26 October 2012

Fall Festival Craft Fair

My first ever craft fair was a cold one but a good one nonetheless. I loved my booth location, just down the road from my house, and I saw people trekking by all day long. Because I was so close to home, I was able to run back every once in a while to eat something and warm up.

The owl pillows were my best seller, followed by the felted acorns and dryer balls. People were not yet ready for Christmas. My ornaments didn’t get a second glance and the booth across the road with the hand painted Christmas plates hardly sold anything at all.

I loved the garland display Ryan and I built. It is made from two thin poplar trees that were recently cut down in my parents-in-law’s yard, mounted in Christmas tree stands. It needed a better back drop though. Lovely as the park and the ponies were, they made my stand somewhat invisible.

I had a wonderful time, despite the cold and the snow (!) that smudged all my tags. Running a booth reminded me of my Bello Modo days, where we would frequently do bead shows. I miss those days. Working fulltime and getting ready for a show is a little stressful but well worth the effort.






18 October 2012

Work In Progress: A Mermaid Tail

Lola wants to be a mermaid this Halloween. She decided that early on in the year and has not changed her mind. (She also has her costumes for the next two years picked out.) On my search for this year’s inspiration, I stumbled onto Miss Pretty Pretty’s mermaid tail. As tails go, it is a lovely one but we decided to alter a few things anyway.

First off, chances are that it will be wet and/or cold on All Hallows Eve in Wisconsin. Therefore, we do not want the tail to drag over the ground. So we shortened it. Furthermore, we wanted scales. So we added those. And last but not least, Lola wanted a front as well. I concurred.

I cut four tail shapes out of craft felt, free handing it based on Miss Pretty Pretty’s design, and ironed them together two by two with Wonder Under for a little sturdiness. Next I cut out lots and lots of scales in shades of green and blue interspaced with a little pink. This project is a wonderful stash buster, by the way. Since I discovered what working with wool felt is so much nicer than using craft felt, I have been looking for a way to use up the latter. This project is an excellent start.

I laid it all out the way I thought it should be and left it out for Lola to approve the next morning. As soon as she woke up, she ran into the craft room and fortunately for me, she loved it. “Perfect. Just perfect,” she sighed. Lola happy, mama happy.


Now I repeat the process, and attach the front and the back together with blue elastic. Then we design a felt top with felt shells to cover not yet existing girly parts, and a felt crown with fake blue and pink jewels. She’ll be the belle of the sea, my little mermaid.

I am linking Lola's mermaid tail up with:
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions

04 October 2012

Candy Cane Lane

The minute I signed up for a craft show, I was offered a job. Relieved yet reluctant, I traded in my craft room for an office, and my felt for a notepad. But I have committed to being part of our local Fall Festival, and I am sticking to my word. So I have a smaller booth, who cares. As long as I am having fun, right?

However, crafting because you have to sort of feels like a chore. I was not having as much fun as I hoped for. As I was churning out the ornaments, garlands, and gnome homes, I caught myself thinking "I'll be glad when this is over." Spending every evening in my craft room after a full day's work is starting to take its toll.

But then...

I have had this idea in my head for months. It started as a gnome home but my choice of felt colors made it clear this home is not just for any gnome. No, this is where Santa and Mrs Claus live. This house sits on Candy Cane Lane.

It needed to be finished still and its residents needed to be dressed (with a little help from Wee Folk Art for Santa). But when it all came together, I instantly remembered why I love doing this so much.



Lola is going to be tickled pink when she wakes up. There is no way this one is going to the fair or the shop.

Candy Cane Lane



I am linking the Claus's and their abode up to:
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia
Friday's Nature Table at The Magic Onions

17 August 2012

Owl Pillows

It was meant to be a fox. But somehow it turned into an owl. That’s okay, I like owls. So does Lola. I have been whipping out owl pillows all week. I put some in the shop, I made one for Lola to keep her company on our recent camping trip, and I am trying to figure out the best way to send one to my mom (look away, mom!) for her birthday.



