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Monthly Archive for December, 2011

Craft Room

Black Hen, Little Chick
The Mama Hen Surprise story that accompanies these lovely characters is in Living Crafts Spring 2011. Instructions
Felt Board
Templates for making a fantastic Felt Play Board from Living Crafts Fall 2010Instructions
Felted Wool Soap
Fun project, loved by adults and children alike- these make a perfect gift. Instructions
Knitted Lamb
Sweet poem and story accompany this project in Spring 2010. Instructions
Forget-Me-Not Easter Egg
Felted egg accompanying Easter story from Spring 2010. Instructions
Fruit Basket Ornament
Part of our Ornament Exchange featured in Winter 2010. Instructions
Pine Needle Heart
Bring a little of the outdoors inside. Part of our Ornament Exchange featured in Living Crafts Winter 2010. Instructions
Decorated Egg with Angel
This angel ornament is a such a delicate tiny wonder! Part of our Ornament Exchange featured in Living Crafts Winter 2010. Instructions
Felted Rose Ornament
A gorgeous ornament for your home or yourself! Part of our Ornament Exchange featured in Living Crafts Winter 2010. Instructions
Crocheted Child Horse Rein
Children love to run and play, and these pretend reins add an extra imaginative dimension to their pony games. Instructions
How to grow your own Easter Grass Grow grass for an indoor garden: ideal for Easter, fairy houses and nature tables. Instructions Treasure Purse
This treasure purse makes a great first weaving project. Part of the Weaving with Children article from Living Crafts Spring 2009. Instructions
16″ Doll Cardigan
A perfect, easy to follow design that co-ordinates with our children’s holiday cardigans from Living Crafts Winter 2009. Instructions
Starry Starry Night Holiday Mail Pouch
A lovely wet felted wall hanging that has special pockets for holiday messages! Instructions
Basket Lining
Simple sewing adds so much to a simple woven basket! Instructions
walnut royals
Pine Cone Gnomes
Give this gnome a home! You can make your pine cones a treasure this Christmas. Instructions
Crocheted Crown
This gorgeous crown is so easy and so regal! Instructions
Walnut Royals
These can be made in any character-imagine a witch, a jester, a gnome, and … Instructions
Big Soft Spheres
Soft and squishy playthings are lovely to kick and roll and throw and catch and even just hug . Instructions
Scotty Dog Sweater and Beret
A perfect knitting project for a warm winter gift. Instructions
Tea Pot Ornament
This adorable teapot can be used both a  an ornament or for your child’s play. Instructions

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 26, 2011 10:46 AM | No Comments

Merry Winter Stars

by Fiona Duthie

Merry Winter Stars are made of wool felt, simple stitches, and shiny beads, representing warmth, connection and light….everything we celebrate in this season.

Materials:

1  sheet wool felt 8″ x 10″ (20cm x 30cm) in ecru and lemon yellow, both from Pollika
cotton embroidery floss, gold metallic thread
small amount of wool for stuffing
assortment of beads and sequins
scissors, sewing needle

Merry Winter Stars Pattern available here as a pdf:  Merry Winter Stars

Cut out three stars from the wool felt. Two in Ecru and one in Yellow. Cut the inner lines on one of the ecru stars. Mark on the sewing points for making the folds on the inner line and outer edge.

Lay the stars one on top of the other in following order: ecru, yellow, ecru. Turn them to get the best match to each point. Trim the felt edges a little as necessary. Sew all three layers together, using blanket stitch.

Leave one side of one point open to stuff the star.

Stuff the stars in between the back ecru layer and the middle yellow layer. Use a knitting needle or bamboo skewer to move the wool all the way into the star tips.

Fold the point marked on the inner star line, out to the outer star edge and sew in place with a single stitch. Continue around each point on the star.

Fold down inner star tips. Do not stretch them all the way into the middle, allow then to form a little three dimensional petal.  Pin them in place, then sew to the yellow layer with a single stitch.

Add beads or sequins to the inner star points and the star center. Add some decorative stitches using the gold metallic thread. These are the little touches that really make the star shine.  Add as much or as little embellishment as you feel your star needs to reflect  it’s inner winter light!

This Merry Winter Star can be used as pin cushion, or sew on a long ribbon loop for a child to wear as a holiday necklace, or a short loop to use as a hanging decoration.

Wishing you, your friends and your families much Merry Winter Starlight – warmth, connection and light,and a peaceful, joy-filled holiday season!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 25, 2011 11:23 AM | 2 Comments

Jesus, Mary and Joseph Dolls and 4 Giveaway Kits

Designed by Lesley Cuming

Materials: All available from Pollika

Rope Doll Bases: 2 x 6inches/15cm,  1 x 4.5 inches/11 cm
Fresco Felt:  I sheet each, Sky, Marble, Spring,
True Felt: 1 sheet color #643
1 pack Bhedawool -Brown
Pencil Crayons in eye and mouth colors
Needle and Thread
Glue
Gold Wire
Brown Cord
Brown acrylic paint

Jesus, Mary and Joseph Pattern pieces: Download the Pattern here.

