Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knight 2.0

Ok here is attempt two. I think he is pretty near ready for mass production. I just need to lower his eyes a little. Next up on my etsy list (after I make a few knights that is) are a king and queen. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though, an army of knights is first.

A Knight

I'm starting to seriously think about selling my "gnomes" on etsy. I'd really like to make some knights, kings, and queens, along with my nature type gnomes. So right now I'm trying to perfect a knight gnome. This is my first attempt. I think it needs a few adjustments. Perhaps I'll finish knight 2.0 and have it posted by tomorrow.

Homemade Gift.

Another wonderful friend of mine made me a super cool ornament. Now I actually have a few ornaments on the tree that aren't C's. :)

I also had another friend who made me granola, cookies, and the most wonderful lemon loaf. Unfortunately we devoured everything before I had a chance to take a picture. So You'll just have to take my word that it was wonderful.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A gift

One of my friends made me the coolest bag. Even C agreed and upon finding it said, "this is a cute bag." Inside the bag is a little eye pillow that smells great. I haven't decided what I'm going to use my bag for, but I too think its cute. :)

Winter Bag

Happy Holidays! I'm always sad to see the holidays go, but I'm also kind of happy to have things return to normal a little. As Christmas is over I realized it was time to put away my homemade nativity set. I've been thinking a lot about how I can store our nature table decorations. I really didn't want to use plastic, as it's not exactly natural So I've decided I will make a bag for each season. I just finished our winter bag with a special storage bag to put the nativity scene in. I of course won't be adding anything else to it until the table makes its shift to spring.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nature Gnomes

I made these gnomes for a couple of friends of mine. One has already recieved hers, and although the other hasn't, I'm just going to post anyway and hope she doesn't read this. I had originally planned to embroider a tree on their backs, but lost my drawings and totally forgot until they were done and C reminded me. Oh well. Perhaps the next round of Nature gnomes will have trees.

Decorating the Tree

Each year C and I have cut oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit to decorate our tree. We also string cranberries. We started this tradition from our friends Barb and Dan who celebrate the holidays with a Yule tree. When the holidays are over and we take down our tree, we hang the fruit outside for the birds and animals. This was the first year that K "helped" string the fruit. He did more squeezing of the fruit and popping of the cranberries then anything else, but I think he had fun.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Magical Wand

I have finally gotten all the parts together for K's wand. The wood was all purchased online. Then everything was painted with watercolors and glued together. The ribbons were purchased from JoeAnne's. I haven't found a cheap place to purchase ribbon from. Let me know if you know where I can find it. I'm excited for K to receive this gift as he kept running off with the stick part of the wand while I was making it. Perhaps I"ll get a picture of K playing with it after Christmas.


Along with the wooden peg people, and coins, I also purchased a bunch of wooden balls. I just finished painting them with watercolor and polishing them with beeswax. Here are the results. They will probably go into K's stocking.

Play coins

This past summer K was given a play cash register at a garage sale. It was actually very sweet. K was playing with the register while I was looking around. An older man, who had also been shopping, came up to me and said, "he looked so happy I knew he couldn't go home without it. I already paid the lady so he could keep the register." How sweet is that? Anyway the register only came with one coin so for Christmas I bought 10 wooden disks at a wood shop. I then painted them with watercolor and polished them with beeswax (yes I did take the plunge and buy the nontoxic stuff). Here is how they turned out.
To the side is the little bag to store them in.

The Wise men are all here.

I actually finished my last wise man. Here he is with the whole gang. I probably won't get the angel and Shepard done till after Christmas since I'm pretty busy making other Christmas presents. Oh well.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Art

Last year when K was only 5 months old I had him make wreaths for everyone for Christmas.  This year He made little trees.  Here are some pics.  He's also made some fun projects for other holidays.  I think I'll post the old/new as each holiday approaches. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Updated winter table

I figured that it looked so different then when I took the first picture that I'd post again. Perhaps I'll just post every now and again so you can see the progression.

Strawberry Gnome.

