I originally wasn't going to mention this project. It's one I've been "working" on for a while (probably almost a year if I'm honest) so it wasn't started for Felt February, but it's felt and it's coming back out of the "Accidentally Ignored" bag, so I guess it counts after all! Also, a friend who knew I was working on it said I should include it, so if it seems legit to her, step right on out of those judgy pants you were putting on.
You know how I am: I make something and I start thinking about all the variations and improvements I can apply to another version. It was no different with this felt bookmark. It wasn't terribly long before I decided that I didn't make good enough use of one of the greatest facts about felt: the edges don't need any special treatment! It doesn't fray or fringe, it doesn't develop runs, and it's fairly durable. Cutout designs floating in the middle of the fabric would be the easiest thing in the world. Thus, this was born:
There are moments you start working on something and you know just from the get-go that this is not going to be the smoothest project you ever worked on. As a matter of fact, this was so far from starting off smoothly, I figured the whole thing would be a wash. It's true that it didn't turn out exactly as I wished, but I'm hesitant to call it a craft fail. After all, I got what I was going for: a bookmark made out of felt with an embroidered design on it.
Not too bad, right? Does it look like a peacock feather to you, because that's what it is. The pattern is actually from an Aimee Ray book, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection. I photocopied it and that's when it all started going downhill.
There are very few things that aren’t improved by glitter, beading, rhinestones, and other shiny things. Unicorns know this. Taylor Swift knows this. Strippers know this. Really, the rest of us just need to get on the bus (dibs on naming the bus, though! I’m thinking the Swift Unicorn Stripper Bus!)
I, of course, have a very strong grasp on this concept since I have my own personal internal magpie. This means the moment I took a good long look at the awesome embroidered version of the felt cup cozy, I immediately thought, "White! Red beads! Heart-Shaped! Shiny!" The result was pretty glorious, if I do say so myself!
Ok, here's the deal: I really like to look put together. I like to look like I'm succeeding at being an adult, can be trusted with responsibility, and wouldn't wreck your house if I came over for dinner. On a social and emotional level, all those things are true. Aesthetically, I've never trusted my instincts as much. I seem to lack the Pretty Pretty Princess gene. Therefore, for the last several years, my answer has been to keep my ensemble for the day to just a couple of colors and to match my shoes, purse, nails, and anything else I can think of to that color palette. I generally regard this as a strong plan and it seems to be working for me. I've been given both responsibility and dinner invitations.
There is one daily accessory that does not tend to match, though: my water cup. It's a cheerful green with a pale pink flower and it looks charming when I'm wearing green. Any other ensemble? It's not a cheerful pop of color; it's a sign that I don't pay attention to detail. (Me? Overly dramatic? Why yes! Thank you for noticing!) Today, I resolve to change that.
As January winds to a close, I thought I would take a moment to look over how my challenge went! Overall, it was a success for me! I successfully avoided buying anything and still had plenty to do to stay crafty! My only major regret is that I didn't use up more stuff. With that in mind, I may need to reissue myself this challenge in the near future. A brief recap:
Sometimes inspiration strikes and strikes hard! Like a flash, I knew my cross stitched square of four hearts should be a necklace charm! I quickly trimmed the piece down, leaving one row of fabric bordering it and rushed to my closet for one of my best crafting friends, acrylic felt. Now I know acrylic anything is often highly maligned, but I have to admit to loving it. I love that it's cheap and easy to come by and, frankly, when I'm not sure if a project is going to work out or I think it won't be used a lot, cheap and accessible are both excellent guidelines for the materials.
I have a lot of things I'm passionate about, but one of my longest, most visible passions is my reading. I have an extensive library and a just-as-extensive reading list (and of course a wish list filled with books). When I started cross stitching items for card fronts, I knew I wanted at least one of them to be a bookmark. I had two problems, though. My first problem was how to cover up the back without the whole piece being too bulky to comfortably fit in a book. My second problem was how to attach the whole thing to a card without it being too obvious at the beginning, just kind of an exciting surprise the recipient discovers after reading the note. Give any problem enough time, and the solution will come to you!
The answer came in the form of stash scavenging!