Pepper the Poodle

felted dog - poodle

Mrs Fox is busy making new felted items for Jumble & Pearls Vintage Valentines Fayre on Saturday 8th February at The Book Club in Hoxton.  Pepper Poodle will be there, or can be ordered for £30 +p&p from our Folksy Store, Mrs Fox's Handmade.


Mmmm, Jumble & Pearls!

What a wonderfully enticing name for a vintage and designer fayre.  We were sold on the name alone without knowing much else about it and although we're not quite jumble, we like to think that we put crafty pearls of inspiration into our work.

Do we want to try our hand at taking a table there?  Goodness, if it gives us a valid excuse to spend some time looking at jumble, try keeping us away.  
I live in an area where many of my children's friends have beautiful houses where there's a place for everything and everything is in it's place.  Sometimes I daydream about living in such a palace, how easy they must be to clean for a start… my reality though, is a house distinctly displaying the signs of 3 young children, and my own love of 'stuff'.  Nina Fox's house is very much the same (though she has more nice 'stuff' than me - at the moment…)  (I say 'at the moment because we're SO going to Jumble & Pearls.)

Some of Nina's jumble treasures:

Being at Jumble & Pearls is going to be a day where both of us will need to bring a large bag and lots of restraint.  We're thoroughly looking forward to rustling through racks of musty smelling clothes or casting our eyes over table tops filled with 'things that are nice to look at'.  Millinery and independent designers to boot, we cannot wait!

I don't really remember ever buying Nina, nor her buying me, what normal teenage girls might deem 'cool' presents.  Over 25 + years of friendship we've given each, amongst other things, bits of pottery, old clocks and Victorian tiles.  I'm pretty sure we'll both find plenty of birthday gift potential on Feb 8th...
And being closely followed by Valentines Day is a timely excuse to buy the Mr Fox's gifts of items we think they would like to see in our houses (ahem)… 

We've also tried to 'love up' just a few of our wares, although loving somebody is surely reason enough to find them a unique gift of any kind.  

felt fox softie
Our Fergal has acquired a love heart.

For children, we'll be bringing little craft kits and beautiful room accessories.

kid's craft kits by Mrs Fox's

For those of us aged 12 and over, our room accessories are still suitable and we'll be bringing our very own Make Your Own Fergal Fox Kits.
Nina Fox has been busy needle point felting gorgeous little creatures, the likes of which are easy to fall in love with.

needle felted fox

We will also take advances on commissions, should we run out of anything or should something be just what you want, but not quite.

With many more traders selling equally unique goodies, Jumble & Pearls will have something for everyone; vintage - art - bikes - interiors - independent designers - jewellery - crafts - hats - dresses - sweets.  Be you a child, a teenager, a lady, a gent, a yummy or a slummy mummy, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband or a wife, you are sure to find something to your taste or the taste of somebody you love.  Why ever would you not go?


If you go down to the woods today….

Whenever this song comes into my head, it's always my dad's dulcet (well, I'm feeling generous) tones either humming or singing or trumping it.  He says it's a great tune to play when learning to master the trumpet because of the notes it uses and how they travel.  And I can never think of bears without that tune coming into my head.

So yes, bears… this craft started as a polar bear for our January Crafty Box on account of it being the heart of winter but in actual fact, we think these puppets look good in any colour, so your bear could be white, brown, orange, green or multicoloured.  He can be whatever takes your fancy, you could even draw clothes on him.

For your bear puppet you will need;
The template - CLICK HERE
card or heavy paper
barbecue sticks
brads or string
paints or felt pens or decorative paper


Download our template, print and cut out the 3 bear parts.

Draw around your 3 templates onto the card (or heavy paper) and cut them out.  If he's going to be a polar bear and the templates have been printed onto white paper, use the template parts, i.e. the white leg and head parts, body and back legs.

Using tape, attach the sticks to the lower part of the front legs and head and the back legs.

If you want him to be coloured or patterned, now is the time to transform him with paint or patterned paper etc.  If your bear is going to the picnic, perhaps you will want him to wear a hat and a tie.

