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)

13 comments:

cecile said...

Well, it makes me a little sick when I see how some people copy stuff. Did you tell her ? Maybe there is something to do, report that ? Thank you for your ideas, and happy new year to you !

MaryAnne said...

Happy New Year! The photos from your trip are stunning! Why can't someone just invent teleportation so visits like this can happen for afternoons instead of in hop from house to house visits once a year at best?

I love your top ten list. Your foam bath toys post saved me on our recent trip - I used foam stickers (with the paper still on) as improvised bath toys!

Stacy Hawkins/ Della Deadgirl said...

Glad you're back! Discovered your blog over the Christmas break, and I'm smitten.

Cyfaill said...

Beautiful Cymru! We lived in Llantwit Major (in the Vale of Glamorgan) for two years. It is so lovely all covered with snow. I miss it so much.

Jetlag is a drag and it is so hard to be so far from family. I'm glad you did get to go back, though.

Robyn said...

You totally made my day linking to my blog when it's YOUR fantastic work I was copying! And, just so you know- everyone was SO impressed with the peg dolls. THanks for the new addiction. :D

rachelle @ tinkerlab.com said...

Welcome home! Thanks for the roundup. I missed the junkyard shantytown, and love that you've revived it for us. Something for us to aspire to in the warmer months ahead. Happy new year.

kris in larryville said...

Love the Star Wars dolls. Audrey's father made her watch the movie recently. Although she did not really appreciate it I am sure she will have many opportunities in the future.

Leigh the sewing diva said...

hello from Leigh on Wales!!!!

Jamily Creations said...

I recently found your blog and just wanted to say I love it! So many wonderful ideas. Your children are so lucky, what wonderful experiences they have. Browsing through, I particularly like the music wall you set up and the foam bath shapes. I'm very inspired. All the way from Australia!

Jenni Price Illustration said...

I enjoy your blog and creative ideas so I'm glad your back and blogging! Happy New Year!

Denice said...

i love your favorite ideas. although we dont copy your ideas exactly, i find your blog helps me to let my kids get more creative even if it does make a mess! and the best part is i can usually find what we need already around the house. looking forward to another year of great crafting!

Autumn mama said...

gave you a blog award today
light and peace to you

Maiz Connolly said...

I love your ideas! This is some of the most clever and creative kid stuff ANYWHERE. We're still getting a lot of mileage out of your newspaper pirate swords, and I can hardly wait to have a glow in the dark wall and some giant blocks. Thank you for sharing so many great ideas with us!