new Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Ltd. Edition Fairies; Holly & Birch and Lilly of the Valley

OK, I’ve learned to never say never again! 3 years ago (in this post), I announced that Pansy would be my last Ltd. Edition Fairy. Looking back, I needed to close that chapter of my career, so that I could move forward and grow as an artist. It was an important and necessary step to take, but I’ve found that the desire to keep my hands busy has won out, especially while away from home. The portable nature of wrapping bodies and stitching felt clothing for these wee folk dolls is perfect for traveling. So, for 2 years I’ve been slowly working on a group of dolls, with the goal of eventually selling them in editions of 25. In keeping with my original intention of banning mass production work from my studio, I only worked on them when traveling, in airport waiting rooms, planes, boats, and  trains.  This arrangement allows me to have a stitching “fix” while away from my studio and there is no pressure to complete the set of dolls by a certain time.

For those of you who are new to my work, these fairies are the same designs found in my 2003 how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects. The long awaited follow-up, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be published in March, 2015.

Well, the dolls are finally ready to show themselves and have been added to my Etsy Shop! Two editions of 25, Lily of the Valley and Holly & Birch have been created in transit around the world, across oceans and continents, including America, South America, Antarctica and Europe. The dolls will only be sold through Etsy with a credit card or Paypal, on a first come, first served basis.

What happens when these sell out? Will there more in the future? Possibly, but realistically, it would be a few more years before they make an appearance. It all depends on how much idle travel time there is!

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Working on fairy tunics on a train en route to Toulouse, France

Lily of the Valley has blonde braids, a green wool felt tunic and a white flounced petal skirt.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairies

During our barge trip in France, Rob took this photo of me engrossed in stitching felt fairy tunics, while waiting for a lock to fill along the Canal du Midi.

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Lily of the Valley Ltd. Edition Fairy

Holly & Birch are a girl and boy pair with dark brown hair and black and red wool felt outfits.

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

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Holly and Birch Ltd. Edition Fairies

2 new baby jackets

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Within my sphere of friends, two new baby boys have recently been born. So, I made them each a little jacket, which is my go-to baby gift. I love going through my stash and picking out fabric to use for the outside, lining and bias edging. I’ve used the same Simplicity pattern 9647 for about 30 years, adapting it with cotton quilt batting padding, so it’s warm. Their names are chained stitched on the front. Welcome to the world, Eli and Kieran!

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Felt Wee Folk revision sent off!

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Yes, it’s finished and sent off to C&T Publishing in California, two weeks ahead of the deadline! Here I am, mailing the box in the Woods Hole Post Office. It’s full of necessary parts that make a book; patterns, CD of manuscript, thumb drive of digital photos, slides, 4 x 5 transparencies and a photo log.

The revised edition of Felt Wee Folk should be out in the world about a year from now, in the Spring of 2015. After months and months of designing and stitching new projects, writing directions, making how-to models, compiling lists of materials, drawing out patterns, constructing scenes and taking photographs, it feels strange to come into my studio without the pressure of working on the book. I had forgotten about the amount of fussy details that need to be taken care of, like labeling photos and inserting codes into the manuscript. I hope I didn’t forget anything!

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Now, it’s time to catch up on business, speak to quilt groups and make Polly Doll a new outfit for our upcoming trip. I’ll reveal the location later, when Polly’s ready. I couldn’t find her anywhere and thought she’d gone AWOL, but then I remembered that she’s been locked up in a case at the Cape Cod Museum of Art  for the past few months. I’ll be picking her and the “Posies” artwork up next Tuesday.

Poster Giveaway!

Poster - Birds of Beebe Woods

Poster – Birds of Beebe Woods

To mark the one year anniversary of my Etsy Shop, I will be giving away 2  Birds of Beebe Woods posters. Because of the cost of postage, the contest is just open to US and Canadian residents. To enter, please leave a comment saying something about your favorite bird from the piece by April 21st, 2013. Two winners will be picked at random on April 22nd.

I love all of your stories about why you’ve chosen a particular bird. Keep ‘em coming!

The original Birds of Beebe Woods is currently in the Fantastic Fibers show at the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY.

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penguin pot holders

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Our trip to Antarctica has produced penguin fever! Luckily the local fabric shop had some penguin fabric to make pot holders, which I traditionally give for  Christmas. See a tutorial about making my style of pot holder here. I picked fabric scraps from my stash that reminded me of the Antarctic landscape, including a dark purple and blue Mari Mekko design I’ve had forever.

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Old cotton mattress pads work well for the padding.

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Striped sear sucker fabric cut on the bias finishes the outside edge.

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It’s time to wrap them in the penguin wrapping paper I found at the super market. Merry Christmas!

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Etsy shop going on vacation soon

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I just wanted to point out that my Etsy shop will be closed while I’m away on vacation, from Dec. 5 to 20. So, if you’d like to order books, cards or posters before Christmas, please visit the shop in the next few days. I’ve recently added some new items: cards with a baby nestled in a walnut shell and autographed copies of my board book, Hey, Diddle, Diddle!

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a banner day

Last Saturday, a group of lovely women gathered at Highfield Hall in Falmouth for my felt banner workshop. Lynn and Christy treated the workshop as a destination event. They drove down from Vermont a day ahead and spent the afternoon riding their bicycles on our prized Shining Sea bike path. The next morning, they were eager and ready to go before we officially started at 9:30.

I brought wool felt and other supplies like thread, wire and an alphabet guide. The class was made up of stitchers and quilters who felt very comfortable with a needle and thread. Everyone came with an idea of what kind of banner they wanted to make, so they got right to work. There were holiday signs, a baby banner, a Chinese proverb, a sewing room sign, and one woman made personalized tooth pillows for her nieces. The first challenge was selecting felt and thread colors. Then, I showed them how to form and wrap the wire letters. This is a technique I’ve been developing for some time, but I’ve never explained or demonstrated how to do it.

The wrapping technique can be quite tedious and fussy, but this group picked it up quickly. They didn’t seem frustrated and became engrossed in the process, asking questions along the way.

Lynn wanted to make a wire plant instead of words, so I showed her how to form and wrap branches.

Christy started a cheerful purple Christmas banner, which will include felt holly and other embellishments. The hours passed quickly and by closing time at 4:30, everyone’s project was progressing well, but nothing was completed. I know that Christy is working on hers at home, because she wrote to ask some questions yesterday.

Will I teach any more classes? I’m striving for the right balance between time out in the world and time creating in my studio. With so many projects planned, I hesitate to commit to teaching workshops, especially if it involves travel.  I find it difficult to do my artwork if I’m constantly coming and going, preparing and recovering. Teaching at a venue close to home makes the idea sound more manageable, but I still guard my studio time like a mother bear!