Update (June 2014): Things have changed in the 3 years since this post was published. After emphatically stating I wouldn’t write another how-to book, I surprised myself this past year by working on Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures, which will be released by C&T in the spring of 2015. Read posts about it here. These animals will not be included in the new book, but there will be lots of other fun dolls to make.
I made this group of animals about 10 years ago, when I was gathering ideas for my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. They didn’t make the book’s cast, so the little critters have been waiting behind the curtain ever since. I’ve pretty much decided not to write another instructional book (read ahead for more on that), so they can come out on stage, now.
They are made with wooden forms that have a simple dowel on the bottom, with a turned ball on the top. You can find the wood shapes here. At about 2 inches tall and similar to finger puppets, these can stand up by themselves. The small wooden bead “paws” are a choking hazard, so they shouldn’t be added if a young child plays with them.
They look a bit like Halloween trick or treaters in felt costumes, with their hoods and painted faces.
It’s so wonderful to hear from readers who have enjoyed making the dolls and other projects in Felt Wee Folk and many have urged me to write another instructional book. The publisher is willing, too. So why can’t I say yes? I am clearly ambivalent, because I had a great experience working with C&T Publishing. It’s just that I’ve moved on to other things and don’t feel the same push to get it out of my system, like I did 10 years ago. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas for new projects, they’re just more complicated and personal. I’m resisting the pull to work on another book because I want to spend time exploring new ways of working, to experiment and grow as an artist. Just the process of formulating my thoughts for this post has helped me understand why I’ve been dragging my feet.
The trouble is, I know what it takes to produce an instructional book and I also know that I’m not up to it. It’s writing out those pesky directions that has me stumped. When I approached C&T with my proposal for Felt Wee Folk. I had a strong desire to share my ideas, enough to force myself through the quagmire of analysis and explanation. I’ve always had a problem with describing how to make what I do, even back in the days when I designed projects for Better Homes and Gardens. I know that I can do it, but I can’t bring myself to jump down that rabbit hole. I want to give myself over to the mysterious process of creating something without later having to give a detailed description of how I made it.
So, I’ll be sharing projects and ideas from time to time, but without patterns and instructions. Hopefully, my readers will feel inspired enough to want to try a hand at figuring out how to make something of their own!