From the small ones...

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I wanted to show you the gift that the little Teacakes gave to me recently. It came beautifully wrapped in their own carefully designed paper and had this handmade box inside.

The familiar sound of bricks rattling told me that there was lego inside and on opening it I did indeed just find lots of small red and yellow lego floating about, which I was quite puzzled by. However, there was also an instruction manual included and I found that they had made me my own 'build a sewing machine kit' with photographs of each stage of construction to help me to put it together. Mr Teacakes had helped them photograph each bit, but apparently they had spent well over an hour studying all the bits of my sewing machine while trying to find suitable bits of the lego to represent the fly wheel, needle and controls. It was one of the most surprising and definitely the most lovely gift that I've ever been given.

It's hard to explain why it made me quite so happy and why it's now one of my most treasured possessions, but I think it's something to do with the care that they took and that it shows how very well they know me and because I can imagine just how excited they would have been while they were designing it. Also because on Christmas day when we went downstairs and saw that Father Christmas had come and filled up their stockings and left presents for them beneath the tree, they actually made me open their present before they opened any of their own....their excitement at giving it to me was completely magical and nearly made me cry. So now it lives here next to my set of Russian dolls that my Mama gave to me last year and every day it makes me smile with its loveliness.

The week before Christmas we spent a day making their presents to give to grandparents and other lovelies. Zebra-girl had written a lovely story about an owl who couldn't fly, so we scanned it into the computer and made it into little books, which we bound with colourful ribbons.

Dinosaur-boy made pictures for everyone. First he created a large collage sheet of fabrics, glitter and feathers, then on each card he drew a picture or traced around a cookie-cutter, which I cut out for him. We then stuck a section of his collage sheet behind the cut out and he wrote what each stencil was in his most careful cursive handwriting. It was so hard giving them away...I wanted to keep them for myself.

Finally they wanted to use the sewing machine to make bean-filled frogs for their favourite friends - a really easy project for them to do, where they can trace round and cut out the pattern, understand which bits need to be sewn together easily and enjoy filling them with beans and picking beads for me to sew on for eyes (is it the way I'm teaching it or are buttons and beads the most difficult things for children to learn to sew on? - mine find it so frustrating that I tend to do it for them). However, a non-sewing related hand injury meant that mid-project Zebra-girl had to sit nursing a bandaged hand while I finished hers off for her.

We did so much making and baking that week that it seemed to go some way toward making up for how very little of that kind of thing we seem to fit in during term time - something that I really mind about, but the time after school seems to whizz by so quickly and there seems to always be so many other things that need doing.

Our igloo was still standing this evening, but despite the fact that he could put all his weight on top of it without it showing any sign of movement, Mr Teacakes became concerned about the feline health and safety implications of the structure. Our cats loved going in there as soon they went outside and he had images of them being crushed by a whole garden full of snow collapsing upon them, so it has now been deconstructed and compacted into the most enormous pile of the snow that no one is likely to be capable of sheltering beneath, but that will be perfect for jumping on tomorrow morning.

I think I forgot to say that I'll announce the giveaway winner in the middle of next week, so you still have time to visit here to win the magazine & fabrics, as well as to share what your favourite and least favourite words. I am loving reading them, as well as meeting so many lovelies that I hadn't known were there.

Wishing you a lovely Friday. x


  1. Where can I find the frog pattern! Must have!

    I really love the collage cards, too.

  2. Your children are the sweetest. And that handwriting is beautiful.

  3. That lego sewing machine kit is simply fabulous - the effort that has gone into it is wonderful; how very lucky you are!
    Chris x

  4. OMG! What an amazing present - I can quite see why you were on the brink of tears. It's like saying that they totally 'get' you and also that all the crafting you have taught them has been worth it, if you know what I mean. Wonderful.

  5. What a beautiful and perfect present Florence. It really couldn't be more special could it? I have a poem framed in my kitchen which was written by our children for Mother's Day when I was pregnant with Isabella. Each child (6 of them) wrote a little phrase about how they felt about me and my daughter printed it out in beautiful typescript. It hangs in our kitchen and I love it xx

  6. That is the cutest thing precious!

  7. Anything that your child takes so much effort over is especially precious - it's a beautiful present and one to treasure. Our grown-up daughter took a lot of trouble to book us a night away and arranged her time to come and care for mother-in-law. We haven't been able to go because of the weather but the thought and care she took is much more important than the actual trip.
    Love the frogs.

  8. oh wow, what a lovely present from your children. The time and effort they put into it is wonderful.

  9. Victoria Leather15 January 2010 at 13:14

    Oh my, what a wonderful present from the little ones. Simply perfect. I'm sure you will treasure it forever. And the craft - wow! I am impressed. Another housemove pre-Christmas meant we didn't enjoy any really this time but we will be here for a long time yet so I'm looking forward to this year's christmas crafting already!

    PS The Flossie the Elf Christmas Stockings (as they shall be forever known here) were bought out with great ceremony on Christmas Eve. My kids adore them and REALLY do think they came all the way from the North Pole. xxx

  10. I know why you love your little sewing machine so much - quite unique and absolutely priceless and so very thoughtful. The children working away with their Daddy is such great teamwork and like you say, it shows how well they know you which is lovely. Lucky you!

  11. I can really see why you are so touched by the sewing machine. The thought and effort along with the end result is quite unsurpassed and very touching. You must be a wonderful Mum for them to do all that for you. It brought a little lump to my throat and its not even mine. x

  12. Precious indeed Florence. How well they know their Mummy.


    Mr Teacake's igloo is an engineering triumph! Although we build forts here fairly regularly, we rarely get the right type of snow/temperature combination for it!

  13. What a fantastic present,I would have been in tears.


  14. Nice frogs! they look like they might be a bit fiddly, no?

  15. What a most wonderful present! And what clever children you have - I think that was an even better present than the pink carbolic soap I received which made me laugh hysterically! Yours would definitely have had me in tears - my children now know that if I burst into tears they have done something truly special.

    Pomona x

  16. Oh Florence! You have made me cry reading about your lovely present! xx

  17. Jane, that's so upsetting - how awful for you, and also for your daughter, who must have been so excited. But what a lovely treat for her to have dreamt up.

    Victoria, I'm so pleased the children love them and that they have become a part of your Christmases - and of course I love the idea of being one of the elves. You poor thing moving again though - I hope you are now more firmly rooted. x

    Pomona, that made me laugh - mine now know that too. They are also finally used to the idea too that I cry every time we watch the Railway Children when her father appears on the station platform because I am so happy, rather than because I want him to 'go back to prison'. Crying with happiness must be such a strange concept to have to grasp, particularly when you give someone a gift.

    Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. x

  18. I love the lego sewing machine!!! Inspired Christmas gift! You have a couple of very clever teacakes there.


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