Mary and Joseph Dolls

Step 1: take a very small amount of brown acrylic paint, watered down. Paint Joseph’s face, feet and hands.

Step 2: using pencil crayons, draw on Joseph’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Step 3: position small amount of fleece wool on top of Joseph’s head, making sure not to cover his eyes. Shape a small triangle of fleece and glue to Joseph’s chin for a beard. Roll a very small amount of fleece into a mustache and glue above beard and mouth.

Step 4: cut out two tunic pieces, a front and a back, for Joseph’s tunic using Fresco Felt Spring,

Step 5: placing front and back together, sew from bottom hem to end of sleeve using running stitch.

Step 6: Using running stitch, sew from sleeve edge to neck.

Step 7: starting on opposite side, using running stitch, sew from hem to sleeve edge.

Step 8: place rope doll in tunic before sewing top edge of final sleeve. Using running stitch, carefully sew the final sleeve together

Step 9: tie cord around waist

Step 10: cut out scarf for head, using True Felt color #643.  Fold in half-length wise. Using running stitch sew along longest curved side

Step 11: turn head piece inside out, and position on Joseph’s head. Tie a brown cord around head and scarf to secure.

Repeat these steps for Mary, with the following changes:

For Mary’s hair, position fleece wool on top of Mary’s head, making sure not to cover her eyes or face too much. Glue into place. With a small amount of thread tie excess fleece at back like a pony tail.

Use Fresco Felt in Sky for her Tunic, and Fresco Felt in Marble for her cape.

Add Mary’s Halo: Using gold wire, wind in circles leaving small tail. Poke tail down seam of head dress to secure.

Baby Jesus Doll:

Step 1: using smaller rope doll, remove legs.

Step 2: with watered down acrylic paint add light color to baby’s face and hands

Step 3: with pencil crayons add eyes and mouth

Step 4: wrap baby in  Fresco Felt in Marble.

Step 5: sew halo on back of child’s head, sew bottom flap of blanket up. Place Baby in Mary’s arms.

GIVEAWAY

Pollika is generously offering four lucky readers each a complete kit to make the Jesus, Mary and Joseph dolls in this tutorial.  Each kit includes rope doll bases, wool felt sheets and wool batting for hair. For a chance to win,  please leave a comment on this post by 12/26/11.  Good luck!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 21, 2011 10:38 PM | 164 Comments

Heart Ornament

This is a playful ornament, designed to incorporate your favorite embroidery stitches or beadwork. Add what you love- stars, flowers, hearts….felt cutouts, beads and embroidery! We provide some suggestions, and encourage you to customize! This is the kind of project that is a pleasure to work on in the evening- just some simple relaxing stitches, anyway you want them!

Materials:

3 inch x 6 inch piece of rose coloured wool felt
small amount of wool felt in yellow for stars
cotton embroidery floss to match felt
+ assorted colors for embroidery stitches
selection of larger seed beads that fit easily through an embroidery needle
small amount of wool for stuffing

Cut out the pattern pieces using our Living Crafts Heart Ornament Pattern. Cut out 2 heart pieces and 3 small stars.

Tip: Add the largest design elements first and then embellish around them.

Sew the stars on to the top heart felt piece, using invisible or ladder stitch.

Add simple straight stitch designs using colored emboidery floss. Vines, flowers, or simple stars all made just with straight stitches.
Add some beads for a little extra twinkle. Large seed beads are nice to use- they show up well on the felt, and you don’t need to use a special needle to sew them on.

Starting at the center top of the heart, sew the front and the back of the heart together, using blanket stitch. Leave about 1 inch open for stuffing. Gently stuff the heart, using a bamboo skewer or knitting needle to move the wool to the edges. Sew the last section closed. Use remaining thread to add a hanger for the heart ornament. Hang and Enjoy!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 21, 2011 10:18 PM | 5 Comments

Making Traditions, Making Memories

by Sonya Bingaman

One of our favorite Winter traditions is making colorful stars out of various sizes of kite paper and giving them to friends and neighbors.  Our children love to make the stars and then walk around the neighborhood, giving away stars, sharing love and peace.  It is especially sweet to see the children giving gifts to older neighbors who don’t have grandchildren nearby.  I love to watch the warm smiles both from the giver and the receiver!  We can see the stars taped on our neighbors windows and know it brings joy throughout the year.  Making huge stars using the large pieces of kite paper in the roll, is especially impressive.  For smaller stars the children use a glue stick, for larger stars, they like to use tape.  Sometimes they make a simple 6 or 8 sided star.  Sometimes they get inspired and make a complex 32 pointed star.  Stars can be sent to grandparents, aunts and uncles, children in college or living far from home, brought to group homes to decorate children’s rooms, or given to neighbors or teachers.  We carry Large Rolls in a rainbow of colors, small blocks of paper in rainbow or Christmas colors. Enjoy!

