Beards Rock

Beards Rock by Sarah, La Barbiere de Paris

I received an amazing surprise in the mail- this absolutely beautiful book!

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And I am beyond thrilled to be included in it!

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I get a certain number of email requests to participate in projects and I never know if it will be fantastic or a big zero. I usually decide to do them based on a whim- does the email sound friendly, knowledgeable and respectful of my time and artwork? Then I will probably say yes. Mostly, I spend some hours answering questions and collecting photographs, send them off, then never hear or see anything again. But, THIS BOOK! Awesome! I am honored to be part of this group of artists-

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I’ve taken a few pics of some of my favorite pages-

This fellow, so classic and perfect inspiration for one of my fellows.

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The flower beards!

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Each artist gets a little biography, answers a few questions and then has several pages of photographs/illustrations. The author of the book is identified as Sarah, Barber of Paris. She is apparently one of the few professional women barbers in France. It is a big, coffee table type book and so much fun to page through. It is going to give me loads of ideas for future men with beards.

This is an affiliate Amazon link if you are inspired to buy it. There is also a set of postcards with images from the book. I haven’t seen them though and don’t know if one of my images is included.


books and more dogs

Thank you so much to everyone who clicked through the links, way back on this post, and bought books on Amazon. As a result, I had a little pile of Amazon $ and I bought some new craft books to review! Actually, I went to choose some books and the next thing I knew, I had a long list of books- far too many for my budget. Luckily I was able to order some of them up from the library. And then I had an avalanche of books because of course they all come at once! It is a very good problem to have. I will be sharing in the next few weeks because it is really fun!

The first book is Lisa Solomon’s Knot Thread Stitch: Exploring Creativity through Embroidery and Mixed Media

She is going to be one of the teachers at Art Camp so I really wanted to check out her book. I was very interested to see that it was full of unusual embroidery projects- including machine embroidery and printmaking! It is a very interesting combination of solid instructions to learn embroidery techniques with some super cool and unusual projects. I can not wait to meet her in August!

There will be more about the books soon but now, back to the dogs. I made some dogs in January as I was working on patterns and getting ready for my guest artist gig at Gather Here. I never put them in my shop because somehow… well, I just didn’t. So I spent a little more time with them. There is this fellow back in January and now-

6:13:whitedog 1with a shirt collar and french knot buttons. It’s not much but he looks finished now.

6:13:whitedog 2And this fellow hardly got a mention back in January. I am liking him much better with his cashmere scarf and hat.

6:13:beigedog 1Yes, I LOVE the hat!

6:13:beigedog 2Okay, that is 6 dogs so far and there are lots more to come!

notes and thoughts on We Make Dolls

I think the book looks amazing and feels good too. There is a great range of projects including 3 needle-felted animals. I enjoyed reading the other artists’ bios and advise. I found it interesting to see similar advise from several different artists- for example that you don’t have to start with a whole new pattern for every new doll- work off of something that you know you like and have been successful with. Yes! One slight critique- the book mentions the international artists involved, but I couldn’t find anywhere in the book that mentions where the artists’ come from- that left me wondering!

About my section-

a confession- I am so self-conscious about what I said that I only finally read my section last night because I knew I was going to write this. I want to be sure you know, the tattooed man pattern that I did for this book is a modified pattern. It is smaller than the ones I make and sell. Also, the legs are cut and sewed as one piece. Here is a comparison-

I will admit it- I am a control freak about my work. It was really hard to let someone else take control of my patterns. I am hoping that people will be able to follow the directions and photo steps. It was nearly impossible for me to envision writing a pattern for any of my dolls that would end up being a 4 page spread. If you’ve bought any of my patterns you know I am more of a 20 page kind of explainer. The writer took what I wrote and rewrote it to fit the style of the book. That lead to a few odd directions such as to use spray glue as part of the process. I can adamantly say that I would never use spray glue on a doll or even in my studio. But, whatever, eh?!

The other pattern is a sweater baby. I used to make these and here and here are some photos in my flickr stream. I made 2 for the book, but they only included one- here they both are-

The pattern in the book is slightly smaller than my originals.

Now, go leave a comment on the give-away post and maybe you will win a free copy!



Give-away Time!

I mentioned it way back here. And it is now available here!

We Make Dolls is available! It has been more than a year since I sent in my contributions for this book- and now I have a copy in my hands. Two copies actually, so I am going to give one away. Add a comment to this post by Friday, June 1 (midnight eastern time) and I will use a random number generator to pick the winner. One entry per person and all that.

I love the promo poster-

There we all are!

Here is a video that shows all the projects-

I am going to write a separate post with my thoughts on the book. This one is getting way too long!

note- give-away is now closed.


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!

paperbag swag- the last page

Remember the paperbag swag project? I finished a page way back in July of last year (2007) and then… nothing. The project went on a long vacation. Hopefully we are all back on track now. I am so happy to be finishing and I can’t wait to get my book back with all the artwork from everyone else! This is due in the mail on June 4. I spent the last month thinking about a design and the weekend actually putting it together.

My last page is for Kristin. I have enjoyed working on this page because I’ve met Kristin in person and so there feels like a real connection. Her theme is Journey.

Getting the color right in the photographs is a challenge. In the picture below, the blue is right and the green is wrong.

I am so impressed by people who embroider words- ack-hard! I did a mix of machine embroidery, hand embroidery and ribbon embroidery.

I did some little drawings that I was planning to incorporate into the piece but in the end, didn’t use them. I made a bookmark out of them. They are suppose to show home, family, art.

Here is a gluing it into the book photo. I always get nervous at this part- what if I totally mess it up!

And, the swag!

Some other links connected to this project-

Theresa most recent post about it. Kristen. Cathy. Amy. Ellia.