Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Happy Little Doll...

Meet JoJo, the latest face with the felted bobbles!
She's a happy girl.

Here she is with her friends. I decided I like the painted face a little bit more. Although, the others have a cool earthy feel, I think.  I was able to take advantage of some late October sun and felt some bodies. I've completed four dolls so far.

November could mean me standing out in the rain rolling the wool. It will probably be a couple weeks until more dolls are in production. I'm also looking forward to working on some other projects- more fabric postcards, mail art, and fabric books. Sometimes, going to bed, I have all these ideas swirling around and just need to find more time in the day to do them. I'm sure we all feel that way!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bobbles on my head

I finished the third of my "faces in the felt" dolls. Here she is.

Can I take the rest of the month off and just make dolls? Oooh, I wish I could!
She is also in my Etsy shop, ready to find a happy home.

I hope you all have a great weekend. xo

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Felted Bead Factory

More beads to show. I like this color combo! More dolls coming. I'm like a woman posessed these days!  Apparently, opening an Etsy shop has kicked me into high gear and I'm loving it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Giant Hug for some mail art goddesses!

The past couple weeks have been full of surprises. I am feeling so thankful to all my wonderful blog friends, mail friends, old friends, new friends, and everyone in between. I am feeling the love and feeling grateful to know all of you.
Look at the wonderful mail that's been rolling in from the US, Mexico, England, and Germany! It's international mail love, too!

My dear friend, Valerie, who I can only think of as "craft attack" (Val, that's what you're known as in my house! hee!), sent this amazing envelope filled with a paper art extravaganza! A very cool book of tags, all with amazing birds and collage! There was also one of her notebooks which didn't make it in the pic because it went straight to my purse for use!  Thank you Val for the amazing gifts and for stopping by my blog so much. It means a lot! If you don't know Valerie yet, you must stop by Bastelmania!


Next up, my lovely friend, Donna! Oh, Donna, you always put together envelopes that are a joy to open! You never know what surprises may be in there! I am in love with your hand made stamps! This horse on the vintage fabric is going to work its way into something soon. And how great are these funky threads!!...right up my alley! Donna Did It is an amazing blog to stop by! Go, see!

Donna Did It!

Corrine at Dosfishes totally surprised me this sly gal! I opened my door on Saturday to find a big envelope sitting on my doorstep ( a cool recycled cereal box, of course!). I am one of the lucky recipients of her wall hangings! Isn't this amazing! It is so cheerful and cool, and already hanging on my wall by the sewing machine. Such a special gift I'll cherish. I also recieved some really fun fabrics and ribbons!...for a gift for Corrine? I think so!


Today, was another day of amazing mail--- and I mean amazing! Anyone who visits Lorna at Artymess has seen and admired her fabric postcards. ( This needs a better discription than postcard---this is insanely detailed and beautiful...I would never risk this one traveling without an envelope!!) I love these rich colors and the embroidery is enviable! Also, she put in some wonderful lace and ribbons! Lorna, you are amazing! Thank you!



I feel like the luckiest girl these days! And thank ALL of you for making me feel extra good. I look forward to more mail swaps with friends and  I always appreciate your kind words when you stop by. I wish I could give you all those big, knock ya over, hugs! xo 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Faces in the Felt

Hello Everyone!

Two dolls happy and finished. I am having such a good time with these. The second one (the green one) I decided to leave a more natural face, just aging it a little. I decided I like them painted, and not, so I'll just let each one guide me as it comes together.
I am also putting these in my etsy shop.

Two, maybe I should at least start on that mountain of laundry I've been ignoring!

They also make great little pin cushions.

I am busy working on one more today, and trying to take advantage of the sun for more felting!

Friday, October 21, 2011

New doll...almost there

This one is almost done. A few more touches here and there. I have more faces to paint and get my series underway. But I'm so excited I couldn't wait to share.

New Faces

A preview of the faces I am working on for my new dolls...doing a series.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hens get cold too!

I was flipping through a National Geographic at the doctor's office and came across a picture that caught my eye- a hen in a little knitted sweater. Naturally, I had to tear out that page (sorry next patient!) and research this some more. It led me to info about the UK rescuing battery hens, and to groups who knit sweaters for them. You can even get the pattern and directions here. I wonder if I could felt one instead? I'll be sure to post it if I make one!

  Also, I read more about the British Hen Welfare Trust.
I imagine most of you in the UK have heard of this. Okay, for all I know, everyone has heard of this, but I hadn't.  I think it's a wonderful organization and project. And as someone who hopes to have a couple chickens some day, it was really appealing. I'm still looking into anything like this in the US. Anyone know?  Just wanted to share! :)
click the links to learn more.

What do think...they need some felted bead embellishments?! Hee!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Felt while the sun is out

I am on a bead felting mission. Here's the latest I did this weekend. I am also trying to take advantage of our rare sunny days for some felting I am doing for a new art doll.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a little bit about a book...

