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Archive for the ‘gnomes’ Category

Each year, the girls look forward to decorating the home for Valentine’s Day.  Last year, I made a variety of window stars that I put on the windows.  After the holiday, I packed them away to use again this year. 

It was so easy this year to decorate the main window in the dining room.  Here’s what it looks like:

As the girls and I looked through the bin of Valentine’s Day decor, we came across the paper cuttings I did last year for each of them.  One chose red paper as the backing and the other chose pink.  We hung the paper cuttings with a couple more window stars in the living room.

Since I just put out the winter nature table scene on the dresser in the dining room about a week ago, the girls and I decided to keep it up.  So this will stay up for a little while longer (perhaps right after Valentine’s Day it will be changed to another scene).

Winter Nature Table
Since we decided to keep the winter nature table where it was, Olivia suggested putting a Valentine’s scene on the bookshelf.  The table is more craft focused rather than nature focused since the winter nature table has the nature elements (e.g., rocks, sticks, pinecone, walnut shell beeswax candles). 

Valentine’s Day Items

The display on the bookcase has hand-embroidered gnomes made from wool felt and sheep wool stuffing from sheep who use to live here.  The elf clogs are hand-embroidered and made from wool felt as well.  I made a pair for each of the girls using their favorite colors.  The wet-on-wet watercolor lanterns are made from watercolor paper, kite paper, and tissue paper.  The girls made them a few years ago.  The two cards are handmade featuring origami designs made from Japanese paper. 

The picture is of Casey who died 3 years ago on the day before Valentine’s Day.  An artist painted the picture in exchange for some of my work.  It’s been a treasured picture…and one that has been the focal point of several displays.

I like to make a few new things each year, so this is a new window star I made.  It follows a base pattern that I use for another star, but I changed things up a bit to create a new pattern.  Here it is:

I also made a couple of miniature bears from a wool sweater that I felted in the washer/dryer.  The bears are holding a paper bunting with Valentine’s Day theme paper.  The bears are available in my shop, but I’m going to make another set so the girls have something else to decorate with in future years. 

Bears (made with a felted sweater) holding a bunting

The other item I just started making are bendy dolls with wire, beads, and wool felt.  I use a length of wire and two different size beads to create a miniature human form.  The clothes are hand-embroidered onto the wire frame.  The hat needed to be hot-glued onto the bead head in order to stay…otherwise it just slips right off.

I’m doing some for my shop as well as some for home.  The girls like them because they can bend and be posed in different ways.  Here is the trio of dolls that I made this weekend:

There are still a couple of weeks until February and some more things the girls and I want to do before then that relate to the holiday….more crafts, recipes to try, and activities to do.  Next week, I’ll post some more Valentine’s Day ideas.
Family room window with winter-white stars

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Bears in Woods
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

This morning I did a few projects that I’ve wanted to do for some time now.

First, I made a couple of pocket-size bears from felted wool sweaters, cotton fabric, and buttons. Everything is hand-embroidered (the bears’ features, around the edges of the bears, and the fabric to the wool).

Then, I made a trio of gnomes from green, red, and white wool felt. The gnomes are stuffed with wool from sheep that I raised. The first set is for my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand. The second set is going to be for the nature table that I set up for the girls each month.

“Art Every Day Month” is wrapping up in three days. It’s been fun to challenge myself to do something creative each day. Working with wool and embroidery are two things I enjoy doing. I particularly enjoy making natural toys – both for my daughters as well as for customers.

Having open-ended toys like the bears and gnomes along with some simple, natural “props” (like pine cones, gems, rocks, sticks, and colored wool) can open the door to hours of imaginative play. I’m always amazed at the stories and scenes the girls can create with natural elements such as the ones I’ve mentioned.

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Math Gnomes
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

This is a set of Waldorf-inspired math gnomes that I made for a customer for my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

The gnomes stand between 9-10” inches tall, and each is needlefelted by hand. Sometimes I use 4 barbed needles at a time and at other times only a single barbed needle (for example, when attaching the curly sheep wool to the face and body or creating the math symbols on the bodies).

Each gnome has a different math sign on the body – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and equals. Individual gnomes and combination of gnomes can be used in combination with natural tactile elements (e.g., pebbles, gems, acorns) to make learning math more tangible.

There are many Waldorf-inspired stories using math gnomes on the internet. You may choose to use one of the stories as they are presented…or create your own stories.

The gnomes are made from sheep wool – the interior core is from cream-colored wool from sheep that I raised at Harvest Moon’s organic farm. The exterior (colored) wool is from a variety of textile artists who hand-dye sheep wool.

For a set of custom-made gnomes or other needlefelted items, please visit my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

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This is the table that Olivia and I set up for Valentine’s Day. At other times of the year, there are more natural items on it, but since the ground is covered with snow, there’s not much out there to bring indoors.

So, this year I made 5 gnomes in 2 different sizes to add to the table. The other items have been made or purchased in the past.

The beautiful felt sculpture in the pictures in the back was custom-made by Soft Earth Art in New Zealand. The two figures represent my daughters.

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I made a variety of gnomes for my Etsy shop, Harvest Moon by Hand. This trio is in autumn colors, and are made from wool felt and stuffed with wool from sheep I raised.

They do not have faces because then children can use their imagination to give the gnomes “feelings” based on what they are playing.

My daughters love to have toys that are more “open ended.” I find that their play is more imaginative when the dolls or toys like these gnomes.

I also include hand-embroidered toys that I make on the nature table so the girls can play with natural elements (e.g., pinecones, stones, sticks) and the toys. It’s amazing what stories they can come up with given a few simple, natural items.

The gnomes are available through Harvest Moon by Hand at http://www.harvestmoonbyhand.etsy.com

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