Gnome Bunk Beds

Here is the tutorial, as promised, for our Gnome Bunk Beds. To read the story "Britta's Dilemma :: A Gnome Thicket Adventure", just click HERE!

Materials:
1" x 6" x 12" wood - I used pine
two branches - 1" x 8"
2 pieces 3/8" x 1" dowel rod
wood or crafting glue
twine
fabric scraps
thread
beeswax wood polish
pattern found HERE

Tools:
scroll saw (preferable) or hand saw
sander or sand paper
drill
sewing needle
blunt yarn needle

Directions

Begin by "ripping" 3 pieces of fabric for the hammocks. For directions on how to rip fabric, check out our blog on Rip and Tear Napkins found HERE. Rip 3 pieces that are 5" x 7". Note, you can cut fabric, but if you do, make sure you follow the grain line so you can "fray" the fabric. You will want to create a fringe. If you need help straightening the grain of your fabric, check out our post on Straighten the Grain of your Fabric found HERE.

Remove enough threads on the 7" sides of the fabric pieces to create a 1/2" fringe. DO NOT fringe the two short sides.

Turn under to the wrong side of the fabric the 2 short edges 1/2". Finger press. (Simply means to run your finger over the fold several times to set a crease.) Using a running stitch, sew the raw edge to the fabric, creating a casing along the fold.

Optional: I hand washed the fabric and dried them in the dryer. I wanted to remove the sizing and soften the fabric.

Make a copy of the pattern. Trace the pattern on the wood. Lightly mark to the two circles for branch placement. Note: I like to cover my patterns with clear contact paper or wide packing tape before I cut them out to make the pattern sturdy. This makes it easier to trace on the wood and it can be reused.

Cut out the base and sand the edges. (Note: If you do not have a scroll saw, you can simply use a rectangle for the base. It will still be lovely!)

Cut your two branches. Make sure you make nice smooth cuts and that the cuts are perpendicular to the height of the branch. This will ensure that it sits firmly and even on the base.

Using a drill and a 3/8" drill bit, drill holes in the center of the bottom of the 2 branches and in the center of the 2 branch placement circles. Make each hole slightly more than 1/2" deep.

Glue the dowel rods into the hole of the branches.

Drill holes in the branches to thread the twine through. Select a drill bit that will make the holes slightly bigger than the eye of your blunt yarn needle. From the bottom of the branch, drill holes at 2", 4 1/2" and 7". Make sure your holes are in a straight line and go all the way through. 

Glue the branches to the base. IMPORTANT: Make sure you position the holes so the holes face the center of the base.

When the glue has dried, use a beeswax wood polish on the wood. Note: To keep all wood toys "healthy", periodically, apply another coat of the wood polish.

Cut 6 pieces of twine 18" long. Thread with a blunt yarn needle.

Thread one piece of twine through each of the casings you sewed.

Center the 2 ends of the twine and pull, gathering the casings.

Using a square knot (right over left, left over right) tie off the 2 ends of the hammocks. Arrange the hammock so the right side of the fabric is showing. The fringed edges should hang over the sides.

NOTE: You will notice that the glue on my base is not dry yet. That is me being impatient and trying to get the tutorial done. DO NOT do this part until the glue is thoroughly dried or you risk pulling the branches out of the base!)

Thread one strand of the twine through the yarn needle.

Going from the center of the branch to the outside of the branch, bring the needle and the twine through the branch.

Do the same with the second piece of twine. One side of the hammock is now attached to the branch. Do the same with the other side, making sure the hammock remains top side up and that you thread the twine through the same positioned hole on the other branch.

Do the same with all 3 hammocks.

To tie the hammocks to the branches, make sure each hammock is centered between the branches. Then, separating the 2 pieces of twine in a hole, bring the twine to the center of the base, cross the twine, then bring them back around to the outside of the branch.

Tie off the twine. Note: you have 2 choices. First, you can knot the twine if you want the hammocks to be permanent. Britta and I like to have the options to seasonally change things in our house, so I tied mine in bows, so I can untie them and put up different hammocks in the future.

So, there you have it... a set of bunk beds ready for visiting gnomes and fairies!


 

Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce our text, images or patterns without prior written consent. Please contact us with any questions.

