Monday, November 30, 2009

Tree blocks on a budget...

This time of year we get a lot of catalogs. Most go right into the recycling bin, but there are a few that are saved and looked at again and again.

One of our favorite toy catalogs is Magic Cabin Toys.

The girls have been desperately wanting these tree blocks.


Cherry Tree Blocks

49.95 for 39 pieces though is definitely outside of my budget. Luckily my pal TJIC was able to help me out with this. TJIC, among many other things, is a woodworker. The more I looked at these blocks the more I suspected that he could make these blocks in his sleep. When I mentioned it to him he said he'd be happy to cut the logs I found- I think he's happy for any excuse to work in his shop.

First I raided my dads firewood pile for a few pieces of wood that were narrow and had not been split and then I found a few more in the woods on the dog walk.

This morning I handed over the bag of six logs to TJIC and asked him to cut them into regular length pieces so that they would each be unique, yet good for stacking. About ten minutes after I handed them over he called to let me know that they were done.

After picking up the blocks we headed over to Michael's where I was able to find a few thin and wide slabs of log to use as platforms for the blocks.

After dinner I dumped all of the blocks on the floor of Lily's room and the girls got busy.

Here's what they did.










The kids loved these! Blocks are always great, but these lend themselves to a different sort of structure. Being able to create a forest or a fairy house using such a raw and unfinished material really inspired them.

I was especially happy to be able to recreate these on the cheap since the girls are really hoping to get these dolls for Christmas!


Magic Cabin Fairies

They want the houses for them too...


Fairy Forest Home

Those babies are $99. Seriously. I think that by combining the blocks, some sticks and some bits of silk fabric the girls will be able to create even better fairy houses.

Now if TJIC would only become a doll maker as well...

9 comments:

Amy. said...

Has TJIC considered making this a sideline? I love to think of him setting up a booth at the Waldorf School Holiday Fair... he could make little stickers "made in TJICistan"...

they came out great! I wanna play!

Cheryl said...

Love it! Nice to have a TJIC in your life. You two could collaborate on the house. Call my mom about the dolls. Bet she'd be right on board with trying to make these. They're adorable.

kathi said...

How cute! I love it when someone sees a great idea and recreates it themselves! Your girls are going to have so much fun with this!

Pom Pom said...

How WONDERFUL! A parent at school told me about Magic Cabin. I usually don't start thinking about fairies until summer, but your blocks are enchanting and now I'm thinking about fairies for the little girls in my life! You are such a smarty! Your girls are going to have a magic Christmas!

gretchen from lifenut said...

My daughters are nuts for the Magic Cabin Fairies. This year, they'll have the complete holiday sets.

Thanks for posting your clever use of scrap wood---I might steal the idea.

Piecefulafternoon said...

What a wonderful gift - those logs to build with - and the fairy dolls are just fabulous. Hope all the little fairies in your house are happy this christmas.

Anonymous said...

Wow... *I* want to play with these! Even the fairy dolls are awesome with their little homes. Dang! Way to go Sara!! -TT

Lisa said...

How cool! What a great way to save the money!
Hugs, Lisa

Sofia Britts said...

Oh, they're so cute! They remind me of those Syllvannian Families that my niece used to collect when she was little. They're a bit pricey, but she didn't mind spending her pay check on those collections. Good thing your friend was able to help you on that. Got more Cabin Toys?