Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Please do not reproduce images or content from this site without permission. Thank You!

Email the Editor

Archive for 'Christmas'

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
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.


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!


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- 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.


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


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


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!


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 and on Facebook.

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

Tiny Treasures- Quick Natural Gifts in 20 minutes or less…

This is the first in a seasonal series of projects and ideas for those 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!

Our first tiny treasure are these magical needle felted toadstools, lovely for many occasions as gifts and as seasonal home decorations or a nature table.


small amount (0.1 ounce- 3-4 grams) white wool roving and red wool roving -or color of your choice. A fairy dyed wool gives a lovely woodland effect.

felting needle


Use a piece of wool roving that is about the size of your hand. Roll it up so that it is about the thickness of your thumb, and about 4 inches (10 cm) long.

Needle felt all over one half of the length of the toadstool stem, turning it regularly to keep it round. Leave the wool at the other end of the stem unfelted.

Using a sponge as work surface is really helpful with these small crafts. Try to always be felting  with the sponge under where you are working- it can be tempting to pick up the toadstool and work with it in your hands, but this often results in more needle pricks- and they hurt!

Needlefelt the bottom of the toadstool stem by felting well into the end. Alternate working around the the stem, and flattening the bottom of the stem, until it is very firmly felted.

Wrap the red or colored wool around the unfelted part of the white stem. Be sure and cover all the white at the top of the toadstool. Add more wool at the bottom of the toadstool cap to create a conical shape.

Needlefelt all over the toadstool cap, turning regularly to maintain the shape. Work the needle well into the wool, to create a solid felted top.

Try working with the needle at diffrent angles to help shape the toadstool top-just always be sure to bring the needle out at the same angle as it went in. Felting needles are brittle and can break if angle is changed or used to pry the fibers.

Felt into the underside of the toadstool cap. Keep felting wherever more is needed to make a firm felt, making sure the needle is going right into the wool.

Add some dots to the toadstool cap by using the tiniest anount of wool, and just needling it right in the middle of the fibers- in the same spot. Most the wool will be drawn into the toadstool. Then you can felt in any stray fibers around that central spot. This creates a nice dot, without making an indent or crater in the surface.

Run over the surface of the toadstool with your thumbnail to remove any needle felting marks.  A tiny treasure, ready to be given and enjoyed!

Watch for more of our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.


Please leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, November 22nd, and receive 4 years of Living Crafts! Your package will include all of our 16 quarterly issues starting witht he Premier Issue, Winter 2008 and ending with Fall 2011.  The lucky winner will be chosen through a randomizer, and announced following day.


We have a winner!

Patty P. Submitted on 2011/11/18 at 5:59 am

How adorable. These would be cute tree ornaments as well. Let me get my needles!
Thanks for the amazing creativity Living Crafts gives! The magazine is awesome.


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 and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Nov 16, 2011 10:04 AM | 381 Comments

Book Review: 55 Christmas Balls to Knit

55 Christmas Balls to Knit

Since 2002, Arne and Carlos have used their unique style sense to parlay traditional Scandinavian knitwear designs into individual patterns perfect for holiday décor. Here they share 55 hand-stitched knits on a supersmall scale—projects that take little time to make and minimal effort to make well.

Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison, Norwegian and Swedish respectively, established their design company Arne & Carlos in 2002.

 Drawing on their traditional Scandinavian influences and their natural environment, they create original and visually striking knitwear.  Arne and Carlos’ creative base is their eclectic farm located north of Oslo in the Valdres region of Norway. There, they absorb the rich tradition of Scandinavian arts and crafts while exploring their own knitwear inspirations ( 


$50 gift certificate + this BOOK!


Trafalgar Square Books are giving away a copy of 55 Christmas Balls to Knit book to one lucky Living Crafts blog visitor.  Leave a comment here to be entered to win by October 31, 2011.  In addition to the book giveaway, you’ll also receive a $50 coupon towards any books on their website.   Meanwhile, if you already have this book feel free to email photos of the balls you’ve knitted from this book and we’ll post them here!

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 6, 2011 06:58 AM | 366 Comments

Winter Solstice Winner #11 Photos and Story

As many of you know Christine Schreier of The Puppenstube decided on Winter Solstice Eve to give away all 11 of her gnomes instead of the one she had originally offered. Tree, who was listed as winner #11  blogged her story and photo of the gnome she received from Christine, with her daughter. It is very sweet. Thank you Tree!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 31, 2010 09:43 AM | 5 Comments

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays to all our friends wherever you live in the world, and whichever spiritual practice you choose (or none). Even though we may be physically apart it is amazing how close you all feel through this magazine, and now this baby infant blog! Thank you for all the ways you have supported our labor of love, called Living Crafts. Looking forward to 2011!


Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 25, 2010 01:31 PM | 2 Comments

Winter Solstice Magic

This afternoon, shortly before the Winter Solstice, I received an email from Christine Schreier of The Puppenstube, that she has visited our blog and seen the number of people who participated in her Ore Gnome giveaway, and that she decided to give away every gnome she has, to increase the chance of winning for everyone. Christine, I am overwhelmed by your kindness and your generosity. May you be an example for all of us. Thank you for representing a true spirit of giving. You never seize to amaze me with your talents, in the art of handwork, and love.


The Puppenstube

Our 11 lucky winners are:

Michael C.: I would love to win one of those cute gnomes.

Meghan Lambert: I love these gnomes!!!

Kristyn: what a cutie! thanks for the giveaway!

Susan: He’s a cute little gnome.

Ms Beezus: I made the perfect gnome lady to accompany this handsome guy!

Valerie: Oh my goodness-I was thinking I might give these to a grandchild BUT NOOOOOOO! I would have to keep this one for me! Too cute. Thank you Christine for the smiles and joy your gnomes spread.

Amy G.: These gnomes are the cutest things ever!

Colleen C.: How adorable!!! Thanks for offering a chance to win Gnomey!!!

Brooke: That is so adorable! love all of them!

Jodi H.: I LOVE these little gnomes! I hope to make some myself someday.

Tree: I absolutely love these!! So wonderful! Thanks for the chance! My daughter would adore a little fat gnome.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 22, 2010 06:26 AM | 11 Comments

Teapot Ornament

by Patricia Kessler

Ornament Teapot

One of our most popular articles, has been the Ornament Exchange article in the Winter 2010 issue of Living Crafts. We had so many beautiful projects as a result, that not all of them could fit in the printed magazine. After the printed issue came out we were able to also offer four of them on our Craft Room as free patterns. They are still there and you can click here and scroll down to upload them.

Ornament Box

One of my favorites, is this adorable teapot, which can be used both as an ornament, or for your child’s play:

Symbol: Teapot represents Friendship

In Patricia’s words: “The teapot is a symbol of warmth, friendship, relaxation and tranquility—one cannot prepare and drink tea quickly! The blue embroidery motif on the teapot was inspired by Dutch pottery designs and happily reminds me of the four years I spent living in the Netherlands. The teapot can be completed by someone with intermediate hand-sewing skills. You may sew the lid on completely, or sew only on one side so that you have a hinged lid to allow someone to enjoy finding tiny treasures hidden within!”


1 Piece of cream or white felt, 20 cm x 30 cm
Small amount of wool stuffing
Cream embroidery thread to match felt
Blue embroidery thread
Embroidery needle
1 Blue bead

Teapot Pattern Download

NOTE: Keep the construction stitches very small. The construction stitches should be secondary to the overall shape of the teapot and to the blue embroidery stitching.

Transfer all patterns to felt and cut out all of the teapot parts. Cut six teapot panels, two handles, two spouts, one bottom piece, and one of each of the lid pieces.

Pattern Pieces

Sew the two handle pieces together with a small overcast stitch. Sew the two spout pieces together with a small overcast stitch, leaving a small space for stuffing. Stuff with a tiny piece of wool stuffing. This is done easily by wrapping wool stuffing around a toothpick, then sliding the wool-covered toothpick into the spout and inserting the stuffing.


Form a slight cone shape from the teapot lid top section and sew seam with overcast stitch. Sew a small blue bead to the tip of the teapot top with blue thread, hiding the knots on the underside. Sew bottom piece of lid to top piece, leaving a small space for stuffing. Stuff the teapot lid slightly and sew closed.

Using the embroidery pattern, embroider two panels with blue thread, using French knots, straight stitch, and back stitches.

Position the finished teapot spout between two blank panels and sew the panels together, with the spout sandwiched in at the edge, using a small overcast stitch. When you come to the spout, use tiny straight stitches, then continue with the overcast stitch.

Position the finished teapot handle between two blank panels and sew the panels together, with the handle sandwiched in at the edges, using a small overcast stitch. When you come to each section of the handle, use tiny straight stitches, then continue with the overcast stitch.


Using a small overcast stitch, sew the six panels together one after another to form a cylinder shape. Place the embroidered panels between the two finished spout and handle sections. You will now have a cylinder shape, open at both ends. Be careful to sew them in the proper order.


Stuff this shape with plenty of wool to make a firm teapot body. Carefully sew the bottom of the teapot onto the body. Add more stuffing if needed. You may also wish to add some scented items to your teapot such as a crushed cinnamon stick, lavender, mint, etc.


Stitch the finished teapot lid onto the body with a few stitches on either side of the lid.

Stitch finished teapot

Finished ornaments

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 20, 2010 07:53 AM | 16 Comments


© 2010-2011 Living Crafts Blog.
All original images and text on this website are copyright and the property of Living Crafts Inc. and