Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wee Elf, Snowman & Easy Christmas Tree

For me, there is nothing more fun than making toys at Christmastime. There are so many wonderful artists who have shared their know-how. In the previous post I mentioned crafter extraordinaire Jenny B Harris, who gives patterns on her blog. I would like to introduce you to a maker of fairies (from a book), and a sculptor of fine vintage toys (a video from Martha Stewart).

The elf (who was too big for his shoes in the previous post), seen here with his snowman friend, was inspired by the wondrous book Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor. This wee elf  is only three and a half inches from his feet to the top of his felt hat (bell not included). Salley's book has directions for four different sized folk, simpler body constructions than my elf for younger doll makers, and loads of costumes and venues to fit every occasion and fashion style. Once you see her beautiful photos, you will want to whip up a little world of your own!

The snowman was made after I tried my hand at a felt pumpkin person. Jenny Murphy, who designs and constructs all sorts of exquisite vintage toys, shows how she constructs her old fashioned pumpkin people. You can watch the video here. My snowman is 5 3/4 inches high and the outside is made from all cotton quilters' batting instead of felt. (One of the nifty things you learn from the video is to stuff your figure with excelsior . That detail gives them a lot of charm.) The face and buttons are sewn on black beads, and the orange nose is a pushpin glued in place.

The Christmas tree is very funky and different from my usually overworked style, but I love it. It's composed of a Styrofoam cone wrapped with a very pretty green trim that my mother-in-law had taken off a stool that was being reupholstered. Pins hold the fringe in place, as well as the delightful red gingham flower ribbon from Wrights. Very easy, and if that chair should ever need it's trim back, the pins are just removed.

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