New Year, New Stuff! Read on for a Giveaway Details!

Happy New Year’s! I wanted to start the new year out with something new. Something I’ve never done before. So I decided to start with a giveaway. πŸ™‚

I work with a lot of felt – it really is a great medium – and the 2011 Winter issue of Stitch magazine is full of fun felt projects. IF you would like your own FREE COPY of STITCH MAGAZINE please like me on Facebook then check out my shop, Woo Who! Then come back and comment on this post to let me know you liked me on FB and maybe tell me what you might be interested in purchasing from my shop! I love feedback. Beware: Don’t comment anonymously! I’ll need to be able to contact you! πŸ™‚

This giveaway will end January 31st.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Felt Circles Christmas Tree

Oh Blogosphere, thank you for the constant influx of inspiration!!! Julia Crossland posted the cutest Christmas tree how-to ever! And as usual I thought to myself, “now why didn’t I think of that???” I have felt in abundance. I have bored kids. I have needles and thread. So we got busy.

My kids don’t have the fortitude to sit and do something beginning to end, especially if it takes longer than two five minutes. This project is easy to break up into sections, and sometimes this makes it even easier to do with multiple kids. For example, my daughter wakes up early while my older son sleeps later. She cut the circles over several days before the sun came up. Once the circles were finished, I cut a length of brownish felt, ran a line of glue down the center and rolled it up. Later on I sat with my four year old son and the circles my daughter had cut and talked about the size of the circles and how to stack them to be tree-like, largest to smallest. I then, when the glue was dry, threaded the trunk onto the embroidery thread and handed the small, pointy needle to my four year old and he started threading the felt circles.

I didn’t do dots or any guiding marks, I just explained we wanted the thread to go through the middle if possible. It pleases me that our tree leans off center in places. My son is a little off center himself. Then I cut a star and stitched the edges – my daughter helped initially but its hard for little hands to stitch something so small. She asked for help and I took it over.

Voila! Our masterpiece is complete and hanging on the mantle next to the stockings. πŸ™‚

Get Yer Stitch On!

Had a wonderful time stitchin’ up a Pink Plushie with my leetle blue haired friend:

These dolls are totally create your own. I have body shapes to choose from, then ear shape, arm and leg shape and length. We tape together the pattern and voila:

The dolls can be time consuming, so we try to get the details of the face and body front finished, then if there’s perimeter stitchin’ left to be done when the time is up, the kids can take needle, thread and stuffing home with them. We talk about different stitching options. These dolls can also be machine stitched if hand sewing isn’t your thing.

There are lots of felt colors to choose from and a variety of crafty flotsam and jetsam floating about my table for design (decorating) options, and you are welcome to bring your own materials!

We have a good time!

New Costume Projects!

I resolved to be more than an occasional blogger, and yet its been ages since I’ve posted. Life has gotten busy, and I’ve been spending a LOT of time at my sewing machine working on items for my Etsy shop! Most recently I’ve begun on crowns and wands:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt crowns are deceptive. You look at one and think, oooh, that’s easy! Then you try constructing one. And while making felt crowns is not as difficult as sewing with slippery satin fabric, say, it can get relatively complicated depending on the applique and type of crown you want to do as order of construction is very important. You can’t skip any steps! A lot of people make them with ribbon ties in back, which is lovely in theory, but tying bows on the backs of kids heads is a nightmare. Their hair gets tied into the bow, its never tight enough and slips all around, and then you have children spending more time getting their crowns fixed than playing! Which is why I opted for an elastic band in the back for good fit. So anyway, I will climb down from my felt crown soap box and move on to other exciting ventures: The girls’ version of the gnome costume!

This one came about under pressure. I received notification thatΒ  I had had a sale from my Etsy shop (woot!) for the little boys’ gnome costume. Except the buyer didn’t want what she bought. She detailed in the notes to seller that she essentially wanted a custom order, a gnome costume for her niece, which is great, just not what I was expecting! Fortunately I had made this little gingham skirt to go with my daughter’s Red Riding Hood costume that was in the size she needed and it worked PERFECTLY for a girls’ version of the gnome costume. In the future, however, I’ll make an elastic waist-ed circle skirt instead of this simple A-line. Girls like to twirl! πŸ™‚

And finally, I finished the pirate costume props.

Hmmm…. As a costume I think it needs more, but how to do more and keep it simple? Decorative buttons perhaps. And the hats fit kids ages 2-4 the best.

