Felt does not unravel or fray and therefore is such a versatile textile to use for crafting and sewing projects!
Claire Fearnley of FeltLikeStitchin was one of the first sellers I purchased from on Etsy in 2007. I was enchanted by her colourful and beautifully constructed felt creations, in particular her range of DiDi Dolls, some of which are shown here – and Mini Monster Keyrings, and thought they would make lovely stocking fillers for family Christmas presents.
Claire kindly agreed to answer some questions:
- How long have you been working with felt? “I’ve been stitching in one form or another since I was a young child, but my obsession with felt started about 2 1/2 years ago. I was having a sort through my craft supplies when I found some random pieces of felt – I can’t even remember why I bought them in the first place but it suddenly struck me how much I could do with them so I started to experiment. I happened to have some stuffing in amongst my supplies (I have way too much craft stuff!) so making little felt dolls just seemed to follow on naturally”.
- What is it you like about working with felt? “The main thing I love about felt is the amazing range of colours available. I remember doimg creative projects at school and all the felt seemed to be green, red or white and we normally made holly or snowmen! When I go to the sewing shop now there’s so much choice and the colours are so lovely and bright – it just inspires me to create! The other good thing about felt is it’s so easy to work with. It doesn’t fray and it’s a wonderful fabric for children’s craft projects”.
- What inspired you to create your DiDi Dolls? “At first I just made random creations from felt, but when I decided to open my Etsy shop and sell little felt dolls I wanted them to be special. I played around with ideas for a name – because they were small I was thinking of the word ‘diddy’ – that didn’t sound quite exotic enough so I changed the spelling to DiDi and designed the little pocket for the back of my dolls. The dolls started off quite simple but the range has evolved to include monsters, animals, celebrities and Russian Dolls – it feels as though the more I make the more new ideas I get”!
Her DiDi Dolls are also available at the following stores:
Cup Cakes A Go Go – 2079 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, Florida
Larry’s Corner, Stockholm, Sweden
Unique Freaque – 121 N. Kenilworth, Oak Park, Illinois 60301
Texas Art Spot – N.Beaton St. Corsicana, Texas
Gifts by Jayne
Claire’s Russian Dolls which she sells through Hunkydory Home have just been featured in the UK’s Sunday Time Style Magazine, Sunday, 17th May 2009!
Polymer clay is a man-made sculptable material which doesn’t actually contain any clay at all but is known as clay because it’s working properties and texture resembles that of mineral clay. It actually hasn’t been around that long. Since the 1930’s in fact (I shall talk about it’s history in a future article). Nan Roche, well known author of the first book to compile all the available information about polymer clay entitled “The New Clay” and published in 1991 (which today, is sometimes called the ‘bible of polymer clay’) says in her Introduction that polymer clay is one of the most versatile and inspirational artist’s material to come along in centuries.
Linsart resides in the US and is not only a pleasure to know as a person, but also creates the most exquisite and expressive art doll faces I have ever seen and recently purchased to use in the creation of my art dolls and healing doll kits. Linsart’s work has been featured in Magazines such as Art Doll Quarterly and Sommerset Studio. She has been working with this medium for the past 7 years and says “I have sold my work on Ebay, Etsy, Just Beads and from my blog. I really enjoy creating Art Doll faces, and after some research, I found that there are many Art Doll artists that need supplies for their dolls. When minimum is met, I ship out of the USA. Square Detailed Art Face – Artist: Linsart
You can view more of these stunningly detailed OOAK art doll faces at the following links and believe you me, you will not be disappointed!
As most of you will know, they are both methods whereby thread is turned into fabric. Apparently, knitting is considered the second most frequently used method of fabric construction, after weaving. Both methods consist of pulling loops of yarn through other loops. They differ in that, for crochet, only one loop (stitch) is active at any one time and a crochet hook is used instead of a pair (minimum) of knitting needles. For knitting, several loops (stitches) are pulled through each other. Knitting can be done by hand with needles or by machine (to my knowledge no one has yet produced a machine that can duplicate true crochet stitches…..but please correct me if I am wrong). There is debate about whether knitting is better or more superior than crocheting and visa versa – but we are not getting into that here!
What I will say is that for some reason I have not yet been able to master the art of crocheting! Unlike my mum who could do both and I have fond memories of the intricate looking cotton doilies she made, the larger colourful ones that draped the arms and backs of the settees, the ponchos she crocheted for my sisters and I and all the lovely jumpers and cardigans she knitted for us girls, my dad and my 2 brothers in the 1960’s snd 70’s. What I am sure you, who knit or crochet or both, will agree on is that both activities are not only enjoyable, relaxing and meditative, but can also be highly addictive!
Which leads me nicely onto talk about Heather of NiftyKnits. Heather used to be a primary school teacher and it was during a period of time of sick from her day job that she rediscovered knitting. It really got her creative juices going once more and she says she “acquired a continually expanding stash of yarn itching to be turned into items to sell”. Healther no longer teaches and instead spends much of her time creating knitted and crocheted wonders such as these featured here.
Heather’s items are all created from her own designs and range from jewellery (such as floral hair barrettes, bead necklaces, etc) to flowers in vases for the home or to sit on your office desk, as well as delightful critters such as the darling little Meerkat shown here – one of which I have just purchased!
Heather’s handkitted and crocheted items are proving to be very popular and can be purchased from the online shops she has at Etsy and Folksy:
AND….. for novelty gifts of a ‘mature’ nature at: NaughtyKnits.etsy.com
Therefore it seems most opportune to showcase the work of Nihan Atluntas. She says she finds sanity in creating and designing one of a kind knitwears!
