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Thanks, and see you in my new space!

xo emily

trim the wall. trim it all.

I'm so not done playing with felt and yarn and beads. I was laughing at myself this morning because I really needed to fold more laundry (still folding) and meet some deadlines, but I straight up didn't want to clean up my beads. I paused, recognized that it really is so hard to stop in the middle, and tidied up so I could continue on with my day.

A few months ago, Chick learned to draw five point stars and since then she has been drawing them every chance she gets. I find little five point stars on the steamy windows after I shower and on envelopes waiting to be recycled. It is totally her new tag, and I find them everywhere. One afternoon last week, I asked Chick to use her Sharpie to draw stars on the back of some wool felt. I cut them out - mostly staying true to her designs, but enlarging them a bit, and I've been using them for ornaments and decorations. You'll notice that the backs of the stars have her Sharpie star lines on them.
This project is a cross between the beaded strings in this post and this.

One tip just in case you decide to make this project at home. I used a needlepoint needle to thread the beads and the felt shapes. A needlepoint needle is super big and thick with an eye that is big enough for yarn. In order to get the needle through the cereal box, felt, and fabric, I first used an embroidery needle to puncture the fabric, thus creating a tiny hole, which allowed my big fat needlepoint needle (with yarn) to go right on through.
The felt bird is backed by dotty fabric (reversible!), and the felt star is backed with cereal box. The next felt star project involves more cereal box and it can be used as a way to give gifties this holiday season. Look for it on Monday.

xo e

winter thrifting

I drifted into our local thrift store yesterday to score a cheap double boiler (success = $1.49) for some gifties we are going to whip up this weekend. Of course, after I wandered through the kitchen supply aisle, I couldn't help but wander through the rest of the store. I found some cozy pajama pants for the kids, and this dish and quilt.

The dish is fast becoming one of my most favorite finds. I love how all of the mid-century shapes look like actual things (chairs and tables), but when I look closer they are just nifty little designs. Or, maybe they are actual things? See? Love.

And, the quilt will be a cozy addition to Chick's bed. It needs some repairing, which I think I'll do while we are traveling at the end of the month. It will be a nice project to keep me busy and warm while we visit with family and friends.

xo e

winter trees

This wee tee is the newest addition to my shop. It is kickin' it with a few other friends like the truckin' and the soaring bird shirts.

I'm feeling happy about a quiet, cozy weekend with a visit from two of our closest friends. I think we'll bring a tree home, put up some twinkle lights, and hang ornaments. Oh, and I can't forget the annual gingerbread decorating extravaganza at another dear friend's home where I will get to nibble on spice drops and licorice with a room full of lovelies. Tom made a gingerbread bird house last year and another friend made a two story duplex. This is the big leagues, people.

Happy almost weekend.


deer shirt

Hello dear ones -

Or, should I have said, "Hello deer ones ?" Har, har, har.

But, seriously. This perky deer is one of the designs in my new line of kids shirts, and you can find it here.

Each deer is hand printed onto a square of high quality 100% cotton muslin, and then the square is appliqued with bright green thread. I feel really happy with how the dark gray shirt carries the creamy muslin print, and I am pleased that the grass green thread seems to tie it all together. I had originally considered a more deconstructed, frayed look around the edges, but I ended up feeling like the zig zag stitching looks the best.

xo e

red bird ornament

I was feeling cozy and crafty in my snug house yesterday, and so in the midst of thinking of the season of lights and trees, I got to cutting and sewing, and designed this simple red bird ornament. It was made from everything I already had in the house - a little bit of repurposed material and a few scraps. While selling at the winter fair a few weekends back, I stopped by my favorite felt booth where I bought more of this seller's beautiful seconds. I happen to love her seconds more than her firsts; they seem to have the happiest mistakes. The blue bird below is made with some of her felt. Gosh, I wish I remembered her business name, so I could share.

