Friday, December 21, 2012

Yes, Virginia......

I love everything about this wonderful time of the year! The hectic pace, yummy smells, glitter everywhere, music, cheerful atmosphere, shopping, winning gingerbread house contests, making gifts, decorations, classroom parties, kids home from school, school plays, choral presentations, Christmas movie specials (yay Hallmark channel) and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ! What a glorious time!!
To add to my menagerie of felties, I have decided to include a character from one of my all time favorite Christmas specials: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I thought that the newer version of(CBS/Macy's) Virginia would be easier to replicate. Not to mention I love that clay character and stop motion look that the movie has- kind of like the old Rudolph and Santa specials that I absolutely adore.
The animated Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
Here she is with letter and pencil in hand!
I am going to simplify my instructions today because I am crunched for time. If you need any help look on some of my previous posts, especially Father Time. This will explain how to sew the coat on without getting frustrated :)
1. Paint box light baby blue. Paint white snow swirls and accent with glitter. I also added an envelope (on pattern) and one pencil to each side of the box. I added a painted red square for a stamp.
Make the lid just like the other characters.
2. Boots/legs cut from black felt and assemble. Lightly stuff.
3. Sew body and arms. Lightly stuff.
4. Stitch arms and boots/legs to body.
5. Sew head, before attaching back of head to front don't forget to stitch on face and cheeks. ** I had the hardest time with her eyes. I solved the wonky eye problem by drawing them on paper with a fine sharpie and cutting them out, then gluing them on her face.
6. Stitch back of head to front of head. Stitch hair on. Do not sew head to body yet.
7. Now, sew coat on (remember to read Father Time's robe instructions for help).
8. Add cuffs, gluing them on.
9. Add toggle strips, only gluing the tips. You will thread the scarf through the toggle, once the glue had dried.
10. Buttons and barrette are made out of paper clay. Dry. Paint the buttons and barrette.
11. Glue buttons onto ends of toggles.
12 Glue barrette onto hair.
13. Attach head to body.
14. Add scarf. If scarf is too big to fit through toggles, just trim scarf down until it fits.
15. Pencil is just end of toothpick painted to look like a pencil.
16. Letter, written in your best 8 year old cursive.
Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old.
Some of my friends
say there is no Santa
Claus. Papa says "If
you see it in the Sun
it's so." Please tell
me the truth, is there
a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon


Toothpick pencil.

Letter, almost ready to mail.

Snow swirls, glitter, white dots, pencil and envelope addressed to the Editor. I did some research and some of the information said that she mailed it to The New York Times and some to The New York Sun, you could use either. I believe the Sun turned into the Times later on. I used the Times on my envelope by mistake. I originally had planned to use the Sun but forgot. Don't forget to mod podge it on the box.


The gang's all here!
This will probably be my last post of 2012. Can't believe the year is almost up!
I'll be back in January with some cutie Valentine things.
 Have a Merry Christmas!!
6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Gnome Sweet Gnome

Well....the countdown has begun. D#2 told me today that we have 17 more days until Christmas. Wow, guess I had better get busy. So much to do and I am loving every minute of it! Today I have a clothespin doll for you. I love these little dolls. I have had a picture of a similar vintage doll on my computer for a few years now before I discovered Pinterest and I am not sure where I saved the picture from. Originally she looked like she was made out of pipe cleaners and a wooden bead for a head. She is such an adorable little gnome. I turned her into a Christmas gnome but you could easily make her into a Spring, Summer or Fall gnome.
Feeding time for the little fawns.

Sweet little fawn tutorial at Creative Breathing (click here). The fawn on the left reminds me of my sweet little dog at feeding time- eager beaver :)

Displayed on a mushroom pedestal!
 This was my first time using yarn as hair on my peg dolls. I usually paint the hair. If you happen to zoom in, don't be surprised at the messy hair cut. I cut hair kind of like I make floral arrangements. True story: I use to cut every one's hair in my family -Dear Hubby, Daughter#1, Son, my bangs (back when I had bangs) and even Dog, this was maaannnnyyy years ago. This little side job that I maintained saved us lots of money. I was quite proud of myself. I had years and years of experience- I did after all have the childhood job of pet groomer which all of the pets were proud to sport their new "do" (I don't count the little dog that hid everytime I gave him an adorable cut-he was just shy).  One day while I was cutting DH's hair, I made a mistake......of course I didn't say anything, it was a little tiny mistake about the size of a quarter. It was on the back of his head, who would notice? Everyone at work and I mean everyone asked him who had cut his hair?!?! Really? wasn't that bad. I promise. Well....I lost my job that day and after that everyone went to the barber, Salon and groomer. It's funny, I can make just about anything (or at least pretend that I can) and there really isn't a craft that I won't try, but for the life of me I can't wrap a present, cut hair, make a floral arrangement, draw a decent circle, grow hollyhocks, or even draw a straight line. These little quirks drive me crazy! So I apologize for the messy hair on the otherwise cute gnome :)

