Oh my! I’ve been so busy, I forgot to post “Weekending”…. A busy, quick weekend, with one sick husband, a joyful, moody two-year old (cause that’s how 2 year olds roll) and some time to finish up some crafts thanks to Gramma and Grandpa.
This little one needed her “polar bear cub that you made me mama cause I wanted him when you made one for baby Ryo.” and her very own farmers market bag.
While we were at my parents, I was able to finish up some arctic and Antarctica playmats and peg dolls for a Waldorf swap I’m in. I love how they came out. I made 5 Antarctica shaped (loosely), play mats made from cotton batik and wool felt. They have an explorer peg doll to go with them. And I made 5 ice cap Arctic mats, with an Inuit peg person to go with it. It was the first time I had done any free motion quilting and even though I don’t think I am very good at it yet, I am kind of loving it. It’s bringing a new feel to my playmats that I am definitely digging. These guys get shipped out this week and then hopefully by the end of the month, I will have a whole box of handmade Arctic/Antarctic goodies to share with you (and with Ellie). 😉
I’ve been sewing like crazy these past couple months. I have like 4 projects going all at the same time. The other day, Jeff came over to me and said, “how many projects are you doing?! You are dancing all over the place with needle thread, paint and sanding tools!” And it’s very true. Any time my busy child is sleeping, I go straight to work on a project. This week I was working hard to make Ellie a summer time play mat. I love the idea of a nature table (it was my pride and joy when I was a preschool teacher), but I also love the idea of having the nature we find, mingle with the toys we have out. And providing that seasonal aspect, the colors that summer time brings, the images summertime procures; I wanted to create something special for summertime play.
I went about creating a beachy feel, with the different colors of an ocean blue as the centerpiece. I created rocks with luxurious wool felt, hoping to give a tide pool effect.
I made stepping-stones and a grassy area and then backed the whole thing with a funky and bright vintage tablecloth. And with a little help from Gerda Mueller’s Summer, I had a delightful back drop to bring it all together.
Add some great mermaid figures and some handmade peg people as well as some local beach wood and you’ve got yourself a summer play scape! Ellie loved it and as you can tell by all the photos and my blubbering, I kind of love it myself. In fact, I was going to present all of this to her on the solstice but I just couldn’t wait that long! This is California after all, and it’s felt like summer for quite a while already.
I even whipped up a little starfish with some batik scraps I had left over. It adds some summer color to the tide pools don’t you think?
I love making these types of things for Ellie and now for other people’s children as well. I was a very imaginative child and loved creating special play spaces for my toys. I hope these play mats are simple enough to leave the play experiences up to the children but inspiring enough to expand and support imaginative play. I know it brings a smile to my face, every time I see Ellie playing at her table with the things I have made her. It is a joy to watch her play.
*I do have another summer time play mat complete with fabric tree stumps to enjoy in the shop. It has the same vintage backing but its a whole lot greener than this one. Perfect for a woodsy summer playscape. Check it out here.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve really blogged. I fear I’m in a blogging lull as well as having a hard time these days fitting any kind of blogging in. My very busy toddler who dislikes sleep is part of the blogging lull culprit. Wanting to create and paint and read and play is the other culprit. I finally got my act together this week to take a few photos of what I’ve been making in the home and I thought I’d share (and hopefully I’ll be back to regular blogging soon).
I’ve been working on new felt characters for Ellie’s felt board. Like any young child, she is enjoying Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And I thought it very appropriate for spring-time to make her, her very own felt board set to go along with the book. It’s a bit slow going (as you can see I’ve only made it half way through the fruits) but I’m hoping in a week or so I can finish them up for her.
I have also been debating how to set up a “spring table” for Ellie. I love the concepts and philosophy of Waldorf and when I taught preschool even incorporated some Waldorf philosophy into my classroom. One such thing was the nature table. I always try to have a basket of nature items Ellie has collected on her walks for her to explore at her leisure but I really loved the whimsical nature of having a playspace for spring time. Something that helps a child understand the colors and the development and the magic of the season. Since Ellie is still so young, I wanted to keep it simple. She’s very much enjoying periods of independent play with the little Ostheimer animals we got her for Christmas and so I bought some bunnies and a goose for her Easter basket (for this photo shoot, I brought out the bunnies and goose but shhh! Ellie won’t see them till Easter). So with those wooden animals in mind, I went to work on a fabric playscape for her table. Something she can move around if need be. I used wool felt and batik fabrics and created a lake, grass, a little bunny cave and some stepping-stones. It was a joy to make and she is using it now with the animals she has already. I think I’m going to have to make one for each season!
-joining in with our Making part of Making + Listening with Dawn.