Sunday, January 17, 2010

Felted Bird House / Fairy House

This Fiber Trends pattern for a felted bird house was begging to be made into a fairy house, if you ask me. That said, I dove into my first knitted felting project, and found it to be pretty easy. It knits fast, and then into the washing machine it went.

Luckily we had a birthday party coming up so we all set about fashioning it into a fairy house for a lovely four-year-old girl. We were nearly done with wrapping when I realized I had not taken a photo, so in a rush we got this:

Some helpful tips for felting in the washing machine:

  • Throw in a pair of jeans you don't mind washing a lot. It helps with the agitation.
  • Place each knitted piece in its own zipped pillowcase. Bits of wool chunk off and you don't want them clogging up your machine or felting onto the other piece.
  • Don't worry about weaving in any ends. They will magically felt like everything else.
  • Go between very hot water/agitation, and very cold water/agitation. This makes it go faster.
  • It might take three or four times of agitating to get it small. Basically keep doing cycles of it until it won't shrink anymore.
On top of the finished piece I needle felted different wooly bits to make some grass, flowers and windows, as well as the polka dotted roof. After the felting, you can cut into the piece without it fraying, so I used an exacto knife to cut the door shape. I needle felted a ball for the doorknob.

Miss Six and my Other Half whipped up the popsicle stick weathervane and needle felted rooster while I finished up the details on the house. While that was going on, LEB (3.5 y) made the two people to be the first inhabitants. We tied them to the outside of the packaging and set off to the party with minutes to spare.

This was our first family collaboration and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. No doubt more of these will be in our gift giving future.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Softie from a Child's Drawing: take 2

I had done some transferring of children's drawings to embroidery at one point with pretty results. In the Spring I tried my hand at making a softie from a child's drawing. I used felting wool for that project, but had really been wanting to make a really soft softie. The opportunity presented itself recently when a very lovely four year old who I will call GB, kept making these gorgeous drawings of girls. I could see how it would translate to a softie in a fun way, so I asked her if I could take her drawing and quietly set about making it in 3D.

With the help of Miss Six (formerly known as Miss Kinder) we chose fabrics and got out the embroidery thread. I started with the legs, figuring if they came out cute I'd go on to the body and face. The project was really fun, and pretty quick. I spent about three hours on her and gave her to the mother of GB just before Thanksgiving. It was well received, and I can't wait to do more of these.

Now it's time to focus on Christmas gifts!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today I had a delicious day. Food, friends and family here in this cozy town that we like best. I also had the opportunity today to wield a glue gun, a curling iron and a champagne glass (at different times). I've got projects to share with you and some etsy to round up, so stand by. And Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teacher Gift Idea

It was last minute, but I put together a small reusable container full of little things for our new first graders teacher. Which gets me thinking, Should Miss Kinder now be Miss Firster? Not as cute at all. I'm going to have to think on that one.

I used a small plastic container with a lid from IKEA and filled it with a selection of teas, vitamin drink mixes, some great hand cream and a small sized hand sanitizer. I tied it up with a simple ribbon and a note to the teacher wishing her a great year and letting her know I'm available to help in the classroom with anything she needs.

My hope is it helps her know she is important to us and we wish her well with the year, as well as to let her know we are here to help.

Good luck to all of your schoolchildren. These days are very bittersweet.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wrapping up Summer

Just two more days before school begins, and we're making the most of it. Hang tight friends, I'll be back to you when my six year old is tucked safely into first grade.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of my 100th post giveaway is:
I would love to take a chance on the Take a Chance bowl!

Lovely picks!
Congratulations, Iris! If you don't know Iris be sure to check out her lovely blog, Creative Endeavors in a Busy Life. As soon as I get a mailing address, I'll be sending her this beautiful bowl...

And thank you to everyone for all your support since I started this little blog. Keep coming!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Treading Lightly - Drawing on Rocks

It turns out that both my girls are huge camping fans. This is great news to me, because you never know what your kids will run fast away from that you'd hoped to share with them. Some of my greatest memories from childhood are from camping trips. It was music to my ears when Miss Kinder asked me this weekend, "Am I dreaming, or is it really real that we are camping?" Her favorite part of this two-day stay, hands down, was kayaking.

LEB's favorite part of camping was the same as her favorite part of everyday: marveling at and trying to keep up with her big sister.

On one of our walks around the campsite, Miss Kinder found a feather. She tucked it into her pocket and brought it back to the site and proceeded to do some rock drawings, using the feather as a pen. It was her idea to use juice, "So it would be like the real older times, except we don't have ink."

If you want to give this a try, I'd suggest using grape juice so that your work comes out a bit darker. Miss Kinder only had cranberry juice to work with, so they dried on the lighter side.

After a dewy night, the drawings were gone, which was perfect, because we were heading home and didn't want to leave anything behind that would take away from the natural landscape for the next lucky campers. Maybe next time we go camping we'll look for berries or leaves to crush up and see if we can get create some natural paints. Leave a comment if you have tips on that for us.
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