Vault - Creative Play

Doodle Stitching

These drawings were done with free motion machine stitching and watercolor splatters on handmade paper. (The fabrics quilted in are from my daughters’ outgrown clothes.)

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Art for Kids: Mini Felt Plushie

You know what’s very rewarding about homeschooling – no matter how challenging it is to undertake? Seeing your child explore and create without abandon! Rinoa, who’s presently 8 years old, saw me making the mini felt plush bear for her cousin. And even though I promised to make her one (after we buy some more mints for the tin container), she decided to make her own plushie – all by herself. I just noticed her sketching out a pattern on felt and before I knew it, she was presenting me with the finished piece! I love how she gets an idea in her head and just carries it out – fearlessly! It does help to have full access to a well-stocked studio! *wink

And here she is, all smiley, as always!

Mini Felt Plushie

This craft project is perfect for kids learning how to sew. Felt fabric is an ideal material to use since it doesn’t fray and comes in a variety of colors! I purposely didn’t include a pattern for this project so children can create their own designs which will encourage them to use their imagination and explore basic silhouette shapes. If your child is just learning how to sew, make sure you assist them when using a needle.

You will need:

  • pencil and paper
  • felt in various colors
  • scissors
  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery floss
  • 2 buttons
  • stuffing

1. Sketch out the design of your plushie animal head on paper. Draw a pattern to trace on the felt. Cut out 2 pieces for the animal head – one for the front and one for the back.

2. Work on the plushie’s face. For Rinoa’s plushie, she sewed on a felt piece for the nose and buttons for the eyes. She used backstitch for the mouth and french knots for the whiskers. And then she added a felt piece for the tongue.

3. Use running stitch or whip stitch to sew together the front and back pieces of the head. Leave a small opening to insert stuffing. When your plushie is stuffed, finish sewing the head.

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Mini Felt Plushie in Mint Tin

A charming handmade gift for my darling niece on her birthday – a mini felt plush bear with her sidekick bunny in a mint tin house (complete with a pillow and sleeping bag). If you want to make one – and who wouldn’t? – you’ll find the pattern here. I used a mini pompom for the bear’s tail for extra cuteness. And if you don’t want a sleeping bear, you can substitute buttons for the embroidered eyes.

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Fabric Flower Bib Necklaces

I’m swimming with the tide and made my own flower bib necklaces – since they seem to be all the rage these days and my two daughters love to accessorize! It’s easy to go wild with the flower arrangements when making a bib necklace but I like to keep my designs dainty so Mica can where the necklaces to school without being gaudy. (She’s actually wearing the lace necklace today.) And as you can see, I love the look of pearls.

Lace Flower Bib Necklace
Rosette Flower Bib Necklace

I did several necklaces which showcase different kinds of fabric flowers. The ones above are just two of my favorites. I also created video tutorials on how to make them. (Yes, I’m slowly conquering my fear of ‘talking in front of the camera’ and started making videos. I figured, the necklace tutorials are good warm-up video projects for me.) I’m in the process of editing them but I will be sharing the videos here in the blog very soon – so please watch out for them.

Vault - Creative Play

Crocheted Miniature Birdcage

I was feeling whimsical one day and made this crocheted miniature birdcage – which doesn’t exactly house a bird as Rinoa points out but is adorable nonetheless.

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Friday Art: African Masks

These were so much fun to do, especially after a history lesson about Africa. I gave each of the girls two different colored cardstock papers and used this step-by-step guide to help them make their own African mask collages. Notice how they were able to come up with their own unique designs. Love it!

African Mask by Mica Redington (Age 13)
African Mask by Rinoa Redington (Age 6)

When they were done with with the African mask collages, I gave Rinoa some outline printouts of other African mask designs so she can paint and decorate them. (Mica just moved on to the next activity for the day.)

African Mask by Rinoa Redington (Age 6)
African Mask by Rinoa Redington (Age 6)
Vault - Creative Play


Keeping a journal is an important part of my life. It is my silent, constant, and trusted companion. It helps me express my thoughts and feelings, discover my true self, explore my ideas, and exercise my imagination. When I was young, I’d get lost in its pages. In it, I was in a different world – a haven free from judgment, criticism, or failure.

I want to pass this passion for journal-keeping to my daughters – for all the reasons I just mentioned and because I see how they struggle to express themselves. And it’s very important to me that they learn how to effectively communicate, especially when it comes to their feelings.

Of course, like most artists, my journals are not confined to written text on lined notebooks. My art journals combine text and images – a more effective way of nurturing self-expression and imagination than with words alone. I recently discovered The Creative Journal for Children by Lucia Capacchione, a book that presents exercises in writing and drawing to foster children’s creativity, self-esteem, and learning skills. I’m very much excited about it – I’m hoping that the exercises will help my daughters develop a genuine love for journaling.

The journal pages that I’m sharing below are from an activity we did last Friday as a family that was based on the book. It was a 3-part activity. If you’re inspired to do something similar with your children or family, make sure you tell them the next step only after they’ve finished the previous step – or else it might compromise the result.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Using a color marker of our choice, we doodled on a blank page of our journal. We doodled without intention – we didn’t try to draw a picture, we just let our hands flow.
  2. After doodling, we tried to find recognizable objects from the lines and shapes we made, and, with a darker marker, we outlined them.
  3. Now, here comes the fun part. We made a poem about all the things we found. I told Mica and Rinoa, the poem doesn’t have to rhyme – after giving me shocked looks!
Scribble-Scrabble by Rinoa Redington (6 years old)

Donuts are yummy,
With frosting on top.
Boys can be bald.
Stars are 100 miles away.
– Rinoa Redington
Scribble-Scrabble by Mica Redington (13 years old)

