Monday, January 16, 2012

Walnut Mice, Felt Birds and Snowflake Ornaments...Oh My!

I had a great time making Christmas crafts for the school's Winter Craft Fair this year. I only wish I had started sooner. Next year!

So the first little guys I made were little felt owls. Here are the first two before I put the hanging ribbons on. I actually forgot to take pictures of my creations until halfway through the event and the 4 owls were snapped up right away. So I didn't get a picture of the pink and burgundy ones.

Check out my hooters!

Penguins seemed like a natural choice for my next birds. I sewed 3 of these little guys and remembered to take pictures before they sold. Yes, that is an Angry Bird in the bottom corner, and unfortunately I didn't get a pic of them either. My sister made those when she saw how much felty fun I was having.

Then we pulled out some flour and whipped up (okay, kneaded) some baker's clay to make the little mousie heads for the walnut mice. Our mom made these when we were kids and they are so friggin' cute.

The mice are snuggled up in little walnut beds with felt blankies. I could go so many more places with this: quilts, knitted afghans, little curly tails hanging down. But for now, with the craft clock ticking, I'm keeping it simple. As simple as it can be with molding and baking little heads, painting and varnishing them, cracking nuts, making little beds and gluing it all together. Y'know. Simple.

Oh yeah, try as I might, I couldn't get the whiskers and lashes right, even with my thinnest brush. But you know what works like a hot damn? A fine-tipped Sharpie! I used my (never to bloom again, I'm sure) orchid to display my mice on my table. I took these pics with my Blackberry when there was a lull in customers so they don't show all the detail. But rest assured, they were friggin' cute. I sold all but one and that one went on my Christmas tree.

I actually had some felt ornaments left over from the year before: mittens and tuques (that's the "Canadian" word for winter hats, rhymes with flukes), and I made a few embroidered hearts. My sister made some felt gingerbread houses and men.

I really wanted to make some baker's clay snowflakes that would look like gingerbread but a) baker's clay tends to puff up unevenly and b) I wanted it to be brown. Every search turned up a strange recipe for applesauce ornaments. Applesauce. For real. You know what the other ingredient is? Cinnamon. How perfect is that? So I mixed a jar of applesauce with a few cups of cinnamon, and then another cup, and after trying to roll it out on parchment paper, scraped it back into the bowl and added another cup. And a half. I dunno how much cinnamon I put in actually, so let's just say a lot. And a bit of white glue, which is supposed to keep it from being to brittle. I probably should have strained the applesauce, because when I rolled it out again, it still wasn't the right texture to hold together. Being midnight, I left it rolled out on the counter overnight and went to bed! The next morning the texture was perfect!

I cut out all the snowflakes, made holes with a straw, and peeled them off the parchment paper. Now you can let them air dry for 2-3 days but the craft fair was the next day so I baked them on low for a few hours. The house smelled so much like cinnamon it made my mouth water. Who woulda thought you could make dough out of applesauce and cinnamon (and a dash of glue)?

Looks like cookies, right?

When they were cool the girls and I decorated them with white puffy paint to look like icing and sprinkled sparkles over them before they dried. A little bit of ribbon and voilĂ ! Looks and smells like gingerbread but lasts much longer. I suppose you could eat one if you ate paste as a child and you like sparkly poop, but they are, in fact, not intended to be edible.

Don't eat me! :)


Al Penwasser said...

Over from Eva's blog based on your picture. Wow, someone stole your knickers!
And...uh...your head.

Heather said...

Love them! Especially the mice

life in UK said...

nice and wonderful theme.Everything is very stunning.
Life in the UK

Chelle {Everyday Polish} said...

Stopping by from SITS! So Happy I'm not the only person gearing up early for the holidays this year! :-)