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

New wee folk cards

A Wee Gathering

A Wee Gathering

In anticipation of my new how-to book coming out next March, I’m excited to be offering a series of new note cards. It was hard to narrow it down to six images from the many project and inspirational photographs in Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures.

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures 2015

A year ago, my husband Rob and I were busy setting up scenes and taking photographs for the book, which I chronicled in these posts. I’m happy to finally share some of the scenes, which give a glimpse into the newest wee world! Cards can be ordered from my Etsy Shop. Of course, the Wee Folk Studio watermark will not appear on the printed cards. They come in sets of 4 of the same image, or a 6 card variety pack. The new cards include A Wee Gathering, Winter Play, A Buggy Picnic, Beach Babies, A Family Outing and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Wholesale inquiries from retail shops are welcome. Please contact me for a price list.

A Wee Gathering and Winter Play bring to life a variety of doll projects from the book.

Winter Play

Winter Play

A Buggy Picnic is in the book’s photo gallery. The book includes directions for making the little girl doll in the doorway, but the houses and insects are added for fun and inspiration.

A Buggy Picnic

A Buggy Picnic

There are lots of wee folk babies in the book. I used my collection of shells to set up this Beach Babies scene.

Beach Babies

Beach Babies

A Family Outing pictures a woodland family emerging from a tree trunk doorway.

A Family Outing

A Family Outing

A schoolyard full of children fills the Mary Had a Little Lamb chapter.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Polly’s packed and ready

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Polly’s going on another adventure tomorrow! It took the better part of a week for her to figure out what to wear on this trip. She’ll only have one outfit, so it has to work for everything. Polly looked through her clothes from Antarctica, Ireland, California, China Town (San Francisco) and Cuba, but they were not right for this trip.

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Polly decided to get something new that was a little more practical and nautical; a simple blue skirt and striped top. An acorn cap beret fits nicely on top of her head, too. Among other things, she’ll be helping navigate a barge along the Canal du Midi in southern France. There will be so much to share when she returns in a couple of weeks!Pollyhousefrancedetail

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Wedding dolls: Max and Beth

 

max-bethblogWMMy friend Terry’s son Max got married a few weeks ago. Over the years, Terry and I have worked together on so many fun projects, including these: wedding cake, baby quilt and community quilt. So, Terry and I conspired to make a special surprise for the wedding couple.

I couldn’t wait to make little Max and Beth dolls for the wedding cake. Max and Beth met when they both worked as engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Since they helped design parts for NASA’s Mars Rover, it became their obvious prop. Terry found a set of Lego directions for making “Curiosity” and enlisted the help of Max’s cousin to put it together.

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Beth’s dress was one of those strapless jobs. Way before the wedding, Terry sent me a photo of the gown, so I could replicate it in miniature. The biggest challenge was to make a smooth transition between the doll’s felt torso and floss wrapped arms. Usually sleeves or shoulder straps provide a break that hide any raw ends. You can see a couple of stitches on the top, where I fastened the top in place. I don’t know how real life women can wear this style, without the help of magic! In this close-up, her felt chest looks a bit fuzzy, hairy even. But that’s wool felt for you! Fortunately, it’s not so noticeable on the 4″ doll size.

I’m glad that Max insisted on wearing a blue blazer and khakis, which gave the wedding a relaxed Cape Cod feel. They both looked spiffy!

Before we go any further, I want to mention that my upcoming how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures ( March 2015) will have many examples of wedding cake toppers for you to make. You can see other wedding dolls I’ve made here.

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maxbethdolls2Terry was originally going to make a Mars cake for the rehearsal dinner, but decided to simplify things by constructing a non-edible “Mars” stand from an inverted bowl covered with fondant. It was tricky to get the color right and she ended up using beet powder, cinnamon and cocoa. Terry rolled out the colored fondant and made impressions with a celestial patterned sheet of plastic and a rolling-pin, both with raised texture. She then spread the dough over the inverted stainless steel bowl. At the dinner, Max and Beth were totally surprised to see their likenesses lounging on the rover. The pair of dolls also made an appearance atop the wedding cake the next day.

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mars2Both the rehearsal dinner and wedding were lovely events. Congratulations, Max and Beth!

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new book cover

feltweefolknewcoverWarning: this a shameless teaser! I’m so excited about this new book cover that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. The book is still in production and the technical editor and I have been going over the text and photos, making sure that the information and instructions will be as easy to follow as possible. Ann Haley at C&T Publishing has been remarkable in her ability to find errors and point out details that might need clarification. Now the latest edited version is off to the book designer and in September I’ll have another chance to check it through, before it’s sent off to the printer.

I’m so pleased that this crowd scene was chosen for the cover. I submitted a bunch of different images populated by figures that represent the doll projects in the book and this is the most animated. Rob took the shot from a high angle, with each waving doll’s head pointed upward, toward the camera.To see how the scene was photographed, go here. My goal was to give a hint of the fun inside by showing a wide range of wee folk, including, but not limited to fairies.

Autographed copies of Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures: 120 Enchanting Dolls will be in my Etsy Shop after the official publication date of March 1, 2015 (sorry, no pre-orders from my shop). If you wait and order from my shop next March, I’ll autograph it and include a special goody. I haven’t decided what kind of item yet, but it could be a new poster of a scene from the book. If you want to pre-order a copy, C&T Publishing has it on their site already. The original book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects (including fairy skirts and wings) is available from my Etsy Shop.

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Editing Felt Wee Folk manuscript

Ryan and Lael wedding dolls

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Ryan and Lael will be getting married next month in Woods Hole, so I made them a pair of dolls as a wedding present. They met here as children, when they were Woods Hole summer kids.  And this wedding will join two families that have been coming every summer for generations.  I’ve always been a bit jealous of the summer people, who seem to appreciate their time in Woods Hole more than we year-rounders. For them, it’s special and magical, like summer camp, where you play and socialize, without the regular responsibilities associated with your “winter” home.

It was clear that a conventional white gown and tuxedo would not represent this couple’s theatrical leanings and spirit of adventure. Since the bride and groom have more than a passing interest in medieval history, I dressed them in period attire. Their costumes were so much fun to research and figure out how to make.

As with the Glen and Susan dolls, these figures use some techniques, such as wig-making, that will be included in the new edition of Felt Wee Folk. Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures will be coming out in the spring of 2015.

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Glen and Susan tie the knot

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Glen and Susan surprised everyone when they got married in a small private ceremony last December. They are a special couple, who are happy to have found each other at this stage in their lives. Now, they are planning to celebrate their union with their friends and family at their home in June.  I thought that they could use a pair of portrait dolls for the occasion, perhaps as cake toppers. I delivered the dolls a few days ago and you should have seen the look on their faces!

How do you like their eye glasses? It’s the first time I’ve tried making them and now I want to experiment with more ways of bending wire. And how about this photograph? I am so lucky to have my husband Rob document my work at a moment’s notice. We set them up outside in the periwinkle patch and took their photograph at different times of day, with natural lighting. I really like the way this one came out–it shows the dolls in a scene, but you can see the details, too. These dolls use some new techniques, like wig making (not the eyeglasses-they were made after the manuscript was handed in) and clothing, which will be included in my new book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures (Spring 2015). Until then, the original edition, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects is still available from my Etsy Shop here.

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