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Forest Fairy Supplies Solved!

How many times have we gone to the store, or ordered online, then sat down to make our craft, only to realize that we forgot one very important thing?

Too many times, honestly.

So we came up with two solutions that will hopefully help you, too.

The first is a free resource that is a great companion to our book. The Forest Fairy Supply Checklist is a PDF file listing everything you need to make our crafts. You don't need all of these things at the same time, of course. A pocket-gnome can be made with felt, string, peg person, needle, and glue. But if you want ideas, or wonder what to add to your Fairy Workshop Stash, this is a great place to start.

Click here to download the Forest Fairy Supply Checklist

We are not fancy enough to check off your items digitally on the form- the best way to use this is to print a copy and check off what you have with pretty pencils :)

In case you are giving the book as a gift, or you don't have a Fairy Workshop Stash (yet), we also put together starter kits that have everything you need to dive right into crafting in our Etsy shop.

We were inspired to create these kits at a birthday party. "I love the book," said a friend, "But I don't have anything to make anything!"

So we created the Forest Fairy Starter Kits. These kits have everything you need to make a fairy with a felt outfit, a child fairy, peg gnome, and critter. For now, they use craft-quality felt (good for play). We are working on versions with wool-blend felt and flower petals for fairy skirts. 

Since we love colors, we added a Halloween Kit and a Christmas Kit as well.

We can see these being great companion gifts with our book. They do not come with any directions, but they would be perfect for any felt projects (inspired by our book or elsewhere). You could, of course, put together your own kits for favorite children in your life (using the checklist and your own supplies). Children love seeing all of the goodies collected together.

A great invitation to crafting :)

We hope that these resources give you the tools and ideas to start making your own crafts!

Game Token Gnomes

We are delighted to team up with the lovely people at SewMamaSew. The free tutorial for Gnome Game Tokens is posted here.

I love to share a little behind-the-scenes :)

The entire project inspired us! I used to make these games and tokens with my second grade students. We drew a game-board and sewed gnomes to travel through the game. I adore the creativity that children bring to game-making.

Even younger children love making gnomes. We decided to use paint this time around. It worked really well. We used regular watercolor paints. Ian chose the wee size gnomes. Of course he chose orange, orange, orange.

Anika is a unicorn-and-rainbow-girl these days, so her game featured a forest and garden where the unicorns could play. We drew the boards, then decided paint would be great, too. This project kept us busy for awhile :)

Our neighbor-friend came over and made a couple of gnomes, too. Here is the finished family! Our paint had a tinge of sparkle in the watercolor which gives them a shine. You could add a little glue and glitter after the paint dries for a similar effect.

We had to talk Ian into one red hat. He wanted orange, orange, orange, until we explained that we needed to tell the gnomes apart. 

The gnomes ended up traveling on a few trips with us. I didn't worry about losing them since the process was so fun and we can easily make more. Every once in awhile, a craft becomes a treasure and I don't want it to be lost at the park or on a far-flung adventure. These were perfect pocket-pals.

Afterwards, Anika decided that her game needed cards with specific instructions. Their games kept growing as they thought of new fun additions. We used dice from another game box. The finished activitiy was just as fun as creating the games. We are all inspired to create new ones :)

We hope that everyone enjoys the tutorial! Thanks again to SewMamaSew for the opportunity! What fun :)

Our First Book Arrives

An exciting week in the forest! These beautiful flowers arrived on my doorstep. And flowers are always a celebration. I love flowers! The flowers didn't arrive by themselves, though. No, they were from our lovely friends at C&T Publishing along with a first copy of our book! And I just discovered there is a preview of the book, sharing pages here. So you can understand why we are happy-dancing!

Holding the book after all the months of writing and crafting and editing and sewing was a strange, marvelous feeling. They took our fairy-world and made magic. We love the layouts and colors. What a treat to see all of the hard work pay off :)

The book releases in late May, which is the trickiest part of showing it off. We took it to school and were asked many times where to buy a copy. A little waiting left...

