Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Paper Bag Puppets – Free DIY Templates

Simplifying my blogs! Here's an old post I'm moving over from an old blog.

I needed to make simple attention-getting figures for an activity with a bunch of children so I hit on the idea of puppets. The puppets at retail stores cost more than I wanted to spend on a 20-minute activity, so I started looking at cheaper options. I decided on paper bag puppets, but then I couldn’t find any free templates of a grandfather, grandmother, dad, mom, boy, and girl … so I made my own!
You can download the template for free here:
– Es
P.S. Please comment if you would like for me to draw body parts to glue to the main part of the paper bag … I kept it simple and just drew the faces and the mouth part that glues underneath the bag flap.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Felt flowers for hair and wrists

I'm simplifying!

I am moving my blog content over from another site:

I made felt flowers for my nieces last year. They loved them, especially the three-year-old. Her mom told me she would find her headband and put it on while she was playing.

I made various sizes and sewed them to thin strips of elastic so that the girls (who are young) could slip the headbands onto their hair or wear them around their wrists. I also slid some of them onto alligator clips so I could clip them straight into hair.

Someone gave me a present from Anthropologie one year that had little green, round, felt circles attached to a ribbon on the outside of the box  I saved those felt circles, and used them as part of these felt flowers.
These felt flowers are all based on a design by Kelly Crawford from www.sewinginnomansland.com so it’s not my pattern to share.

However, you can find some of her felt flower tutorials here and here.

However, the design is fairly intuitive, and I have seen a lot of other versions at the craft store since I first found Kelly's designs. You can fold them in third and make a more tulip-style flower, for instance.

The reason for the season – Wooden and Watercolor Nativity

I decided to simplify so I'm moving my blog content to this site:

The reason for the season – Wooden and Watercolor Nativity

I love Nativities. I have quite a collection of them. In addition to ones made by other artisans, I love to make my own Nativity every year.  I try to use a different medium every time. Last year, I used a wood-burning tool on pre-cute wooden doll shapes. This method was quite tedious because I had to move the tool along the wood quite slowly for the hot metal to leave behind the burn imprints. It was also quite unforgiving because you can’t undo or “paint over” a bad burn mark. Also, of course, I was worried about burning my fingers, as I just held each wooden figure in one hand while I burned out the designs with the other hand.  However, I had a lot of fun experimenting with a new medium, and overall, was pleased with the results. I made a quick manger out of popsicle sticks. I hope to replace it with something better in the future but it is fitting, given the story of Christ’s birth.
Wood Nativity 2013
Wood Nativity 2013

The year before, I made a quick sketch, then used watercolor, to paint a nativity that I then cut out and laminated so that they were a set that children could play with without damaging.

Nativity 2012
Nativity 2012
Nativity 2012

This year, I’m helping plan a craft activity for the neighborhood children, that I wanted to center around the Nativity if possible. I think I know what we’re going to do but while I was at the craft store browsing around, I found some cute pieces that just shouted “Nativity” at me – can’t wait to construct this year’s Nativity. I’m thinking … miniature wooden flower pots and wine corks …

Fun with Kids – Paper Doll Chain

I decided to simplify my blogs so I'm moving all my posts to this one.

Fun with Kids – Paper Doll Chain

I am planning out a fun activity with children and made some paper dolls in preparation. I know several cute children that are fascinated with cutting things – it would be fun to pre-fold the paper, draw an outline, and then let the child cut and decorate the doll. Of course, with children and scissors, you need to supervise them closely, both for their safety, and so that they don’t accidentally cut through the arms that are holding the doll together!

How to Make a Paper Doll
1. Take a sheet of paper, and fold it back and forth, accordion-style, making about four or five folds in the paper.
2. Once your paper is folded, draw your “doll” on it, making sure the arms go to the ends of its fold.
3. Cut your doll out, making sure to cut the arms out to the edge of the paper. That’s it! You’re done. Unfold to see your results.