peplum fairy jacket

Last week, I saw this picture in the fashion section of the Wall Street Journal. The article pointed out a change in women’s business attire, from dark suits, to bright colors and even florals. The peplum jacket reminded me of my wee folk fairies. Not that today’s business women are wearing folksy petal petticoats and fitted, leafy tops. I’m just glad to see that women in the corporate world are showing more confidence in their own individuality. Those pink shoes have got to go, though!

I designed a felt peplum style jacket for my 3 1/2″ Blossom fairies about a dozen years ago. It is the basic pattern used for the fairy’s clothing in my how-to book Felt Wee Folk. This jacket is the usual giveaway that someone has used my patterns in dolls they sell on Etsy. I don’t mind that they make the dolls and use my patterns for their clothing, but I try to keep up with shop owners and ask that they credit me and my book as the inspiration for their creations. Most everyone honors my request and are usually apologetic, when they realize that they didn’t think to credit me in their product descriptions. One woman said that she assumed it was OK to use my designs because my book is so well-known. Well, the book is still being discovered and I hope it will stay in print for years to come. That means that the publisher needs to see a consistent demand for the book.

I’m not making dolls to sell myself and am happy that people are having such fun making them. The Bayberry Fairy below is included in my new Blossom Fairy Poster, which is available in my Etsy Shop. Want your poster autographed? Just mention it on your order.

Wee Yo Yo Ma

My little friend Celeste has made several wee folk dolls and the latest is a miniature Yo Yo Ma. Celeste is studying cello and she had the opportunity to see him perform in Hyannis last week.  The doll and a card were given to an assistant, who was to pass it on to Yo Yo himself.  The doll is appropriately dressed in a black tuxedo, with wire rimmed glasses, holding a cut-out cello. Thank you, Celeste, for making such a nice gift and letting me share it. I’m sure that Yo Yo will be thrilled!

Felt Wee Folk around the kitchen table

fairies from "Felt Wee Folk"

fairies from “Felt Wee Folk”

Sometimes I look at my blog statistics to find out how people find me. Quite frequently searches like “pipe cleaner dolls”or “wee felt people” bring them here. This week’s wordy favorite was “how to wrap embroidery floss around pipe cleaners for fairies”.

Last week, I received the most wonderful e-mail message from Michele in Nebraska, who wrote, “I didn’t do anything else yesterday evening except enjoy every single thing on your blog.” She went on describe how she and her family have enjoyed the doll projects in Felt Wee Folk.

“I purchased your book when my daughter was 15 (she is now 20 and a new mother). She had a close friend spend the night once that year and I brought my new book, along with lots of felt, threads, combed wool (I spin) and all manner of goodies, into the kitchen with the two girls and announced we were going to make tiny dolls. You should have seen their teenage faces! At first hesitant and then fascinated and completely absorbed, those two girls insisted on staying up till 2:30 in the morning so their little people could be finished! We talked about everything and laughed and laughed and when we were done, we sat and looked at our little people with the greatest satisfaction and joy. Just recently, my daughter’s same good friend came to our house to visit and told me that night spent here was the most fun she has ever had and that she felt so much love in our home. She has her little Wee Folk doll still and wants to make more with her children when she has them.

I just thought you might like to hear that your art has the most profound effect on others in such a positive and loving way. Thank you for your years of sharing. Thank you for leaving your examples of doll art on your website as inspiration for those of us who cannot get enough of them. I am sure you will be blessed in all your new endeavors.

And finally thank you for being true to yourself, for in doing that, what you have created is truly magical.”

Stories like Michele’s make me feel that sharing my fantasy/play world is truly worth it. It warms my heart to think of kitchen tables around the world scattered with silk flower petals, pipe cleaners and acorn caps. I can imagine faces of all ages and colors bowed in concentration and busy hands engrossed in making wee dolls. It’s been almost 9 years since Felt Wee Folk was released by C&T Publishing. Since 2003, the book has been reprinted many times, selling over 50,000 copies, which is way more than any of my children’s books.

Pansy, the last fairy

For the past few months, I’ve been wrapping legs, sewing felt tunics and painting faces for a new Ltd. Edition fairy doll. During those months, I found it harder and harder to find the time to work on the 25 dolls and kept putting them aside. Even though I still like making them, I’d rather be working on other projects, so I made the decision that PANSY would be the last fairy design in this series. It’s true, I won’t be making any more dolls to sell. Last week, I sent an e-mail announcement to those who asked to be put on a mailing list and all 25 have already sold. It has been a joy to create the dolls and I thank all of you who have purchased other wee folk characters. Over the past 8 years, I’ve made 21 different designs and sewed 750 individual dolls. 

Since the age of 12, I’ve been making and selling things, often mass producing large quantities of the same item. My little factory began with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band playing on the record player and now I work to the sound of Rosanne Cash. It’s time for a change, but I wanted to make one more fairy before devoting 100% of my studio time to my fabric relief artwork. Here are some photos of PANSY in the making.

New visitors from France

Since last week, many new subscribers have signed up, with dozens from France. They may like to know that my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk was published in French in 2003. It is titled Personnages et Motifs: Creations Malicieuses, published by Les Editions de Saxe. I believe it is out-of-print, but used copies may be available.

Depuis la semaine dernière, de nombreuses personnes, des douzaines de français, se sont inscrites. Soyez les bienvenus sur mon Blog! Sachez que mon livre explicatif Felt Wee Folk est publié enFrancesous le titre Personnages et Motifs: Creátions Malicieuses par les Editions de Saxe.

Felt Wee Folk, French edition

Also, the Rabbitat film has been viewed over 1000 times! Word about the film is spreading through cyberspace, with links on several websites and blogs. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can see it here.