Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger - Cashmere Frog Tutorial


When Rhonda, from Joy Grows, first contacted us with an idea for a guest blog spot, she said, "Hello!  I would like to submit my dear little frog tutorial as an idea for a guest blog on Wee Folk Art." I must admit, the more I looked at this little guy, the sweeter he became. I love simplistic toys, and this dear little frog not only looks simple, but is easy enough for your budding sewers to handle. Enough said, except to thank Rhonda, and her photographer, Lindsey, for a lovely tutorial. Please leave a kind word, and make sure you whip up a pond of your own little froggies! 

REMINDER: If you would like to be included in our growing list of guest bloggers, just read the guidelines, and send your ideas to weefolkart@yahoo.com.

I did not grow up making things.  Any ‘skill’ I have has been recently acquired.  When our daughter was just 9 months old, my husband and I attended an open house at the Waldorf School of Atlanta.  We had heard good things about their Parent Toddler program and wanted to learn a bit more about this school which was just around the corner from our home.   Over the following years we have attended lectures, read books, magazines and we have gotten to know Waldorf students and alum.  These experiences, along with the gut confirmation we received back in November 2004 at the open house assured us we were in the right place.   As we experienced what for us was a new philosophy on hand crafted things and as I relished in my daughter’s joyous reaction to anything I made, we evolved into a family that tends to make before we buy. 
 
I’ve taken craft classes over the years and have a library of books, but I rationalized that if I volunteered to chair our school’s Holiday Fair Enchantment Shop (where children get to shop for handmade treasures) that I would learn much more than any collection of classes could offer.  So I took on the challenge of organizing supplies, patterns, workdays and volunteer parents to make over 2000 handmade items.   This Cashmere Frog was one of the new items I brought to my year of chairing the Enchantment Shop.  It is really easy to make.  It takes minimal supplies – small amount of wool stuffing, 2 buttons and a little rectangle of cashmere.  If you are a stingy cutter – like me – you can get over 30 frogs from one thrift store cashmere sweater. 
 
Supplies:
Cashmere rectangle
Wool stuffing
2 buttons
Matching thread

Tools:
Scissors
Needle
Straight pins
Rubber band
 
Supplies.

Fold and pin corners.

Whip stitch legs.

Leave the belly open.

Turn right-side out.

Shape a little ball of wool and place it up inside the frog.   Secure this head with a rubber band.

Using 6 strands of floss and starting at the back of the neck, make a gathering stitch around the neck.   Tighten till the neck is defined and knot.   Remove rubber band. 

Lightly stuff the legs.  Sew belly seam.  Tack together the back feet.   Pinch head to flatten vertically and then sew eyes up high on the face. 

 
Pretty soon you will have a fun frog family!
 

You can read a bit more about me on www.joygrows.wordpress.com.  I’m using the blog to chronicle projects I’m doing with my photographer partner Lindsey, of Linden Tree Photography (who did the photos for the Frog Tutorial) and a group I started in February 2010 that shares ideas and supports each other in celebrating the seasons. 
©2011 Rhonda Wildman

Guest Blogger - The Enchanted World of Needle Felting

While I'm off playing with the Little Lady in Wisconsin, Marie, from Soft Earth's World blog, has graciously become our first guest blogger, for which we are truly grateful. As a wanna be needle felter myself, I look at her designs, both soft sculptured figures and beautiful wool painted tapestry, and I see what I aspire to learn. Michelle and I are so excited that she is sharing a tutorial on making a beautiful Blue Bird of Happiness. Given this wonderful tutorial, shame on me if I don't give it a try when I return home from my trip. (Tim, get the band-aids ready :) There are many ways you can follow Marie. You can follow her on New Zealand Handmade, where she currently has a swell tutorial on making a needle felt pumpkin (so hard to wrap my head around the fact that it is autumn for half the world and not spring!) and Soft Earth's World blog. Or, for ample eye candy, visit her BEAUTIFUL Etsy shopSoft Earth Art, and prepare to be WOWed! (I am especial smitten with her ethereal tapestry "The Star Keepers" but everything is lovely!) I am hopeful that everyone will express their gratitude to Marie for filling in for me by leaving her warm fuzzy comments here, and by paying her delightful shop a visit. So, without further ado... welcome to Marie's world!  

