Photos at last.

I promised photos from June, but decided to just include those in with the more current ones. I’ve been creating items for my craft business as fast as I can (considering I’ve had two surgeries in two months) and I’m happy with what’s been completed so far. One of my favorite things is what I like to call “Felt Peeps,” because that’s what everyone thinks they look like. I’ve made literally dozens of them and will probably do more, because they are handmade from start to finish and I can completely make one sitting in my recliner, from the tracing and cutting, to the stuffing and stitching. They are totally hand stitched from high quality wool blend felt (not the acrylic craft stuff.)

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This simple little rag-type doll will be dressed in jumper, apron, pantaloons, bonnet and shoes and I plan to make quite a few of them in different hair and eye colors.

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She’s about 12″ tall and has embroidered facial details and yarn hair.

The smaller version of this doll, which is meant to be “her” doll, but will actually be sold as a separate item is here.

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And for scale:

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She’s only a bit less than 4″ tall and entirely hand made and painted. She will also have a dress, apron, pantaloons and bonnet. I can’t wait to make these tiny clothes!

Here’s just a small sampling of the tiny felt folk I intend to make.

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For scale:

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These are made from pipe cleaners, embroidery floss, wool felt, wool roving (for hair), hand painted (by me) wooden beads and real acorn caps for caps. The skirts and wings are from deconstructed silk flowers. I plan to make lots of fairies of various sizes, plus family groups of “regular” people, as well as a king, queen, princess, wizard, etc. These are very detailed, but fun when I’m in the proper mood. They are made in stages, so I do maybe 8-10 at a time and work a rather slow assembly line process.

I don’t see these as children’s toys, because of their delicate nature, but more as collectibles.

And last, but not least, and probably my favorite up to this point, are my Baby Dumplings. Approximately 10″ tall and made from flannelette, poly stretch knit, and craft fur, the faces are hand painted and needle sculpted for a more realistic shape. I love these sweet babies and made (and sold) dozens of them years ago. I hope they sell well, because they are a joy for me to make. They are toys, but probably for the 3 years and up set, due to noses and ribbons possibly being able to be removed by a rough toddler.

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I think the back is almost as cute as the front:

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Well, there’s a sneak peak at my progress, as it stands. I obviously have lots more to do and haven’t even begun clothing the poor little naked ones, but I’ve made a tiny drop in a big bucket for my future business. I’m loving it all.

I haven’t begun my “main attraction,” which will be my Waldorf dolls, and I’m still tweaking my paper doll, which is based on the Waldorf dolls. I also plan to do some clothespin dolls, if time permits, so I will have some more small, inexpensive items. And then, there are the American Girl doll clothes, too.

I haven’t pictured them here, but I also have made a ton of fabric Easter eggs. My first show is just a few weeks before Easter next year, so I’m thinking the eggs and the felt chicks will do well as moms are shopping for tiny things to add to Easter baskets. I can proudly proclaim that mine or sugar free, fat free and gluten free 😉

One thing and another, and maybe one more.

I have still not finished the reorganization of my sewing space, but progress has been made. I do have both of my large cabinets in place and I’m still loading them up and adjusting things on shelves. The rest of the room is gradually getting better. I didn’t get the second cabinet painted, but I needed it desperately and decided to decoupage it later. I can do that while it’s loaded and in place and not have to move it.

I did make a new tablecloth for my dining room, using some fabric that my son gave me that goes perfectly.
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And then…and THEN (she says with emphasis)…I finally began some crafting for next year’s shows. I have painted many, many little teensy faces on wooden beads, which is the beginning of some Wee Folk of Felt. I am loaded up with pipe cleaners, faux flower petals and good quality wool felt and embroidery floss to make the wee people and fairies. I found I’m not so excellent at painting the beads that are smaller than one inch, and most especially, the ones that are one half inch. I think the one-inch ones turned out well, though, so unless I get a lot better at the smallest ones, I’ll stick to the larger people and fairies in the future.

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I do think these look better in person than they appear in these photos….maybe it’s my camera? Or the photographer who knows nothing about photography??

I will soon be painting some clothespins in preparation for clothespin dolls. I want to have the painting on these things mostly done before my first camper trip of the season, so I won’t have to be painting while I’m there. I’d rather just have faces done and get to work on clothing and hair, and in the case of the Wee Folk, embroidery floss wrapping.

I tried my hand at polymer clay, making some simple buttons. My inexpensive thrift store toaster oven scorched them, despite my best efforts at controlling the temp and even using an oven thermometer. I also decided that, without purchasing a $70 pasta roller, this type of clay work is too hard on my arthritic hands. The purchase of said roller would be a risky one when I don’t know if these things would sell or if I can even get the temp control problem fixed, so I decided to let that particular craft idea go. I hadn’t spent a lot of money on it up to this point, so I don’t feel too badly about cutting my losses now. Live and learn….if you don’t try, how will you know if you can do something?

Just tonight I have been working on woodburning some bamboo kitchen spoons for gifts. This. Is. Fun. Simple, rustic, free-form, design-as-I-go. Can’t say who these will be for, but I think they will be well received. I think I’ll buy another woodburning tip or two, so I can add some more designs. It’s one of those times when less is NOT more, MORE is more! If I wanted less, I’d just leave them plain in the first place 🙂

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These are not finished; I do plan to add more designs to them, but it gives an idea of what I’m talking about.

Oh! And my birthday present this year is an American Girl doll, Marie Grace. She’s of the historical time period of New Orleans 1863 and comes in the appropriate clothing and shoes. I’ve always wanted an A.G. doll for my collection, but never wanted to spend the $100+ for one. However, since I plan to make and sell A.G. clothing, then not only do I NEED at least one doll for fitting purposes, but the cost will be deductible when it’s time to pay taxes on my earnings. Win-win, right?

Getting to the point of counting down the weeks till my retirement….at this time a little over 38 weeks. It’s kind of surreal and reminds me of my senior year of high school. I’ll be happy to be putting 8-5 days behind me and dealing with the public in the way that I currently do, but jumping off into the future and leaving behind all that’s familiar does cause some anxiety, too. So, I’m excited (a lot!) and apprehensive (a little.) Doing my best to be prepared financially and not have any unpleasant and expensive surprises, of course.