My cookies look pretty today and other notes from home

pretty plate of cookiesThey do don’t they?  Look pretty I mean.  Somedays I find my pleasure in a plate of cookies.  My thrifted plate is pretty too if I do say so myself…vintage apron with flowersSo is my great-grandma’s apron.  Actually I think it is beautiful not just pretty.  I love simple stitches and the butter yellow ribbon on the pocket and neckline.  I wonder how many trays of cookies she made while wearing it?  I love putting it on even though doing so makes it clear that I am much taller than she was…I dream of ways of modifying it but never do.  I think I’ll base a pattern off of it and leave it preserved as is…

my great grandmaThis picture of her has a place of honour over my stove.  Look how cool!  Her posture, the tea…effortlessly holding that cigarette…I think she’d like my cookies…IMG_2684

Sigh…what was the title of this post again?  Ah yes, pretty cookies and other news…So to the other news then.  In addition to some back issues, children with illness etc, we’ve had something pretty special happening at our place…

throughthefrenchdoorCan you guess?hardwood floor before refinishingLet’s start with a confession.  This was my floor in my dining room.  I actually thought it wasn’t in too bad of shape…well, I knew it needed refinishing but it wasn’t until the refinishing started that it hit me how bad it really was…

sanding hardwood floorI think you can start to see what I mean (excuse the cellphone quality photo)…sanding hardwood floor in bungalowWith the help of this brilliant woman, our floors now look like this…hardwood floor refinished with Vermont Natural Floor FinishHow?!  Why did we wait so long?  Answer: finances but I digress.  Ashley prepped and sanded the floors and then used Vermont Natural Floor Finish.  We skipped the stain as I wanted a more Scandinavian look and we weren’t sure how these floors would take the stain.  We were so pleased to find a “green” product and we are grateful to our friend Jill from The Happy Space Project and her husband Jamie for the product info.  Do you like it?

We are now reinstalling the quarter round and touching up the baseboards.  In a few days we’ll move the furniture back into place.  For now we live with this colourful mess piled in our back room:furniture piled upCookies, new floors…life is good.  Can’t wait until we can afford to do the upstairs : ).

What made you happy today?

PS Feel free to contact me if you need more info on the floor finish or if you are looking for someone to redo your floors for you…we highly recommend Ashley!

Keepin’ warm

Hope you all have been keeping warm what with that Polar Vortex and all.  Seriously?  Polar Vortex?  How is it I’ve lived in Canada my entire life and have never heard of such a thing. It sounds so glamorous and sexy…and maybe a bit terrifying.  To be honest having ice everywhere hasn’t been very fun and has made getting outside a bit of a challenge.  So the kids are stacking ice instead of making snowmen.  Our efforts to walk more and drive less are still being met at least partially since J has a pair of yaktrax.  I’m gonna need a pair if things don’t change soon.  The rest of the time you can find us in the backyard, away from the ice damaged tree branches doing things like this:playhousedrivethroughI think this means we can officially give the hideout a designation of a ‘drive-thru’.  Just ski up and get a cup of hot chocolate.  Devine!

IMG_2253The hideout kitchen is always hoping.  Apparently these kids are messy cooks though…oh well, not my house.  I should point out as well that the solar lights are working out really well in case anyone was considering them for their own outdoor sheds, playhouses and what-not.  In this picture we have one of these solar lights turned on and you can see how well the place is lit.

IMG_2254And of course the place looks so cute lit up on the outside as well.  The Missus has been using it as a home base when she skis around the yard.  She always checks in with “Coach” aka her dad regarding her form and speed.  It is just about as adorable as you can get.

IMG_2264See?  Adorable.  And warm and cozy.  Despite all this Polar Vortex nonsense.

What are you doing to stay warm and keep your winter spirits up?

Goodbye Christmas…

It is always bittersweet taking down all the decorations, the garlands, the tree.  This year it was particularly hard as I was quite in love with some of my handmades…

I took some pictures so I could remember and thought you might enjoy them too.

