Monday, July 20, 2009

Make My Felt Menagerie

Tonight is the Conor Oberst concert, which means I have to track down what my friend Molly so earthily calls my "booby shirt," and put together dinner and a movie to take over to the dear mom friend I have coerced into babysitting for me tonight (she has a newborn, so I figure she'd be up late anyway). This is also our last full week in town before our California trip, so I also have to make outfits for me and the girls to wear to a wedding we'll be attending, which will mean altering my dressmaker's dummy and possibly buying the girls matching baby blue Dr. Martens AND trying once again to convince Matt to get his ill-fitting cheap suit altered, and I need to find someone to catsit and take care of the garden while we're gone, AND the girls' birthday party is on Sunday so I need to make some party favors and put together a game or two, not to even mention the lesson plans I should be prepping for my cloth diapering class this Saturday or the fall semester which starts next month...

This is all to explain why the girls and I have been doing none of that, but instead have been using stencils to make an elaborate felt menagerie for their felt board:
You can use any kind of one-piece stencil that you already have, or you can make your own stencils from good profile or silhouette images from books. Scan them as black-and-white documents at a really high contrast and at the width/height that you want, then print them at fast draft resolution to save ink and cut them out. Or you can feel free to copy and print my horse--
--or my wren:Once you have the stencil cut out of paper, it's a straightforward matter to trace the pattern onto a piece of recycled acrylic felt with a fine-tipped Sharpie, then cut it out with your smallest pair of sewing scissors. At five, Will is able to trace a pretty passable horse all by her ownself: You can also, clearly, color these felt guys with the Sharpies: I haven't tried anything else, like fabric paint or acrylic paint, but I imagine they would work, as well.

My goal is to make a few sets of a bunch of animals in different colors and sizes, good for color matching or color ordering, size matching or size ordering, grouping by type of animal, or just, you know, playing, but I found the tracing and cutting actually kind of tedious, so it's a project that I think I'll need to save for some movie-watching sessions. It was an engrossing project for the girls, however, and I didn't anticipate how much they'd enjoy decorating the felt shapes: And they're braver than me, because although I tend to stick to stencils, they'll venture into some freehand work if they, for instance, decide that they need a horseback rider for their horse:

Okay, now to go find the booby shirt.

UPDATE: While writing this, and listening to Outer South on iTunes, I got a Ticketmaster alert that my Conor Oberst concert has been CANCELLED!!! Sadness, despair, unhappiness, disgruntledness!

And Conor Oberst would have liked my booby shirt SO much.

1 comment:

cake said...

while i think sydney's hair looks darn cute, if it were me, i would have completely flipped my lid when i saw what had happened. good for you for "checking out" for a moment.