Thursday, December 13, 2012

Calico Critter Box Room

The holidays are all about tradition.  We start in November and hop from family dinners to Christmas cards to Secret Santa to New Years Eve parties.  Before I know it, I'm stumbling out of bed on January first with mascara smeared under my eyes in my 'fat sweatpants' (because I kind of love Christmas cookies) and I realize that its all over.

Maybe its because we don't have any children of our own, but Patrick and I can't seem to spend any quality time together during the blur of Holiday activities - unless you count arguments over directions in the car or the phone calls that involve one of us transferring money between bank accounts as the other stands at a cash register somewhere, horribly embarrassed.
One of my big goals this year was to come up with a hand full of new traditions for my little family (that consists of just me and Patrick - and the cats, too, I guess).   The first tradition would be our little advent calendar, and the second is finding gifts for Angel Tree.  If you aren't familiar with the Angel Tree program, they ask local businesses to display Christmas trees filled with tags.  Each tag is for a child and says 'boy' or 'girl' with the age.  People take the tags home, buy appropriate gifts, and bring them back to leave under the tree, where they are later collected and distributed.  We picked tags for a 4 yr. old girl, 5 yr. old boy, and 6 yr. old girl.

The 4 year old girl's gift was my favorite.  Patrick suggested making her something with Calico Critters and so I did.  I've seen this adorable little bunny around and decided to pick one up as the base of my project, because who wouldn't love this little guy?
I have about 6 wooden boxes with lids just waiting patiently for me to transform them into something new. I've seen dollhouse diorama rooms before and thought to myself, "Wouldn't a kid have fun with a portable room full of furniture and accessories to carry around and play with?"
I painted the inside of the box to look like a nursery when its sitting on its side. The floor is brown with yellow & white walls and silver stars. Because the wooden lid slides off, I painted it brown to double as additional floor space for the tiny room.
I kind of went overboard with the accessories.  My plan was to make a lamp and some baby powder, but I got carried away and made practically everything I could think of that you'd find in a baby's room. They were created using wood pieces, beads, and game pieces.  I hand painted everything to work together, including the wooden furniture.  The crib is plastic.  I shortened the legs (because Calico Critters are short and stubby) and made pink bedding to go along with it and a fuzzy pink felt rug.
After play time, everything fits in the box room and can be packed up and put away.  I was so inspired by this project that I might make a few more portable rooms for Calico Critters using the other boxes.
Our Angel Tree gifts.  The tree still had plenty of tags for teenagers needing gifts, so maybe next year we'll try to tackle that challenge.

I've been working on a few things for Calico Critter animals recently.  Last week, I made a birthday party set:
 Don't you just want to climb into the photo and play with them?  For the colorful wand party favors, I used cute little flower beads.  The bunting garland consists of felt triangles sewn together.
The tiered cake stand was constructed using various game pieces and buttons.  For the itty bitty cupcakes, I painted wooden furniture plugs (almost the same way I made this cupcake ring). 
I used white puffy paint for the frosting and beads for the candy flower embellishments. Yummy!

My favorite part is the tiny birthday gift - because every birthday party needs to include at least one gift, right?  I made a teeny little pad a paper and a paint set out of wood with two matching brushes. 

1 comment:

  1. You are so talented. Those stuffs you made are so cute. But I especially love your idea of making the cake. It looks so real and delicious.