Solstice StockingsI’m particularly sad to see these babies packed away.  I’ve been wanting to make them for a while and finally got around to it this year.  I started in July and got sidetracked. I embroidered two of them while at a conference in November and of course I finished the last one two days before the holidays.  The pattern can be found in my favourite craft book of all time:

Scandinavian NeedlecraftYou can find other projects I’ve made from this book here (don’t worry I fixed it) and here.

Scandinavian Heart embroidery

Scandinavian Snowflake Embroidery

Scandinavian Snowflake Embroidery Christmas StockingWell, you can see why I love them can’t you?  They are so beautiful!  (as a side note, I had a good laugh while editing these photos.  Take a good look at some of the titles on the bookshelf…I hung this stocking in front of “All Family’s are Psychotic” LOL…that might tie in with some holiday celebrations non?).

pinecone garland

Pinecone garlandAnd I couldn’t resist taking this photo in the morning light (no editing I swear) of my favourite handmade holiday decoration.  I make one every year.  I collect the pinecones in the fall at my in law’s place. I also took a fallen branch or two from their forest and used them around the house and on the porch in the form of garlands and evergreen swags.  The pinecones I keep in a paper bag in the basement until December and they usually have opened nicely by then.  The orange slices I dehydrate in the oven the same day I make the garland using jute twine.   This year I hung it along a pine branch that I secured to the curtain rod in my front window.  I love how the light shines through the oranges like stained glass.

cedar wreaths with red ribbonMy second favourite decoration this year are these cedar wreaths I made using cedar branches I trimmed from our cedar shrubs in the front yard.  I really hated taking them down.  I love the way they looked and with them gone I can’t decide what to put in their place.  Any ideas?

cedar wreaths and juniper boughsI tucked some Juniper boughs into a basket my friend’s mom made me as a wedding gift.  Santa had a kind of Scandinavian look and I picked him up from my local VV.  The red wooden bead garland? VV.  The reindeer candle holders were also a find at VV and now that I am typing this, I can’t decide if they are my second favourite or not…no.  They are my third favourite for sure.  Mostly because it was a nightmare trying to put the candles in place without splitting them.  So they get third place…

Solstice mantle

IMG_2082Here is what they look like lit up.  So pretty.  The chalkboard (from HomeSense) did boast a chalk christmas tree but I erased it before I thought of taking any pictures.cedar wreaths in windowAnd finally, one of my very favourite handmades this year, cedar branches hot glued onto embroidery hoops hung with red ribbon at my kitchen window.  I loved waking up to this bright and cheery window every wintry morning.  It made me smile.apple candle holderAnd this sat on my window sill.  I made a few of these apple candle holders and used them to light our Solstice dinner table.  I love the red of the apples…and the fact that most of my decorations will now find themselves in the compost heap and not the land fill. In fact I now only have one box of Christmas decorations to store.  Mostly ornaments and lights.

So while it was hard to take them down, I do like to start the new year with fresh walls and less clutter.

Here is to fresh starts!  Happy 2014 everyone!!

A winter’s day photoessay

I think every family who lives in this area has hundreds of pictures of the kids feeding chickadees.  It is such an endearing activity that it is quite a popular thing to do when one has family or friends visiting.  And so we ventured out on this warm winter’s day, hiked into the forest and waited…

hiking into the woods

We didn’t have to wait long…

chickadee in a tree

chickadee feeding from hand

feeding the chickadeesThe kids were oh so patient…

bird seed on headAnd they tried new tricks to entice the birds…including putting bird seed on your head.

bird callAnd trying out a bird call or two…

bird seed on headApparently putting bird seed on your head works.  But those birds are quick.  Too quick for my camera.

childhood wonderThe experience didn’t disappoint…

using binocularsWho can resist an opportunity to try out the binoculars your aunt and uncle sent you?

IMG_2297The watching and waiting pays off…

child in winterWe hike back…

bullrushes in winterTake in the scenery…

IMG_2312And meet new friends…

running and jumping in winterRun and jump…

ice on picnic tableAnd find new ways to make ice exciting…

ice playCrack it…

stacking iceAnd stack it…

running in winterAnd have a WONDERFUL time.