The Enchanted World of Needle Felting

Soft warm wool, rainbow colors
What a joy to touch and feel
What imagination can be found in a simple needle, a foam
pad, and carded wool

I fell in love with this medium and now create Enchanted Art with it
From making a simple angel hung with gold thread
To a complicated 3D wall hanging

I live in New Zealand, the land of sheep
On a small homestead in the rural countryside
My inspiration comes from Mother Nature
And the Enchanted World

Here is my tutorial for making The Blue Bird of Happiness

You will need: Carded wool, needle felting needle and a small piece of sponge pad.

1. Take a piece of wool 7 inches long, make a knot 1 inch from the end, fold small bit
over head and needle felt in.

2. Fold under and over (like a fan) and needle felt in forming the body.

3. Take a piece of wool 7 inches long and fold in half, lay this on the back of the bird, this forms the tail, needle felt in.


4. Take a piece of wool 5 inches long and wrap it around the birds body, going over and under, needle felt in.

5. Take a 5 inch piece of wool and wrap it horizontally around the bird and needle felt in.


6. Spend a bit of time firming the bird by poking it with the needle.

7. Get a small bit of pink wool for the beak and needle felt it first on the sponge pad, then add to bird.

8. Add some dark blue wool for the eyes and you have it, you own little blue bird of happiness.

This is an original design by Softearthart. Have fun.

Marie's description of herself and her crafting taken from Soft Earth's World blog... I am a friend,a wife and a Mother, a full time needle felt artist with two online shops. I live the peaceful life, surrounded by green organic gardens and beautiful trees. Being surrounded by Mother Nature, gives me the creative energy to put light into my works of art. I could not do what I do,if I were anywhere else, is it not interesting how life leads us in a certain direction, my wish is to warm peoples hearts and ignite in them a stirring of their spirits, through my art. View some of my needle felt art on my online shop. www.softearthart.etsy.com My art work is Waldorf inspired. "Happy days" Cheers Marie

REMINDER: If you would like to be included in our growing list of guest bloggers, just read the guidelines, and send your ideas to weefolkart@yahoo.com.

Guest Blogger Guidelines Now Done

A couple of weeks ago Michelle and I sent out a request for guest bloggers. We have had many people express an interest. We have now finished the guidelines, which I will share today. At the bottom of the guidelines is a link so you can download or save the guidelines as a PDF. We hope to use guest bloggers on a regular basis, so if at any point you think of an idea, just contact us :)


GUEST BLOGGER GUIDELINES
 

Why are you using guest bloggers? As you know, Wee Folk Art is a totally free site. We do not charge for any of our tutorials or patterns. Our rationale is simple. We are trying to simplify our lives and become more responsible consumers. We know there are a lot of other people out there trying to do the same thing, and we support their efforts. By offering free directions and patterns, we hope to encourage and support others that want safe, inexpensive and high quality items for their children and their homes, but, lately, we are finding times when could use a little help maintaining the quality of Wee Folk Art. And who better to ask for help, than our readers that enjoy our site. There are times when having someone else around to help us out would be amazing… thus the request for guest blogs :)

Do you have an idea for a guest blog? Great! Pitch your idea for a blog, you know, tell us about your idea and why you think our readers would like to, well, read what you have to say. Include your name and a little personal background. Give us a link to your blog and/or shop so we can poke around a bit :) Send all the info to weefolkart@yahoo.com.

We will let you know ASAP whether or not it is an article we would like you to submit.

