Friday, 13 September 2019

Her Lil' Craft Shop

© Melissa Gaggiano
This was a long time coming. Inspired by Beedle, the nomadic merchant of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Little K decided to have a shop, selling her handmade wares during school lunch.

It was an almost forgotten back burner project. So I was pleasantly surprised when Little K set about building her shop and supplies. The shop consists of an upside down cardboard lid with yarn straps, and a stick with a felt flag.

So much can come of Little K conducting her store, including:
  • Increased confidence.
  • Business acumen.
  • Communicating with and reading people.
  • Having fun, 'making'.

My take away from all this – 
When you want to do something, you just got to summon your willpower and 'do it'.

{link}




Friday, 6 September 2019

Mouse + Paper + Clay


The weekend gone presented an interesting turn of events. There was an impromptu crafternoon, which led to the creation of Giuseppe, a needle felted mouse. Having wanted to make a little creature like this for quite some time. And the time never feeling quite right, until now. 

© Melissa Gaggiano
Since Giuseppe turned out as well as he did. I went at it again, and made another little mouse... even smaller.






After a tidy up one of the kids was on the verge of throwing out their recent paper sculpture. Before the paper was recycled, I took a photo of it, for a remembrance. This image makes you want to go on a holiday, does it not?



The kids make things with minimal input from me. Occasionally I show them techniques that I've figured out, but for the most part I give them the space to freestyle it. Yesterday though, we had a situation which required a collaboration between mama and child. The result was this Princess Peach statue.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Father's Day: Heavy on the Vinyl

Kidspot Craft: Father's Day

Check out my latest Kidspot craft video,with the perfect Father's Day spin. Yes indeed, I wrote that. So spin that wheel, and give your retro Dad something from the heart and that's easy to make.

While you're making Dad's card listen this to track:

Coffee, Macarons, Pigeon Post + Hot Dogs

© Melissa Gaggiano
In the week that was there has been coffee and macarons. As in, I've been making coffee and macarons, not in the kitchen, but with my sewing supplies. Doesn't that look a treat?



One of the kids has started on a letter writing journey with an an imaginary postal pigeon. I have enabled her. Together we have created a postal station in the yard. It is a place for the 'pigeon' to deliver letters, and rest.

  

Before the above landing pad was made the fence acted as a temporary postal station for the pigeon, and sure enough, the next day, their was a mail collection card letting us know the kid's letter had been received by the pigeon.





On a end of day whim I made a variation of a hot dog. It is a dachshund, resting on a bed that appears suspiciously like a bread roll. No hot dogs were harmed in the making of this lil guy. My littlest has named him Saucy. This is not at all weird.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Book Week: Rodrick + Luna

Rodrick & Luna: When fictional worlds collide.

What is Book Week? If not a warm up for Halloween. Or an early traipse into a life long obsession with cosplay.
There's a bit of work helping the kids bring their favorite book characters to life. But as stressful as it can be, the end goal is worth the temporary loss of insanity.
This year the kids wanted to dress as Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling) and Rodrick Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney).

{Pottermore link}
{IMDB link}
























A Rockstar is Born
Creating Rodrick was relatively easy. My youngest only wanted/needed a black shirt to be painted with the words 'löded diper'. She wore the painted shirt, jeans, and because it was a cold day she had a long sleeve shirt underneath. Actually when I come to think of it, she was dressed just like me. Anyhoo, we messed up her hair, sprayed it, and applied rockstar eyeliner, because... Rodrick is pure rockstar. 

 

 

Magic-ing up a Witch
Creating a Luna Lovegood costume was much more. Oh, so much more. I was on a tight schedule for this one. The costume had more components, such as a wand, Quibbler magazine, radish (I mean Dirigible Plum) earrings. I got through making this costume with the aid of the My Poppet Luna Lovegood cosplay tutorials. I loosely followed the My Poppet tutorials, with a few variations of my own. For instance, I made the earrings from sculpting and painting clay. I decorated the wand not with yarn, but with pipe cleaner, and I gave it a gilded appearance with a mega load of hot glue, and metallic paint.

 







 

Friday, 2 August 2019

Vintage Trunk Goodness

{My Poppet}

When I was a little girl I would watch the idyllic Hollywood oldies on weekend telly. A scene from one of those films which stands out is from Daddy Long Legs. It involves an overwhelmed ingénue (played by Leslie Caron) and a fabulous set of travel trunks – a gift from her mysterious benefactor. Afterwards, fancy trunks, along with treasure chests became desirable trinkets of my brimming imagination.

Now I welcome you to visit My Poppet and make your own Vintage Trunk with (surprise, surprise) a shoe box. 

What wonderful treasures will you place in the Vintage Trunk?

Friday, 26 July 2019

Book Week Prep + Fluff 'n' Stuff

{Kidspot: Book Week}
Book Week is cometh. Oh come on! No moaning, people! This is a walk in the park for cosplayers, and think of this as a warm up for Halloween. But don't you worry, because I've put together a craft video for making an easy as pie (Cherry? Apple? Chocolate?)super hero costume. Head over to Kidspot for the details.

Last weekend my family hosted a craft party, as part of Sew a Softie in July. The kids sat on the floor with baby blankets under them. My eldest supervised making Pusheen Mermaid softies. My youngest supervised making Kero (Cardcaptor Sakura character) softies. Home baked cherry-raspberry slice was served. And it was the easiest event I've helped the kids organise. In other words I let the kids handle the hosting responsibilities, while I rested and had a coffee in the backyard. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all. One which the kids hope to repeat.


Sew a Softie

Friday, 12 July 2019

Star Makers


In some respects I am in hibernation. There are moments of busy, business. There are also periods of quiet rest. The work of a crafter is quite physical, and especially so for a content creator. It was therefore important that I learn to pace myself, take up physio, and correct my workstation. All this, and battling head colds (It is winter). The good news is, my new habits are beginning to work, and will hopefully lead to my work being more sustainable.


