Seasonal Story Club 

Below you will find inspiration, instruction, as well as photographs and comments from our story club community.

What is the Sugarhouse Seasonal Story Club?

The Seasonal Story Club is a subscription-based club that allows members to receive two play silks, hand-dyed with plants and minerals, each season, along with: natural and naturally dyed materials for a simple craft, recipes and activity ideas for making the most of the season, and a print of an exclusive illustration by artist Lindsey Pemberton, all inspired by an original story with each shipment. 

 Think stories of surprise violet patches and spring fairies (and a recipe for violet jam), forest animals celebrating summertime with a giant party by moonlight (and the cake they baked), and blankets of white wool knitted to keep winter's seeds warm. 

Our 2018 club is closed and  in full swing, but keep your eyes out for announcements regarding next year's club later in the year, and look for individual seasons' boxes available in the shop in limited quantities. . 

 

summer

summervignette.jpg

Our summer story box included: one sunny yellow and one petal pink naturally-dyed play silk, two pieces of natural wool felt dyed with dandelion flowers and indigo and one length of cotton sashiko thread for making a swallowtail butterfly finger puppet, a story about Sam and the stone bridge he built to take him to a magical party in the forest, a print of an illustration of Sam and his animal friends enjoying a starlit evening by Lindsey Pemberton, recipes for honey lemonade, Summer Berry Sharing Cake, and a petal and spice sprinkle, plus our Flower Feet guide to reconnecting with busy little ones with evening foot baths and nourishing herbal oils. 

 

Flower Feet: A summer self-care practice for littles 

Our boys love foot baths. Often we do them inside before bedtime, sometimes we take them outside and add a few fresh flowers to the water. Right now we're using an infused oil of red clover and plantain, two gentle and abundant plants growing outside our door. It smells earthy and sweet.  Instructions are included for making an herbal oil in your summer booklet, and you can reference the photos of making violet honey below in our spring guide, as the process is nearly identical. 

flowerfeet2.jpg
flowerfeet1.jpg
flowerfeet3.jpg
flowerfeet5.jpg
flowerfeet4.jpg
flowerfeet6.jpg

 

SWALLOWTAIL BUTTERFLY FINGER PUPPET 

Modeled after the beautiful Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterflies that keep us company all summer long (and whisper to Sam in the forest), the wool felt included in the summer boxes was dyed with dandelion flowers and indigo to mimic their soft yellow and blue-black colors. 

Instructions and template included in the summer booklet, photos and detailed instructions below:

bflyHenry3.jpg

Begin by gathering your materials, including the template, wool felt, sashiko thread (included in the box, or any other sturdy thread), large scissors, small snips or a razor blade or craft knife, sewing needle, and at least one pin. 

bflymaterials.jpg

Position the template on the felt (you can cut one at a time or both at once if your scissors are sharp enough) and pin in place. Instead of centering the butterfly template, try positioning it closer to the top of the felt to leave more/larger excess that you will trim off.

bfly1.jpg

Using the largest bit of felt you trimmed off, cut out a semi-circle that is roughly a bit larger than your fingertip. This will be sewn on the back of the butterfly so it can be used as a puppet. 

bfly2.jpg

Next, use your snips or a craft knife/razor blade to cut the eyelet shapes in the yellow felt. 

bfly3.jpg

Pin the fingertip shape onto the center of the back of the indigo felt. Pull your needle up from between the semi-circle and the butterfly back to help hide the knot when you're finished. 

bfly4.jpg

Stitch the shape on using a whip stitch, beginning at the bottom right corner of the shape and working all the way around to the other side. Tie off your thread and trim excess. .

bfly5.jpg

Trim off the excess from your starting knot, and tuck into the semi-circle to finish attaching. 

bfly6.jpg

Now, line up your yellow and indigo felt pieces so that the semi-circle for your finger is on the back of the butterfly (not inside). Beginning anywhere around the outside, insert your needle between the two shapes and begin sewing the butterfly together using a straight stitch. 

bfly7.jpg
bfly8.jpg

Once you've gone all the way around, tie off your thread and trim the ends of both your starting and finishing knots, and tuck them to the inside of the butterfly. Your butterfly is ready to fly! 

