Friday, November 11, 2011

Fall Crafting Time

We've finally passed the fall time change, so now have a little extra time to ourselves after the Doodles are tucked away in their beds. I'm spending most of mine working on my SSCS swap gift. I mentioned earlier that it took me a fair amount of effort to come up with something I thought my partner would like. I wasn't able to come up with something she didn't already have one of, but I'm hoping the personalization helps make up for that!

So,  I'm working with wool felt for the first time. I love the feel of it and how easily it stitches. One thing I had not considered was how to transfer stitchery designs to it. I had assumed my light box and a disappearing ink pen would be enough. Imagine my surprise when I could see nothing through the felt on the lightbox. Oh, the things I don't consider... I had already done a fair amount of applique onto the felt, so had to find a solution. I spent some time with my good friend Google, and was able to find several ideas posted by fellow crafters who had already faced this problem. The idea I decided to try (mainly because I had what I needed on hand) was to transfer the pattern to wax paper, baste the wax paper on the felt, then sew through both. I'm happy to say it worked and my stitchery is now complete, though not without a bit of frustration. Any time the needle hit the paper, the paper lost its see-through quality. Also, every third stitch or so would pull down under the paper making it very hard to see where to put the needle to line up the next stitch. Thankfully, though, that step is done and the resulting stitches turned out better than I expected!

Some time last week, I came across a cute owl ornament. Last night, after I stitched my last wax papered stitch and pulled out the last wax paper bit, I set to work cutting out the pieces. I'm not usually a big owl fan, but something about this little owl caught me. Most of my ornament patterns somehow involve snow/mittens/cold/etc, which is definitely not a part of my swap partner's Christmas, so finding an ornament I liked that didn't involve cold was wonderful timing! Of course, I cut out two, to make one for our tree too:

We're still in that minimalized, safe-ornament-only phase, so a felt owl will be perfect! Hopefully my swap partner will be pleased as well. I do know she likes owls, just not how much...

As for family crafting, the twins are in a new preschool this year where they have tons of crafting opportunities. As a result, my self-proclaimed artist, aka crafting buddy, isn't nearly as hungry for crafting opportunities with mom, so I've had to go recruiting! Luckily, I didn't have to go too far. I was able to stop a tantrum the other night (as Doodle #3 watched his brothers go to an activity without him) by offering up a finger painting session. I have to admit that even I was impressed by the speed with which he went from a puddle on the floor to an excited toddler sitting at the table.
And a fun night was had by all!

One idea that I came across last year that I really want to make this year for the kids is a wooden block nativity. I saw ideas from several crafters. A couple used the cutest nativity character stickers. Another painted her own. Unfortunately, the stickers I like are out of print and I don't have much skill in the way of painting. So, I'm on the hunt! I've found some digital scrapbooking images that I like, but I need to test out the process first - I want to make sure I can adhere the images to wooden blocks and protect them without causing them to smear or run. Oh, so many things to try and so little time to try them! If you're interested at all, do a Google image search for Nativity blocks. It's always fun to see what others have come up with!

1 comment:

Shari said...

Can't go wrong with finger painting. It also makes good wrapping paper (in additional to star ornaments!). Love your little owls too.

Take care - Shari