Friday, August 9, 2013

Needle Felting Project : Peppermint Butler

Catching up on comics today!  Well.  Trying to, anyway. 

Loving the first issue of the new Adventure Time miniseries Candy Capers -- a noirish who-done-it starring Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun.  Adventure Time?  Mystery?  Noirish?  I am so there.

Of these three on the cover, I'm not sure who weirds me out the most.  But hey, everyone likes tea time?

Reading this reminded me that I had never taken a good picture of my felted Peppermint Butler!  He's not my favorite character from the show (just... so... unsettling...) but he was definitely fun to make in my own style. Bows are always really fun to felt for some reason.  Trying to make them actually look at all ribbony is always a challenge!  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Agatha Christie Challenge

Believe it or not, I've never read an Agatha Christie novel.

Gasp!  For shame! What kind of reader are you?

The "Queen of Mystery" and I have, of course, encountered each other. She's almost impossible to miss! At least one of her novels sat, unread, on my shelf for years when I was a kid mostly uninterested in mysteries that weren't aimed directly at my age group. My friend picked the Agatha Christie episode of Doctor Who as the episode that would serve as my introduction to the show, and it left me hooked on the Doctor. My Netflix queue is littered with Marples and Poirots -- I've devoured the movies and the shows over and over with great relish and know their plots and characters by heart -- Agatha Christie's Marple with Geraldine McEwan is my favorite right now. Her books are in almost constant motion at the library -- right now we have a beautiful collection of the newish edition trade paperbacks from William Morrow. Patrons often check them out and excitedly recommend them. They're "classics," right? 

So, I'm starting here:

Since Marple is my favorite to watch, I've decided to start with the slightly less familiar Poirot and Tommy & Tuppence, with The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Secret Adversary respectively.

Why now? I'm in a YA slump right now and nothing is appealing to me, no matter how much it had excited me in previews. I'm a few books away from finishing the Phryne Fisher mysteries and just can't bring myself to come up to date -- then I'll have to wait longingly for the next one!  And, one day, while catching up on my book blogs, reading Stuck in a Book's report on her power as a slump-buster left me feeling like maybe Agatha might do the same for me, despite our different levels of familiarity with her work.

So we'll see!  I hope to report back with good results.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Small and Happy Things

Lately life has felt like static -- a series of small happy events and moments enveloped in a haze, eclipsed by unhealthy, negative emotions.  Trying to live with these feelings, or deal with them, has been a full time occupation. Things don't seem to be getting easier, but it's important, I think, to believe that every day is a step in a better direction -- or make each day one.


Find your direction and follow it, right? If I am ever going to snap out of this funk, I'm going to have to work every day to achieve my real goals and not get mired down in the nonsense that happens every day. So much of what I do at work, for example, is wonderful -- connecting children with books they enjoy is the best feeling in the world. It's important to remember that when horrible nonsense comes up, when people are awful, and when my thoughts won't stop spinning in negative circles.

I have been working on a few new projects, but everything is coming together slowly. I'm needle felting a large and thoroughly ridiculous ladybug-inspired daruma, getting back to writing in my journal to drain myself of whatever daily nonsense I can, and working on a few other fun things -- one step at a time.


Today it was cool enough to go hiking. Spending time alone in the woods, it felt like my head was clear and calm, like everything was far away. Remind me to be more active, spend more time doing what I love, and remember what makes me happy. Remind me to take the time to make sure that I love and care for myself and what is really important.  Remind me to stop giving my time and energy to things that aren't.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A new octo-ish felted friend says "hello!" Trying to get back to being creative and making things is tough after a long, uncrafty spell -- it's hard to get back into the habit.  So I hope you enjoy this guy while I try to get back to something resembling a productive schedule.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Announcing Wee Felt Worlds!

Greetings everyone!

Whew!  Time has just been flying by here in No Mail Day world.  It's already a new year -- the start of 2013 means that we're officially in The Future, and that means... well, I'm not sure what it means yet but it's exciting.

Now that it's finally here (well, almost -- the release date is February 15th!) I'm excited to announce that my work has been included in an awesome new needle felting project book from Lark Crafts and Amanda Carestio, Wee Felt Worlds: Sweet Little Scenes to Needle Felt.

Here's my copy -- the cover is so whimsical -- the purple blobby alien is one of my projects!
 Here's the official description:
"There's something magical about things made in miniature—and now you can create whole wee worlds of them, with three-dimensional critters and scenery. It's easy to do with needle felting, an oh-so-simple process that requires few tools. Choose one of ten fun felted scenes with 50 individual items, including a prehistoric landscape with dinosaurs, volcanoes, and Paleolithic plants; a camping adventure featuring an adorable bear cub; a sweet sewing room, and even a galaxy far, far away with UFOs! Along the way, readers get tons of techniques and tips from the designers—from basic felt shaping to creating joints—and lots of helpful step-by-step illustrations. "
It's been about a year since I finished these projects, and seeing them here feels a little surreal! I contributed two "scenes" to the book, a space scene and a fun science scene, for a total of 11 little projects. It's such an honor to be included alongside such super talented needle felting artists, and the great photography and adorable styling really brought everything to life in a way that completely exceeded my expectations.

And of course I couldn't resist a few fun photos: 

Alien Girl explores her bio and instructions!

Approved wholeheartedly! < 3

Anyway, you can pre-order (or order, it looks like) Wee Felt Worlds on Amazon, and hopefully find it at other bookstores after February 5th. If you've ever thought about giving needle felting a try, it looks like this will be a good place to start!

Title: Wee Felt Worlds: Sweet Little Scenes to Needle Felt
Editor/Author: Amanda Carestio
Publisher: Lark Crafts
ISBN: 978-1454703938