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Sew a Felt Doll, Newborn Photos, and April Goals

Sewing, photography, and April goals.

Felt doll sewn by a six-year-old using the pattern and instructions in "My Felt Doll".

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Can you believe that six-year-old Lily was able to this adorable doll using the instructions in the book My Felt Doll? I was a little dubious when she told me that she wanted to sew a felt doll using the book, but I shouldn’t have doubted her. I helped with the beads on the dress, the eyes, the lace on the bottom of the dress, and with lots of needle threading and knot tying, but she pretty much made this on her own! She even spun the hair using a drop spindle and wool roving. We don’t have the whole spinning process down – I think I need to try a spinning class to help her perfect her technique. When it comes to crafting, Lily adds some serious patience and perseverence to her signature grit and determination for a real win!

Funny thing: looks like March is doll making time. Last year I made this Daddy doll, also out of felt!

Sew a Felt Doll

Newborn photography and April goals

Newborn Photography

The arrival of my newest niece was the most exciting thing that happened in March! I got to be there when she arrived, and loved taking photos of her. My mom flew out to help, so we get some bonus time with Grandma, too! I’m adding “always capture a few photos right by the window” to my newborn photography tips – I love how this photo turned out!

Goals

Goals… I was pretty ambitious in my goal-setting for March, and I only got about half of them done. Lily finished her doll, we planned out our road trips (switched one of them to flight, actually), and I did pretty well at making one on one time happen for all four kids. Mike and I sort of passed the “date” goal – we went to Costco and Fry’s on our own without the kids. We still need to go on a real date, though. I finished Beyond Sing the Woods by Trygve Gulbranssen and read Yang Huang’s Living Treasures. I recommend both books; both are serious reads. I made progress on Lily’s quilt, but I still have about 36 curved seams to sew before I can trim down to rectangles that should join together pretty quickly. Photo editing time was mostly spent editing newborn photos and pictures for a local event that I photographed; I have personal photo editing sitting in my to-do list. I didn’t work on the photo book at all, and I also didn’t work on my illustration class.

Setting Goals for April 2016

April is busy! My kids have a week off of school and then we are driving to Utah where we will visit family, Mike is speaking at a couple of local universities, and Emma and I are going to SNAP! together. So, I am going to stick to finishing last month’s goals:

  • Catch up on photo editing. Mindful living and gratitude.
  • Finish the rectangles for Lily’s quilt. Learning.
  • Make one photo book. Gratitude and mindful living.
  • Watch at least one more illustration class. Learning.
  • Keep spending one-on-one time with the kids. Mindful living.
  • Enjoy mini at-home dates with Mike. Because he is traveling on the days when a proper date might work. I highly recommend building LEGO sets together as mini dates! If you follow me on Instagram you know that Mike and I are slowly working our way through this Parisian restaurant setMindful living and gratitude.

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

16 thoughts on “Sew a Felt Doll, Newborn Photos, and April Goals”

  1. Elisa | blissful E

    Great job by Lily on the doll, and that is a spectacular newborn photo!! Want to fly over to do mine at the end of this month? ;) Have a wonderful month of travel and intentional fun!!

  2. What a perfect photograph of your niece! And such a beautiful felt doll, too. Your daughter did an amazing job. We’ll definitely be checking out “My Felt Doll” for my first-grader who’s been asking for more “real” sewing projects. This will be perfect! Thanks for the recommendation :)

    1. It is a really wonderful book! The dolls take quite a while to make, but they are really fun, and the book is full of accessories that will fit the basic doll frame so you can sew and sew and sew.

  3. Taking on dates with your husband is such a great goal, and I love that you’re recognizing that a mini-date counts. My husband and I need to get better at this, and probably starting somewhere small would be best.

    Your newborn photo is beautiful! Congrats on your newest niece.

  4. I love that doll! Now I am inspired to make one for my youngest too. Your photography is so beautiful. That picture is precious!

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