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Archive for 'Gift Ideas'

Good Finds: Knitting Cards

 

I was delighted when a package of Heartstring Note Cards arrived from Kaspareks.  It is made of quality thick paper and is very simple.  If you have friends who love yarn, receiving a card like this will make them happy, indeed.  I went online and saw they had a few more letterpress card designs, and frankly, the Juggling Bear and the Literary Cat designs are my top favorites.  Click here to see all of their letterpress knitting card designs. 

 

Juggling Bear

Kaspareks sells stamps of the same designs (and more) too.  Here’s a link to the stamps so you can print the designs on any surface. Once you are on their Letterpress Cards page, keep clicking on Next Page to see more designs …

Literary Cat

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GIVEAWAY

The winner is Kim, with following comment:  “So pretty! Thanks for sharing. Crossing my fingers you pick me! Thanks again.”  Thank you all who participated.

The folks at Kaspareks are giving away four sets (of your choice) of their Letterpress Note Cards to one lucky winner who is a U.S. resident.  To enter drawing, please leave a comment here by Sunday, July 22nd, Midnight Pacific Time.

Posted by Living Crafts on Jul 18, 2012 07:17 AM | 181 Comments

Sew What You Love: Free Pattern and Book Giveaway

 Sew What You Love, reviewed in the upcoming Winter 2012 issue of Living Crafts, offers many easy sewing projects.

Just like her fabric designs, Tanya’s sewing projects offer a vintage-modern aesthetic charm.   The fabric used for the purse on the cover, was also used for our crocheted edge tablescapes by Linda Permann, in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts.  While many of the projects in this book are easy for beginners, there are plenty for inspiration and more challenging items for the intermediate or advanced sewer.  Although hard to choose from the 30 projects, the Apple Pie Ottoman, the Ruffle-Mania Skirt and the baby toys are among our favorites.

This Travel Checkers Project is easy to make from your scraps, and practical to take with you and the kids when travelling.  The generous folks at Potter Craft  have not only offered to send one lucky winner a copy of Sew What You Love, but have also made the pattern for this project, right out of the new book, available to Living Crafts readers here: Travel Checkers Project.

 

Giveaway

Potter Craft is giving away one copy of Sew What You Love by Tanya Whelan to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post by Thursday 12 Midnight Pacific time – January 12th.

 

 

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 9, 2012 11:50 AM | 397 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- Rainbow Rocks

Rainbow Rocks are the second 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!

Children love to make these felt geodes, and are always amazed when they are cut open. We have been making these to be given out at our Winter Faire, along with a short story about The Rainbow Rock, and instructions on how to “break” them open.

Materials:

0.5 ounces/  13 grams assorted colors of wool roving

small piece of bubble wrap

dish soap, warm water, bowl

Use a small amount of wool roving and wrap the roving tightly into a ball about the size of a cherry or grape.

Wrap the ball with another color of wool roving. It can be helpful to divide the roving along the length into thin strips, to make it easier to wrap evenly. Continue adding layers of color, completely covering the ball with each new layer. To help keep the ball evenly shaped, roll it in your hands for a minute or so, after adding each new layer. This is a wonderful tactile experience for children.  Add about 5-6 layers of color, or until the ball is about the size of an orange. If you want your Rainbow Rock to look like a stone, finish with a layer of white wool roving and then grey or brown for the last layer.

 Holding the wool ball securely in both hands, dip it gently into a bowl of soapy water. A good felting mixture is 1Tablespoon of dish soap to 1 quart (1 litre) of water.

Hold the wool ball in both hands and  gently squeeze the wool while cupping it. This will help to keep the wool in place and after about 5 minutes of squeezing, a felt “skin”will develop. It is important not to roll or squeeze the delicate wool ball too much at the beginning.  Dip into the bowl as necessary to add a more water and soap. The wool ball should roll easily in your hands, with some lather on the surface, and be wet all the way through.

For about 15 minutes, alternate between rolling the wool ball in your hands, rolling it on your bubble wrap piece, and squeezing it. Apply more pressure as you work to increase the felting.

If you working on these as a group, especially with young children, pass the felt stones around in a circle, each taking a turn to work on each one. In this way stronger hands get to work on the wool stone and help with the felting.  This also adds a playful co-operative element to the craft, and keeps children engaged in the activity.  Just remember which one is yours, so everyone ends with their own one back!

Once the wool rock feels quite firm, rinse well, squeezing under running water to get out the soap.  Then finish the felting by rolling the wool rock under your hand on a towel, to get out any excess water.

Shape into your desired stone shape and leave to dry.

Use very sharp scissors or a kitchen knife to cut open the Rainbow Rock. Start with cutting into the rock , just under the surface, making tiny clips with the points of the scissors. Continue working around the rock in this way, cutting a little deeper with each round. Children love to see the layers opening as you go.

Once you’ve cut in through about three layers, you can probably cut the remaining layers all at once by cutting the Rainbow Rock in half.

