Valentine's

Valentine's Heart Garland

Hurrah for decorating! And hurrah for crafting homemade decorations that help a house feel like a cozy home. The personal touches that go into homemade decorations make for charming displays (and gifts). This year I made a Valentine Garland using our Magical Forest Fairy Crafts Through the Seasons book. And then we used the garland for a delightful Valentine themed campsite at Inn Town Campground.

Valentine Heart Garland | Forest Fairy Crafts at the Inn Town Campground

The garland can be made by anyone- children or adults. I find myself making decorations even when my children are older, because I love being able to share the spirit of homemade in every season.

And it helps that winter is one of my favorite seasons for crafting. As the wind blusters and blows outside and rain (or snow) piles up everywhere, it’s lovely to sit with thread, sequins, and felt.

Valentine Heart Garland | Forest Fairy Crafts at the Inn Town Campground

For this garland, I followed the directions on page 108 for the leaf garland. The next page has ideas for making our own patterns and garlands. I used the heart as inspiration.

One thing that we believe strongly is that children (and adults) benefit immensely from Invitations to Create. These are ideas or questions that encourage independent thinking. We have encountered a few times where folks say, “Why don’t you tell them what to do instead of asking what they want? Don’t most craft books give instructions?”

Well, we give instructions and offer ideas for inventions and creative growth. After all, the world needs creative problem solvers and innovation. Why not encourage that with invitations to make craft projects unique?

HeartGarlandLenkalandAll Rights Reserved-9.jpgValentine Heart Garland | Forest Fairy Crafts at the Inn Town Campground

For my garland, I found the pom poms already made (or you could search online for pom poms or felt balls if you want to make those, too). I cut a stack of red hearts. One hint, it’s easier, for me, to cut when the pattern is another piece of felt- paper is slippery. So I cut one heart using the pattern on Page 136, then used that heart to cut more. You could also trace the heart onto the felt and cut that way. Whatever feels fun for you :)

I sewed across the top third of my hearts, adding red sequins. I used large stitches. Between each heart, I strung a pom pom.

If you don’t know how to sew, or if you’re making with children, our book has all of the steps for tying knots, adding sequins, and even cutting patterns. It’s an engaging, and rewarding, quick craft that can decorate anywhere from a mantle, windowsill, or campsite.

Share the love :)

Discover directions for the heart garland in Magical Forest Fairy Crafts through the Seasons (which has ideas for many seasonal crafts). And visit the Inn Town Campground for your own enchanted getaway in the forest :)

This post does contain affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase, a small amount is given to the Forest for the referral while your pricing remains the same. Thank you!

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

Sweetheart Fairy Babies

Fun in the forest sounds like, "Guess what I made?"

Aw, welcome little sweetheart fairies!

Asia shared these darlings with me last week. We love being inspired by the season. 

Asia used ideas from our Forest Fairy Crafts book and switched them around to match the holiday. We've been getting more requests for holiday-theme projects. We aren't able share the exact directions, but we can point you towards inspiration.

The wee babes started as Blossom Fairy Babies (page 100). Instead of a leaf bed, Asia made a heart similar to the heart pockets on page 114. She then took the hat from the Love Fairy on page 66 and made the heart-shaped hat small enough for a baby.

Putting it all together is brand-new magic!

Certain things, like the pom-poms on their hats and felt heart decorations, are not in our book. The pom-poms are in most craft stores and can be sewn with a little stitch at the top of the hat. The hearts are cut freehand and secured wtih a stitch.

We keep hearing about mixing and matching ideas from the book. We love that!

Of course, each idea began as a question. "How could we...?" I have a few ideas tumbling in my thoughts right now. "How can I...?" And the results are so much fun!

We wish you lots of love as you create :)

Winter Fair Sweethearts

This week we are going to a Winter Faire which was rescheduled due to snow last month. At the time, missing the holiday season was disappointing.

But winter days are long (even with the strange early spring we have this year). I look forward to a fun day for us and our children.

The fair inspired me to sew these little gnomes to bring along. 

Sweetheart Gnomes by Lenka

Each new season is new inspiration :)

And I had to make a fairy, too.

Sweetheart Fairy by Lenka

Children (and adults) ask sometimes why the fairies or gnomes don't have faces. We like to create them both ways. Many of my fairies have faces. I love the little smiles and impish personalities.

At the same time, I find the wood-bead charming. The idea is that our imaginations create the face. We can 'see' the happy or worried or surprised fairy in our mind. We create the expression and the details. This sounds novel in an age when everything can be made to be more real and toys come with soundtracks so we don't need to make a train whistle or a firetruck siren-song.

I adore simplicity. And I appreciate getting to make these types of toys. Just waiting for a little magic. To come alive :)

You can find us at the Winter Fair at the Yuba River Charter School tomorrow. I can't wait to see all of the toys and crafts and games. I am sure to find more inspiration :) More information is here if you are in the Nevada County area.  

We hope to see you!

Love Fairy

 

Happy Valentine's from the Forest! I used hearts for her, of course. Her wings and hat are both heart-shaped, and she needed a little heart button on her hat. She also wears sparkly beads and a bell, because every fairy needs to sparkle and chime :)

I was going to post her in our Etsy shop, but I don't think my daughter will let her leave our seasonal table-display. So I suppose I should visit the Forest again and find more Love Fairies to bring back for you :)

The disigns that inspired her will soon be available in our book (I love writing that :)). The Love Fairy is part of our collection. We received hard copies of book pages this week to proofread and they look beautiful. So exciting to see our little ideas looking so lovely :).

Here she is sitting down amongst the flowers and butterflies. 

Wishing you a lovely week!

 

My Heart's Wish

Last week, I went to a teacher-gathering in the evening.  My eight-year-old asked to use some felt and thread while I was gone.  

"Are you sure you're okay on your own?  I won't be here to help you."

"I'll be fine, mom."

A mama's dream.  With a twinge of sadness that this little girl is not so little anymore.  So away I went and, when I came home, she gave me her heart's wish.

She made this mama teary-eyed.  I believe in the power of hearts.  And wishes.

She created two small hearts.  The pink one is 1.5 inches across and the pocket-heart is about two inches across.  They are very simple to make.  The little heart has a heart bead inside of it, no stuffing at all.  She sewed the bell on, then sewed them together, sealing the heart-shaped bead inside.  I doubted her idea at first.  But, sure, enough, I find a great tactile comfort in feeling that little heart shape inside the bigger felt heart.  The fact that the heart is sewn shut and the bead is safe and sound inside is also soothing.  The jingle bell is cheerful.  Again and again, I learn to trust the creativity in children.

Her larger heart is a pocket-heart.  She sewed a heart shape on the back and front separately, then attached both hearts together with an open top.  She gave it to me with a story that the heart is meant to be shared.  I can write her little notes and then she can write me little notes and we can both write wishes.  The heart keeps giving.

I hope to sew enough for each student in her class, or perhaps put a few in the mail for cousins and grandparents.  I asked her where she found her inspiration and she said, "I just thought of it."

I love many things about these hearts (of course), but my treasure is the personal stitching that catches her age perfectly.  We may be tempted to guide children towards neat, even stitching and perfectly cut heart shapes, but really, the imperfections shine.  Even her little knots with the strings fraying are wonderful.  

Children can play with felt like they play with blocks and paints.  Their wishes are magical.

Thank you for sharing, Anika! 

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