Little things. The kind of things you can make in an hour or two or over a couple evenings. Something unexpected, something that charms.
If you visit here regularly you know that the holidays are not my favorite thing. But that part appeals to me, making presents for people, especially little things.
And I like Christmas trees, festive, spicy smells, sweet packages (download the free little yellow house tags here) and a manageable amount of snow might be nice.
You can find most of the ornament patterns above in the shop as well as the mushroom pattern ( I reduced it by about half for the minis). And find the free mouse pattern here and the free woebegone pine tree pattern here.
I’m also making doll kits. One million of them. Not really but that’s what it feels like. I’m assembling and shipping kits (and staying hydrated). After a few days I found a rhythm and the assembly part has sped up. It’s a good thing I enjoy repetitive tasks. So far anyway. I am not enjoying all the paper cuts. So many paper cuts.
shop note: Stuff is shipping every day and all current orders (including back orders) should be out by Tuesday of next week. And doll kits will be back in stock by next week too. Send me an email if you want to know as soon as they are available.
The Beaumonts are ready for the holidays (if you have not yet met fifth avenue’s most stylish anthropods you can learn more here).
Tiny Fortuny stockings are hung, presents are wrapped, cookies baked, hearth blazing and the whole family is trimming the tree – such festive ants.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the mini holiday ornament survey – I’m so glad I asked!
The questions were:
When should holiday patterns be available?
Is there a particular ornament you would like?
And do you prefer kits or downloads?
Regarding timing there were equally strong opinions for early and not too early. A lot of responders do not want to hear the word Christmas until October at the earliest but I was surprised at how many people answered July or June – about 1/3 of responders. That ship has sailed for this year ( I’m shooting for mid September) but I’ll keep it in mind going forward. If you are somebody that likes to start early there are three patterns from last year available – a little boat, a whale and a bird.
The overwhelming majority of responders would love to see woodland creatures and nature/ botanical inspired things. You’re forest people like me! I love it. There will be a woodland creature ornament pattern coming your way soon and for now the little mushroom pattern makes a great ornament. Just add a hanging string and I love using wool scraps for ornament fungi.
On the question of kits or downloads – downloads win by a landslide. But you would like to see some hard to find or specialty materials available as an optional purchase – great idea! I’m on it. If you’d like an email when new patterns or supplies are available you can join the mailing list here.
I also learned that I have incredibly kind readers. There was email after lovely email with marvelous ideas and insights and in addition to the survey responses personal notes that stunned me with their care and thoughtfulness. Thank you – I appreciated every word.
This August feels so thick and slow and sleepy, everything shimmers and that strange cicada sound – it all feels a little otherworldly to me. Even the creatures I’m making are golden and languid. August is also when I work on holiday designs. I’m planning on some ornament patterns for the shop and I would love your opinion on a couple things. I posted a survey
here – it’s super brief – just 3 questions and as a thank you you get a coupon for 30% off patterns (the survey is closed). I had fun with my handmade Christmas last year and you can check out that post if you’d like to get an early start – there are links to patterns and free projects and ideas. Also in the holiday department – I just saw samples of designs I made for Crate and Barrel this year and I can’t wait to show you – I’m so happy with them.
Have a lovely weekend – I’ll leave you with a couple sleepy Fortuny creatures.
Louis, he got all dressed up for you in his summer best.
I got a tree! And I made ornaments to put on it. It’s my first ever as a grown up and it’s a living potted tree- a Norfolk Pine. I hope it’s happy here for a long time. I also hope deciding to live with a tree in my tinyish Brooklyn apartment wasn’t a mistake. I like plants and they seem to tolerate me well enough – I think we’ll be all right.
Full disclosure, the holidays aren’t my favorite, I don’t exactly look forward to them but I decided to dive into the parts I can get enthusiastic about. I like making things – I like making presents for people and I do love a Christmas tree. I pulled out my box of saved Christmas treasures, some that I made as a child and I created some new things. I’m so happy with my little tree it has nearly unscrooged me. Some of the handmade ornaments are below and I included links to the patterns or tutorials where possible. The first is a little clothespin ballerina I made as a child – she magically reappeared last year.
Find the cardboard horse pattern here and the paper mache teacup here. The ballerina is part of a set I designed for Crate and Barrel – they are sold out online but still in some stores.
(click the tumbnail for a larger image)
The little soldier above is another childhood clothespin creation – his arms are coffee stirrers and his hat is a pom pom. The silk bird has a fluffy, lace wired tail that winds around the branch – she was made with this pattern. The little blue bird is a gift for my sister Catherine. It’s embroidered with her wedding date and made from a blue vevet dress that was our mother’s. It’s made from the merry wobbler pattern. The little white whale pattern is here And the pattern for the felt boat is here. Or for another boat ornament idea you could print the template for my free paper mache boat at about 50% of the original size.