Kids crafts for winter holidays: Stars, Cookies, Peg Dolls

A virtual trip to the Natural Kids Store has inspired me to start thinking about winter crafts with the kids. All the handcrafted felt and wool, hardcarved wood, handpainted treasures are so beautiful.  The colors are so inspirational and remind me of my current favorite "grass roots" color pallete designed to invoke all things handmade.


Craft Ideas has many different FREE easy patterns for colorful folded stars here and here.  Even more sophisticated versions can be purchased from Harvest Moon by Hand's etsy shop and they are gorgeous!!!!

Zencrafting has taken a twist on folded stars by providing FREE patterns of how to make savory origami stars from fabric origami stars as well as the more traditional paper origami stars.  Check out her Etsy shop for more offerings. She also has a beautiful free calendar you can download and enjoy immediately.


These scrumptious felt cookies are available from Harvest Moon by Hand's etsy shop. Perhaps they'll also inspire additional creative crafting with the kids.

I love felt food!!!


Small sampling of felt food from Bug Bites Play Food


I'm continuing my delight with peg dolls and hope to make some this year with my daughter and niece. 

Having recently been to a teen dance troup performance I was enthralled with this "tiny dancer" from the amazing artist at Pretty Ditty.

Isn't this just serene? It's even more cool to realize it is made just special for her daughter.


Adorable FREE pattern for peg cottage from Grace Violet


How to mix "oops" paint for a desired color: Colorful Journeys with Math

This lovely colorful journey began with 3 gallons of fabulous fence and porch "oops" paint.

Oh my! I tried them out and they covered raw wood fabulously with one coat!!!  What a steal at $5/gallon!!  I think this is among the most expensive paint sold at Big Orange Box Store. 

I envisioned painting our fence, our new wood playset (thank you freecycle!), the raised garden bed posts, the grape arbor.....

As much as I love bright colors, these cool hues are not compatible with our exterior (or friendly relationships with neighbors.) But apparently someone did use this color on their ranch.
I need a warm tone. I need boring beige or beige-ish. 

A green undertone is fine.  After all, we have a Brady Bunch era house.  Everything inside and out has an olive green undertone.

I pondered the equation:

2 gal of robin's egg blue + 1 gal of tea green + ? = beige

So I went on a mathematical hunt for answers

I love that qualitative things like colors and music can be reduced to quantitative numeric attributes!!

Get Box Store Help.  One completely non-math alternative is to go to the box store and see if they will re-tint the oops paint. I recommend doing it on a slow weekday when folks are more likely to be bored!

I did ask to re-tint it when I bought the paint, but the clerk said the oops paint cans are already filled to the rim and there is no more room to add additional tint. (I guess the stores re-tint the paint that people return so that customers cannot just go and "re-purchase" their same color paint at oops prices. I never would have thought about that.)

If I were to go into the store and purchase one of their 5 gallon buckets, they might be willing to mix my 3 gallons of oops paint (showing their store brand label) with their colorant.

But if you want to experience the thrill of the chase and the lure of a challenge.....
Do it Yourself. I'm sure real designers have all sorts of fantastic software tools for this color formula stuff, but I used my trusty old microsoft paint program. Here are the steps I used:

(1) Visually identify the colors. Using the custom color editor I moved the cursor around the rainbow of colors until I found colors that, to my eye, appeared similar to the gallons of paint in the garage.   I picked out these colors to represent the robin's egg blue and green tea colors of oops paint. I also picked out the beige color I was trying to replicate

 Oops paint

 Oops paint


 Hopeful end result for Oops paint!

(2) Obtain RGB values for the colors. Those colors have numeric attributes of hue, saturation, luminosity. More useful are the numbers that show how much red, green and blue are present on a scale from 0 to 255.  The three red, green, and blue numbers in sequence define the RGB value for your color.

R: 151   Hue: 120           R: 202   Hue: 54       R: 194   Hue: 40
G: 255   Sat: 240            G: 245   Sat: 207      G: 194   Sat: 80
B: 255   Lum: 191           B: 122   Lum: 173    B: 133    Lum: 154

(3) Convert RGB values to Hexadecimal (hex) values.  Every combination of RGB colors can also be represented by a hexadecimal value which works on a base 16 system (instead of base 10 like a decimal system.)  By entering the RGB values a calculator will provide the hexadecimal number that also identifies the color.  The hex numbers are sometimes represented without the "#."

Hex: #CAF57A              Hex: #97FFF            Hex: #C2C285

(4) Find out what color the oops paint make when mixed.  If you only have one color of oops paint to start with, then you can skip this step! Using the color combiner I added 1 part green with 2 parts blue by doing the addition in two steps:

Green #CAF57A + Blue #97FFF  = New Color: #A0FAD4

New Color: #A0FAD4 + Blue #97FFF   = New Color #9CFDEA

(5) Experiment combining new colors with the oops paint to find the best color to add for your desired result. Okay, this would be so much easier if there was a "color subtraction tool" to go along with the color combiner tool!  Then I could have input "#C2C285 (beige) minus #9CFDEA (oops mixture) results in the color I need to add!

I didn't find one, soooo, I just experimented many many times continuing to use the color combination tool. 

Knowing that I needed to go on the opposite side of the color wheel to make beige, I knew that I would likely need something in the orange color family to add to my blue-green mixture. I looked at an html color chart to find the hex codes for various orange colors.  Then I plugged them into the color combination tool with the hex code for my final "oops mixture."  These are some of the more successful combinations.

    oops mixture        +       orange hue    =       beige-ish outcome

     (1)  #9CFDEA        +     #FF6600        =           #CEB275

      (2)  #9CFDEA      +    #FF7700     =       #CEBA75


          (3) #9CFDEA     +      #CC7711        =        #B4BA7E

6)  Keep an eye out for orange (or red and yellow) oops paint!  I'll be visiting the big box stores to score some more oops paint. The funny thing is that I saw a gallon of bright orange awhile back and wondered who in the world would want to buy that.  Now I know :-)

Trendy "Grass Roots" Color Palette

Here is a beautiful color palette (created by a Pantone user) that takes its cues from nature. It's earthy, yet colorful.  It's vibrant, yet livable in an interior environment.

It's potentially a good compromise for the occupants of our household. We all like earthy colors, but some of us gravitate toward summer brights while others of us are drawn to the muted tones.

Hex numbers for the colors (left to right) are as follows:


See for lots of interesting tools for selecting color palettes, combining colors, converting hex numbers to RGB numbers, and lots more!!

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