I was reading the other night and it got me thinking. Books do that (hee!).

Who do you think of when you hear the word "fearless"? A lot of people come to mind, both living and dead, immediate friends, and people I've only read about. I think of some of my favorite courageous women- Emma Goldman and Beryl Markham, and some of my favorite adventurers- Ernest Shackleton and John Voss-men of the sea. I am amazed by people and their stories all the time.

I consider myself pretty adventurous, up for new things, and taking risks and never consider it to be scary at all. It depends. Maybe it's because I've had a fairly charmed life and have generally had positive experiences at every turn. The closest thing to scary ( I prefer "intimidating") I've done was, after college, I decided to NOT put my new History degree to any real use, and I was dropped off at a truck driving school in Salt Lake City. Yes, a bit out of my comfort zone at 22. And it turned out to be the most amazing experience driving the lower 48 states and living in a semi for a year.  We all have different fears...I can back a truck into a beer distributor in Brooklyn, NY., but please don't make me speak in public!  I have a wonderful network of family and friends to cushion any blows in life, and in this modern world I rarely find myself in a situation where I would truly be venturing out alone-no phone, no access to money, food, shelter, and people to help me. I often find myself searching for a new challenge, and sometimes after reading a great autobiography, I want a "real" challenge...a "turn of the century traveling to a new land" challenge, "this might get ugly" trek, a journey...a test? Something without a safety net? The reason I am thinking of all these things may have a little to do with my last book being about the men of the ship "Essex" ( uh, don't want a "Let's draw lots to see who lives" journey!) and now I am reading a wonderful book about an Iranian woman.

It is Daughter of Persia by Sattareh Farman Farmaian with Dona Munker.
Sattareh was born in Iran in the early 1920s in a very traditional family, except that her father insisted that his sons and daughters recieved an education. She was also one of those children who questioned everything, pushed back a little, and wasn't interested in settling into marriage. While studying at a school taught by Americans, she received help in getting accepted to study at a college in the US. Okay, I am skimming over tons of the book here because what has most inspired me is her actual journey from Tehran to America in 1942. As I am reading I keep thinking "how amazing! how amazing!"- a woman in her early 20s, raised to not leave home without a male escort, who has never been far from Tehran, in the midst of WWII, is about to leave the safety of her home completely on her own. I love these women from history. I adore them!
By train, truck, and train again, she makes her way across Iran and India to Bombay, where she will have to find passage on a ship to America. I really had to stop and consider the time, and her upbringing, and it only made her more amazing. I could picture her on the train she described, talking to a young man, one of Ghandi's followers. Ghandi! She was fascinated with their movement- maybe as I am fascinated with her life.  Once in Bombay it is several weeks before she is set to board a French ship to America. In the middle of a war they set out, and are torpedoed the first evening and the ship sinks! Sinks! They are rescued by a British destroyer which brings them back to Bombay.A couple weeks pass and she is once again called by the port and told if she can be there within 4 hours she has passage on another ship. A bit hesitant ( ummmm,her first ship sank!), but anxious to cross the ocean, she heads to the harbor where a huge American ship awaits- and I mean huge- it must be a carrier as she describes her ride as having 6,000 Navy sailors aboard!
As she walks up the gangplank the captain shook her hand and said, "Welcome aboard!" I can picture that scene (or so I think) with this friendly Navy captain and a Muslim woman raised to not even make eye contact with men she didn't know now on a ship full of sailors! She was so confident and brave. She fearlessly sought out an education and an adventure. And she writes about it like it really wasn't such a big deal or scary per se. Maybe we all look back after we leap with a more grounded memory of things. But I can't imagine how she must have felt along that (roughly) 3 month journey from her home in Tehran to boarding an American warship in Bombay.
All this excitement and inspiration and I still have half a book to finish! I'd love to hear your stories, and who you admire. What's the scariest thing you've ever done? What do you want to try but haven't quite found the courage to leap yet?
I say, Leap, friends, Leap!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Big News! I opened an Etsy Shop!

I am so excited to tell everyone about my new Etsy shop, The Red Tin!

I decided to jump in and give it a try. I have nothing to lose!  I have been busy getting it all set up and making new products for my new business. I will be adding more items all this week. I wanted to have some new items I haven't shared on my blog and maybe you haven't seen from me. I am really excited about the new fabric and felted sketchbook covers I have been sewing. They are like art quilts for a Moleskine journal!

This one is in my shop...

 This could be hung up as an art quilt too!

I am really excited for this new adventure. And, thank you to all the friends out there who have been so encouraging, urging me to open up shop!

Feel free to tell your friends and spread the word. I'd really appreciate it. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shades of Purple

Felting....stitching...french knots...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stitched Faces

More practice. More girls.