Signs of the season

Aside from some Christmas-related stuff (lights and ornaments, mostly), we don’t have a lot of store-bought holiday decorations. Our holiday-themed decorating is pretty restrained–partly because we don’t want to have to store the stuff for the rest of the year, and partly because our quotidian stuff already takes up most of our space.

But we do like to make things, and now that Sylvia has become fairly adept with scissors, glue sticks, and crayons/pencils/markers, she likes to work on these crafts too.

First up this year, an autumn tree for our front door. (We actually did this one a few weeks ago, when the leaves first started to turn.) We did something like this two years ago, but at that time Sylvia’s only contribution was patting into place the leaves I had cut out and backed with rolled-up pieces of tape. (She was only two then–not quite ready for scissors.)

This year, however, she cut out all the leaves herself! (I made stencils for her to trace onto construction paper.) I cut out and taped up the trunk and branches, and she put all of the leaves exactly where she wanted them.


Next up: some mice for the steps! I did all the cutting for these, but Sylvia put (most of) them in place. (I did have to offer suggestions now and then, to ensure that we didn’t end up with six mice on one step.)


And of course we needed some bats! These are solar shades, which block harsh sunlight and UV light but don’t block all light and still allow visibility. (We prefer to have no curtains or shades on our windows, but this room gets bright morning light, and we need to protect the piano.) When they’ve been pulled down in the evening in anticipation of the morning sun, they provide a nice amber-hued, slightly glowing backdrop to the bats.


Here’s some more of Sylvia’s (mostly) solo work. The spiders were easy: one circle for the body, one circle for the head, and eight strips for the legs.

I made eye, beak, wing, and chest feather stencils for her to use for the owl parts. By the time she got to the third owl, she said, “I don’t feel like doing the chest feathers.” I told her that it was okay for the owls to be different–they didn’t all have to look the same. She wasn’t satisfied with this response, though, and scowled until a lightbulb went off in her head: “I know! This one can be a baby owl whose chest feathers haven’t grown yet!”


Our final project was this leaf garland. I made stencils of oak, maple, and birch leaves, then traced them (with tailor’s chalk) onto craft felt. Sylvia and I each cut out half of them (some of hers required a bit of “smoothing” on the edge by me afterward), she chose the order in which they should appear, and I sewed them together with invisible thread.


6 Responses to “Signs of the season”

  1. Shannahon 27 Oct 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Wow! I love them all very much, particularly the mice. :) Thanks for sharing them with us. I have a (much much younger) brother, and this brought back fond memories of him as a small one, when I helped him “decorate.” Props to Sylvia and to you, both!

  2. Kiranon 27 Oct 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Very nice! Its funny your front window with the bats is almost identical to our front window which is also covered in flying bats. Even the wall color in the room is the same. Great minds, I guess!

  3. Chrison 27 Oct 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Oh, what fun! She did a great job!

  4. Katie Jon 28 Oct 2009 at 9:11 am

    Fun and festive!!!

  5. Marshaon 29 Oct 2009 at 10:55 pm

    @Shannah: Thanks! I should give props to Martha Stewart for coming up with the mice idea several years ago. I did draw my own mice for this project, though.
    @Kiran: Our living room walls are painting in Sherwin-Williams’ “Restrained Gold.” Is that your color, too?

  6. Deborahon 31 Oct 2009 at 11:51 am

    So creative and lots of fun! This reminded me of my childhood when we pulled out all the craft stuff. My favorite has to be the mice on the steps. They look so real! Love it!