Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Star Wands and Recycled Sweaters

Here are some fun star wands my girls made from recycled wool sweaters. For my younger daughter I actually used a leather punch to put holes in her's so she wouldn't have to struggle to get the yarn and needle through. You could even create projects for your children from felt. They are so proud of them and they are super cute!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Some Clotherspin People

Here are some clothespin people I recently made with my children. It is such a rewarding craft as after they are finished they can play with them! Using some fabric scraps and trim we have turned ordinary pieces of wood into little works of art. Also, I am always surprised and delighted to see how much they enjoy playing with the things they make even if they are "imperfect". Also, it is a great way to introduce a little sewing to your child. There isn't too much of it so they don't become tired of it. Once finished they have their own dollhouse doll! My son wouldn't go for the sewing however. He thought his "man peg" looked fine without. I tried to convince him to make his into a bear as his mouth reminded me of a bear snout but he decided to keep him the way he was.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Hallow's Eve Pictures

Here is a St. Joan of Arc costume I made for my daughter. My other daughter was St. Elizabeth of Portugal.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Need For Silence

I was watching a documentary called Into Great Silence with my husband last night which one would either find very boring or very illuminating. It is a documentary made by a man who spent six months living with a group of Carthusian monks who live in a secluded monastery in the French Alps. He takes you through their days working, praying, fixing a pair of hiking boots with glue and a fun sledding excursion. All was silence except when they chanted or went on their hike during recreation. It occurred to me that silence is indeed golden. It opens one's mind and soul to God. It allows God's whisper-like voice to come through and not be drowned out by the blare of all that vies for our attention.

Ironically, earlier that day I had been very frustrated about the unending task of keeping all of my worldly possessions (as well as the kids') in a decent state of order. I would call this material noise. It is everywhere. I have a problem getting rid of useful things. So, like all Americans, I simply have too much. I need to pray to cure myself of this dreaded disease!

If you would like a little mini-retreat I would highly suggest this movie. If you want to be entertained in a frivolous way then perhaps don't. There is a little speech given at the end by one of the monks on the reasons NOT to be afraid. Basically, the reason is God's love. He does look after His own - but we need to become His own and welcome Him.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Simple Homemade Brown Scapular

I made this scapular recently for my husband after the one he was wearing was basically a tattered shred of brown wool fabric hanging from a cord. That scapular was made by a dear friend of mine that is now a cloistered nun. I knew the scapular he received would have to be special to replace that one. So, using the pure wool felt I use for my dolls, I made him one with a mixture of hand-embroidered stitches and machine stitches. It isn't my fanciest piece to be sure but he likes it. It will be a good test of how durable my wool felt is! I took this picture a few weeks after he had been wearing it ~ I am not sure how much longer it will be photogenic! He gets rips in his pants and breaks cord rosaries regularly. So, if this lasts him six months I will be pleased ;).

The construction of this scapular is very simple. In order to function as a brown scapular it needs to be pure brown wool. So, I cut four pieces of wool felt and embroidered an M for "Mary" and a cross underneath on two of the pieces. Then I measured a length of black embroiderey floss on my husband so it would be a comfortable length. I knotted the floss every so many inches (you can tell I kinda "winged" it, LOL) and placed the end pieces of the floss so they are parallel between two pieces of felt ~ one embroidered and one not embroidered ~ and stitched around the rectangle. Then I took the other two felt rectangles ~one embroidered and one not~ and found the direct opposite side which would be the middle of the length if it were still in a straight line. I didn't bother cutting it but sewed the two pieces of felt over the "u" so that the floss is parallel again. After stitching it around your scapular is "good to go"!

The tradition of the scapular was taken from religious who wear a scapular which is a long piece of fabric which is placed over the head and hangs down the front and down the back. I have included my St. Teresa of Avila as a visual aid. Although it started as a practical piece of clothing, it has come to symbolize consecration to God. Likewise we, the laity, wear our scapulars as a sign of our consecration to God. A priest or deacon "invests" the lay person in the Scapular Confraternity. The devotion to the brown scapular comes from the apparition of Our Lady where she conferred the brown scapular to us saying: "Those who die wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire". This cannot be taken supersitiously or magically but just a promise that those who seek her aid she will lead to her Divine Son. The scapular is a way of life not a ticket to heaven.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wool Fairy Houses

I would like to share a recent fun project I undertook aside from what I make for my Etsy store. I made these sweet "fairy houses" from felted wool sweaters, extra thick wool felt I purchased, cotton floss, wool yarn and some fabric. I would like to attempt some more and perhaps sell some in my shop. I plan to give these to my daughter for her birthday. It is so nice to be able to create such sweet creations from my own ability. Here is a little one of my pixie dolls in the houses. These houses would work with the smaller 2 1/4" peg dolls as well. I have created them so the roofs come off. My only problem is that I would like to reinforce the pale purple house since it is a little flimsy yet. I will put my mind to it to come up with a solution. After all - this is part of the fun!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Children and Our San Damiano Crucifix