Apply glue to the back side of the leg templates and stick them to their corresponding shapes – so sandwiching the sticks between the card and paper.  Stick the body part to it’s corresponding card body part.

Take a pen and press through where holes are indicated with dots.

Pushing brads through the holes you have made, attach the legs and head to the body.  If you don't have brads, you can use string and tie knots to hold it all in place.  We tried this and it works as well as brads and looks just as nice as you can see from the bear below.  

Take your bear to the picnic or make up another story for him to star in. 

*N.B. You can make this using just one side of card with the sticks taped on the back but we found that the sticks were more secure sandwiched between card and paper and the bear less flexible.  We used one side card because he moves better if he is stiff and paper is easier to print on.
* Also N.B.(!) You can use 2 sides of card or 2 sides of paper and/or decorate both sides differently so that your story can contain more than one bear character.


A New Year for Mrs Fox's

Mrs Fox's is a labour of love for Jackie and I.  We love making things, always have, and started to make things with and for our children from the moment they were born.  We love creativity, especially that no holds barred, anything's possible, nothing can't be used and abused creativity of childhood.

With friends and family, and on long winter walks we plotted and planned and finally started Mrs Fox's - Kid's craft boxes; craft kits; parties and hand-made gifts.  Everything with a Mrs Fox's logo on it is hand-made with love and we send it out there into the world in the hope it will inspire other's creativity too.

Last year our two littlest cubs (Louis and Tom) started their school careers; entering reception with some nerves, but growing relish.  Both are now happily settled into school and so we are able to more fully focus on refining Mrs Fox's offering.

Mrs Fox's Crafty Boxes are still themed, full of materials that are natural, re-cycled, repurposed, beautiful and inspiring.  Nothing like the other foam filled, throw away craft schemes that we have seen advertised.  These kid's craft boxes always include complete craft kits and further crafts that can be completed with the addition of bits and bobs from around your home.  With clear, concise instructions they provide hours of crafty fun for you to enjoy with your children.

They can be enjoyed as a kid's craft box subscription service, which will now become a bi-monthly (once every 2 months).

Or as individual boxes - There will be 6 a year plus a couple of special editions, that we will tell you all about later in the year.

We've now created four Mrs Fox's Craft Kits, that are available to buy through our shop and Folksy.  With our little kits you can make; peg dolls, wooden spoon dolls and peg aeroplanes.  They make great party bag gifts, we can even include party bags, tags and stickers to use them as such.

We've also created a kit to make a felt apple needle case, a simple first sewing project.  

We have designed our first new party theme for 2014 for Mrs Fox's Party Boxes.  A circus party for little 3 year old Bianca, with a treasure hunt game and crafts linked to the characters on the invitation.

And we just about fit in the time to indulge ourselves in making things that we love, our handmade gifts are available in Mrs Fox's Handmade, our Folksy store, and include our Rhino Trophy Heads;

We're off to East London in a couple of weekends time with a selection of Mrs Fox's wares to the Jumble and Pearls Vintage Fayre.  Come along and join us.

Probably my and Jackie's greatest inspiration (other than our children) is our love of quality and good design.  We often find that the most 'economically' expression of this is found in vintage pieces, whether they be furniture, children's books and games or clothing.  As a result we are both thrift shop bargain hunting, seekers and collectors of vintage.  So, we've decided to share some of our inspiration and collections on our blog over the course of the year.  2014 is going to be busy, I can feel it already, but when you are doing something you love it feels great - Roll on 2014!

January's Crafty Box

A felt fox bookmark is one of the crafts in January's Crafty Box, due to be sent out on Friday 17th.  This month's Crafty Box precedes some big changes to the way we will be doing our Crafty Box subscription service.  As such we have decided to include some of the great craft ideas that we have had over the last few months that just didn't quite fit into previous boxes.  Plenty to keep your children busy indoors when the rotten winter weather makes it hard to get outside and play.

This particular craft is also a precursor to a new thread on our blog, Vintage Children's Books.  Between us Mrs Foxes we have loads and have decided to share some of our favourites on our blog.

We've lots of changes planned for 2014 and all of them good.


Happy New Year!

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