Let me set the stage: It was fall and I had moved to a new town and spent most every evening and weekend at home. The dissertation/PhD process had suppressed every last ounce of creative ability I thought I once had. I needed a project - something to occupy my time and allow me to be non-academic. Christmas was coming and I saw a friend's Facebook profile pictures of a felt cardtable playhouse. The idea was born to make this playhouse for my niece, Emily. I looked up the plans on Etsy. Seriously, what 2 year old wouldn't love to have one of these?
Perhaps I was being a bit ambitious. When I got the plans, the packet was 49 pages long!
So, I bought the stuff... a card table to build it around and lots and lots of felt. Oh, and clear thread, cutting mat and fusing paper for patterning. It slowly took over the living room.
I spent the first few weekends making patterns, ironing them on and cutting them out. This, I could do in front of football. Seriously, from 9am-9pm on Saturdays it was me, football, the iron, sewing machine and tons of felt.
The pieces were finally starting to come together....
but there were more than 100 pieces to make.
Finally, one side almost done.
Once, I had all 4 sides sown separately, I sewed them together. It was now 28 inches tall, but around 140 inches long!. This is the point where it got a little annoying to handle.
So, lets see each side individually. This side is an owl on a fence and a fruit tree - complete with removable Velcro backed fruit that she can pick and put into the basket. The tree trunk is fuzzy and the basket is 3-D, complete with ribbon on the handle..
This side has some birds, a butterfly and a working window you can look out. The pattern included instructions for curtains, but with the purple felt, it's pretty dark inside so I left the curtains off.
This side also has a window and, as I would later find out, this window is big enough to get her head through. That was easily one of her favorite things... peek-a-boo out the window. The watering can detaches so you can "water" the flowers! And, there is a bee and some puppies to decorate.
The front includes a kitty, a flower pot, a porch light, and a working mailbox. The door (complete with windows) opens from the corner. I also put grandma's address above the door.
I took it home with me when I traveled home unexpectedly October 30th for my dad to have heart bypass surgery. I needed my mom to help me put the roof on. It happened to be Halloween weekend and, since no two year old will later remember the difference between Halloween or Christmas 2010, I went ahead and gave it to her. I did not use a card table, because, it turns out she is taller than 28 inches. So, my dad help me construct a PVC frame with non slip feet with legs that unscrew for easy flat storage. She is standing up inside the house in this picture... and since I didn't use a card table, she didn't bonk her head!
She LOVED it... and that made Aunt Misty happy!