Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Artist feature: Christine Schreier The Puppenstube

Artist feature: Christine Schreier The Puppenstube

i was recently introduced to the magical work of Christine Schreier through the Livingcrafts.com blog. She makes the most beautiful Waldorf dolls and Gnomes. Her Ore gnomes were recently featured in Living Crafts Magazine and you can find a pattern and tutorial for making your very own Ore gnome in the fall 2010 issue. Christine has a online store where she sells the most beautiful dolls and gnomes made in the Waldorf fashion.
Her shop is called The Puppenstube.

About a week or so ago Living Crafts posted a chance to win one of these fabulous Gnomes. i completely adore these so i jumped at the chance to try and win one! When i saw the amount of people who had entered i realized i had very little chance of winning. However, i kept my fingers crossed and held onto a bit of hope.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, Christine generously decided to giveaway all of the Ore Gnomes she had in stock instead of just the one gnome she had originally offered. When i first saw the blog explaining that there would be 11 winners i became extremely hopeful again! As i began to scan the names of the eleven winners i started to lose that hope as i read down the list. Then, i saw my name listed as the very last of the 11 winners. You truly can not believe my excitement!

This is the fabulous little ore gnome that we received. He is already making himself at home in our felt tree stump house. Christine could not have chosen a more perfect gnome.
Sage's favorite colors are pink and purple!

She completely adores him and has been carrying him everywhere with her. The craftsmanship on this little gnome is wonderful. They are adorable in pictures but so much more fabulous when you can hold it in your hands. He is squishy, lovable, and fits in perfectly with our household. If you are a gnome lover these Ore gnomes are a must have!!

All of Christine's dolls are wonderful. Some of my favorites include Mother Earth and the Earth children as well as the Wichtelmen (love these!!). She also makes Flower children, Flax Lavender dolls / gnomes, finger puppets, and beautifully crafted dress up dolls.

Her online store, The Puppenstube, carries a wonderful selection of Waldorf Dolls and beautiful wooden crafts including handcrafted gnomes/fairy houses and Buntspechte Figures.

Christine has been creating and selling her beautiful Waldorf dolls for 30 years.
You can connect with her on facebook.
Be sure to visit her website and join her newsletter for the latest news and products.

Right now, Christine is offering a 30% discount on all items is stock.
The coupon code for it is 303030 .

Also, if you are not already familiar with Living Crafts magazine you must check it out!!
You can subscribe to this wonderful magazine here.
Follow their blog here and connect on facebook here.

A huge thank you to Living Craft Magazine for hosting this giveaway, and to Christine for her amazing kindness and generosity!
i do hope you'll take the time to check out both of these wonderful websites!

Favorite Dec/Jan Giveaways!

Favorite Giveaways for Dec/Jan!!

Creativity Abounds with the Constructive Playthings Cottage Giveaway!!
i would love to win this for my daughter! You can enter here and visit constructive playthings here! Ends Jan 4th!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday; Oreo Birthday Cake

i made this for my husband's birthday. It's fabulous! i added extra crushed oreos.
You can find the recipe here.
You can find more Wordless Wednesday posts here

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our simple Yule celebration.

So our plans for the holidays changed a bit. We decided to put off our trip to Florida until sometime after the New Year. When the weather is not as bad, and things are a bit less hectic. When you have a lot of animals that depend on you, it makes leaving home rather difficult. My friend had offered to keep the goats at her farm and we have a few neighbors we can ask to stop buy and check on the dogs and chickens. However with the weather as unpredictable and crappy as it has been, i really wasn't comfortable leaving them. We were also quite concerned about pipes freezing, and there were a few other factors.
So the decision to stay home was very welcome, and a bit of a relief, but also made me a little bit sad. We are very used to spending our holidays with just the four of us, but i was kind of looking forward to spending this year with extended family. i have not seen my grandparents in almost 4 years, and i know the kids would have enjoyed being with Nana and Pap.

So despite our decision to stay home, our Yule celebration was really quite nice.

A few days before we went on the hunt for a new Yule tree. We did not find a lot of options for live potted trees. We ended up with a Norfolk Island Pine that was being marketed as a 'living Christmas tree'. It is small and compact, with soft needles and made a lovely, simple little yule tree. i did not realize that it can't be re-planted..and so we'll keep it inside as a houseplant and hope that it survives so we can use it again next year.