Two fish are swimming around a bell, snowflake, and heart.
A pair of eyes keep a close eye on them.
A soda can on top of yin and yang spills a drop,
And it falls next to a bright star.
– Mica Redington
Scribble-Scrabble by Johwey Redington

I feel like a fish out of the water,
gasping heavily to breathe.
That ominous ball just keeps on rolling,
coming after me with rage.
The ivory keys of my piano
bring comfort to my sorrow.
I caress them with delicate fingers,
touching affectionately.
The music, it frees my pent-up spirit,
as I soar with the birds in flight.
Scribble-Scrabble by Troy Redington

In a land of doodle
I find no harm
Except for this birdie
with a human arm.
A tiny faucet
goes drip, drip, drip,
A giant toilet
for birdie to sit.
A lone roller blade
without a lace,
A freaky eye
without a face.
The word ‘drug’
written in graffiti,
The word ‘Troy’,
what the heck, that’s me!?
– Troy Redington

Just to let you know, I asked permission from everybody if I could post their work and they were all excited.

Happy scribbling,      
Vault - Creative Play

The Imke Shirt and Riviera Leggings

How did you like that extra hour yesterday? For me, as much as I liked it, I’d rather have that extra hour of daylight in the early evening – otherwise it feels gloomy when by 5:00 it’s already dark out. Anyways, I can’t believe I forgot to share this project with you when I was on my clothes-making frenzy.

Rinoa in her Imke Shirt
The Imke Shirt and Riviera Leggings

This was my first time working with knit fabrics. It was quite daunting since knits are stretchy and I feared that my stitches would end up too tight such that the fabric won’t stretch anymore. But I’m satisfied with how it turned out – considering it’s my first shirt and leggings project – except that I made the neck opening too wide. Oh well, I know now not to cut too much next time. I also thought making the neckband would be hard – but it wasn’t that bad at all.

The Imke Shirt is “an everyday, everywhere shirt … with many different design options.” You can opt for a simple neckband or a pointed or sporty hoody. You can make the sleeves short, long, layered, straight, or flared. (I like the layered look a lot!) And you can choose to have side panels or leave the front and back plain. With lots of different looks from one simple design pattern, I’m sure to make more!

The leggings were surprisingly easy to whip up – and since knit fabrics don’t ravel, you don’t even have to finish the seams. With fabric already cut to the pattern, you can make a pair of leggings in, I’d say, 20 minutes.

I meant these shirt and leggings that I made to be worn outside but they work better as a warm, snuggly pajama set.

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Friday Art: Contour Drawing

Contour Drawing by Mica Redington (13 years old)
Contour Drawing by Rinoa Redington (6 years old)
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Organizing Handmade Cards

I have several more handmade cards to show you in the next couple of days but before I do that, I thought I’d share how I organize them. Organization is very important to me (which actually should be to everybody) because I have a small house and it can easily get overrun by my creations if I don’t keep them in check and find a place for everything I create. I use an ordinary, inexpensive, plastic cosmetic basket to store my handmade cards.

I used cardstock to make several labeled dividers to fit in the basket – one for each month of the year plus a few extras labeled “Birthday”, “Thank You”, “Christmas”, and “Miscellaneous”.

I provided a place to list down important dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays on the dividers for each month of the year. I usually make several cards at a time and fill up each month with the number of cards I need to send out – this way, I’m not cramming to send out my greetings. Well, that’s the idea anyway. Like I mentioned here, I tend to get distracted once I’m able to enjoy the warm weather outside and before I know it, the month has passed without sending out my cards. {But I know I’ll get better at this in time.}

I store all my small cards (4.25 x 5.5) in the basket with the dividers and then I have another basket for larger cards (8.5 x 5.5) and odd-shaped ones. The plastic baskets are very generic so I spruced them up with a wide silver ribbon which I chose for its subtlety.

Aside from storing and organizing my cards, it’s also important that I have easy access to them – this encourages me to actually use them. That’s why I place the baskets on our bookshelf which makes them very accessible.

I’ve prepared a file you can print to make the dividers if you want to create a similar storage solution. You can download the file here.

Con mucho amor,
Vault - Creative Play

Feliz Party Dress

I started making this dress three months ago. I had to give it a rest because I was getting frustrated with it to the point that I was ready to shred it to pieces – lol! Last week though, after finishing the Dortje Pants, I decided it was time to finish it. And I’m glad I did because Rinoa said it’s her favorite so far.

The Feliz Dress is a two-layer dress – a full-skirted underdress topped with a shorter, pinafore-style overdress that’s open in the back. Rinoa absolutely loves the back and wishes she can wear the dress with the back as the front. I was going to add trims to the dress but got kinda lazy, so I’m saving the trims for a future attempt at another Feliz Dress.

Rinoa in her Feliz dress
The back of the Feliz dress
What can I say? Another perfect outfit for twirling! And she does love her twirls!

Feliz is a perfect summer dress but once it starts getting cold, it can be layered with a long sleeve shirt and leggings. That’s what I call versatile! :)

Feliz Dress layered with a long-sleeve shirt for fall weather.
Vault - Creative Play

Dortje Pants in Pink Corduroy

Now that I know how to make a pair of Dortje Pants, I felt the urge to make more and have some fun with it. Here’s the second one I made in pink corduroy with flower print accents and lots of ruching. Very playful! (Patterns are based on Sewing Clothes Kids Love)

Rinoa in her Corduroy Dortje Pants
Closeup of the Corduroy Dortje Pants
Closeup of the Corduroy Dortje Pants

What I love about the Dortje Pants is that it’s perfect for active children! It has a faux fly and elastic waistband which makes it look like real zipped-up pants with the ease and comfort that young children require. It also has full pockets in the front and back just waiting to be stuffed by its lucky wearer. {Rinoa loves ’em!}