georgie the ghost

We've been reading some delightful books about a shy little ghost named Georgie. If you are looking for some not-scary ghost stories for Halloween, these are perfect...   Sadly, the series of books is currently out of print, but most libraries will have copies (and hopefully, someday the publisher will re-issue this series...)

Meanwhile, someone has created very nice montages from these books and set them to music.   I adore these festive Halloween illustrations...


halloween fun from the toymaker

If you are looking for a little extra Halloween fun -- a few tricks among the treats -- I highly recommend you have a look here at the website of Marilyn Scott Waters a.k.a. The Toymaker.  To prepare these tricks, all you need to do is click over to Marilyn's website, click again to open a few PDF's, print out her lovely (spooky) artwork, cut out a few simple shapes and glue down some tabs.


 There is this clever Zombie Finger trick...


This very funny X-Ray Camera, and lots more...


I also highly recommend Marilyn's books of paper toys -- especially this one and this one... (Please note: all artwork in this blog post is by Marilyn Scott Waters, all rights reserved.)



Happy (almost) Halloween!


visiting rudolf steiner college and news about my book

Dear all -- I had the most marvelous day yesterday.  My big boy and I drove all the way up to Fair Oaks, CA (just north of Sacramento) to Rudolf Steiner College where the bookstore hosted a Peg-fest (isn't the chalkboard drawing above charming?)

 The day consisted of an owl making workshop...

And if you happen to spot a photo of your owl here, please let me know so I can credit you for your lovely work -- I was a little overwhelmed yesterday and so didn't properly take note of everyone's names (deepest apologies for that...)

an embroidered owl by Kit

There was also a peg doll crafting session for families with children of all ages; however I did not take any photos during that session, so here are more examples from the owl making workshop (admiring the unique character of each owl was so much fun, but I only grabbed a few photos...)

 Don't you love his little waistcoat?

As I mentioned, my big boy accompanied me on the drive (here he is enjoying a moment in the sun after a very rainy morning), and he also accompanied me musically on a set of pentatonic tonal bells during a little puppet show I performed between the two crafting sessions.

The story we performed is called Featherlight, based on the book by Gabriele Gerhard Eichenauer.

It's a "Tom Thumb" story about a tiny boy who befriends a little golden bird.  He rescues her from danger and magic ensues!

Now for a bit of good and exciting news about my new book.  Did you know that there are copies available for purchase and ready to ship right now?!  Where?  From the Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore! Besides my book, you can also purchase Lyra paint sets (this is the sort I use), blank wooden peg doll bases, and the most gorgeous hand-dyed wool felt.  This felt is not listed in their online shop, but I can attest to the amazing hues, and if you call the Bookstore at Rudolf Steiner College or email them, I'm sure you could order some of this felt along with the book!  As far as I know, the Bookstore at Rudolf Steiner College is the only store in the world which currently has copies of my book for sale (the official UK release date is December 1st... more news on wider book availability soon...)



One of my favorite things about autumn...


the stumpers

Karima Cammell, keeper of the keys at Castle in the Air, is releasing a new book!

You can click above to watch the lovely book trailer, and for more information on ordering, etc... you can have a look here.  (I've ordered my copy and am awaiting it's arrival in my mail box...)


a little batty :: tutorial


Okay... so yesterday I tantalized you with hints of a tutorial involving knitting and peg dolls.  This is not that tutorial, however, I think you might like this one as well.  Halloween is less than two weeks away. Are you ready to go a little batty?

Peg dolls (any size, your choice)
Black paint (I usually use watercolors, but for this project I used acrylics)
Red paint (for the mouths)
Colored pencils (optional, if you want to draw instead of painting the face)
Black felt (or black paper)
PVA or other white craft glue
Fabric scissors
Thin wire (optional)

 STEP 1: Paint your peg dolls, leaving room to add faces.

 STEP 2: Add faces using paint or colored pencils.

STEP 3: Cut ears and wings from black felt

Note: If you are making these with young children, using black paper instead of felt might be easier for them to cut.  The result won't be quite as durable, but the children will enjoy them just as much. (Thank you, Lenka, for the excellent idea!)

STEP 4: (optional) If you would like your bats to be able to hang upside down, cut approx. 4 inches (10 cm) thin wire (I used floral wire, colored black with a Sharpie).  Fold the wire in a "U" shape and glue the bend of the "U" beneath the wings as depicted above.

STEP 5: Glue the wings to the backs & the ears to the backs of the heads of your dolls.


 Q: What did one bat say to another?
A: Let's hang around together!

Happy (almost) Halloween...


owl making workshop (and other stuff)

I'm back!  Sorry I've been not quite present, but I haven't forgotten about you.  Somewhat crazy here since the start of school, and then last week my older son received a coveted spot at a local charter school (big surprise as he'd been on the waiting list for over 4 years), so it feels like the start of school all over again...

But you'd probably rather hear about the owl making workshop... It will occur on October 25th at the Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore in Fair Oaks, CA.  After the owl making workshop (for ages 10 and up), there will also be an opportunity for anyone and everyone of all ages to enjoy peg doll crafting.  For more information you can have a look here.  (note: the design of the above owl is based on illustrations from the book Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel... love, love, love this book.)

Besides getting ready for the workshop, my darling husband and I are in post-production for two animated book trailers for the new book.  Post-production is a fancy way of saying that he and I sit in front of the computer fussing over stop-motion clips and still shots. I order him around, insisting, "That zoom was too slow!" or "That fade was too fast!"  and then I get up and make cups of tea while he fusses some more.  The end result, however, should be worth it; I hope you will think so, too.

And besides all that, I have been working on a knitting tutorial which I think is even cuter than the hedgehog patterns I posted last year. Cuter than the hedgehog patterns?  Is this possible?  Yes, I think so, because this new pattern involves knitting and peg dolls (!!)  What could be cuter than that?

On that note, I will leave you in anticipation and promise to be back as soon as possible!