3 tutorials from January past…

  1. Patchwork potholder and Fabric fruit bowl
  2. Sleepy time baby doll and sweet doll quilt
  3. Cosy cross couch throw


I am very happy to finish up this wonderful guest blogger series with a fabulous visit from Marcie who has a newish blog mossymossy which I urge you all to go visit!

I have lived as an organic lettuce farmer, a tropical rainforest field technician, an Alaskan tent-dwelling field biologist, and a Manhattan biology teacher. I now have two young girls. After a few years of babywearing, Lego-playing, Play-doh-making, puppet-showing, costume-making, fort-making, worm-digging, goop-making, tadpole rearing, mudpie-making, tomato-growing, and forgetting myself and forgetting just about everything I knew while kid-less, I developed Mossy.

Posts on my blog Mossy include thoughts about child-rearing and family life, as well as craft and gardening tutorials such as how to felt wool, plan a simple family vegetable garden, turn an old sweater into mittens, and make handmade paper. As well, there is a focus on simple natural science projects such as understanding the science behind making oobleck or baking bread.

This is a fantastic project for both kids and grownups since there is really no way to mess up the outcome. In the end, you will have at least one small new friend that you will just love.

For this project, you will need the following:

  • A bowl of hot water and a bowl of cold water
  • Natural liquid dish soap
  • Carded wool
  • Scraps of wool felt
  • Needle and thread
  • A crafty little design team with lots of small fingers

Often called “wool roving,” carded wool can be purchased at local farms, craft stores or online through local or national distributors. To find a local farm or folks who card wool, check the LocalHarvest website, or search Etsy. Remnant wool roving may be purchased online through Halcyon Yarn—check out their “Babooshka Soup”—a random mix of remnant wool batts and pencil roving (also their Peace Fleece which also offers a “Rainbow Felting Pack” that is perfect for this project).

1: With carded wool in hand, pull off (don’t cut with scissors) a small length of wool and divide it into many thin longish strips—multiple thin layers will produce the sturdiest felted material.

Wrap one strip as you would wind a ball of string—in thin layers around your index finger, making sure you cover the fingertip. Wrap the remaining wool strips around the first, adding layers, until you can no longer feel your knuckle. The wool should be snug, but not too tight (about 0.3 cm or 1/8 in thick when pressed).

2. Dip your wooly finger into the bowl of hot, slightly soapy water until it is thoroughly soaked. Remove your wooly finger from the water and gently press and roll the wool with the fingertips of your other hand, squeezing gently.

Continue to re-wet and agitate the fibers, squeezing and lathering the wool until you feel the fibers become entangled and you feel the fabric becoming firmer (you will notice this within a few minutes). Pay attention to the fingertip—it needs attention too. When is it done? When the wool is completely felted, it should form a semi- snug casing around your finger.

This entire process should take about 10 to 15 minutes. When the fabric is very firm, submerge your wooly finger into the bowl of cold (soapless) water to set the fibers and rinse. Remove excess water by gently squeezing your wooly finger. Carefully remove your finger from the wool.

3. After air-drying the wool overnight (radiators are advantageous), you and your starry-eyed design team must envision the outcome— cow, wolf, librarian, martian—the brainstorming starts now. The puppets can be embellished with needle felting (e.g. bumblebee stripes, eyes, nostrils), cut wool sweaters (e.g. lion mane, dragon wings) and embroidery thread.

Note: Don’t attempt perfection. Quirky outcomes should be preferred over conventional.

That said, remind yourself that, in nature, some critters are smaller, some are fatter, some lean to the left, some to the right, and some even have lost fur or scales. Of course, this uniqueness should be celebrated.

These little friends, as seductive as they are, often are central to my operation— with their cheerful banter, they lure my kids into unappealing household tasks such as eating veggies, washing dishes or brushing their teeth. These little friends are known to appreciate clean plates and good attitudes. As well, they provide teeny shoulders to cry on after challenging days.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Almost Christmas – almost Solstice, Hanukkah has begun – the season of celebration is upon us. I love the elving that has been going on at Soulemama’s place, and we have been some of our too. The making of goodies is a fun and special time, we have been sewing up decorations for our tree and special little somethings to add to everyone’s gift pile. Today we are busy bees, stocking up at the markets with yummies for the table, wrapping gifts to put under the tree, playing with cousins, baking more shortbread and just generally having a holiday time.

Don’t forget about Whip Up Mini Quilts book – perfect for gift giving for beginner and more advanced quilters and sewists. Whip Up Mini Quilts : archives to mini quilt month here where you can learn about the book contributors, get patterns and tutorials and lots of lovely mini quilty things.

Another wonderful last minute gift is the whipup calendar – full of excellent contributors and great crafty images, find out more here (only $5).

Have you been checking out my book recommendations this week?

  • Cowl girls – for knitters
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi – for crocheters
  • Sew Serendipity – for sewists
  • yummy ‘gurumi – for crocheters
  • Knit and purl pets – for knitters
  • Holiday season is in full swing

  • make a sparkly bauble
  • Make some paper decorations
  • 10 garlands to make
  • 10 recycled ornaments to make
  • 8 natural holiday wreaths
  • 17 crafty holiday wreaths to make
  • 15 felt ornaments to make
  • 10 paper ornaments to make
  • I am getting inspiration for some gingerbread house making next week

  • grownup gingerbread house
  • diy gingerbread house
  • Mini gingerbread houses
  • Some gingerbread for giving
  • Links and crafty news

  • >Make some topographic gift wrap
  • Check out the new Craftsanity magazine – available in both print and PDF formats. Full of patterns and articles – great value
  • knitted envelope ornaments – ya gotta make some of these
  • Sheet music ornaments
    I was sent some wall decals to test and use from Pop and lolli – they are super colourful and fun and easy to apply and remove – great last minute gifts + With every set of “experience-design” decals you purchase, ‘Its chic to change’ will provide educational materials and resources to positively influence a South African child in need.
  • Loving the bloesem series of readers holiday decorations
  • Checkout the online Amelia’s magazine. Focussing on fashion, illustration and earth, + Amelia is about to publish a book- a compendium of fashion illustration and it looks like it will be fantastic!
  • Make this cute felt mushroom
  • Make this multiple use cape – great for last minute gifts
  • Make these cute machine stitched gift cards
  • Make this gift pocket
  • give the gift of life this christmas – Donate blood on behalf of someone you care about
  • Read about this web designer’s proposed redesign for Amazon.com’s international buyers
  • Sew some comfy wrist warmers as the perfect last minute gift
  • Make some candle cosies
  • Check out The Happy Holidays Guide to DIY – a completely free eBook from papernstitch blog.
  • These Moustaches on a Straw would be so fun for the holidays
  • Make a frost family ornament
  • The Home Depot has rolled out a new version of their iPhone application to help busy DIY-ers handle everything from fixing a squeaky door, buying last minute gifts or measuring how much holiday garland to hang.
  • Funtastic gift ideas from Pascale – pyramid pillow and fabric covered notebooks
  • Make this coin purse as a super cute last minute gift
  • Ok so get making…

    Whip Up Mini Quilts : archives to mini quilt month here where you can learn about the book contributors, get patterns and tutorials and lots of lovely mini quilty things.

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    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to welcome Jennifer Casa to Whip Up. Jennifer is a mama + [home + maker]. She loves to knit and sew and cook and craft with her kiddos and design knitting + sewing patterns and make music with her husband and snap pictures and write about all those things. You might want to read more about Jennifer’s handmade philosophy and how she likes to give back to the community with her handmade talents – there is a pattern too.

    As a long time reader of whipup and avid fan of all things handmade, i find myself with a growing list of lovely things i’d like to make, but little to no free time to do so. As a whopper of a deadline approaches, i am giddy with anticipation of a bit more time in my days to make – for making’s sake. Here a few of my favorite things:

    I will definitely be making lots and lots of t-shirt yarn (image above) thank to this great tutorial by none other than Stefanie Japel. If you need some guidance on using t-shirt yarn, she also offers online classes incorporating this very stuff.

    I adore this ruffle sleeve top by the absolutely lovely candace todd. With autumn quickly approaching, I can see it as a great layering piece for my little girls. (Tutorial link)

    Kids of all ages will enjoy making these snowflake decorations by Betz White. Look how how they sparkle! And while we’re at it, how about a few of her fantastically mysterious felt ogee ornaments, as well.

    These necklaces by Jessica of happy together are completely adorable. Me thinks they would make great teacher gifts this year. (Tutorial link)

    We will continue to be inspired to play with our food thanks to fantastic blogs like Little food junction.

    So there you have my list, whipup friends. Now it’s your turn – leave a comment with a link to a favorite tutorial you are looking forward to trying soon. Happy making! xoxo


    September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

    Today I want to introduce you to Jodie from vintage ricrac. Jodie is another fellow aussie gal, an impeccable crafter and great all round gorgeous person. I have been lucky enough to meet Jodie a couple of times and listen to her talk and she is as fabulous and inspirational in person as she is on her blog.

    My name is Jodie and I blog at www.vintagericrac.blogspot.com where I make toys and not-toys. I used to sew with selvedges and now I don’t. I wish I had more time to spend in the sewing room.

    Hi, I’m Jodie.

    Apart from the crazy need to dream up little back-stories to all sorts of inanimate objects, especially toys, I also love the crazy terms given to a group of things. Did you know a group of turtles is called a bale ? Neither did I!

    These teeny turtles have been haunting my blog for a very long time. When Kathreen asked me to do a guest post here on Whip-Up I knew the turtles were the way to go! These guys are super tiny and super-cute. You can find full downloadable instructions and pattern sheet [below] to make a whole bale of turtles for yourself. All you need is some felt, embroidery thread and a Best of the 80’s soundtrack and pretty soon you’ll have a party!

    Pattern Pieces For Party Turtles