Jan 7, 2011

New year stuff and things

Well, we're back in the US and the jet lag is nearly under control. I thought I'd post you a couple of pics of the lovely snowyness that we got to hang out in back in Wales. It really was gorgeous. Of course the kids are glad to be back in their own beds with their own toys after multiple weeks of hopping around between houses (I think the longest we were in one place was three nights), but we are still homesick after having to wave goodbye to family and friends for what will likely be at least another year.

I feel like I should be doing what all the other blogs do this time of year and give you a round up of the best of last year's projects, but it's a bit of a struggle, because I'm not one for trawling the stats, so I can't easily give you a run down of which have been the most popular. I guess I have an idea from how many people have written to me to tell me that they have actually tried them though, so that'll do, combined with which ones have been most popular with the kids that live here or just hang out here :) I'm not sure how much the stats really mean anyway, because I know that the storm trooper helmet from milk jugs went round and round the web for a while and got a lot of attention, but I suspect that was more a source of amusement and doubt many people actually tried it.

I'm not what I'd call a prolific blogger. This year I only managed 50 posts, but given that I tend to post less than once a week on average, I try as best I can to make those posts as useful and worthwhile as possible. Ten seemed like a good number to pick, so here are the ten project posts (in no particular order) that I feel like the kids got the most valuable play and exploration out of this year. The things I have chosen for this list are not things I have made for the kids, or the more collaborative adult-kid projects like the mini playscapes we often build together, but more open ended activities for the kids themselves that need little assistance beyond set up.

I hope that you found something useful or helpful as far as ideas go in the posts from this year. Fingers crossed that we can have this much fun again in 2011 :)

Oooh, one last thing. Remember the star wars peg dolls that I made for my older daughter's 6th birthday?

Well a load of people contacted me to ask if I was making sets to sell, and I had to say sorry and that no I had no plans to do that, but I have noticed recently that more than a couple of people on Etsy have clearly caught sight of my peg dolls and are making pretty accurate copies of them for what seems like a reasonable price given the amount of time that is involved in painting them up. For example, this seller has even made the removable clay Darth Vader mask like I did. Although I think all their pegs are the larger size, rather than a mix of large and small like mine were, but still, if you're wanting to purchase a set that is at least very similar to the ones I made my daughter, rather than make your own, Etsy crafters have clearly taken the idea and run with it. Me and the hubbins are waiting to see who the first person is to start making and selling the Falcon Dollhouse (don't worry, neither of us had any plans to make and sell these items ourselves).

One more link to another reader's Star wars peg dolls based on ours. These ones not for sale, but made as a Christmas gift. Aren't they cute, and just like ours with the same sized pegs and furry chewy and everything! (pics at bottom of the post)