Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Musings by Knitwits - Big Little Felt Universe

Summary (Amazon.ca)
Enter the big, beautiful universe of crafting with felt, with this irresistible collection featuring a super-cute Asian-inspired aesthetic. Twelve “sets” include more than 70 projects, from fruits and a felt knife for “slicing” them to a show-stopping birthday cake with decorations and detachable candles. Hundreds of photos and full-size templates make the crafting easy. With so much imagination-generating power, this book will appeal to everyone!

I first met the very talented Jeanette Lin on Etsy (one of my favourite sites) about 2 years ago while I was looking for some cool Christmas gifts.  I didn't have a lot of money and I was looking for something special (made, not store-bought) for my niece.  Jeanette specializes in felt fun toys for kids which was perfect for this active toddler who loves imaginary play.  My first choice was the Dim Sum pattern (which my niece thoroughly enjoyed) but then I kept finding more!  Ms. Lin has a serious talent for making some amazing toys.  With just a little practice, you too can recreate her gorgeous designs.  Just check out some of the pictures she has shared with me from her Etsy store - Umecrafts 

I know her shop best for the food related patterns but she has some new patterns as well.  Here's a sample -

Since I first started out as one of Umecrafts customers, I can attest that the instructions were fantastic.  She does everything step by step with photos (always important for some of us).  There is also a picture of what the finished product should look like (some of us need goals).  Jeanette's customer service skills are also stellar.  I do not know how she manages to run her business as a full-time Mom!  When I made my order, I took advantage of her multiple item sale (there's one running right now if you're interested).  Not only did she offer to burn all of the instructions onto a disc for me and mail them out, but she also sent some via email so I could start stitching right away.  When the disc did arrive, it was packaged so nicely with a hand-written thank you note and some cute little stationary goodies that were thrown in as a bonus.  Plus!  Jeanette has a sister store which sells high quality felt perfect for these projects - Lit'l Brown Bird.  You might also want to check out her Lit'l Brown Bird blog for some free patterns to try.

Now onto the book.  Big Little Felt Universe was published by Lark Crafts just a few months ago.  I stumbled upon it and contacted Jeanette to congratulate her on the title.  A big thank-you goes out to both Jeanette and Lark Crafts for sending me a copy to review!  I was so excited to receive this title in the mail!  It does not disappoint.  I was expecting some of the patterns I had seen through Umecrafts but these are all brand new patterns!  The book is divided up into sections related to different themes such as Cakes, Camping, Grill, and Things in your Purse.  There are many different patterns all with the same clear instructions and photos.  All pattern pieces are directly at the end of the sections so you don't need to go digging through the appendix.  Handy! Can you believe that there is even a felt play laptop to make?  This book is so jam-packed with fun things for your little ones to play with.  All you need is a needle, thread, some patience and a boatload of imagination.  I highly recommend this title to those of you who are looking for some projects to tackle this summer...or want to get a headstart on some original Christmas gifts.  I made them for a toddler but they are fun for any age....

On a side note, Lark Crafts has some pretty cool projects on their blog - http://www.larkcrafts.com/.  I had not been aware of this publisher before but after visiting their website, I found a few more craft titles I might pick up....

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