Thursday
Apr172014

Inspiration: Pirates!

A new movie was released this week! A certain favorite fairy around here is going on pirate adventures! We can't wait to see The Pirate Fairy ourselves.

Pirates are popular in the forest. We love to build dangerous ships and search for buried treasure. Just in case pirates are popular in your world right now, I want to share a little inspiration.

photo copyright: C&T Publishing

Argh! Directions for these scallywags are in our Forest Fairy Crafts book. We share patterns and tutorials for the coats and two styles of hats (along with detailed directions to make many different fairies). My plan today is to blend the garden fairies with a few pirate accessories to make our own pirate fairy heorines (and heroes).

We hope they inspire you too! Happy sailing the high seas :)

*Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you decide to click and purchase, a small percentage returns to us (your price is exactly the same). Thank you so much for supporting the forest!

Friday
Apr112014

Playing with Crafts

Children love inspiration. Don't we all?

Making toys inspires children. They delight in the power of their hands and ideas. I recently sewed these lovely baby leprechauns with six year old students. Children sewed all their own sequins, around the fairy baby, and added stuffing. They were delighted with the little toys they made. What a treat, to see that magic through their eyes. Look what we can create!

Sorry this one is a little blurry- classrooms have tricky lighting for my camera :)

Then the children reminded me the real fun of sewing and crafting. Crafting is inspiration. And the craft is just the beginning. Crafts inspire play. And play inspires storytelling. And learning.

Now that they had little friends, they needed houses. What could build a house?

Blocks of course!

And some homes need a diving board into a lovely cool pool.

With a luxury view from the bedroom.

Legos also make awesome homes. With an open door :)

I encourage students to leave blank faces so they can imagine any expression, but a few insist on adding features. I let go when they have strong feelings towards needing eyes or mouths. After all, if I wanted it to look 'my way', I would make my own :)

I loved her idea to put a ring over the ruffled hat for an even fancier crown.

And finally, dollhouses are wonderful homes. Especially when they come with a pet tiger :)

Enjoy what you create!

Happy day :)

Many of our crafts are "Keepsake Crafts", meaning they look nice for years and become a treasured memory alongside the sweet sewing. Every now and again, I sew "Process Crafts" with children. These are the crafts to shove in pockets and forget outside after playing in the trees. They are the crafts that are meant for playing. They are a chance to let go. Don't worry overmuch about colors or forever. Let them become a memory. Become part of a story. Have fun crafting and playing :)

P.S.- if you would like detailed directions for making little fairy/gnome friends, check out our Forest Fairy Craft Book. Please note- is an affiliate link. Thank you from the forest should you decide to purchase one! Directions for the little hats are online here. Enjoy!

Monday
Mar172014

Leprechaun Baby

Hello wee leprechaun!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Today I get to sew with little friends in first grade. I will be taking photos to share of course. I had to make a sample for them. And it's so fun to make these little leprechauns. I used the Blossom Baby pattern on Page 99 of our Forest Fairy Crafts book. I used green felt and green and gold sequins.

I was a little creative with the hat. I didn't have enough acorn caps for my class project. And I want to finish them and send them home today. That means I needed to glue hats the day before. I made the hats ahead of time. And I had fun with the design.

I cut a rectangle with curvy lines (I just measured around the 5/8" bead, very scientific). It came out to 2" if you are curious. I made a few taller and a few shorter. I like every fairy to be unique :)

The next step would be tricky for children, but I sewed all these hats so I was okay with a few tricks :). I ran a stitch near the top of the hat. Note: for children, I always double the thread and knot so the needle won't pull off. These were for me. I've had a lot of practice :)

I cinched the thread tight and tied a knot so it wouldn't come loose. I am pondering how to best teach this to children... more on that soon. Anyway, I folded the hat in half and sewed a few stiches along the back.

Easy cuteness!

Ready to glue :)

I could have added sequins or a clover of course, but I have one day to finish these. I wanted the children to sew sequins on the body, sew around the outside, stuff, and close up. Will be fun! 

Wishing you lots of magic today!

Tip: Last summer I realized that curvy lines were a challenge for cutting, yet looked wonderful. I took the leap and treated myself to a rotary cutter. I love the curves for blossoms and mermaid waves. It took me ages to choose, so here's the link in case you are interested: OLFA Rotary Cutterwith the Olfa Scallop Blade. And I use a small cutting mat (not photographed). It's been a great investment!  

*Please note: this post does contain affiliate links. Should you purchase anything, your price doesn't change, but a small percentage commission returns to the Forest. Thanks for helping us buy more felt :)

For sharing:

 

Enjoy! 

Thursday
Feb202014

Forest News and What's New in the Etsy Shop

I met this pretty fairy this week.

Her colors are perfect on days with overcast skies. She reminds me that spring will be here soon! Our winter is terribly mind here in Northern California this year with drought conditions. But I still use warm socks and cozy pajamas. I look forward to sunshine and flowers.

I made her especially for the yearly school auction. Asia and I both teach at a public charter school. The Nevada City School of the Arts is also our childrens' school. We donated this fairy, a signed book, and a natural supply kit to A Matter of Taste. If you are in the Nevada County area, this event is a treat for everyone. We'd love to see you there :)

I also updated our Etsy Shop.

We now have Natural Supply Kits, which have all the goodies that you need to make a fairy, little fairy, gnome, and treasure-keeper in our book (except glue and colored pencils to draw faces). These kits now have wool blend felt. The felt has lovely colors and is soft and wonderful for keepsakes. We also added cotton pipe-cleaners (again, soft). Asia and I put together each kit. Each one is unique. This makes them a little tricky for listing- I need photos for each kit, but I love how there isn't one exactly like another. The color combinations get me every time- I want the blue and lavender, no- maybe the green and pink. Choose yours before it disappears :)

I also created Fairy Kits by request. This kit has the supplies for one fairy.

This is a perfect gift idea. I even create the body since that can be tricky. Children can have fun sewing the hat and creating their own magical doll. 

Both kits depend on the Forest Fairy Crafts book for directions. You can create your own felt treasures of course. I am glad that I have them for giving our book to friends. It's so hard to wait if you need supplies! I hope they bring fun and creativity wherever they go.

We also learned that our projects appeared in two magazines. Yes, two! We were in Kiwi magazine. Thank you for the lovely review! And we are in BYou magazine. So exciting to see the fairies, gnomes, and crafts in print!

We are so grateful for everyone supporting the Forest. These little treasures mean the world to us and we appreciate being able to share them with you :)

*note: the link to our book is an affiliate link

Wednesday
Feb122014

Favorite Valentine Crafts

 

Time to collect our favorite Valentine Crafts in the forest!

Valentine's Day is the holiday of love and friendship. With children, we notice all the gifts that love brings into our lives. The time we spend together, the sweetness of a hug, the joy of shared laughter. Our families and our friends are tremendous gifts. 

The crafts here have been created over the years to show appreciation for the ones we love. We hope they inspire you to create and share!

Most of these links show ideas and do not have patterns or tutorials included (a few have step-by-step directions). You can find detailed instructions (with many photos) in our Forest Fairy Crafts book. The book is also available for instant download using Kindle, iBooks, or Nook.

Wishing you lots of love this week and all year :)

Sweetheart Fairy Babies

Heart's Wish

Valentine Gnomes

Valentine Fairy

Love Fairy

Gnome Homes

Heart Gardens