I’ve been working on some felt bunny Peeps for some upcoming shows in February and March. These are a lot of fun to make! I especially like adding the little felt flowers and seed beads to dress them up a bit.
While the bunny shapes are cut out with scissors, to decorate the bunnies I started purchasing packages of assorted die cut felt flowers on Etsy. This was working okay, but I was left with a lot of flowers in colors that just weren’t me. So back in December (as a Christmas present to myself) I purchased a die cutting machine, the Sizzix Fabi and it is awesome. It looks like the Fabi might now be discontinued. I guess that is why I was able to get it at much better price than the one listed in the link. But the Sizzix Big Shot is basically the same thing and is more reasonably priced.
Since die cut machines are used mostly by paper artists, I didn’t know much about them. I didn’t realize that I would be able to use dies designed for other platforms and by other manufacturers with my Fabi.. With the Multipurpose Platform (purchased separately), it works perfectly with thin dies without any foam backing. I am loving cutting out my own flowers and shapes in the colors I need.
The biggest drawback of the die cut world for me is that the majority of dies out there don’t appeal to me. A lot of the designs are too cutesy or are too ornate to work well with fabric and felt. But the flowers and basic shapes are great for getting the precision I want on smaller felt pieces. I don’t know about you but I cannot cut a circle from felt with scissors without it always looking a little wonky!
I’ll share some of my favorite dies with you in the coming weeks!
For all you with Lego kids at home or those closeted adult fans of Lego, here is something fun — nanoblocks. They are micro-sized Lego-esque bricks designed by Kawada of Japan and distributed by The Ohio Art Company, maker of the Etch-A-Sketch. The smallest pieces measure a mere 4x4x5 mm! While I’m not a fan of some of the other brands of Lego-type building bricks, I think the nanoblocks are really well made and pretty cool. The instructions are mostly wordless diagrams like Lego, but at least with this castle, you build from the bottom up, layer by layer, instead of building sections and joining them together. So, the instructions can be a little tricky for younger kids.
Here is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria, an example of 19th century Romantic architecture. Notice the standard 2 x 4 dot blue Lego brick. This will give you an idea of how small the nanoblocks are.
What I’d really like to get is this little cutie.
I know I’m a nostalgia marketer’s dream demographic. Therefore, I am a sucker for the Fisher-Price Little People ornaments that Hallmark has been releasing the last few years. I am not a regular Hallmark shopper, but these just bring such good memories back. I played with Fisher-Price Little People for a lot longer than most kids — probably into middle school. Then, I let my mom sell most of my things in a garage sale. This Play Family House ornament even opens up to reveal the rooms inside and of course the dog is at the back door of the garage. Even though the ornaments are plastic, there is a great attention to detail and the quality is very good.
I purchased this book at Jo-Ann Fabrics with a 50% off coupon the other day. I knew my boy would like some of these cute critters. I had been wanting to check out Gossamer for quite a while but hadn’t gotten there. Now I had an excuse — wool felt to make some of these guys. Above is my first attempt — the samurai cat.
I didn’t get as many of the details stitched onto the sleeves and belt because my son wanted it done asap. Next time I’d like to do a better job stitching the head onto the body too. Next up will be the alien, chihuahua, and the mummy cat.
The little pumpkin pincushion next to the samurai cat is from a free tutorial by Ellen of The Long Thread available here. It’s super easy and the pattern includes two sizes. I think it would be fun to make a ton of these guys in a flurry of fabrics and group them all together.