If you haven’t seen it already, last Friday was the first in a series of ‘Folksy Friday Fun’ animations. ‘Hatching chicks’ is the first of nine animations that I’m creating in collaboration with Folksy makers in May and June. The first one featuring six brightly coloured handmade felted chicks by the fabulous Folksy seller Melanie Green at ‘Felt me up designs’ is available to watch on the Folksy Instagram and Folksy Facebook page.
Mel makes gorgeous felted rainbow chicks and other beautiful bird designs. She creates an eye catching variety of chicks, including some that are embroidered with contrasting coloured love hearts, they are adorable. Due to time constraints we went with plain chicks for the animation. Three were made with sturdy wire legs and three without legs, so that I could have a play around with them and easily fit them inside the hatching eggs. They worked really well and as you’ll see in the video a little play with some string and those chickadees had some flying fun. Now if I’m perfectly honest I had so many more plans for them but time constraints and doing this around my job meant I was limited for time but if I get time in the future I’d love to bring these chickadees out of their egg box to have some more fun.
One of Mel’s felted creations (a gorgeous little penguin) will also be featuring in the Folksy ‘Unicorns and rainbows’ animation scheduled to be shown on the 17th May, so look out for that.
Yas Bowley, another Folksy maker selling as Indabayi on Folksy also helped by creating the lovely hatching chick logo design at the end of the animation and I re-used some existing ukulele music created by my talented hubbie, Steven Warren, to add a fun chickadee vibe.
As I had the chance to work with Mel aka ‘Felt me up designs,’ I thought I would find out a little bit more from the lady behind the rainbow chickadees…
Hi, my name is Melanie Ann Green and I am a needle felter living and working on the beautiful North Yorkshire Coast in Scarborough.
I’ve been working as a felt maker for the last 12 years and I’ve been doing it full time for the the last 7. I live with my wonderful partner, Mr Felt, and three gorgeous dwarf hamsters called Houdini (master escape artist), Bucky (adorable but so dumb) and Dinky (or Danger Mouse as we like to call her).
Needle felting is a magical process of making stuff from fluff, it involves stabbing fluffy wool with barbed needles until you form a solid mass. I love the idea of making something from virtually nothing, the process is truly magical and really addictive
How long do they take to create?
It depends on the bird, they can take anything from 45 minutes up to 4 or 5 hours depending on complexity. The ones in this video take 45 mins to an hour to make each.
Your inspiration? How do you come up with your designs?
I’m a huge bird nerd so inspiration is never far away, I collect vintage bird books and watch a lot of nature documentaries but sometimes it’s just a matter of scrolling through Instagram and seeing a bird that sparks my imagination.
What is your personal favourite design or item to make?
My favourite has always been the barn owl, he was one of my very first designs and has evolved a lot over the years.
They are gorgeous. So what is your most popular item?
Penguins. If you follow my Instagram you will see that they have lots of adventures and get into all sorts of trouble.
Wow, they do have fun and loved the little penguin animation you made – so cute! Best feedback from a customer?
The best feedback is when people send pictures of their wedding days, I had one lovely couple who ordered a special Galah Cockatoo wedding cake topper and they sent me the most amazing pictures of them cutting the cake and playing with the birds. That’s the biggest compliment, when the birds become a special part of someone’s big day.
Wow, that does sound like the biggest compliment and incredible to know your creations are such an important part of their special day. So, what does it mean to you when someone buys one of your handmade items?
It’s still a huge thrill, even after all this time I still do a happy dance, it means I can keep on creating silly things and making people happy.
Fun fact? Maybe tell us something about your Dodo project?
I just made 100 dodos (and then some) for a Kickstarter project and exhibition for Coastival, a big arts festival in Scarborough. I’m still making them to finish up the project, what was meant to be 100 has turned into 179 dodos. I did the project to raise awareness of our impact upon nature and also because it was a lot of fun.
What’s next for Felt me up designs?
I’m launching some new birds very soon and working on building a brand new website. I’ve also got another big secret Kickstarter project that I am planning. It’s a busy time for me right now, I’ve had a bit of a break and I’m kind of coming out of hibernation!
Can’t wait to see Mel’s new projects now that (like me) she’s just coming out of hibernation. You can find Mel’s beautiful work here:
Please look out for the next animation featuring a zombie Sloth in the rain forest (yes you heard me correctly): all shares, comments and likes are greatly appreciated to help get these gorgeous Folksy makes seen.
Many thanks Mel for contributing to this project and really looking forward to introducing you to next weeks makers.