Monday
Feb092015

Making Peg Dolls and More in the Forest

We love peg dolls in the forest. We love being inspired.

Margaret Bloom sure knows how to inspire us! Her first book, Making Peg Dolls, showed us how to create lovely little pegs for our collection. Her new book, Making Peg Dolls and More, shares new fantastic ideas! We couldn't wait to dive into the pages.

My daughter is a mermaid :)

So of course she chose the mermaid project. My son is all into ocean creatures these days. The octopus was just perfect! To complete our ocean adventures, we sewed the dolphin too. I haven't made many felt animals so I was a little nervous. The directions worked fantastic!

The painted pegs were so cute just by themselves! Even cuter with the felt pieces :)

We love how each step of the craft is shown with easy-to-follow illustrations and beautiful photographs. As a mom, I enjoy invitations to create your own vision. My son loves, loves, loves orange. So we made an orange octopus for him.

My daughter decided that her mermaid needed a seashell for a hat. Is that okay, Mom? Of course! The beauty of creating is that you get to make your visions. Take inspiration and grow. Learn. Discover.

Find magic.

Be delighted :)

The fun is just beginning for the little ocean pegs. They are already finding adventures.

Joining Margaret's Bloom celebration for her new book delighted us! We know that lots of wonderful things are going to made from this book. Our fun is just beginning :) Our mermaid, octopus, and dolphin need more friends.

As a gift for all of us, A Child's Dream Come True (which carries our favorite felt) has gifts for anyone ordering Making Peg People and More. This week (until February 14, 2015) you receive a special free mini-bundle of wool felt and 2 Large Wood Peg Dolls! You can also enjoy 10% off Holland Wool Felt Yards + Cuts and 10% off Wood Peg Dolls. Simply enter code: DOLLCRAFTS in your shopping cart to apply and see the discount. They also carry Forest Fairy Crafts :)

Follow the Entire Peg Doll Blog Tour!

February 2nd :: The Crafty Crow
February 3rd :: Clean
February 4th :: Castle in the Air
February 7th :: A Child's Dream
February 9th :: Forest Fairy Crafts
February 10th :: Bella Luna Toys
February 11th :: Ben & Birdy
February 12th :: Twig & Toadstool
February 13th :: Wee Wonderfuls

Enjoy!

Saturday
Dec202014

Christmas in the Forest

This year, all the fairies are celebrating the season! I started a Christmas Advent (mini-version, because honestly I had the idea on December 4). We are already on day 7 of 12. And I love looking back at fairies I made over the years! Here they are so far :)

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

Wednesday
Nov262014

Acorn Gnomes

About an hour before class with my youngest kindergarten students, I was inspired. They had a feast later in the day. They would be excited, yet needing to keep busy. They needed an activitiy that would be fun, successful, and simple. Enter the Acorn Gnome.

Easily the easiest gnome ever. And, yes, that's two 'easies' in one sentence :). For this gnome, I gave each student a gnome and colored pencils. We talked about gratitude, and guests at the table, and whether gnomes are real (very heated discussion there). Then they decorate their gnome. They chose their acorn cap. I added glue. Let the gnomes dry a bit. Then I dusted them with a thin coat of gold-glitter paint. Just because everyone loves a little sparkle.

One student opted out of the acorn hat. He didn't want to hide his art under an acorn. Another made Darth Vader. We discussed using our imagination for faces (not needing to draw a face). 

The gnomes became guests at their feast. Super sweet.

Oh, I did bring a little sharpie to write initials on the bottom of gnomes. I changed it quickly to teeny-tiny names because intials were a strange idea (these adults with their strange ideas!).

Supplies

  • Peg dolls
  • Acorns (would be fun to collect with children, but I didn't have the time, I always collect them when I find them (again, adults and their strange ideas)
  • Colored pencils
  • Craft Glue 
  • Sharpie for names
  • Optional glittler paint

Create

Write names when handing out gnomes. Children decorate pegs however they like. Call up children to choose an acorn. Glue acorn caps. Allow to dry during recess. Paint light layer of glitter. Let children enjoy and bring home!

