Hey there, I'm Alena. I am a mom of a wonderful 10 month old named Cohen who doesn't know the difference between brand new toy store toys and thrift store, yard sale, hand made toys. I also have ADD and love to start new projects. My latest is felt toys. I bought a few hand made patterns from Bugga Bug's Etsy shop and got to work. I looked up some stitches on you tube (basic running, blanket, whip, back, french knot, tying off). I was hoping to find felt through a second hand source, such as craigslist or buy 100% fair trade merino wool felt from this site, but I got impatient and went to my local craft store to see what they had. To my surprise they had eco-fi felt made in the USA from 100% post consumer materials! It only cost $.27 a square (9"x12"). I bought all the colors I needed for my first project: Pancake Breakfast. My first receipt was $19.20 and that included a bag of eco-fi fiberfill and a craft size sheet of eco-fi batting that will both last through 4 or 5 patterns at least. The felt itself was only $4.23 (and I didn't even use a coupon)! I already had a small pack of embroidery needles, needle threader, straight pins, and a bag full of embroidery thread (greater variety of colors for less $). The other investment I made (on a separate shopping trip) was a designated pair of Fiskars fabric scissors (I paid $12 for mine) to keep in my sewing bag so other members of my household will not be tempted to use them for opening boxes or cutting tape and paper that will dull them to the point of unsuitability for fabric. If you have any friends who sew they might be able to lend you some of these items, or you can check estate sales and yard sales (especially ones that advertise quilting supplies). I decided to start this particular project because I knew I already had some of the items I needed and I also have access to my grandmother's quilting stash. I have not done much hand sewing since my grandmother passed in 1995 (when I was 10), so I was a little bit nervous, but like riding a bike, the technique came back to me. My stitches were nowhere near perfect, I had to watch the blanket stitch video every time I started with a new piece of thread, and my thread tangled more than a handful of times, but I got much of the first project complete in about three evenings time (babies tend to be attracted to things that can hurt them so i leave my needle and thread stashed away while he is awake). The little "flaws add so much character, and come on, what diner makes perfectly round, cookie cutter pancakes? I forgot how relaxing hand sewing is. If you are awesome on a sewing machine, much of this stuff can be done on one, but the 1/8" seams keep me away for now until I have some easy projects on the machine successfully completed. My next project I hope to tackle is some easy baby "lovies" (blanket squares made out of minky fabric with silky edges). I would like to teach my child from an early age that the best gifts are gifts of love and that other children have to work to make a lot of the "cool toys" and clothes he thinks he wants rather than getting to play or go to school. My best advice is to start early on your handmade projects so you can enjoy advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas, with your friends and family.