snips and stitches and squishy marshmallows

I had plans to get a new item in my etsy shop this weekend, but a bunch of mini bunting orders have kept me busier than I anticipated. But I’m still hoping to get it up in the shop after church tonight – keep an eye out for a felt version of some very sweet, sticky, squishy Easter critters…

 

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12 days of crafting: felt stacking tree

12 days of crafting handmade christmas gifts handmade christmas decor  From December 1-12, I’ll be blogging about some fun ideas to create a handmade Christmas. Hopefully you will be inspired to craft some Christmas gifts or decor for your own home!

Day 6: Felt Stacking Tree

felt stacking tree

Today’s project is just a cute little decoration that can be made a bunch of different ways.

felt stacking tree

Supplies:

  • old 100% wool sweater(s) or other felted wool
  • fabric scissors
  • about 10″ of wire (I used a thicker floral wire leftover from another project, but it doesn’t need to be that thick)
  • wire cutters (if needed for your wire)
  • tree topper (felt, a bead, small figurine, etc)

If your wool isn’t already felted, you’ll need to do that first. This is great if you have an old wool sweater that you want to upcycle into a fun project, but you can also check out a thrift store. It’s totally fine if the sweater has holes or issues – the felting process shrinks and binds it all together, so if you are buying one, look for the cheaper damaged ones! Also, I only used one color because I only had one sweater that was falling apart and didn’t want to buy more, but the multi-colored trees I’ve seen are super cute. So if you can get more colors, go for it! It’d especially be worth it if you were making a bunch of trees for gifts, so you’d use more of the sweaters.

To felt the sweaters, all you need to do is toss them in a mesh laundry bag (because they will give off lint like crazy!) and throw them in the washing machine on the hot/cold cycle. They’ll shrink up all funny and be super soft and perfect for crafting! Lay it out to dry and it’s ready to go!

felt stacking tree

Making the tree is so easy. First you’ll cut out your circles – I found it easiest to cut the smallest one first, then use that as a template for the next one by cutting just outside of it (maybe about 1/8″ or so). I kept doing that until I had a circle the size that I wanted for my base (it’s about 4″ across).

felt stacking tree

I had 21 circles all together. Then you just bend your wire at the bottom and start stacking them by poking the wire through the center of each circle.

felt stacking tree

Just keep stacking them all the way up…

felt stacking tree

When you get to the top, you can attach your tree topper by bending your wire around it (or, if you are using more felted wool like me, you can thread it right through).

felt stacking tree

And your felt stacking tree is complete! You can bend the wire around to find the perfect position for your tree.

felt stacking tree

My little tree is going to hang out in our entryway, so I’m going to leave him as is. Depending on where he ends up in the future, I may dress him up – maybe a little beaded garland or glue on some beads or pearls as ornaments!

felt stacking tree

A few alternative ways to do this project:

  • Glue the felt circles together. Your tree will just be permanently positioned but will still be cute.
  • Use regular felt. Regular felt is fine, it’s just thinner and cleaner than the fuzzy, thick felted wool. So it will look different but be equally fun. You’ll probably want to cut out more layers, and probably cut out two of each size.
  • Make an ornament by using thread or fishing line and threading that through each layer. My mother-in-law has a similar ornament that has a bell at the bottom of the tree – that is an easy and cute way to secure the bottom layers.

Hope you enjoy this simple little tree as much as I do!

In case you missed it…
Day 1: Christmas Kissing Ball
Day 2: Vanilla-Infused English Breakfast Tea
Day 3: Iris Paper Folding
Day 4: Paper Circle Garland
Day 5: Rice-Filled Neck Warmer

life at home these days

Things are in process around here. We are remodeling our laundry room and it is giving me flashbacks of a couple years ago when our entire house was in progress. Luckily we haven’t had any setbacks, just the usual minor change of plans that comes with remodeling. A weekend project will now be more like a week-ish project.

As you can see, the contents of our laundry room have been emptied into the piano room while we put in the cabinets, and for the first time ever, Luke is dealing with the presence of a baby gate in the house. He’s doing pretty well, aside from his frequent attempts to climb it.

Of course, there are certain distractions to keep him busy…

Yeah, it’s like Christmas has come early for this little fellow.

The other love of his life right now is dolphins. He completely freaked out when we saw them at the Vancouver aquarium back in September, he shook with excitement during the entire program.

Then a few weeks ago I needed to buy some time to make dinner, so I put on a youtube video of a dolphin show at Sea World. That was a mistake – now he assumes that whenever mom or dad is on the laptop, we are watching dolphin videos.

So when we were at the library earlier this week, we picked up a couple books on dolphins to indulge his interest. One of the books we came home with is a rather dry chapter book with black and white sketches. But once he had it in his little hands and was squealing at the cover photo, there was no way I could quietly get it away from him without a rather loud scene in the library.

And we have spent HOURS looking at these two dolphin books. Two hours on the first day alone. I know them inside and out. And he now says “dole-dole!” all.the.time. I mean, I guess I can’t complain – it’s not spiders or something horrid. It’s dolphins. And I did attend careers camp at Sea World back in high school. Twice, actually.

So I whipped up a little stuffed dole-dole for him the other night.
He was playing with it so sweetly this morning – making him jump on the dolphin book – so I tried to take a photo.

Well, you can see how that went down.

