I’m so impressed with all the amazing things that Shelly Figueroa is doing these days. You may know her from the book she co-authored with Karen LePage, Sewing with Boys, or her pattern shop Figgy’s (shown in the images above). Now she has a couple of new projects in the works that sound really great.
Shelly is currently raising funds to expand her sewing studio near Portland to accommodate more kids. In our world of mass-produced items and consumer culture, I think teaching kids to make things is so important to help them understand the world and the meaning of everyday things that we take for granted. Shelly has a vision for her studio and hopes to raise money to buy supplies and machines, then offer an open day each month for people to drop in and sew for charity. Then she hopes to provide scholarships for kids who want to learn to sew, but can’t afford it. Watch her video to learn more. I have often thought about how sad it is that home-ec has gone and our high schools are spending time teaching kids skills that they’ll never use. I wish I’d learned sewing and woodworking instead of algebra and chemistry. Anyway, you can help her by donating here.
Shelly also has a new Craftsy class Kid’s Romper Revamp: Creative Pattern Adapting. This looks like a class packed with useful skills for those of us who want to learn to make clothes that really fit our kids.
Since I’ve been working most of the summer, the kids have sort of been on their own for craft projects. I thought I’d share some of the things that have inspired them lately.
Luckily, Jen from Kiwi Crate offered to send a free crate for our review. It’s a package filled with ready-to-make crafts that comes right to your door. I helped the kids get all the supplies sorted, then they pretty much made the craft on their own, following the simple illustrated instruction booklet. This is a stellar idea. I thought the craft ideas were creative and the supplies were of high quality. They were thrilled to get a package in the mail and tore it open right away and made this cute firefly craft on the spot. The firefly comes with a plastic bottle and decorations. Then after the kids assemble it, they put it on a zip line and place the small glow sticks inside to make it light up while flying. My nine-year-old declared it “awesome”. The other project in our kit was a painting project with educational facts about bugs, which looks fun too. You know I’m all about coming up with creative ideas to make things on your own, but sometimes you need a little help! These kits would also make great gifts.
Now my nine-year-old is on a full-on crafting kick, started by this website, My Froggy Stuff. The woman who runs this YouTube channel makes videos about crafts for dolls. All kinds of dolls, big and small. She makes beds, kitchens, and really anything you can think of for dolls. My daughter watches the instructions, then gathers supplies (often improvising with what we have on hand), then makes the projects pretty much on her own. There is a commercial before each video, but you can skip through it. And of course this site links up to other YouTube channels and other sites pretty easily, so there are the issues of the open web. But both my kids LOVE this site and it is keeping them busy! It gets them thinking of projects of their own too. You can see the little bunk beds below that my daughter made. She’s made a paper house and is working on all the furniture for it.
Some of our printing projects from the past. Clockwise, from top left:
Painted Sunprints from a post for Skip to My Lou.
Gocco Printing (here, here and here).
Linoleum Prints (and another project here).
Scratch Foam Printing.
And in the center, Balsa Wood Printing.
We just got back from the beach, where my kids enjoyed writing messages in the sand, only to watch them get washed away moments later. I might start reflecting on that and search for some meaning, but I’ll leave the deep thoughts for another day.
I just wanted to pop in and say hello. I’ll be working to finish up my book over the next couple of weeks, but will be posting some of my craft projects from the past and will continue my weekly round-ups. Hope everyone in the northern hemisphere is enjoying the warm days and maybe even a more relaxed schedule.
Just thought I’d mention that I combined my lists of summer crafts for kids into this list of 100 Summer Crafts for Kids! That should keep you busy.