Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Monday, March 17, 2014

my peeps, cheeps and chirps

         For years I have tried to find a way to combine my love of stitching with my occupation  of artist, storyteller and illustrator. It wasn't until working on my last book that I decided upon the perfect marriage of the two. Hopalong Hollow books are populated with countless fuzzy and feathered creatures and a few have already come to life via needle and thread, you've seen them here before; Mamsey Bear, Fiona Goosefeathers and Dimity Doormouse. Last week I began to create a few of the bird-folk of the Hollow. I have never sewn a bird before, but I admire the work of many fabulous artists that work in felting and mohair. I have much to learn from my best teachers, TRIAL and ERROR. I first purchased a pattern for a chick and then tossed it. The chick looked more like a flat mouse.  So I made my own pattern for a baby chick.
 Her beak is not quite correct..baby chicks have sharp pointy little beaks. I will have to work on making better beaks.
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Other than that, she was pretty simple and straightforward. 
I made a green tomato pin cushion for her to sit on. Gotta fix that beak!
  I readjusted my pattern and got a bit more courageous in my attempt to make a chickadee.
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But she looked a little odd for a chickadee, and so SHE became a He and turned into a little wren,
 in a top hat.
He is made with mohair and wool felt. He's a bit disheveled, which is why I made his top hat a bit raggedy.
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  He looks like quite a dandy little bloke and I expect to hear a cockney accent as soon as he chirps.
 


 My next Featherfoot DID look rather more like a Chickadee.
I need more stuffing in that pin cushion, though.
 I used brown wool felt fabric and white mohair .
One of my senior cats mistook her for the real thing and I had to put her way up high on  a shelf.
Next I made a little bluebird using dyed wool felt fabric.

 I think she is quite sweet and I like the downward tilt of the beak, I'm improving a bit at shaping the beaks.
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 I embellished her seams with  simple feather stitches and a blanket stitch. 

 This Featherfoot  was meant to be a Robin Red breast but she is more of a Robin Pink Breast.  I dyed the mohair to match the pink in the foxgloves of the fabric tuffet upon which she sits.
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This fabric is from my "Hopalong Jack" line with Northcott.
 Her body consists of 4 different mohairs and
I made her beak with wool felt.
She has a lovely long nose, but I should do a bit of shading on it with copic pens or acrylic paint. Any suggestions on what to use for shading mohair and felt? I am new to all this!

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She's  the biggest bird. You know, her profile looks a lot like Esther. Maybe that is why I love her best of all.

My birds are all a bit amateurish, but I will get better at this. I know I will!

You may wonder what I intend to do with ALL these pincushions? Well, I will NEED a lot of pins (and I like the company of birds as I sew)... for it is my goal to stitch EVERYONE in Hopalong Hollow.

 Next come the Rabbits...or the mice..or the chippys...
I can't decide!
What do you think? BUNS? MORE BIRDS?
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This is fun...one day later.. I decided to work on buns for Easter.

A gray rabbit will be my first... this must be Winky Fuzzyfoot..,
and the gang.

42 comments:

  1. Jeri -these are adorable. I love the wren with the top-hat.

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  2. Jeri, I ADORE you peeps! These are far from amateurish.. It looks as if you have been doing this for years.. Absolutely adorable... I love them all, but I must admit my favorite is the one that looks like Esther. You are so right, she really does resemble her. And that delightful disheveled wren. Love his top hat!

    As for the shading on the felt and mohair.. I am afraid I don't have an answer for you.. I have been researching myself, to find a medium I could shade the faces with on my wool sculptures.. I see some artists say they use oil paints or pastel chalks. I have not tried either as yet. Acrylic paint may work on the wool felt, but I think it may bleed out on the edges..

    Your birdies look like they have jumped right out of your book! Outstanding job Jeri!
    With great admiration and love,
    Penny

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  3. Your bluebird is my favorite. She has a such a mischievous look in her eyes beneath that demure bonnet. I wonder what she's been up to behind your back?!

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  4. Bonjour,
    Moi, je trouve que vous avez beaucoup de talent. Et il est multiple de surcroît !
    Vous parvenez à la perfection à faire reflèter votre poésie dans ces adorables créations. Un monde bien à vous et que j'aime.
    Gros bisous

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  5. Wonderful work. Its a real pleasure to read about your process
    Threads of sewing vs paper fibers can be, methinks, intimidating when first sewn creatures begin to breath from the artist's creativity. I think sewers tend to be more critical. Your creatures don't look amateurish at all to me.

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  6. Oh my gosh Jerri ~ You never cease to amaze me with all of your creativity. Where do you find the time to do it all?

    I think your birds are quite whimsical and not amateurish. You are so talented and are such an inspiration to me.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

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  7. Good glory, Jeri, I am blown away...between you and Penny, I am EXCITED WITH POSSIBILITIES! Well, keep going because little birds fly off very quickly! CAN YOU MAKE A BLUEJAY?