Yeah. He is also really into seeing the photos on the back of the camera.
Not so much into being photographed.

Except when he’s sleeping. Then he’s an angel.

Anyways. That’s what’s going on around here. Happy weekend to you all!

introducing… the little tidbits of joy shop

So remember how I said I had an exciting announcement? Well, I know a bunch of you were hoping it was baby news and yes, that would be way more exciting! But not yet. However it is a sort of birth… I’m officially selling my crafts now!

It’s super exciting and crazy. I’m freaking out a little.

If you live in the Bellingham-ish area, you should come to my very first craft fair! I’ll have a booth with my friend Corinne (who is selling her awesome Christmas ornaments – let me just say that there are seashells and glitter involved with some of them!) at Hillcrest Chapel’s Arts & Crafts Fair this Saturday, Nov 3, from 9am-4pm. Not only are there a bunch of great vendors every year, but a portion of the profits goes to the church’s Adoption Fund that provides grants to families that are adopting!

But that’s not all! I’ve also opened an Etsy shop.

It’s really just a sneak peak at this point – I’ve only put a few items in there since I am keeping most of my stock freed up for the craft fair this Saturday. I’ll be adding more items soon, so stay tuned!

Here are a couple glimpses of things I am selling…

Head on over to my shop to see the other items.

I’ll have some other goods available on Saturday at the craft fair, so I hope to see some of you there! I’ll let you know how it goes and keep you posted on my shop happenings. But for now, I’ve got to get back to my crafting frenzy!

a baby shower brunch

baby shower brunch

A couple friends and I threw a baby shower brunch for our friend Morgan a couple weeks ago. It was so much fun to put together, and Mo got some great stuff for baby Jonas. I’m so excited to meet him – probably only a few more weeks! Here are some photos before the party got started…

baby shower brunch

The yummy spread.

baby shower brunch

End of summer flowers from Ian’s garden, candy-coated sunflower seeds and pumpkin muffins.

baby shower brunch

Jenny made a super yummy quiche from the Colophon Cafe cookbook.

baby shower brunch

I’ve really wanted an excuse to buy paper straws… They were perfect for the orange juice-fresca punch!

baby shower brunch

Mini bunting.

embroidered animal abc book

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

Back when Luke was still a tiny newborn, I got this idea to make a felt animal alphabet book for him. As with many of my crafting ideas, it simmered in the back of my mind and my excitement about the project grew more and more.

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt bookembroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

I finally started making the book at the end of January. I would pick it up when I could – embroider an animal here and there throughout the week. I completed the book at the beginning of May. And since I couldn’t wait to give it to Luke for his birthday, he got it on his 11 month birthday. 🙂

embroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt bookembroidered animal abc felt book alphabet felt book

It was really fun to choose the animals. I threw in some less common creatures, like the nautilus, which is one of my faves. I used a couple of my favorite books (Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection and Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World) for pattern ideas – though I just eyeballed them, I didn’t trace them or anything precise. There were some animals that I didn’t have cute patterns for, so I just googled them and came up with my own rendition. At the end of the post I’ll give the list of what patterns I used. I made the smart decision to buy the pre-cut felt letters, which saved a lot of time. The only downside was that they are pretty thick and also have adhesive – so my embroidery needle would get very sticky after each letter.

I’m so happy with how it turned out, and Luke seems to enjoy it too! His favorite animals to touch are usually the elephant and the panda. I love seeing him play with the things I’ve made for him!

Here are the close-ups of each page.

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Animal patterns:
Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection: B, C, D, E, H, J, O, R, S
Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World: A, F, G, M
My own creations: I, K, L, N, P, Q, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

luke’s first birthday

On June 10th we celebrated Luke’s first birthday! This has been such a fun year, and Luke’s birthday was no exception.

Look how much our little boy has grown in a year! (And yes, mama may have planned to wear the same shirt she was wearing when we met Luke for the first time…)


We made some fun food for the party – a watermelon hedgehog by Ian, and some owl cupcakes (from Hello, Cupcake!) by me.

hedgehog watermelon

owl cupcakes

owl cupcakes

I was excited to make a birthday banner that our family can use for years to come, and I love how it turned out.

felt birthday banner

We’ve been taking a photo of Luke every month with his alphabet blocks, so I hung those up. It’s so crazy to see how he’s changed from month to month.

I still think his 1 month photo is freaking adorable.
He was such an alert little guy from day one!

Luke napped into the first 2o minutes of his party, but once he woke up and took in the whole scene, he was thrilled with all the attention. His favorite part was probably opening the presents – he loved looking at each gift, wrapping and card.

And of course he got to eat his cupcake. I thought he’d be all over it, but he carefully dissected it and eventually nibbled at it calmly. He was also somewhat suspicious of sitting in his high chair in the middle of the lawn while everyone watched.

After the party, we headed to church, where we had Luke dedicated. We were happy to have our friend and pastor, Chris Eltrich, lead the dedication litany. I cried for the third time that day when he read the verses that we’ve chosen for Luke, Proverbs 3:5-6. It just hit me again how deeply I want those words to sink into Luke’s heart as he grows up. I am so thankful for the privilege of getting to raise Luke and teach him about God’s great love and faithfulness.

It was such a great day! Luke is such a loved little guy, and it was special to get to share his first birthday with so many of his friends and family. And he’s pretty happy that he has some awesome balloons to play with too. 🙂