Photos: 3-10,11,12-14

State Studies Unit 1 :: Week 3 Mid-Atlantic

This is an outline of our State Studies Unit 1 :: Week 3 Mid-Atlantic States. It is the third week of a 9 week homeschool unit. Read the State Studies Unit 1 Overview to learn more about the program and catch up on past weeks.


Public Domain Image

Read about:
New York, NY, Albany
Delaware, DE, Dover
New Jersey, NJ, Trenton
in Our Fifty States and The United States of America.

Map: Add the 3 new states to your United States Study Map. We color Mid-Atlantic States dark blue. They are colored coded on the quizzes. Number the states on the map to coincide with your state list (it gets too hard to fit all the state names directly on the map).

Color: Dover Coloring book page or State Information Page (coming soon) for each state. We like to add a couple of extra notes about the state in the margins. These are things that we learned about in our readings. Again we color Mid-Atlantic States dark blue.

Community Enrichment Book: Queen of the Falls

Community Life Book: Life in a Fishing Community pages 24-end

Activity Page: I have made these for the first few weeks of the unit but I'm not sure if I will continue them making. Let me know if you like them. I've used these to go along with the Community Enrichment Books. This week it is about Niagara Falls.

Read Aloud: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankeweiler chapters 7-10

Student Reader (3-4 grade): Windcatcher chapters 16-end

Narration: Complete a narration on either Queen of the Falls or your student's daily reading from Windcatcher. You can use the Reading Journal or any of the other free Journal Page that you would like. If you need help with learning how to incorporate narrations into your studies, I recommend the book The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease. The Reading Journal includes space for your student to choose several words from his reading that were unfamiliar to him to use as vocabulary words.

Copywork: Use sentences from Queen of the Falls or the Mixed-Up Files for copywork.

Art Project: Faux Salt Glazed Pottery (directions coming soon)

Cooking: Make the recipe from The United States Cookbook: New York Waldorf Salad

Picture Study: Choose 1 image from Come Look With Me: Art in Early America to study this week (we chose Painted Kas).

Poem for Memorization: You will have four weeks to memorize "The Sandpiper" by Witter Bynner. Try to learn one stanza per week.

State Quarters: Another fun activity to add to this unit is collecting Quarters from all 50 states. You can display them in a quarter map.

Quiz: Study the 3 states and capitals you have learned throughout the week. Your student should be able to identify each state on the map, along with its capital and postal abbreviation. You can use your map or flashcards to study.
Week 3 Map Quiz

If you are following along with us and completing the State Studies activities at home we would love to hear about your adventures. You can leave a comment here with a link to your blog. If you don't have a blog or just want to share more photos we would like invite you to join our Wee Folk Art Homeschool Flickr group. Have fun!
 

Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce our text, images or patterns without prior written consent. Please contact us with any questions.

Photos MB 2/28/14-3/15/14

 

The Hope Chest



WARNING... WARNING... WARNING... If you easily get sticker shock, either gird your loins for this one or don't read the final paragraph, when I actually talk about the chest in the photo. To quote Bob Wallace in White Christmas when asked about the price of something he said: "It's right in between, uh, between 'ouch' and 'boing'". Rest assured, the first several paragraphs are safe with me simply meandering on about my youth! You can jump ship before we talk chest!

When I was a little girl, my best friend had a hope chest. Every once in a while we would go through it, carefully removing everything inside. There were pillowcases embroidered by her grandmother, silverware that been a great-aunt's, and a quilt made by another grandmother with the women at her church. There was a family bible, a photo album, her christening dress, baby rattles, a plaster statue of baby Jesus, and an assortment of jewelry. All things that she could use someday when she was grown and married. It was AWESOME!

I wanted a hope chest. I really, really did. Traditionally, a hope chest was "a chest containing household linen and clothing stored by a woman in preparation for her marriage". I had hope... shouldn't I have a chest in which to store my hope, plus a few lovelies? I asked my mom about it. Seems our family didn't DO hope chests.

I was not going to allow this to weaken my resolve. I got my own hope chest. Actually, I just cleared out the lowest drawer in my chest of drawers and deemed it my "hope chest". I remember purchasing the first item for my future life... a set of plastic coated, paper placemats, depicting panoramic senses from across the United States. Think greasy diner placements covered with contact paper. All that was missing were the ads running along the sides for businesses like Muriel's Funeral Hope, Gus's Towing and Shelby's Hair Salon. Okay, not heirloom stuff, but it was a start.

