Category Archives: gifts & easy to make gifts & presents

Octopus to weave on the Mollie Whuppie, Vasilisa & Thumbelina looms

Octopi are amazingly clever and rather charming creatures.

mvt-octopus-11-c

I’ve had so much fun designing a woven Octopus family to weave on the Three Sisters Looms that I designed and Gary and Donna McFarland of Dewberry Ridge looms is building and selling  LINK.

The largest Octopus was woven on the Vasilisa loom: LINK

mvt-octopus-1-c

It’s about 13 1/2 inches tall.

The medium size Octopus was woven on the Mollie Whuppie Loom: LINK

mvt-octopus-2-c

And, the littlest Octopus was woven on the Thumbelina loom: LINK

mvt-octopus-3-c

All three are great for babies- as long as you don’t use beads or buttons, but embroider the eyes instead.

I just read a report that babies love holding onto the tentacles of toy cephalopods, because they find it comforting. Apparently, the tentacles feel like the umbilical cord, and most babies play with the umbilicus before they are born.

Fascinating!

The smallest octopus lives quite happily on a lapel or collar or pinned to a hat, scarf or bag when you stitch a pin to it’s back.

The loop on top of their heads is great for hanging them up on push pins or curtain rods for room decor.

The loop also is perfect to hang the octopus from the baby’s crib, cot or stroller.

The pattern, with step by step instructions is available in my etsy shop: LINK

Happy Octopus weaving!  Enjoy those cephalopods!

 

4 Comments

Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Mollie Whuppie and Vasilisa looms, Thumbelina Loom, weaving & handwoven

Wooden and Woven Dolls for Christmas

Recently, I had a lovely conversation with my darlin’ grandson.

He said to me: ‘Nanma, I LOVE your dolls.  Will you make me one for Christmas?’

I was thrilled that he is pleased with my work and that he wanted me to make him a doll for Christmas.

What an awesome 7 year old he is!

I asked him if he wanted a wooden one or a woven one, and I was convinced that he said, ‘Wooden’….

So, I stayed up very, very late one night, and got up early, to carve him a wooden doll:

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016

I used a birch branch from our son’s neighbour’s tree.  It’s been drying for a year and a half and is lovely to carve.

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-3

Tottie Tomato cheered me on as I carved.

She comforted the new doll, because she knows that the knives, chisels and sandpaper are very uncomfortable, and that paint brushes tickle….

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-2

After he was done, and I had knitted his sweater and jeans, Tottie Tomato and New Boy went to hang a few ornaments on the tree in the village.

Something was feeling not quite right….

I thought: I have to check and see if Grandson actually said that he wanted a wooden doll…..

So, I asked him which dolls he loved?

Wooden or the woven art dolls?

We were out at a concert of his Grampa’s music, so I sketched the shape of the 6th Sense art dolls in the air.

YES! he said, firmly!

THOSE are the ones I love!

Oh oh….

I asked him to draw in the air and show me what shape he had in mind.

Yup….. Woven Women 6th Sense art dolls, and NOT 6 inch tall wooden dolls….

oops.

He specified that he wanted it soft to cuddle and that it had to wear black shoes.

I asked him to draw exactly what he wanted…..

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-4

He held his hands up in the air and showed me the size.

So…………………………

I have been weaving up a storm…………….  well, a doll, along with a few other things……

I used the tapestry weaving technique to weave the body front, and plain weave for the back.

I did a clasped warp technique for the arms and legs to make the color changes work for the arms and legs.

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-5

I hope that he approves of how I interpreted his design!

I hadn’t thought of making him a doll for Christmas, so I am incredibly grateful that he asked.

And, because I didn’t get the brief right first time around, our little sweetheart gets TWO dolls, not one!

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-6

For now, they are chilling out by the Village Christmas tree, enjoying themselves in knitted armchairs that I designed for Findlay and Flora Bear.

The pattern for the chairs is in my etsy shop:

LINK

wooden-james-doll-xmas-2016-7

I can’t bear to wrap them until the last moment, so I will have a chance to enjoy them, too!

Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Solstice, Happy Yule, Happy EVERYTHING to you and yours!

Love and blessings all round.

May 2017 bring Peace, Wisdom and Compassion!