bfly9.jpg
bflyHenry1.jpg
bflyRiv.jpg
bflyvignette.jpg

 

 

 

 

Spring 

violets1.jpg

Our spring box included one mossy green and one violet purple naturally-dyed play silk, several squares of naturally-dyed linen in a palette of spring shades with wool felt and a violet-colored storage bag dyed with logwood for a quilt craft, a story about Hazel and the grey days at the end of winter that lead to a refreshing spring surprise, a print of an illustration by Lindsey Pemberton of our friend Hazel under her oak tree, finding signs of spring, a simple guide to the medicine of wild violets and how to make violet honey, a recipe for picnic shortbread, and a bonus coloring page based on Hazel's story. 

 

community photos and projects 

A beautiful series of photos of Eva's sweet girls in Germany enjoying their seasonally-inspired playsilks for a spring tea party!

evasilks1.PNG
evaspring2.JPG
evaspring1.JPG
evaspring4.JPG
evaspring5.JPG
evaspring3.JPG
evaspring6.JPG
evaspring7.JPG

A sweet and perfectly crafted play quilt made from spring club's linen made by Mariamni, a special heirloom in shades of spring:

mariamni4.jpg
mariamni6.jpg
mariamni7.jpg
mariamni2.jpg

 

Making Violet Honey

Full instructions are included in your spring book, and here you will find accompanying photos to provide a brief visual overview for how to make violet (or any herbal) honey. As the seasons change, try rose petals in your honey or lavender, anise hyssop, or bee balm. 

vhoney1.jpg
vhoney2.jpg

Gather your blossoms, and pick through to remove any grasses and long stems before adding them to the jar you would like to infuse your honey in. 

vhoney3.jpg

Next, pour honey over your blossoms to cover them completely. Stir the flowers in with a wooden spoon or stick, and top off with more honey. 

vhoney4.jpg
vhoney5.jpg

Allow the flowers to infuse for anywhere from two to up to six weeks, strain, and enjoy! 

 

Hazel's Quilt 

Included here are photos and instructions to accompany the Hazel's Quilt activity in your spring book. This is the simplest version of the quilt, on that even little hands can help with and amateur sewists can stitch together. The materials can also be used to make a small play quilt with sewn seams and binding if you'd like. 

quilt15.jpg

Begin by gathering your materials, including the linen and wool included in your box, as well as scissors, straight pins, needle, and thread if you plan to finish the quilt. If you'd prefer to leave your pieces loose so your children can rearrange the quilt as they please, just follow the directions for cutting and skip the stitches to finish. 

quilt1.jpg

Cut each square into four equal squares by cutting once down the center, and then cutting each half in half again. 

quilt2.jpg
quilt3.jpg

To create half-square triangles, cut from one corner to the opposite corner of each of the four squares to create 8 (roughly) equal sized triangles. Repeat for all squares and colors as you desire. 

quilt4.jpg
quilt5.jpg

Now you can design your quilt pattern! Arrange the triangles in any pattern you wish, a few are shown below to inspire your qulit-making. The wool provided creates a gently sticking surface that will help to keep the triangles in place as you design. 

quilt6.jpg
quilt7.jpg
quilt8.jpg

After you've determined the final pattern you would like to stitch into a quilt, affix the triangles in place with pins to keep them stable as you stitch. 

quilt9.jpg

Tie a knot at the end of your thread and pull the thread up from the bottom of the quilt to the top in any corner. Use a running stitch to sew up or across one row, sewing the triangles on to the wool. After your needle as gone in near the top of the row, bring the thread up from underneath at the top of a new row and stitch down the quilt parallel to your last line of stitches. 

quilt11.jpg

Once you reach the last row of stitches, tie your string off on the wool side of the quilt and trim any excess thread. 

quilt12.jpg

You now have a simple play quilt! You can use it as a prop in your storytelling, to tuck in small dolls or as a rug in a dollhouse, to lay special treasures on top of, or as a mat for special tea cups. 

quilt13.jpg
quilt14.jpg