Hope your winter break has been relaxing and refreshing.  Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

…the fire is burning…

…the fire is burning
the long night draws near
all who need comfort
are welcome by here…

IMG_00000317

The girls and I spent this evening building snowball lanterns in preparation for Solstice on December 21st

…we’ll dance ‘neath the stars
and toast the past year
for the spirit of solstice
is still living here…

IMG_00000327

The fire pit now has outdoor lighting. We’ll be dusting off the log stumps for friends to gather round the bonfire to hold back the night.

…we’ll count all our blessings
while the Mother lays down
with snow as her blanket
covering the ground…

We are fortunate enough to have a gorgeous yew tree in the backyard. We'll be decorating this living tree with popcorn strings, pine cone bird feeders and apple ornaments as gifts to our animal friends.

We are fortunate enough to have a gorgeous yew tree in the backyard. We’ll be decorating this living tree with popcorn strings, pine cone bird feeders and apple ornaments as gifts to our animal friends.

…thanks to the Mother
for the life that she brings
she’ll waken to warm us
again in the spring

the poor and the hungry
the sick and the lost
these are our children
no matter the cost…

IMG_00000318

Every year we make lanterns. This year it is snowball lanterns to line our walk way and welcome our guests. In years past we’ve used glass jars hung from sticks with wire to take with us on our lantern walk.  This year we’ll take apple candle holders with us while we go carolling.

 

IMG_00000306

Our decorations are all taken from nature. The snow lanterns require only a tea light and the right kind of snow. We’ve brought fresh greenery, birch bark and berries indoors to decorate our table and mantle.

…come by the fire
the harvest to share

for the spirit of solstice
is still living there

the fire is burning
the long night draws near
all who need comfort
are welcome by here…

IMG_00000313

Part of the fun of planning which crafts we’ll do and how we’ll decorate is watching the girls add their own bit of magic to our celebration. Our connections are strengthened to the earth and in our community. I love how the girls look forward to Solstice as part of our holiday celebrations.

…we’ll dance ‘neath the stars
and toast the past year

for the spirit of solstice
is still living here
for the spirit of solstice
is still living here…


~ Lyrics to “A Solstice Carole” by the Wyrd Sisters

Snow Day Fun

tobogganoutsideplayhouse

Yay!  Winter is upon us!  When the snow flies the girls fly out the door.  I have the easiest time on these snowy winter mornings.  They can’t dress and eat breakfast fast enough.  A quick ski around the yard or jumping on the toboggan:

toboggan1But it can’t all be fun when there is work to be done.  Winter blew right into our lovely little playhouse and the girls had some cleaning up to do.

toboggansnowinsideWhich can be fun too!

snowinside1

snowinside2

snowinside3The Missus took care of the porch.

tobogganisweepingDoes this mean we can call the playhouse a four season fort?

toboggangirls inwindow

It was a great morning and we decided afterward that the pictures would be perfect for our annual “Cool Yule” card.  Happy Holidays to all!

Cool Yule 2013

Liebster Awards 2013: Thousand Islands Mama has been nominated!!

I had the most incredible gift in my inbox the other day – a nomination for a Liebster Award from Joan at Nicer Than New.  I am so excited!  Help me thank Joan by visiting her fantastic website.  Thank you Joan, this honour made my day!
liebsterbutton

What is a Liebster Award?  Good question.  It is basically a fun way to highlight some of the newer/smaller blogs out there.  It helps bloggers find readers and readers find great content.  Here is how it works – fun and simple:

Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.
  2. Answer the questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Present the Liebster Award to several other bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen.
  4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

Here is what Joan wanted to know:

