Thursday, December 30, 2010

Natural toys that cost almost nothing

How simple and almost for free we can make great toys for our kids. My boy still loves to play with "horse chestnut snake". He calls it Jaguar, I have no idea why. You just drill the holes through them, wide enough to put a strong hemp cord through, make knots on both sides and the snake is ready to play with:

We made one eucalyptus' snake for his kindergarten and the kids love it too. I need to make a new one, I do not have any pictures. But I tell you the essential oils that come from the little buttons are great. The scent is so pleasing and refreshing. In the wintertime it is great to prevent cold. Weleda sells Eucalyptus spray that helps breathing during cold. You can read more about it here: Eucalyptus spray

and if I find some wooden beads I will make beech mast's dwarfs and show it to you tomorrow. If not, in 2011  then :)

Have a happy, happy new year and lots of love.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Window star tutorial

Use transparent waxed paper ("kite" paper), cut in squares.

You need six paper squares. Fold them along both diagonals

take the lower corner and fold it to the middle point

and then fold the triangle back to the bottom.

Now open the new triangle and fold it again to the middle line.

Fold the wings (left and right) to the middle of the paper.

Now unfold the wings to the edges:

Now comes the tricky part. Every window star has at least one. This one has only one.

Unfold the upper part of the wing, all the way to the vertical line on the wing. The picture will help you:

And only two more steps to go.

Take the sharp edge of the wing and fold it to the new line (on both sides)


Open it and fold it to the middle line. Repeat the same on the other wing.

And repeat all the steps for all six kite papers.

Now take the glue and put all six part together. 

I use a little help. I divide the circle into six parts and put the middle lines of the papers on that lines. Be accurate and put the last paper carefully between two papers, not on the fifth, it will not look nice.

Here is the window star:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Waldorf star lantern tutorial

I make waldorf star lanterns for years, but start differently to the ones I have seen on some blogs. Here is my short description with pictures, in case you don't find way through you can email me your question and I will try to explain more.

As said, I do not start with circular paper, I start with a square one, approximately 25x25 cm. I use wax crayons and paint one side.

I oil the paper after folding (unfold, oil and fold again). This is needed to do so the light shines through the paper.

I make each fold both ways to make the final folding easier.

  I fold the square in half and half (to get quartes) and again in half (to get eights), and once again in half, so I get sixteenths:

(here is a hint how to fold for the last time)

then I cut four (in the above picture white) triangles away

 and then I start folding this way: 

so that a new square appears. I unfold, rotate the paper for 45 degrees and fold the same way again.

 then the folding becomes a little tricky: 

I fold the top edges of one "kite" shape inwards, around and around, so I get eight "kites"

I made the little triangle in the bottom of the "kite" as a help to unfold. It will become the bottom of the lantern, place where the candle will be.

Start folding the little triangles on the top of the kites (around and around)

and then it is time to make the bottom flat.

I like to make the top edges sharp, the lantern looks more beautiful to me.

I hope you can understand my tutorial. Email me in case you do not.

Joy to the world and joy to my boy

No words can describe the joy last night!

Merry Christmas to you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent time in our home

This year everything needs to be at least two feet high. Our almost 6 months old baby started to move around the house, for now backwards, but we must provide a safe place for everybody. So here are some pictures (everything made of wool must be hidden, our siamese and abysinnian cats love wool)

Magic box: closed and open

Friday, December 17, 2010

A magic box and a flying star

I found inspiration to make two small advent gifts for my son on two beautiful blogs: 


They are fun and easy to make and bring great joy in advent morning. I guess I will make some more for my friends' kids.

Thank you for sharing beautiful ideas. Homemade toys are the best!!!