Blog Tour host Margaret Bloom

feltweefolknewcoverblogThe Felt Wee Folk BLOG TOUR has really picked up steam, with lots of interest in the participating blogs and their book Give-aways. And, I’m happy to report that Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures has been the #1 Bestseller in Toymaking on Amazon all week! You can join in the fun by following the tour schedule at the end of this post.

The tour continues today with host Margaret Bloom of We Bloom Here, author of the popular how-to books, Making Peg Dolls and Making Peg Dolls and More. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing her newest release, which you can see here.

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Although we haven’t yet met in person, Margaret Bloom and I have developed a mutually supportive online friendship. We share an interest in designing and showing how to make little play figures which are influenced by the wisdom of Waldorf Education. Our approaches are different; Margaret’s peg dolls are perfectly suited for children to make, whereas my wee folk dolls require more handwork skills and are geared toward adults. Margaret’s books fill a void in the craft and toy world and I recommend both of her books to anyone who has children in their lives.

Margaret is constantly coming up with new characters using the simple structure of wooden peg dolls. On a recent post, these gargoyles really caught my attention.

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Margaret decided to give my book the real test, by following the directions and constructing some dolls. She created a pair of the most adorable elfin boys which are modeled after her 2 sons.  It’s taken all of my willpower to resist showing pictures of them here! So, head on over to her blog, We Bloom Here, enter the Give-away and have a look at the magic she creates.

Follow the BLOG TOUR for more reviews and opportunities to enter book Give-aways! (See the schedule at the end of this post.)

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Felt Wee Folk BLOG TOUR Schedule:

March 3 – Mary Corbet – Needle n’ Thread

March 6 – Mimi Kirchner – Doll 

March 10 – Margaret Bloom – We Bloom Here

March 12 – C&T Publishing’s Blog

March 13 – Kimara – Wee Folk Art

March 15 – Phoebe Wahl


Blog Tour host Mimi Kirchner

feltweefolknewcoverblogToday, doll artist and all-round versatile maker of wonderful things, Mimi Kirchner is hosting the Felt Wee Folk BLOG TOUR. The tour schedule is listed at the bottom of this post, with links to participating blogs. I invite you to follow along. There are reviews of my new book and opportunities to enter Give-aways for copies of Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures.

Mary Corbet – Needle n’ Thread kicked off the tour on Tuesday with a post featuring a beautiful curly-haired doll she made based on my book’s instructions and patterns.

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Today’s blogger, Mimi and I met more than 30 years ago through the Boston area’s art/craft community and have been friends since. Here she is in my studio, sharing a magazine spread about her tattooed dolls. I’m so glad that she’s getting this great exposure!

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You can see Mimi’s creations all over the internet and in social media, on her blog, Facebook, Instgram, Flickr and Twitter. She’s constantly updating her blog with her latest projects, from swaddled babies to burly tattooed men and a whole lot of other treasures. She sells originals, as well as patterns for making her pin cushions and a variety of dolls in her Etsy Shop. Thank you, Mimi – you’ve been an inspiration to me and so many others!

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I’ve written about a visit to Mimi Kirchner’s studio here, her pin cushions here and some of her ceramic ornaments that I bought years ago here.

Felt Wee Folk BLOG TOUR Schedule:

March 3 – Mary Corbet – Needle n’ Thread

March 6 – Mimi Kirchner – Doll 

March 10 – Margaret Bloom – We Bloom Here

March 12 – C&T Publishing’s Blog

March 13 – Kimara – Wee Folk Art

March 15 – Phoebe Wahl

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new books in and out

FeltWeeFolk-1482Hooray! Despite all of the stormy winter weather during their drive across the country, FedEx Ground delivered my order of Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures last Friday before noon, as scheduled. A wee folk welcoming committee was on hand!

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I immediately opened the boxes and started processing orders because I wanted to mail a bunch off that day. Instead of being “hot off the press”, the books were “cold off the truck” as I opened to the title page and started signing them.

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I had prepared as much as I could beforehand, so all I had to do was sign and slip the books into pre-addressed mailers. Since then, I’ve brought several loads to the post office. Orders made in early January were filled first and will progress toward more recent ones. The rest will go out this week, so don’t fret, yours is coming!

These are all orders from my Etsy Shop (here), which include some extra goodies; an autograph, a winter scene poster (folded flat), faux flowers to make 2 fairies and a wee folk note card.

If you want to support your local bookseller, have them get one for you. My neighborhood bookstore, Eight Cousins offers signed copies, too. They’re having a book launch party on Sunday, March 8, at 3:00 pm. And there’s always Amazon, where today, Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures is rated No. 1 in “Toymaking! They have an e-book version, which is a sensible option for international customers.

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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. (Update: Pre-order autographed copies from my Etsy shop.)

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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