After a morning of cannonballs and pencil dives off the dock, followed by an epic Wiffle ball game, we were finally ready for some quiet time at the lake. The cousins, ages 7 through 9, helped me try out this camp favorite, the God’s eye. We had about 6 skeins of yarn and a bunch of sticks from the pine forest. We followed the directions from wikihow.com and Aunt Annie (the illustrations at Aunt Annie were helpful). Our process was only a little different from the directions: we didn’t use glue, so to bind the sticks together, we wound and wound the yarn around them (making for messier centers) and to secure at the end, we just tied off the yarn.
Tips for kids:
- The kids said it was easier when I got the whole thing going first so the sticks were bound well before they took over.
- For those with less dexterous fingers, I helped by holding and rotating the sticks, so smaller hands could focus on weaving.
Inspired by this woven heart badminton racket by Bloesem kids, I had to try my hand at the (very) rare art of tennis racket embroidery. What was I going to do with that old warped, wooden tennis racket anyway? I had found this one at a garage sale years ago and bought it for no reason except that I loved that it was a “Lady” Slazenger.
I can’t really imagine anyone else trying this project, but here is a tip in case you are so moved: center your design! I thought I had, but somehow it’s one row from being centered. I may add a skinny row for balance, or I may make peace with imperfection. Two other tips: I used masking tape to anchor one end of the floss to keep it taut and flat while I was “stitching,” and I ran my embroidery needle under the stitches to knot in the back (see center picture first row). That’s it. Point, game, match.
My 7-year-old niece Lila is an idea generator. Fabulous ideas pop into her brain at unprecedented rate.
This teepee was inspired by a pile of leftover hemlock trimmings. Lila wanted to make something Christmas-y out of them, maybe an evergreen home for one of her favorite stuffed animals. Luckily for Lila, she has a ready crew (in the form of her mom), willing and able to make her ideas a reality.
With some yarn and thick branches, Lila and her mom made a teepee frame first, twisting the yarn around where the branches meet at the top. Then they covered the frame with the hemlock, tying bits from the top of the teepee. The woodland house is in a cozy, mossy spot, with ample room for forest creatures, stuffed animals, and one 7-year-old.
Summer! I’m thinking of strawberries, popsicles, and dipping my toes in the lake. Also, making stuff. Here’s my summer craft round up from Pinterest.
1. Mini arrow embroidery kits from Miniature Rhino, available on etsy–these looks simple, plus they make great decor from the cottage or camp.
2. Vintage bikini rubber stamps from Talk to the Sun, available on etsy. Or it might be fun to carve your own summery stamps).
3. Graphic Box offers graphic files of these hand-drawn watercolor flowers, but I hope to get out the paint box and create originals, maybe with a little help from this A Piece of Rainbow DIY.
4. Is tree weaving on your summer To Do list, too? This image is from A I A Gart.
5. Time to build a tree house with step-by-step instructions from Apartment Therapy!
6. Jigsaw puzzles and paint-by-number kits are synonymous with rainy lake days. SF Girl By Bay posted this alpine scene from amy gieske art + photography. I’d love to paint a New Hampshire scene–maybe a customized paint-by-number landscape from Easy 123 Art?
7. How about fresh summer linens? The Purl Bee offers instructions for sewing pillowcases.
8. I have an old warped, wooden tennis racket that is just calling out for this treatment (yarn bomb instructions from Bloesem Kids).
My friendship-bracelet skills were a little atrophied after (at least) a couple decades of disuse . . . but in celebration of the soon-to-be-here slow, lazy days of summer, it was time to dust them off. I found a great tutorial (with photos) for the “summer camp chevron” bracelet at Honestly WTF.
Molly’s Sketchbook at purlbee.com also offers ideas for fun color combos (fluorescent) and monochrome (friendship bracelet meets mature, grown-up restraint!).
I’m sure there are ways to make clasps or ties for removable bracelets but that betrays the whole idea of the bracelet, which is that if you truly, deeply value your sisterhood then you tie the thing to your wrist until death do you part, or at least until it is a sorry string, bleached and frayed from sun and salt water.