8.14.2012

My Book!!!

I wrote a book!



Two summers ago, I received an email from Susanne Woods, then the Acquisitions Editor at Stash Books, inquiring whether I would be interested in writing a book.

After a few months of thought and discussion with my family, I decided to go for it.

The end result, so many months (years!) later is a sweet collection of dolls, stuffed animals, puppets, pillows, and more - all reminiscent of handmade toys from the 1940s and 50s.  All of the projects were inspired by vintage toy patterns, old illustrations from picture books and vintage greeting cards, and photos of old toys themselves.

Half of the 16 projects are dolls (including the main doll pattern I use and the topsy-turvy Goldilocks above) and the other half are nostalgic toys.  There is something for everyone - boys or girls of all ages.

I really can't wait to show you more over the next couple months.

While some online stores, such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, won't be shipping the book until December, you can order directly from Stash Books and receive your book in November!  Perfect timing for those of you hoping to make a toy or two for the holidays!

8.06.2012

A Little Toy in Tin (Free!)



Some of you have probably seen the various little toys in tins/matchboxes circulating around these days. Last Fall, as I mentioned in this post, I purchased a bunch of DIY matchboxes and my oldest has been slowly filling them with little felt animals (mostly using patterns from Japanese craft books).

A few months back, we happened to stumble across these little felt hamsters in issue 5 of Mollie Makes.  (As a side note, I love this magazine!).  The templates are available FOR FREE here. My daughter is now making a collection of hamsters to fill a few more boxes...and some spare Altoids tins that we've been saving up.



I finished this little project during our Sunday Sister Sewing Sessions yesterday.  I obviously moved the ears to the side a bit to make a bear, but we have made 4 or 5 hamsters from these templates.  The bunny it's holding was made simply by adding ears to the pattern for the bow (see original template).


There are some incredibly cute tutorials for making little toys that fit in tins...but this pattern, besides being free, produces some awfully cute toys that fit perfectly in the tiny tins...


 ...which fit a lot better in little preschooler pockets.

The hamsters are so cute.  This little grumpy guy is holding (and guarding) some gum balls.  And has a few extra gum balls tucked away in its cheeks.


It's my youngest's hamster.  Her hamster likes gum, of course.