It’s been nearly a year since Duke (ginger cream) and Lila (tuxedo) joined our family. It didn’t take all that long for them to seem content and even comfortable in our house but it’s taken quite a while for them to get lap cozy.
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We haven’t had any new snow for quite a while. A few light dustings. Still the wind blows and animals leave their footprints.
A tiny maple leaf, skeletonized by time and weather. Could those be rabbit footprints?
I guess I have bunnies on the brain lately. These needle felted rabbits range from 1.5 to 2 inches long. They are accompanied by an assortment of veggies we made from polymer clay. I was inspired by a picture of felted cats that Naomi posted a few months ago. My kids have been having quite a fun time with the bunnies, playing veggie market. If only that would somehow translate into them eating more real vegetables . . .
Meet Gabe, the bunny, who lives with my parents. He is an 8mo German Angora. He has lusciously soft white fur which spins up into incredibly soft fuzzy yarn.
Name the author and setting of the title quote and I’ll send you something bunny! (fiber sample if you’re a spinner, yarn sample if you’re a knitter/crocheter, something else bunny otherwise)
(In the case that more than one person knows the correct answer, I’ll randomly choose one recipient.
ETA: comments are now closed. 1/25/10)
If you have small children and you’ve watched the Wonder Pets too many times I have now gifted you with that song stuck in your head. You’re welcome. At least I’m giving you a cute image to go with it, yes?
The boy helped me make these little polymer clay sheep (about 1 to 1.25 inches long) for a game we played to go with a lesson at church. I made a felt pasture with a gated fence and a pool of water, there were also two different colors of felt stepping stones which the kids could arrange and rearrange into paths. A cliff and a little lion puppet provided dangerous distractions from the goal of following the shepherd’s voice to reach the pasture. We played it similar to “Simon Says” but instead I would say “The Shepherd Says” because sheep will only listen and follow their own shepherd, did you know that?
The game, and the sheep, met with giggling approval from the K-1 kids at church but I realized that with a few tweaks the game could be improved so that they could play it themselves. I haven’t quite worked out the mechanics of the game but my friend Jan made some suggestions similar to Candyland which would make it easier and more fun. When I work that out I’ll show you the improved game board.
The kids named the sheep Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla and Cinnamon (left to right). There are no purely black or white sheep because we are running out of Sculpey but you can always mix whatever you have to make shades of brown!
Several weeks ago I gave the kids a deadline for deciding what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween. The girl had her mind firmly set on dressing up as a leopard. I bought the leopard print fabric at the local fabric store. It’s synthetic but fairly soft and heavy so I thought it would be warm, especially if I lined it which I did, using hemp/cotton fleece for comfort. I made pants from her regular pants pattern, slightly flared. The pattern for the hooded top was cobbled together using her long sleeve shirt pattern and a comparison of the hoods of two jackets. The tail snaps on to the bottom of the jacket. Placing the pattern pieces on the fabric was rather tricky as there were darker and lighter bands running with the grain and I had to deal with matching those up and deciding how they would go together. I used most of 1.5 yards without much waste. A cool clear separating zipper makes the top into a jacket that she can wear this fall and in the spring. The hood turned out rather large despite the fact that I cut the pattern pieces down from my original tracings before cutting the fabric. Oh well, now I know.
For some reason this is the only picture I have of the girl from the pumpkin party we went to at the home of a classmate of the boy’s. Hopefully we’ll get some better pictures at Halloween. I may do a few more things, maybe some mittens with paw pads?
A mushroom (or toadstool according to our neighbor E.), blue boots splashing in a puddle, one last zinnia of summer
leaves on the wet pavement, one last green leaf, fungus growing on a stump
looking down the lane into the old cemetery, a little friend getting fat
This cut-and-color activity was originally created to accompany a lesson on the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4:30). I found the wonderful black and white illustrations on an educational site allowing use of the images for personal or educational use. I chose pairs of young and adult animals and plants that have fairly different looking forms.
I did this activity with several kids ages 4-7 and it was challenging enough to all of them to make and to play. If you are making these with more than one child in the same house, use different colors of cardstock for the backing so that each child will know which set is theirs. You can play at least two different games with these cards and I’m sure they will spark interesting conversations, walks outdoors and field trips! Enjoy!
Please excuse the silly look on my face. Rich told me I looked too serious. An old white shirt freshened up with pink on pink tie dye and then embellished across one shoulder with a little daisy rubber stamp using fabric inks. And a little frog hiding in the daisies at the hip.
All of the pink/purple was done this week, other colors were done previously. I did all of the stamping/embellishing last night, heat fixed by Rich. These baby clothes are going out all over the continent (literally) to his friends. There are a few more but I’ll save those for another post.
The girl requested that I make some origami animals yesterday so of course I was happy to oblige. I have quite a collection of books and beautiful papers from Japan but oddly enough I generally turn to the solid colors. One side of traditional origami is colored and the other side is left white. Many feature incredible traditional floral and graphic designs. The paper is smooth and crisp and fairly thin. Most craft stores in the States carry origami paper now but when I was a kid I hoarded the beautiful packages I received from my family in Japan.
None of these models are particularly traditional. The rabbit and the cat belong to what is sometimes referred to as modern creative. They are more realistic than traditional models but also more difficult.
I found the instructions online for the three Totoro figures. Totoro are forest spirits from the agelessly appealing animated film My Neighbor Totoro by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. The English version is a favorite in our house.
What to do when you get to the beach and it looks like this?
Climb over silky smooth driftwood, splunk through the river muck, carefully examine an empty horseshoe crab shell . . .
and make sandcastles!
Add a moat.
Notice that it looks kind of like a turtle and add feet and a tail.
While you’re digging in the sand, scoop out some river clay and shape a bird with a . . . ummmm . . . pancake to sit on the turtle’s head.
Call it a day and take the kids home to play in the sprinkler. Enjoy your summer!
The boy asked me to make Hoho the monkey from the children’s show, Nihao, Kailan. He wanted me to make it out of Sculpey but I wasn’t too keen on that, images of broken tails and such coming to mind. So I decided to turn to felt instead. I drew my pattern, cut it out of felt, then needle felted the details on and blanket stitched the pieces together with a little cotton stuffing.
I thought that I ought to make the girl a little character too so I chose Hello Kitty, a famous icon from Japan that I remember as a little girl. Also done up in felt, I forgot one little detail, can you tell?
pinchworm (as used by the boy)
I hadn’t seen a picture of an inchworm recently when the boy asked me to make some. We were not at home so I grabbed what I could find which happened to be chenille stems and pony beads. Notice that the real inchworm has six legs on the front segment and four legs on the rear segment, and no neck or tail as well. He pointed out to me the discrepancy in the number of legs immediately although he also graciously said that it was okay and that he liked what I had made. Fast foward a week when a real inchworm happened to catch our attention on the back of someone’s shirt. I picked it up to show the kids and you know what was the first thing the boy said, don’t you? Attention to detail, that’s my boy.