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Archive for Tag 'Family crafts'

Beads and Buttons Tutorial and Oakmeadow Giveaway!

 Beads and buttons are fun to make, especially by children who love hands-on learning, but clay can also be used to explore any academic subject.  Here are just a few ideas to get your imagination started:

- Create letter and number shapes for alphabet and math learning.

- Sculpt bird heads when studying how bird beaks are shaped differently fo rdifferent purposes.

- Make a model of a Mesopotamian ziggurat, a Mayan temple, an adobe dwelling, or an Egyptian pyramid.

Enjoy this craft from Clay Fun, an Oak Meadow original publication, which is part of our Second Grade curriculum.

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

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Giveaway

Oak Meadow Curriculum and School has generously offered a complete homeschooling curriculum package for one grade of your choice (preschool through 8th grade). That’s a value of $120-$420! Simply visit Oak Meadow’s latest issue of Living Education, a quarterly journal that inspires and informs home learning with strategies, tips, and crafts.

Leave a comment here with feedback and/or suggestions for future issues and you’ll automatically be entered in the giveaway! We will pick one lucky Living Crafts winner on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 6, 2012 09:50 AM | 369 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- 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

Flying Felties!

We’ve been having so much fun making and using these flying felties with our young visitors this summer.  I think they are better than fireworks and just as beautiful as they fall from the sky! Children from the age of three can make them, with some assistance, and both children and adults have fun tossing, flying and chasing them!

Materials:

1 wooden or plastic egg 2.5-3.0 inches (6.5-7.5cm)  long

0.3 ounces (8 grams) wool roving or batting in assorted colors

5 x 30 inch (75cm) lengths of ribbon in assorted colors

1/2 cup beans, rice or lentils ( we used black turtle beans)

bowl filled with warm water

natural dishsoap

small piece of bubble wrap

sewing needle and thread

Tip: sometimes we’ve used the felted pouches that remain once we’ve finished using a felted soap scrub- perfect for flying felties, or little felt treasure necklaces!

Open up the wool fibers by gently stretching them, keeping the wool in long strands. Wrap the egg completely with the wool,  turning and wrapping like winding a ball of yarn.  The egg should have about three layers of wool wrapped around it. Play with alternating colors.  Feel for any thin spots and add more wool with an extra wind covering that spot.

Cup the wool egg in your hands, add a drop of dishsoap, and dip into the bowl of warm water.

Lift the wool egg out gently and start squeezing it between your hands, turning occasionally. Do this for a couple of minutes until the wool develops a felted skin. Start rolling the wool egg in your hands. Rolling…rolling…rolling….Roll the wool egg under your hand on the bubble wrap.

Bowls of soapy water and bubble wrap hold lots of potential for play!

To finish felting, roll the wool egg in the bubble wrap and roll for a few minutes.

Squeeze out any excess water and leave the wool eggs to dry.

Cut open the bottom of the wool egg in a cross. Squeeze out the egg. Fill with beans or rice.

Sew up the opening at the bottom of the feltie, leaving a small opening to insert the ribbons.  Tie your selected ribbons together  in a knot at one end, insert the knot into the opening in the feltie, then finish sewing up.  Be sure to stitches are tight so no beans will fall out and to secure the ribbons well!

Ready for flying!

Hold the feltie by the ends of the ribbon, wind up and toss and watch the feltie fall to the ground, ribbons flying brightly behind. Make a chalk target on the ground and see if you can get your flying feltie to land inside.  Toss and juggle with a friend….Hours of summertime flying fun!

 

 

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 Aug 21, 2011 10:04 AM | 37 Comments

A Winter Night Craft

This simple project is perfect for the days leading up to Christmas and also makes a great gift.  Instructions are easy:

cut stars from beeswax

cut star shapes from yellow or white beeswax sheets,

beeswax stars on candle

place on your candle and press lightly with your fingers.

The warmth of your hand will help the beeswax stick to any candle.

completed candle
You can use these beeswax stars on any other candle you have handy. They don’t have to be made of beeswax for this to work.

That’s it!  Scroll down for resources.

Stars on finished candle

Candlelit Heart

by Mary E. Linton

warm with your handsSomewhere across the winter world tonight

You will be hearing chimes that fill the air;

Christmas extends its all-enfolding light

Across the distance … something we can share.

You will be singing, just the same as I,

These familiar songs we know so well,

And you will see these same stars in your sky

And wish upon that brightest one that fell.

I shall remember you and trim my tree,

One shining star upon the topmost bough;

I will hang wreaths of faith that all may see –

Tonight I glimpse beyond the here and now.

And all the time that we must be apart

I keep a candle in my heart.

Resources

Giveaway

All you need is star shaped cutters. We used Kemper Tools Klay Kutters Star Set, which includes 5 different sizes and retails for $10.95. You can buy them from Prairie Craft online. If you know of any other stores that carry them please leave a comment on this post so we have more resources! The candle pillars are made by Living Crafts contributor Jan Schubert of Bee Happy Candles. The photos of the orange and walnut wotives you see on her home page are from the article she contributed in the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts! For this project, she dipped her natural beeswax pillars in dark blue beeswax, to give them a night sky effect. All you have to do is cut star shapes from yellow beeswax sheets (we used the Stockmar brand). We bought the single color box and the color used is 05 Lemon Yellow. In her article for the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts Jan teaches you how to make walnut and citrus votives. I used her walnut votives as floating candles for my holiday party along with flowers, and it was a real hit. Here’s a photo:

Floating Walnut Candles
Orange Walnut Candles

Living Crafts Winter 2009

I’d love to hear about other candle making and decorating ideas from your family!

Today’s Giveaway

We’re offering you a complete kit, with a box of the beeswax decorating sheets, a package of 5 star cutters, and 6 each blue pillar candles for a night of creative family crafting this holiday. This package is valued at $85. To enter, please leave a comment on this post by 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 19th. Comments close at that time, and the winner will be announced Monday, December 20th.

Blessings,

Pardis

Update: The winner of the Giveaway is Danielle:  “A wonderful family craft for the holidays, thank you!”

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 17, 2010 12:09 PM | 178 Comments























  




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