I think this third part of the “Felt Like It” Series can be summed up by saying, “I like color!” This is a wreath I made for myself, using lots of bright candy colors. Sometimes more is more.
A wreath for all seasons…
I’ve made a lot of felt flowers, as is documented by these two wreaths. This is the second part in a multi-part series about my adventures in felt land. This picture looks like such a bounty of flowers.
These wreaths ended up being Christmas gifts for my sister-in-law and my mother. Making them wasn’t very difficult, just time consuming. They are made just as you might imagine, by wrapping yarn around a wreath form and then gluing flowers to them. I cut each flower by hand and used glue only to apply them to the wreath. They are all hand-stitched with matching thread. (I had a lot of downtime around the holidays last year.)
I took two slightly different approaches to these wreaths. With the pink one, I went with the “more is more” idea. The base of the pink wreath is a straw wreath form. There is a lot of yarn wrapped around that. And there are a lot of flowers. The other wreath is a more minimal grouping of flowers, restricted to an all-red color scheme.
I used a foam form for the red one. This resulted in a much lighter weight wreath and a more uniform look to the exposed yarn areas.
Felt and yarntastic!
I can’t believe 2013 is almost over. This year has gone by so fast. It was almost a full year ago that I went a little crazy over felt. Yes, the fabric. The result is a multi-part series about my crafty diversion.
It all started with an image search for a Christmas wreath which resulted in a mild fixation on a wreath that wasn’t seasonal at all. But I’ll get to that later.
I focused my felt crafts on Christmas presents. I made two floral sashes for my niece. They can be tied around her head or her waist. (I like it when she has a bow on her head, but I don’t think she agrees.) The first one I made, I embraced some of the most vibrant colors I had found.
I used three different techniques for the flowers: a yellow mum, a blue rosette and a fucsia…um…foldy flower. There are tons of tutorials for felt flowers. I found most of mine from Pinterest. This is a good collection.
First I made the flowers, then I stitched them to a piece of felt. I sandwiched the white ribbon in the middle, stitching it to the top layer. You can see the blanket stitch I ran around the edges. I do love a blanket stitch! But we’ll get to that later, too! Oh boy, I’m really building the suspense for future posts, aren’t I?
I had so much fun making the first headband, that I wanted to make a more elaborate and softer toned version. I had fun experimenting with color combinations and flower types. At some point in my life, I hope to have a second (third?) career as a florist, but felt flowers have their advantages.
This piece was quite a bit larger, but structured in the same way. I packed so many flowers on there, the band started curving on it’s own, as you can see from this overhead view.
There you have it. Felt flowers on a ribbon.
You may recall last year I offered a set of Valentine’s, as well as some “I Hate You” cards. This year I thought about what really was the opposite of love. The answer is indifference. So what do you send to the person you really don’t think about? The person you kind of remember? Of course, in reality you send them nothing. But that’s no fun. So here are some options. And bonus: This year the cards have messages inside, too! These are big files, but totally worth it. I mean, when it comes to letting someone know you sort of remember them…um…you know, it’s like important to…try?
“Hi, you.” PDF
I know. I know. Some of you are out there, full of hate! rage! scorn! and a need to express it. Here are a couple of cards for those of you who need to send some venom.
Use with caution! Good luck.
One of my coworker friends, Rebecca, asked me if I’d be willing to help her design a graphic for a shirt. Rebecca and her husband Justen formed a support group and named it in honor of their daughter, calling it Cassie’s Foundation. They were having the shirts printed for the group to wear during the March of Dimes walk.
I was happy to be able to donate my services to help them. Rebecca drew me her idea on a piece of yellow legal paper and I ran from there. In addition to the name, she wanted a balloon and the phrase “our babies.” Rebecca explained to me that often balloons are released by families as a way to memorialize their babies, symbolically sending their love to the heavens.