  1. Why did you decide to start blogging? I started blogging when I was living in a gorgeous forest near the shores of a beautiful river…amazing but isolating.  I knew there were others in my region craving connection and so I started blogging about what my family was doing locally.  I made great connections locally and then to my amazement in the bigger world as well.  I rediscovered my love of writing and creating, a part of myself I had long ignored and so I continued.
  2. What is your most memorable vacation destination?  Hands down, Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland.  This past summer we travelled and explored the amazing Newfoundland landscape by car, ferry, and on foot.  Incredible vistas, whales, puffins, moose and the cutest little vole.  The people – so friendly!  The food – scrumptious!  The kids ask to go back almost weekly.  Here are my favourite NFLD pics :
    NFLDlecaribou

    Caribou and Fjords. The entrance to Western Brook Pond

    Amazing beaches; the kids could run forever!

    Amazing beaches; the kids could run forever!

    It felt like we had the place all to ourselves.  Shallow Bay Beach.

    It felt like we had the place all to ourselves. Shallow Bay Beach.

    No wonder they want to go back

    No wonder they want to go back

  3. What is your favourite quick go-to recipe?  Oh that’s easy.  Sharon’s Chocolate Cake of course!  I am not at liberty to share this recipe however.  It is a carefully guarded secret.
  4. Choose a movie or record album you like and tell us why?  Hmmm, that is a hard one…I have really varied tastes.  I’m listening to a lot of Sarah Slean lately.  Mostly because my daughter is an aspiring singer/songwriter and she loves listening to the piano and lyrics in Sarah’s songs.  This one is favourite:

  5. What is your favourite blog post you have completed to date?  This one.  I am an avid thrifter and crafter.  I would describe my decor style as “found style”.  This $16 shelving unit redo is one of my best finds.
  6. If you were dropped off on a deserted island and you could only have three items with you what would they be and why?  A water purifier, a super warm blanket and an “Edible Berries” guide.  I guess I’m more practical than I thought.
  7. What is your most prized possession?  My great-grandmother’s apron.  It is clearly handmade and the colours inspired my kitchen reno (post to come).
  8. If you were reborn as an animal, what would it be and why?  A black bear.  They get to spend their days in the forest, running through the trees, splashing in the streams…plus they love getting cozy in the winter.  Oh and no one messes with them.  I think I might actually BE a bear now that I think about it…
  9. What is the best book you have read in the past 5 years and why?  Ugh, I have to pick one?!  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time.  Seeing the world through the eyes of the main character, a 15 year-old boy with autism was incredible.  I found the book fascinating.
  10. If weight was a non issue, what’s one thing you would eat every day?   Soulemama’s Peppermint Bark.  I made this last Christmas and I could eat it all day long.
  11. What are your future plans or goals for blogging?  My life and career is full of extremely busy times and slow, quiet times…the problem is it is never consistent.  My blog reflects that, posts come in fits and bursts when I have the time.  My goal for 2014 is to write often when I have the chance and parcel the posts out in a more consistent timeframe for readers.  My second goal is to chronicle my family’s commitment to sustainable urban living.  We are giving up the car and biking and walk as much as we can (yes, even in the winter).  Reaching out to others doing the same in the blogosphere helps create community which makes these kind of goals more achievable.

The required “random things about me”:

1. I didn’t eat cheese unless it was melted or fake (think cheese whiz, Velveeta – bleh!) until I was 20 years old.
2. I hate coconut with an unnatural passion. Until recently I had a hard time understanding people who liked coconut…not the milk or real stuff, just the dried horribleness that feels like toe nails in your mouth – that stuff!
3. I love old 80s shows. I have watched all seasons of Dallas. I am currently watching season one of Remmington Steele.
4.. I was once on MTV sports when I was into ice climbing.
5. I used to want to be an astronaut and made a presentation to my parents to let me go to Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama when I was 11…I delivered A LOT of flyers to pay for that one.
6. The first birth I attended brought me to my knees it was so incredible.
7. I am one of those truly fortunate people who love what they do and wouldn’t quit it if I won the lottery.
8. Toys that require batteries are not allowed in my house (okay maybe one or two slipped in).
9. In high school I was voted most likely to be on SNL.
10. I miss my grandmother terribly and still tear up instantly when I think of her.

