Happy June, my favorite crafters!
We've officially changed the status of our brand new website KarenBurniston.com from "preorder" to "available now!" All dies are in stock and shipping immediately. Retailer orders placed in May have all shipped, so you may also find these dies at your local shops. If not, ask them to consider bringing them in - it's a great way for you to support your local shop and save on shipping. If you are sadly without a local shop, you can always order direct from our website, and yes, we ship internationally! (Australia - check Craft Giraffe. England - Crafts U Love is taking pre-orders)
I wanted to post a little tutorial today in honor of our opening, and Karen Aicken was the inspiration. I woke up to a lovely e-mail from Karen - she received her order this week and has been busy! I can't wait to share Karen's cards as she posts them on her blog in the upcoming days and weeks. Karen mentioned that she planned to use felt for the squirrel from the Woodland Animals, but not on his face because the stencil feature wouldn't work well on the felt. Naturally this got me thinking of how someone might use the stencil feature on felt.
First, if you haven't had a chance to watch the assembly video for the Woodland Animals, here it is:
For my felt Squirrel, I started with a scrap of printer paper and drew the face using the die as a stencil. I also cut a piece of felt large enough for the squirrel.
OK, this is the part of the blog post where I have to apologize for my rusty embroidery skills. I did fine with the simple backstitch for the mouth and nose, but when it came time to do the french knots for the eyes . .. well, I didn't exactly remember how to do them. Did I look it up on YouTube like a smart person? Of course not! I wound the floss around the needle a couple of times and just went for it. The first eye looked great. The second eye looked . . . big! Did I pull it out and start over? Please. Do you even know me? Heh.
I figured it would give the squirrel character! Yeah, that's it!
After stitching (I used two strands of embroidery floss, by the way) I carefully tore away the paper.
Ta da! One cute little stitched face for Squirrelly-one-big-eye. Next came the die cutting. Lining up the die is easy because you can see the stitched face through the die.
Since the dies are wafer-thin, you may need to use a metal shim to cut through felt. I used a Precision Plate in my Sizzix Big Shot. If you're using a different machine, my suggestion is to look up on YouTube "cutting fabric with a _____ machine" While you're there, check out the MULTITUDE of videos for how to properly make a french knot. Heh.
I cut the belly die from ivory felt and then assembled as usual. As an optional step, you could glue the felt squirrel to a cardstock squirrel for stiffness, which will be good for pop-up cards. (My favorite!)
If you do choose to back the squirrel with cardstock you might also try adding tape over the seam between the tail and the body on the back of the cardstock. This will keep your thread from pulling through if you want to stitch the line. The cardstock on the back will give you an easy guide for the stitching. The next time I do this I might try brown embroidery floss for the line so it's a little more subtle, but still creates the definition. Oh, and I'll make the eyes the same size, too.
It's good to have goals!
Voila! One cute felt squirrel all ready for a project!
Here are handy direct links for the Spring 2017 collection.