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This time of year is tricky. I am painting and crafting a dozen things I’d like to share with you, but I don’t want to ruin any surprises. I decided this project is pretty safe, as I don’t think my one-year-old nephew is checking the blog very often. :)

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I made this little cutie from a Martha Stewart craft kit called “My First Numbers Book.” The set came with a 6″-square, pre-assembled fabric book and all the appliques for the numbers and animals. My job was to organize and assemble, both of which I enjoy as a general rule.

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Like every other Martha project I’ve ever made, this turned out to be a lot more time-consuming and fiddly than the directions implied. I blame the Martha Stewart-patented font. Anything printed in that tiny, tidy little script automatically looks more manageable. “Decoupage intricate tissue paper shapes on to hand-blown eggs? Sure — it’s only three short steps!” These particular three steps turned out to take almost two hours of pain-staking attention to detail.

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However, also like many other Martha-inspired projects, I really like the results. I am absolutely in love with the brightly-colored animals in this book, and I know my nephew will be too. I can already imagine his enthusiastic cow moos and doggy woofs, and honestly it will be worth all that time and effort just to hear him say the word “bumblebees.” :)

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