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Archive for Tag 'Winter crafts'

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

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

Knitted Baby Hat

Pattern by Fiona Duthie -Photos by Nicole Spring

Remember our Living Crafts Knitted Child’s Hat from last year?

Well, the cool weather is upon us again, and just in time, the Living Crafts Knitted Child’s Hat is now also available in sizing for babies- a quick knit and a great gift for the fall and winter babies in our lives.

Our baby hat is soft and warm, covering and protecting our littlest ones’ ears and neck from cold winds and drafts.

Materials: 1 Skein Noro Kochoran yarn, 50% Wool, 30% Angora & 20% Silk

Note –one skein will be enough to knit 2 hats. The Noro Kochoran has a beautiful angora halo when handwashed gently in a mild soap. It also felts only moderately when put through the washing machine and dryer- try going up one size and washing it for an even more warmth and softness!

Needles: size 8 (5mm) Straight and Double Pointed needle sets

Gauge: 14 stitches and 22 rows equals 4 inch square

Instructions given for two sizes:  The beautiful baby is pictured here at both 3 months and 6 months, wearing the 3-6 month size.

3-6 months years, measures 14 inches at widest part of head

(6-12 months, shown in parentheses), measures 16 inches at widest part of head

Instructions:

Using straight needles, cast on 28 (32 stitches).

Knit 12 rows garter stitch (knit every row). At the end of last row, turn work and cast on 20 (22) stitches. 48 (54) stitches total.

Evenly divide stitches while transferring onto dpn’s. Turn knitting.   Place a marker to show beginning of round.

Purl one round, joining to work in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Knit one round.

Purl one round

Knit every round until piece measures 4 inches from hat front edge.

(6-12 month size only- K7, K2together, repeat to end. Knit 1 round)

Both sizes:

K6, K2together, repeat to end of round.  Knit one round.

Repeat these two rounds, knitting one less stitch before the K2together, in each decrease round, up to and including:

K1, K2together, repeat to end of round. Knit one round.

K2together, repeat to end of round. (6 stitches remain)

Note: for a flat topped hat- break yarn, pass yarn end through remaining stitches, pull tight and sew in end yarns.

K2together, repeat to end of round. (3 stitches remain)

Pass stitches onto 1 dpn. Knit 4 rounds I-cord. Break yarn, pass through remaining stitches and sew in end yarns.

Make two cords, each 10 inches long, either by knitting 3 stitch I-cord, braiding or fingerknitting,

Sew one end of each cord to corner of ear cover to make the underchin tie.

Sew in all end yarns, and wrap your baby (or someone else’s!)  in some woolly love!

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 Sep 19, 2011 01:33 PM | 34 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!”

Materials

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.

Spout

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.

Handle

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.

Panels

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.

Stuffing

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

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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