Saturday, 4 April 2015

Mrs Fox's Crafty Boxes - A Felt Apple Needle Case

how to make a felt apple needle case
Mrs Fox's Felt Apple Needle Case Kit
Apples are on my mind at the moment, there is no two ways about it.  I've spent a lot of time digging holes and planting apple trees in our garden, you'll find more on this little adventure on Mrs Fox's Den.

how to make a felt apple needle case
Needle Case Kit

Last week I ended up digging out the felt apple needle case kit I made last year, dead simple to make and a lovely gift.

how to make a felt apple needle case
Shapes to cut out to make our own felt apple needle case

You will need:

2 Red & 2 white felt squares approx 15cm x 15cm
Smaller scraps of green and brown felt
Red, white and green embroidery silks
needle and scissors

You will need to use blanket stitch and running stitch.
  1. Cut out 2 red apple shapes that take up almost the whole 15cm square.  Then 2 smaller white apple shapes.  
  2. Take the white embroidery silk, threading your needle with two strands.  Centre one of the white apple shapes on one of the red, sew them together in a neat running stitch around the edge. 
  3.  Using a single strand of white sew a blanket stitch around the circumference of the other white apple shape.  Position the brown pips onto this shape and overstitch them into position.
  4.  Lay the second piece of white onto the first, line them up and with a neat running stitch (again in white) sew up the centre of the two pieces.  
  5. how to make a felt apple needle case
    And the back looks like this...
  6. Take your ribbons and secure them with a few stitches to the back of the red apple shape, being careful not to go through the white pieces as well.
  7. Take the second piece of red apple, arrange the stalk and leaf in position slightly overlapping the leaf onto the stalk and sew into place using green thread, making sure you put a couple of stitches through the leaf, stalk and red apple shape to hold them all together in place.  Sew up the centre of the leaf in a running stitch.
  8. Finally, lay the two pieces of red apple together, using2 strands of red thread and starting at the stalk, sewing away from it, sew the two apple pieces together using blanket stitch.  When you get back to the stalk split your silk into a single thickness and blanket stitch up around the stalk. 
And there you have it a simple first sewing project and makes a great little gift for someone who likes to sew.

Mrs Fox's has made this little craft into a kit that contains everything you need to make one felt apple needle case, you can purchase the kit for £6 +p&p through  

how to make a felt apple needle case

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Crafty Ideas for Easter for the Kids from Happythought
To help with your Easter Hols preparations here's a round up some of Happythought's Easter freebies and printables.

1) Printable bingo game - FREE EASTER BINGO
2) Bunny rabbit mask template - BUNNY MASK
3) Mini top hat templates - DIAMOND HAT TEMPLATE
4) Easter bunny party kit - PARTY PRINTABLES
5) Barnyard gift boxes - GIFT BOX TEMPLATES
6) Printable bunny garland - FREE BUNNY GARLAND
7) Easter pinwheels, bow ties and carrot gift boxes - EASTER PRINTABLES

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2015!

We had a lovely Christmas how about you?

And now the festive season is over and the children are back at school Mrs Fox needs to wake up, sort out her messy den and get back to work.

We moved house before Christmas.  To a cottage with an acre garden and much, much work to be done on it.  It has overwhelmed me, I will be honest.  Having started another blog Mrs Fox's Den to write about the renovation of our house and garden it has been so all encompassing that I've written very little, taken none of Mrs Fox's wares to market for months now and Mrs Fox's workshop is not even unpacked!

However, thats the end of that kind of behaviour.  A new year and we are back on track, crafting, partying and having fun.  Christmas Thank You-cards have been made by the little foxes using paint, glue, stamps, string and Christmas wrapping paper I had saved off of their presents.

And while the kids were stamping, sticking, cutting and crafting their thanks, I made gift tags for next year out of more of the recycled Christmas wrapping paper.  So, we are feeling suitably crafty and thrifty.

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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

Ok it's been a while, but we are back on the case with Ladybird Tuesday linky started on the Being Mrs C blog, take a look at her posts here.  I admit that I am a little obsessed with houses and homes at the moment because we have just moved - oh the stress and strain.  And, as a result I am launching a new blog Mrs Fox's Den for all the inevitable posts about our house and garden and it's renovation.

The Story of Houses and Homes 

Written by Richard Bowood with illustrations by Robert Ayton is a Ladybird Achievements book first published in 1963.

The Story of Houses & Homes

"Man must have a house, for shelter from the weather to provide a safe place to sleep with protection from his enemies and to make a home for his wife and children."

Starting with cavemen and ending with a modernist home in the country this Ladybird book spans the history of houses in the UK.

Vintage Ladybird Books - The Story of House & Home

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

From Norman Castle to Elizabethan half-timber homes, it looks at the history, materials and technology of the British Home:

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

However, it presents this history primarily in terms of the architecture with a relatively limited amount of social commentary.

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

There is mention of industrialisation leading to the horror of slum dwellings and this then being cleared to make way for modern council homes.

