At the beginning of the week, Little Lady asked me if I could help her make a felt toy. These days I don't attempt to instigate creativity with the Little People, although every so often I will make a suggestion for drawing/colouring/hama beads etc if they are kicking around bored and restless. I tend to wait until they are keen enough to suggest something themselves and then I try hard to accommodate any requests that are forthcoming re creative activity. Even if deep down my immediate response is "Not-on-your-nelly" I try and suppress whatever negativity sits there within myself (oh the mess, this is so not the right time, lets wait till the weekend, I'm too busy, it's too complicated, it won't work, go find something else to do etc etc), and beam out a "Yes-lets-do-it!!" response. I was actually pretty delighted with the request to stitch a felt toy. We have felt. And I love stitching. I was happy to make time to help out. We went straight to the laptop and I started to search for pretty, cute toy patterns that we might attempt to make. I got a wee bit giddy at the sheer volume of cute little felt creations out there, oh the possibilities! So much fun!
But Little Lady had her own ideas, and to put it bluntly, she completely poo-pooed my own cutesome suggestions in favour of her own thing. She told me that she wanted more than anything to stitch a felt Enderman. Ohhhhhhhh-kaaaaaaaayyyyyy...............E-n-d-e-r-m-a-n. I spelt it out and googled it to see what she was on about and felt ridiculously disappointed. It is all black! And it really is more than a teensy bit weird!! For those of you who don't know what an Enderman is, it's a character from the popular Minecraft game. And for those of you who don't know what Minecraft is, you can find a reasonable explanation here. Needless to say, I live with three enthusiastic Little Minecrafters here at number 24.
So let me show you what an Enderman looks like.....go here to see. Although I was initially doubtful about this project, the very good thing about recreating Minecraft characters is that they are made up of squares/blocks, so the construction is reassuringly simple. We found what we were looking for here (just in case you ever have a burning need to make yourself an Enderman)
We had to go shopping for black felt as surprise-surprise my felt box contains only rainbow colours. But the Trip To Purchase Supplies became an excitement in itself, and the Little People loved going to the stack of felt squares, and then the huge rack of cotton threads to pick out what was needed, it was joyful!
Once all the pattern pieces were cut, I taught Little Lady how to start off, and how to make neat little whip stitches. She is a fast learner and took to it straight away.
For the eyes, I decided not to attempt stitching them, but to use the magical ingredient Vilene Bondaweb instead. It's an easy to use iron-on adhesive for fabric and is totally amazing. I've used it such a lot in my 25+ years of stitching and can highly recommend it.
It didn't take Little Lady long to make her Enderman head and she was soon whizzing away with her black seams with no help from me whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Little B had started to feel left out and was keeping on and on (and on) to make his own felt toy. He wanted to make a Creeper he said, a green Creeper please Mummy. Yes, another Minecraft character of course. So we took a second trip to the shop and I gave Little B 55 pence to buy a small sheet of creeper-green felt. He helped me cut out the square pieces and again we used Bondaweb to attach the black facial features.
To be honest I thought the stitching was going to be a nightmare as he was so insistant that he do it himself. But I found that so long as I guided him with where to put the needle for each stitch, he could managed perfectly well.....
....he really did good! It was a bit intense and his attention span and ability to sit still was pretty short (he is only four mind you), but I found that he had his own rhythm. He would do maybe five concentrated minutes of stitching, then he would literally jump up and race around the room to let off steam. He would come back to start again sometime later when he was ready, and gradually over the course of the day we made good progress.
Little Lady however was the total opposite and her concentration and staying power was impressive. She sat for many hours in the Big Chair and stitched and stitched and stitched. All day she stitched.
By bedtime she had made and stuffed one head, one body, two arms and two legs. That's an awful lot of stitches!
The next morning I helped her to stitch the body parts together.....
....then she set about making a grass block accessory for her Enderman.
With quite a bit of help, Little B eventually finished his Creeper head on the second day and he is soooo pleased with it. We've yet to make the body and legs but honestly I don't think he's too bothered about that now, he just seems to love that he stitched something and is ridiculously proud of it.
And Ta-dah!!!!!!!!!! Here is Little Lady's Enderman, complete with grass block! It is strangely endearing (in all it's blackness), and best of all she absolutely loves it.
It has been everywhere with her, carted around in a rucksack if we go out, and tucked up in bed with her at night. It's been a really happy, creative project for us, and I am now waiting patiently (but hopefully) to see if she asks to make something else. I'm secretly wishing for something a bit cuter and more colourful to follow, but am trying not to influence her. Well not too much anyhow, but I love the look of this Super-Cute book, and I might possibly be onto a winner with this felt guinea pig ornament......