We received a large San Damiano crucifix as a wedding present almost 9 years ago now and I have always been amazed at my children's attachment to it. As an infant I remember my son (almost 8 now) laying in his support pillow and "chatting" with it. He would coo and giggle. I always wondered what on earth he was talking about but I knew that Our Lord enjoyed their little conversations. Then my daughters, not quite as avid conversationalists, wanted me to take it down from the wall so they could hold it and hug it and sometimes sit on it. I know Jesus, who understands us better than we understand ourselves, wants us to let "the little children to come to Him". So, my toddler has taken a recent interest in it and would implore me to take it down from the wall so she too could "rough Him up in love". Being a very busy mom I took it down and let her see it and then got distracted with my day. Later I realized it wasn't on the wall. It wasn't on the bed. Where is it?? I still haven't found it. Its about two feet long?? Where could she have put it!?! Perhaps my clepto 3 year old obsconded with it. So, if you would ~ sat a little prayer to St. Anthony for me so that I find it. I know I will ~ but when. I know Jesus doesn't mind after hanging in so many houses and not having any attention paid to Him. I pray my children will remember these encounters with Our Lord when, later in life, their Faith will be threatened as it inevitably will be. Dearest Lord, stay with my children. Never let them forget You. Knock on the door of their hearts til it opens and steal their hearts just as they have stolen You :).

Friday, June 11, 2010

For Kids Say the Darndest Things Friday ~

While saying the rosary a few years ago my then 3 year old daughter invented this mystery, "The third Gloriful Mystery - the three wise men go to see baby Jesus and Cinderella comes and then they see the baby and then they all go home".

Friday, May 7, 2010

May Crowning
This is the month of May where we crown the Blessed Mother of Queen of heaven and earth. This is such a sweet devotion. I am sure it is as pleasing to Christ as it is to His mother. He wants us to be as close to her as He is. He gives her to us. "Behold your mother". Some of us don't have strong mother figures or none at all. Let us take her as ours. Happy May the Month of Mary!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dyeing Dresses Purple

It just so happens that I dyed dresses and other oddities purple on Good Friday. Earlier we had taken part in a Pro-Life Stations of the Cross through the city near us. Just the other day I finished painting them. This is a good paint called Jacquard textile paints that is set with an iron. The paint and the two older girls' dresses I purchased from Dharma Trading Company. You can find them on the internet. Kids can even help though I am not ready for that yet. Perhaps in a few years!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

St. Gianna and her husband are now reunited.
St. Gianna's husband died on Holy Saturday at the age of 98! What a beautiful day to die ~ I only hope I am so lucky! It seems tragic that St. Gianna left her children motherless but only God can see the whole picture. It was reported that when he died he was surrounded by their children. What a testimony to parenthood!! We must remember that our efforts ~ as long as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Church ~ will bear great fruit. We must trust in God!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Simple Craft

On the theme of St. Therese ~ even though her feast day is not until October ~ here is a simple craft I did some years ago. It is easy enough for a child to do. I made it from an old cigar box which I decoupaged magazine photos onto and then crowned with a portrait of St. Therese from a pamplet. I used Modge Podge Decoupage Medium. This is a great use for old holy cards or Christmas cards. We hold crayons in it and it has had quite a bit of love as you can see. This would make a sweet gift. If you don't have a cigar box Michael's craft stores sell little wooden boxes too. God bless!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Cute Skort

This skirt and legging combo ~ also known as a skort ~ I made from a skirt I bought at a thrift store (which originally came from Old Navy) and a woman's turtleneck I also bought from a thrift store. I made the leg parts from the sleeves and the waist part from the turtleneck part of the top. So often the knit fabric they use in kids' clothes leaves much to be desired ~even in some more expensive brands. It is thin and gets holes. The fabric in the turtleneck was at once thick and comfy. The turtleneck was actually a Wal-Mart brand top. It is nice to see them make some things with quality. The print was so cute. It reminded me of older Baby Lulu designs. So, together it made a skort that was comfy, easy to wear, durable, modest and cute cute cute!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Curtains!!

I Finally finished the curtains for the girls room. I used this adorable fabric that reminds me of Fancy Nancy ~ little girls with tu-tus on! I think I may have to adjust it a bit but for now I am just delighted that it is done!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

We try so hard to give our children all we think they need. We try to fill their lives with beauty. How obviously does God outdo us. We don't really have to try that hard. All they really need is love and to be told about Love. We came upon this pile of stacked stones one day while visiting the sea. My son was immediately drawn to it. He stayed there for some time moving and restacking them. Do they really need all the expensive things we buy for them when this pile of rocks gave him all his curious mind needed at that moment? How ironic that I should be trying to sell toys as well! Though, I am sure he would eventually get tired of the rocks. And I do enjoy making my little things ~ so be it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Adventures in sewing

I love to sew but have only managed to make one thing for my Etsy shop. On the left is the photo of my daughter wearing a top I made for her and on the right is a photo of my daughters in dresses I made from the Portabello Pixie pattern. I LOVE these dresses. This is the joy of being able to make things for yourself. My daughter got bike grease (ACK!) on a lovely pair of pants I sewed for her from Amy Butler fabric. Talc or baby powder is great for getting out certian grease stains ~ ones that just make the fabric look wet and don't have much color. Don't dry it in the dryer until you are satisfied the powder has absorded it enough. It may take a few days of leaving the powder on the spot. In the end the grease did not completely come out of the pants ~ it left a light stain. It is ok - its kinda like a status symbol to my daughter I think. However, grease got on another dress I didn't sew and I used Goof Off and it worked great!

Making dolls

Even though they take a LONG time to make I love making "fairy dolls", as my daughters call them, whether they have wings or not. I have made many of them ~ and keep making more. I even made them this "fairy house" for Christmas 2008. I nearly lost a few fingers but it was fun! They like it too!! I have just started making saint dolls too. But I need to wait for some more colors of felt to arrive in order to make any nuns or religious.