Thursday, 6 August 2015

An Underwater Collage

The Summer holidays are here - YAY!  And if you are having that moment (or ten), just not knowing what to do with the kids, I have a suggestion - An underwater collage.

I will admit, that the little foxes and I did this last year, or the year before that maybe, doesn't time fly?  It was one of the crafts for our Seaside crafty box.

A collage is a way of creating a picture with a group of different materials and techniques.  Or, in our house it means; checking out what bits and pieces of junk mummy has rescued from the recycling because they look "interesting" and put into the craft box to be used at a later date.

First we created a watery background with 4 sheets of blue paper taped together.  Onto this we painted our jellyfish.  This is a really easy way to make jelly fish.  Mix some paint with water, paint a few gloopy circles in blue/green/purple paint onto the paper, then with a brush dab more water on and tip your paper so that the paint starts to run, making the jelly fish tentacles.  

Once you are happy with how your jelly fish look you can flick some more paint onto the paper to create bubbles.

Once we'd made our background we populated our underwater world with animals that we created in a variety of ways.  Fish were painted on the back of cereal boxes with patterns in every hue.

We made turtles with egg boxes and more card from the recycling box.

We used the edges of a paper plate to get the ridges just right on our sea horses, and little bits of felt to give him a multicoloured belly.

My favourite has to be our lobster, made from the kids' hands and foot prints.

Our animals were all cut out and glued onto the back-ground along with various strips of coloured paper and felt for seaweed, and some shell illustrations that I had scanned from and old book.  I've uploaded the scans in case you would like to use them in your own art work.  They're here:


I have one last Seaside themed crafty box if anyone would like it for the very special price of £12.  It includes shells and fixings to make a shell keyring, full instructions and templates for the collage above and a milk carton boat.  Great for the summer holidays. 

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Most Beautiful Colouring Book Ever and Drawing with Sachiko Umoto

I picked up these books at Foyles on the South Bank about 12 months ago now.  They were supposed to be for Little Una Fox, but I love them and have probably spent as much time as she has at Sachiko Umoto's illustration school drawing cute animals, and plants and small creatures.

So simple and charming, the illustrations and instructions are easy to follow and the result is a very relaxing passing of the time.

As much fun, and possibly even more relaxing, as drawing is simply colouring in.  And the most beautiful colouring book ever surely has to be The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford.

Johanna Basford's beautifully intricate drawings are created first by hand before being digitised, each colouring book can take around a year to create.

 Illustrator Johanna Basford with her Amazon bestselling colouring book, Secret Garden. Photograph: Johanna Basford and Lawrence King
Una has both The Secret Garden and The Enchanted Forest, they can keep her occupied for hours and I have to admit to stealing them for a little go myself.  They are so beautiful and quite addictive.

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Mrs Fox's Chickens

Mrs Fox's Chicks

This Easter we got week old chicks from my little foxes old school, who take part in the Living Eggs scheme.  The scheme has been running for 10 years and gives schools and nurseries the opportunity to hatch their own eggs, to give children the opportunity to see that special moment when life comes into the world.

The children adore them and have named each one; Astrid, Anoushka, Agatha and Ashleigh.  Last week they moved out of their brooder into their new run in the garden.  Here they are, aren't they grown?  About 10 more weeks and we should be getting eggs.

Mrs Fox's Chickens

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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Crafting a Fairy Party

Ahh, yes, that is lovely woodchip on the wall in the picture above.  My workshop in our new house is last on the decorating list, in fact it is barely unpacked, check out Mrs Fox's Den for the story. 

Mrs Fox's Fairy Teaparty party-box is one of  our best sellers.  On Tuesday, after the lovely relaxing May Bank Holiday, I spent much of the morning putting together a party box for 8 to send out to a client.

I think the little drawstring cloth bags I sew for the party bags, really make the party favours seem special.  But I have to admit my favourite item is not something that we make but the Fairy Wishes Cup-Cake Kit we include.  They make up 24 fairy cakes (geddit!) and, along with the cardboard teapot vase, they make such a sweet little party table display.

Fairy Wishes Cup Cake Kit £9

I also use the ice cream van containing ice cream cups and spoons to decorate the party table and then whip out the oh so useful items inside in time for dessert.

Ice Cream Van - Ice Cream Cups & Spoons £9

Mrs Fox's Fairy Tea-Party Box contains:

Fairy invitations and thank you cards

Balloons x 20 in pink, yellow & purple

Flower bunting, 2 x 3m

Mrs Fox's MYO paper fairy kits

Teapot table centrepiece/vase

Paper cups and plates in pink & yellow and fairy napkins.

Fairy cup cake kit (makes 24)

Mrs Fox’s Fairy Party Bags: cotton drawstring bag with fairy glider, make your own paper fairy kit and felt pens, balloons, sweeties.

10 pink spotty birthday candles

Mrs Fox's will put the whole party box together and mail it straight to your home.  You can purchase the Fairy Tea-Party Box for 8, 16 or 24 children right here.  Or if your number of invitees falls somewhere between these numbers please email us and we can send you a quote for a Fairy Tea-Party Box for the number of children you wish to invite.  Here’s how it works:
  1. Purchase your party box for 8, 16 or 24 children.  Or if your number of invitees is substantially different email us first.
  2. Email us and let us know your child’s name and party details and the number of children you plan to invite.
  3. We’ll send your invitations out within 3 days (but usually sooner) and the rest of your party box can then be sent out very soon after.
Mrs Fox’s can also supply; party game kits, bunting, signage and hand made decorations to add to the fairy fun. Take a look at our blog for ideas, if you have any questions email us,
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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bye bye little Mouse

Mrs Fox's felted mouse - £8 on

Another of our little felt mice heads out into the big wide world to a new home.  This time a lady is doing her friend's nursery as a surprise for her on Saturday - isn't that sweet!

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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