21 July 2012

Woodland Felt Block Tutorial

Nothing pleases me more these days, than hearing of a new baby arriving. And not just because babies are so sweet, cuddly, and full of promise, but also because it gives me a legitimate reason to design and sew a new felt project.

There is a little boy on the way. From stalking his parents’ Facebook page, I have concluded his nursery will have something of a woodland theme. I saw a wooden wall somewhere and a big cardboard moose head came floating by in my newsfeed one day. I like woodland. I decided to make a felt block with woodland cut-outs.


My block measures 5” x 5” x 5”. I tried a few different things before I settled on using silhouettes only, cut from one piece of felt. No embroidery, no use of different felt colors. The cut-outs are approximately 2 to 2 1/2”.

For the side panels and the silhouettes, I used a mixture of hand died, multi-colored wool felt and a good quality craft felt. The soon-to-be-dad is an avid fisherman so naturally one side featured a fish. The others sides contain an acorn, a mushroom, a tree, a deer, and a maple leaf.

 

 

 

After cutting the felt, I attached the cut-outs by using a blanket stitch and a back stitch (for the deer’s antlers only). I sewed the four sides together, then attached the bottom piece, and ended with the top piece. I stuffed the block with very soft Poly-fill and a large jingle bell for the baby’s amusement.

That’s all there is to it. A soft felt block, suitable for a baby.

I hope it will be loved.

22 June 2012

Tabatha Toadstool Tutorial



Making Miss Tabatha Toadstool is the perfect project for an afternoon on the front porch, sipping homemade limeade, and enjoying the start of summer.



Start by gathering your supplies:
  • 1 5/8” peg people
  • acorn caps
  • red, white, and green paint, and whatever color you choose for hair, eyes, and mouth
  • wood glue
  • red and white felt
  • red and white thread 


Cut a circle to use as a template for the cap. Mine is 1 7/8” in diameter. Make a slit to the center and cut out a smaller circle, just big enough to fit around the neck.



Paint your acorn caps red and add white dots. Let dry.
Paint the hair and faces of your peg people. Let dry.
Paint the bodies white and add a little bit of grass at the bottom. Let dry.
Glue the acorn caps to the peg people. Let dry.



While all that drying is going on, cut two circles out of your felt, one in each color. With white thread, randomly embroider French knots on the red felt.



Pin the two pieces of felt to each other and, starting on the inside, use a blanket stitch to sew the two together.



Skip to the outside of the cap, hiding your thread between the layers of felt.



Sew all the way around. Do NOT tie off your thread.



Fit the cap around the peg person’s neck.



Use a whip stitch to sew only the red felt together. Tie your thread off with a small knot and hide the tail between the red and white felt.



Turn your peg person over and repeat with white thread on the bottom. Tie off with a small knot and hide your thread between the layers of felt.



And that’s it! You’re all done. Admire and enjoy Miss Tabatha Toadstool and her friends.


20 June 2012

Tabatha Toadstool


I have had a passion for toadstools all my life. I cannot see one without taking its picture. The very first baby gift I ever made was a toadstool, my Etsy listings are mostly toadstools (of sorts), I used to have toadstool tree stumps around our fire pit, and the only piece of yard art I still own is a metal toadstool.

Felt toadstools in all sizes and shapes dominate my craft room. The only thing missing was toadstool people. Until today. Look who I found, hiding between the irises that never bloomed? It's Tabatha Toadstool and her friends.


They are made of a painted wooden pegs, acorn caps, and felt. I painted faces for a change, if you can call those three little dots that. It just seemed right after I painted on the hair. And Lola really likes it when I give the peg dolls a face. Why Tabatha? Why not? It just rolls off the tongue in such a pleasant way.




25 May 2012

Rooftop Construction

Let's talk rooftops. I have come up with a solution for my paper-mache gnome homes. Not that there are any paper-mache boxes out there yet, but it is always good to be prepared. They work well for the wooden boxes, too.

  
The rooftops are made of six felt panels, sewn together, stuffed with fiberfill and glued onto the lid of the box.The first one I made in this way was red and green. Very cute, but a little dark for the present season. I'll save that one for later in the year. Instead I experimented with ton-sur-ton.



Yesterday however, I was playing around with big gnomes, when all of a sudden I saw how beautifully the bright pink and bright green felt fit together. Watermelon colors, a taste of summer. And my daughter has requested a rainbow roof. I see more construction in my future.

I think I am slowly coming into my own and I like it. I never expected to be an architect and designer to gnomes but it suits me. Tell me, has your creative path every surprised you?




I am sharing my gnome village at Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday and The Magic Onions' Friday's Nature Table.

04 May 2012

Building Fairy Houses And Gnome Homes

Ever since I made my first fairy abode of an apple tree branch, I have been playing around with other possible fairy houses and gnome homes. After all, I do not have that much apple wood and they are quite costly to ship.

One idea was to make a tiny home out of a round paper-mache box. When not being played with, the fairies, gnomes, and acorn folk could be carried around inside the box, making it a lovely toy to bring along for travel. I found the perfect boxes online and enthusiastically started sewing rooftops out of felt.

Unfortunately there is a problem with my supplier's supplier. I have a feeling it's a nationwide hick-up, like the scarcity of Green Bay Packers fleece last year, because the paper-mache shelves of every craft store I recently visited were disturbingly empty save for the two boxes I found hiding way in the back on the bottom shelf at Hobby Lobby.

On to Plan B. Wooden trinket boxes also make lovely houses. In fact, they are even better suited for my creation because they open much easier than the paper-mache boxes I have come to find out. Which means there will be far less pulling on the felt roof and it will hopefully not come off too quickly.

While I was painting my two housing options, trying to decide which one I liked best and how to fix the roof problem of the paper-mache box, Lola joined in and made a fairy house of her own out of an upturned paper basket from the butcher. She painted the roof, windows, a grass border, and flowering trees next to the front door. All by herself. All I did was make the door.

Lola's wonderful paper basket creation

The wooden house with the flat roof

The paper-mache abode. Its roof is a work in progress.
Tell me, if you will, which one do you like best?

We are sharing our creations on Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions and on Sharing Saturday at Crafty Moms Share.


30 April 2012

If They Had Legs...

They could dance the Can-Can!  But alas, these little Dutch girls have no limbs, or even faces for that matter. I know they are happy though, underneath their little orange acorn caps.

This one is for the folks back in Holland, celebrating the queen's birthday.

Happy Queen's Day!











28 April 2012

Learning To Sew

A thrifted embroidery hoop, a piece of burlap, and a pink plastic needle is all you need to learn to sew.




















19 April 2012

I Am That Mom

My daughter Lola celebrated her fifth birthday last week. And naturally she brought treats to her friends at school. But not cupcakes, birthday cake, donuts, or anything fun and tasty like that. No, her mom sent her to school with fruit and cheese. Healthy stuff. How very uncool of me.

Fortunately I presented it in such a way that the folks at school are still talking about it. A redemption of sorts. Her Jr. Kindergarten teacher dedicated a quarter page to my creation in her Daily Newspaper. Behold the Fruit Porcupine:




















I cut a cantaloupe in half and inserted 32 skewers with a block of cheese, a strawberry, a blackberry, a green grape, a red grape, and a piece of cantaloupe. I added some facial features by sticking pieces of fruit on a toothpick.

I think she turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. There are only 28 students in Lola's class but nothing came back. Not even the halved cantaloupe. I take it that means I have gotten away with my healthy ways. At least for now.


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