Friday, December 4


I must admit that I enjoy buying beautiful toys for the children just a bit too much. Not sure if they always prefer my sensible choices to their plastic ponies and Polly Pockets though ;)
Just this afternoon I was making this pretty jigsaw puzzle with Luna. It's called Arbracadabra and it's designed by Marc Boutavant. Because the weather is so bad I couldn't make a proper picture of us making the puzzle (the box only shows a bit) but I think you can tell just from this photo how lovely it is. A wonderful and playful way of introducing your little ones to a bit of art, I thnk.

While searching the internet for more pretty toys I came across this wonderful version of Snakes and Ladders featuring polar bears and penguins, designed by Marc Boutavant too.

Also on my wish list is this colouring book based on the brilliant work of artist Charley Harper. I wonder if these illustrations would work as embroidery patterns too?

I'm pretty sure most of these toys are available all over the world and over the internet. The puzzle and game are by French toymakers Djeco (they make lots of other lovely stuff as well) and I saw the Charley Harper book on Amazon.


  1. I love Charley Harper, too. I think that many of the illustrations would work very well as embroidery. They have been done as needlepoint and cross stitch, and they work because there aren't a lot of details to make life more difficult. You could do the outlines, and then whatever details that you wanted.

  2. Gorgeous colouring book... I am too OCD to let my two year old have something that beautiful I think though! I think it would make many beautiful embroideries! Love the polar bear game up above too. Very sweet.

  3. I always love the things you find! Charley Harper's a favorite of mine and that coloring book is on my Christmas list ... oh yeah, and maybe one for my kids, too! : )

    PS. What a GREAT idea for embroidery ... ... ...

  4. i'm working on converting some of Charley's images into embroidery - the hardest part is figuring out what not to include in the images.

    I'm going to print directly on my fabric again - it's so much easier then tracing.

  5. Ooh how do you go about printing directly on fabric Sarah? I would love to try!

  6. I use a Cannon printer - ip4600 (about 50$ on well the newer on it's ip4700 and less then 50$ same basic 8.5x14 printer)

    I iron my fabric to a big sheet of freezer paper, then i fold over the sides to make my "fabric/paper" combo 8.5" wide. Then i trim both long ends to be about 11" long (longer if you need it) then run it through the printer

    I think the key is to use an inkjet printer (the ink is not water proof and will wash out but it may stain?)

    There are products available to make HP printer ink permanent. But even though im not making permanent prints it lasts long enough to stitch over.

    I also use Illustrator to convert scans into line drawings i try to make the lines as small as possible. Live Trace feature in illustrator is amazing (there's a trial website that does the same thing

  7. Thanks Sarah! I've got a laserprinter and I need to get my freezerpaper from another country I'm afraid (but I was going to do that anyway...)but it sounds like it works really well.


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