Little Rudolph deer waiting patiently to be fed.

Sack of reindeer food.
Supplies for clothespin doll
wooden ball knob-face already painted and mod podged
old style clothespin-legs painted black and body painted flesh and mod podged
peg stand-painted black and mod podged
yarn for hair
two small silver beads
ric rac
wool blend felt
paperclay-made into balls for hands, dried over night and painted and mod podged
one green pipecleaner
Supplies for mushroom
wooden plaque-painted red with white polka dots and mod podged
wooden candle stick painted white and mod podged
artificial picks
Supplies for Reindeer food sack
I used osnaburg to give it a burlap sack look but you could use any scrap of fabric that you have. A piece of muslin would work well.
stamp letters
stamp ink
This project uses glue for everything. No sewing required (I did cheat and sew the shirt sides together- I am very messy with glue so I opted to pick up needle and thread for this part of the project, but you could definitely glue it using straight pins to hold it together until glue dries).
1. Cut out felt pieces. Drill a small hole for the arms in the peg- 3rd picture below shows arm placement.
 2. Glue pants legs in place and stuff excess between legs. I used a sharp pair of scissors to stuff. You may need to trim a little off the sides of the "pants" in order to stuff them between the peg legs.

 Your pants will end up like this.

3. To make the arms glue one sleeve on. Insert the other side of the pipe cleaner through the hole in the peg. Now glue the other sleeve on. Cut pipe cleaner flush with sleeve.
4. Glue back shirt piece on (see photo above).
5. Glue front shirt piece on, glue (or stitch) sides together. Glue ric rac and buttons on. Let dry. Glue holly leaves and berries on.
6. Make gnome hat. Let dry.
7. Glue hair onto head. Let dry.
8. Glue head onto body. Let dry. Glue hat on and then hands. Let dry.
Reindeer food sack
1. Cut out two sack pieces.
2. Sew the sides & bottom together with sewing machine. You could probably glue them together.
3. Stamp "reindeer food" on sack.
4. Stuff lightly and I placed a small oval of light brown on top of the stuffing to have a finished look.
5. Tie two corners with embroidery floss.
Glue mushroom top to mushroom bottom. Let dry. Now just glue everything on. If you made Elizabeth's little fawns add them. You could really add any little animal that you have on hand. I know some of you find the most wonderful vintage plastic animals that would be just perfect on this. I did add some plastic picks from Walmart that I took apart and hot glued to the back. This was the only time that I used hot glue. I like using white glue for everything else.
*Don't forget to sign and date the bottom of the mushroom. This will come in handy 5 years later.
You are now finished. Wouldn't a little gnome dressed in white with a red fawn be the cutest. Hmmm...I am making more crafty work for myself :)
Have a wonderful crafty weekend and let me know if you make a Holly Gnome, I would just love to see her,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Look At Frosty Go!

I love snowmen! I think that they are just adorable! We don't get much snow here in the Piedmont area of North Carolina, so I have to rely on snowy crafts to get my fill. I found the cutest snowman on Pinterest. When I clicked on it to follow the link it brought me to the cutest website. She had snapped the photo at a craft show which hoo, they weren't for sale. I knew that they were needle felted and I just happen to know how to needle felt. So I made one and it turned out to be the cutest little snowman. Really very simple. I wanted to do a tutorial on him, but I know that not everyone needle felts (hey to my sweet sis!). That got me thinking, what do I have that we can use that is pretty much common in every household. Styrofoam balls, fabric balls, ping pong balls, acorns, etc? What about cotton balls?
The little guy on the left is made out of two cotton balls and the one on the right is needle felted.
Inspiration photo, via pinterest: heathercameronstylest.
Pattern for hat and nose.