Ladybird Tuesday - The Story of Houses & Homes

The beginning of our wonderful planning system with The Better Homes Act, which Parliament passed in 1875 giving local authorities the power to insist that every house built had to fulfil basic conditions.

But it is primarily focused on the homes of the wealthy and the changing architectural styles.

It's interesting that the author is clearly subjective in his opinion of these houses and primarily on an architectural level.  He is a bit of a Prince Charles in his opinions, in the thrall of classical architecture, the Queen Anne Home being the high point of architectural beauty in the UK.  He expresses genuine distaste for the Victorian Gothic style and traditional Victorian parlour - one of the few interior illustrations in the book.

Victorian Parlour Ladybird Book - The Story of Houses & Homes

So, with the move to our new home imminent I'm also starting a new strand on the blog; Mrs Fox's Den is a personal story of our move to a little country cottage with an acre of land.

The rest of Mrs Fox's Ladybird Tuesday posts are here and if you have a collection of Ladybird books, please do feel free to join in.
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Movie Review: The Lego Movie

We’ve been sent a copy of The Lego Movie*, or as it’s known in our house the “AWESOME MOVIE!” (said in movie preview style American voice) to review.  I should first state that this is in no way an objective review because IT'S AWESOME!  

It made us laugh, it made us cry (mostly with laughter).  Despite the characters being little animated plastic people (and things) there was real jeopardy, real triumph, real adventure.  And did I mention, it made us laugh?

So, there is an ordinary guy (made of Lego) who is told he’s the special, the greatest Master Builder of them all, who must save the (Lego) Universe from the evil of Lord Business, who is bent on ultimate control of everything, and everyone Lego.  And that just about sums up the plot of the lego movie, but doesn’t even begin to describe this fantastic, subversive satire about the drawbacks of conformity and the power of the imagination.

Despite a baddie called Lord Business, this film could easily have simply become an over long advert for the Lego brand.  Leaving us parents feeling like we had been slightly stitched up by the powerful combination of, toy manufacturing multi-national and Hollywood studio. But instead, this is an entertaining, creative movie that children and adults can enjoy together.  Doing that clever thing that Toystory pulls off so well, allowing us to laugh at the same joke from a slightly different point of view.  This joyous movie celebrates the imagination of our childhood and glories in it’s zany logic.

We loved it the first time we saw it at the cinema as Mr Fox’s birthday treat.  That’s what I mean about it appealing to both children and the child in the adult.  The nostalgic stop-frame style animation, the in jokes, the pop culture references and the genre smashing storyline appeals to the adults, while the vivid colour, superheroes, unicorns, good v evil, slapstick storyline appeals to the kids.

We love Lego in this house.  Both the little foxes have played with it from their early Duplo days, to the complete worlds they now create, that take up the whole playroom floor and that I am not allowed to put away for weeks on end.   

My only, only, issue with the movie is that with it’s positive message of creative play and building free form creations rather than following the instructions, the Lego playsets that came out after the movie to exploit it’s success were of exactly the latter type.  But, it did make us go to the Lego website, ignore the movie tie ins and seek out the Bricks & More Range that gives you all the loose Lego bricks you could want to make your own Lego creations come to life.

And finally any review of this film simply would not be complete without mention of the song, yes, that AWESOME song that my children sang repeatedly for weeks after, and anytime the word AWESOME is said since.  I can say little to describe it's awesomeness, instead, here, see what you think...

*We were sent this movie to review by

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Evie & Rex Paper Dolls

A few weeks ago we were approached by the lovely people at Folksy's blog to contribute to their summer holiday children's craft tutorials. The little foxes and I had had such a good time last school holidays making paper dolls from Sweet Paul's website, that I fancied designing a paper doll for Mrs Fox's.

So here are Evie & Rex in paper:

Their design is a mash up of Evie and Rex our handmade dolls that we sell on Folksy, my beautiful little girl Una May and her dog Bea. If you'd like to make your own you can download the template from Folksy, paint cut out and play.  Super simple to make, great for the school holidays.

All You Will Need is:
paper & card
paint, coloured pencils or pens

1.  Download the PDF (2 pages; Evie & Rex and one page of her clothes) print onto white paper.

2.  Colour Evie, her friend Rex the dog and her clothes however you wish.

3.  To make Evie and Rex stand up, glue then onto card - you can use an old cereal box it’s the right thickness.  Leave a strip of card about 3cm wide at the bottom that you can fold into a stand - see below:

TIP:  I cut Evie out roughly first, leaving 1/2cm of white paper around the edge.  Then I glued her to the card.  Once she'd dried I cut her out again, this time trimming right up to the edge of the doll. 

4.  Cut out Evie’s clothes and fold the tabs over the edge of the doll to dress her.  Have fun designing and making your own outfits for Evie.

Making the paper Evie has also fed into the design process of the party gang cloth dolls which are about to go through a bit of a makeover.  Just as soon the school holidays are over!

All our designs are entirely our own so please leave a comment below if you do decide to download them - we just love a little love!

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014


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