Thursday, December 23, 2010


There was an old woman who lived in a shoe

She had so many children she didn't know what to do

So she got out her typewriter and rolled out a letter
To a faraway boarding school, the farther the better.

And there did her little brood spend all their time

In classrooms with teachers to keep them in line

At Reading, aRithmetic, wRiting - with pens*-

In dorm rooms that feel like sleepovers with friends.

At meals in the dining hall (or out on the grass

On days when the weather is especially first-class).

With lessons and good friends and quizzes and rules

A full education they'll get at this school!

*before the advent of personal computers

Welcome to Kindergarten!
The girls and I are reading Enid Blyton's Naughtiest Girl series right now. As a kid, I'd always enjoyed fantasizing about being in the kind of boarding schools in Blyton's books - Whyteleafe, Mallory Towers, St Clare's. They had fabulous uniforms, they had seasonal sports, they had midnight feasts, they had wonderful no-nonsense teachers, and they had NO Chinese lessons. Ah, the stuff dreams are made of.

I made Jenna's Kindergarten a younger version of boarding school.

Want the tour?

There is the dorm room

that has pockets (yes, I've got them on the brain now)
for beds,
a night stand with an alarm clock

and a washstand with toothbrushes and a washbasin/sink.

There's the classroom with chairs and a chalkboard

that flips to change the lesson:

And there's the picnic ground

with a pond

a little book

and a picnic blanket

that has little teacups sewn on

a teapot

and plates of cheese sandwiches and fruit.

The picnic blanket is itself a large pocket (he he!)
that stores all the picnic paraphernalia.

The chairs, chalkboard, nightstand and
washstand unfold flat when not in use

and Kindergarten

folds up into school-on-the-go when the day is done.

Here are some photos of the kids playing with it
(we had part I of gift-opening last night).

Jenna: The kids get scared and might want to switch beds with each other.

Me: Why do the kids get scared, Jenna?

Jenna (rolling her eyes): Because the girls are seven years old and the boys are ten years old and they're in full day kindergarten so sometimes at nighttime, the girls get scared 'cos their bedroom light is really dark when you turn it off.

Kate sang lullabies to the dollies.

Crazy, huh, what shoots off from that simple stand-up beanbag idea? Thanks again, Ms Muffin for the incredible German fabric- look what you made me do!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. This is so darling. I love all your projects!

  2. I feel I must comment even though I don't think I have the words to describe quite how fabulous I think this is! Wow! I LOVE this, it is genius! Can I take cool-toy lessons from you someday? Please?


  3. You are a genious! I love it, love it, love it! I wish I was as cool of a mom as you are :)

  4. You are amazing! That is the most impressive gift I've ever seen. You win "crafter of the year" in my opinion. Great job!

  5. Oh, I am just sighing and dying, and rubbing my hands over your adorable kindergarten!! It's exactly the sort of thing I would have ADORED as a child! Can I come live at YOUR house? :o)

    Merry Christmas to you!

  6. Oh my, oh my, OH MY!! That is INCREDIBLE!!! You've really outdone yourself this time! I laughed with delight as I read through your post! You deserve some kind of a medal.......

  7. I think this is one of the cutest and most creative things I have seen in a long time. Those are some lucky little girls.

  8. Oh to wander in your brain for just 10 minutes would be such an inspiring thing!!! What a wonderful idea!! I wish you were my mom!!!

  9. OMG, I LOVE it!! You are so creative!!

  10. hi i'm from hong kong and i've been following your blog for a while because of the wonderful tutorials!

    this kindergarten is truly amazing! your girls are really lucky!

    merry christmas to your family!

  11. That is one of the cutest things I have ever seen! Right up there with Jenna's blue house. :)

  12. Wow! Very inspiring... Makes me wanna go and make one for my littles now. That is fantastic work! Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'll have to examine those pictures more closely at a later date and bug you for the details in the new year...

  13. Fantastic! Thank you for sharing your creative ideas with us - I have been tinker with ideas for something similar for my own little girl and you just supplied the creative nudge to get going (once Christmas has been enjoyed, of course).

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  14. Absolutely brilliant. And the fabric is wonderful!

