Portland (west)!

I had an amazing time!

I saw beautiful dolls at the NIADA conference-

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Harriet by Shelley Thornton.

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Ima Naroditskaya‘s beautiful doll.

I listened to amazing people give inspiring talks including- Ronnie Burkett  His talk made me desperate to see one of his performances and guess what? He will be in NYC at the end of September! Time for another NYC trip!

Toby Froud-

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And Georgina Hayns from Laika Studio who brought some of the puppets for us to examine, up close. So so awe-inspiring! (Are you noticing the puppet theme?)

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But that wasn’t the best thing. The best thing is that I internet-know George. She has bought some of my pieces and we’ve corresponded. She invited me to visit Laika and see how a hive of 400 people come together for 2+ years to make a fantastic movie. Honestly, as a one-person show, it was hard to wrap my head around! I saw so many interesting and beautiful things- and now I have to wait more than a year to see how it all comes together!

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She took me around to some Portland fabric stores. We went to Bolt Fabric, The Mill End Store and the Pendleton Outlet- where they were having a sale, how lucky am I?! I got some good stuff- for the dolls, for clothing for me, and for random projects. Cottons-

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And wools except that purple one is silk-

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She asked me to teach while I was there, so on the Sunday, a group of friends came together and made ornaments. Thanks for the Instagram photo Vera! (since I didn’t manage to get any pics.)

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Okay, what else? I met up with a friend of a friend and now I have a new friend! I also met up with Diane who I saw last time I was in Portland, so many years ago. Time flies but we stay connected- thank you internet. And I went to the Button Emporium of course. Most of these things came from there (except rick rack from Bolt).

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So yes, it was great. I hope it isn’t another 7 years before I get back!

other tools for ornaments

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I played with some new-to-me supplies/tools when I was working on the patterns. I didn’t write them into the pattern directions because they aren’t necessary, maybe just interesting.

Have you heard of Frixion pens? They are erasable gel pens. There is an eraser at the end of the pen, but much more useful for me, the marks are erasable by ironing. That sounds like magic, doesn’t it! Well, there is a problem. Yes, the marks disappear with heat but they will reappear with cold. I would never use them on my dolls, but an ornament? I don’t think it is that big a deal if the marks came back a bit. The marks are either cutting lines or will be covered with embroidery. And, you could always iron them again. The thing is, these pens work great on the felt- so much better than the water-erasable fabric pens! I got mine on Amazon but I think they are available at lots of places. (btw- that link goes to amazon and if you buy the pens, I get a teeny tiny kickback!)

Next, Clover Applique pins. Short pins that work really well for pinning all those tiny felt pieces. You don’t end up trying to sew the equivalent of a porcupine.

And lastly, Merchant and Mills Bulb pins. I have been wanting to play with these funny safety pins. I discovered that I could pin them onto an ornament to hang it, instead of a string. And, I just wanted them.

and the winners are…

I put the # of comments into the random number generator and got 30, 66, 16, 25, 15, 44, 41, 6, 40, and 27. Congratulations to Beverly Ann, Bettina, Dhonna, Vivien, Sarah, Susan, Mary, Kimber, Jennifer, and Barbara. Have fun with your patterns!

Summer fish

I am trying to get back into the studio groove after the pattern writing and my trip to west coast Portland. It is great to have projects that are almost entirely finished- I was able to spend half the day working and finished these 5 fish!

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I’ll be getting them into my poor neglected Etsy shop soon. Next, finish up some tattooed men and cut out new ones! The hot weather will inspire me to stay in my air-conditioned studio.

 

Ornaments Live!

I have posted my 5 new pdf ornament patterns into my etsy shop here! I am SO excited about these. I had so much fun and can’t wait to make more but back to work on dolls for a while first. To celebrate, I will give away 10 patterns! Leave a comment saying which one you’d like and I will pick ten winners after Monday (7/20, ends at midnight eastern US time). One entry per person, right?!

There is the whale-

Whale ornament cover.pdf”

Felt fish, perfect for embroidery embellishing! If you fill it with catnip, your kitty will love you (even more).

Fish Pattern cover

An adorable Star Baby. You could embroider the back with a name and date for a baby’s first Christmas.

etsy Star Baby cover

A Gnome- or maybe an elf? Santa’s helper?

Gnome Ornament cover

And a Winter Girl- This would actually make an adorable little doll, don’t you think?

winter girl ornament cover

Okay then. Let’s have a giveaway! Please come over to comment on the blog (no emails).

 

ornaments on the horizon

I know it has been pretty quiet over here. It has not been quiet in my life! I am making great progress on my ornament patterns and hope to publish 5 designs in mid-July, when I get back from Portland, Oregon.

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And, I took another trip down to Brooklyn for some West Elm business- that made the 3rd trip to NY in 5 weeks! I stopped in Connecticut to see family. I’ve spent some time making new clothes- I really ought to do a post about that. But, mostly I have been concentrating on pattern writing and photo taking.

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And, wow, is my desk messy. Lots and lots of tiny bits of paper and thread and felt.

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And samples and more samples.

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I’m hoping to be back to the regular making schedule once I am back from my trip and the patterns are ready.