We decorated our tree with the usual simple ornaments. A few ribbons, bells, pine cones and gingerbread. The little tree was just not able to hold up many of the decorations, so it was very, very simple this year.

Many of our gifts were simple as well. i picked up a couple of these little bird whistles as stocking stuffers at Wintersun in Floyd. You add a little water to them, and they make a fun, realistic bird sound.

i also found these old school acrobat toys also at WinterSun. i don't know the name of them, but i remember having one as a kid. You gently squeeze the bottom and the little acrobat flips around. These are handmade in Ecuador, and i found it a bit funny that they all had familiar cartoon characters on them. Sage's has Pink panther, and the one i picked up for Sequoia had Pikachu. i would have preferred them with plain or traditional acrobats, but the kids were still thrilled with them.

Both of the kids found handmade pendants in their stockings from daddy.

Sage was thrilled with the bendy gift set i made for her. i know i posted a few pictures as i was putting it together. i'm not sure i ever posted a picture of it complete.

i am quite pleased with how it turned out. The flowers in the back are 3-d flower stickers i found at the craft store. i also made her a unicorn and Pegasus to go with the set.

Several weeks ago, i found a wooden goat at Michael's craft store and picked it up for Sage to paint. It's the one in the middle. Then earlier this month she asked for a goat shed to keep her goat in. So i was super thrilled to find this one at Michael's which seemed absolutely perfect. i decided to make her a felt goat, and a couple of chickens to go with it. Then i found the goat on the left at The Treasured Toy in Floyd. So she now has nice little set up to go with her dollhouse. :) This was a fun surprise for her.

i had several handmade gifts for my boy as well. i've posted some pictures before as i was putting things together, and will post a few more on another day.

Our day was very laid back, surprising quiet and nice. We truly enjoyed each other, played with our new toys, played games, ate a lot of good food and junk and watched the snow come down.
i can't really think of a better way to celebrate the season.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A few new projects..

i have so many projects to finish, but that never stop me from starting new ones. Here is a few things i've been working on this week.

i've been wanting to create some bendy dolls in a woodland elf/gnome theme. This was the first one a little toadstool girl. :)

i also made a couple more Pegasus.

Magic window cookies. i always use this recipe . These are a favorite, both for eating and decorating. They make great mobiles and look so pretty hanging in the windows.

i realized i needed some stocking stuffers for the kids this year. i made Sage a Ponyo doll. She absolutely loves the movie Ponyo. i played a round with a few different options for the hair. i don't love this one, but it will do.

i've been wanting to make my boy a plush 'Toothless' dragon from how to train your dragon, but haven't got it together yet. i did make him this hat thought. It looks kind of silly on, but i think he'll still like it. i'm not sure about the white nostrils and may change them to dark black.

i'm so scattered this week. i apologize for my lack of posting. We had a pretty good winter storm and missed a few days of school already. i've been running in circles trying to finish gifts and orders, baking and cleaning, taking the kids outside to play in the snow and playing lots of board games.

Hope you're all enjoying the winter weather!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday; Holiday Baking

This is just the beginning. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

A few more for the Winter Kingdom.

This has been such a fun set to create! This week i worked on making a few winter Gnomes and a snowflake fairy. These fabulous gnomes have already sold, but the snowflake fairy is available.

My embroidery isn't perfect, but it's getting better. :) These are supposed to be simple snowflakes embroidered on her wings and dress.

i want to note that she has a tiny blue 'beauty mark' just under her eye on the left and above her mouth. If you click the picture you may be able to see it. It is very tiny, and barely noticeable. It's not bad enough for me to consider her a second, but i still wanted to note it.
She is $12.

Although this girl isn't plum colored or a fairy...i'm still calling her my Sugar Plum fairy. It just seemed the perfect name. She was created a bit different than the others, her skirt being made of lace instead of felt. The silver ribbon around the skirt and in her hair has wire running through it.
She is also $12

i also finished up these two mermaids earlier this week.
They are $12 each.

Please note, that all of my bendy dolls are intended for children aged 3 and up. They do contain small parts, and are made with pipe cleaners that contain wires.

If your interested in any of these just let me know. i'm thinking about getting some of them listed on etsy later today. Just haven't quite decided whether it's worth the hassle. :)

Hope you are all staying warm!

Winter hiking.

