Salley’s New Book! Give-away ahead!

I am so pleased to be part of the blog tour for Salley’s new book, Felt Wee Folk! Yes, we are friends, but that is not influencing my opinion that this is an amazing book.

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I received an e-copy to review but I’m an old-fashioned kind of craft book reader and I was thrilled when I got my hands on the paper edition. There are so many beautiful photos and projects and so much inspiration! I love how she choose to make families of dolls and also dolls for specific occasions like wedding cake toppers and a nativity scene. There are a variety of doll sizes shown although they are all (in my doll-making world) on the tiny size- 1 1/2″ baby to 4 1/2″ grown-ups.

As I paged through the book, what caught my eye was the variety and I think anyone interested in embroidery and or doll-making would find something fun to do. There are instructions for simpler versions that a child could do and the projects ramp up to higher skill levels and detail work. My most favorite ones are the doll house family. I would have loved having them as a child or making them when my kids were small. The wonderful thing is, these are dolls that can actually be played with, not something that has to be appreciated from the shelf.

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Another project that I loved was the Hansel and Gretel dolls for a candy house. You could make an entire Christmas tree covered in all the characters that Salley came up with. And that is only if you stick with her designs because I can see using her book as a jumping off point to make all the characters for your own story or adventure.

There might be confusion that it is just an updated version of her earlier craft book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects since it has almost the same title, but really, it seems all new! I would think of it as an add-on instead. There were some non-doll felt projects in the first book that she left out and that leaves room for a lot more dolls. The photos are all new and there are many lovely fabric scenes that are what I think of when I imagine Salley’s artwork. I love this one-

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So here is the fun part- there is a book give-away! Anyone can enter- US address wins a hard copy book, International wins an e-book. Post a comment on the blog by midnight (Eastern Daylight Time) Sunday, March 15 and I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. Remember, you must come over to the blog and leave a comment to be entered. I can not count emailed comments.

If you NEED the book immediately, here are some other options- Amazon

 

or Salley’s Etsy shop where you can get all her books, supplies, posters and all sorts of goodies.

I thought this was cool too- A Child’s Dream, where I buy lots of my felt, has put together this basket and also a felt collection, designed for these projects.

And, lastly, if you are anywhere in the Boston area, you can see some of Salley’s original work in the next 2 months- the Lexington Library in March and then the Newton Library in April. Go see it if you can- they are work a trip. If you just want to take a virtual journey, check out the other blogs on the tour- everyone is having a give-away so you can enter them all!

Felt Wee Folk Blog Tour

March 3 – Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread
March 6 – Mimi Kirchner – Doll
March 10- Margaret Bloom – Wee Bloom Here
March 12 – C&T Publishing’s Blog
March 13 - Kimara – Wee Folk Art
March 15 - Phoebe Wahl 

lumberjack 6- teddy bear

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I like to cut out large groups of dolls from the same pattern at the same time. I get inspired by the colors and materials. The pile of cut-out dolls gets bigger and bigger as I am thinking, I could do this! and this! Mostly it is a good thing but sometimes I go off in odd directions. I cut out this fellow a while back- more than a year I know? I was cutting out traditional lumberjacks (just a shirt), tattooed lumberjacks ( shirts pieces, chest and arm pieces) and then I thought, what about a man in a vest. And apparently a teddy bear vest was what I thought he needed. It is a teddy bear vest because it is made of mohair fabric for making teddy bears. The fabric is in my stash because years ago, when I was making painted dolls, I experimented with using it for hair but it was almost always not quite the right color. So, it has been sitting in the bin for all this time because every time I looked at him I wondered, Is that just too silly? or weird? or something? With this last batch I decided, what the heck. And I finished him up. He is most certainly a very huggable fellow- that mohair fur is so so soft. I am glad he has finally stepped forward!

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We’ve had a few days where the temperature has gone above freezing so the snow is beginning to melt a bit. But, as you can see, it will be a while before it is gone!

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Yes, I am completely snowed under. It is impossible to describe how awful it is because really, it looks kinda pretty, right?

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But we are all dealing with freezing cold temps, ice dams and leaking roofs, terrible roads and sidewalks, interspersed with perfect ones like this (ours, thank you Ben!). No parking anywhere, traffic jams, broken down mass transit. Giant snowdrifts that make every corner, whether you are driving or walking across the street, a potentially deadly blind spot. Coming up next, flooding. Everybody is stressed and cranky. I can’t wait until spring but it is going to be a while yet.

That’s our car in the driveway.

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But, I am very thankful that I work at home. And I have gotten some things done. I have 2 babies to show you (another tomorrow), that I put together in December but never got around to finishing. Hello Baby!

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Anniversaries, medals and patterns

Well, that is an odd collection of things! This is how they are all related-

Hurray! Today is my blog birthday- it has been 11 years! I have been working on felt you-deserve-a-medal prototypes (more on that later) so I made myself one. Don’t I look mighty proud?

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My medal says blogger- it has a gold star for 10 years plus a white star for 1 year.

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These are the rest of the medal prototypes I’ve been making, inspired by many things including this fellow, Lord Kitchener.

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And the reason for the prototypes? This is a class I will be teaching (a project I will be leading?) at the ARC, the Art Stream Art Retreat Camp. There is a story about where the idea started. Last year, at one of the markets I was doing, someone came into my booth, looked around and asked, “Why are these so expensive?” I hate that question. It immediately puts me on the defensive and I get all huffy. Later I was thinking that one of the reasons I charge what I do is that I’ve done the work, I’ve been validated as an artist, I have a seal of approval. And wouldn’t it be great to have an actual seal of approval that I could pull out! And medals for all the “battles” I’ve fought along the way. Really, we all have fought the battles, have the scars, and deserve the medal so lets make our own.

Lastly, the patterns. Back here I talked about why I pulled my patterns from Etsy. Well, it looks like they’ve got things figured out so I will be putting them all back up. To celebrate, I have lowered the price of all the patterns to $8 for all of February. Here is a shop link.

And guess what? More snow on the way!