Warm Crafts for Cold Days

>> Thursday, January 3, 2008

The days may be getting longer, but the temperatures have sure been getting colder. The last few days here in the mountains have been well below freezing (see Alan and Jo's Hoth Adventures below) and Jo and I have been getting full use out of the rice bags we made right before Solstice. What rice bags, you say? These rice bags! I didn't post before because one of them was a gift for my Dad.
It all started with this tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew! Jo and I made ours a little bigger so that they'd also function as sheet warmers. Since they were bigger we sewed channels into the bags to help keep the rice evenly distributed.

The dog on top of the pile has a removable pouch filled with rice and rosemary - Jo's favorite scent. The red furry one (made with leftover scraps from Jo's Elmo cape) is filled with rice, broken cinnamon sticks, and cloves. The blue and green check is filled with rice and rosemary and went to my Dad. And the orange one at the bottom is mine - filled with rice and cloves and several drops of orange essential oil. Mmmmm. . .

Anyway - that's a long digression from the comment that it's been cold - but you'll see the connection in a minute. I was sitting in front of the fire last night, thinking happy thoughts about my Triangle Toys pattern that I just finished and sketching out some ideas for more. A horse? A mouse? An octopus? How about a castle, knight, and princess to go with the dragon? I started just sketching simple shapes to see what came of it and - bang - I had my most fun idea of the year. So far, that is. :-)

Like I said, Jo and I have been getting lots of use out of our rice bags. (See? It really did connect!) I remember using those chemical handwarmers a lot when I lived in northern Minnesota (where it's way too cold for humans) and I thought Jo and I could make some small, beanbag-sized ricebags to heat in the microwave and put in Jo's pockets for the trip to school. And why make plain old beanbags when you can make silly faces in bright colors? I sketched out a bunch of different ideas for face and hair options and then I let Jo mix and match and choose the colors. My favorite is the dark purple guy with the red ribbon hair.

I have a bunch more face and hair combinations I want to try out, but this is all I had time for tonight. I'm thinking about making up a how-to for these too. It can include patterns for faces, instructions for different hair styles, and recipes for different scented fills - all mix and matchable. Fun, eh?


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