Saturday, October 31, 2009

to ward off vampires

9784579112609 100 felt mascots, originally uploaded by feltcafe.

happy halloween!

these little needle felted garlic guys are from this book, which is perfect for anyone is newcomer to needle felting. i really love this book!

updated to add: i fixed the link, so now you can actually see the book i'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

matroyshka crafting

i've posted about this fabric before, but finally found a few minutes to whip up a few little projects using it.
these were so quick to make! basically the same process as the wee stuffed animals i made last summer with ed emberley animal fabric (psst-which is in my shop now!) anyway, back to the dollies: put two right sides together, sew around the doll, leaving the bottom open. for this project, i used 2 dolls that are the same size for each. this fabric actually has 4 different sized dolls printed on it, in different colors. after sewing, trim seam allowance to 1/4 inch or 1/2 cm.
turn right side out and topstitch around the edge.
i did this project by hand, although of course you can use a sewing machine! if you do it by hand, i though that the top stitching made a little neater.
stuff, and sew the seam closed at the base of the doll.

i also tried a new project, a little wallet to hold my transit cards--i have 2 for the bus (one for kobe, one for kyoto) a train pass, and a prepaid card i use to pay for bicycle parking near the train station. and it's gotten to the point where it really helps me to keep this little collection out of my wallet where i can find them easily.
the wallet project was easy too, but i haven't written out directions yet...
i'm thinking about trying a similar design for all my point cards next...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

felt plus yarn crafting

i saw this project for felt mittens with knit cuffs on the purl bee a few weeks ago. i love the look of the combination of felt and knitting or crocheting, and this tutorial made me realize how easy it is to combine them!

the slippers on the left are felt, with knit cuffs, from this book, felt and fabric rendezvous, shown below:

and here's an example of crochet plus felt bottle covers, from this book, simple zakka and a bag of felt wool, show below:

felt and knit/crochet are such a great combo, because while felt is amazing in so many ways, knit and crochet are better for fit or places you need stretchiness.

and now that it has gotten colder (suddenly, it feels!), i'm scheming about knitting and crochet projects that i could do on the train. i especially want to try more crochet, at which i am a complete beginner. good thing there are lots of cute japanese craft books for inspiration!

Monday, October 19, 2009

koo and poppet giveaway at bloesem kids

bloesem kids win on wednesdays series always features lovely things, and this week is no different with a chance to win these sweet creatures from koo and poppet. details about the giveaway are here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

gnome sweet gnome needlefelted by lucky nielson

this lovely needlefelted gnome girl was made by lucky nielson, and is available in her etsy shop. impressive felting, indeed!

Friday, October 09, 2009

giveaway at bookhou

these items are all part of a fabulous giveaway at bookhou this weekend. go here to enter.

Monday, October 05, 2009

new japanese needle felting books

the first new needle felting book i want to share with you is this one, 'small dogs' isbn 9784277563185.
these puppies are seriously cute, and tiny.
a full flickr set of all the dogs is here:

this is a new japanese needle felting book-'cute small felt animal friends', isbn 9784529047579.
it's filled with sweet original wee needle felted characters.

the full flickr set for 'cute small felt animal friends' is here:

this next book, 'small animals made of felt' isbn 9784072689035,
is a reprinting of this book which is now out of print, isbn 9784277563130. the 2 books have the same projects, just a new cover for the new version.

the full flickr set for 'small animals made of felt' is here:

this book, 'cute animals' isbn 9784072689103, is also a new reissue of this book:animal mascots, small animal mascots made of wool', isbn 9784277563109.

this book is also the same projects as the now out of print version, with just a new cover.

the full flickr set of 'cute animals' is here:

these books are all available in my shop, and my flickr needle felting book collection is here:

bicycle riding and ice candy

last weekend, i took my new (old) bike out for it's first ride. it was glorious. here she is, it's she a beauty? her model name is D-X Lady. it's old, and heavy, with a bell, and a light with a generator, and a basket, and i love her.

here she is coming out of her stall in my building's bike parking garage. as you can see, there are 2 levels of bike parking, and you can't see in this photo but there are two rows. and this nifty tray that pulls out and becomes a ramp. clever.

this is my street. it's wide, with a divided sidewalk and crosswalks for pedestrians and bikes. (some of my best friends are urban planners).
here are all the bikes parked illegally in front of the kyoto train station.

and my new favorite treat: the morinaga chocolate ice bar. morinaga is a brand name. and in japan, they call ice cream bars 'ice candy' which at first i thought was kind of dumb, but now i think it makes sense. anyway, this one has a chocolate center, chocolate ice cream, and then a chocolate coating. hmm, perhaps i need one now.

Friday, October 02, 2009

william kentridge in kyoto

yesterday, i found myself near the kyoto museum of modern art, really by chance.

their current exhibit is william kentridge, one of my most favorite artists.

i had been planning to go see this show, but yesterday felt like i had discovered it by accident, and it was just the perfect thing at the end of a somewhat frantic week.

and this show William Kentridge—What We See & What We Know is amazing! in my experience japanese museums, especially the larger/well known ones, put together excellent exhibits, and this one is no exception. it's a comprehensive retrospective of his work from 1979 to 2008, including 19 films and film installations, 36 drawings, and 63 prints.

i'm going to go back and spend a whole day there, i think. the exhibition will in at the museum of modern art tokyo (momat) in jan-feb 2010, and the hiroshima museum of contemporary art (hiroshima moca) in mar-may 2010. if you have a chance, go see it!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

happy fall

check out this maple leaf felt coaster project from the long thread. it's still pretty hot here in japan, but there are signs that fall is on the way...i for one feel ready!