 

14 Comments

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, Findlay Bear and Flora Panda, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Hitty Dolls, knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Story Door Dolls by Noreen Crone-Findlay, wooden dolls

Woven Star Baby – 1

Many years ago, I had a wonderful dream about the Northern Lights.

I dreamt that thousands of shooting stars were streaming down the Northern Lights (aka Aurora Borealis), but when I looked closer, I saw that the shooting stars were actually Star Babies 🙂

They were laughing, tumbling and frolicing in delight.

It was a wonderful dream, and ever since then, I have designed and made variations on the theme of ‘Star Baby’.

Here’s my woven Star Baby:

star-baby-1-c

STAR BABY TO WEAVE ON THE DEWBERRY RIDGE STAR AND THUMBELINA LOOMS

DESIGNED BY NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY ©

These woven Starbabies can hang up as ornaments or be pinned to a lapel or just played with as cute little dolls.

 

FINISHED SIZE: Approximately 5 inches/12.5 cm tall.

WHAT YOU NEED: Dewberry Ridge Star and Thumbelina Looms, Latch hook lucet from Dewberry Ridge Looms or a regular lucet.

About an ounce/28 gm star colored yarn and about and ounce/28 gm yarn for the body.

Face: 1 inch/2.5 cm diameter button and a 1 ½ inch/3 cm diameter circle of lightweight fabric.  Needle and thread to gather the fabric circle.

Features: Fine tip permanent marking pens, light pink crayon for cheeks.

star-baby-23-c

WEAVE:

1 Star following the instructions that came with the Star loom from Dewberry Ridge Looms

1 Thumbelina arch shape following the instructions that came with the Thumbelina loom, also from Dewberry Ridge Looms.

 

Make 2 LUCET cords:

Arms: 2 ½ inches/ 6.25 cm

Legs: 3 ½ inches/ 8/75 cm

star-baby-2-c

ASSEMBLING THE STAR BABY:

Fold the Arch shape in half.

star-baby-3-c

Stitch the Center back edges together to become the body. Leave the lower edge open.

For the head, leave half of the arch not stitched.

star-baby-4-c

FACE:

Stitch around the outside edge of the fabric circle,

star-baby-5-c

then place the button on the circle. Pull up on the thread to gather the circle of fabric tightly.

star-baby-6-cstar-baby-7-c

Stitch in place on the back several times to secure the stitching.

star-baby-8-cstar-baby-9-c

Draw the features onto the face.

The seam is at the back of the body.

Place the face button onto the head.  Pull the edges of the head forward and over the edges of the button.

star-baby-10-c

Take the needle and thread through the back of the head and park it for now.

Thread a length of yarn  into the weaving needle, then take the needle through the edge stitches. Pull up to gather the head around the face.

star-baby-12-cstar-baby-13-c

Wrap around the neck several times.

star-baby-14-c

Take the yarn end to the back of the head and stitch in place to anchor it.

star-baby-15-c

Use the sewing thread to stitch through the back of the head to secure the face button in place.

star-baby-11-c

In Part 2, I’ll show you how to finish the Star Baby.

This is a tiny video that I made to introduce the Star Babies:

1 Comment

Filed under doll & dolls & dollmaking & doll making, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Thumbelina Loom, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

How to weave a tiny toy bunny rabbit

Yesterday, I showed a sketch of a tiny toy bunny rabbit that I designed.

Here are a couple of them:

thumbelina-bunny-stuffies-1-cthumbelina-bunny-stuffies-2-c

I have just uploaded the video for how to weave the toy bunny on the Dewberry Ridge Thumbelina Loom:

The bunnies are about 2 1/2 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches tall.

They are quick and easy to make and fit in a pocket or would make a great stocking stuffer.

Happy Weaving!

2 Comments

Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Thumbelina Loom, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

Needle book woven on the Thumbelina loom

Many of our friends are in the process of selling and buying houses, and moving to new homes.

We’re holding them in our hearts and wishing them the most joyful time in their new ‘Home Sweet Home’.

So, it’s natural that my tapestry diary would be about home sweet home.

I had an ‘aha’ moment when it struck me that using the ‘Home Sweet Home’ tapestry diary piece as the front cover of a needle book would be a fun thing to do.