The Star in the picture above is made from 6 1/4″ squares of Kite Paper.  This paper comes precut in this size.  It also comes in large, 27″ x 20″, pieces which can be cut to make many large pieces.  Stars are beautiful with a few colors or even in solid colors.

You can buy these stars online.  The paper used for this project is from A Toy Garden.  Click here to purchase or find more information.

Posted by Sonya Bingaman on Dec 16, 2011 02:48 PM | 2 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Felt Painting Boards and Giveaway

Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”.  These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of  finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!

Materials:

a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.

5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt.  A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method.  All felt will work for this though!

small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors

tiny twigs

wood glue

Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.

Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.

To make the wool tree painting:

First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…

This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.

Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.

Paint the branches on your tree.  Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs.  Add a few on each side and down the trunk.

We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger.  Drop them randomly onto the tree.

If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.

Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different.  Here are some ideas:

These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.

You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks, Frost Gnomes and  Pinecone Gnomes.

Giveaway

National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!

Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.

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Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 11, 2011 09:47 PM | 397 Comments

Tiny Treasures – Pinecone Gnome and Giveaway

by Annette Ringeisen of Wool Creations

 

Collecting pinecones is always fun. There are so many different types and shapes, that each gnome will have a unique character.

You will need:

Pliers, skin colored fiber, curly fiber for hair, fiber for eyes, felting needle

For this project choose a cone that stands up easily. Take a pair of pliers and remove four to five scales in the area that you want to put the face.

Take some skin colored fiber and ease it into the hole. Use your felting needle to move it deep into the nooks.

As you attach the fiber you will also shape the face.  Add a little more for the nose.

Around the face add some curly fibers with your felting needle. Make sure that everything is in the place you want it.

Add a small amount of fiber for the eyes.

Sometimes I like to embellish the top of the pinecone as well.

These gnomes look great on your Nature table, but can also be hung as Christmas ornaments; just add a little ribbon.

To make another one our cute pinecone gnome (desgined by Duo Fiberworks) please click here and scroll down on the Free Patterns page.

Enjoy other projects in the Tiny Treasures series:  Frost Gnome, Tiny Toadstools, and Rainbow Rocks.

Giveaway

For those of you who LOVE needlefelting, we’d love to giveaway a copy of Laurie Sharp’s beautiful book, Wool Toys & Friends.  Please leave a comment on this post by Sunday, December 11 for a chance to win this beautiful book.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 7, 2011 07:06 PM | 132 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Frost Gnomes and Giveaway

Frost Gnomes are the third project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

We love making these tiny frost gnomes, to adorn a gift, slip into a stocking or even hide in the forest or garden for someone small to find. They are made in icy, crystal colors of wool felt, and have a Swarovski crystal atop their cap. They fit happily in a pocket or purse and are lovely for little stories in the car, in line at the grocery store, or on holiday visits.

Materials:

small amounts of wool felt in icy colors. Shown here are pastel blue, lavender, lilac and ecru, all from BearDance Crafts.

wooden peg person 1 11/16″ tall x 5/8″ base, available at Stockade, Woodworks Ltd., Caseys Wood Products, or most local craft stores.

sewing needle and threads to match felt

glue

a small length of mohair yarn (about 16 inches) or wool locks

optional: Swarovski crystal or glittery crystal bead

Frost Gnome Pattern Pieces

Apply a small amount of glue over the body. Wrap the tunic around the body and sew up the back of the tunic using whip or blanket stitch. Sew around the neck of the tunic using running stitch. Pull tight to gather the tunic around the neck.

Sew across the top of the cape using running stitch. Leave long ends on both sides to tie the cape securely around the neck.

Apply glue around the back of the head and a little under the chin. Wrap the mohair yarn around the head- higher at the back and under the chin at the front.

Sew the crystal or bead to the tip of the hat. Fold the hat in half and sew up the back using blanket stitch.

Apply a ring of glue around the inside rim of the hat. Slip the hat onto the Frost Gnome’s head until it is in just the right position. If he gets any glue on his face, gently wash it off before it dries. A clean frost gnome is a happy frost gnome!  Allow the glue to dry for at least one hour (ideally 6-12 hours) before play.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, wool painting boards, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks

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Bear Dance Crafts is giving away a collection of 5 holiday craft kits from Atelier Pippilotta to one lucky Living Crafts blog visitor.
Included in the giveaway are the kits: Little Star Child, Three Little Angels, Little Winter Hut, Three Holly Children and Three Little Light Bearer’s.

These are such sweet kits- to make yourself for your loved ones, or as a perfect crafty gift for a creative friend.
Please leave a comment by Thursday, December 8th, sharing your favorite holiday decoration, to be entered in the draw.

Use the comments section below the full tutorial post, rather than the individual picture of the giveaway- Thanks, and Good Luck!

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Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 5, 2011 12:48 PM | 247 Comments























  




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