Saturday, January 26, 2019

International sources for wool felt and pattern supplies

Photo: Lovely 100% wool felt samples and cards sent to me by from Cloud Craft UK

You guys know I have trusted felt vendors I work with here in the US, but because international shipping can get a little pricey I do get a lot of questions about where to source wool felt overseas. I asked my customers on FB where they purchase their felt and received so many helpful responses! Thank you! I thought I'd compile a handy list of some vendors* here for you, and I'll continue to update it as I become aware of more in other countries. Might give you a good lead if you are looking for a domestic source!

*These have been recommended to me by other crafters and some vendors have kindly sent me samples/color cards (shown in the photos), but I have not personally sewn with their felt nor purchased items from them. This list is intended as a reference for your convenience only. Please use the same diligence and discretion you would use with any internet or in-store purchase.

Photo courtesy of Bear Dance Crafts

  1. Bear Dance Crafts - Westholme, BC. 100% wool felts, glitter felts, metallic felts. Materials kits offered for some MmmCrafts patterns. 
  2. Gingermelon - Vancouver. Merino wool felt and also wool blends.

Photo: Lovely wool blend felt color cards sent to me by Billow Fabrics UK

  1. Billow Fabrics - National Nonwovens wool blend felts (some of the same colors that Benzie carries) ask them about bundles
  2. Cloud Craft - 100% wool felts
  3. Felt Better - 100% wool felts, metallic felts, glitter felts, Sulky stabilizer. Ask about supplies and kits especially pulled together for MmmCrafts patterns.
  4. Paper-And-String - Wool blend felts, glitter felts, DMC flosses 
  5. Tactile Craft Supplies - Wool blend felts
  6. Wool Felt Company - 100% wool felts

Photo: Lovely commercially dyed and hand dyed 100% wool felt samples and color cards from WinterWood AUS

  1. My Felt Lady - Chinchilla, Queensland. 100% wool felts, metallic felts, glitter felts. Materials kits and supplies offered for some MmmCrafts patterns.
  2. WinterWood Felt and Craft Supplies - Warrenwood, Victoria. 100% wool felts, both commercially and hand dyed, metallic felts, glitter felts, wood beads
  3. Felt Craft Studio - Central Coast. 100% wool felts, viscose felts, metallic/glitter felts
  1. Bij Vilt Enzo - Wool blend and 100% wool felts
  2. De Viltwinkel - 100% wool felts

If you've had a great experience with a non-US wool felt vendor, feel free to leave it in the comments! (Please no self-promotion. Anonymous comments will be deleted.)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

santa claus ornament WIP

Two WIP photos of a future pattern for a Santa Claus ornament. Last year a sweet customer of mine contacted me to ask for a pattern for Santa Claus, and at the time it wasn't possible to do more than just suggest ways for her to modify the Piper or Drummer pattern to be a Santa Claus (also Maid makes a nice Mrs Claus with some mods). After pondering other things the I could change and add, I got pretty excited and curious to try my own version and maybe develop a pattern. I started it last year but had to set it aside and recently picked it back up. Here we go.

I really love this little bearded guy, and I'm thinking of maybe doing a short pattern series of North Pole residents. If you've made the Twelve Days series, you can definitely make this Santa. Which I will be developing alongside another series I'm designing inspired by Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The plan is to release each one as it's done. I have so many ideas and so little time! It's my constant dilemma.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

some belated 2018 handmade Christmas gifts to show you

Unfortunately, December was not the leisurely, fireside, cozy crafting hiatus that I always always hope it will be. Always. Every year -- hopes dashed. It was of course (yes, of course, Larissa, you know this), a completely manic series of holiday events, graphic design deadlines, schoolwork, school events, speed shopping, gift wrapping, packing, traveling and cooking, the endless COOKING. With my birthday wedged in there in the middle.

But THIS year will be different. It's going to be magical and I'm going to have time to take it in and savor it! *squelching sound of slightly battered hope springing eternal*

Anyway, I did manage to make four small things, which I'll show you now, slightly after the fact. This pair of Twelve Days ornaments represent ALMOST the end of my serial gifting to my bestie, Robyn. I started this whole thing with the first gift to her in 2009 of a partridge and pear, so it's only been like 10 years. During the interim I designed the complete series of retail patterns, so now I feel I need to go back and redo the ones I sent her before I designed the patterns, because they don't match. She insists she does not need the redos and loves the originals, but it's really not about her anymore. LOL. No, just kidding, it is, but this way she gets a set that makes me happy and also a few extras that she can hide at the back of the tree.

I just had to redo her French Hen because this was the first one I gave her and I just like this new one so much better! I pulled in more corals to tie in her goose. These closeups show the sparkle I added in the form of glass beads and iridescent sequins.