Open up and take a moment to enjoy the array of colors and shapes formed through the felting.

We first made these when my oldest son was three years old. We passed a thread through the top of each half and used them as Christmas ornaments.

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, tiny frost gnomes, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

If you’d like to accompany this craft with a story, you could read  The Rainbow Rock . This story would also be nice to go along with a real crystal geode as a special Tiny Treasure!

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 Nov 26, 2011 06:07 PM | 21 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.

Materials:

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

sponge

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.

GIVEAWAY

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 www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

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

Craft Kits as a Holiday Gift

by Fiona Duthie 

Sometimes the best gift for the family member or friend who loves crafting is a craft kit, to introduce a new craft or to provide inspiration in skills already acquired. Our family loves getting kits as gifts. Sometimes the craft, once made, becomes a gift for someone else; sometimes it is the materials included that are repurposed; sometimes the instructions lead us into new craft directions. They are always welcomed, enjoyed, and appreciated. Craft kits can provide calming intervals for us when the holidays get hectic, and occupy us during those sweet, quiet moments when we have time together.

Felt Deer Sewing Kit

Felt Deer Sewing Kit

Make this darling hand-stitched wool felt deer family with this kit from Bear Dance Crafts. Deer are always a favorite with children for creative play and stories, or for adding to a nature table. These deer are Fallow Deer, a kind of deer that keep their spots as adults. The kit comes with clear instructions, full size patterns, and materials for making the three deer in the family, including wool felt, wool for stuffing, pipe-cleaners, beads, and embroidery floss.

Click here to order a kit or just the pattern.

Kids Basketweaving Kit

Basketweaving Kit for Children

An ideal basketweaving kit for beginners from VI Reed.  The wooden base makes it extremely easy for young people to learn without having to weave a traditional base. Use the beads included as embellishment or add your own, while making this 6″ tall basket. The kit includes a pattern, 4″ round pre-drilled base, beads, and #3 round reed.  Teaching and preparation tips are available through the website.

Click here to order a kit.

New England-style Footstool Kit

New England-style Foot Stool

This is such a striking kit from VI Reed. With its wooden frame and woven seat, it provides a new challenge and skill set, while making a highly functional and sturdy furniture piece.  Great for older children. The finished stool measures 12.5″ long, 9.5″ wide, 9.2″ tall. The kit includes 5/8″ flat reed for the weaving, wooden frame for assembly, plus complete instructions.

Click here to order a kit.

The Prairie Girl Mini Quilt

The Prairie Girl Mini Quilt

This mini quilt is a great gift for a first time quilter, from Blackberry Quilts. You can sew this quilt by hand, or on a sewing machine. The instruction booklet contains step-by-step directions for beginners and plenty of pictures. A collection of 1930s reproduction fabrics and the techniques provided in the instruction booklet create the old-fashioned look and feel of a vintage quilt.

Size: 15″x15″, the mini quilt fits an 18″ doll or makes a cute wall hanging.

The kit is pre-cut and has all of the fabrics, batting, binding, and backing fabrics needed to make this mini quilt.

Click here to order a kit.

YoYo Bliss Quilt Kit  

YoYo Blliss Quilt Kit

Who could resist the whimsy of a quilt called YoYo Bliss!

This mini quilt kit from Blackberry Quilts contains all the fun of the old yoyo quilts. The original 1930s quilts were made of thousands of yoyos. Women also made entire bedspreads in this style. This wonderful “learn how to quilt” kit includes directions  written for beginners and lots of instructive photos.

Size: 20″ x 20″

The kit contains all the fabrics to make your own yoyos, binding, backing, and 100% cotton batting.

Click here to order a kit.

Needlefelted Horse Kit 

 

Needlefelted Horse Kit

Fun and playful horses to make by Peace Fleece. These kits come in an assortment of natural colors, with instructions to guide you in three- dimensional needlefelting.  The finished horses stand about 9″ tall. The kit comes with two felting needles and enough wool fiber and supplies to make two horses.

Click here to order a kit.

Knit Pixie Doll  

Knit Pixie Doll

This little doll is a classic from Weir Dolls and Crafts.  Sweet, simple, soft and small – a take along companion for your child. And the kit provides all the materials to make three Pixies – great for a child’s siblings, cousins or friends, so they can exchange stories!

The kit makes three 6″ pixies in assorted colors – one plain, one with a purse, and one with a baby pixie carried in a backpack. The kit includes easy instructions, wool yarns to complete the dolls, and wool batting for stuffing. Requires size 4 (3.5mm) knitting needles.

Click here to order a kit.

Knit Owlet

Knit Owlet

A beautiful kit by KnitWhits. Children’s favorite gifts are often the tiny toys – toys they hold in their hand and carry with them wherever they go. This little owl is so sweet and fits the bill for that treasured small toy! The kit includes yarn and pattern. Support tutorials are available through the website. Requires size 8 (5mm) knitting needles.

Click here to order a kit.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 13, 2010 08:07 AM | 4 Comments























  




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