Sunday, February 27, 2011

Blossom Fairies to Beckon Spring!


There is so much to enjoy in winter ~ sunlight sparkling on a fresh snowfalls, cold kissed rosy cheeks, gliding around a glassy rink, evergreens heavy with snow, sliding and squealing down big hills,  glowing wood stoves greeting frosty fingers, snowflake glittered eyelashes...

I confess though, my yearning for spring has been slowly awakening and whispers such sweet promises... wriggling my bare feet into the deep dark earth... letting the warm sunshine saturate me... feasting my eyes the baby bright green of new life...
I am hungry for the sweetness of spring!

Recently these blossom fairies sprang to life, ready to coax out spring in all her splendor!
These were inspired by the gorgeous work of wee folk studio.  We played to see if we could come up with a simple version that little people could create.

To create some fresh flowers faces 
here's how it goes...

Supplies to gather
* silk flowers *
* felt *
* wooden doll pin and stand *
* glue *
*pipe cleaner *
*roving *
* acorn cap*


To begin, cut out a square of felt just big enough to wrap around your doll pin. Glue your felt around your doll's body. (I used a glue gun but if you want little hands to create these, craft glue would work as well.)



Decide what flower colors you want for your skirt. 
Pull apart your silk flowers. 
 Fold them in half...


and cut the hole in the center just big enough to accommodate the felt covered doll pin.


Slide on your colorful skirt!


For the arms ~ cut a piece of pipe cleaner the length you want your arms to be (bent around the back), add some glue in the middle and stick on.
For the wings ~  cut the petals out of your silk flowers and glue on over top of the pipe cleaner (hides the back of the arms quite nicely ;).
Glue on some roving for hair.
Glue on her sweet hat!


These blossom fairies found themselves some lovely girls to play with..


and go home with!



Awaiting signs of life and looking for joy in winters embrace
With love
~ Shanti ~

spam!

I just got notice, (thank you for letting me know), that some people have received some "spam" that may look like it was "approved" by us.  Obviously these folks took alot of the e-mail addresses from our penpal signups, (I have now hidden all the comments).  I am so sorry about this...we would never ever ever approve of filling up your e-mail boxes with spam of any kind.  Please accept our heartfelt apologies, and if anyone knows of anything we can do to avoid this in the future, please let us know.
I know somewhere I read that if you put your e-mail address like so
twigandtoadstool(at)mail(dot)com, spammers can't use them...I don't know if there's any truth to this, but it's worth a try if you ever have to leave your e-mail address anywhere else.
goodness...it just disheartens me to know that there are such jerks out there!

sorry folks!
xo maureen

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Letter writing kit!

Have I ever mentioned the abundance of paper clutter in my house...everywhere I look there are stacks of random papers piled up...these piles are also on the floor...under furniture...and in every room in the house!

Now that Ruby is a certified letter writer, I knew that I had to have some system for dealing with all the cute stationery, envelopes and assorted other "paper" things that come along with letter writing! 
 Enter the pretty letter writing kit! 


So, using one of those paper folders, with the pockets as my template, I simply traced onto felt.
I sewed up some pockets...for cute stationery on one side, envelopes, pens, stamps and addresses on the other.
(and yes, I am aware that I "just" could have used the paper folder...but that just doesn't give a mama that same crafty feeling of accomplishment as doing this)!


Backed with pretty fabric...
and some ribbon to "tie" it all together.
Voila!


Now I'm not a great sewer, but this took about 20 minutes to whip up.  I just decided that it didn't have to be perfect, but it did have to be pretty!!!

Thank you everyone for signing up for our kiddie pen pal club!  It's been nice to hear from parents how excited their kids are to start writing letters.  Truly this has been a joy to put together.

I should have everyone matched up by Monday...if you haven't heard from me yet, or if you're waiting to hear about a sibling, please be patient...I'm hopeful that every child will be matched!

xo maureen


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Envelope Tutorial...and the cutest free stationery ever!!!


here are some of our finished envelopes...

So with our penpal match up well under way, I thought I'd do a little homemade envelope tutorial.
You'll need envelopes of various sizes, patterned paper, (think old books, gift wrap, scrap book paper),
a glue stick, scissors and pencil.


Get your envelopes...oh this is just so simple.


Tear them open...this is your template...trace this onto your paper.


