Monday, June 30, 2008

Craft Happy

I have been sewing like crazy lately... and just doing crafts in general. I have been wanting to buy Anastasia a "baby" to somewhat prepare her for the reality coming October 3rd-ish (that is the official due date). Nick's parents bought her a really cute handmade doll cradle that came with a somewhat scary plastic doll. No one liked it... except Leia who enjoyed chewing it up. Despite the dolls ugly appearance, we found the concept of Leia eating a baby very disturbing so Nick finally tossed the doll. So I decided rather than buy her a doll, to make her one. I made one in the waldorf style out of a pair of children's tights using a tutorial for head shaping that I found here. She isn't truly waldorf as she isn't stuffed with wool (yet) and she has many slight imperfections but that is the beauty of handmade... oh and the fact that I spent no money making her. That is my new crafting goal... to use what I have (as I have more fabric than space to store it.)

Another craft I am working on is Isabel's new-used wardrobe. I have been dyeing Anastasia's old stained clothes with RIT dye and adding embellishments. There is a nice tutorial for dyeing and lining those newborn kimono shirts here. I like the idea of not buying anything new, yet transforming something old and yucky into something really adorable. Plus I can easily feminize something gender nuetral or even some of the adorable boyish items I picked up at a thrift store. Because quite honestly girls should be able to wear blue too. I also made this pencil case loosly using a pattern from my new book The Creative Family. I made it to fit some Crayola brand toddler pencils and added color-coordinated buttons for easy organizing. Anastasia loves it, and we took it to church where she took the pencils in and out of the case and colored a little. A lady was so impressed she came up to me and wanted me to make her one. So that is my job for today. I was SO flattered especially because she said it reminded her of something Haba would make. I LOVE Haba except that most of their items are made in China with a European-quality price.

My last few projects have been oriented toward our upcoming camping trip to the beach (and are not all pictured) in order to keep Anastasia busy on the 4-5 hour drive, in restaurants, etc. I made her this magnetic fish scene out of a dry-erase board with glued-on buttons, fish from a sea-tube I picked up at Target and foam shapes. I also made her a little tote bag with sea animals on it, some Magnets that fit in and on an altoid tin, I bought some ocean books and coloring books, made some toddler activity bags with mini-felt board and shapes, playdoh, mini-coloring books, sticky notebooks and gel pens, a playmobil surfer guy, and this cute little weblog mouse and sleeping bag.

Anastasia went to bed amazingly early on Saturday night and I spent 2 hours reading The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soul. (Check out her beautiful blog here.) I wanted to do a quick review on this book because it is a great book and a quick read. It is definately a beginner crafting book, as well as an inspirational read for long-time crafters. The author places a huge emphasis on non-material things and not buying toys but allowing space and resources for imaginitive play and creating. She seems very influenced by the waldorf-style of teaching/parenting and has very easy instructions for some neat projects. Some of my favorites are the pencil case I made, freezer paper stenciling, felt birthday crowns, and clothing reconstruction. I recommend this for anyone who wants some serious creative inspiration or any person who doesn't consider themself creative and would like to try their hand at crafting with their kids.

That is all the craftiness for now... more to come I am sure as pregnancy tends to leave me temporarily craft-happy in the best way. And crafts aren't my only insane weekness... baking and cooking have also been reaching new levels. I decided I don't like the price of sliced bread, so I decided to start making my own. I highly recommend this Rosemary Peasant Bread from Make and Takes. It is so easy and incredibly delicious. And these Ice Cream Cup Cakes from Joy the Baker will leave you speechless. I warn you... I think you gain a couple pounds just looking at her beautiful cupcakes! I used her soft chocolate cupcake recipe, devided it in quarters (for 2 dozen ice cream cupcakes) and baked them 12 minutes, added mint chocolate chip ice cream and frosting and popped in the freezer for an hour. TO DIE FOR.


Michael said...

You can also find Haba (and many other toys and gifts) at Landbridge Toys.


Nodin's Nest said...

I love the doll you made, she reminds very much of one I had as a child!

Melissa said...

I love the doll you made! I really want to make one for O soon.

Clare said...

Thank you so much!! Glad you liked the doll! It was actually not TOO hard... lol. Most of my effort was evening out the eyes! A. hasn't shown too much interest in it, but I think with a real baby around, she may be inspired!