Learning to dance in the rain

Catching up with my blog post for another Folksy Friday Film. ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’ involves a gorgeous selection of lovely makes from talented Folksy sellers. You can watch it here:

One of the makers in the film created something especially designed for the animation, this beautiful unicorn was created by Abbey Wright of Seen and Known – here we find out a little bit more about Abbey and her small handmade business:

uni1.jpg

Hi, my name is Abbey! I’m the creator of Seen and Known. I live in Carlisle, in the beautiful county of Cumbria. For my business I make little keepsake soft sculpture animals. I love creating animals that have character, making each one with their own personality. I enjoy watching a flat design evolve into something that can stand on its own two or four feet! I started working with textiles 6 years ago during my A Levels and I started my business Seen and Known 3 years ago.

20190429_122640.jpg

How long do your makes take to create?

 Depending on the animal and the size, it can take a day or two. Getting everything just right with all the details and of course taking tea and cake breaks!

Your inspiration / how do you come up with your designs?

I’m inspired by other peoples work. Looking at what they’re making, their skills and being in awe of them. And obviously animals.

The designs I draw are straightforward, nothing too technical. The fun is in the face and accessories.

What is your personal favourite design or item to make?

It’s hard to pick one but I always enjoy the sheep and how they turn out. I also really like a panda I made a while back wearing a hat.

What’s your most popular item?

The sheep are popular I think. And the two lions I made found homes quite quickly.

Best feedback from a customer?

A customer bought a sheep for a gift and asked for a birthday card to go with it which I painted and hand lettered. I remember she was “delighted” with both the wooly sheep and card. That was a very nice commission to make.

unijug

What does mean to you when someone buys one of your handmade items?

I’m always thrilled and surprised! For someone who doesn’t know me but trusts me and what I create is such a lovely feeling. For a person to want what I make is encouraging. I always hope that my little animals bring joy to whoever gives them a home.

Fun fact(s)? 

If I could wear slippers all the time, I would!

Making a unicorn for this film was a new, unique and magical experience.

What’s next? 

Next, I just hope I can carry on creating these little creatures and continue to grow Seen and Known. You can always find me on Instagram, Facebook and Folksy!

A very special thanks to Yas Bowley who animated the most beautiful leaping unicorn, turning Abbey’s textile creation into a magical animation, it is perfect and Abbey was thrilled to see her unicorn brought to life.

Also again a huge thank you to my lovely hubbie, Steven Warren who created some original ukulele especially for the film *I’m a lucky lady*.

flowerpower

 

Now we meet Shelly Honey from by Shelly Lee maker of the magic jug that turns dancing flowers into unicorns!

Hello I’m Shelly Honey I have a little pottery business called by shelly lee, I live in a little village on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, my business started as my full time job 8 years ago, I used to dabble in all sorts of crafts until I started pottery which took off and I haven’t looked back since, I used to work as a part time chef before hand and gave that up to do pottery full time, I love what I do and wouldn’t want to change it for the world, I have a little garden workshop that I share with Daddy Rabbit, he’s one of my two bunny’s, he’s a super fluffy lion head and is 8 years old this year, he’s a proper grumpy old man but we love him hugely.

How long do your makes take to create?

I make a huge variety of pottery, I only use porcelain, I chose porcelain as I love its creamy white colour and the way the colour glazes look on its body. Each item I make is made from hand, no wheels or slip moulds, each item is made using the slab building method, I am a very quick worker, once I get in the zone I can easily make up to 50 jugs in a day, plaques can take slightly longer as each letter is stamped by hand. I’m much more productive when making, but glazing takes double the time if not more.

Your inspiration / how do you come up with your designs?

Sketch, sketch, sketch. I have books of random drawings which very rarely resemble a finished product. I also like to be hands on, sometimes just playing until I come up with something new.

What is your personal favourite design or item to make?

That’s a difficult one, I think If I had to pick just one it would be the button jugs, even after making hundreds I still love them and still have the same joy in opening the kiln to them as I did when I first started to make them.

What is your most popular item?

Equally button jugs and HaPea keyring, these are the biggest sellers with the shops who supply my items.

Best feedback from a customer?

The best one off the top of my head wasn’t something someone wrote to me but it was the face of someone when I delivered them their item, seeing the pure joy on that persons face made me realise I was doing something right 

What does it mean to you when someone buys one of your handmade items?

Pure happiness, every time I get a sale or order I feel the same bubbling joy inside, I feel so blessed that someone has chosen to buy an item I’ve made with my own two hands, even after all these years I still can’t quite believe I’ve got my own little business and it’s all down to each and every wonderful customer, for that I’ll be forever grateful. 

Fun fact(s)?

Few facts about me, I am double jointed and my arms bend back at the elbow. 

I have an addiction to dungarees, it’s all I ever wear.

I have two rabbits, ones called daddy rabbit who’s old, grumpy and rules over the garden, the other is called Nelly who’s lives in the house (garden by day) she very loving and I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s half goat as she’s recently taking a liking to climbing walls and fences.

