Sunday, August 31, 2014

Felt Shiva


Here is the next felt character in Ganesh's family: Shiva or Shankar.

1.) Cut out the following pieces:

Note: the body is in duplicate.

2.) Using black thread doubled, sew two eyes and a mouth onto the front of the face.  Use the same black thread and some white thread for the tikka
3.) Using the same black double thread, sew two eyes onto Ganga's face.
4) Sew the two duplicate torso pieces together using a blanket or whip stitch.
5.) Sew the yellow outfit over the body.  Then attach the brown spots.
6.) Sew the black hair to the back of the head and the bun to the top of it.
7.) Sew the moon and Ganga's face, hair and the water onto Shiva's hair.
8.) Sew the three brown strips to Shankar's neck and wrists to make his rudraksha beads and you're all set!


Previous Indian Felt Characters:


Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: Felt Parvati, Felt Kartikeya, more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Felt Ganpati and Mouse


For Ganpati/Ganesh Chaturti this weekend, I made a Ganpati and mouse out of felt for my kids.  Here's how you can make one too.

1.) Cut the following pieces out of felt:


Note: the body parts and pants are in duplicate.

2.) Using black thread doubled, sew two eyes and a mouth onto the front of the face, and red for the tikka
3.) Sew the two duplicate torso pieces together using a blanket or whip stitch.
4.) Sew the two feet pieces together with a blanket or whip stitch.
5.) Sew the two yellow pants together using a blanket or whip stitch.  You will need to attach the torso at the waist to the pants and attach the feet at the points at the bottom of the pants.
6.) Use a running stitch to attach the two parts of the crown to the front of the head, the two gray tusks to the face, and the two peach modaks to the trunk and hand.
7.) Use a running stitch to define the trunk and limbs and you're all done!



 

Check back over the next two weeks for the rest of the family: Parvati, Shankar, and Kartikeya.  And click here for my earlier tutorial on making a Lakshmi out of felt.





Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Badger Face Oil with Organic Oils


Over the past few weeks, I have been trying out Badger's Damascus Rose Face Oil.  
I know most people aren't thrilled by the thought of putting oil on their faces but I started using organic coconut oil on my face in place of face cream, when I was pregnant with my first kid, because I couldn't find a natural face cream that I liked.  I have really dry skin and I had no issues with the coconut oil.

Badger's Face Oil is lighter than coconut oil.  It's an all natural product made of antioxidant-rich organic jojoba, baobab and pomegranate oils as its base oils, and also contains organic rosehip, calendula, seabuckthorn, rose oil, maillette lavender and Roman chamomile.  

According to the website, the face oil helps in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and is ideal for combination skin, dry skin or mature skin. 

I have been using it at night and one pump is enough for my entire face.  As stated earlier, it is a light oil that feels really soothing and it has a great natural rose scent that isn't overwhelming.  Unlike most facial products on the market, this face oil doesn't have phthalates for its scent, just essential oils.

I bought mine at Vitacost, and purchased several more bottles for family members.  One of my family members wanted something in a thicker base.  He lucked out because Badger also makes a beauty balm, which provides intensive moisture for targeted spots like under the eyes or stretch marks.  I tried this out under my eyes and it is a lot more moisturizing than the oil and would probably be too much for your entire face, depending on your skin type.

Both products have glowing reviews on Vitacost and I plan on continuing to use them both.  I love the Face Oil and am happy using it as a substitute for a face cream.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.

And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Toys: Weather Matching Game


This is a simple game that can be made out of construction paper, paper and some basic drawing skills, or felt.

I cut out the shapes for a storm cloud with lightening, a snowman, and the sun out of polyester felt scraps to represent rain, snow and a sunny day.

Then I cut out some apparel that one might wear during the corresponding weather, so there is an umbrella for rain, a knit hat for the snow and sunglasses, which unfortunately look like a bra, for the sunny day.

