Felted Woolies are things made from reclaimed, recycled wool. I find wool at thrift stores and garage sales. I clean it, felt it or unravel it, and make new things. I seem to have a bit of trouble focusing on just one project--so I make a lot of different things, practical and not so practical.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm honored

I am so, so, so honored to see my bunnies on one of my favorite craft blogs, lil fish studios.  I've admired Lisa Jordan's art and her blog ever since I discovered them.   She tells wonderful stories about life with her family in the Minnesota woods, takes fabulous photos, and makes beautiful things.  I have learned so much about how to stage an item in a simple setting by looking at her photos.  I've just spent 10 minutes wandering around her blog trying to decide which photos and posts to link to.  I can't decide.  Visit the blog and look at them all!  But don't click until you have some time to spend browsing and enjoying and being inspired. 

Friday, February 25, 2011


I'm one of the crazy people that doesn't mind paying taxes.  It means I made money.  I just paid my sales taxes for the second half of 2010.  I was late, 'cause I wasn't sure my Transient Vendor's Sales license application was accepted.  I never got the confirmation in the mail.   But I did get the notice that I had not paid my taxes for the second half of 2010.  So I figured out how to do it, and I figured out what my vendor's license number is!  Hurray!  It wasn't a lot, 'cause I had not made a lot, but still!  Sales taxes!!!  That means my little business is real.

Bunnies Bunnies EVERYwhere

Aren't they fun!  I must have spring fever! So--Do you prefer your bunnies  natural?  or in Easter pastels? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The oldest kind of recycling

Fabric and textiles have long been recycled.  Think of all the beautiful scrap quilts our mothers and grandmothers made.  Think of the dish towels and quilts made from feed sacks.  The first ones were plain, later they were pretty prints.  (The person that thought of putting animal feed into pretty feedsacks was brilliant.  See this link for a complete history.)  Now you can find recycled goods made from burlap coffee sacks, and you can buy the burlap bags online from several sources.

I found a nice assortment of fabric scraps at my last visit to one of the MCC thrift stores, as well as a partially finished quilt top that seems to be made from mens' shirts.   I'm not sure what greedy impulse made me purchase these; if I had any sense I'd take some better photos and go list them on Etsy right now....  I do NOT need any more projects in the house, but the vintage fabrics called to me.   If they are calling to you, and you want them, I'll be glad to send them your way, just leave me a message.

 I've seen statistics that in the USA we discard 68 lbs. of textiles each year, per person.  My source is the SMART website--stands for Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles.  It has to do with the fact that clothing is just so cheap we now consider it a "disposable" item.  Our moms and grandmas remember when clothing was expensive.  I remember when it was cheaper to make my own clothes, but about the time I got out of high school, it was cheaper to buy readymade.  You could no longer buy the fabric for what you could buy the ready made.  The quality wasn't and isn't as good as homemade, but the time and effort to make your own was huge.  The last "homemade" clothing I remember wearing was a beautiful tailored silk suit I made and wore at my first job.  Wow.  I'm a long way from that now.   I'll wear a comfortable blazer with "good" trousers on a dress up day at work.

Less than 25% of the 68 pounds of textiles each of us discards each year is donated to charity, resellers, or recyclers.  The charities put less than half of what we donate into the stores.  They sell it in bulk to companies that sort and distribute clothing overseas, and make rope, furniture padding, carpet padding, etc.  Interesting fact:  they send the vintage things to Japan!  4% of the solid waste stream in this country is textiles.  OUCH!  We must do better.  Growing cotton and raising sheep consumes resources.  Making synthetic fibers consumes resources.   I even read that although wool decomposes in the landfil, it creates methane gas, and thus contributes to global warming.  See!!!  I HAVE to keep these wool sweaters out of the landfills!!!   I have to make cute bunnies and kittys!!!! 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thrift store dumpster diving

Okay, not quite dumpster diving, but if felt pretty close.   I was on the road by myself, and I thought a quick trip to a thrift store in a different city might be just the thing to keep me from falling asleep.   I googled ahead of time to check out what thrift stores would be near my route and found Goodwill Outlets in Indianapolis...  It was an experience.  Some of the clients wore gloves as they pawed through the bins of "stuff."   Items are sold by the pound.  Clothing seemed to be either stuff that didn't sell at a regular Goodwill, or stuff that was deemed unsellable at a regular store.  I found several sweaters--more cashmere than wool?  Go figure.  I found a BEAUTIFUL vintage coat, 50% silk, 50% wool.  Some fabric.  An old fancy lace dress, aged and yellowed almost beyond redemption, but I'm going to try.  If nothing else the fabric and lace will be part of a project sometime.  An old blanket that I'm hoping is wool.  I'll do the burn test to see for sure.  (Burn a few fibers and check for the horrible smell.  Also, check to see if it puts the fire out by itself.  Both are good signs of wool.  Once you smell the smell, you don't forget it.  A lot like the smell of human hair burning.)   Look for that vintage coat on my Etsy site sometime soon, it is way too small for me.

I recommend the adventure, but wear old clothes, take gloves or at least have hand sanitizer in your purse or the car, and enjoy the hunt!