Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Inspiration, Collaboration and Serendipity!

You might want to make yourself a cuppa tea for this post - lots of links and pictures and stories!  This is the blog post I promised a few days ago when I left you with a little teaser of what I was working on...

I made something!  Yay!  I'm usually up to my eyeballs in the Felt Mines doing all the things I do on a regular basis to keep my business running smoothly.  But lately I've had an overwhelming urge to make something, and an underwhelming urge to find the time.  But thanks to an internet connection with Erin of Clever Charlotte and that rare and wondrous thing called serendipity, I made an Embroidery Folder!  

It all started when Erin was inspired by the colors in this artwork by Alyssa Nassner of SmallTalkStudio.

Erin wondered if I could pull together some of my wool felt colors to recreate Alyssa's unique palette in her 'Dream Catcher' print  (silly goose... I can recreate any palette!!) for an embroidery/needle case she wanted to make for herself.  Here are the colors I chose:

Baby Yellow
Yellow Green
Blush Pink
Coral Pink
Slate Grey

Once I saw this pretty pile of wool felt, I started thinking about a project that had been brewing in my mind for quite some Embroidery Folder using parts and pieces cut with dies.  My name, Felt On The Fly, comes from the fact that I love to design 'on the fly'!  It always starts with a need, which fuels my creativity and off I go - designing from my imagination.

Erin and I decided that we would each design our own project using the same color palette and compare results when we were done.  You can see her finished project right here. 

 My wool felt cuts like a dream with most of the popular dies available in craft stores and on-line.  I used just three Sizzix dies for all of the parts and pieces shown here.

The largest pieces were cut with the Sizzix 'Pocket Page and Tag' die which requires the huge Sizzix Big Shot Pro Die Cutting Machine.  The smaller embellishments were cut with the Sizzix 'Flower Layers #7' die and the Sizzix 'Jungle Leaves' die using the smaller, more manageable Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutting Machine.  

I knew I'd need lots of pockets for my Embroidery Folder because I like to carry lots of bits and pieces around while I'm designing and stitching.  Lucky for me, the 'Pocket Page and Tag' die includes holes - so much neater than trying to make little slices with scissors!  Those holes made it really easy to insert metal rings to keep the pocket pages lying flat when the Folder is open. 

Some creative cutting and folding and stitching ensued and, what the heck, why not toss in a few sparkly little beads too... and here's what the inside of my Embroidery Folder looks like:

There are three layers of pockets.  Each of the top two layers open like a book.  The bottom layer is one large pocket.  I used the tag die cuts to make a needlebook and a handy little layered pocket for reading glasses and my needle threader - both of those little extras fit right inside the Embroidery Folder making one nice, neat little package.

I cut out embellishments using the same color palette and used those embellishments to repeat the theme of Alyssa's artwork. 

And finally, so you can get an idea of how all of this looks when it's actually being it is, stuffed with the bits and pieces of my next project!

Here's a few close-ups of some of the detail work...

The three-dimensional flower is actually three flower die cuts, folded in quarters, embellished with beads and stitched together.

 I love the 'Jungle Leaf' die.  Looks just like a feather, don't you think?

And here's the simple leaf/feather design again - simply embellished with minimal embroidery and a few tiny beads.

All done!  Easy peasy!  Thanks, Erin, for the unintentional wool felt project throw down!  I look forward to the next challenge, whether it's matching a color palette or designing another project on the fly....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And the Winner Is....

Congratulations to Mandy Pelton!  She made this adorable journal:

Mandy used a few of the parts and pieces from my Wool Felt Heart and Key Die Cut set that was featured over on Larissa's blog, mmmcrafts back in January.  The Die Cut Set was free with a purchase from my shop  for a limited time (See???  It pays to follow me around and see what I might be handing out for free!!)  and Larissa and I challenged readers to upload their finished projects to a special Flickr group - using all or some of the die cuts - for a chance to win even more felty wool felt.


Larissa and I were really impressed with Mandy's sewing skills.  Wow, that girl is one neat sewist!  I love the sweet, simple design and the soft, pretty color combination.  The little bookmark is just too cute.  Mandy told me that she got her sewing machine just about a year ago, but it was only recently that she actually started using it.  I'd say she's a natural and I hope to see more of her work. 

Mandy, thanks so much for sharing your project.  It sure was a pleasure to meet you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank you Clever Charlotte!

There's a great Winter Woolle Blog Series going on over at Clever Charlotte.  Erin (one half of theErin/Carla team that makes up Clever Charlotte - ummmm, maybe Erin and Carla are two-thirds of the team.  We shouldn't forget Charlotte, right??) invited me to write a blog post for the series and I was very glad to oblige.  I can *talk* a blue streak about all things felt, but when it comes to *writing* about it I usually freeze up (hence the skimpy quantity of posts on my own blog!).  But once I commit to something, I like to follow through, ya know?  So thank you Erin for the invitation which forced me - in the nicest possible way of course - to write something!

Erin and Carla design fabulous patterns for children's wear - very classic 'clothing patterns for modern children'.  They sell their patterns and even fabric kits for uber-convenience on their website. As a little added bonus, check out the 'Meet Charlotte' page on their site for a cute little story.  Not only are their patterns original and sweet, I love their consistent nod to the brand that is Charlotte : )

I hope you'll take just a minute to click on this link and read the post.  I was so very happy to share the limelight with a few of my customers who use my felty wool felt for their fabulous creations.  Featured along with me in the Clever Charlotte blog were the following Felty Friends:

Celina from GardenBirdie, USA:

Robyn from GiddyUpAndGrow, Canada:

Agah from MadeByAgah, Poland:

Sue from HuggerMuggerDolls, France:

and Lena, LenasShoePatterns, Bulgaria:

While Erin was putting together the blog post, she came across some gorgeous artwork which inspired us (with the artist's permission of course) to pull together the same color scheme in my felty wool felt.  Erin already had an idea rolling around in her head about what she would like to make using those colors, and I had an idea rolling around in my head too.... so, I'll leave you with this little teaser and a promise of a blog post with my finished project.  I hope to share a link to Erin's finished project as well!