Reuben's First Sewing Lesson


My sewing machine has been stuck in our cold loft room for the whole of winter. Recently however my thoughts have been turning from crochet to sewing, maybe inspired by the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee, or maybe it's my new Mollie Makes Sewing magazine. Whatever the reason I've dusted off my machine and have (not so) secretely moved it downstairs to the kitchen table. I thought this half term would be great chance to get Reuben started on his sewing adventures. He's always showed an interest when I've been sewing and rather than sit and fiddle with my machine I thought it would be better to start teaching him how to use it.

For Reuben's first sewing project I decided on a simple felt garland. I love crafting with felt, check out my recent pocket money pigs! I cut out stars and circles in two contrasting colours and gave Reuben a quick tour of the sewing machine. I showed him where to turn it on, how to push down the pedal, and stressed more than once that he should NEVER put his fingers anywhere near the needle. He was really excited to get started. He was a bit hesitant to feed the felt through the machine so for now he was more than happy just putting his foot down on the pedal.


He was so proud of the finished result. I love that he enjoys doing crafty things and look forward to teaching him more. I think we'll make a tote bag for his next project. It's his best friend's birthday soon and he really enjoys giving presents to people that he has made himself (check out the necklace he made her for Christmas.)

Have you taught a child to sew? What sewing projects would you recommend for a 5 year old?

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Pocket Money Pigs

It's the school holidays!! We have so many activities planned as with Jacob in plaster and Reuben to entertain it's good to have a few things up our sleeves when that 'bored' word starts floating around. Before I started crafting with the kids however I took five minutes out on Sunday afternoon to make the above...I'm calling them Pocket Money Pigs! I got the idea from here and they took no more than an hour to make from start to finish.


We've never been consistent in giving our boys pocket money but I feel the time is right to introduce it on a regular basis. These pigs will help as once a week we can fill them with coins that the boys can then transfer into their money boxes. I downloaded the Modern Parent Messy Kids 'Responsibility and Money Management Kit' in particular for the routine checklist that we can start ticking off each morning and night. If the boys tick all their boxes by the end of the week, for doing simple things like getting dressed, brushing teeth and packing their school bags, then they'll receive their pocket money. Reuben can also start counting his money (maths!) and saving up for things that he may wish to buy. It's never too early to start teaching them good money management skills!

Do your kids receive pocket money? How old are they and how much do you give them weekly?






Pinterest is coming in handy this school holiday! Check out my Craft and Kids boards for more activity inspiration.
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Life Lately...


Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn that momentarily throws your world into chaos and makes you rethink your priorities and follow a different path to the one you were originally on. Not too long ago I was preparing to start a new full time teaching job that would have taken me away from family life (at least during term time) but that would have helped us stabilize our monthly income and embed us more into the French system. But then I received one of those dreaded phone calls from the school where I was told Jacob had had an accident and they thought he had hurt his knee. If only he had.


It turned out he had broken his left femur/thighbone. After a fire engine ride to Montauban hospital (exciting but disorientating as no windows mean you have no idea where you are going) and an x-ray, he was whisked off to Purpan Hospital in Toulouse where for 10 days he had both legs in traction (bandaged up and in the air with weights on the other end.) It's been exhausting for all, frustrating for Jacob, and has tested our French to the max as we deal with doctors, nurses, and a mountain of insurance paperwork to ensure that the expensive hospital bill doesn't all come out of our pocket.


Jacob is finally back at home with his leg in plaster. He's more comfortable but still has a month flat on his back as the cast goes right up to his waist. This episode means that I have (for now at least) decided not to take the job I was preparing for. If I had I would never have forgiven myself for not being around to help him recover, support Andrew, and keep life going as normal for Reuben. It's left me a little lost the past couple of weeks as I adjust my immediate life plans and decide what comes next.

Thank you to all of you who have sent messages that have kept us going since the accident. We've had so many offers of support from our family and friends, it's lovely to know that we have such supportive people around us who all wish Jacob well.



Seychelles Mama
Linking up with Seychelles Mama and her monthly 'My Expat Family' linkup!
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