Supplies needed and of course paint brush and needle. Brown circle is a thin wooden disk. If you don't have one just cut out two smallish circles from a cereal box, glue together, let dry and then follow the steps below.

You will unroll one cotton ball.

Now reroll it. Try to keep this ball smaller than the body ball. You can use your fingers to brush/smooth the cotton ball. Gently rolling it in your hand helps, but don't do this too much or your ball will start looking lumpy. A tiny drop of glue may be used to keep the newly rolled ball from unraveling.

In this photo I have made one eyebrow and am in the process of adding a seed bead eye. Finish the other eyebrow and other eye and then make the mouth (look at photo for placement). Cotton material can be a little tough for the needle to push through, so make sure that you have a very sharp new needle. If this step intimidates you or you struggle with it, just use glue instead. Snip a tiny length of thread (1/8" or smaller) for the eyebrows and mouth. A needle can be a useful tool in helping you to manipulate the thread into place. Glue eyes on, using needle to place drops of glue on the cotton ball before adding the eyes. If the orange felt nose looks too squarish and not round enough to look like a carrot, gently roll that between your fingertips and glue in place.

I found that curling the hat around the end of a pencil helps the hat hold it's shape so that you are able to easily glue the sides together. After the glue had dried, coat the hat with mod podge and dip it into the fine glitter-shh...I don't know if this is proper etiquette but I just dip it right into the bottle, sometimes double dipping.

Looks like a marshmallow with a face!
Paint the wooden disk then apply mod podge and glitter. Now assemble the snowman in these steps:
1. Glue body onto disk.
2. Glue head onto body.
3. Glue hat onto head.    
The cotton ball snowman is kind of fragile. He doesn't like being messed with a lot, because he is just a cotton ball after all. Very carefully tie his "scrap of ribbon" scarf on or you could aways glue a bow on-cute! After this step you can add some cheeks. Makeup blush applied with a cotton swab is all he needs or just leave him plain.
Even though the cotton balls are way more fragile than the needle felted balls, I still love this Little Cotton ball Snowman!

What different personalities each one has even though they were made practically the same way :)
On the Frosty shelf. Tutorial for the Glittery Paper Icicles on yesterday's post.
Have a wonderful, keep those fingers busy kind of day!
*ps. be sure to go and check out ImagiMeri's blog to see the awesome vintage ornament wreath she is giving away! I love those wreaths.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Glittery Paper Icicles

I can't believe how fast the days are flying by! Yesterday I helped out at D#2's school with their Wiseman's Shoppe. It was so much fun helping the children pick out gifts for their family members. Each year the school asks for donations of gently used items. These items are priced anywhere from .25 to $5, with most at $1.00. I was a personal shopper for a while then a present wrapper. Let's just say my wrapping skills are not the best. I am not sure why, maybe I just get impatient. I also struggle with floral arrangements. My middle sister is a whiz at florals, but me, not so much.
Have you seen the cute icicle garland floating around Pinterest? Some of it looks like cotton batting and some looks like paper. I think the batting with glitter sprinkled in would look amazing, but alas, I only have scraps of batting, nothing big enough to work. So, paper it is. I have made a pattern for you to print and cut out. My icicles tend to have a rounded end, much like the real icicles that have started melting. If you like more pointy ones, just snip the end into a point.

This is my Frosty shelf. As you can see the shelf is green, which works great in the spring and summer but not so well in the winter. I figured the icicle edging would cover most of it up. The icicles look  more adorable in person, especially with the sparkly glitter.
*Tip, if you need a longer garland, just place several sheets of paper together and tape at the "X". This will help to keep the paper from slipping while you cut several out at once. If you use more than two sheets your best bet is to staple them together. :)

These are all of the supplies that you will need + a paint brush.
1. Cut out icicles.
2. Kind of glob the mod podge on (this stuff dries quick on paper so a thin coat will be dry before you are able to add the glitter- but don't glob too much or the paper will curl).
3. Now add glitter-*Tip: mod podge about a 3-4" section, then apply glitter, shake off, the mod podge another 3-4" section, and so on until it is completed. I only glittered the icicle and not above the icicle-I figured that this might make the paper curl too much.
4. Let it dry. If the icicles start to curl wait until they are dried and then you can straighten them.
5. I used double sided sticky tape to attach it to the shelf. I believe it is called red line tape. This stuff is strong.