Over the years I continued to add items to this drawer. I made 1 cross-stitched pillow case, there was a salt and pepper shaker set shaped like pigs, and a blank phone book. There were a couple other things, but I can't remember what they were. Let's just say it wasn't an impressive showing. After a while I began to think of it as my "Hopeless Chest", and at some point in my early high school years, the items in my drawer disappeared, and it was filled with notes from friends, poetry from my angst years, and other memorabilia, important to me at the time. 

Eventually, when I was a "married lady", I finally got my hope chest, but by the time I got it, I no longer filled it with items of "hope". Instead, I filled it with items of love and cherished memories. To this day it holds my First Communion Dress, the first cable knit sweater I knit in 2nd grade, my wedding dress, much of the contents of my bottom dresser drawer, and oodles a paraphernalia from my babies.

Much like when I was young and at my girlfriend's house, occasionally I go through my chest, carefully unwrapping its contents. Everything in it is as precious to me now as the items in my friend's chest were to her then. I wish she were here now to sit on the floor and to go through it with me. Oh, the stories we could tell one another!

The Chest in the photo is from one of my all time favorite furniture companies... Sticks. http://www.sticks.com/buy-sticks/details.html?recordID=6467 And, YES, I know... it costs $2,921.00. And, YES, it is too dear for my budget, but I've actually drooled on Sticks Furniture in person. The pieces are awesome. The colors, the finish, the feel. Each piece is a hand-made, incredible work of art! Love it!

So, now I'm wondering... between Tim's woodworking skills, and my newly emerging painting... hmmmm....

 
 
Copyright © Wee Folk Art, LLC 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce our text, images or patterns without prior written consent. Please contact us with any questions.

Reprinted on Wee Folk Art's Facebook page 3-15-14

Photo 3-15-14

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The Problem with Pinterest

Like many people, I love Pinterest. It is a wonderful way to bookmark projects, recipes and clothing that you may actually make/buy some day. It also is a place to dream. People pin things for their dream house, their dream weddings and in Tim's case, his dream shop. All good.

The problem comes when you are ready to turn your dream into reality. Case in point... my master suite. For a while I have been pinning room ideas for the day we would actually add an addition. Well, that day is here, and I pour through my Pinterest Home Front board and my more recent Master Suite board. I wish to point out that I didn't actually look at the cost of anything I was pinning... I was just dreaming!

Reality check. Guess what? I can't afford to do everything I dreamed of doing! The $7,000.00 ambient lit whirlpool is NOT in our budget. I'm not complaining, mind you. I am getting a whirlpool which my arthritic back with thank me for, but it's just a moderately priced tub. No, it does not sing to me or provide a light show or fizz like a newly uncorked bottle of champagne, but I don't think I'll care when I'm submerged, and jets of hot water pelt my aching joints.

Another disappointing discovery was the bathroom vanity I had fallen in love with. It was from Pottery Barn, and as it turns out, costs around $2,000.00. ((Gulp... shiver... then tear up.)) For as much as I love it, there is NO WAY I'll pay that much. Here, though, is where I really luck out.

Tim: I can make that.

Me: How much will it cost?

Tim: Around $300.00.

Me: You know, you're my hero.

Tim: ((puffing out his chest)) I know.

So, my knight in shining armor has taken a day off work, and as we speak, is working on my Pottery Barn knock-off vanity. God, I love that man! Of course, there are many things Tim can't make, and many other compromises I'll have to make, but that's okay. The ideas I collected on Pinterest are a good STARTING point. It's actually rather fun trying to figure out how to accomplish the same look for less!

If you use Pinterest, are you a dreamer, a realist, or a little of both?

 

Jelly Roll Race Quilt :: Changing the Quilt Size & Determining Number of Strips

Welcome to the third part of our Jelly Roll Race Quilt series. Be sure to read part 1, Jelly Roll Race Quilt :: Make a Quilt in an Hour?!  and part 2, Jelly Roll Race Quilt :: Directions & Notes.

So your standard Jelly Roll Race Quilt makes a finished top that is approximately 50 x 60 inches. This is fine for a throw quilt, or if you add a border it would work for a full sized bed. But if you want to make a Jelly Roll Race Quilt for a twin, queen, or king sized bed, you need to do some math.

