This popular second book from Margaret Bloom is now out in a paperback edition (with flaps). Projects will capture your child’s imagination, from a daring dragon-riding marionette to a pretty butterfly garden mobile and a beautiful greenwood wall-hanging complete with dandelion fairy. Each project has tips on what the smallest hands can do to help and those an older child can tackle for themselves.
“Exactly the sort of toys that are perfect for parents to be willing to try their hand at … Toys with true gestures. Perfect to enhance creative imagination and play.”
Sharifa Oppenheimer (US), author of Heaven on Earth: A handbook for parents of young children
These short yet sweet reviews appeared in Kindling: the Journal for Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Care and Education, issue 27. Reviewed by Janni Nicol. Many thanks, Kindling.
Making Woodland Crafts using green sticks, rods, poles, beads and string is written by Patrick Harrison, who is an illustrator and Forest School Educator. He makes whittling with children and adults in the woods look simple and engaging, and in this book, provides the basic skills to make many craft projects. It works across all abilities, and there are many ideas for exciting and creative outdoor play.
Making Peg Dolls and More is another little craft book full of good ideas for making simple peg dolls into beautiful end products. Many of the projects are easy to do with children of all ages, and I have tried them myself, for peg dolls which fit onto the boat I made. Buying pegs is not so cheap, but they are available at all craft shops nowadays, and, of course, last forever! It’s a companion to Margaret Bloom’s first book Making Peg Dolls.
Margaret Bloom’s recent blog tour with Making Peg Dolls & More was ten days of fun. Here, we round up our favourite moments as well as providing links to all the original posts. All text and images belong to their original bloggers. Enjoy!
On receiving the book I was immediately smitten by the bird marionette that holds a single peg doll on her back and decided that’s what I wanted to make. Margaret shares that her inspiration was the story of Thumbellina and the moment when Thumbellina was escaping marriage to a mole by flying away on a swallow’s back; I remember that so well as it was a favorite of mine too! I found a peg doll my son made years ago and nested her in the bird’s back for a thrilling ride!
… Margaret has collected 15 new projects and techniques for a second book, Making Peg Dolls & More, just published by Hawthorn Press.
Taking her simple and sweet scenes as a starting point, Margaret is quietly creating an entire world that shares borders with our own. Making Peg Dolls & More includes toys such as marionettes, spool snakes, and tops alongside ornamental and practical projects like pincushions, wall hangings, and the delightfully scented “comfort friends” dolls that are filled with soothing herbs. Art takes new meaning when we incorporate it into our lives with projects like these.
The book is very well organized and written in a friendly conversational tone, like the author is personally explaining the process to you. Poetry and familiar stories linked to the peg doll characters begin each chapter, adding lively and poignant narratives to the projects. … Margaret’s Peg Doll books stand out as more than simply another series of craft how-to’s. They symbolize the reclaiming of childhood in today’s technological world and encourage the creation of toys that will be appreciated and admired long after the children are grown.
I just have to mention something I really appreciate about Making Peg Dolls & More: each project has Small Helping Hands tips from Margaret with specific suggestions for ways to involve children of all ages in the making of the toys and gifts thus encouraging families to craft together. I can see this being particularly helpful for parents and caregivers because once the youngsters see what you’re doing they’ll want to join in!
My daughter is a mermaid :) So of course she chose the mermaid project. My son is all into ocean creatures these days. The octopus was just perfect! To complete our ocean adventures, we sewed the dolphin too. I haven’t made many felt animals so I was a little nervous. The directions worked fantastic!
SARAH: How did you go from creating peg dolls to writing books about them?
MARGARET: After seeing some simple peg doll projects online, I bought three blank pegs and made my first doll. Then I made another and another (and then bought additional pegs to continue making dolls). I gave most of the dolls away as gifts but still had more peg dolls than seemed reasonable. I had no interest in making dolls to sell and so started thinking about what I wanted to do.