Big thanks to Teacher Holly at the Nevada City School of the Arts for making this class possible :)

Wishing everyone a very happy day. Hoping these gnomes find you with family and plenty to be thankful for!

Photo Credit: Sara Serrata of North Fork Photography

Thursday
Nov202014

"Leaf" Gratitude

A student named this project. I wanted a way to treasure all the amazing things in our world. We were inspired by the many leaves turning colors and falling this time of year. What if we could sew a leaf where students could collect gratitude inside on slips of paper?

The leaf can become a decoration with a surprise. Students decided they might add gratitudes before Thanksgiving to share on the day. Or they might go around on Thanksgiving and ask everyone to add a gratitude on a little piece of paper to keep inside the leaf. Either way, they discovered these are the perfect way to 'Leaf' a gratitude!

Supplies:

  • Two colors of felt
  • Scissors, needle, and thread
  • Decorations (beads and sequins)

I cut paper with this second/third grade class a lot. I hoped we could make the leap into felt (saving me a ton of prep time). So I brought in rectangles of brown felt. We talked about shapes of leaves and "cutting out" triangles or curves to create a leaf. Students often want to "cut around", twisting the felt and cutting things in half accidentally. We had mixed success. A few needed a second piece of felt, or the leaf was super-small, or not what they expected. We worked through the hiccups.

We talked about decorating one side of the felt. I did show them how to stitch so they could to embroider the veins of the leaves if they wanted. They all looked beautiful in their own way. Students chose the color for the back of the leaf.



At home, I cut the chosen felt bigger than the leaf. I made it roughly similar, but did not meticulously cut the felt to match. This way, if it wiggled, they had room to keep sewing.

For the next class, we talked about sewing up and down (running stitch) and traveling around the edge of the brown leaf like a little caterpillar. "Leave a gap," I said, "So your leaf has a secret compartment for gratitudes." They could add beads and sequins as they travelled around. Each leaf became lovely. We tied loose ends and children promptly planned how they would surprise their family with gratutides in the pocket. A few plan to add it to the Thanksgiving table. A few want to add a loop to hang their leaf. Lots of ideas.

Which is my favorite kind of project. A craft that inspires!

You can see the little gap on this leaf- a space without stiching so you can get inside the leaf.

Hurrah! Wishing you and yours a very thankful season :)

Wednesday
Nov122014

Batty in the Forest

We adore bats!

The bats on We Bloom Here inspired us! We had to bring them to Handwork class. But how? Each week I am challenged to bring an adorable and sweet idea to forty students in first or second grade. Margaret Bloom, the lovely author of Making Peg Dolls and Making Peg Dolls and More (new! yay!) helped me adapt her tutorial for lots and lots of bats.

I thought of using sharpies instead of paint. Which meant a layer of sealant so the sharpie wouldn't 'bleed' into the wood.

"Why not use colored pencils?" she said.

Why not?

So we used colored pencils and black paper instead of felt. I played with the shapes until I made a template that I liked. I traced that shape forty times onto black paper. The kids cut their own wings and ears. They decorated their pegs with rainbows or fangs or both. These are magical bats after all :)

Each student had an envelope where I collected the decorated peg, wings, and head to glue at home. I used tacky glue because I added wire feet. Every bat needs to hang out!

Here was a little mistake, though, for me. I had white floral wire and thought, "this won't be so difficult to color black." Ack! I should have gone to the store and bought black wire to save myself a lot of time. If you are making one or two, coloring the wire was fun. For forty bats, not so much.

At home, I layered out the wings, head, and wire. I added glue and the peg. I let them all dry on the envelopes to return the next day.  

Back of the Bat

Thank you so much for the wonderful idea and tutorial, Margaret! Children loved their bats :)

Even a grumpy tree needs a little bat friend hanging about :)


Enjoy :)

*please note: this post contains affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase a book using these links, a small amount returns to the Forest. Your price remains the same. Thank you!