Family Day Fun

This past Sunday, along with what seemed like every other family on the Peninsula, we took the girls to the Cantor Arts Center, a beautiful museum on the campus of Stanford University. It was Family Day - a free event - and the focus of this year's celebration was on bringing Chinese culture to life.

There were several awesome art projects for the kids, including making their own Chinese opera masks...

not sure which opera this mask is from...

I love the eyebrow!

The kids could also make blossom trees, dragon puppets, paper lanterns, and ink drawings. Here is my oldest working on her ink drawing.

And each of the girls decorated a "brick" that they then used to build the Great Wall of China. Here is my youngest and her brick.

And my oldest next to the Great Wall.

There were also lion dancers, tea ceremonies, storytelling and lots of other entertainment for the kids. All in all, it was a great family outing. Very crowded, but fun.


A Glimpse

A glimpse of one of three dolls I'm working on at the moment. I'm not sure I'm ready to sew on the ears yet (to put an end to the embroidery). Maybe.

I'll be trying out a new hairstyle and a different dress with this one. We'll see if things turn out!



Yesterday morning, my oldest daughter and I spent a bit of time sewing. I never got around to making her piano bag a few weeks back, so I used the opportunity to give her some sewing lessons and let her make much of the bag herself. I figured a simple tote would be an easy beginner sewing project.

This was our fabric.

I had plenty of this Japanese cotton/linen print, but only a FQ of the Moda dots. So, I tried to draft up a pattern that only used a FQ. Mistake Number One.

Still, I'm trying to look at the bright side! Here is my daughter sewing away. I raised the foot pedal so she could reach it and adjusted the speed to its lowest possible setting.

She did really well, stopping to take each pin out. It was a great beginner project. Quick...and it should have been easy.

However, *I* totally messed up. Not only did I draft a tote pattern that was too narrow to begin with, I then boxed the corners of the bag making it even narrower! Mistake Number Two!

Ah, well. It *will work* for now. Barely. And I still have lots of the outer fabric, enough to make a roomier piano tote. And this will still make a cute tote bag when it's eventually replaced. And my daughter sewed much of it herself and she is happy with the outcome. I need to really focus on that last part.

Lessons learned, for both of us :).


Wool Felt Sugar Egg

The idea for this project came to me while watching my kids make their Easter egg dioramas a few weeks ago. I was thinking back to my childhood and a fascination I had with these types of sugar eggs. I vaguely remember having at least one at some point. Mostly, I remember trying to gnaw away at part of it where (I thought) no one could see and hoping that by "accident" some of the frosting flowers, chicks, etc. would fall off/dislodge so I could eat them. But that's a whole different story.

Anyways, I thought I'd make a sugar egg that could be a permanent Easter decoration here in our house - a sugar egg that wouldn't attract ants or the mouths of my kids. It is hand-stitched entirely out of wool felt. The outside of the egg is a thick pink wool felt and the inside is lined with white. There are various flowers, a chocolate felt bunny and some green wool-roving "grass" on the inside - which may or may not be hard to see**. I had planned to add a few smaller rosettes on top of the egg, but it already looked like it was drowning in frosting, so I stopped with one larger rose.

This project didn't turn out exactly as I had planned;I have a few key structural improvements in mind and several more ideas for a making a better one. I'm even hoping to put together a tutorial - but since Easter just ended a few days back, I can table all this for several months and focus on the various projects I pushed aside to finish this.

In the meantime, I have three larger dolls coming up. One is for a niece. One is for my daughter's 7th birthday. The other is stuffed and waiting for her face. :)

**Sorry for the lack of more and better photos. We're having some technical difficulties and I cannot open/edit any photos at the moment.


Fun Craft Project for Kids

We're in birthday party planning mode here at my house. My oldest will be turning seven next month, and as we were thinking back to last year's party successes/failures, I thought I'd share one craft project we did that was a hit with both kids and parents.

We found these unfinished wooden people/picture frames at Michael's for $1 a piece. I still see them there every time we go, so if you have one nearby, snag a few! I bought a bunch. They have them both in a "girl"/dress-style and a regular cut-out that can be used for a boy or girl.

I used acrylic craft paint and wool felt for the hair and made a up a few samples for the kids to see.

This is my youngest daughter. She's wearing her favorite Robeez of last summer.

And since my girls' cousins couldn't attend the party, I painted a few wooden people frames so that they could at least be there in pictures (we posed them with all the other picture stands being painted/drying at the time). This one just shows one of the cousins who was missing. She likes to wear a lot of Hanna Andersson :).

I had all the wooden people frames ready with pictures of all the kids that were coming to the party (boys and girls). I also had all sorts of hairstyles cut out of wool felt for the kids to choose from and felt scraps available in case kids wanted to cut out their own hairstyle, or make clothes, etc. I put out an array of fabric/felt scraps, stickers, etc. for them to use as accessories.

Here are two that my older girls painted. My oldest daughter is the blond and my middle daughter painted the other one. She was 3 at the time.

I have a few wonderful pictures of all the wooden frames lined up once they were finished, but out of respect for others' privacy, I'll just share those of my kids :).

I thought this project was really fun. And it was part of their party favor to take home, right before Mother's Day. They all turned out really cute :).