I started my design by searching for a typeface that I thought would work. It needed to be childlike, but not too silly or girlish. I found Vanilla, designed by Cutie Explosion. I liked that it was bubbly, like balloons, while still being legible. Rebecca choose purple to help her group’s logo be aligned to the visuals for March of Dimes. I think it turned out nicely and Rebecca and Justen were very gracious clients. I was honored to be a part of their healing, even in a very small way.
You watched the Oscars last night, tuning in early to see the red carpet and all the celebrity fashions. You had a little taste of the glamour and glitz of Hollywood. But on Monday you returned to work, turned on your computer and realized, your computer desktop was wearing last year’s fashions! Joan would tear you apart.
Save yourself from further embarrassment and download one or all of these desktop ready-to-wears.
After devoting a rather long entry to Valentine’s Day and love, I felt compelled to offer the counter-argument, to balance things out. Hate, the passionate fiery emotion that can eat us up from the inside, is not exactly the opposite of love, but compelling all the same.
If you feel like you’ve been neglecting that special someone who you just hate, not giving them their due attention, hand them one of these cards. And they’ll know you’ve been thinking of them…choking on their morning coffee or finding a severed rat’s head in their cereal.
Honestly, I can’t think of any good that could come from giving these to someone, but what do I know?
Button “I wish you were dead” PDF
Button “Eat dirt” PDF
I have created two very different valentines to share—a stricken little monster and a slightly grotesque heart. If you’re like me, and struggle with the sappy messages in many greeting cards, maybe one of my offbeat valentines will be the right fit for your special someone.
Button “My heart is yours” PDF
Button “Could you love a monster” PDF
So what’s the story with the monster? Long ago I sculpted a little clay gargoyle, about five inches tall. I painted him solid white. It was February. I gave him a little heart sign that said, “Could you love a monster?” and sold him at the annual Tiny Art Show at Emerge Gallery for $10. Since then, the phrase “Could you love a monster?” has stuck with me. We’ve all been at that vulnerable place in a relationship where we question whether we are ready to dive deeper into a relationship or not. It can feel like asking someone to love a monster. Gosh, isn’t love lovely, even when it’s devastating?
We all know what Valentine’s Day has become, a competition of who can send and receive the most embarrassing amount of flowers and gifts to their significant other at work. I don’t think any holiday is required to express how you feel to a person, but if having a day marked on a calendar inspires people to step outside their comfort zone and take that risk, I’m all for that. I’m a romantic, really.
Before I started my career in graphic design, I spent almost two decades cultivating a love for hands-on crafts. Yes, I’m counting all those macaroni and construction paper projects of my childhood. And doing craft projects makes me feel like a kid again.
I picked up a bare wood birdhouse from a craft store. I thought the shape of it was really cute, and any fan of Portlandia knows that things are better with a bird on it. Following this logic, I figured birdhouses must not be far behind. (Full disclosure: This is the only thing I know about Portlandia.)
Flowers, hearts and stars, oh my! Originally I had planned on covering the entire thing in line drawings and patterns, but I liked how this looked. It sat in this state for a while before I decided it was, in fact, done. Sometimes more is more, but I think this is a case of less is more.
About five years ago I painted a series of oil still lifes on 6x6x1″ blocks of wood. After some coats of crystal clear (not an archival method, btw) and fabric backing, they’ve been looking awesome in my powder room for the past several years.
Below you can see the close-ups of each painting. If you’re wondering what you’re looking at, just hover your mouse over each image to see the photos of the real life inspiration.
In college I could see a maple tree out my dorm window and I’d watch it change colors through the seasons. This is a leaf from that tree.
I copied the grain from an unused square. Imagine my joy when I realized I still had the real piece of wood five years later.
Detail from a candle holder
A little collection of beads and shiny things
Study of a striped fabric purse
Beads, shell and shiny things
Some things change, but just a little.
Study of red glass
P.S. Thank you to Jenna Gengler for teaching me how to make sprite hovers.