Monday, December 31, 2012

roll-up road

I still haven't quite been able to grasp that Christmas is over and passed, and the year is too! Maybe it's because this past month has been so hectic, but I just don't feel quite ready. I don't feel like I was really able to soak up all the Christmasy goodness, savor all the fun moments, eat all the Christmas treats (ok, I probably did more than enough of that...) But here it is, the last day of the year already! So I guess I don't really have much choice but to keep going and welcome the new year.

But before I do, I wanted to share one of the Christmas presents I made for my little boy. He is obsessed with anything with an engine and/or wheels. I mean obsessed. When we asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him this year for Christmas, he decided (all on his own) that Santa should bring him hot wheels cars. And he stuck to it. Every time we asked him, we got the same enthusiastic response: "Hot wheels cars!"

Of course, we're thinking, "Sweet! They're like $1!" So we got him some new hot wheels cars, and I decided to make a little something to store them in and drive them on.

A roll-up road made of felt, complete with little "garages." Some of my favorite things about this - it's easy to store, easy to take with you, and it's quiet! It's like a quiet book, but just for his cars.

If you're interested in making one of your own, it's pretty easy. I got a big piece of green felt - about the size of two sheets of paper side-by-side. 

Then I got a piece of gray fabric a little wider than his cars are long, and glued it down at the bottom of the green felt. I laid out five cars, and just glued the gray felt in between each one to make a "garage." Then I glued it down at the back of each garage, making little puckers or pleats so it would lay flat. This was the hardest part of the whole project. And I'll probably go back and stitch it down, because knowing my boy, the glue won't hold for very long with as often as he's taking his cars in and out.

Then I got a piece of black felt about the same size. I used fabric paint to trace the shape of the road (about the same width as a hot wheels car) on the back of the felt, cut it out, and glued it on. Then I just cut and glued the other pieces. Get creative! I did railroad tracks and crossing, a stop sign, traffic light, lake, and trees. You could add buildings, animals, anything you want!

Sorry I don't have pictures of how to make it... I wasn't thinking about a tutorial post when I made it! But hopefully you get the idea from the finished product. Just be creative and have fun with it!

You can see the cars in some of the garages here, and one driving on the road. My little man has already put his new road to good use! It's provided lots of great (quiet!) entertainment!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

footprint Christmas trees

I had a fabulous pinterest-inspired idea for Christmas presents the boys could make for their grandparents. We would make handprint wreaths on plates! They would be so cute and a wonderful keepsake for their grandparents!

Unfortunately... I have rather uncooperative children. After a 15 minute tantrum from the two-year-old about wearing one of my old shirts so he didn't get paint on his own clothes, and gloppy smears of green paint all over the first plate (which I then washed off) I decided to try it with the baby. He can't make nearly as much of a mess as his brother, right? Wrong. Once I got paint on his hand, he balled it up into a fist and refused to open it, even when I just took him to the sink to wash him up.

Craft FAIL.
(I really wish now that I'd gotten pictures of the green globs all over the plates and the children, and me!)

So then I had another idea: footprint Christmas trees!
The baby can't really ball up his feet (although he did keep trying to curl his toes, which made things rather... smeary. And it took me and my husband to get his feet properly placed) and then the two-year-old can "decorate" the tree by jabbing dots of red and gold all over.

Still turned out not quite as nicely as all the cute pictures I've seen, but I guess I should have known better with my crazy boys!

So there they are, one for each set of grandparents.

We made one for us to keep too, but it turned out even worse. Rather more lopsided and smeary. And we haven't put the star on it yet.

Well, there's our Christmas craft of the year. If any of you try it and have better luck, please send me pictures and/or tips! :)

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

fairy tale finger puppets

This holiday season has been crazy! Good, but crazy. I got to participate in an awesome boutique a few weeks ago, I've had lots of orders from my shop, I've had several weddings (I do wedding flowers too) and we moved! Whew!

Needless to say, I've been busy busy busy making tons of finger puppets lately! Not only have I been making lots of finger puppets, I've been designing some new ones too! I think these might be my favorite ever set that I've made.

Of course I've always loved princesses and fairy tales. I'm kind of a girly-girl when it comes to things like that. But I'm just really happy with the way these little guys turned out. It's the little details that really make them work - the princess's crown, the dragons tiny ears, the knight's shield, and of course turrets on the castle... I think I'm going to be making a lot more of these! And probably in different colors.

Dragon, knight, and princess puppets

They're not currently listed in the shop (I sold this set already and haven't had time to make any more!) but after the craziness of the holidays slows down, I'm planning to list several new sets I've been working on!