At the same time, I was posting photos of the dolls on my blog, and received requests for tutorials explaining how to make them. After writing up a tutorial for my owl doll, I realized it could be the basis of a book proposal and proceeded from there.
We got the book a little before the holidays, and Birdy immediately decided on the project she wanted to make for gifts: these little Herbal Comfort Friends, which are sewn from felt, completed with wooden beads, and filled with sweet-smelling herbs. She designed her own medallions: a sprig of lavender for her grandmother’s lavender-filled friend, a little campfire for her friend Harry’s that’s filled with mint, and a little wind storm for her test doll, that she kept for herself. She loved making them. They are just the sweetest things and, I’m imagining, double nicely as drawer-scenting sachets
The photos inside the book are beautiful and inspiring…the instructions are easy to follow and there are patterns contained throughout. She even has suggestions on how to get the whole family involved in making these projects… little kid and big kid crafting suggestions. Love it.
(Of course I had to do my own variation of the wedding cake topper… just have to find that pointy hat wearing man of my dreams and I’m all set!!!)
Making Peg Dolls & More is just as excellent as the first book for both reasons, I want to make every project just as it’s done in the book and it also inspires me to dream up so many spin off ideas. I love all the creative ways the peg dolls come to life in the projects in this book. They fly and spin as tops and puppets. They have their own worlds in felt playmats with the toys tucked in like this pirate one is animated in her adorable book trailer. I am a sucker for little details and Margaret always delivers. Love the net wings and the little red vests on these fireflies
Making Peg Dolls & More is currently one of our favourite books; it’s inventive, colourful and without a single boring moment. Being the publishers, we are of course a little bit biased. However it’s definitely got a special something that means we are very pleased to have had a hand in making this crafty treasure-trove.
So you can imagine that we’re very excited to hear that the author, Margaret Bloom, is doing a blog tour starting on Monday the 2nd of February. There will be ten different blogs taking part over two weeks, and it’s shaping up to be a wonderfully eclectic event. Margaret Bloom will be posting links to the relevant blogs on her own blog every day, as will the Hawthorn Press facebook page. So do make a little time in your afternoons and head over to take part, as it should be very fun.
In case you’re not sure what Making Peg Dolls & More is all about, here’s a lovely little video to keep you informed:
Reviewed by Amber Greene on the 9th December. Do check out Amber’s fantastic blog; there’s a link at the bottom.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a delightful blog called “We Bloom Here”, written by an American lady Margaret Bloom. Margaret had just started making some very cute wooden peg dolls, and I was lucky enough to win one in a giveaway. (This little thing with a crocheted hat still sits in my toy room to this day!) Margaret also ran a few Peg Doll ‘swaps’ and I joined in to make some peg doll angels one year. I simply love peg dolls and I was excited to see some of Margaret’s creations, and through this love, we became online friends!
A little while later, Margaret was invited to write a craft book and share her love of sweet peg dolls and her designs. So popular this book was, that Hawthorn Press invited her to make a sequel, and just recently, this book arrived on my door step.
I’ve been sharing it with our Rainbow Bridge Family Day Care educators, and we all agree- this book is simply superb. Chock full of grand designs and whimsical interpretations of birds, fireflies, rabbits, fairies and more. Margaret also takes a few step further than her last book and interprets the peg doll idea into cake toppers, holiday ornaments, toys, marionettes, a few sewing projects AND my favourite- zipper pulls. Oh my!
The photos are a helpful guide to those wanting to use Margaret’s idea as a template but the illustrations are even more beautiful if that is possible. Simple but truly delightful.
One of my favourite designs are these Christmas angels. I’ve used this as inspiration and I’ve made some too. I’ll be sharing the crafty-how to tomorrow!
This book needs to go on the wish list of all Waldorf-inspired parents and early childhood educators, as well as anyone who just loves to craft cute things. This book is FULL of cute things! It’s a winner and I’m so proud of my friend for what she has created here.
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