During this quiet time I've enjoyed taking a time out from things like Instagram. Instagram is to be enjoyed, like flipping through a magazine very quickly. But it's not something that you want to become ritualistic. Imagine standing in a news agency all day, skimming every magazine in sight. You'd 'like' a lot of things, but how much of what you see is absorbed?


My best creative periods are when the kids invite me to make something with them. There has been clay sculpting, needle felting (Ouch! Ouch! OUCH!),  and more recently, moulding with a hot glue gun. Credit for the hot glue gun activity comes from an article about Moriah Elizabeth, in a recent issue of Total Girl magazine. All good fun!





Friday, 14 June 2019

Today's Post is Brought to You by the Letter P

Why am I talking about the letter p? Because my recent content incidentally starts with the letter P. Such as paper doll... pom pom... and even pony.

Let's get into it so I can take you on a creative journey.


{My Poppet}
You will find my printable paper doll design over at My Poppet. For those who remember and loved paper dolls will appreciate this free printable.



{Kidspot}
Head on over to Kidspot. There you will find my hilarious Pom Pom Shoes DIY.



{this blog}
Then head back to my blog and you will find a sewing tutorial for a flying pony. It comes complete with instructions, and a video (should the instructions make no sense whatsoever ;)).

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Sew a Flying Pony



I have create a sewing project for you to try.  With the supporting content video and instructions you can make your very own Flying Pony. How neat is that?

Collect some materials, biscuits and a friend (or two), and get started making this cute flying pony. FYI, the wings can be moved.



You will need:
  • 3 felt sheets (different colours)
  • 4 buttons
  • Pen
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Hobby fill
  • Dressmaker pins
  • Haemostat or chopstick
  • Craft scissors

Steps:

1. Copy and print the below template, and cut out the pattern pieces.

















2. Place the pattern pieces on felt. Draw outlines of the pattern pieces onto the felt.
Felt 1 – body, ears.
Felt 2 – tail, mane, fringe.
Felt 3 – wing.

3. Cut out the drawn felt pieces.

4. Pin the fringe, ears and mane to the top of a body piece, as per the body pattern reference markers and plain stitch together.

5. Roll up the tail piece along the length, pin it and plain stitch closed.

6. Pin together the two body pieces, with the fringe/ears/mane sandwiched between.

7. Sew along the body perimeter, 3-5mm from the edge. Keep the horse bottom open.

8. Stuff the body with hobby fill.

9. Slip the tail into the bottom opening and pin into position. Sew closed the bottom opening, making sure to stitch into the tail.

10. Stitch one button into either side of the horse’s head, as per the reference marker. The easiest way to do this is to feed the needle from one side of the body to the other, through the holes in the buttons.

11. Layer and pin each pair of wings. Plain stitch lines into each wing piece, as per the reference markers.

12. Position and pin the wings onto either side of the horse’s middle, as per the reference marker. Stitch one button into either side of the wing, as per the reference marker. Do this by feeding the needle from one side of the body to the other, through the holes in the buttons. You now have your very own flying horse.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Running with the Horses

Book: Running with the Horses by Alison Lester
Softie: Horse craft by Melissa Gaggiano
 It happens sometimes that a book will draw to you. It's pull is like a delicate spider's thread. While knowing nothing about the book, you just know that it owns you, and you have no choice but to take it home to read.

This is what happened when I borrowed Running with the Horses, a library book by Alison Lester.

I sat with the kids and together we read the book. Each of us taking a turn in reading through the story to one another. It was a sort of magic that 'reading together' creates. Story time is like the foundation for our memories. But it's more than that. With a story like Running with the Horses we feel and experience something so totally different from the life we know.

The textile artist in me was so moved. Inspired by one of Alison's illustrations I created a softie horse, based on the 'little blue horse' belonging to Nina. The felt designed softie has stitched spirals just like Nina's horse.


Book: Running with the Horses by Alison Lester
Softie: Horse craft by Melissa Gaggiano

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Kidspot Will Have You Charmed This Mother's Day

KIDSPOT – MOTHER'S DAY CRAFT
The past few days I have been in full project mode. Those are the best times – producing work that is both pleasurable and challenging. As an added bonus, the creation process is a form of renewable energy as it feeds both my drive and imagination.

So what have I been working on lately? It is charming! It is lovely! It is a Kidspot – Mother's Day craft project. Head on over to Kidspot to find out how to make this sweet charm.

What else is happening in the land of Melissa. There's lots of brainstorming, chats with the little one about making a fairy village in the garden. We've already got a miniature prayer statue back there, so there really needs to be a village to go with it.

Catching up with an old friend, sparked an idea for a 'date night' outfit. Think twin flamingo shades, pom-pom shirt, with matching wedge sandals and toe nail polish. If the outfit makes your date turn and run, I say it wasn't meant to be.

Monday, 29 April 2019

An Accidental Journey Into Mindfulness

© Melissa Gaggiano
We had a true Autumn weekend. The world was grayish and we mostly stayed indoors. It was not a lost weekend, as we happily disappeared into the land of clay sculpting.

Inspired by the Japanese stories we've been following (Spirited Away, TotoroKamisama Kiss and even the game Breath of the Wild) we made prayer statues. It wasn't something that we planned on. It was one of those activities that happened organically.

The books we read, and films we watch have a way of reaching into our creative hearts. In turn the things we make reflect those ideas and images. It's a beautiful process.

Now we have a number of prayer statues around the home. There is even one in the garden. The youngest visited her prayer statue, right before school started, and I watched her passionately say a silent prayer. It was then my realization that this clay project quite by accident became a journey into mindfulness.