February 26, 2010

Lazy Day Gnomes

It's been one of those days where not much is getting done in our house. It's gray and cold outside, too gray and cold to go out for a walk or even really to run errands. The snow is, at last, mostly melted away, but everything outside looks dirty and sad. It's the kind of day that makes me want to curl up in the house with the curtains drawn and read a pile of books. Which is what, for the most part, we have done. But once I got tired of reading Ladybug Girl yet again, it seemed like a little distraction was in order.

A few months ago I fell in love with some bitty little gnomes that my neighbor bought to help teach her daughter the colors. They were just so freaking cute I had to take pictures of them for later inspiration. Not much more than felt and a wood peg, they would be very simple to make. But alas, we had no pegs in the house and as I've said, it just wasn't the kind of day to dash out to the craft store. So instead I made them pegless and stuffed with polyfill. I remember seeing something like them years ago, probably at a Waldorf store since they seem very Waldorf-y or Montessori-y. Super easy and quick enough that Evelyn sat and watched while I stitched the first one together, they are just about as cute as the originals.So far this afternoon they have been squashed into her pockets, danced around her doll house and are currently to be found having a conversation about frosting (who knows?) under the coffee table. There has also been a request for more, maybe we too will end up with a rainbow o'gnome

Cut a smallish triangle out of felt, You want something close to an equilateral triangle but it doesn't have to be perfect. Mine had a rounded bottom but flat would work too.

Starting at the top, whip stitch the triangle closed until you've come about 1/4 of the way down.

Tie off and start again about at the halfway point, a little higher, and stitch to the bottom, making big stitches along the bottom to help draw it closed.

Cut a rough square (mine was about 1 inch by 1 inch) of a different color felt and wad a ball of polyfill up about the same size as the square.

Draw the corners up and secure with a few stitches

Stuff the body with extra fabric or polyfill until you've almost reached the face slit, packing it down with a pencil as you go. Work the face in, it should be a little too big for the hole but that will help keep it in and, if you feel like it, add a few stitches to keep it there.

This was one of those make do with what you have type of projects. If I'd been a little more ambitious I probably would have hunted down some matching embroidery thread to sew with so that the stitches matched the fabric. But then I guess they would have been busy day gnomes or active day gnomes, and I was just a little too lazy for that today.