You can find Shelly online, her gorgeous wares are available to buy from her Folksy Shop or on Facebook.

A massive thank you to all of the other Folksy makers who contributed to the animation, it has been a total pleasure working with you all and I hope to interview more of you for this blog in the future. All of the additional gorgeous makes that are included in the film are listed below and shop links included, please do pay them a visit and say hello on their social media accounts to see more of their wonderful designs:

Felt Me Up Designs – Felted Penguin

Shirley Rainbow – Dancing handmade flower designed especially for this project

A Touch of Wimsey Co – Weather symbols – taken from her beautiful cot mobile design

Fancy Knittles – Crochet love heart flowers in pots

Just to Say… – Crochet Doughnut

Cardology Ltd – Pop up Rainbow Card

downloadBy shopping small, buying from self employed artists, designers, and makers, as well as independent retailers and shopping on Folksy: you’re supporting British artisans, directly putting money in their pockets – supporting David not Goliath. To find out more about supporting Indie Retailers and British artisans visit: Just a Card to see how you can join the campaign.

 

Fly chickadee, fly!

 

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.

Cheep5

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).

 

Why felting?

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:

https://folksy.com/shops/feltmeupdesigns

https://www.facebook.com/feltmeupdesigns/

http://www.feltmeupdesigns.com/

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.

Leanne x

Feel the joy this Folksy Friday

Following on from the antics of animating the Folksy Mr Mouse Christmas film, I’m once again teaming up with Folksy and lots of talented British artists, designers and makers to create some new short animation films. The aim is to help you (and hopefully me) feel the joy and spread some handmade Folksy vibes. Tomorrow is the first in the series of Folksy Friday film and fun days, the first animation short will be released and you’ll find more about the talented maker at Feltmeupdesigns who created the gorgeous handmade chicks for the first film.

Hopefully you can visit Folksy (their website or social media) and have a look, have a browse and see what gorgeous handmade goodness is on offer? This blog post explains more about Folksy Friday Fun…  https://blog.folksy.com/2019/04/29/folksy-friday-fun-films

Look out for the first of the Folksy Friday films tomorrow to find out what’s in the box, and please, please, please, like, comment and share when you see it! As British self employed makers all the comments, likes and shares we can get to help spread the handmade & Folksy message means the world to us!

58741769_2470258362998314_5642714843640233984_n

I’m really looking forward to this challenge of creating nine animations (one a week in May and June) and hope you can offer your support. The animations will all be very basic and rough around the edges but I hope they make you smile, that’s the aim anyway! It means a lot to me as I’m just pulling myself out of a very deep winter ‘rut’ and and it feels exciting and exhilarating to get the camera out and get the creative juices flowing again – phew! My head has literally been exploding with ides over the last month, it’s a really great feeling.

chickchick

Image: Taken by Leanne Warren features the beautiful handmade goodies: needle felted chick from Feltmeupdesigns; and crochet love heart flower pot from Fancy Knittles – both on Folksy.com.

I’m also very excited to be working with the extraordinarily talented designer and animator, Yas Bowley who created the most beautiful Folksy animation earlier this year. Please head over and take a look at her animation, she spent months creating this gorgeous film, in support of Folksy and British designers and makers. Yas will be creating a little 2D animated ‘Folksy’ logo for the end of each film so please look out for those and (eeeek, exciting) we are planning more animation collaboration in the future – so watch this space!

Anyway I hope you enjoy the animation. I can’t wait to get started on week 2 – animating zombies, in the jungle? Intrigued? I just need to get the ideas out of my head and into reality – which should be a lot easier thanks to all of the talented Folksy makers who are helping me with this project. Thank you so much you talented bunch.

Find me on Folksy:

leapup.folksy.com

rosefiltered.folksy.com

Find Yas here:

IndaBayi.folksy.com

PS for all the lovers of the fabulous (and on occasion diva-ish) Mr Mouse, created by the ridiculously talented Amanda Barnes … you might be glad to hear he will be making a reappearance and he has a new friend, eeeek, more to be revealed 🙂

 

Christmas is coming…

🎄🎄🎄 It’s your last chance to buy last minute gifts and prints for the dog lovers in your life. There is still time to get prints out in the post to UK customers (colours and words can be personalised) and postage is FREE to the UK. 🎄

xmas

🎄Tomorrow evening (5PM GMT) I’ll be closing my LEAPUP shop for a break over Christmas and will be back in the New Year. Order book for commissions reopens on the 2nd January🎄🎄🎄

Also don’t forget the model search deadline is 3PM tomorrow and I’ll be announcing the last winner tomorrow night – eeeek exciting!

I’ll still be around on social media over Christmas and still have some prizes from the model competition to send out and will be working on some new designs over the Christmas holidays – so watch this space!

I also just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone who has supported my small business this year, I’m really excited to see what next year brings!