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Archive for 'Winter'

How to Make Beeswax Luminaries

Are you ready for a quick, simple, yet satisfying winter project? Last night I created beeswax luminaries, made by simply dipping water-filled balloons into heated beeswax. The light is warm and the luminaries smell subtly of sweet beeswax. And because you insert a votive or tea light you can reuse them indefinitely.

Ready to get started? You can find the tutorial here.

 

Rachel Wolf is a self-described “crafty-mama” and past contributor to Living Crafts Magazine. She writes the natural lifestyle and natural parenting blog Clean and is working on her first book for parents and children. Aside from crafting-of-all-kinds, Rachel spends her days homeschooling her two children and running her organic body care business, LuSa Organics.

Posted by Rachel Wolf on Jan 2, 2012 09:29 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

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.

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!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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

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

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!

Pardis

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

It’s Nutcracker Season

Nutcracker

When I asked Laura Lee Burch, author of Sew Magical for Baby (reviewed in Living Crafts Fall 10 issue) and Sew Magical for Kids (reviewed in the current Winter 2011 issue), to design a needle felted doll with moving limbs, she immediately came up with the idea of a Nutcracker, which I loved, of course. Having seen her website, and adoring everything in it, including her logo I knew it was going to be good, and it was! When I met her Nutcracker, I immediately fell in love with how warm and cushy and beautiful he was.   We found our Clara model in New York, and asked April Cornell to send her a petticoat as her nightgown. I absolutely love these petticoats, which come in both White and Ecru. They used to come both in long sleeve, and sleeveless, but now they only carry them in long sleeve. I wish every mother would buy (or sew) them for their girls, and make them wear it until they go to college!

Laura Lee Burch
Laura Lee Burch Logo

Here is a peek at the nutcracker Laura Lee Burch designed exclusively for Living Crafts in the current Winter 2011 issue:

Living Crafts Nutcracker
He has moving limbs and it is easy to make with basic needle felting skills.  You can make him in a mini size as an ornament for your tree, or for your children’s dolls as gifts! 

Nutcracker Doll

But recently I discovered a mini felt nutcracker online designed by Hillary Lang, the author of Wee Wonderfuls, another book reviewed in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts:

Felt Nutcracker

Hillary has designed her own Clara doll, and Nutcracker, and I thought you might enjoy the tutorial. Her nutcracker, like Laura Lee’s can be made into an ornament in a smaller scale. Here’s her tutorial for the Nutcracker. Be sure to download the pattern for all the pieces you need to make the “basic” doll into a nutcracker.  Also check out how she curls her Clara’s hair. It is a great technique for using on other dolls you make.

Clara Doll Hair

Clara

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 21, 2010 12:41 PM | 3 Comments

Star Lantern Tutorial and Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Candle with star tools

Instructions for the Star Lanterns in the yesterday’s post can be found on Guusje’s Appletaart blog.

A great video tutorial on making star lanterns can be seen here:

Also, the instructions for the Pine Cone Christmas Tree in the previous post can be found in the Living Crafts Winter 2010 issue.

Living Crafts Winter 2010 Cover

Both projects are pictured here along with the candle craft.

Enjoy!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 18, 2010 06:40 AM | 22 Comments























  




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