today’s tattooed man

I love this toile. I got a remnant of it off of Etsy, way back when I started making these fellows. I have now cut it all up. There are a few more dolls in the pipeline with this toile design and then all done.

I have been overwhelmed by the news coming out of Japan. I can hardly tear myself away from the newsfeeds. Some of you might know that I have a brother in Japan, but he lives in Kyoto which was unaffected by the earthquakes shaking. My heart goes out to all the suffering people.

and now the tattooed men

Back to regularly scheduled programming here. But really, I just had to get those lumberjacks out of my head.

This fellow is made from a very interesting piece of linen. I don’t usually use 100% linen. Turns out it is very hard to stuff well- it seems to have a mind of it’s own. Anyway- I liked this fabric and the wonderfully strange Asian images on it. I made him a long-waisted body so I could show the maximum of the images.

I love working with interesting toile and finding it is the main challenge of making my tattooed dolls. I am always on the look-out.

the Artful Bird

I am so excited about Abby‘s book, The Artful Bird! I feel that it is a highlight on her incredible growth curve in softie making since I first met her in 2005. As I wrote in that post, she was the first blog friend that I met in person. Here is her post about that first visit. Wow- what a long time ago. She has had 2 more babies since then, made enormous leaps in designing in fabric, has had numerous shows, and now a book- Go Abby!

I was thrilled when she asked me to be part of her blog book tour- a first for me! The book is gorgeous and I love the interviews with the other bird artists. The interviews and photos of 4 other artists, all working with bird imagery, make it clear how much style shines through each artists’ (including Abby) creations. I loved seeing them all.

And look- I made the Wren! He (?) now sits perched on the living room window, supervising all the goings-on at the bird feeder. I made him out of wool- of course.

My intern, Tori, worked on one with me. She put her wings on with a button which I thought looked great! Also, she made her beak with needle-felting.

My take-away from this book? It’s not for a beginner, but if you have some experience with sewing and and love all the detail work, you will have loads of fun making these birds. I could imagine hand-sewing a bird like this, especially if you used felt. I also think that you could take a basic pattern like this one that I did and be very creative with it and make it your own. There are many useful techniques to learn from Abby. This book will be placed on my shelf of books by my friends, and next time I see Abby I am going to get her to sign it for me. Thanks for letting me be part of your book tour Abby- I loved doing it!