A little corner of the craft room. 
Close up of the garland. I need to tape the joint where the two pieces of paper meet so the crack doesn't show.
My inspiration board.
 I tried to find an old gate that didn't cost a fortune. I gave up after about 2 years and one day while pulling into my garage I spied my old crib springs. Ah, ha! 3 coats of white later, I now had a great place to display my inspirations. Side note: My mom gave me my baby crib years and years ago. It has traveled with us to Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and now North Carolina. I am so glad that I have hung on to it. Many time DearH wanted to get rid of it because it was in the way-I agree, at times it did get in the way. The rest of it is hanging on the garage wall waiting for inspiration to hit.
Funny little robot snowman in my favorite colors.
I hope that you have a wonderful crafty day and be sure to make an inspiration board. They are wonderful! Even an old cork board could do the trick. Elizabeth, over at Creative Breathing, even used an old trellis she salvaged. It looks amazing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Come Blow Your Horn!

Today I have another New Year project for you. It is a Snowman Shaker. He is getting ready for the clock to finally strike midnight so that he can blow his horn and ring in the new year! He is constructed the same way that all of my other shakers are made. If you need a refresher course, check here, here and here.
scrap of fabric for the hat
red and white pipe cleaner, large kind, (Hobby L carries the kind that are already twisted together)
vintage sheet music
crepe paper-red
embroidery floss-eyes, eyebrows
pom poms
plain paper
black paint
white glue- I use Aleene's
mod podge
1. Cut out all felt pieces (face, back of head, nose, cheeks and mouth).
2. Cut a side strip out of white felt (3/4" x 12"-this may be a little long. You will cut it to size after you have finished sewing it to the face piece).
3. Construct shaker. ***Stuff cheeks lightly as you sew them on. ***Stick was painted red with white polka dots and glitter was added.
4. A 9" candy cane striped pipe cleaner was wrapped around the "neck" two times. I found that tightly wrapping it secured it enough where glue was not necessary, but you can always add a drop of glue. Fold tip of pipe cleaner into an 0 shape to form a little hand.
Getting ready to blow that horn!!
5. Cut two strips of tulle, 5 1/2" x 32"-I buy the tulle that comes on a spool at Hobby Lobby when they have it on sale. Place one strip on top of the other, fold in half length wise, now your strip is 2 3/4" x 32. Sew a running stitch the length of the tulle making sure to leave long tails.
6. Gather the tulle and place it on the snowman's neck between the pipe cleaner and head. Tie securely in place.
7. To make the horn, cut one out of plain paper and one out of vintage music sheet. Mod podge the two together. Do not apply mod p to outside yet. This is the tricky part, now glue the ends together overlapping one side a little. You can use clothespins to help hold the ends together, be careful and don't glue clothespin to horn :) Let dry.
He only has one arm. Two made him look awkward *<:)
8. To make fringe, cut three 7" strips of crepe paper. Lay them on top of each other. Start snipping to make fringe being careful to stop just short (about 1/4") of the edge on one side.
9. Glue one layer at a time inside of horn. This is also a little tricky, just be patience and work slowly.
10. Paint tip of horn black. Hot glue works great here, just be careful to not glob it on. Glue horn to hand.
11. For the hat, glue patten onto a fabric scrap. Try not to let glue soak through, use glue sparingly, but making sure to coat paper thoroughly. Let dry and cut out.
12. Glue into a cone shape, again this will take some patience. Use clothespins to help hold so that glue can dry.
13. Glue hat onto head. I found that just gluing the front and back worked the best. Do not worry about the sides.
14. Glue pom poms on (hot glue works best here, be careful use sparingly) and finally glue Happy New Year banner on using white glue. Adjust the arm if necessary.
You are finished!!
In this picture you can see the center hole that is cut out of the mouth. I used my tiny hole punch to cut that tiny hole.