I loved bringing it to school, because the children saw the wall between books and writers crumble. They thought hard about whether Asia and I had really written a real book. Until we showed them page with fairies and gnomes, their Moon Pockets and Treasure Owls. 

"We made ones like that!" 

Which quickly became, "When can we make pirates? And mermaids? And ninjas?"

I better get busy cutting felt :)

We also received CDs with all of the photos they used in the book. We had talented photographers work on Forest Fairy Crafts. I take many of our photographs, but the size and scope of this project meant I was happy to get help. We had over 400 placeholders for images in the original draft! Not all of them made it into the book, but still, they got to work with lots of fairies and crafts.

Our mermaids :)

I am busy today sewing sample for our hat pattern PDF that I will send out to everyone who preorders our book. You can order from any favorite book seller. We will simply ask for an order number or receipt copy. We are working on the technology to make this all possible. Amazon will have the book arrive on your doorstep on release day- you can order here .

We are visiting local bookstores and craft stores to set up book release parties. And I am ready to celebrate. It's a great day in the forest!

I have many postcards (pictured with the flowers) that I want to send you for helping share the fun news. Simply email your address with Fairy Crafts Postcard in the subject line and I will put one in the mail. Don't worry, I won't use your address for anything else :).  If you work at a school or know a group of friends/parents/crafters that may appreciate a postcard, tell me how many you would like and I will do my best to drop them in the mail soon. Thank you for supporting the forest!

All kinds of good news. We will keep you posted as we get closer to the big Release Day :)

Math Sculpture Game

In my class, we love playing games to learn. A big skill is learning addition so it isn't a chore- with 'automoticity' as we teachers like to say. We want addition to be easy like 1+1. Which means lots of practice. I created this game to encourage practice while having fun.

The Math Scultpure Game goes beyond the game where children roll to cover all of the numbers. This time, use a material that can build: pattern blocks, little flat stones, Legos, whatever can make a tower. For this game, keep adding an item to a number with every roll of the dice. See which tower grows the tallest!

What fascinated me with the game were a few fun effects. One, children kept building even after covering their numbers. They wanted to keep growing the sculptures. We called them towns and we called them glaciers and we called them coral reefs. You can make the building match whatever thematic idea you like. This was an unending game (which I loved). And very cooperative. 

Second, the children noticed a pattern. The buildings in the middle grew the tallest. 2 and 12 were usually the shortest. This led to early observations about probability and the many ways that you can make 5 with two dice vs. 12 (only 6+6). These mathematical and scientific deductions were fun to facilitate.

Finally, this was an engaging game for single or paired children. Originally, I had students take turns by passing the dice, rolling, and adding. Then they realized they could each roll a dice and add the results together. Turns every turn! Which is real invested learning- hurrah!

As a bonus, I created a board with 1-6 for my early learners who are still practicing number recognition. For this game, they used one dice and stacked to match the number of dots to the written number.  This game was more straighforward and gave excellent practice for a necessary skill.

The game boards are free to download for personal and classroom use. Enjoy!

Click to Download the Math Sculpture Gameboard PDF

Click to Download the Number Recognition Gameboard PDF 

All PDFs are the property of Forest Fairy Crafts. Please contact us for commercial use permissions. Thank you! 

Handmade Ornaments, You Still Have Time, Really!

Only days remain, yet these ideas don't take more than an hour.  You could collect the supplies in a cute bag or basket to give on Christmas morning, then share craft-time together that day and sew a memory of the holiday together.  

Who can resist a well decorated tree?

Download the free pdf tutorial here

The turorial shares how to make the ornaments with very young children who sew the needle through both pices of felt at once and add decorations to both sides. For the pillow-version, children decorate each side seperately. Then children sew around the edges, leaving a space for stuffing. Add stuffing and sew shut. 

Or heart?

I love shiny happy beads and sequins.

