We’re Crafty!

I made these!

I mentioned before we’ve been very busy making things for the school Harvest Faire. Up until very recently, I didn’t consider myself a "maker" of anything besides meals and people. But I now feel differently.


I needle-felted these ten mice for the Children’s Store, where the children can shop with pocket money and buy things for themselves of family members. The store is meant to be a wonderland of simple treasures, magical items, and whimsical delights. I hope that these mice, which fit neatly in one’s hand or pocket and feel soft and cuddly, might become friends to some kids.

I like the brown and beige ones, but I have a feeling the white mice might be most popular.


I bullied Ian into embarking on a woodworking project for the Country Store, to which we are supposed to donate ten items that will be sold to benefit the school. We had seen a wooden pull-toy of three galloping horses at our UUSS day care that we fell in love with. I wanted one for Asher, who is really into horses right now. I challenged Ian to make it. I promised to help. With the help of the Internet and Microsoft Paint, we developed a template. Ian cut the horse shape out using a tool called a Roto-Zip, something my mother saw advertised on TV a few years back and had to have. We all pitched in to help.

Ian is working with the wood balanced on the sawcows he fashioned for Lucas’s sixth birthday party.


Lucas helped sand horses, too. Asher moved pieces of wood around the yard in a very purposeful and serious way. He also play-tested our proof of concept.

Here’s a newly cut horse.

I love these hands.

Ian had to make all the wheels himself. He used a hole cutter attached to the drill press. It was a little dicey and not the perfect solution. Although we looked around thinking we could buy ready-made wheels, we could not find any of sufficient diameter to support our horse’s axels. 

A key element to this toy was making the horses gallop, which Ian did by drilling the axel hole slightly off-center for the front of the front horse and the rear of the rear two horses. This caused a delightful up-and-down motion that made the horses appear to be running.

 We sanded and then "stained" the horses using artist watercolor paints. A nice sheer coat of burnt sienna, raw sienna, charcoal, or Indian red did the trick. The wood grain shows through beautifully. Then we waxed them using a beeswax wood polish that smells like lavender.

Here they are, all glued together and ready to ride. I braided wool/soy yarn to pull the lead horse along.

Asher play-tested them before we took them to the school to be sold. We are totally making one of these for him next because he loved them.

We also made a couple of single-horse toys.

Some Stats:
3 to 4 days for the horses
8 horses
28 wheels
2 braids
4 wooden toys
10 mice
1 gnome
1 mushroom

And we’re donating 4 jars of plum jam, too.

Phew! It was a lot of work, but very fun. And if you’re still reading by this point, I thank you for your indulgence. 😉 

10 Responses to “We’re Crafty!”

  • joygantic
    October 16, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Those are the most awesome toys ever!


  • lunagirl35
    October 16, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Nice work. I’m in love with the horses. Damn the only thing my husband cam make is excuses!


  • mickibean
    October 17, 2008 at 11:34 am

    OMG those are all so freaking adorable! Your wonderfully talented!


  • dakini_grl
    October 17, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    So fabulous! I am completely taken with the photo of Asher with his little hands on the lead and the back of one of the horses. Yay!


  • tara_bella
    October 17, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    So, I just finished setting up the Country Store. Quite a few people wandered in to look around and make plans for tomorrow’s purchases. One person just adored the gnome. But the most comments for the ENTIRE store, was about the horses. They are very well loved. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a reputation around there.


  • sarabellae
    October 18, 2008 at 1:09 am

    Thank you!


  • sarabellae
    October 18, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I love the horses. We are pondering design improvements, but generally are really happy with them. Ian worked so hard on these. Probably ’cause I wondered aloud if he could do it.


  • sarabellae
    October 18, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Thanks, Micki. That’s a big compliment coming from you!


  • sarabellae
    October 18, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Asher got so excited to see them all there before him he got them all tangled up, and for a while was pulling one string and leading six horses along. I really hope we can make another set for him for Christmas.


  • sarabellae
    October 18, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Oh! Thank you for telling me. That makes me so excited. It’s very nice to hear the audience they were meant for appreciated them. I’ll go tell Ian what you said.


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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