Fiona – new ltd. edition fairy

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feltweefolknewcoverblogEven though I’ve said that I don’t sell them, every once in a while I offer a ltd. edition of dolls similar to the ones in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. You see, I only work on them while traveling, so it’s an ongoing project that takes time. This year I made a set of 25 fairy dolls while waiting in airports, flying in planes and riding in trains. I like to keep my hands busy, so this is a way of producing something, as well as keeping contented while sitting.

Update 10/17/15 ~ The fairy dolls sold out very quickly. Thank you to all of you who were ready at 10 am, logged into my Etsy Shop. Will there be more opportunities to buy dolls in the future? Perhaps, but it depends on how much time I spend traveling.

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Some of the finish work that’s not as portable, I do in my studio. I have to limit the time I spend working on these because otherwise I would spend all of my time in fairy land, constructing dolls, night and day. That isn’t such a bad thing, but then, I would never take on making new, more involved pieces.

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In an effort to be fair to everyone, I am announcing on this blog and Facebook that 25 “Fiona” fairies will be for sale in my Etsy Shop on Saturday, Oct. 17th at 10am, eastern US time. That gives more people a chance to read about it in advance, so they can plan on being ready to shop. Last year’s dolls sold out very quickly, so if you really want one, act fast! Sorry, no reservations ahead of time. The dolls will be sold on a first come first served basis. Update 10/17/15 2:00pm ~ The Fiona fairies are all sold.

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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

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.

Berry Family dolls

I brought the Berry Family outside for an airing. They’re a bit moth-eaten–a downside to working with wool. For the last couple of winters, I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing all of my felt and felt clothed dolls outside when the temperature dips below freezing, hoping to kill any moths.

I made the mother, father (4″ tall) and baby members of the Berry Family in 2005, as a Ltd. edition of 25. They are based on the patterns from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk.  All of my Ltd. edition dolls are currently sold out and I won’t be making any more.

The Berry Family, Ltd. edition 2005

Wee Folk: Pearl & Urchin

I took Pearl and Urchin out for a climb up a beech tree. They patiently waited and stayed still as I took their picture. We were all quiet as I played with my camera, adjusting the aperture and speed settings.

I suppose you could call Pearl and Urchin “retired”, a term used in the collecting business for sold out. They were the models for a Ltd. Edition and there are 25 other pairs out in the world. After a few years spent sealed in a plastic bag, I thought they could use some fresh air.

dolls’ new home in Australia

Lucinda Hooper sent me these photos of some Ltd. edition dolls which I sent to her in Australia. It’s fun to see Dahlia and Bud & Ivy settled in their new home on the other side of the world.

Dahlia, Bud & Ivy with Mimi Kirchner’s tiny world pin cushion

The dolls feel at home with Mimi Kirchner’s tiny world pin cushion, which also found its way from Massachusetts to Australia. See more of her pin cushions in an earlier post here. Thank you for sharing these pictures, Lucinda!

Dahlia sitting by a river in Australia

Bud & Ivy with a “river stone” cottage made by Lucinda’s Mum

Fairie Festival (wee folk studio)

Wee Folk Studio went to the May Day Fairie Festival for a few years when we were still making fairy kits. We set up a tent and displayed many fairy related items. There were Blossom fairy kits, Ltd. edition dolls, note cards and books for sale. We don’t sell at fairs anymore, so we won’t be there this year, but I highly recommend going if you are at all interested in fairies and fantasy. The fair will be held April 30 – May 2nd this year at Spoutwood Farm in Pennsylvania.

Along with the 12 x 15 canvas tent, we transported a trailer full of trees, branches and vines to make an arched entryway. For me, decorating the tent , inside and out was as much an art project as making miniature dolls and illustrations.

Inside our tent, we set up tables and hung ivy and flower garlands. Here I am, early in the display phase, with the tree stump base.

We brought boxes of moss to use around the tree stump display, which I sprayed with water all weekend.

Some customers came in wearing these wonderful bark back packs. They said that they made them at a workshop.