Using your template...make all the folds in the right places!
Now glue it together...


and here's your fancy and fun new envelope!!! I told you...so simple!!!
(you can either make your own address label with paper, or buy those stick on labels)!
Of course, you'll need some super sweet stationery to go with your super sweet envelopes...
go here!!! for the cutest stationery in the world.  You just bring up the image...click on it to make it bigger, and then right click to print.  Super duper easy, and so so sweet!!! 

Here is some of our stationery we'll be using to write to our new penpals!

Now, if you haven't already, you have until Friday the 25th to sign up your kiddies for our pen pal club!
Please go to the original post here and leave your children's ages, and your location, as well as an e-mail address...if I don't have your e-mail address I can't sign you up.  In the next week I'll be sending out penpal matches for your kids...I'm doing it little by little, so if you don't hear back from me immediately don't worry.
I am so thrilled to see the number of people who are signing up...yes it's a bit of a job to organize, but I just think of all of our kiddies writing letters to each other...actually writing, and mailing letters...it's like a lost art these days...and it makes it all worthwhile!!

xo maureen 






Monday, February 21, 2011

A Sunflower Cake to Celebrate Six!

~ for my sunshine girl ~

My Littlest recently turned six. Moms always say how fast your babes grow up ~ how true it seems. It still feels like yesterday that my Solana Fae was looking up into my eyes for the first time and I was falling madly in love!

For this birthday she informed me she wanted a surprise party. I wasn't expecting that request but agreed to go for it ~ this could be fun! 
 Luna and I thought about it and decided to throw her an indoor garden party. Being in the depths of a cold and long winter, we thought brining spring to life inside might be just the thing for celebrating!

We started our preparations by growing lots of (wheat) grass in baskets...

A beautiful taste of spring to have all that fresh green life in the home! ~

On the day of the party we set out the baskets and filled them with flowers to create our indoor garden. The girls then arrived one by one and choose their hiding spots to jump out of.


There was so much excitement as we eagerly awaited the birthday girls arrival...

and succeeded in surprising her!
(please excuse the blurriness of the photo ~ I couldn't resist sharing)

We spent the afternoon sharing tea in the garden...


doing garden inspired crafts ~ creating flower fairies, painting and decoupaging flower pots and stringing flower necklaces.

We nibbled on flower fairy sandwiches and other delights.


For her cake I wanted to create something that shouted summer!
I decided to do a spin off of my sun cake.
With this cake though, we baked an extra chocolate round cake for the center. We iced it with chocolate icing and Luna patiently and meticulously did a spiral of chocolate chips on top. We also added an extra set of cake rays to fill it all out.
It seemed perfect for my girl whose name means sunshine!

Big sister (oh so proudly) and papa carried out the cake...


and our birthday girl made her wish.


When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
A.A. Milne


Grateful for another turn around the sun with this girl.
Here's to fleeting toothless smiles, infectious giggles, mischievious sparkly eyes and the JOY that our children exude!

With love
~ Shanti ~

p.s. if you haven't already checked it out ~ my co-blogger Maureen is organizing a wonderful kiddie pen pal club!
Deadline for entries is February. 25th
Come on over join in!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

kiddie pen pal club! (continued)

So far we've had a tremendous response for our "kiddie pen pal club!"  I just want to remind people that you have until Friday February 25th to sign up your kids.  Sign up HERE at the first kiddie pen pal post...under the comments section. 
I also wanted to send out a reminder  that you
MUST leave me an e-mail address
So far I've been able to track most of you down, but there are a few of you who I can't find any e-mail addresses for.  If I don't have one, can't find one, I can't match you up. 
Also I need your children's ages, so I can match you up with an age appropriate match, and I'd like to know where you live, so I can match you with someone who lives somewhere new.    I can't give you all overseas penpals, but I'll at least try to get you a different state!!
I have to say that so far I have matches for almost every kid...dare I call it penpal serendipity!!??
I may start e-mailing people their matches early next week...so be prepared...get those pens warmed up and enjoy some penpal love!!!!

xo maureen

Thursday, February 17, 2011

kiddie pen pal club!


So here's my idea. 
 I remember as a child there were all sorts of pen pal clubs to join, and I loved to write letters, so I joined them all!  I had pen pals from all over the world, and it was a great way to learn about different parts of the world, and I mean, nothing comes close to the thrill of getting a letter in the mail when you're a child.