A strange gnome to make in the middle of winter, I know, BUT it is for a special friend of mine for Yule. I love the way this one turned out and now I think I need to make one for K and I. Ok B I hope you're not reading this post like I told you not too (well unless its after Yule. :) OH also notice that this gnome is made with the berry dyed wood. :)


I bought what I thought was mostly a pure beeswax to polish the wood I've been painting. Here are some pics to show how it looks. The tree and snowman on the left are waxed the right ones are now. Anyway, after waxing I started to think it smelled a little chemically and found petroleum in the ingredients. Now I have to figure out whether to just suck it up and buy some beeswax polish off the internet or keep using the slightly expensive polish I already bought. Hummm. I'm leaning towards buying new. C... don't read this post. :)

Our second wiseman

Number 2 has arrived. Number three will probably be a little late as we are heading out of town tomorrow but hey two out of three isn't bad. Of course none of them are carrying the gifts they are supposed bring but hey that's for another day. If all goes well When I get back I'll make the last wiseman, an angel, and a sheep hearder. Then the nativity scene will be complete. Err minus the barn, sheep, animals, camel, donkey, etc. Oh dear me I have a lot of work to do. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Wiseman has arrived

But just one. He is an astronomer with a turban. He didn't turn out effectually how I envisioned BUT he has arrived none the less. I'll wait to take another nativity shot when all three have arrived.

Water color

Here is take two of attempting to color my wood stash. The natural dying worked with some of the colors, but I still really needed blue, green, black, and a few others. Today K and I water colored the wood. It turned out really cool! I didn't get it all done as it didn't take K long before he was sucking on paintbrushes and trying to dump the water. Oh and I also bought beeswax today so I can polish everything when it is done drying. At the rate its going I think it might be a good week before I can post pics of that. Here is a sample of what we did.
The snowmen and trees sit on our nature table (I should take an update picture).
I'm not entierly sure what I'm going to do with all the balls yet (but K loves them).
The handle, stick, and top are going to become a wand for K's stocking. I'm excited to get this project underway.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Plant Dyes


while back I put together a big co-op wood order with a group of friends. This was a huge task, but terribly exciting to receive a giant box of little people, bowls, rings, handles, etc in them mail. I have a billion different ideas in my head on what to do with the different pieces of wood and will post them as I finish them. The other day, in the middle of my gnome making it struck me that it might be fun to attempt to naturally dye the wood. I did a little research and discovered that most of the materials I could use wouldn't be growing this time of year in my winter state. So I made due with what I could buy at the store. I did 6 dyes. (shown in the picture in this order)
1. Blackberries
2. Spinich
3. Beats
4. Red Onion
5. Turmeric
6. Paprika

For the berries I mixed 1 cup of water to two teaspoons of salt and boiled. For the plants I did 2 cups water to half cup vinegar and boiled. As you can see the spinach, red onion (which I had read would give me green), and paprika didn't turn out too great, but the blackberries, beats, and turmeric turned out great! I also dyed 3 of K's diapers with the extra dye. (they are berry, beat, and turmeric).
All in all it was fun. The boiling raw onion made my eye water, but I'm quite happy with my results.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Nativity Gnomes

I have finished Joseph and Jesus and a manger for Jesus. So now the little family is done. Next on the list are the 3 wise men.

Knitted Quilt

I learned to Knit not too long before I became pregnant with K. I learned at my grandmother's sleepover party by my cousin Kate. (thanks Kate!). When I got home I became obsessed and began making lots of scarves. When I found out I was pregnant I decided to knit the baby a blanket, however, I also wanted to combine it with learning all different stitches, so I made K a tactile patchwork blanket. It was a ton of fun to make and I actually finished it just a couple of days before he was born.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mary - 1st Nativity Gnome

Ok so Mary isn't really a gnome BUT I made her the same sort of way as the gnomes. As I said before, I am going to make a little nativity scene. Mary's veil isn't glued down yet but she is pretty much done. Next is Joseph.