This year Bella has had a teacher that she's really connected with. He's been very kind to her, especially when she's had wobbles about her skin making her look different and in particular when she's been worrying about her Nana. Having been to 9 different schools myself and having suffered through many a bad teacher, I am distinctly aware of just how important and inspiring a good teacher can be.
Which is why I'm really sad that today Bella has said goodbye to him, to move on up to big (Junior) school. But it's also why I was quite happy to go a little further than normal for the teacher's gift.
After much discussion (and at the very last moment, because she's nothing if not my child), Bella decided that she wanted me to make a kangeroo and joey to give to her Australian born teacher. As well as wanting to give him something that reminded him of home, she wanted to give him a present that his baby son would appreciate and loved the idea of the Joey being specifically for the baby to play with.
Because I only had two days to come up with something, I started by looking at an existing pattern that I have in a Japanese craft book. But quickly realised that I didn't like the way it was constructed and the final shape. So I ended up drawing a very basic pattern with a less complicated form and a pouch big enough for the baby kanga.
I used a white and orange linen for most of the construction, and lined the pouch with an organic natural towelling. For the Joey, because I wanted it to be extra cuddly I used the natural chenille.
Next time around I want to simplify it even more (I prefer the shape of the baby Kangeroo to that of the mother) as well as doing a mid sized mother and baby (this one is pretty large). My first attempt at the baby kanga came out too big to fit in the pouch, but is the perfect size for a smaller version of the set.
Both Bella and Lily showed their highest level of praise by demanding a mother and baby Kangaroo for themselves, so although it still needs tweaking, I think it worked out ok.
And hopefully her teacher agreed (and didn't think it was a bloomin' strange present to get!!).