Some blogs I think you should check out!!

La Gang A Nat
Lealou
North Story
The Happy Space Project
Sketchy Styles
Heart Heather
If People Mattered
Love on Sunday
Lifeovereasy
The Uncommon Common Law

Oh right and some questions for the new nominees to answer:

  1. Why did you start blogging and what keeps you going?
  2. If you could meet up with a blogging celebrity, who would it be?
  3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  4. What are you passionate about?
  5. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
  6. What are you blogging goals for 2014?
  7. Where do you find inspiration?
  8. Do you have a favourite food blog?  I’m asking because I want to find a great food blog.  Totally selfish.
  9. What is your favourite blog post you’ve completed to date?
  10. Stealing this one from Joan cuz I love it so much:  If you were reborn as an animal, which animal would you be?

Ah….that feels good.  I hope you enjoy the blogs I’ve highlighted as much as I do.  Gotta love getting and giving some bloglovin’.  Don’t forget to check out Nicer than New!

Cheers!

K

Making a house a home…

They say the heart of a home is the kitchen.  The Missus loves cooking and helping in our real kitchen and then spends much of the rest of her time pretending to be cooking or baking as well.   So it made sense that the hideout/playhouse needed a play kitchen.  It is a total hack which is either a really good thing proving that anyone can do this using materials that are cheap and easily attainable or it is a bad thing and totally proves Martha Stewart‘s point.  Either way, I wanted to share this with those who have generously donated materials for this build and perhaps it will serve as inspiration for those wanting to do the same for their children.  And so, without further ado:

I started with an upper cupboard I found for $10 at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore.  I chose it because it was fairly skinny in its profile and the doors were the old-fashioned kind.  On most modern cupboards the doors cover the entire front of the opening and that would have been problem in terms of opening and closing.  So I put the cupboard upside down on the floor (so that the pulls on the doors were at the top) and secured it in place with screws.
IMG_1880Then I got out the last piece of that seemingly endless board from the garage (that we’ve used for projects in the kitchen and living room already) to make a countertop.  I was so excited about doing this project that I didn’t care that I didn’t have the right tools for the job.  I happily got out what power tools I had on hand and started working.

IMG_1881Yeah,  you should always use the proper tools.  By the end I was a sweaty mess trying to wrestle the wood into place.  I made mistakes.  But don’t worry I fixed ‘em and who cares it is a playhouse right? Right.  So not prefect but still “super cool” according to the Missus.

IMG_1883Do not dwell on the jagged edges of the hole that I created for the sink…like I said I fixed them.  I used the drill to drill circles big enough to fit the $5 taps I found at Value Village.  I also used the drill to poor effect in making the hole for the sink in the top of the cupboard and the reclaimed board for the countertop (and I used the skill saw and a hammer and I swore…a lot).  Oh and also don’t trouble yourself about the unfinished wall behind the cupboards…I’ll get to that later.

IMG_1891See?  The wall is (almost) finished now.  I used an old metal bowl for sink and a piece of 2×4 to fix the gap at the end of the counter.  I’ll be drawing on some stove top elements with permanent marker at some point and painting the fridge (an old store from the MOD shop a few years ago).  Oh and painting the wall…and finishing around the windows…was it me that said she didn’t want to see this project end?  Surely not.

kids kitchen in playhouseWe have plans for kitchen curtains and matching tea towels as well but I’m not sure how they will fare through the winter in such an unprotected playhouse.  So we may leave that project for the spring and summer.

So that is our most recent update.  What do you think so far?

************UPDATE**************

I found a use for one of the three medicine cabinets from our bathroom upstairs as a nice upper cabinet for the play kitchen.

playhouse kitchen

‘hitting the thrifty jackpot!’ or ‘somebody stop me!’

