Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Little Robots

Hello everyone! It's Hannah writing to you today. Mom, Emma and I love our small (but consistently adorable) selection of flannels here in the shop. If you're not available to come into the store, you can also find them posted on our Etsy store. I made these little boy's pajamas with New Look Pattern #6090 and two coordinating Starlight Flannel prints by Blank Quilting. Now if only I had a new little nephew to wear them...

The pattern was very simple and featured a very nice facing to finish the neck edge and a simple elastic waistband for the pants. 

So soft and cozy! Could those prints be any cuter together?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wet Felted Ruffle Scarf

Hello!  Emma here today.  I've been intrigued by all of the felted-ruffle scarves roaming around the internet.  Ones like this and this and this one too.  We also get a lot of questions in the shop about this sort of ruffled scarf so I decided I better get to it and give it a try.  Both Mom and Auntie Carin gave it a crack a while back, both with success, but neither of them were very infatuated with the technique.  So, based loosely on two tutorials that I purchased off the internet, Melissa Arnold's felting technique and my own ideas on how it should work I made this scarf:

I used Auntie's hand painted, superfine merino rovings for this one - color name is Sante Fe.  This scarf is the result of what I would call an "organic" process.  I didn't really have a goal in mind other than wanting to have the end result be a ruffle of some sort.  I'm pleased with the result and I definitely see where I could change things to get different looks and have more control over the end result.  I also steam-ironed the entire scarf once it was almost dried and that made a huge difference in making the ruffles more distinct. The next one I make I will definitely make the center, unruffled part less wide and make the ruffle part longer.  

Thanks for tuning in!  Are you joining us for the Winter Felted Fashion Show this Saturday?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

She's Done it Again...

Ah, yes, the never ending creativity of our mother. Look at what she's made now, people! Little stuffed bunny dolls and "star babies". Where does she come up with this stuff? Mom wanted to create handmade children's gifts for the upcoming Holiday season and was inspired by vintage embroidery transfers, illustrations from a few children's books and a phenomenal victorian journal. These adorable projects allowed mom to use many of her creative outlets including drawing, painting, dyeing, sewing, and writing. She lives for stuff like this. 

Mom painted a canvas as a backdrop for her new bunny dolls. She used an assortment of oil, and acrylic paints and pens. 

"Star Babies" hang sleepily on their rack. 

Could those little sleeping faces be any cuter? No, no they could not. 

My favorite part is the "zooming to and fro" bit. I clasp my hands to my chest and swoon every time I read it. So cute! 

Each little bunny comes with a story that Mom wrote to go along with them. It's about the little bunnies first time out of the house on his own. 

If he were mine, I'd name him Spencer. Their little plaid pants crack me up. She used vintage wools, new canvas, paint and hand dyed fabric to construct these adorable little bunny boys. 

Each one is hand painted and hand tufted into a sturdy little doll perfect for children's gifts. 

Come in and scoop up these handmade gifts for Christmas for the little one in your life! If you don't have a little one, you should come in just to admire their all-around cute-ness. They will make you smile, I promise. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Falling for it

It feels like fall around here. Mom and I (Hannah) take a deep sigh of relief when this change of seasons happens. It's safe to say that fall is Mom's favorite season and one where she becomes even more creatively inspired than she normally is (how is that even possible, really?). Some of my fondest memories of childhood take place in the fall, and now that I'm an adult it's no wonder why. When the nights arrived earlier and chilled the air, and the leaves began to drift from their branches, I distinctly remember spending evenings in the garden harvesting the summer's veggies, and the building excitement for one of my favorite holidays: Halloween. Halloween was a big deal when I was a kid. Mom would enlist us to help her wood burn/decoupage/sew/construct/paint decorations and costumes that were almost always based on vintage ideas or patterns. Cheesecloth ghosts crept their way onto the front porch, hay bales appeared with our homegrown pumpkins atop them, and one of our creepier handmade family members, Wanda the witch, stood amidst it all, broomstick and cauldron in hand.   How lucky were we? 

