Three stormy days at my parents' house with my nieces produced the following:
Aviator Bunnies, from a pattern by Hillary Lang. I had hoped these would be easy enough for the girls (ages 7 and 9) to hand sew, but alas that was not the case - the pieces are very tiny. Had I access to a photocopier, I would have tried enlarging them just a tad for the girls, but as it was I spent an afternoon sewing these up. The girls did the stuffing, though, and I think they may have overstuffed the heads because the bunnies wouldn't stand up on their own (or maybe they aren't supposed to?)...next time I may put beans or something in the bottom to weigh them down. But SO cute, and I'm anxious to make more. I think they would be great tied to Christmas packages!
Next up - paper dolls. We used a doll pattern from the current issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors that was intended for sewing with cloth, but we used oak tag paper for the bodies and leftover scrapbook materials for the clothes and accessories. I was surprised at how intently they both worked on this project, and how they both quickly figured out they could use the body pattern to make clothes from it. J. gave hers mismatched socks (which to me looked like an excellent pair of boots), and G. gave hers a mini-dress. (J. very sweetly left hers on my mother's pillow before she left to go back to California!)
Finally, a tie-dye project. A few days before Thanksgiving, my youngest niece announced she wanted a "tie-dyed Thanksgiving" - I think she was just being silly, but I found a kit at the fabric store along with some plain white T's. I thought my mother was going to ban me from the house when I showed up with permanent dye, but we snuck down to the basement after Thanksgiving dinner while the rest of the adults were in food coma mode. The girls' brother declined to participate, but we made him one anyway.
I had a great time with the girls making these projects, but must confess to having been a tad anxious about leaving the cat alone for a few days. Intellectually I knew he'd be just fine, but I was a little worried about him getting lonely...and a little worried about there not being anyone around to stop him from using the wood cabinets as a scratching post. As it turned out, I opened the apartment door and stepped in cat food...I'd forgotten to put away his new bag of cat food, and even though I had left ample food for him, he decided to go the self-service route: