Thursday, January 22, 2009

Audrey's Christmas gifts

My favorite 2 Christmas projects this year were made for Audrey. I finally bought myself a scroll saw this fall and promptly stopped working with wood until I carved out the mountain treasure scene above. I was madly in love with the Spiel and Holtz fairytale blocks, but (1) couldn't afford as many of them as I want and (2) always like making myself best. The gorgeous fairytale village that was sold in Magic Cabin catalog this season put me in a hard spot, though, because I loved it so and yet didn't want to commit the artistic sin of straight copying. Alas! What to do?

When my mum came for her charity visit after Reuben's birth this fall, I forced her to draw me some ideas, since, although she saw them once, she hadn't drooled over and memorized the Spiel and Holz models, so had a chance of coming up with something fresh. I meanly refused to let her peek at them while I shoved backs-of-the-legion-returned-math-worksheets at her (my favorite design paper), and I chose a sketch of a waterfall between two mountains with jewels. I kept most of the original design, adding some functional details and layering the doorways to get more play pieces. For those who didn't yet obsess over these blocks, they're meant for imaginative play. They have puzzle function, but can be used as arches and homes and caves for wee fairies and bitty wood animals. I like a rough carved look, which I worked in with a not-so-sharp (my diamond stone attempts just made it worse; I need to look up youtube sharpening videos) old Buck knife and my little buzzy sander. I'm the proud new owner of a belt sander as of Christmas morning (husband who knows me and read the list I gave to him), which will make the whole process faster next time. I ran out of time to polish it all with beeswax, but A informs me that this will not be permitted, "because now it's more like rough stone." Good girl. Also awesome: a friend brought me the wood, scraps from the woodshop he works with. He brings them home to burn.Also for A: a little lake scene. The princess doll is a Kathe Kruse dollhouse doll. The girls get one each Christmas. Okay, starting last year, but it's a good tradition. I crocheted the lilypads & lilies from cool old textile weaving spools I bought at a street festival from an antique vendor. Except the light one. I bought that at Michael's :). Bought the glass fish from a Waldorf school I visited in Boston because I stalk those places. Sewed the milkweed pod canoe from lovely thick plant-dyed wool felt bought at the same. And lined with-you guessed it!--my favorite bamboo fleece. Very milkweed pod-ish. Blue playsilk we dyed this summer with koolaid. I think I never posted that adventure...later. The girls got the rainbow in 36" squares; Reuben in 12" squares for peekaboo and sucking. A long sky one for A & a long rainbow for M.

Audrey's favorite gift I made for her in 2008? A new brother. Home grown. ADORED.
and another gratuitous baby shot. An unblurry grin!
OOooo, Roo baby, we love you so.


sallyavena said...

Just love the baby shots! Your crafty-ness still amazes me.

Carol said...

Before reading your blog text, I saw Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in a manger. Gorgeous blocks!!

Heather Thomas said...

Wow, I still wonder how you have time. I have been trying to sew drapes for about 2 weeks now. Love the smile!!!

Snippety Gibbet said...

I absolutely saw Jesus, Mary and Joseph too!!!

nweames said...

Such a cute boy! Love homemade holidays. Such an inspiration.

Meg said...

I sure do wish I could come up with such cute ideas. Amazing, and I just love the smiles.

nyjlm said...

so very sweet- and I love their sheen even without the beeswax!
such a sweet boy you have!

Joan said...

Is anyone other than family members allowed to hold Reuben?

He was so cute today, I just wanted to give him a cuddle.
What a cutie!