One of my favorite parts about this little tweeter is her scrappy, fabric ties. It offers a chance to use tiny bits of fabric that I wasn't ready to part with. It seems to me that these ornaments could be made in any shape and size. Kids can design and cut out their own shapes, and an adult can help turn it into an ornament. I plan on having Chick draw stars on yellow felt, so we can make a string of them to hang over our fireplace. More on that next week.

wool felt scraps
design template (simple shapes like stars, circles, or apples would word well)
thin cereal box board (or simply use kraft cardstock)
scraps of fabric
sewing machine or needle and thread
embroidery floss and needle

How To:

1. Draw and cut out a simple design on cereal box board or kraft cardstock.
2. Trace the template onto a piece of wool felt.
3. Cut out the felt designs.
4. Cut fabric ties from scrap fabric, and iron them flat.
5. Lay the felt design onto a piece of cereal box board, and sandwich the fabric ties in between, and pin them together. (see below)

6. Insert a heavy duty needle into your sewing machine, and sew the felt shape and fabric ties onto the cereal board. Below is a picture after it has been sewn.

7. Use sharp, paper scissors to carefully trim the cereal box board being sure not to cut the stitching. Below is a picture of what the back will look like after you are done trimming.

8. Using a sharp embroidery needle, make a french knot where the eye should be.

9. Hang on a tree. Or, a door knob. Or, a hook. Or, give it to someone you love.

10. Wouldn't a whole flock be nice?

May you find rest and cheer in the coming days.

xo e

p.s. I just received an question in an email, and I figured I would answer it here. I used cereal box on the back, rather than another piece of felt, because I am working on a technique, which will result in a simple shapes felt garland (as mentioned above). The cereal box allows me to use 100% beautiful wool, without having to use it on the back as well. I tend to be a bit thrifty when it comes to beautiful felt.

The Winter Fair

This is a picture of the Red Bird Crafts booth at our local Waldorf school's Winter Fair. My family has been going to the fair for the past four years. Eating grilled cheese around the bon fire, decorating gingerbread cookies, dipping beeswax candles, and making sweet woodland holders for the candles has become tradition. Oh, and I can't forget that seeing Father Winter wandering around, and reminding ourselves that underneath his long beard and velvet costume is a regular old person, has left quite an impression on Chick (my oldest).

And now, I am happy to count selling my wares as part of the yearly tradition. Don't even get me started about how much I love getting to stand around and chat with the people in my community. Love, love, love! It feels so decadent and easy breezy. A true gift.

Red Bird Crafts will be at another winter craft fair this weekend (twist my arm). I'll be at the lovely Greenfield Center School's Rumpus Craft Fair this Saturday (12.4) from 10-6. I'm definitely in love with the poster for the fair. Check it out. And, there are more versions of it hung all about town.

For now, I'll fold more laundry. The endless chore. Endless.

xo e

p.s. Do you see my mama's beautiful watercolor of three peaches and her oils (upper right) all the way at the end? Bonus! I got to spend the day with my beautiful mama who knitted the day away.

Finished macaroni necklaces. As promised.

Whew. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of chocolate cake, city sidewalks, warm & steamy meals, fizzy drinks, a craft fair, laundry, wool sweaters, rain boots, walks to school, wood fires, and colorful macaroni. Seriously. I feel like if I were to make an image cloud made up the most frequented events of the past two weeks, it would be a big hazy blur of these things. Oh, and being surrounded by family and dear friends (both old and new) would be in there too.

In all honesty, I'd have to add a bit of intense (and at times, stressful) energy into the mix as I was also in the process of working out the details of my next big (super big!!) and exciting project. Happily, all of the intensity is gone, and I am left digging into my most in-depth Red Bird Crafts project to date. I'll share more about this in a later post. Promise!

For now, these are action shots from Mouse's birthday party.

One of Mouse's friends has a big sister who worked diligently on this beauty. Just last night, Chick was remembering this friend's creation (below), and began to replicate it.

Here is Chick with her necklace.

And, Mouse making hers. She was really interested in sticking those green rigatoni noodles on her fingers to make "monster nails." Love.

The kids truly enjoyed stringing necklaces, sorting the noodles by color, and rummaging through the bowls. And, the adults like watching the little ones get their craft on.

Birthday party preparation can feel buzzy and busy, and I am often concentrating on making sure it all goes smoothly. As soon as our home fills with friends and family, I am always left feeling so incredibly thankful to be surrounded by the kindest, most generous, lovable people ever. So thankful. So lucky.

xo e