Friday, April 9, 2010

For the girl who adores snails

Miss E is delighted that we suddenly have an abundance of snails living right here in our backyard. I swear they are the ones we picked up on rainy walks a few months back. But they appear to eat dirt and dead leaves, so as long as they are not destroying our plants, I'm fine with them moving in. Most likely they will do some good! I'm guilty of helping collect them anyway, so I best not complain.

For her birthday, we gave her three snail books, and I found the most adorable crocheted snail (named Leni) on Etsy. And about three weeks ago, I put together a cute snail t-shirt for her. The only thing I didn't get done was the sewing! Alas, the birthday passed and the unfinished shirt hung in my closet, begging for attention. Tonight, I finished it, so it's hanging in her room, waiting for her to wake and find it in the morning as a surprise.

It proves that snails *can* indeed be girly. The t-shirt is a very bright pink (from Target) and the fabrics are Sandi Henderson, like so many other items I've made. I still love those Ginger Blossom and Farmer's Market prints; so feminine and pink. As my first attempt at an applique, it's not too shabby -- just a bit of a pull on the shirt at the top of the snail shell. And if I hadn't included the two buttons for eyes at the end of the stalks, I would have been informed that my design was incomplete.

I'll leave you with a snail joke, from my niece, now told and retold by Miss E:
Q: What do you call a snail on a ship?
A: A snailor!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An enchanted birthday

We had a blast with Miss E's fourth birthday this year. It took more time and effort, but cost less and was definitely a hit with the kids and adults alike. I don't really know how it all got started, but one afternoon, I was brainstorming and we came up with the idea of gnomes as a party favor and it took off from there. I studied the Waldorf gnomes I found on the web, and looked at a couple tutorials, then ordered a ton of people turnings from Casey's Wood Products in Maine. Worked perfectly! I did them in batches and I would estimate that they took about 5-10 minutes apiece.

The next fun idea that came out of brainstorming with the family was to make gnome homes as a craft project, at the party. That way, the children would adopt a gnome, then build a home for him or her, and take both to their home. It was a blast! My husband sliced up a bunch of cardboard that we had in the garage, making nice little 5x7 inch bases (or roofs, you choose!). I bought a bunch of cheap craft sticks in two sizes and 10 bottles of craft glue. The rest, we collected. We took bags, boxes and egg cartons full of sticks, bark, acorns, grass trimmings, pine cones, snail shells and more. The imaginations ran wild, and we saw all kinds of beautiful gnome homes. I'll include a few images as examples, but every single one was awesome.

To top it off, we had chocolate cupcakes decorated with snails (of course), and hot pink toadstool cupcakes that were strawberry. How the heck do we top this next year?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter weekend!

I'll catch up someday, but here's a quickie if you're running late on Easter gift ideas. Grab a toilet paper tube, some felt, and some craft glue. Cut two ears, two arms, circles for eyes, and some big feet from felt. Glue onto tube. Add a pompom tail, and voila! -- an Easter bunny gift holder. Fill it with jelly beans, socks, or anything else that's small and fits into a tp tube!

I have to admit, this was E's idea ... and she did most of the gluing together. I think it took us all of 10 minutes to make, and she just plain loves it. If I ever have the time someday (IF!), I could do a tutorial, but I know that the rest of you can duplicate this pretty easily yourselves.

Have a happy Easter!