Another quick idea that keeps children busy for awhile, and makes charming decorations for tree or windows (or gift tags), is God's Eyes.  Once children pick up on the wind around pattern, they are hooked and will make one after another.  The Magic Onions has a lovely tutorial posted here

Trees and grandparents and parents love handmade ornaments.  Have fun!

Oh, and just to share, our fairies from the Dragonfly Class (these take more than an hour):

Sending you sparkles and magic as you enjoy the season!

Elf Houses

Make your own Elf Houses!

Click here for the pdf directions

Last week was a fun adventure in my Dragonfly class.  I made rooms and the kids brought a thousand ideas.  I saw a workshops, homes, and even a dance studio!

Once we had the walls, I gave the children lots of paper scraps.

They inspired each other to keep adding more and more clever ideas.  This was one of my favorite open-ended activities ever.

I helped make the beds and tables, but the rest was all their creating.  And they got very creative.

Then they realized their fairies and elves could live in the houses.  How cool is that?

And my daughter stayed after school with her friends.  She said a gnome lived in her house.  Couldn't they make gnomes?

Of course.

And every gnome needs a disco-dance room in his house.

Elf houses quickly became elf-town.  And elf-town is ready to celebrate the holidays.  Happy holidays!

Paper Lanterns

Winter in our Dragonfly kindergarten/first grade class is filled with fun and fancy projects. We are happy to share ideas. These tutorials are quick because we're all busy in the winter season. Feel free to ask questions. Enjoy!

To make these lovely lanterns, watercolor a long piece of paper. When it's dry, draw a line on the back about 1/2 inch from a wide edge.

Fold in half to your drawn line. Fold in half again so you have four sections. Fold up a few inches along the bottom edge to make a base.

Cut along your fold lines on the bottom edge. Draw or trace shapes on each panel. Cut out those shapes to make holes.

On the back, glue tissue paper over the holes to make pretty glowing windows.

Fold the lantern again with the bottom edges overlapping to form the base. Glue along the 1/2 inch extra paper from that first line you drew in the beginning. Tuck that into the lantern to glue the four sides together. Let your lantern dry.

For the handle, we punched two holes and the children finger-knitted a chain to tie onto the lantern.  We don't have our own finger knitting tutorial (yet) but I liked this one by Moonbeams and Applesauce.  You could also braid or tie a few strings in a bow.

We use battery operated candles inside our lanterns. Fire can be dangerous.

These lanterns are a beautiful reminder of light during these dark nights. We hope you enjoy the crafting.

Many thanks to my co-teacher, Marin, for this gorgeous gift :)

Sew Sweet Felt Ornaments

Hurrah, the holidays are here!  In our home, we celebrate each year with a hand-crafted ornament.  They show us the years in a story.  "I remember making this!" my daughter said with excitement.

This is very impressive since she painted it when she was one :)

This year, we are sewing. My three-year-old sewed the beads and sequins on his tree.

Can you guess his favorite color?

I know he'll be reminscing about this tree in future years.  And we want to share the fun.  You can download the tutorial for these very easy felt ornaments.  Children get to decorate both sides so it is a perfect first project for children learning to sew.  Older children can trace other shapes around cookie cutters and get fancy with their stitching and decorating.  We hope that you enjoy the craft!

Happy Holidays!

Click here to download the PDF tutorial

All tutorials are property of Forest Fairy Crafts for family crafting.  We are happy to share the tutorial on your website if you link back to us.  For other uses, please contact us.  Thank you.

Halloween Skirt

Just in time!  I finished the tutorial for the Halloween Skirt!  Of course, the skirt can be made any time of year with different fabrics.  

The fabric inspired this skirt.  Black owls with white eyes sit on winding black branches. Anika has already taken it twirling :)

I have a feeling we'll be seeing the owls all winter :)

Our free tutorial has photographs for each step.  Enjoy!

Click here for the Halloween Skirt Tutorial pdf

All tutorials are property of Forest Fairy Crafts.  Please contact us for use permissions.  Thank you!