our children, and the way we interact with them, is genuine, heartfelt, full of grace, and full of love.

It’s here, if you’d like a copy 🙂

Beautiful Mess

July 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I was challenged to think about what I tidy up at the end of the day by the Nurture Store. My house feels like it’s in a permanent state of chaos, to be honest – we are living through renovations and as soon as we reclaim one room, it gets filled up with stuff from another room so that we can work on that one. And of course we’re working on all of it all at once because we need all of it with two young children!

But there are times when I look at the mess and my perspective changes, and this is when I’m glad I found a new phrase to let go through my mind:

oh what a beautiful mess

Because, quite often it’s a result of the most fabulous imaginative play. To sit and listen to Messy Boy play gives a fascinating insight into what he’s processing at the moment! The things his toys say to each other, the problem scenarios they face, the solutions they come up with, the developing independence – it’s amazing.

And then we get to learn about putting precious toys away, things that he’s not keen on letting Messy Baby play with, and things that might hurt Baby.

And then, there’s Messy Baby’s own special brand of mess…… because we’re doing “baby led weaning” with his food, it does tend to create a lot of mess. The wall behind where he sits is not faring particularly well – it’s going to need sanding down and re-painting soon I think!! This morning Messy Baby was given a non-slip mat for his tray, and a bowl that stuck to the mat. Messy Baby LOVED being able to choose what he was going to eat next, without it instantly being knocked off his tray! I still have to keep an eye on him because he’s managed to learn ALREADY how to remove the non-slip mat from his tray…

messy baby breakfast baby-led-weaning


If you like the painting, there are a few poster prints available to buy!

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