You can put the felt that represents weather in a row next to the apparel felt and let your toddler match them appropriately.  When that gets to easy you can put it all in a pile and let your child sort it.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.

And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 


Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Play Food Tutorial: Taco



DIY play food is all the rage these days and it isn’t that difficult to make, even if you’re a sewing novice.  I put my beginner-level sewing skills to use last year making play food for my son, and as gifts for friends and relatives.  (And if you don't want to sew, you can just cut the shapes out of felt.  A sturdier felt like wool felt will last longer but if you don't want to use wool, the synthetic Eco-fi felt will do).

Materials:

1.) A needle and good thread in various colors.  I like the quilter’s thread from JoAnn Fabrics because it is often on sale and it is strong enough to hold your creations together.

2.) Felt.  JoAnn Fabrics has several colors of Eco-Fi felt and every now and then they come on sale for 25 cents each.

3.) A sharp pair of scissors.  Fiskars Razor Sharp scissors have a locking mechanism to prevent kids from cutting themselves if the scissors accidentally fall into their hands.  Available at Amazon and craft stores, they make cutting a breeze but they are incredibly sharp so be careful.  A few reviewers mentioned cutting themselves by mishandling the scissors while opening the package.


I cut circles out of yellow wool felt and using a black thread, added some specks to it to make it look like a taco with black thread.  If you don't want to sew you can just use a Sharpie Stained fabric marker to draw black dashes all over the taco.

I then cut lettuce, beans, shredded cheese (I just cut into one side of a semi-circle piece of felt so it would be easy to use and so that little shreds of "cheese" wouldn't be lying all over my house), lettuce, and tomatoes.  I used a pink thread to sew little triangles onto the tomato to make it look more realistic but you could skip that step if you don't want to sew or draw them on with a pink Stained marker.

Here are some of my older play food tutorials:










Check back for more play food tutorials for tea and fruits and vegetables.





Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.
And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Play Food Tutorial: Sandwich


I made this play food using cotton fabric and wool felt from Weir Fabrics.

I cut two circles out of the cotton fabric for each slice of the bun.  On one side of one of the pairs, I used an off-white thread to sew on sesame seeds.  I then sewed the pairs to each other, inside-out, leaving an inch open.  I turned the slices right-side-out and stuffed them with old fabric.  I then sewed the remaining inch opening shut and the bun was done.


I cut swiss cheese out of a yellow piece of wool felt.
I cut lettuce/spinach/kale/greens out of the green wool felt.
I cut tomato slices out of the red wool felt and then used a pink thread to sew triangles onto them.
I just cut out a blob for ketchup and another one for mustard.
I sewed two shades of green together for a pickle slice and with yellow thread, sewed on some seeds.




Here are some of my older play food tutorials:
Bowtie pasta and chef's hats
Indian food
Pizza




In the next few weeks I will be posting tutorials for making play food tacos and tea and fruits and vegetables.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.

And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 


Follow me on Twitter @soups25



Sunday, August 10, 2014

DIY Toys: Brush Your Teeth

Here is a really simple toy that I made to get my son to have less resistance when we were brushing his teeth.


I just drew a mouth and a toothbrush on a scrap of cardboard, cut them out and colored them in with crayons.

We also got the books Pony Brushes His Teeth and Brush, Brush, Brush! to help with the process.  My son wasn't too into those books but he did use the cardboard toothbrush to brush his stuffed animals' teeth. 

You could make the mouth on a much larger piece of cardboard too to have fun brushing giant teeth.  You can also use the toy in any size to teach your child the names of the front teeth.  This do-it-yourself toy just takes a few minutes to make and can be educational, fun, and even helpful in getting your child used to brushing his or her teeth.

Check back every Monday and Thursday for new posts.  Coming up in the next few weeks: more DIY toys, green toy recommendations, and more info on green products.

And if you like what you see here, check out my Amazon Author page for my picture books and YA novel, and my blog posts on The Huffington Post. 
Follow me on Twitter @soups25