So… what should you write about? Oh, any number of things, but try to capture the look and feel of Wee Folk Art. Remember, we are predominantly a crafting blog, and we use mainly natural materials. So, if you share a crafting tutorial, ask yourself, would I see this type of craft on Wee Folk Art? But your article does not have to be just a crafting tutorial. It can be educational, i.e. share a post on how sheep are shorn or how maple syrup is made. It can be instructional; i.e. explain to our readers how to get the most out of a trip to the library with children or how to wash wool items. Be creative!

What are your requirements for submitting articles? Submissions should be original, solely your own work, and not previously published. Not to worry. We respect your creative efforts. You will maintain ownership of the article, photos and/or patterns. We do ask that you do not publish the article anywhere else for 1 full month after it appears on Wee Folk Art. After that, you can repost the article on your blog or use it in any way you wish. Your article will remain in our archives.

How do you go about submitting your completed articles? Your article should be emailed to weefolkart@yahoo.com as an attached Word document. Photos should be sent in .jpg or .png files, your photos should be named, and should be cropped to 500 pixels wide. (This is the size we use on the blog.) Photos should be sent as attachments, not embedded within your document. Please indicate within your document where photos should be located by placing the name of the photo inside parentheses. Example: Blanket stitch around bottom edge. (bottomedge.jpg)

There is no specific “length”. Make it as long as required… not one word less or one word more than necessary :) Do yourself proud… edit your work and use your very “bestest” grammar and spelling. We do reserve the right to edit your article, but really folks, we aren’t the best editors! Please send us your piece “blog ready”!

Photos are very important at Wee Folk Art. For nearly a third of our readers, English is not their first language. Let’s face it, the online translators do a noble job, but often, something is lost in the translation! Part of the success of Wee Folk Art is the support our tutorials get from numerous and high quality photos. Tutorials should include enough photos to make explanations clear. Other types of articles should include enough photos to make the article interesting. We all love photos, right? Make sure you have enough photos to enhance your article. As with the article itself, we reserve the right to crop or enhance color of the photos. Photos should be sent without watermarks.

When submitting an article, make sure to include your name, email address, and the URL for your blog and/or shop.

Will submitting my article guarantee that it will be published? Although we do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings, submission of an article does not guarantee it will be published on Wee Folk Art. What would prevent us from publishing your article?

• If your article’s intentions or directions are unclear or riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes.
• If your photos are of a poor quality, the wrong size and/or format or if there are not enough photos for support the article.
• If your article is self-serving, promoting a shop or your blog instead of providing Wee Folk Art’s readers with learning or entertaining experience.

If your submission is rejected for any reason, we will let you know why, and if you would like, you can make corrections and resubmit.

If my submission is selected, when will it be published? The most honest answer is, I don’t know. We are using guest bloggers to help fill in voids on the blog when we are unable to blog for a few days. We will keep your article on file, and whenever possible, will let you know several days in advance before it is published.

How will I be given credit for my submission? We will give you a by-line for your submission (if you do not want your real name used, include the username you would like us to use). We encourage you to give us a brief (2-6 sentences) bio of yourself, and a personal photo. (Not necessary but we all like to “meet” authors :) We will also link to your blog and/or shop, so remember to include the URL for your blog and/or shop.

And, given this plethora or requirements, you’re probably asking… why am I doing this? What do I get out of this?
 
• Exposure: Being a guest blogger gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself and your talents to our readers. You can count on new readers visiting your blog and/or shop.
• Gratitude: You would receive a heartfelt thank you and gratitude from Michelle and I. We strive hard to create a blog that is inspirational to our readers. Anyone that helps us accomplish that goal is a star in our eyes!
• Nifty Button: You will be able to place a special button on your site that lets your readers know your talents were showcased on Wee Folk Art. How cool is that, right? We will email you the button when your article has been accepted for publication.

Thank you for your interest in being a guest blogger on Wee Folk Art. We continually strive to make Wee Folk Art a high quality experience for our readers. We hope that you will feel the same pride as we do by contributing to our site. If you have any questions throughout the experience, feel free to contact us at weefolkart@yahoo.com.

Fondly,

Kimara and Michelle

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