Last weekend was our first snow of the season. We got about 4 inches overnight. School was canceled on Monday and Tueday, and Wednesday we had a two hour delay. Almost a week later and the snow is still here. More predicted for this coming weekend, snow and Sleet on Sunday...we can almost plan on another snow day for Monday.
If it was up to me, i would sit inside by the wood stove, reading books, watching movies, crafting away. The kids however, have other ideas.
Snowball fights, sledding, hiking through the woods.

So we bundle up and head out for an afternoon hike.

Don't worry, i didn't let her run down the hill with this giant icicle. While walking around the shed, i slipped on a piece of tin hidden under the snow and dropped my camera in a snow bank. lol. The camera was fine, but the thing that protects the lens got a little sticky...so you'll notice a bit of a frame in some of my photos. hee hee.

Running through the snow filled woods.

We wandered down to our favorite place. The creek was still flowing and the kids tossed snowballs into the water and watched it ripple. We sat for quite a while and listened to the sound of moving water.

Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.

~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Snow Queen Winner Announced!!!

Drum Roll Please.... the winner is #34

~*Andrea*~ said... 34

tweeted :) http://twitter.com/meadowsgrove/status/9636419614015488 shadygrove79 at aol dot com

Congrats Andrea!! i'll send you an email this afternoon. You'll have 48 hours to claim your prize or a new winner will be chosen!

Thank you all who entered!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Snow of the Season.

Yesterday just after i filled up all the bird feeders and put out our birdseed cakes, it began to snow. It snowed, and it snowed and it's still snowing. i couldn't have picked a better day to fill up the feeders.

Purple finch and Amercan Gold finch have been flocking to the feeders. This was taken just a couple of hours after i put out our birdseed cakes.

The kids of course, couldn't wait to go outside and play! So we dug out all of our winter gear, bundled up and headed outside.

We made snow angels.

Threw snowballs.

Went sledding down the front hill.

and the snow kept coming down.

and down.

and the more snow that fell, the more birds appeared.
Here is a Cardinal and a White throated Sparrow.

This is the first woodpecker of the season!! See him on the side of the post? i think it is a downy woodpecker, but i'm not certain. The one of the top of the house is a dark eyed junco.

and winter begins.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Celebrating the Season; For the Birds

The holiday season has officially begun, and i find myself trying hard to embrace it. We do not celebrate on just one day of the month, we celebrate the actual season. One of my favorite traditions is putting out gifts for the wildlife. In the past we have made bird houses/feeder out of old milk cartons and made birdseed pinecones. The Birdseed seed pinecones is an easy craft for the kids. You just spread peanut butter on your pinecones and then roll them in birdseed. Attach a cord to the top and hang them in your trees. We Also usually put out a feeding table with fresh/dried fruits, seeds and nuts.

Yesterday i filled all of our bird feeder and made up some vegetarian suet/style cakes. i searched online for a 'vegetarian bird suet' recipe. i found a bunch here and then put together my own using suggestions from a couple of the recipes.

Homemade Birdseed Cakes.

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup cornmeal or cracked corn

1 cup bird seed/sunflower hearts/oiled sunflower seeds

1 cup whole wheat flour

* When using cornmeal and whole Wheat flour make sure it is NOT self rising, and does NOT contain baking soda.

Optional ingredients: chopped raisins, dried blueberries or cranberries.

Heat 1/2 cup vegetable shortening and peanut butter in a saucepan until melted. Add other ingredients and stir well until mixed.
Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil, and grease with shortening. Pour your seed mix into pan, and place in freezer till set.

After an hour or so, once set, you can cut into 4 blocks and use in a suet feeder.

Store the unused blocks in freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap/wax paper or in a freezer container.

My bird feeder has a built in suit holder on each side.

During the winter months, we offer these gifts to the bird and in return they bless us with the gift of color during the dark gray days of winter. Some common birds we see at our feeders during the winter are Gold finch, Purple finch, Cardinals, Blue jays, nut hatch, Titmice, chickadees, Pine-siskin, sparrows, Juncos and Wood peckers. We occasionally get a few others that are passing through, and stop for a snack.

During this season of giving, we like to give back to the birds and wildlife. Birds provide us with simple enjoyment, natural pest control and they help to disperse seeds. Providing them with food during the harsh days of winter is just one way for us to thank them.