In 2 weeks, I will be all set up and in my booth in San Francisco- phew! Right now I am running around like crazy, trying to get everything finished and organized. It would be wonderful to meet some of my blog readers and/or customers. Here is all the info if you want to come.
Winter in Boston didn’t show up this year until March! We had enough snow to cover the ground yesterday but it was pretty much all gone by this morning. I will be happy if I don’t see any more real snow until next November at the earliest.
This kind of snow I can deal with. And OOPS! Ignore that hair on my snowy hill!
I am working hard to have a good selection of my work for the Smithsonian Show. I will be at the opening gala in less than 3 weeks! Because I am so focused on getting ready for the show, I won’t be putting anything new into my Etsy shop until May 1.
Tiny World 1
I went to a tag sale at a church in my neighborhood and someone had apparently donated their collection of violet decorated teacups. You will be seeing several pincushions ahead with violets!
Tiny World 2
I’m part of a blog tour for Simone Gooding’s new book but most people don’t have blogs anymore so it is mostly an Instagram tour. But I still have a blog and I am happy to show you this beautiful book!
Simone reached out to me to ask if I would participate in the tour. I had never actually seen her work before but thought it looked right up my alley. I received the book before I left for LA and was impressed by how attractive it is- gorgeous photos and thoughtful design. I love the details like handwritten page numbers.
She asked that the tour participants choose a project. I decided on Thistle, a sweet bunny, because I thought it would interesting to see how someone else put animal clothing together. The rest of this post is my review: of the book and also of me, as a maker. Any time I make someone else’s design, it is all inside-my-head arguing and I am not very good at following directions. Weirdly, I want the directions to be there and then I can discard them if I want to. I know. I might not be the best person for a job like this! So this was my experience.
I cut out the pieces and got the bunny together. I used shoe button eyes because I had them. Ears-hmm. Not quite liking how they look. Tail? I used a wool felt ball instead of the pattern directions.
I wasn’t happy with the eyes or the ears. I took the button eyes off and embroidered them instead and then they looked more like Simone’s original design. My way had changed the shape of the head. Not good. I took the ears off and played with the placement. I sewed them on my way. I know- I can’t just follow the directions!
Then the clothing. There was a lot of hand-sewing called for in the instructions. Um… I mostly didn’t do that. I was disappointed that the dress was sewed onto Thistle. I like a dressable doll and it would have been easy to make it that way.
Here is the dress from the back. You can see that the fit isn’t great.
Next, the jacket. It looks really cute! And isn’t she the sweetest? She stands up by herself too- I love that! It’s not exactly looking like Spring around here.
So my review would be-
On the plus side-
It is a beautiful book. Gorgeous large color photos. 10 projects made mostly from wool felt. Full size pattern pieces that I easily copied on my copier. I appreciate that! It is a nicely made book too- when you open to the design you’ve chosen, the book stays open on the table.
I don’t think this is a book for beginners. If you don’t have some experience hand and machine sewing and also with basic toy-making, you might have problems. I never discovered what the seam allowances were suppose to be until I’d finished because they are listed in the supplies area and not with the pattern pieces or the sewing instructions. I am bad about reading through the entire design before I start- I’m more of a jump-right-in kind of maker and so factor that in about my experience. There are no markings for the placement of the arms and legs, or for the ears. The pattern pieces are great and all fit together but the written instructions were confusing to me. I ended up having to redo several parts; ex. the arms of the coat were too tight so I restitched them with a smaller seam allowance. I would have liked photographs of the bunny with no clothes on and with just the dress, in addition to the glamour shots of the finished doll. I ended up with a lovely little bunny though so all of this being picky.
I’d recommend this book for a maker with some sewing experience who’d like to jump into the world of felt and make adorable animals and lots of accessories.
Simone is having a giveaway on Instagram if you want to check it out. Here are the other participants of the blog/Instagram tour. There is a hashtag #littletravellerbook if you want to check it out on Instagram.
15th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
16th March – Winterwood (@winterwoodcraft)
17th March – Kerri Horsley (@sewdeerlyloved)
18th March – Shelly Down (@gingermelongirl)
19th March – Mimi Kirchner (@mimikirchner)
20th March – Lauren Wright (@mollyandmama)
21st March – Anne Sutton (@bunnyhilldesigns)
22nd March – Jennifer Goldsmith (@frazzydazzles)
23rd March – Manuela Trani (@nuvolinahandmade)
24th March – Jess Cunningham (@pastyourporchlight)
25th March – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
26th March – Jo Molony (@deerdarlingdolls)
27th March – Minki Kim (@zeriano)
28th March – Jooles Hill (@sewsweetviolet)
29th March – Sedef Imer (@downgrapevinelane)
30th March – Ayda Algin (@cafenohut)
31st March – Katy Livings (@katylivings)
1st April – Jodie Carlton (@jodiericrac)
2nd April – Melinda Hume (@mooseandbird)
3rd April – Simone Gooding (@simone_gooding)
I have moved from doing Indie Craft Shows to Fine Craft Shows. There are lots of differences including the price of doing the show, the price of the items at the show, and the type of people who decide to walk through the door. The Fine Craft Shows need a different kind of booth than the Indie Shows: more of a gallery look is the aim. I don’t do very many shows per year so it might be a while before I get it perfected.
Doing CraftBoston was a good way to test since it is local and if I had a real disaster, I was close to home for emergency supplies. Since I knew that I’m doing 2 more shows that are not close to home in 2018, the December show was my trial run. I wanted a booth that I could conceivably set up myself (I hope I don’t have to!) and could be set up relatively quickly. I bought a booth set-up from ProPanels. That includes walls and lights. Most everything else in the booth is from Ikea.
Here are my 2 helpers, helping me set up. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get from unloading (I have one of these carts and it was invaluable) the car to this-
This is my Ikea table top with removable legs. I will be replacing it though because it is very heavy and got damaged during the last haul around. My little tiered stands are nesting boxes from Ikea.
My extra inventory is kept in 2 open fabric bins-
And 3 zip-closed bins that store under the table. They are easy to pull out if a customer wants to see what else is available. The fish are in an Ikea basket.
By the last day, the zip-bags were mostly empty and I was rearranging the open storage- mixing things up a bit.
The dolls that are hanging on the panels are displayed on pieces of white art paper, pinned to the panels. If you have any questions, ask! I got a lot of help from friends to design this so I feel like I can pass the help along.
As an aside, I will be raising the prices of all my work as I list new pieces into my shop. Added expenses and increased demand are making that necessary. Tomorrow I start posting new dolls for 2018!