Now her love of the fall and Halloween is translated through the shop. Today she worked on the window display and brought in some of my favorite decorations. She duplicated these cardboard honeys with originals from the 1930's that she borrowed from a friend. 

Mom painted this adorable canvas scene after being inspired by a children's story. I asked her "Why is the witch in a basket?" and she replied in an almost wounded tone "Because she needs it to fly up and clean the cobwebs". Oh, naturally. 

This is Penelope. Isn't she creepy and gross and awesome? Mom constructed her with pantyhose, stuffing, a chicken wire frame, and a 100% wool yarn (as her lovely hair). Stop by and say hello to her and her potions book in front of the shop. 

Paper mache candy bowl that Mom also made. Their expressions make me giggle every time I look at it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Private Collection and Pre-Holiday Sale

We've been airing out the closets and opening those bottom drawers over here at The Little Thimble That Could!  You may remember that the purging process started a while back, HERE.  Well, we're about to have the culminating event folks.

And, the organizing has bled into our own personal textile collections and we've all decided to let go of a few things.  So, not only will there be major sale prices on things from the shop and the back room, there will be vintage quilts, vintage quilt tops, gorgeous curtain panels, linens galore, vintage bed spreads, flour sacks and much, much more price to sell and only available October 1st - 6th.  Then, it's back to the closets with them (if you haven't all snatched them up!)

In this pile and pile behind are fabulous bedspreads, 1930s quilt tops, a crazy quilted pig.

Hand painted curtain panels from the 1940's from Emma's collection

Lace bedspread, classic early 20th century peach bedding, and darling simple picnic quilts


Martha Stewart Living anyone?

GORGEOUS Work Baskets from the 1930s - 1960s.  SO MUCH INSPIRATION!

Pamphlets, pamphlets and more pamphlets!  Dating from the 1930s - 1980s.  Covering everything from tatting, crochet, doilies, hot pads, afghans, sweaters - the list goes on and on!

Flour Sacks!

This picture does not do this basket justice!  Those bags have ADORABLE quilt pieces dating from the 1930s (Dresden Plates People!) to the 1960s.

A few stragglers.  Untreated raffia just in time for the holidays!

This is just day one of setting up so I'm excited to see what day two brings about!

Friday, September 13, 2013

So Much Fun!

wet, felting, felt, the tin thimble, sharon mansfield

wet, felt, felting, sharon mansfield, the tin thimble

needle, felt, felting, the tin thimble, emma farrell

eco, dyed, dye, dyeing, botanical, print, natural, lisa classon, the tin thimble

wet, felt, felting, sharon mansfield, the tin thimble

nuno, felt, felting, lisa classon, the tin thimble, hand, dyed

hand, sewn, sew, sewing, hannah mansfield, palindrome dry goods, the tin thimble

wet, felt, felting, autumn, table, mat, placemat, sharon mansfield, the tin thimble, acorns, oak, leaf

wet, felt, felting, purse, bag, lisa classon, the tin thimble

wet, felt, felting, the tin thimble, sharon mansfield, pumpkin, autumn

nuno, wet, felting, felt, scarf, sharon mansfield, the tin thimble

Marie and I met up again a few weeks ago and spent ANOTHER whole day photographing our inventory and, this time, some shots of the shop (we'll show you those in another post)!  Above is just a sampling of what we did - you'll see more and more show up on the website as I get 'em uploaded.  I showed up the day of this shoot thinking we were just going to be doing vessels, sculptures and the shop but as we looked around we realized that we had missed a TON of scarves last time, so once again, I ended up in front of the camera.  No makeup.  No hair do.  Thank goodness for photoshop! I asked Marie if she could just photoshop me every morning.... she smirked at me.  My unpreparedness aside, I really do enjoy working with Marie.  She makes me feel at ease and encourages me to be myself but also gives great directions on body positioning to produce the best image for what we are trying to convey.  Lots of talents that girl has.....and she always makes me laugh!  

I really can't thank Marie enough for taking such beautiful photos!  My family's things that they make are so beautiful it's SO NICE to have beautiful photographs of it all!  The next shoot is going to be Mom's, Hannah's and my handmade wardrobe - excited!  :-)