Happy Crafting and enjoy this wonderful day,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Out With The Old/In With The New

I hope everyone had a wonderful time with family and ate plenty of turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday. I can't believe that 2012 is almost gone. What a great year this has been! I have made a lot of new blogging friends and started adding my patterns to my blog.So much fun!! I have had a few people email me and ask why don't I just sell my patterns or the finished product. I love creating these patterns and because it brings me such joy I couldn't imagine selling them. I realize that during these cash strapped times not everyone has the means to purchase something fun. By offering my patterns for free I hope that everyone is able to enjoy them without the burden of paying for them (and plus I love free stuff!). As for buying the finished product, if you are interested just email me and maybe we can work out something. Right now I am not offering them on etsy, but maybe in the future :)
Here's a little guy that represents the almost old year- 2012. Some people refer to him as Father Time, Father Old Year, Old Man Time or Old Father Time. I like Father Old Year even though I tend to call him Father Time. I do know that Father Time carries a sickle and I couldn't let my fun little character carry such an ominous object, so he carries a banner/flag instead. The year on the banner is starting to fade and the banner is worn out/distressed and the pole is bent and warped.
The pattern for his body is the same as baby new year's (this pattern is below).
1. Cut all shapes out of felt except for the 2012 banner and the clock.
2. Sew body, leaving neck open and stuff.
3. Sew arms and legs, stuff.
4. Sew center seam on face and center seam on head back.
5. Using beard as a guide, place checks onto face. Use dot of glue and glue cheeks on, when dry stitch cheeks onto face.
6. Now you can glue eyes, nose and eyebrows on.
7. Stitch face front to head back, stuffing as you go. Sew shut.
8. For beard, button hole stitch raw edges that will not be stitched. Look at picture to figure out where raw edges will be. You can skip this step #8 and leave the edges raw, this looks cute too!
9. Using a very tiny amount of glue, glue beard in place.
10. Using a very tiny amount of glue, glue back hair in place.
11. Where beard and back hair touch, stitch to each other. **Be careful to not stitch Father O.Y's left side of beard down too far or it will interfere with the head placement on the shoulders (again, look at picture).
12. Sew arms and legs to body.
13. Sew one side of robe and place on body and then sew the other side.
14. You may have to clip neck on robe down a little more to get the placement of the head on shoulders correctly. Glue head on shoulders, pin to hold while glue dries.
15. Add twine as a belt.
16. Glue sandal straps onto feet, let dry. Glue sole of sandals onto bottom of feet.
17. Paint box. I tried not to add too many embellishments because the old year is fading and not much pomp and circumstance is going on. I painted a few clock with the time 11:55am and a calendar with Dec. 31st showing. I added a couple of whitish swirls and a few white dots and glitter to the top. Mod podge the whole thing. Glue F.O.Y on to the lid. *If F. O. Y moves a little after the glue is dry you may need to add a little more glue to his sandals to make him stand upright.
18. The flag is white paper with the year 2012 painted on. This allowed me to fade the year by using black, gray and then a very faint gray paint. I crumpled the flag and then inked it lightly. You could even lightly sand the banner to get it more distressed. Glued it onto thin floral wire that had distressing ink applied to it. I then bent the wire and added a black bead to the top. Glue flag to his hand.
19. The clock that F.O.Y is carrying is made from paper clay. Before the clay dries add a U shaped piece of wire for the hanger. Let it dry and then paint it. Add a piece of chain and sew to hand.
He is finished. A lot of pictures have him wearing a brown robe, but I thought that he looked like a monk with the brown robe. I also think he would make a great Noah as in Noah and the Ark. Hmmmm....something for the future.

Happy New Year!!! I know that it is not time yet, but it's never too early to start right?
Here's Baby New Year 2013!
Same body instructions as above. His top hat is made just like the Snowman's a couple of posts back. With one exception, he has a silver pipe cleaner instead of ribbon.

Tiny balls made out of pipe cleaner scraps decorate the box. I did use glitter on the side of the lid. I mod podged vintage silver wedding wrapping paper to the top of the lid. Add a pipe cleaner to the edge of the lid for extra sparkle.
Brand new shiny flag!
His diaper may look a little funny but this was what worked. Glue helps out a lot during this step. I did use some tiny black safety pins. His mouth and hair are embroidered on and his tooth is glued on.
His Happy New Year sash is made out of a 1/2" x 8" piece of felt. The words are stamped on using letter stamps and ink. This was much easier than hand stitching the words on.
His horn is made from paper with the edge painted red and fringed and the tip painted black.
Glue him to the lid. Cut a small opening in his hat to glue it to his head. Glue his horn, flag and sash on.
 He is all finished now!!
I hope that you add them to your list of crafts to make! Let me know if you make them, I would love to see. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)
Have a wonderful day and keep those fingers busy!