 

 

 

I know I talk a lot about keeping things simple and I have to say: I’m not lazy, I swear! I have to keep everything I make on a certain level of simplicity or it will become a burden, instead of a joy, to do. And I’m doing this for my pleasure and not to add more pressure to my life! Sometimes I need to remind myself of that, too.

All my costume props are available in large sets for parties and wholesale, and I’m happy to teach you how to sew your own! Contact me to set up a time to take a lesson. πŸ™‚

 

Happy Crafting!

Felt Butterfly Wings

Well, this idea of mine to make butterfly wings out of felt is proving to be quite a project. The appliques are time intensive, the switching of thread colors time consuming, the process of trial and error exasperating. But I am liking the results!

They need more structure. I used fusible fleece thinking that would give them enough support, but its not stiff enough.

So I’m going to get some heavy weight fusible webbing and make another set. I’m also going to do something with the arm elastics. I’m thinking some kind of band, instead, that would also help support the wing.

They’re gorgeous, just a little floppy! I’m trying to avoid having to make a wire frame. I’ll also make a headband with antennae. You’d think a little boy wouldn’t be interested in being a butterfly, but my son couldn’t wait to try these on and is looking forward to his own pair!

Little Red Riding Hood

Every year I swear I’m going to make Halloween costumes! But I can’t wait till October, it’ll never happen. This year I’m celebrating Halloween in July. One Red Riding Hood is completed, next up her little dress and a wolf costume for lil’ bro.

Halloween costumes have been added to the classes offered! Check it out!

Bleach Resist T-Shirts and Original Kid Art

My kids are SO CREATIVE, its crazy, really. I’m constantly blown away by their resourcefulness and ingenuity. They find ways to use materials that are not only surprising, but delightful. So I decided to surprise and delight them for a change!

First I pulled from their closets two plain, solid colored t-shirts. I dug around and found some plexi glass, and a small piece of chalkboard chalk that I broke into two, because, well, four and six year olds aren’t famous for their ability to share. πŸ™‚

DD sketching design on t-shirt with chalk.DS chalking his desing onto t-shirt

We’ve all had bleach mishaps. How many shirts and pants have been relegated to the “weekend wear” because a surprise bloom of bleach spots appeared mysteriously? We’re going to be using bleach in this project, don’t want any surprises!! The plexi glass is the perfect size to slip into the shirts to keep the bleach from bleeding through. Its also a very sturdy surface and was easy for the kids to work on.

Laying Bleach Over Chalk Design

The kids literally sketched with the chalk a design onto the t-shirt. Once the kids were finished with their designs it was time for mom to take over. Beware, bleach pens smell like bleach, and while the fumes were not nearly so noxious as regular bleach, I’d still have a fan blowing or a window open if I were you. The bleach “pen” is actually a tube of gelatinous bleach and so it stays where you put it. I carefully laid a line of bleach gel on all of the chalked lines of the kids’ designs. You don’t have to lay it down super thick, but you definitely want coverage. After I was done going over the outlines on both shirts, we set them aside and went off to do “something else.” About twenty minutes later we returned and the kids were SURPRISED and DELIGHTED to see the shirt was changing colors everywhere there was bleach!!!

See the color changes happening at the edges of the bleach lines... Little harder to see, but the bleach is changing the color of the shirt...

When they realized their designs were becoming a permanent part of their shirts their eyes really started to shine. Like I mentioned, we let it sit for about twenty minutes, but you can let it stand for more or less time depending on the color you want the design to be. For example, with the green shirt, if we’d rinsed it ten minutes earlier my daughter’s fairy would have been yellow instead of white. Darker colors take longer go bleach than lighter colors, so if you want white lines on a black shirt you may have to let it sit for a l-o-n-g time.

We took the shirts to the sink to rinse. Be careful. The gel starts to set and actually flakes off. You don’t want to submerge the shirt and work the bleach out that way, you want to hold the design under running water and slowly flake the gel off.

Our freshly rinsed t-shirts:

We hung them to dry, but you could have just as easily popped them in the dryer.

Hazel proudly showing off "FAIRY" designby Walter, age four

 

 

 

 

 

They are so proud of themselves! And my son has worn his shirt three days in a row… πŸ™‚

Happy Crafting!

Materials for this project:

*Bleach Pen

*Solid Color T-Shirts

*Chalkboard Chalk

*Cardboard, chip board, or some other firm surface to put in the shirt as a work surface and to keep the bleach from bleeding through.

*Imagination, creativity, and a smile.