What’s a needle book?  It’s a way of storing and carrying your craft and sewing needles so they don’t get lost in a project bag or box or disappear inside a  pincushion.

So…. tahdah!

A ‘Home Sweet Home’ needle book woven on the Thumbelina loom…

Thumbelina Needle book 8 (c)

In order to weave the spine of the needlebook, you need to be able to weave a narrow rectangle on the Thumbelina,

so, I made a video on how to make the Thumbelina Needle book.

And, the video shows how to weave the narrow band:

Thumbelina Needle book 8 a (c)

Here’s the needle book open:

Thumbelina Needle book 9 (c)

Here’s the video:

 

By the way, you don’t have to weave a little tapestry for the cover of the needle book…. plain is fine, too!

Happy weaving!

 

4 Comments

Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Thumbelina Loom, Tottie Tomato Loves, tutorial & how to, video tutorial, weaving & handwoven

Dancing Flat Sheep Woven on Weaving Sticks

I’ve been designing some very whimsical things for Weaving Sticks and peg looms lately….

For instance: Dancing Flat Sheep 🙂

Dancing Flat Sheep by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

 

After all, with yarn, all things are possible!

So, here they are:  Happy Dancing Flat Sheep.  🙂

 

Dancing Flat Sheep by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

 

The finished size of the Dancing Flat Sheep is determined by the size of weaving sticks or pegs and thickness of weft and warp yarns, as well as the spacing of the pegs or weaving sticks.

So, you can make wee little sheepies with very thin weaving sticks or pegs and sock and eyelash yarns:

Dancing Flat Sheep by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

OR:

Medium sized sheepies using sport weight yarns and slightly larger weaving sticks:

Dancing Flat Sheep by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

OR:

Go for the gusto, and do big sheepishes, using art yarns, rovings, bulky or even fabric strips or Tarn:

Dancing Flat Sheep by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c) http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Have fun and Happy Dancing and Happy Weaving!

 

The pattern is in my etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/266333229/flat-dancing-sheep-woven-on-weaving?ref=shop_home_active_1

It must be the weather, as more whimsy is on it’s way…..

6 Comments

Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Rolly Polly Flat Teddy Bear

After I designed the tiny knitted comfort bears, LINK , people asked for crocheted comfort bears. LINK.

Then, people asked me for woven comfort bears, and I started sketching and drawing .

The drawings that really delighted me were for a ~flat~ teddy bear, all round and rolly polly. So, I have designed this dear little flat teddy bear to be woven on weaving sticks or peg looms.

A ~FLAT~ Teddy Bear?! Seriously? Yes!

Rolly Polly Flat Bears by Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The Rolly Polly Flat Bear is a charming little teddy bear that is meant to be small, because it’s one of my series of comfort bears.  So it fits in the palm of your hand, or in a pocket.

Because it’s small and flat, it can go everywhere.

Rolly Polly Flat Bear can be stitched to a hat or a bag or have a pin stitched to it’s back and be worn as a pin or whatever you can imagine.

It can also be popped into an envelope and mailed to a friend.

Being a very little Rolly Polly Flat Bear is a good thing- it’s so easy to have adventures when you are small and flat.

And,  Rolly Polly Flat Bears are especially good for teddy bear makers, since they are so easy to make.

Rolly Polly Flat Bears by Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

You can make different sizes of the Rolly Polly Flat Bears by using different sizes of weaving sticks and different thicknesses of yarn.

I’ve decided to make Rolly Polly Flat Bears for our Christmas tree and for all our friends and relations’ Christmas trees, too.

I hope that you will have fun weaving Rolly Polly Flat Bears, and please do take pictures and share them to show what your Rolly Polly Flat Bears have gotten up to!

Here’s the link to my etsy shop for the pattern:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/265438897/rolly-polly-flat-teddy-bear-woven-on?ref=shop_home_active_1

Happy weaving!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, teddy bear, weaving & handwoven

A Butterfly to make on the Lucet

Butterflies are the symbol of transformation, and since everyone I know seems to be experiencing some kind of transformative experience or another,  it seems to me to be a good time to make some little butterflies.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

They are very quick and easy to make, using a Lucet – although you can also use spool knitted cord, if you prefer.

