Illustration by Mady Besch, Matt Wieczorek, and Bill Sitzmann
The cover of the 2018 FamilyGuide summer camp edition was conceptualized as an image that would grab the attention of both parents and children using vibrant colors and a singular theme.
This being summer camp, I used geometric shapes in the composition: circles for the sun; triangles for trees; and an intricate campfire scene with a tent, fire, and traditional summer camp sign with arrows pointing to the articles within.
I first created the cover in Adobe Illustrator as a digital mock-up to size, and from there selected different felt materials for the actual shapes to cut out. Thanks to our art director, Matt Wieczorek, and photograper, Bill Sitzmann, we were able to exaggerate the shadows of the shapes and give the cover a real 3-D effect that conveyed the feel and texture of felt on glossy printed paper.
This cover redesign departs from the static look (recurring icons with different cover colors) found in previous FamilyGuide covers. We plan to carry stylistic elements of this cover redesign through the rest of the year’s editions of FamilyGuide.
Since my husband and I found out that we are expecting, my mind has been on all things baby. With the holiday season in full swing, I love seeing rustic woodland decorations adorning stores, homes, and on my Pinterest board! With wintery things in mind, I had the idea to make a Christmas mobile for our nursery. Craft these little guys for yourself, and you can use them as a baby mobile, tree ornaments, or even string them up and use them as a garland. Merry Christmas and happy crafting!
What You’ll Need:
Felt in various colors
Medium and small needles
Black thread and embroidery string in various colors
Black, round beads
Hot glue gun
Find a pattern that you would like to follow for your forest friends. I found mine at liagriffith.com.
Print out pattern.
Cut out each piece with an X-Acto blade.
Trace each piece onto the felt of the same color. If you are creating two of the same shape it may be best to turn the paper over and trace from the back side for the second piece. This way you can avoid having pen lines show after you cut them out.
Hot glue any smaller pieces onto the main body of each animal.
With the small needle and thread, sew black bead eyes onto the body.
With medium needle and embroidery string, blanket stitch around the edges of the two body pieces to create a pocket for stuffing.
Stuff the pocket with filler to give your critter some shape. Be sure to start doing this before you sew up many of the edges!
String fishing line through the top of the animal and hang it from the embroidery hoop.
Hang each forest friend at a different length to add dimension to your mobile, and attach hoop to the ceiling.
In this issue we are taking inspiration from all things Wes Anderson! The masked characters on our cover were inspired by the strange, large painting hanging above the couch in the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums. The masks themselves were inspired by the disguises worn to hide from adults in Anderson’s 2012 Moonrise Kingdom. Whether you are a grown man posing intimidatingly on a four-wheeler, or a 12-year-old running from consequences, a good mask ignites adventure and makes you feel like you can get away with anything.
What You’ll Need:
Felt (assorted colors)
Hot glue gun
1/4” elastic band
If you are not naturally gifted at visualizing shapes to build a critter, there are all kinds of great templates that you can find and print out on Pinterest or Etsy.
Cut out shapes from paper, then place them on a piece of felt of the same color. Lightly trace around the shape with a pen, and cut out that piece of felt with scissors.
Continue this until you have all of the shapes cut to form an entire mask. I doubled the felt for any piece of the mask considered to be a “base” in order to make the mask a bit sturdier by spraying one layer with an adhesive, laying it on top of another piece, and cutting my shape out of both pieces at once.
When layering the mask together, flip over cut-out pieces so that you do not see any pen marks that you have made. Keep in mind that the mask will look backwards compared to your template, but the result will be much cleaner.
Make sure that all of the pieces are in order before hot-glueing each piece in its place.
Cut a hole on either side of the mask and feed the elastic band through the holes. Tie the elastics to the masks, and you are ready for a night as a woodland critter!