100% wool felt.

Finally! I've been eying these bundles at Joann's forever. Now on sale at 50% off!


Owl on a log.

Meet Carnation, the dreamy owl birdie. She enjoys red wine and sunsets and apples and cheese. She especially loves ball flowers, so she welcomes colorful pins aplenty in her log, creating a most wondrous garden for perching.


Nissa, Reidun, Winka - 2nd generation.

All decked out and Winka now with cool blue eyeshadow. In the past I've used wipe-on poly but these I sealed with water based varnish instead. It's definitely more user friendly, quick drying and forgiving, since it doesn't have the tacky quality common in oil based products. Unlike what I previously thought, it'll achieve an even coat even after several applications. It also helps to keep a wet edge, meaning don't go over what's just been painted, move forward so the work doesn't get streaky.


oh snap!

Heads are not secured yet with one coat of varnish. I painted the heads separately from the spools so the varnish doesn't pool around their necks. I also opted not to paint their bodies. I figured with the handling, it's better to leave these au natural. Plus, I kinda fancy the wood grain.



Thought I'd try my hands at painting kokeshis again. It's actually a lot easier to accomplish these fine lines with a soft, long liner brush than a short one. When working on small surfaces, I prefer the more intentional wrist rotation, which makes for steadier strokes. Since the longer brush has a greater span, it works best with this technique. With a short brush, the tendency is to move the hand with the application, which can cause work to get shifty.



bvI have not been able to stop making these apples. I kept adjusting the pattern for a curvier, tapered body but I think I've finally come up with the perfect shape. This green apple has the narrower bottom I'm looking for.

More importantly, I have more exciting news. Tonight, as I was getting ready to secure the leaf and stem to this gorgeous fruit, I saw something else. A pear!!! Yup, a pear and the pear below is actually the apple, upside down, sans puckers! It's a simpler task since it won't require the tricky thread tugging necessary for an apple's puckers. With a pear, attaching stem and leaf finishes the job. One pattern for 2 different fruits - that is brilliant! (There's a very impressive lady who sells these patterns in a kit and I bet she offers a single pattern for both fruits.) Hmmm....

I certainly look forward to making lots of pears this weekend, but for now I desperately need to do some snoring ^_-. I do hope these tutorial and tips have been encouraging. Perhaps you too will discover something new - happy crafting!


handpicked giveaway.

To celebrate the Summer and as a token of my appreciation for the crafts community, I'm giving away an apple pincushion of your choice from this batch. To enter, please leave a comment. The winner will be randomly picked and announced on Aug10. Enjoy!!!

Don't forget to check out the tutorial.


at the park.

apple pincushion tutorial.

I have been wanting to make my very own brightly colored fruity pincushions for some time but haven't because I didn't have a pattern. Although there are certainly enough patterns online and in stores available for these, I prefer developing my own patterns so I don't have to worry about being bound to certain limitations. It's far more rewarding and comforting knowing I'm working with templates of my own. In the end, I control the fates of my creations - keep, gift and yes even sell them.

The pictorial tutorial shows a quick way of creating your own pattern. You can also apply this method to other bulbous articles; yes, a pear, an egg (use a styrofoam/cardboard egg please and perhaps 4 parts, instead of 6, is best), a tomato. Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll find this exercise quite encouraging and liberating. Have fun!!!

Add an additional 1/8" seam allowance to your fabrics when cutting. For the stem, cut 2 pieces of felt in 2 colors, 1" x 1.5", with the inner felt just slightly narrower and roll them, stitch closed. The leaf also uses 2 shades of felt, the underside being darker. Sew leaf to one end of rolled stem. Secure stem and leaf with fabric glue to apple; also attach a button on apple's bottom with fabric glue. With perle cotton and doll making needle, (or the longest needle you have) go through stem, apple and button at least 3 times. Pull taut to create puckers and knot.