I might be the last person on the planet to discover the world of Moomin by Finnish comic artist Tove Jansson. I can't get enough of these drawings! My Mom introduced me to this comic strip from the 50's-60's after she spent some time in Finland last year. The Finns are so crazy about Moomin they have created an amusement park in their honor. The Japanese are big fans as well cementing the Moomins status as officially CUTE.
The characters are outrageously cute and I love the prominence of the natural world in the stories.
The Mimble is especially endearing. I'm currently working on a design for a doll and she is kind of my muse.
My son asked me to make him a stuffed cat in the image of our pet cat Shiro. This toy actually served as the prototype for the Tiger I made and posted a couple weeks ago. This white cat is made of wool felt and has wool flannel foot pads and ears. I like this one better than Shiro because it doesn't eat my ferns and then throw them up on the rug. Why must it always be on the rug Shiro?!
I just bought some mohair and I think I've got the pattern pretty much the way I want it....so more cats are coming soon.
I recently discovered the joys of making sock monkeys. How can something be so cute and so ugly at the same time?! Oscar calls these "berry noses" because of the little button noses. He named his monkey "Oscar II", and he calls his brother's monkey "Farmer Hay Bales".
The first couple of monkeys I made with new (modern) red heeled socks. These socks are really long and have some lycra in the fabric content. Then I tried using vintage red heeled socks and I think I like these even better. The fabric is all cotton so it stretches out a bit more when you stuff it. Also the red is not as bright on the heel and the heel itself is larger giving the face a totally different look. Both have their charms I think. Next time I'll try the elephant pattern...
Before this years valentines get shoved in a drawer possibly never to be seen again, I thought I'd document them. This years theme was "wild animals" which seemed appropriate as we had been going through a particularly wild period with our three year old. I cut the animals out of soon to be recycled National Geographic magazines. Other materials used were nice heavy card stock paper, ink pads, an old box of Paratype I picked up at a print shop's going out of business sale last year and the perennial favorite material in our house, office stickers. I backed them with felt to give them a little heft and because I love felt and paper together.
I love teaching kids to sew by hand. It is one of the most useful and satisfying skills a kid can have in my opinion. Oscar and I recently put together a sewing kit for him and I made him a pin cushion. Since he is only three we are starting with some embroidery on a hoop with a fairly blunt needle and lots of supervision with the scissors. He can already thread the needle by himself and concentrates so intently on his stitches.
Posted by Erika Olson Gross at 2:50 PM
In case you weren't sure how to make fingerprint owls, this book will teach you. It also includes such tips as: " The best way to remove inkpad ink from fingers is to use soap and water as soon after fingerprinting as possible." Thank you Marjorie!
Here is a picture of Jude's presents...Oscar and I made the wrapping paper. Oscar chose to draw a "map" of Minneapolis to cover the book he picked out for Jude. Coincidentally, the book he picked out for his brother just happened to be the book he'd been eying for himself...hmmmm.
My paper was inspired by a book I recently found at the thrift store titled Fingerprint Owls and Other Fantasies by Marjorie P. Katz
Here it is, my blog. This is a blog about making things...CUTE THINGS I make for and with my kids and things that inspire us. I'm an artist and art teacher living in Minneapolis. I am also the proud mom of two boys: a three year old (the owl) and a baby who just turned one (the fox). Okay, I know some might not consider a one year old a baby but surprisingly I'm not totally ready to say good bye to his babyhood. Here are some pictures from the birthday party yesterday.
Posted by Erika Olson Gross at 1:43 PM