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advanced wood
Over the summer the kids have enjoyed making dozens of fairy houses with flowers and objects around the yard. But yesterday my son and I decided to make a mini treehouse. I used a design in my friend Derek’s book. (He’s a master of DIY mini houses and forts. I’ll post info for the book...
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The kids recently made the great discovery of using the Miniature Kitchen Set in the dollhouse. They’ve been making some nice Thanksgiving dinners for various dollhouse guests. Nice! Happy fall everyone!
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It seems like Thanksgiving decorations are so difficult to find. Most stores just move straight from Halloween to Christmas and Hanukkah. So yesterday, I decided to make a little wooden turkey decoration for our mantel. As a child, I remember lying on my Grandparent’s living room floor and being able to pull things off the...
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Little E is always fascinated to watch her big brother and sister ride on all of their bikes and scooters. She often tries to sit on them and scoot around. I always wanted to try making a ride-on toy when the twins were little, but never had the time. So I finally got my chance!...
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My son and I are big Lego fans, and he just got a new knight that has a moveable arm. It looked like a lot of fun, so I thought I’d try and make a wooden version so we could have a friendly dual. We had a great time making a little video too. (Spoiler...
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We’ve been enjoying our first week of summer break, and spending a lot of time playing in the backyard. Planting sticks, I mean trees, playing in the playhouse I made two years ago, and drawing a lot of chalk art. A couple of weeks ago on the Made by Joel Facebook Page, I asked for...
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My daughter loves flowers. And around the same time I thought of the branch tree idea, I came up with this flower building toy. I used some scrap wood and cut out shapes, then painted them. Then I drilled holes into a bunch of thick dowel pieces to make stacking beads for the stems. The...
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Last week I made this wooden catapult toy. I was originally going to have it toss paper balls but thought it would be cool to sew some instead. (Similar to the yo-yo balls I made awhile back.) It worked really well. The kids both had a real kick trying to make a basket. I made...
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My last giveaway was so fun I thought I’d do one more for the holidays. The prize this time is two of my wooden dolls, complete with vintage fabric doll clothes that I just sewed yesterday. The dolls are solid maple and finished with food grade beeswax. My kids, nieces and nephews have been playing...
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I recently received a great gift of some beautiful vintage birch plywood from my wife’s grandfather.  So to test the wood, I cut a smaller version of my elephant puzzle just for fun.  It turned out being so cute that I decided to make two of them so I could try doing a small giveaway....
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The idea for this came into my head a couple of weeks ago.  I’m probably not the first one to do it, but it’s quite fun to play with.  Similar to a marble labyrinth, only much easier, which makes it great for younger kids.  Just set the marble on the small start hole, then get...
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I’m excited to say that I’ve just shipped my first set of The Land of Me toy prototypes off to London.  I’m having such a great time working with the people at Made in Me, and I can’t wait to see how this first set turns out.  Production is going to start in just a...
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Yesterday I made some more wooden animals so there would be a complete set.  The parts are interchangeable, so it’s possible to make many different creatures.  I had a lot of fun trying them out before the kids got up from their nap. Also, a lot of people have asked what I finish my wooden...
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I’ve always liked the simplicity of things that fit together with slots. Yesterday I made this little wooden toy. I think I should make more animals with interchangeable pieces so people could make their own creations. My son had fun playing with this one though. He especially liked peeping through the eye hole.
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I just ran across some photos of the toy bench I made for the kids awhile back out of poplar wood.  I tried to design something simple with an open front.  I didn’t want a lid that could be closed on fingers.  It’s worked really well; just the right balance for the organized chaos of...
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A few days ago I got to spend some time at the Portland Art Museum on my birthday.  I hadn’t been there in awhile and was really inspired by the Native American exhibits.  Dance wands, totem poles, jewelry. So I came home and dreamt up the idea for this toy.  A kind of interactive art...
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We’ve been spending time outside in our playhouse lately, and I realized I’ve never posted pictures of it on this blog.  Some of you might have seen it in my Daddy Story on Bloesem Kids.  Last fall I decided to utilize the strip of cement behind our garage and fit a playhouse to that space....
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I finished the dollhouse!  At least for now.  I’m sure I’ll never stop making furniture for it.  It’s too much fun.  My son especially loves organizing and arranging the furniture.  The guys in the family are playing with dollhouses and the girls are out riding bicycles.  Nice.
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My nephew and niece had a joint birthday party last week. Pablo loves trucks and Milly loves our climbing gorilla when she comes over. She also loves princesses, so I made her a climbing princess. Good old fashion fun!
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Here’s a little climbing toy I made. I used to have one when I was a kid and loved playing with it. I just hung it in the art room. We’ll have to see if the kids can make it climb when they get up from naps.
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