One of the best things about being a crafter is that, if you can find time, you never have to buy anyone a present. You can just make it. However, sometimes your family and friends kindly inform you that they have no more wall space for pictures/hangings and definitely do not ever need another scarf/hat and you have to start thinking about what you are going to do with the pile of things you made because you enjoy what you are doing so much you lost track of exactly how much you had bought/made/designed…
Enter Etsy. A little while ago my mum and I decided that we should open an Etsy shop because we LOVE making but have no more space to store all the things we are generating. We haven’t got around to this yet because, you know, LIFE (and I think we both worry a bit that people only say they like what we make to be polite…) but it is on the cards. We even have a name and a logo…but that is as far as we have got. With this in mind, I have been trying to design some fun patterns and small things that I can reproduce evenly/have cut out in readiness (alongside my job) in the hope that the idea takes off. My mum makes AMAZING shawls so I thought I would stick with brooches as these are a) different and b) useful to people if they are buying a shawl.
This is one of my Mum’s gorgeous shawls when I pinned it out for blocking; she made up the pattern with her brain because she is super talented. I think it shows off the stripe in the wool really well. Isn’t she clever?!
As we know, I have impulse control problems when buying craft related material. A key area of this is with felt. I don’t know why. I just love it. I have a small Percy Pig suitcase (yes, you can get these) full of the stuff. It seemed logical to have a go at using some of this to make some more unusual brooches. Obviously I decided to make doll shaped brooches because I love dolls. I think this has something to do with the fact that, when I was a child, my mum didn’t buy me dolls because she didn’t want to socialise me into domesticity just because I was a girl (Thank goodness for the sensible ideas of the 80s. Where did they go?). Unfortunately, what often happens when you tell a child they can’t have something is…they really want it more. So I am a feminist (obviously) and I don’t believe in socialising kids into a certain set of habits, outfits and hobbies based on their gender (Hello People, it is 2016, get with the programme) AND I also like dolls.
I did a little research to see what kind of designs were popular, but none of them seemed to have very exciting hair; if I was a felt doll, I would want exciting hair. So I have made this my focus point:
I have tried to make each one different, adding a little button/bit of lace here and there, because what girl wants to rock up to the craft fair wearing the same as someone else?
I thought dolls would be good because then you have the option to personalise them, which I think most people like, especially if they are buying a present. I trialled this on my grandparents (I know, very impartial judges) for their wedding anniversary last year. When they first met, my grandpa was a doctor and my grandma was a nurse, and this was the first thought he had when he saw her:
I think it worked quite well attached to a card so that is a little idea I stored away for later.
Then the other day I was doing some internet browsing, just casually, and totally accidentally not on purpose discovered THIS WONDROUS SUBSTANCE:
GLITTER FELT. So I bought it. And actually, when it arrived, it became apparent that it wasn’t really felt at all – it is a much stiffer fabric – but I didn’t care because LOOK AT ALL THE SPARKLES.
There was only one possible thing to do with this. Make a mermaid.
Everyone likes mermaids, right? So I have spent the last couple of days trying to perfect my mermaid. Attempt one had too long a torso and arms so the tail wouldn’t snuggle on properly. She also ended up looking a bit like an eel, which was not my aim. I also decided that I needed to change her lipstick to match her bikini (red on the right changed to pink on the left), because what kind of mermaid would she be if she didn’t colour coordinate? Not one made by me. I put a little shell button on but then decided I didn’t like the placement and since I was reshaping the torso, I pulled her to pieces to start again, which is why the one on the left looks as though an alien spawn has just burst out of her:
In the end, I think I have got her about right:
I know the left eye is a bit wonky. Please ignore that. I made her a buddy to check the pattern/method and I think the buddy turned out better:
And then I attempted an artistic shot:
That seahorse button is really cool though. Hope it makes up for my lack of photographic skill.
The next logical extension is to make Rosie the Riveter .Because, you know, feminists like dolls too.
Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated!