Sunday, December 27, 2015

Strega Nona Returns

A holiday gift -- an idea for all year.

Just before the holidays I learned that my toddler grandson's father had a very favorite tale as a child.  That story was Strega Nona.  Just by chance Tomie dePaola (the author of Strega Nona's books) had just released a collection of the Strega Nona stories.

I was able to order a signed copy of the book from Morgan Hill Bookstore.

I had this book inscribed to my grandson but wanted to make it special for his father as well.  Then I went searching for fabric that might coordinate with this book.  Unlike some other favorite authors such as Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss there does not seem to be any illustrator created fabric, but generally I am pretty good at finding fabric that will provide coordinating images -- I envisioned perhaps some fabric with white doves, ... but then I remembered...

In the late 1980s, a reading organization obtained sketches from many illustrators, and permission to reproduce them.  one of the items was tote bags.  I had several in a stash that I have been saving. Saving for what I don't know but now I had an idea.  At first I was going to create  a blanket to use as the two cuddled up to read, but the one image did not seem to lend itself to being included in a blanket of any sort.  So a pillow idea was born.

The tote bags were made of a sturdy cream colored twill.  I cut off the seams, and the top hem which left a piece of 12 1/2 inch square fabric with the Strega Nona image.

The image was printed with a very dark blue ink so I choose a very dark blue twill fabric to use as the border fabric (I wanted an 18 x 18 inch pillow), and used the same fabric to create the envelope style back so the cover could be removed from the pillow form for laundrying.

We gave the book and the pillow to father & son as a "read aloud" kit.  Hope his daddy does read and share the book (and other stories) with him.
But I liked it so much that I made a set for myself too.  My pillow is going in the "reading" guest room.


Do you have a book package that you'd like to order -- suggest something special just for you...  Visit Greenfroggifts on Etsy for the latest choices. 
Order cookie cutters, aprons, and baker's cloths from Green Frog Gifts -- unique gifts -- many $10.00 or under.