First of all, in order to change the size of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt, you have to understand how the quilt comes together. The width of the Jelly Roll Race Quilt is completely determined by the length of your initial mega strip. Assuming you would like a horizontally striped quilt, we can easily change the width by adding or subtracting the number of strips we add to our first mega strip. It is the length that gets a bit tricky.

Usually the fabric strips in a jelly roll are around 42 inches wide. We will assume some loss due to the selvedge edge and account for a 1/4" seam allowance on each side, so we will round each strip width to approximately 40". So 40 strips x 40" = a 1600" mega strip.

Now each time you fold the strip in half and sew up the side seam you loose half the width. So your width looks something like this...
 

mega strip 1600" wide
double row 800" wide
four layer row 400" wide
eight layer row 200" wide
sixteen layer row 100" wide
thirty-two layer row 50" wide

To figure out your quilt size you can work backwards from that. Let's say you want an 80" wide queen sized Jelly Roll Race Quilt and figure 80 (double it 5x), 160, 320, 640, 1280, 2560... so you need an initial mega strip that is 2560" long. Take your total mega strip length and divide it by the 40" jelly roll strip length and that will give you how many strips you need to sew together. 2560" mega strip / 40" jelly roll strip = 64 jelly roll strips needed.

Now, you may have noticed that we haven't changed the length at all. Using those 64 strips, your Jelly Roll Race Quilt will work out to be 80" wide by about 64" long. Now you could turn this Jelly Roll Race Quilt top sideways, so the strips run vertically and add a border (which is what I did with my "I Want Crazy" quilt) but if you want it to run horizontally and not a have a border we need to add length. For a queen sized quilt you probably want it to be more like 90-100" long.

In order to add this length, we actually have to make a separate piece. Why? Well, you have probably noticed the length pattern by now. Every time you fold your strip you double the number of rows of your Jelly Roll Race Quilt top. We can assume each row is 2" tall since the initial jelly roll strips are 2.5" inches tall with a 1/4 seam allowance on each side.
 

1 row = 2" tall
2 rows = 4" tall
4 rows = 8" tall
8 rows = 16" tall
16 rows = 32" tall
32 rows = 64" tall

Here is the problem... if we just fold it again and do another row like all the other rows we end up with Jelly Roll Race Quilt top that is 64 rows tall, approximately 128" tall, which is of course, way too big and would take a ton of fabric.

The solution is to add another section to the bottom of our original Jelly Roll Race Quilt top. Looking at the chart above, we can see that adding 16 rows will give us an additional 32" of length. So 64" + 32" gives us a reasonable queen sized quilt top of 96" long.

For this extra section we need to double our 80" width 4 times, not 5 like the original top piece... 80, 160, 320, 640, 1280. So we now need a second mega strip that is 1280" long / 40 strips = 32 jelly roll strips. Follow the same Jelly Roll Race Quilt directions for this add on section. After you complete this section, just add it to your original piece.

Your queen sized Jelly Roll Race Quilt, with horizontal strips, and no border, will take 64 strips for the initial quilt + 32 strips for the add-on section = 96 strips need for the whole Jelly Roll Race Quilt top. So you need 3 fabric jelly rolls (with 40 fabric strips in each jelly roll) to make this quilt.

A quicker formula to just figure out how many strips you need for your Jelly Roll Race Quilt is this...
 

(inches wide x number of rows) / 40" strip = number of strips needed

Lets try it... 80" wide x 48 rows = 3840 take that and divide by strip length 3840/40 = 96 strips... TADA!

You can now easily figure out how many strips you will need for any size Jelly Roll Race Quilt. Just remember, the length will be determined by the number of rows and that is a set number. Only the width is completely flexible. To add to your length you will have to make two separate pieces and combine them.

Here are the standard measurement for mattress sizes. Of course you will want your quilt to hang down a bit all around. But this will help you with your calculations.
 

Twin: 39 in × 75 in
Double/Full: 54 in × 75 in
Queen: 60 in × 80 in
King: 76 in × 80 in

Also, you can scale it down to make a super fast baby quilt with vertical strips. 42" x 32" (I like to keep my baby quilts sized to fit using 1 yard of fabric for the backing). So this would be 42" wide x 16 rows = 672. 672/40" = 17 strips. You could always cut your initial strips is half to give more variation on a little quilt. You will just need double the initial strips if they are half the length.

I hope that helps you figure out how to size your Jelly Roll Race Quilt to fit any size bed. Good luck and having fun sewing!

 

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