three little ghostesses

Three little ghostesses, 
Sitting on postesses, 
Eating buttered toastesses, 
Greasing their fistesses, 
Up to their wristesses, 
Oh, what beastesses 
To make such feastesses!


tutorial :: autumn leaf garland

Last week I looked over at my mantelpiece and decided it was in need of a festive autumnal garland.  This thought sent me rummaging through my craft supply cupboard where I found some paper which we had painted with watercolors about a year ago.

To create this garland, I cut an oak leaf shape from a piece of card-stock and traced outlines on the reverse-side of the water-colored paper.

 Then I cut out the leaves...

And used a 1/16 in (approx. 1 mm) hole-punch to add two holes to each leaf (a 1/8 in / 2 mm hole-punch would also work.) If you don't have a small hole punch, you could thread a needle and use it to create holes in the leaves as you string them up for your garland.


 Like so... 

I love how this garland looks, draped along the mantelpiece.  It will definitely be staying there through Thanksgiving!


the toymaker halloween fun

If you are looking for a little extra Halloween fun -- a few tricks among the treats -- I highly recommend having 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 the tabs.


 This clever Zombie Finger trick is a favorite in my house...


And this funny X-Ray Camera joke is also well loved.


I highly recommend Marilyn's books of paper toys -- especially this one and this one...

(Please note: the artwork in this blog post is by Marilyn Scott Waters, all rights reserved.)


a little batty tutorial :: re-post


In case you missed it, here is some batty fun from last year...

Peg dolls (any size, your choice)

Black paint or a black "Sharpy" marker (I usually use watercolors, but this time 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!


gathering toadstools

I spent Saturday afternoon at my favorite haven for artists and dreamers: Castle in the Air.  While I was there, I had the pleasure of chatting with dozens of lovely people visiting the shop, and sent them on their way accompanied by tiny, acorn capped autumn sprites (it was a free make-and-take workshop; for more info on upcoming make-and-take events, you can have a look HERE).


While I was at Castle in the Air, I noticed a sudden & surprising infestation of toadstool babies.  It was as though they had magically sprouted on the forest floor after a rain shower, only it wasn't raining inside The Castle.

I have a suspicion that these wee toadstool folk migrated over to the craft table from this beautiful display of German spun-cotton delights.  You can find this display just inside the door to Castle in the Air and you can also find spun-cotton mushrooms HERE in The Online Shoppe. (note: the caps worn by the toadstool babies above are 1.75 cm on the smaller one and 2.5 cm on the larger ones.)


a book trailer by brian selznick

You can read an article about how Brian Selznick made the book trailer for The Marvels here.