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Color Waltz Pattern

           Their lip quivered. Throwing their arms around you, they sobbed, “I can’t do it!”

           “Oh, sweetie.” You wrap your arms around their shaking body, setting them on your knee to hold them close and tight. It takes a few minutes before they calm down, wetly sniffing back their sobs.

           “Now,” you say, as your thumb wipes tears away. “Tell me all about it.”

           Moments later, you have the entire story, and your heart aches. For a moment, you remember yourself as a child, frozen in the front of the class, hearing giggles as you fumbled publicly for the first time.

           “Reading is dumb anyways.” They mutter, kicking out at the ground.

           “Come now.” You say firmly. “You just need some practice.” Cupping their little face in your hand, you lean over to look into their eyes and smile. “You’re smart! Let me remind you! Here.” You set them on the ground and slowly ease yourself down to sit next to them. Looking about you, you notice the Love Letter toys the toddler left in the corner earlier.

           “Perfect!” you mutter, reaching over to scoop them up.

           “Blocks?” the child scoffs. “Those are baby toys.”

           You wink back at them. “Not just for babies, you goofers. These are going to help you learn how to read.” You set the homemade toys out in front of them, taking your time to choose the perfect phrase. “All right, buddy. Now, let’s go through this together.”

           It takes some time. Some more tears. The wooden toys were thrown across the room a couple of times. But you quietly take them back, putting them back in the same phrase. And, together, you sound out each letter, stringing them together. And, finally, they have read your special, secret phrase. They say it out loud, emphasizing each loving word.

           Their shoulders straighten, and they sit back with a sigh, smiling. You reach out, clapping your hand on their shoulder, “See.” You grin. “I knew you could do it.”

Farm Vehicle Classic Wooden ABC Blocks Love Letter Toys - BridgeWood

Ombré rainbows paired with bright, white tops makes for bright and happy set of toys!

           The Color Waltz Pattern guides you through to make an ombré rainbow of toys, where every color lines up to shine. Their end grain, painted white with colorful stars, lightens the overall effect of the set. Your Made-With-Love toys will be both joyful and bright!

The trick to creating the ombre effect is to keep the toys in the 6×6 grid. This makes it easy to keep track of your work. Here at BridgeWood, we find it easiest to take it slow. Although it might be more efficient to do all of the ‘red’ letters first, it increases the chance of making a mistake while creating the ombré color pattern.

Paint the end grain a solid white and sand the edges to get a crisp edge. This is one of the few patterns where you might find it easier to wait to finish the letter side before applying the star. Once you have completed the letters, you will find it easier to keep track of the correct star color. 

Start at the top left corner with the letter ‘A.’ In this case, it will be red. Then, paint it red, and remove and wash the stencil. Then put the ‘A’ right back in the same spot.

Next, apply the stickers for ‘B’ and ‘G.’ These you will be painting pink. Again, remove and wash the stencil immediately. Replace the blocks in their reserved spots in the grid.

           ‘C,’ ‘H,’ and ‘M’ will be yellow.

           ‘D,’ ‘I,’ ‘N,’ ‘S’ will be green

           ‘E,’ ‘J,’ ‘O’, ‘T,’ and ‘Y’ will be blue.

           ‘F,’ ‘K,’ ‘P,’ ‘U,’ ‘Z,’ and 4’ will be purple.

           Do you see how you are walking down the diagonal of the grid, creating the ombre effect? Continue to follow the diagonal pattern down to the last corner, where you will make a blue ‘9’.

           Next, apply the correct color star to the white end grain. Once this has been done, seal all three sides. Let dry.

           Of course, you can use whatever technique you find best to create the Color Waltz pattern. In fact, if you find an easier way, we would love to hear about it! Share your techniques at the BridgeWood Toymaker group on Facebook.

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