Sunday, December 9, 2012

Elf Antics

Next year I'm waiting until mid-December to bring out our elf. 

We've got two weeks to go, and we're already running out of places to put him!

Looks like he had a good time with the tramp last night though, doesn't it?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Winter Swap: Goodies

I'm so excited about all of the lovely items I received in the swap that I just had to take pictures of everything to share here. It's like I got a box full of all of the things I would love to make if I knew how!

Most of the toys will be going to Maxine. She loves playing with little dolls and gnomes and things. I know she'll adore this fox:

And these little guys are all so cute, aren't they?

This one has a removable hat and beard!

 And look at this happy smile.

 Of course, they'll need somewhere to sit and eat:

And who knows what this might become?

Isn't this little play mat darling? It wraps up, which makes it the perfect size to stash in a purse:

I'm really excited about this "swisher" too. Maxine just asked for one like Lissie's the other day. Lissie's is from Sarah's Silks, and it's nice, but the quality of this handmade one is so much better!

And this crown to wear while she plays with it all:

Won't this angel will look pretty hanging in Maxine's room?

Don't worry, Lissie won't be left out! This pillow is perfect for her. Maybe a nice, warm pillow on her shoulders or forehead will actually help her relax for once.

 And this sweet fairy necklace has "Lissie" written all over it:

I think a few of these will be fun to use with our elf, Christmas. Can't you see him hanging in a window with this star some snowy morning? If we ever get any snow, that is.

And these?

Bowling, perhaps?

I think one morning he might be "sleeping" in this little bed:

And isn't this adorable? Its a little bunting that you can write on with chalk! I wonder what kind of message "Christmas" might leave on here?

We also got two pretty dyed silks; one red, one green.

And last, but not least, I'm keeping these for myself!

I feel like I should be sending thank you notes to everybody who participated, but I can't, because I don't know who anybody is. I hope that if any of you are readers of my blog and see this post, you'll consider yourself thanked. I love everything!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter Swap: Pocket Dolls

I had so much fun doing last year's handmade stocking stuffer exchange, that I jumped at the chance to do another one this year. And I was having so much fun making these sweet little pocket dolls I'd just learned how to make, that I thought, why not double the fun, and make 20 items to swap this year?

The instructions were to make 10 (or if you're feeling carelessly ambitious, 20) Christmas or winter themed items. I decided to split them and do ten Christmasy dolls and ten wintery dolls. Of course, it occurred to me after dyeing and buying a zillion different shades of red, green, blue, and gray felt that pretty much anything wearing a hat and scarf could already be considered wintery.

It also occurred to me, after cutting out 20 different body shape and color combinations, that they wouldn't all be going to the same person, and therefore, didn't all need to be completely different. But I think I'd have been terribly bored after making the second one without a little variety!

The dolls are made from wool/rayon blend felt. I found that a thinner felt works best for these guys, because they are so tiny. I used wool roving to stuff them, and wooden beads for the heads. The instructions I used also show how to make a felted wool head, which is darling, but I'm afraid that making 20 felt heads would have meant these dolls wouldn't be finished until next Christmas!

Are you loving the smudge on the left side of that picture? I had a greasy fingered little helper, but didn't notice until after I'd packed these for shipping.

Each doll has one embellishment. Some have an appliqué, others have an embroidered star or candy cane. I made a few tiny knitted scarves, and I loved the way they turned out, but there are only three because Lissie borrowed, and lost, my spool knitter before I could make more. The rest have little wool poms on their hats.

I found the instructions from Anna Branford's blog on Pinterest. In her post, she links to another blog which has a tutorial for making a similar doll with a fabric head. I'd love to try those sometime too.