They can be used to embellish anything that you can think of, or can be stitched to a ribbon for a book mark, or have a pin sewn to the back so they can be worn on a hat, bag, scarf or lapel.  They can be attached to a key ring.

They can be used in scrapbooking or card making.

It’s lovely to have one in your pocket to give to a friend who just needs a little comfort…..

Here’s the video for how to make the butterflies:

We are in deep, cold, snowy mid winter in Western Canada, so it’s lovely to have butterflies flittering about the studio, even if I had to make them myself!  🙂

That just reminded me of something that I hadn’t thought of in years….

My mother used to give us ‘Butterfly Kisses’, which were a quick little flutter of her eyelashes on our cheeks.

That’s a dear memory to suddenly pop up…  sweet!

Butterfly kisses all round! ❤

10 Comments

Filed under gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Lucet, personal stuff, tutorial & how to, video tutorial

Memory Bears

Last summer, Marie,  a member of our extended family (through marriage and love) died.

I asked her daughter for one of Marie’s sweaters so I could upcycle it to make little bears for Marie’s close kin with it.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I unraveled the sleeves of the sweater and used the  Comfort Bear pattern LINK to pattern

It’s taken awhile, because, I think that I needed to design the Comfort Bears first.

I was so pleased when I had an ‘AHA!’ that I could use the Comfort Bear pattern  to make the Memory Bears for Marie’s daughter and her partner, her son and grandson and her grandson’s Mum.

They’ll be able to cuddle a little of their Mum and Grandma whenever they need a small bit of comfort…..

I am finding the Comfort Bears to be very inspiring…  They have many aspects, and more keep being revealed.

Tiny bears, made with love.  ❤

 

11 Comments

Filed under charity knitting, eco crafts & green projects, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear

Whee- 40 teeny Comfort Bears- I did it!!!

Originally, I designed these little bears for Syrian refugee children, but I wanted to address the critical comments that some people had made. They said that we should be taking care of people who are already here and are suffering.

Well, I agree: We do need to care for those in pain, but it is NOT an either/or situation: It is AND.

I had recently read an article that spoke of acts of compassion and ended by saying that the heart must stretch, or it will break.

I thought: Alright… let’s stretch the heartstrings.

I thought: Who is here that needs me?  Immediately, the answer came up: The Women’s Shelter.

So, two weeks ago, I asked the Women’s Shelter if I could donate some of the tiny Blessing/Comfort/Kindness bears to the children in their care.

Confession time: Truth be told, I was still in the design stage at this point… how bold of me to phone them up when I hadn’t even finished the workable prototype! LOL

They said, ‘YES! Please make us 40!’

When I recovered from my astonishment, I said: ‘Of course I will’.

And, so, for the last 2 weeks, I have gotten up early (very VERY early some mornings!) and gone to bed late….

and …. tadah!!!!

40 little Comfort/Blessing Bears in a Basket! (made with love by Noreen Crone-Findlay)

I knew that I could not possibly get them all knitted by hand in only 2 weeks, so I knitted the bodies of most of them by machine, but some of them, I knitted on 2 sets of circular needles (cumbersome) and some on 4 dpn’s… which is much more doable than the 2 circs.

(I have my dpn’s and yarn with a bear on it in my ‘going out the door’ knitting bag… more about that, later).

The hand work of sewing the back seam, stuffing the bear, sewing both ends shut then making the necks, legs, ears, stitching on the arms and embroidering the faces is what takes up most of the bear making time.

It’s slow, but contemplative work, and it brings me such great delight as each little face smiles up at me when I finish embroidering it!   Such joy!!!!

I have to race to finish family Christmas presents now, but I will be casting on lots more stitches for more, more, more bears- for Syrian refugee children, and more for the Women’s Shelter to have on hand, and more because I keep meeting people who need them….

This makes me sooooooooooooo happy!   ❤     😀     ❤

Yup, this has been a real heart stretcher… I have so much more room in my heart than I ever thought possible.

I think that the extra room is bear shaped….

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

My dream is that people will be inspired to knit or crochet all kinds of wonderful wee comfort/kindness/blessing bears to give to anyone who needs some compassion and healing.   Won’t you join me?    🙂

15 Comments

Filed under charity knitting, crafting for charity, gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, knitting, teddy bear