Happy Christmas!

We send happy, sparkling wishes for peace and joy to everyone today. Whether you celebrate Christmas or other holidays, we hope today finds you with family, good health, and delightful laughter.

I love creating fairies all year. Christmas gives me a lovely chance to create glittering decorations.

I adore Fairyland during the holidays :)

Wishing peace, abundance, and love to all :)

Happy Celebrating :)

Child-Made Fairies for Christmas

One of my favorite things about the holidays is making fairies with children. Every student in my class (20 in all) makes a fairy. The boys (and a few girls) are not inspired by fairies, so they make elves. Or angels. Whatever the fairies are called, they bring joy to the season.

Our book was inspired by projects like these fairies. Because families sometimes wonder how their five, six, or seven year old made such treasures. Every little fairy/elf/angel is unique. Reflecting the unique voice of the child.

How does it work?

The directions, with many photographs, are all in our book. What the child makes and what I make depends on time and the child. Some children show great independence and want a lot of creative freedom. Other children enjoy having my attention for each little step. I do have a plan for creating twenty child-made fairies. I am working on a post for sewing fairies with groups of children. For now, though, I want to share my secrets for working with one child at a time. Because I get to make these with family, too.

What the child does:

  • chooses felt and pipe cleaner colors, yarn, sequins, wings
  • sews the decorating felt band on the hat, adds sequins and decorations galore
  • sews up the back of the hat
  • adds beads and bells to the top of the hat
  • winds thread (pants or tunic)
  • chooses petal skirts
  • tries hat on to see how it all looks together

What the adult does:

  • makes the body
  • draws the face
  • cuts the felt
  • threads the needle and ties knots
  • demonstates (models) the first couple of stitches and how to add sequins
  • lets go of expectations :)
  • folds hat in half when decorating is done, sews an anchor stitch at the bottom
  • models sewing up to the top of the hat (one stitch)
  • knots thread for clothing
  • models first steps for winding thread (pants or over-shoulder, under arm)
  • holds wings until they are attached with winding thread
  • clips tiny amount so petal skirts can scoot up the legs
  • glues hair and hat on fairy/elf/angel

Of course, this all changes depending on the age and personality of the child. And it doesn't have to be done on the same day. Take breaks. See the little bits of felt and thread come together to create a magical keepsake. 

One of our favorite things at the recent craft fair was hearing from families whose students left us five or even ten years ago. "We still have our fairies," they said. On the tree or the table or the mantle. 

We still love our fairies :)

Nevada City Craft Fair 2013

We love a good fair! All the lights and festivity make for a delightful day.

We haven't visited a fair in awhile so this was our first time sharing our book with the public.

We share the book often with family and friends. Which is awesome, but seeing the reactions at the fair inspired us! Such lovely responses :)

"Come see the fairies!"

Oh, and us too :)

The best part of crafting is the people. I couldn't do this without Asia! She is magical :).

Creating a little enchanted forest :)

The best part of the day was seeing the forest inspire visitors. So many people will be making fairies and treasure keepers this year! Thank you to everyone who could stop by. We have closed our etsy shop because a lot of our goodies were sold at the fair. And we have new custom orders. Like a ninja-kit. I need to go work on that :)

Happy holidays!



Happy Holidays with Angels

We are so excited to share the season with all of you. And we are dancing-sparkly excited about wonderful news! We love the magical dolls that Margaret creates in her book, Making Peg Dolls, and on her blog, We Bloom Here. I adore her whimsical, fun peg worlds. I counted the days to her book's release. I tried to be at a signing, but my kids were running a fever...

So my friends bought me the book and we were all enchanted. Margaret's projects have a sweetness and wonder that had my very-young son asking me to make that one for him, and that one, Mom, please? While my girl asks for more felt and supplies to make her own tiny flower people and baby chicks.

Peg People and Baby Birds by Margaret Bloom

I sent Margaret a little note thanking her for the pretty book. I wished that I could have met her in person.

We haven't managed to meet in person yet, but, sure enough, our shared love of all things glittery inspired friendship. As we talked about the holidays, we thought that a giveaway swap would be fun. 

"Let's make angels," we said.

And what inspiration!

She is giving away my angel so head on over to We Bloom Here to enter. I get to give away one of her darling angels. 

We didn't share our design ideas before creating the angels. I think it's fun that we chose the same iridescent pipe clearners. And stars. Great minds think alike :)

I am so fortunate to share this gift with one of you this holiday season.

Angels are appreciated around here all year-round. They bring us peace and hope. They are symbols of light and love. We keep them hanging in little nooks or sitting on shelves by a candle. You can enter to win these angels. You can also make a few of your own! Our books have directions for both of these treasures (and plenty more). 

We are delighted to share our angels. All that you need to do is write a comment below and include your email so we can get the winner's address. To enter this give away, please leave a comment below this post, and be sure I have your email so I can get in touch if you are one of the winners.  For added fun, you may tell me about your favorite holiday magical tradition. For us, the holidays are full of magic. We love St. Mikulas visiting on December 5. We put a sock behind the curtain. He leaves little sweets on our windowsill. My father was Czech and this is how he held the tradition with us. Each year, finding goodies on a windowsill is simple magic.

Comments for the give away will close at 12:00 noon, Pacific Standard Time, on December 9, 2013. A winner for one peg doll angel will be chosen via random drawing and announced at that time. To enter for the Fairy Angel, head on over to We Bloom Here. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Fairs 2013

Doesn't it seem like the holidays arrive earlier every year? I usually make Thanksgiving my moment to kick into the holiday season, the start of a flurry of activity and fun... It seems like Halloween has become that moment now.

Perhaps because we are in the gifting world- and we love to make gifts and help children make gifts. So we have planned our December. We hope that you can join us at one of these events. We will have books, craft kits, and a few surprises!

We will be at the Yuba River Charter School Winter Faire on Saturday, December 7. We will be focusing on Waldorf crafting here- bringing a lot of natural toy-making supplies like wood buttons and wool felt. You can learn more about this fun event here.

Another new event for us will be the Nevada City Craft Fair on Sunday, December 15. We are excited to share the holiday fun with other artists at the Foundry. And we love the flyer! More information about that fair is here.

The next week will be busy at our school celebration, the Nevada City School of the Arts Winter Revels, on Wednesday, December 12. We love sharing our crafts with the students and parents that have made the crafts in class. They inspired us to write our book :)

We are very busy making all the goodies for these fairs. If you live outside our forest-area, you can always find our Etsy shop. I will be busy updating it (though things may disappear as they are bought locally :))

I also have a very exciting giveaway planned for December. I am not in any rush for the holidays, but I must admit that I do love them!

Thank you for supporting our forest :)

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 :)