They’re about 18 – 19” tall. I just freehanded the pattern. They are made of a combination of wool, felt, sheepskin fabric, gingham, flannel, and vintage doilies. They have tagua-nut buttons as noses and regular buttons for eyes. Lola insisted on adding a strawberry for a belly button to her owl.

I love my owls. When they’re sitting all huddled together in the big chair, I find it hard to part with them. And it’s a excellent stash buster, too!

Happy Friday, everyone. Hope your weekend is a wonderful one. Whoo hoo!


I am linking my owls up at:

Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions
Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia

21 July 2012

Woodland Felt Block Tutorial

Nothing pleases me more these days, than hearing of a new baby arriving. And not just because babies are so sweet, cuddly, and full of promise, but also because it gives me a legitimate reason to design and sew a new felt project.

There is a little boy on the way. From stalking his parents’ Facebook page, I have concluded his nursery will have something of a woodland theme. I saw a wooden wall somewhere and a big cardboard moose head came floating by in my newsfeed one day. I like woodland. I decided to make a felt block with woodland cut-outs.


My block measures 5” x 5” x 5”. I tried a few different things before I settled on using silhouettes only, cut from one piece of felt. No embroidery, no use of different felt colors. The cut-outs are approximately 2 to 2 1/2”.

For the side panels and the silhouettes, I used a mixture of hand died, multi-colored wool felt and a good quality craft felt. The soon-to-be-dad is an avid fisherman so naturally one side featured a fish. The others sides contain an acorn, a mushroom, a tree, a deer, and a maple leaf.

 

 

 

After cutting the felt, I attached the cut-outs by using a blanket stitch and a back stitch (for the deer’s antlers only). I sewed the four sides together, then attached the bottom piece, and ended with the top piece. I stuffed the block with very soft Poly-fill and a large jingle bell for the baby’s amusement.

That’s all there is to it. A soft felt block, suitable for a baby.

I hope it will be loved.

22 June 2012

Tabatha Toadstool Tutorial



Making Miss Tabatha Toadstool is the perfect project for an afternoon on the front porch, sipping homemade limeade, and enjoying the start of summer.



Start by gathering your supplies:
  • 1 5/8” peg people
  • acorn caps
  • red, white, and green paint, and whatever color you choose for hair, eyes, and mouth
  • wood glue
  • red and white felt
  • red and white thread 


Cut a circle to use as a template for the cap. Mine is 1 7/8” in diameter. Make a slit to the center and cut out a smaller circle, just big enough to fit around the neck.



Paint your acorn caps red and add white dots. Let dry.
Paint the hair and faces of your peg people. Let dry.
Paint the bodies white and add a little bit of grass at the bottom. Let dry.
Glue the acorn caps to the peg people. Let dry.



While all that drying is going on, cut two circles out of your felt, one in each color. With white thread, randomly embroider French knots on the red felt.



Pin the two pieces of felt to each other and, starting on the inside, use a blanket stitch to sew the two together.



Skip to the outside of the cap, hiding your thread between the layers of felt.



Sew all the way around. Do NOT tie off your thread.



Fit the cap around the peg person’s neck.



Use a whip stitch to sew only the red felt together. Tie your thread off with a small knot and hide the tail between the red and white felt.



Turn your peg person over and repeat with white thread on the bottom. Tie off with a small knot and hide your thread between the layers of felt.



And that’s it! You’re all done. Admire and enjoy Miss Tabatha Toadstool and her friends.


20 June 2012

Tabatha Toadstool


I have had a passion for toadstools all my life. I cannot see one without taking its picture. The very first baby gift I ever made was a toadstool, my Etsy listings are mostly toadstools (of sorts), I used to have toadstool tree stumps around our fire pit, and the only piece of yard art I still own is a metal toadstool.

Felt toadstools in all sizes and shapes dominate my craft room. The only thing missing was toadstool people. Until today. Look who I found, hiding between the irises that never bloomed? It's Tabatha Toadstool and her friends.


They are made of a painted wooden pegs, acorn caps, and felt. I painted faces for a change, if you can call those three little dots that. It just seemed right after I painted on the hair. And Lola really likes it when I give the peg dolls a face. Why Tabatha? Why not? It just rolls off the tongue in such a pleasant way.




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