Monday, April 14, 2014

How the Walrus Came to Be.

This is the story of a walrus. About how he came to be, and the process behind his creation. 

We like to think of ourselves as fun-loving people. I think the best thing about being married is the camaraderie that comes from sharing an infinite number of inside jokes with my husband. And being able to finish his sentences (although, let's be honest, there is a mix of admiration and annoyance on his part when I do that). A few years ago when I released my masked owl ornament line, Sean declared that he would like one for himself, but could it please be a walrus mask?

Every time I saw that little mint chip owl with his walrus mask it just made me smile. I loved his wee plush tusks and cute little freckled face. It was a surprisingly long time before I realized that the walrus awesomeness needed to find a way into the shop.

All of my designs start with doodles. I think in pictures, and I really need to get things down on paper to find potential problems with the design that may turn into huge issues later on for the final product. When it comes to animals I spend quite a bit of time studying photos of the animal from different angles before I even start drawing.

If often takes hours before the basic pattern is ready for a test run. This particular project took at least four hours to get to the point where I was ready to cut into the felt.

Of course before I cut into the felt I have to choose a color! I started with six potential colors, and slowly worked my way down to the one that felt just right.

It was so exciting to see his wee face take shape! It's all in the details, and I took a lot of time with each to make sure he was just right and wasn't missing anything.

Even still, it is often right at the very end when a small problem presents itself, and it's back to the drawing board. With the walrus it was his front flippers that gave me a bit of a rough time. I actually had to put him away for a week or two so that I could come back to the pattern with a clear head.

I came through the victor at long last, and I'm just thrilled to pieces with the final product. I certainly hope he makes you smile as much as he does me! The little pudgy fella is just as happy and handsome as can be. 

> If you'd like to give him a good home, he's available in the shop here. <
> For more about me check out my about page. <

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Blowing Paint for Kid Art

We did a little blow painting exercise last week. The kids got to blow into straws and they didn't get any paint on their hands or clothes. In my book that's a successful stress-free project for mama! Plus it's fun to see where the paint goes, and how force changes the direction and flow of the paint.

For this project all you need is some painting paper (purchased at a local craft store or the stationery department of Target), paint (I used Crayola finger paint), water, straws, and paper cups (to mix the paint in). 

Mix each color of paint separately with enough water to make it runny, so that it will be easy to blow across the paper with a straw. Putting two or three different colors onto the paper will provide extra fun and also interesting contrast. We started with the paint overlapping a bit.

To finish off their pieces of art my kids used a Sharpie to add detail to their little monsters. Be sure to wait for the paint to thoroughly dry before diving in with the marker.

This project is also really cool with simple (thinned) black paint or ink. Make sure to monitor little ones so they don't suck on their straw, or lick paint off the end of it. If your children are a little older and don't need as much direction, consider joining in yourself!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kid Crafts // Colorful Cereal Necklaces

A mommy friend of mine recently shared this fun craft with me- edible kid necklaces that the kiddos can make themselves! (They remind me of those fun candy necklaces we got as kids.) This is a super easy and non-stressful project. All you need is some yarn, masking tape, and 'o' shaped cereal.

Measure how much yarn you will need by holding it around your child's neck or wrist (be sure to leave a little extra to tie it on). Tape your piece of yarn to a table or flat surface to keep it from moving around; put a piece of masking tape around the other end of the yarn to make it easier for your child to put the cereal onto the yarn.

Feel free to sneak in a little educational time by having your son or daughter make patterns with the colors. Be sure you are on hand to help out by eating any broken pieces of cereal that are no good for jewelry making. (If you're really lucky they may make a bracelet for you too!)

Remind your child not to roll around on the floor while wearing their necklace, as that would produce the same effect as tap dancing on top of a spilled box of Cheerios. Please do not put your child to sleep while wearing edible jewelry, as it may pose a strangulation hazard. 

Have fun making and eating these colorful, wearable works of art!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year Means Lots of New Goods!

Since the new year rolled over, I've been busy pulling all the stuff out of my brain that had been festering there while I was busy getting Christmas orders out the door. Boy, has it felt good! I still have a few new things up my sleeve, but for now I've gotten the above things into the shop. Hope you are feeling happy and productive too!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Decorating Gingerbread Men on Christmas Eve.

This Christmas season seemed full to bursting with sewing for the shop, cleaning, cooking/baking, and the general busyness of homeschooling. I really wanted to make an effort to spend some quality time with the kids; even though I work from home and homeschool, finding time for quality time can still be ridiculously tricky this time of year. Thankfully we managed to squeeze in some gingerbread-men-decorating time on Christmas Eve. I wasn't sure I could make it happen, but I'm so glad I did! I didn't want to buy one of those terrible tasting houses, so I opted for homemade gingerbread and icing (thanks, Jill, for the easy recipe!), and purchased some candy from the bulk section of our local Wegman's.

It really was a sweet time of slowing down and having fun together (plus it was tasty!). I do believe we'll be making this a Christmas-time tradition. I hope you all had some extra-special moments during your Christmas celebrations!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stylish Gift Wrapping Round-Up on Hand and Seek.

// This is just a sample of the goodness! Read on for image links and complete round-up. //

Hi there! Just popping in to let y'all know that I've put together a round-up of stylish DIY gift wrapping ideas over on the Hand and Seek blog. Hop on over and get wrapping!

Merry Christmas!