Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nutcracker: Peg Doll Style

Intrigued?  You should be.  This is really cool.  But you need just a little back story first, so hang in there...

After Hannah's ballet recital, our house has officially been hit with Nutcracker fever.  We recorded the PBS special of The Nutcracker Ballet on Live from Lincoln Center last week, and our three year old child has watched the whole thing (including the intermission interview done by Chelsea Clinton) literally as many times a day as we will allow.  I never imagined she would sit through a full-blown theatrical production, but kids are full of surprises, aren't they?

On a seemingly unrelated note, I saw these Princess Peg Dolls on Pinterest, and I immediately knew that I needed  to make them.  Now.  For Christmas.  Or better yet, to put in the last week of the Advent Calendar.  (Yeah...that's the way my mind works.  And I wonder why nothing ever gets done.)  So on Saturday, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some peg dolls and a little box. 

Then on Sunday, driving home from church, conversation turned, as it so often does, to Hannah's new favorite thing, her Nutcracker doll from Grandma.  Hannah was wishing that she could play with the doll.  As it is, it's reserved for looking at only, or occasional gentle handling. 

And a 10,000 watt light bulb went off!  Who needs princess peg dolls?  I could make NUTCRACKER PEG DOLLS!!!!  After a thorough Internet search, I found no examples to use for reference.  So I collected Hannah's Nutcracker story book for inspiration and got to sketching.  Using this helpful tutorial, I started painting the peg dolls last night, and finished them this morning.  Now they're all in a row, waiting for their appropriate Advent Calendar day to make their curtain call.

But since Hannah doesn't read my blog, I'll share them with you now.  And I figured, what better way to enjoy Nutcracker characters than through the story.  So at long last, here it goes:

Marie and Fritz were so excited about Christmas!  Their parents had decorated the tree, and it looked magical!

During the Christmas party, Godfather Drosselmeyer arrived with gifts for all the children. 

He brought Marie a special gift: a nutcracker doll.  Marie loved her new doll.

But naughty Fritz chased Marie, and tried to take it from her.

Late that night, after everyone had gone to bed, Marie crept downstairs to see her Nutcracker doll under the tree. But the tree grew, and the doll came to life!

Soon, a band of mice had invaded the house, and the Nutcracker was fighting with the Mouse King.

Afraid that the Nutcracker would lose the battle, Marie threw her shoe at the Mouse King

This distracted him while the Nutcracker gave the fatal blow.

The Nutcracker became a prince, and he took Marie to a magical land of snow.

They were greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

She and her friends welcomed Marie and the Prince.

Each person performed a special dance, inspired by something good to eat or drink. 
First was the Dance of Tea.

Next was the Dance of Coffee.  This dancer was an acrobat, doing flips and twirls.

Then was the Candy Cane Dance.

And finally came Mother Ginger, with a band of gingerbread children in her skirt.

When it was time for Marie to return home, everyone said goodbye.

Marie awoke under the Christmas tree, and looked at her Nutcracker doll.  She wondered if it had all been a dream...

Like it?  I guess Hannah's not the only one obsessed, is she?  So I had this box to put the dolls in, and I started wondering how I could paint it.  I mean, I did okay on the peg dolls (with the exception of Fritz's lazy eye), but I'm no painted. 

Then I remembered that I just got a brand spanking new Silhouette machine.  So look what I whipped up next!

A firm believer that everyone should have stuff with their name on it (this comes from being named Siobhan, where very little exists with my name on it), I added this label. 

Now I have another reason to be excited about Christmas.  I can't wait to dole out the rest of the dolls!

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