gnome

Peg Doll Swap by We Bloom Here

What a treat for spring! We Bloom Here (one of my favorites) is hosting a Peg Doll Swap! Inspire yourself with sweet peg dolls, and sign up to share. I am super-excited to see what everyone creates. I love little pegdolls. I call them gnomes. They can be seasonal, like these summer gnomes.

Summer Gnomes by Lenka

Or to celebrate events. The bride and groom were gifts for my friend's wedding. They appeared at the top of her wedding cake.

Bride and Groom by Lenka

This was also an itty bitty gnome for my cousin's wedding. For them, I made the entire family using bendy fairies. They also got to be atop the wedding cake :)

Baby Gnome by Lenka

See more images of his family here.

Margaret has wonderful ideas for the swap. Her inspiration is Matryoshka style peg dolls. She is open to many ideas. Want more inspiration? Check out the collection she features here and here.

A few of my favorites...

Toadstools by MamaWestWind

Gnome Couple by Beetle and Fern

Wish Gnomes by We Bloom Here

Spring Dolls by This Cosy Life

 I have my own inspiration board on

Pinterest with all the peg and fairy dolls that I love all over the web. So much talent! So many cute creations.

Follow Lenka Vodicka-Paredes's board In the Magic Forest on Pinterest.

I hope you can join the swap! The deadline is May 5, 2014, so hop on over to We Bloom Here to participate! Let's create :)

If you want serious inspiration (and directions!) for lovely peg dolls, check out Margaret Bloom's book, Making Peg Dolls.

*please note: these are affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase, a small amount returns to the Forest. Your price remains the same. Win-win :)  Thank you!

I look forward to seeing what we share with one another! The little wooden pieces are available at A Child's Dream Come True (not an affiliate) and most local craft stores. Margaret says that other styles of little people are welcome too. Going to be fun!

Wishing you a delightful day!

PS- we do have a free Knitted Bunny Gnome pattern if you would like to give that a try :)

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 :)

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 :)

Pixie Owl, Hedgie, and Blue Gnome

Asia is busy in the forest! Look at the new little creations she shared with me today. So sweet!

Introducing the Pixie Owl!

The front is a little pocket for treasure or teeth for the tooth fairy. The owl is a plushie. Our girls, who are both 9 and moving into a different kind of fantastic forest, where fluffy pink is becoming whimsical blue (aka a little older) both love the make-believe of this owl. In fact, the design is inspired by a sketch drawn by Asia's daughter. They both want one of their own. Which is good since Asia is making kits!

Then, look what wandered into the meadow of my front yard.

A hedgehog! We have both been puzzling about a hedgehog design for awhile. Asia's is perfect!

He is so cute! We all love to fluff his little spines and smooth him down again. I have a class story that I use with a porcupine about feelings and when we get frustrated, we can be prickly. He will be perfect with that story. She is designing a kit for him, too. She's working on directions right now. I have a feeling we will be sewing more than one in our house.

I made something new for the forest, too. My little blue gnome.

 

My daughter greeted him with, "Can we keep him? I can keep him, right, Mom?"

And of course I said yes. So I need to knit more blue gnomes. I have a feeling he will be popular this year. Blue and white seem to be new holiday colors :).  He's fun. Perhaps I will try a tutorial, if I have time :).  The red yarn has little sequins through it, which gives sparkle.

I will keep you posted, of course, as we finish these projects. For anyone local, Asia brought kits to Make Local Habit today. If you live farther away, you can email me or visit our Etsy shop and we are happy to send goodies your way. We want everyone to have creative holidays :)

Enjoy!

The Cosy Gnomes

Evenings are cooling down and these gnomes are bundled up for chilly days. 

I was inspired to use fall colors and a little whimsy. Along the way, I found I love knitting gnomes. I am sure they will have a village of friends soon. While they stay with me, that is. I posted them on Etsy here and here. I have more images of them over there, too. 

I can't help but share a two of my favorite images.

Wishing you a cosy day!