I think that I have mentioned before that one of the reasons why I tend to hate crafts is that I hate useless clutter around my house that is eventually destined for the trash can. I love that Charlotte Mason's emphasis in handicrafts is on making useful items and developing useful skills. (Did you see Brandy's recent post on planning handicrafts by these criteria? It was great and sums up my approach to crafting pretty well too.) Over the past month or so, we have been busy making felt bookmarks. I was first inspired to this project by the fact that we are using a lot more printed books for school this year (just the way it worked out – we use the Kindle when we can to cut down on international shipping costs) in addition to the mountains of free reads scattered all over the house, and all of those books were being dog-eared. It also struck me as a good project to help Michelle continue to practice her sewing skills (she's being doing simple hand sewing a for a couple of years) and introduce basic sewing skills to James (6.5) and Elizabeth (almost 5).
Once I got them started with the initial project, they took off with it. The older two went on to make several more on their own time. After the first couple, James was threading his own needles and tying his own knots. I was pleased with the end results:
I did the two on the left (patterns from here), then Michelle's (age 9), James' (6.5), and Elizabeth's (almost-5) first attempts. Their other efforts have gotten consistently better.
Useful life skills and bookmarks that went to immediate use. Handicrafts just the way I like them.
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