Landscape Mood

June is for landscapes

I’ve been on a landscape kick for the last two months. This new-to-me obsession has recently appeared in my handmade jewelry and fiber art, and has gotten me interested in improving my painting skills as well. I can trace this inspiration back to 3 specific assignments I received during a month-long art challenge called #creativesprint. Here’s the blog post if you missed it.

Although the assignments were diverse, and I used different mediums as much as possible, these 3 challenges had a similar outcome. On April 9th, the assignment was to create something inspired by water - I painted 3 seascape pendants. On the 15th, the assignment was to work with your non-dominant hand - I awkwardly painted an abstract scene with my left hand. On the 17th, we were challenged to create something inspired by a poem - I chose Whitman’s “Pioneers! O  Pioneers!” and needle felted a landscape inside a small embroidery hoop.

Those pieces were just for fun, an excuse to give my creative mind a bit of a workout, but I’ve been in a landscape mood ever since. I recently launched this series of 7 pendants featuring bright blue skies and wide-open prairie, and just posted this #MakersEyeView video showing the process (time lapse) to my YouTube channel.

This week, I’m excited to be launching this limited edition series of 5 needle felted landscapes. Each piece goes live at 8PM EST, one per day, starting Monday June 6th, through Friday June 10th. Pick out your favorite and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to see the introductions this week!

The Bunny Project

There’s something about bunnies. Sure, they’re utterly adorable and their skittishness is sweet, but they’re also quite clever, and perhaps a little bit spooky at times. Their secret lives make me awfully curious. Bunnies are my most beloved muse, and after months and months of holiday craft shows, holiday orders, and the holiday rush in general, I finally took a little time to make something just for fun. This collection was purely for my own enjoyment, but since several of my handmade pieces sold within hours of being posted, it would seem I’m not alone in my obsession with bunnies. Bunny lovers unite!

“The Bunny Project” had been stewing in my mind since early October, but during that time of year I simply don’t have the luxury of working on anything ol’ thing I feel like. I’m swamped keeping up with orders and preparing for craft shows, and getting ahead or developing new product ideas is just not possible in those busy months. As a reward for getting through a record breaking fall season, I treated myself to some time off after Christmas and finally made the bunnies I’d been imagining for so long. Some of them, at least. I have a list of about 30 cotton-tailed characters and was only able to produce 9 of them so far.

Will there be more bunnies in the future? YES!!! I don’t know when exactly, but I promise to add to #thebunnyproject as soon as I can. After all, bunnies are my favorite thing in the world to create.

So how are these creatures made anyway? Each bunny is needle felted with dyed wool fiber - no glue, no sewing, no hot water is involved. Just a bundle of roving (sheep’s wool that’s been cleaned and carded), a barbed felting needle, and lots of patience. These pieces took anywhere from 2 to 7 hours to make by hand. It’s a very time consuming craft, but I enjoy it!

Here’s a peek at what goes into making a small bunny. This time lapse video documents the 2 ½ hours it took me to needle felt a fairly simple rabbit, so you can see how it all comes together from start to finish.

Click Below to watch me make, or CLICK HERE to watch on my YouTube channel:

My material list is short:

-Polyfill wrapped in yarn (to create the form for the body & head)

-Pipe cleaners (to give the legs and arms rigidity)

-About 3-4 oz. of roving

-Flat sheet of felt (which I cut then covered in wool to make the ears)

-A set of plastic eyeballs