And this is her yellow bedecked Lady Dancing (nailed it on the first try, at least until further notice), with the addition of some sparkle also.

On to the next pair of handmades:

Because I had the unbending desire to make my girls a handmade ornament that would be unique and special and different, I found myself staring at a pile of craft supplies at 1am on December 22nd (the day were leaving to go out of town), willing my exhausted muse to get off her fanny and make magic.

After some false starts, I pulled over a bin of wool balls (Benzie Design) and crafted these two Christmasy snowman... things... for my girls. They were supposed to be ornaments, but somehow ended up on mason jar lid stands. So now they are just figurines or something.

I pondered adding a clip underneath to clip them on the Christmas tree branches, but my girls say they prefer them freestanding. In that case I need to go back to IKEA and get another tiny cloche for the other one. If they still have them.

To make them, I used some acorns and acorn caps I had on hand, and these adorable painted wood Erzgebirge bunny and bird figurines I scored online a while back.

Isn't the tiny bird cute? The snowman's eyes and buttons are straight pins glued on. The nose is a cotton pipe cleaner. The scarf is a bit of wool felt.

I wasn't super happy with the finished products at the time, but maybe that was because it was 4 am and my frazzled muse was glaring at me while calling her union representative. They've grown on me since then. I think next time I make them I'll trim the bottoms off the wool balls (which are surprisingly dense) so the snowman parts can seem a bit more squashed together.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

1780 carol not your jam? No problem, here's the modernizer

I modeled my Twelve Days Ornament Series after the original carol from 1780, which I love. But it's all good if you would rather stitch the more modern version of the song. I can dig it!

In fact, I just listed the supplement pattern in my shop that will make it super easy to modify your ornaments. It covers all four patterns that need renumbering (Drummer Drumming, Piper Piping, Lady Dancing, and Lord a-Leaping). All you need to do is print the sheet as is, then use those alternate pattern pieces to replace the original numbered pieces.

I hope that is helpful to you! You can find the supplement pattern right here.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Announcing Benzie Design's Twelve Days Ornaments Stitch-A-long

Photo courtesy of Benzie Design

Hey, guys! I'm a bit late posting about this! Do you need a little extra crafty motivation to dive into my Twelve Days Ornament patterns? How about a 10% discount code on Twelve Days pattern bundles from my shop (valid now through March, bundles only) and additional discounts on Benzie felt and supplies? 

Sound good? Benzie Design is running their very own dedicated Twelve Days Ornaments Stitch-A-Long! To join the party, access those coupon codes, and receive monthly guidance and tips from Benzie to help you make the series, you'll need to purchase a stitch-a-long membership from their Etsy shop. You can read all the particulars on this listing*.

You can join anytime this year, but you'll get the most benefit by joining soon! The exclusive Benzie stitch-along discount in my shop is valid through March. You probably already know I've worked with Benzie from almost the beginning of the series to pick custom felt color bundles and take the guesswork out of choosing colors. Their beautiful wool blend felts make such pretty ornaments! You can see more about my curated Benzie felt bundles here

Happy stitch-a-longing! 

*Please direct any questions about the stitch-a-long to the lovely and affable Crystal at Benzie Design. Patterns are purchased separately from my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#bestnine2018, craftsy shakedown and BTW happy new year!

Hey, guys! Happy 2019! I resolve to craft more this year. #gratuitousresolutions

This was the screen capture of my best nine Instagram posts this year. Lots of love for the Twelve Days Ornament Series and for wool felt in general. I hope you all had a merry and bright Christmas and a phantasmagorical celebration to ring in the new year (or maybe I should say mageestical, in honor of a most amusing holiday viewing of Hunt for the Wilderpeople). I pretty much drank a sparkling grape juice around 11pm and called it a night. It's really anticlimactic to be visiting in the Central Time zone on NYE because the peach/sparkly ball drops an hour early.

From Craftsy: Good news, Larissa, you're a top designer! You get to keep your shop! Bad news, it's only four patterns 'til an undisclosed time in 2019. 

If you are wondering what in the world happened to my Craftsy pattern store, I'll tell ya. Craftsy (now a Bluprint company) is overhauling their website. They deleted thousands of pattern stores on Dec 28. Mine is still there, but it is limited for now to only four (apparently randomly chosen) patterns. Not to worry: if you have previously purchased patterns there, they are still available to you in your Craftsy pattern library. And for future purchases, a full selection of my patterns can of course be found here, in my trusty Etsy shop.

More posts coming as I unpack, refocus, and resign myself to a post fairy-light and eggnog-less reality.