Rainbows for Christmas

Yes, I’m still talking about Christmas, with several more posts to come.  That’s just the way it goes around here.  If I manage to finish it all before February, I think it will be a blog record.

But rainbows!  There were rainbows for the little folks….


One night, after the kids were in bed, Steve and I dyed this long silk from Dharma Trading Co. (you can find them here), using food coloring.  I figure it cost us around $6 and 15 minutes worth or work, plus the time it took to steam it.  Not bad.  I see similar ones around for $40+ at various toy shops.

galen scarf

We gave it to him to along with a set of play clips that I found second hand.


And above is the one and only project that I worked on, during Christmas week, when we were all laid up with or recovering from the stomach flu.  This picture is actually of it, on sick, sleeping Màiri, who is on me.

We took a big ball of Lorna’s Laces roving in ‘Rainbow’, divided it in half, separated each half into three strips lengthwise, and together Elijah and I plaited them, then I slowly coiled them and stitched the two long braids together.

feet 2

Christmas Eve in the morning, when folks were feeling chipper again (for the most part) looked like this.  And like that…


As many little feet danced and skipped and jumped to felt the mats, which were for this…


Beautiful little table and chair set, made by Steve, Iain and Elijah for Galen and Màiri Rose.

The chairs where made using plans from an old issue of Living Craft magazine (I got the ideas for the mats from a more recent issue).  They weren’t overly thrilled with the plans, but the chairs did come together in the end, and they are cute and quite sturdy.

The table is Clara’s Table from Ana White’s site.  Have you this place?!?  It’s incredible!  Set aside some time to check it out.  I guarantee that you totally lose yourself drooling over her plans.  Oh, and you might want to make sure your local hardware store is open first, because you are going to want to build something, right away.  I’m told that this little table was a breeze to make and yet, I was pleasantly surprised at how solid it feels.  Steve whipped up something bigger from her site last weekend.  It’s fabulous and took him a total of one afternoon (more on that one later of course!).

The whole thing is made of pine, lightly stained, and finished with our homemade beeswax polish.


This sweet new set has inspired endless rounds of tea parties and birthday parties for every stuffed being in the house.

tea party

We did some re-arranging with our living space and now the kitchen set has been liberated from it’s out of the way corner in the actual kitchen (where it was rarely touched) and with it’s current proximity to the table and chairs, there has been a whole lot of play cooking going on (especially cakes) and equal amounts of play entertaining to go with them, with the occasional, actual cake (clearly made with help by little hands) and real (herbal) tea, to balance out all of the block and air fare.

tea party 2

I love the way the new space is working for us.  Maybe I should share pictures of that at some point.  Perhaps we should get through Christmas first though.  In addition to the food play, there has been a whole lot of kiddie crafting going on at this little table and it’s the perfect spot for the two littles to hang out and color and do their “school work” while the big kids do their school work.

night tea

And when they run out of room, they take a cue from the older folks, and get to building themselves…



6 thoughts on “Rainbows for Christmas

  1. Melanie~Our Ash Grove

    I always love your photos- the warmth and lovely colors. :)
    I am in awe over your gorgeous rainbows- I love all of it so very much! My mind is racing with which I should try first.
    I have to say your chairs look better to me than the ones in the magazine. I had looked at them with interest but decided they were too strange. Yours are beautiful! Now I am thinking I want those too. . .
    Rearranging the play things always renews them, and we like to do this periodically as well, mostly in winter when we’re inside so much.

  2. Melody Post author

    Amy- I think there are lots of places online where you can find directions for dyeing with food coloring. For the scarf, we soaked it in water and wrung it out, then laid it out on a protected table and spooned on water with food coloring and a splash of white vinegar, spreading each color where we wanted it, making sure that the color soaked all the way through. Then we rolled and coiled it and steamed it in a steamer basket for about a half hour. Simple.

  3. brittany

    is it possible for you to post how you and steve met? and how you started your family? I’ve been curious about this for the longest time.

  4. Melody Post author

    brittany- I’m sorry, I thought I had answered this already. I suppose I could do a post of that sort at some point. But the short story is that we used to work together.

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