Monday, January 24, 2011

two more simple projects

two more simple projects from the holiday season catch-up...
Let's Play with Felt!


You will need:
(2) pieces of felt - approx 8x10
Needle and Embroidery Floss
Fiberfil Stuffing
Vintage Buttons or any little accessories you may want for your kitty

1. Sketch and Cut out two simple shapes - one for the body and one for the head from scrap paper.
2. Pin the pattern to the felt and cut out 2 of each.
3. Sew simple or decorative to the front and back pieces BEFORE sewing them together.  FRONT  and BACK BODY:  I used a simple stitch to outline the kitty arms and legs and tail.  FRONT HEAD: A simple stitch for the eyebrows and mouth, french knots for the eyes and a satin stitch for the nose. 
4. Sandwich the two body pieces of felt together and do a running stitch, leaving the feet end open for stuffing.  Sandwich the two head pieces of felt together and do a running stitch, leaving the neck end open for stuffing.
5.  Stuff the pieces and sew the openings closed.
6.  Overlap the head and body just slightly and stitch together.  Add a bow, button or other accessories and enjoy!  Super Simple & Quick - great beginner project.


You will need:
(6) pieces of felt - approx 8x10
Needle and Assorted Embroidery Floss
Good pair of Scissors
Fiberfil Stuffing
Vintage Buttons, bits of fiber, wool scraps, little charms, etc

1. Layer two pieces of felt on top of each other and cut the corners creating a simple house shape.
2. Cut two rectangle pieces of felt for the sides of the house - you can line up or measure how tall your front/back house pieces are and cut to size.  Cut one piece for your base - it should be the width and length of the house shape and the sides.  Also cut your two rectangle roof pieces.  Odd angles are encouraged - this is a wonky house!
3.  Cut out bits of felt, wool scraps, gauzy fabric, etc for windows and a door.  Play with proportion and abstraction.  Applique these to your pieces with decorative stitches.
4.  Sew all of the sides of your house together.  Then sew the roof pieces to the top of your house.  I varied the type of stitches for more interest - running, cross-stitch, blanket stitch, will end up with the "shell" of your house.
5. Stuff the house well so it is sturdy.  Sew on the base and before stitching shut, slip in a favorite smooth stone or other type of weight.  You can use those weighted beads they sell at the fabric store but I slipped in one of my heart-shaped stones to symbolize a house filled with love.
6.  If you want a chimney, cut four small rectangles and one square and stitch together in the same manner as the house.  Stuff at the open end and then sew onto the roof.
7.  Decorate - stitch small charms, buttons, little twigs, fiber until you are satisfied with the result.

This is a great project to putter on at night in front of the fire.  Imagine a whole wonky village in different shapes and sizes.  Enjoy the pleasures of hand-sewing!

 **pssst...this is Blanche.  You may have noticed her in the other photos.  She is from my art school days from a figure sculpture class.  My mom adored her and quickly scooped her up to grace her mantle.  Blanche loves to dress festively for every holiday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

winter white, winter light

the trees and skies have been especially beautiful lately on the farm
dusty, glittering branches and mottled clouds in soft colors
i find that i am strangely comforted by this winter palette

Friday, January 14, 2011

super simple project

I had a mission over the holiday season to give A LOT of handmade gifts - my studio was bustling with all sorts of fun things...stitched felt goodies, jewelry, folk yarn balls, mixed media ornaments, pet toys & beds, a huge mixed media painting and more
It was so busy that I didn't find time to blog about 'em...but I also didn't want to spoil the surprises

So now that the cats are out of the bags, I am going to play some catchup.  Most were not holiday themed and are projects that are great anytime of year.  My faves are using simple everyday items and/or upcycled items

Super Simple Dog Pull Toy
simple project - you will need a pair of scissors and a few clean tshirts or jersey knit shirts ready to be recycled
great for toy, small and medium dogs

STEP 1 - cut out the main fabric areas of your recycled shirts (remove seams, button/zipper areas, etc)
cut into strips approx 1.5" wide and 10-15" in length - these do NOT need to be perfect
great relaxing, mindless thing to do in front of the TV

STEP 2 - choose 3 strips - varying colors

STEP 3 - knot one end - again it doesn't have to be perfect
pull the knot very tightly
STEP 4 - you will need 3 knotted bundles - repeat Steps 2 and 3

STEP 5 - secure the knotted end of one bundle and braid tightly
you can secure the knot by taping to a flat surface or clamping
I prefer clamping between my knees

STEP 6 - when you reach approx 1.5-2" from the end,
stop braiding and tie a knot - pull it very tightly

STEP 7 - repeat step 6 two more times
you can trim the ends if you'd like

STEP 8 - take two of the braids and knot the end together - pull it very tightly

STEP 9 - take the third braid and knot its end to the other two - pull it very tightly

STEP 10 - secure the large end knot and then braid the 3 braids together, pulling tightly
when you reach approx 2" from the end, repeat steps 8 and 9

STEP 11 - PLAY! with your favorite Pup

*my doggie LOVES these - pull, jump, run, chew
there will be some fraying and tearing if your doggie loves to gnaw on the knots as much as mine does but they are so easy to make that I simply replace any that are too forlorn...make a bunch!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


We are so psyched that we can now share Art Is You 2011 - Registration is Open!
This is THE East Coast Art Retreat - located in Danbury, CT
The women behind this retreat - Sal & Ellen - are unbelievable and do a fabulous job.  It never disappoints and this year looks like it is going to be the best ever...

FACULTY - the faculty this year is just superb
VENDING - yummy artsy goodies
ART SWAP - fun ornament swap
GIVING BACK - every year Art Is You gives back

We will be vending and I am teaching several workshops that I am excited to share:




check out their WEBSITE for all the details!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

new year nesting


Get Messy & Play - Paint, Paper, Glue, Glitter

Make Some Homemade Hearty Soup

Knit Something Warm for Someone You Love

Read Books, Watch Movies, Nap by the Fire

Dream & Sketch Gardens Filled with Flowers & Veggies

Play Games and Bake a Fresh Batch of Cookies

Go Sledding or Build a Snow Fort

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