I have hit the thrifty finds jackpot lately.  One major project is still ongoing and so I can’t share it yet (I can’t wait).  For now I must be satisfied with showing you these beauties:

post elna openThe Elna Supermatic.  She is a beauty.  This  blog has a great write-up on the machine and the history complete with awesome vintage print ads that are charmingly insulting to women (“If you can boil an egg, you can sew and embroider this blouse!!”).  My plan was to get her operational and gift her to Lil’S for a birthday present.  The kid is itching to sew all sorts of things and I am rather protective of my new Pfaff.  I think the Elna is perfect for her! Elna looks like this inside her case:

postelnacase

And when you open her up she looks like this:postelnaopentopShe comes with all of these goodies.  Cams for changing the stitch embroidery patterns, the cutest oil can known to man and the best of vintage instruction.

postelnaopenwithstuff

postelnawith stuffside viewAnd look at what else the case can do!  It turns itself into an extension table!!  Genius.  She is so well-built and in great condition.  I love the knee press instead of the foot control.  I’m officially in love.  By the by,  I took her to see Debbie at The Singer Store in Kingston and Debbie had her working in tip-top shape in no time.  And I loved that Debbie let me watch so I could learn all about my machine.  So I’d highly recommend heading over there if you have any sewing machine needs (no, she did not pay me to say that).

Okay, next up…Lil’S has also been obsessed with typing lately.  She loves watching me type on the computer and was intrigued to know I took typing in highschool.  Yep, I’m that old.  We had electric typewriters and we typed to music…oh the shame.  Anywho, I found this handsome machine on this auction site and snagged him for $16.

post typerwitterHe types beautifully.  And his name is Remmington.  There is no way this could go wrong.  He is intended as a solstice gift for Lil’S so she can type her heart out.

postmessageAnd finally….THIS:

posttableandchairsI love it.  I really, really do.  The table top is an amazing blue colour, the legs have these amazing spring lock mechanisms and it is in great shape.  The four chairs (which will serve as extra seats during family get togethers and dinners) have the same vinyl backs as the table top and the seats themselves are padded and upholstered in a lovely blue polyester.  Yes, I just used lovely and polyester in the same sentence.  For now this set is serving as a cutting table in my craft room.

I still can’t believe I had the winning bids on these finds.  You know you’ve done well when you go to pick up your items and the MaxSold staff say things like “you know you got a really good deal on that don’t you?” as he caresses the table and marvels at the mint condition, and “OH!  You’re the one who snagged the Elna…” followed by murmurs of ‘she’s getting the Elna’ circulating around the room amongst staff and fellow buyers alike.

Oh thrifting, how I love thee!

Oh “deery” my! Woodland Felt Animal Masks and Tutorial

Oh deery my indeed!  This little woodland creature couldn’t get any cuter.  And this blog post couldn’t come any later.  We are in solid birthday mode around here and this post features what I created for LAST year’s birthday party.  I’m not ashamed.  Besides I think these adorable masks were worth the wait.deermask

The theme for the Missus’ birthday was “Woodland Animals” (this year she continues the animal theme only this year it is “party animals”…you can see the difference).  We had planned to take the kids to the park to play, drink apple cider and have cake.  The weather thought that was a bad idea and so we transformed our living room into…a living room that now allowed woodland animals to play in it.

foxesandowlsandbearsohmyInstead of sending our creature friends home with bags of candy, I embroidered and sewed these adorable felt masks to give to each guest.  The fox is my favourite.  When I finished the first fox mask I had the most incredible crafter high!  We kept the animals local and added some skunks, bears, owls, deer and a chipmunk to the mix.

bearmask

It all started with this prototype.  The bear.  I based it on this paper mask that I bought at Michael’s.

paper bear maskI simply traced the outline onto some freezer paper, ironed that onto some felt and away we went.  Oh, and I altered the shape of the eyes from oval to round.  Don’t do that.  The result is still cute (see below) but….

felt bear mask

But the kids…they can’t see that well when they are like that.

bear mask

Fun to wear but hard to attack.  So oval eye holes it was from then on…

So here is what you’re gonna need to make a cute creature yourself:

Supplies:

  • A template.  Get one like the one above or free hand your own.  There are also many template available for free online (google “felt masks”…you’ll see).
  • Heat n’ Bond.  I purchased mine at Fabricland:

heat n' bond

  • Freezer Paper.  I couldn’t find any in Canada at the time (although I’ve heard others have had luck).  This may be one item I am willing to cross boarder shop for and I buy a few rolls at a time when I’m in the states.

freezer paper

  • Sharp scissors
  • A marker for tracing the pattern onto the freezer paper and heat n’ bond
  • Some embroidery thread in a variety of colours (it is really up to you)
  • 1/2 inch elastic
  • Felt in various colours (grey, black and beige for the racoon)
  • A sewing machine with a needle that can handle layers of felt
  • Thread for sewing machine
  • An iron and an ironing board

Now, let’s get started!

howtomakeafeltanimalmask

1. First make a template.  I traced the bear mask onto a piece of paper with marker.  Then I modified it free-hand to make the different animals.  Below is the start of the racoon mask:IMG_9182

freezer paper2.  Now that you have your new mask design just the way you want it, it is time to get out your freezer paper.  Lay it over your paper animal and trace.  For a racoon you need to trace and cut out a few separate pieces:  (1. and 2.)  the outside shape of the mask (3.)  the racoon mask (4.)the snout (5. and 6.) two triangle shapes for inside the ears and (7.) the nose.

IMG_91873.  Lay the two mask outlines onto a piece of felt with the shiny side of the freezer paper down.  Use your iron to set them in place.IMG_91884.  With the freezer paper now “stuck” to the felt, cut out both pieces.  Peel the freezer paper off the felt and set aside (you can reuse this several times for other masks).  Set the felt aside as well.

IMG_91985.  Next lay the freezer paper cut outs for the racoon mask, the ear triangles and the nose on to the black felt, iron and cut them out.  Peel the freezer paper off and set pieces aside.

IMG_91926.  Repeat the process with the snout piece and a beige scrap of felt.

IMG_92417.  Next take out your Heat N’ Bond.  Lay it over your original paper design and trace out all of the same pieces that you did with the freezer paper.  The Heat N’ Bond is similar to freezer paper in that it has a shiny side.  Lay the shiny side down onto the corresponding piece of felt and iron.  IMG_9202When you peel the Heat N’ Bond off you will see the shiny bit has transferred to the felt (sorry only good pic of this is from the fox mask in the making):

IMG_92608.  Now you can start ironing your pieces into place on one of the grey pieces of felt.  I placed the racoon mask on first, shiny side down and ironed it in place.  Then the snout, the nose and the ears.  I placed the nose midway down the snout instead of up near the mask to give it a 3D effect.

IMG_9204

IMG_9205

IMG_92069.  Next I used my sewing machine to sew around the mask, the ears and the snout securing them in place.  This is probably not necessary if you want to keep it simple.  It will add to the longevity of the mask though.

IMG_9207

9.  I used black embroidery thread to outline and hold the nose in place (three layers would be too thick for most sewing machines).  Then, using a running stitch,  I embroidered a line from the nose to the chin.  I think it adds a touch of whimsy to the masks.

snoutandnose

10.  Now, remember how I told you I did this project last year?  Yes, well, that means I don’t have a picture of the next step.  Sorry!  It is pretty simple though…take your elastic and cut a length that is sized to fit your child’s head.  Pin one end to the back of the mask on each side and sew into place:

clearracoonmask

11.  Once you have the elastic in place, set the whole piece aside.  Iron Heat N’ Bond onto the second grey piece of felt.  Peel it off.  Lay this piece of felt shiny side up on the ironing board.  Lay the top piece of the mask with the elastic attached on top.  Take care to ensure the elastic is not between the layers at all.  Iron until the two pieces are fused together.IMG_9238

irononracoonmask12.  The last step is to sew around the entire outline of the mask and your done!  Or if you’re like me, you’ve only just begun!  It was super fun “inventing” each animal mask and adding details here and there.

felt woodland animal masks

Have fun!