So...I'd like to start a Twig and Toadstool kiddie pen pal club. 
This will be a one time sign up...so I'm going to give folks a week to sign up if you're interested.
Let me know your children's ages, and where in the world you are...and leave me an e-mail address, leave it in our comment section under this post.
If you'd like more than one pen pal, please mention that as well.
*Sign ups will be closed on Friday February 25th.
I'm going to play pen pal matchmaker for the kiddies and then let the letter writing fun begin!

I'll send everyone an e-mail in a few weeks with your pen pal match...and then it will be your job to contact that person for a physical address. 

My reason for doing this...for one I've been inspired by our friend Julie over at The Letter Writing Revolution, she helped me remember the JOY of letter writing.
I also just imagine the look on our children's faces as they receive mail from a new friend from somewhere in this great big world of ours...simply magic!


Here's to the start of something wonderful!
xo maureen

SIGN UPS ARE NOW CLOSED!!! 
I've "just" been able to match up all the kids.
Thanks to all who signed up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snowy Play & Snow Catchers!



With our outside world covered in a blanket of white, I find there are days I feel lost as to how to keep my girls occupied or to coax them outside.
On this day ~ it was snowing those big beautiful flakes and I wanted to get us out the door into the awaiting winter wonderland.
So I made some "snow catchers"~ a great way for them to get a close up look at the uniqueness and beauty of each snowflake (and get them outside ;)!

To create I cut out squares of cardboard and glued on some black felt. I then glued (with a glue gun) on a  large popsicle stick for a handle...


The girls admired

and ran around trying to "catch" as many as they could!

It lasted awhile but then they moved onto more snow fun...
Eating it

sliding through it


tumbling and rolling in it



creating snow angels with it

and playing blizzard (our version of a snowball fight when the snow isn't packing snow) in it ~
a favorite way to get out the cabin fever crazies!


Looking forward to the spring ~ but for the time being I am searching out the joys in winter ...


continually discovering the magic it holds.


Any fun winter activity ideas you could pass my way?

Here's to staying warm, endless cups of tea, snuggling by the fire and frolicking in fresh snowfalls.
With warmth
~ Shanti ~

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Walnut Hearts




Wanted to share the treasures that appeared when slicing open the walnuts for our acorn valentines we were creating!


Thought they needed a home where we could enjoy their sweetness...
so, we glued on magnets and voila ~
 lovely fridge magnets to hold up the art that continually passes through our home.


Love how nature is a continual inspiration.

~ Happy Valentines Day ~

Here's to sharing the love, soaking up the love and celebrating love!
With love
~ Shanti ~

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lady Love (& Babe!)


In honor of Valentines and sweet love I was inspired to create
~ Queen Love ~
She lovely and sturdy for little hands, ready to spread her lovin' magic.
If the inspiration hits, here's how it goes...

(As a prelude to this tutorial I must apologize for the quality of the "how to" photos ~ They were taken  while my husband and I were on the road during a crazy blizzard! Creating this doll was the one thing that kept me from freaking out during the white out/slippery conditions. My husband managed to keep us safe, while I kept telling myself just look down and sew...
Needless to say the photos were taken in a moving car, on my lap. 
 Crafting... once again helps keep me sane!)

To create these you will need
a wooden doll pin
red pipe cleaner
red & pink felt ~ 
 roving
 acorn tops
a doll pin stand
a small wooden bead
embroidery floss
a glue gun

To begin wrap your pipe cleaner around the body (twisting it once in the back to hold better) and trim your arms to the length you desire.



Cut out a rectangle (double the length of the body) out of your felt and fold in half.
Draw what ever shape you would like for your dress and cut out. Remember to leave the top folded and mostly uncut. 
Cut a small hole for the head.
(this is a photo of it cut and unfolded)


You can then stitch a small heart onto the front of her dress if you choose.



Next slide on the dress and with your glue gun ~ glue down the sides and the sleeve bottoms.



For your skirt sew (blanket stitch) hearts onto a piece of felt. Next cut around the outside of your hearts and cut a small hole in the center to slide the body into.



 Glue on some roving for her hair and an acorn cap to top her off.
There she is!


Queen love had so much love I decided she need a wee one to pour all that love into!

To create the babe
Take a small piece of pipe cleaner and attach to a wooden bead. Sew two felt hearts together (you can also blanket stitch on a smaller heart onto the front) ~ leaving a space open at the top. Stuff with roving and then slide your pipe cleaner/head through the top. Sew up the opening around the head. Glue on an acorn cap. 


Voila ~ Baby Love!


~ Sweet sweet love ~


May love inspire and transpire in your world
~ Shanti ~

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