Nihan who is Turkish and lives in Istanbul, gains inspiration for her creations through a mix of Antolean culture and the modern world. She has been creating since she was a child, but, it was whilst studying for her degree, that Nihan got back into knitting as a way of relaxing and expressing herself.
Nihan does not use pattern books. All her creations are unique and at the same time fashionable as you can see from the items featured here and also for sale in her online Etsy shop:
She says “I am happy to re-create my knitting items in different colour alternatives and different sizes. Feel free to ask”!
Nihan has also got her own website:
So, for all us women now wondering what to wear to lift our spirits and at the same time keep us warm and looking good as we step outside the comfort of our warm cosy homes to battle snowstorms – we know where to go!!
Art IS my life…………says Patricia Lazar
“I have been an artist just about all my life, having started to paint very seriously at about twelve years old. My whole life has been totally centred around my art, which is as integral to me as breathing! Although it has taken a more commercial twist from time to time, my love of Fine Art has always dominated”.
Patrica studied (and later taught) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. Her principal teacher was Dr Arthur Lismer, one of the famous Canadian Group of Seven (a famous Canadian art movement known for its portrayals of North American wilderness). Patricia has been exhibiting and selling her artwork since the age of 19 and has spent many years collaborating with other artists both in Canada and abroad.
Patricia who has lived in Toronto for the past twenty years, specialises in handcrafted ceramic art, especially teapots and wall pockets. Her amazing functional and sculptural teapots – like the first imgage above which is a non-functional (Black Folk Art) sculpture teapot entitled “Aerobics Class” – can be found in Museums and art collections around the world. In fact, Patricia is proud to announce that the largest teapot collection in the world, The Kamm Teapot Foundation, have recently acquired some of her work!
This multi-talented woman also paints on canvas, using professional acrylic paint. She says “my specialty is animal portraits and I love to do commissions either on canvas or on a ceramic piece. I also love to paint Mermaids, Nudes and other designs. Lately I’ve been working with stained glass and just loving it”.
Patricia concludes that her “art is a labour of
of love” and her creations make “unique and affordable gifts for discerning art collectors”
To find out more about the beautiful work shown here please do take a wonder over to Patricia’s website, as well as her Etsy and Ebay shops:
Three Stand Alone (MHNPhotography)
“Nature photos that convey a powerful message compel the viewer to take a second look in order to soak in the beauty and meaning of the image” says professional nature photographer Cub Khan in his book ‘Beginner’s Guide to Nature Photography’.
This is certainly true of the photography of Deon Ried who has kindly allowed me to show some of her photos here.
Friend’s Valentine – Heart Art (Artistt: Linda Hardy ‘mamapainter’)
Not sure if I am making sense here, but perhaps you will understand better when you look at the spiritually nourishing and uplifiting work of Linda Hardy shown here and at her Etsy shop (mamapainter):
2 Birds in a Tree (Artist: Linda Hardy ‘mamapainter’)
In the summer I purchased a book by mixed media artist and author Kelly Rae Roberts, from her Etsy Shop. The book is called ‘Taking Flight (Inspiration and Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings)’. In it are several mixed media techniques. One of these is encaustic painting. I remember being fascinated by this medium and knew it was something I wanted to learn more about and even try out for myself. Well, dear reader, life got in the way and it wasn’t until quite recently I was looking to purchase another pack of goddess oracle cards and the online shop I saw them in also sold encaustic art sets with DVD and painting iron , so of course I purchased one for myself. It arrived this week.
By coincidence – this week I also came across the blog of Pat O’Neill:
Here, you are invited to join Pat in her journey of discovery of encaustic art, the magic of painting with wax!
Pat who is a quilter is also an artist who has dabbled in various art forms… drawing, water colours, acrylics but could never feel comfortable at all. Until, she says ” I came across the word encaustic and my curiousity got the better of me! Not having a clue what it was I decided to explore and hence began my exciting journey into encaustics. Now, there is no stopping me as I teach myself the different techniques and evolve my very own style of painting.The medium allows the imagination to flow unhindered. When I start a painting I never really know what direction I will be following. Sometimes, totally abstract and sometimes something more conventional. My favourite subject has always been water, from being a Pisces maybe? Certainly, many of my paintings involve underground lakes, the sea and caves. Some will be mysterious, some dynamic or even peaceful but always exciting”.
Pat is so passionate about this media, she has written a book!
Here are 2 of Pat’s creations. The one above is of an ACEO – Fantasy Bird of Paradise flower and below is – Red Flower (you can read about how Pat ‘gave birth’ to this particular work of art on her blog). More of Pat’s work can be seen at:
She sells her artwork at:
Encaustic art defined by Wikopaedia:
Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface — usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used.
The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be purchased and used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.
Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.
This technique was notably used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 CE, in the Blachernitissa and other early icons, as well as in many works of 20th-century American artists, including Jasper Johns. Kut-kut, a lost art of the Philippines implements sgraffito and encaustic techniques. It was practiced by the indigenous tribe of Samar island around 1600 to 1800.
Encaustic art has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1990s with people using electric irons, hotplates and heated stylus on a variety of different surfaces including card, paper and even pottery. The iron makes producing a variety of artistic patterns elementary. However, the medium is not limited to just abstract designs, it can be used to create complex paintings, just as other media such as oil and acrylic.
LilygraceOriginals is truly full of amazing treasures and unfortunately, I can’t show them all here, so please do go and take a look for yourself, at: