Valentine's Day

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!

Inspiration Crafts for Valentine's Day

We love discovering ideas from creatives. Each one is a new way to celebrate the friendship of Valentine's Day. Add to it that this time of year may be chilly outside, so it's a perfect time to sew (granted, I believe that every season is a wonderful season to sew). We collected a few of our favorite inspirations from around the web. Enjoy! How will we choose which project to make first?

Sweetheart Charms by Purl Soho

Sweetheart Charms by Purl Soho

Upcycled Puffy Hearts on Maker Mama

Upcycled Puffy Hearts on Maker Mama

Upcycled Puffy Hearts by Maker Mama

Peg Person Heart Stamp by We Bloom Here

Peg Person Heart Stamp by We Bloom Here

And of course a Love Fairy can join the festivities :). The Forest Fairy Crafts book has all the directions that you need to make her (a few more than will fit in a blog post. We're looking forward to sharing directions for the Sweetheart Fairy Babies in Magical Forest Fairy Crafts Through the Seasons releasing in late summer, 2018. 

Valentine Fairy Babies by Forest Fairy Crafts

Wishing you a lovely time creating Valentines! :)

PS- the links to our books are affiliate links, so a small amount is paid to us in compensation while your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting the forest. Cheers, friend :)

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!

Sweet Gnome Homes

A few years ago, my daughter made me a precious gift. She asked for a few supplies. Felt scraps. A tiny wood gnome.

She made me this treasure. She designed and sewed everything herself. She was seven years old. 

She had a lot of practice with needles and thread (her mama is Queen of the Fairy Forest after all (her title for me)). But the design and creating of this little gnome is a perfect beginning sewing project.

All you need is felt scraps, needle, thread, a couple decorations, and a wee gnome. This project allows for a lot of trial and error because the felt pieces are small.

She cut the hearts first. They didn't match. She liked that one was bigger than the other. She trimmed them to fit together (mostly). If your child doesn't know where to start with cutting hearts, your child can make a pattern on a piece of paper. Draw a few sketches and pick your favorite. Cut and trace onto felt. Or fold the felt in half and cut just like folding a paper heart (this is a little trickier for little hands).

She could have decorated the hearts with sequins, buttons, or beads. She didn't feel like making it too fancy. I love the simplicity, myself. She sewed them together with straight stitches.

She didn't use a pattern for the gnome. She cut scraps into shapes that she liked and tried them on the peg doll. She sewed the cape with a few stitches. Then she did the same thing for the hat. She folded it in half and sewed it together. She added a flower sequin to the top.

She had sewn before using lots of the ideas in our Forest Fairy Craft Book. If this had been her first sewing project, I would have sat with her and given support as needed.  

What I appreciated about this project was how she was able to plan and test ideas. She found a project- cape and hat, with a little home- where she could try her own patterns. I could have cut the shapes and orgazined the project step by step. But I enjoyed how this gnome gave her a lot of freedom. Yes, I had a pile of teeny-tiny piece of felt at the end. I didn't care.

Visualizing, planning, and creating are all valuable life-skills. A little toy for your efforts is a big bonus!

And it's one of my favorite gifts ever. 

Welcome home, little gnome :)