  15. LiEr, you are amazing. I love it so much! I want to play with it - ME, who doesn't usually like playing with my kids with toys (if they want to play with me and my "toys", that's cool).

    I'm very enamored with the Madeleine books for the same reason - all those adorable sinks and toothbrushes, the outings with the yellow hats! I've only seen an Enid Blyton book on fairies, so now I'm going to my library to see what else I can dig up.

    You are inspiring, as always.

  16. Wow! This is absolutely brilliant! I love all of it. One of the best blogposts and projects Ive seen all year! x

  17. I'm speechless.
    It's hard to resist to jump into my computerscreen 'cause I want to play myself!!!

    Christmas Greetings from Zurich, Switzerland

  18. How fabulous. Beautifully sewn, very practical for storage and so much creative play can be had. You are one very clever and creative mother!

  19. Awe-inspiring! It's absolutely beautiful, what an incredible piece! I'm full of admiration.

  20. Oh my goodness!!!
    You know you are a CRAZY CRAZY LADY, Lorraine!!!!
    In the best way possible!!!
    I love every tiny bit of it!


    But I am sorry, I have to say I will never ever show this to my kids so they will not know how inadquate my sewing is! ;-)

    Wishing you a grand Christmas and a really good time!
    Ms Muffin

  21. Your blog is such a creative adventure. Just when I think you've done the most creative thing you can do, you manage to top it!

  22. This is simply amazing! Would you be my mommy? LOL! Seriously, what a lovely gift for your girls. Merry Christmas to you and yours : )

  23. My girls would adore this. If you don't mine, I must make some for my darlings.

  24. That is just unbelievably fantastic! And so is the purse you made to your daughter's specificatiosn -- hope she realizes how lucky she is to have a mom who can (and is willing) to do something like that!

  25. I love this kindergarten! I love all the details like sandwiches on plates, tiny toothbrushes and a flip chart that flips. Amazing!

  26. I may expire from cuteness. That's adorable and so wonderfully creative.

  27. Omg, I'm in awe! This totally blows all of my hand made gifts out of the water!

  28. This is amazing! So much to do with all these beautiful little things!

  29. Wow! I love the toothbrushes, and that of the sandwiches has a bite out, and the zig zag stitch you used for the writing in the book, and the whole thing is really brilliant!

  30. WoW!! It is amazing! I Love it!! and I am sure every adult would to play with it:-)

  31. I felt compelled to leave a comment because I am so impressed by the detail in your work. It's such a brilliant idea and the girls must have loved it. I would seriously pay for all the items u have made. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful girls. May I share ur link?

  32. If I wore a hat, I'd still take my head off in awe. A-m-a-z-i-n-g. Forget about my kid, can I please be adopted?

    I Love so much, it's wonderfull!

  34. Simply fantastic!!!! I'm sure the kids love it.

  35. Your kindergarten world is amazing! Awesome job.

  36. How wonderful!

    I haven't found many Enid Blyton books over here - mum did bring over some Famous Five books. I remember wanting to go to boarding school, play lacrosse and have midnight feasts...

  37. So beautiful! Makes me want to go home right now and make a set for my kids. But I know my limits, it's not going to look half as good as yours (IF I manage to finish it) so I'll stop daydreaming right now... :-D

  38. Holy cow! That is simply amazing. Ok, you win the world crafting prize for the most original ideas! Love it.

  39. This is SOOO darn cute. Do you sell the pattern for this?? Where do you get that cute fabric??? I would love to buy this pattern, if you sell it! Love it. Marnie Peck

  40. This would also be a great way to read Madeline.

  41. Wow. I know everyone is saying that but I had to chime in. I love your blog and all your projects. This one is so enticing!! I have to attempt something like it although I'm sure the detail will come nowhere close. Thank you though for the inspiration! (And publish a book so my bookmark folder doesn't doesn't have to be full of all the links to your projects so I can look at them again and again!!!)
    radharas at yahoo dot com

  42. Oh and yes, where can I find this fabric?!

  43. I was reading from the top, and thinking, where does she store all these lovely crafts when done... and then scrolled lower and saw that the whole thing wraps up beautifully into a lil tote of sorts!
    LOVE IT! makes me wanna have kids (daughters) soon! :D


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