Creating.

In the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy, it has felt somewhat trivial to imagine sitting down at this computer to share crafts or stories about my children; like everyone else, I’m just trying to make sense of this senseless tragedy.  Yet when I think about the ways in which I bring peace and joy and love into the world, it is through creativity.  I love to create, to share my love of the arts with children, and to teach others how to engage with their creativity.

These days, it seems like I am doing nothing but creating.  We are blessed with a Winter Solstice baby; on Friday, Ella will celebrate the return of the light AND her fifth birthday!  I’ve been hard at work on her handmade birthday gifts and also a few Christmas gifts  (which I know I will not finish in time – the sweet Little Oak knit sweater, for instance.)

After making a birthday crown for Everett, I was really inspired to do the same for Ella.  I roughly followed this tutorial for sewing guidance, and did a lot of hand stitching and free-form cutting.  I’ll share a better photo on her birthday, but here are a few details:

Crown1 Crown2

Ella has some very clear ideas about her birthday party, for instance, she wants 5 kids to attend since she is turning 5, but my own parameters are this: simple and sweet.  I’m imagining a craft, a story, cake, and a very short treasure hunt.  Weather permitting, I think these little gnomes will be hiding outside, waiting for their new human friends!

Gnomes1 Gnomes2

(If you’re interested in a little tutorial on how to make these little gnomes, let me know.  They are really fun and easy to make!)

What kinds of crafting are you up to this week?

 

***Joining the fine crafty folks at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On!

Super simple felt balls

Today was a gorgeous sunny day.  The kind of day that just makes you want to throw a big blanket down on the grass and take a nap.  The kind of day that inspired Ella to say, “Let’s do a special craft today.  Let’s make felt balls!”

Felt balls are awesome!  They are great for throwing practice (soft – nothing gets broken!) or for open ended play. (They’re round bales of hay! No wait, they’re freshly baked rolls!)  And they are the kind of craft that is great to make outdoors on a warm sunny day.

So here’s how to do it:

1. Get yourself a nice wad of carded, clean wool.

2. Loosely form the wool into a ball.  It will shrink down, so make a bigger ball than you’d like of your finished product.

3.  Fill a bowl with the hottest soapy water that you can stand to put your hand into and roll that wool into a soapy round messy ball!

See that ball forming!  Keep rolling!

4. Now, get another bowl of very cold water.  Squeeze out the hot water and soap and immerse your ball into the cold.  Keep forming it into a ball as you go.  Alternating between the hot and cold will make your wool ball shrink and tighten.

Look!  Easy enough for an 18 month to try!

5.  Keep alternating back and forth between your hot and cold until your ball is tightly bound together.  Let dry in the sun or inside for a few days until it is completely dry.  Sometimes I like to affix loose parts of the ball with a felting needle.

Voila!

Now go throw that ball around!

Hand sewing

There is something so sweet and satisfying about hand-sewing.  I am a very beginning sewer (like, I still need the instruction manual to operate my sewing machine). But somehow the idea of stitching something by hand seems infinitely more do-able. I can pick it up here and there, it makes no noise, and it is something I can do with two kiddos underfoot. Perfect!

So this week, in the spirit of keeping calm, crafting on, I worked on two little handsewn projects.

The first was from a sweet little tutorial over at Clean.  Ella was excited about the idea of a treasure hunt, and these little pocket eggs can be filled with whatever kind of treasure you wish!  She created the adorable triangles and cut out the hot pink egg herself!

The second project was for a new baby friend of ours.  A lovely little baby sister for Ella’s best friend.  I tried my hand at my second Waldorf baby doll, using an upcycled t-shirt for the body and hat.  She is so soft and squeezable!  I would add a bit more wool to the head next time, so the chin skin doesn’t pucker so, but I’m totally in love with making these little dolls.

Happy Crafting!

Fun with sharp needles

With all of the seeds to sow, beds to prep, potatoes to plant, and snow to play in, there has been a shortage of crafting here at the homestead.  But I love that my involvement in the Tuesday Craft On over at Frontier Dreams keeps me motivated to create and share. I found time to have a craft date with a dear friend, who was kind enough to introduce me to the super fun art of needle felting!

I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to repeatedly jab a sharp needle into a clump of wool and somehow come away with this…

A sheep!  A real, honest to goodness fuzzy wooly sheep.  (And in the background, my friend’s super adorable creation).  I’m so hooked. Fun, quick crafts are where I’m at these days.

What are you creating these days?

More fingerless gloves!

Joining in the fun at Frontier Dreams, and yes,I am knitting yet another pair of fingerless mitts!  It seems that everyone in my family would like a pair, and I am happy to oblige.  I think there is one more pair in the queue after these, and then it is back to sweaters I’ve been dreaming of for me and my brood, not to mention a cowl that I want for myself.  If only I could decide on a pattern…does anyone have a favorite pattern that would work for a DK weight merino?

These lovely mitts are for my sweet girl Ella.  She’s a sassy, creative, little one, that girl.  So she gets a little pair of sassy, creative mitts!  She picked the yarn out herself – leftover balls of some gorgeous hand-dyed merino from Capistrano Fiber Arts.  Since there was not enough of any one color, she’s getting fun mismatched mitts (I told her that it would be easier to tell the right from the left that way!).

One done, one just begun.  They really are quite precious.

Coming up this week… I’m super excited to give a tour of the homestead.  With plants in the ground, and signs of spring everywhere, it’s about time I feature some of the vegetables and animals so near and dear to my heart.  Until next time!

 

 

Starting now

Why put dreams on hold when you can START NOW?

I’ve been excited about starting a blog for over a year now.  Thanks to some gentle prodding from friends and family, here I go!  I expect to share some photos, get all crafty, salivate over food, and talk about our homesteading, Waldorf-y, natural parenting, handmade life.  Thanks for joining me!

Teri