    What you are producing is outstanding. Heck, I could make oodles of posts on you, on Penny, on so many brilliant hands that add such magic to the creation we have outside our windows. EXCELLENT WORK! Anita

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  8. Jeri, your birds are bodacious! I think bunnies should be next for Spring, then chipmunks for Summer and mice for Autumn. Those bonnets are beautiful, and your handiwork is handsome! I was hoping they'd be for sale in your Salon!

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    1. Cathy, good plan and I am doing the rabbits. They may be for sale at some point..

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    2. Your bunny is beautiful. Such personality!

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  9. Oh, how fabulous Jeri! I really love them!

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  10. Dear Jeri - I definitely don't think your birds are amateurish at all...they are so lovely and sweet and I am so glad you are going to have great company while you are sewing the other friends in HopAlong Hollow! Can't wait to see who you work on next. Have a delightful day.

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  11. Your feathered friend are all so cute and lovely. I love them all. You are an amazing artist in all that you do. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures. I can't wait to see what critters you bring to life next. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thank you all for being so kind... I think I can do a bit better... just learning this.

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  12. JERI DARLIN'! You came by to my ASTONISHED post! Yes, these seasoned eyes, THANK GOODNESS can see more birds, more rabbits, horses, dogs, cats in all their God-given wonder and then in turn, we take our imaginations and do what we do. You rock, Jeri. I LOVE ESTHER! Keep adding to your flock; I look forward to seeing what you will make for sale! LOVE LOVE LOVE, Anita

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  13. Hi Jeri, Your fine feathered friends are lovely. Totally enjoy seeing them being brought to life by your stitching fingers. I just bet all those other creatures are right now forming an eager queue to jump to life in your hands. Rae.

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  14. They are all precious, Jeri. Me, I'm partial to birds, but I love all animals. That little top hat made me smile. What a gift for melding your art and sewing. I can scarcely sew a straight line. What fun. Better get them done before planting begins. Think you will be too busy after that.

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    1. Donna, that's for sure, I was outside 2 days straight just cleaning up the mess from winter

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  15. Oh Jeri! I LOVE YOUR BIRDS! Their sweet outfits are just the icing on the cake.

    Now then, MY hope is that you'll decide to make a few bugs...maybe a big Goliath beetle, or a praying mantis, or a Luna Moth, or a funny Grand Daddy Long Legs with striped stockings and mismatched shoes. Grand Daddy is always complaining that it's pretty hard to find four pairs of the same shoes in his size. He can find stockings, but not matching shoes. Oh, I can just imagine all kinds of bugs and insects that with your sewing talents would be most magnificent!!!

    I'll be dreaming tonight about your creatures. I may try my hand at a bug, but I'm afraid that even though I may be able to come up with many ideas, my sewing might fall short. But you've inspired me to try my hand!

    Love from Diane in North Carolina

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    1. Diane, Surprise! I may do a preying mantis... he is in a new story.

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    2. Oh Jeri, That would be so wonderful! I'll be watching for the praying mantis. I remember years ago showing my grandchildren how a mantis changed colors from the drab brown of my potting shed to the brilliant green of a John Deere tractor. They were fascinated and so was I. I can hardly wait to learn more about your new story and see the praying mantis. Thanks so much!

      Diane

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  16. These are absolutely adorable! Would love to attend a market of sorts that sells your work! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. My schedule is on line, if ever I am in your area for a show, please come!

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  17. I am so smitten... love those little friends. When I brushed our golden retriever today I was reminded of how I used to felt dog hair. Jeri, do you think you could use dog fur hand felted to make some of those beautiful creatures? Crazy idea, I know, but I think it just might possibly work... I know your pups are white~ might be great for embellishing some of your little creatures, but if you find yourself dreaming of experimenting with that soft undercoat fur in a russet color, let me know and I will send you a little envelope of fluff to try felting... Oh, artists do have the wildest flights of fancy, do we not?

    I myself am doing calligraphy and painting Florida and Texas right now. Stitching up creatures sounds so much more imaginative but the bills must be paid!

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  18. Ooooh My JERI!! This was a most enjoyable post!!
    Have you ever got one of those lumps in your throat... the kind that is strictly caused by CUTENESS!!! Usually one gets this lump upon the appearance of baby ducks or puppies.... and well baby anythings!! Well this what I am getting when I look at these pin cushions sooooo Cuuuute!!! Dear me I can't take it! They are just so CUTE! A bit Steiffish in a way! That top hat is killer!! What a wonderful world you keep unleashing! Please never stop!.....
    so very cute ... blessings Linnie

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    1. Linnie< I do get those lumps whenever I see a baby chicklet! Jeri

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  19. Are you kidding me? Is Winky Fuzzyfoot a bun bun you made? ahhhhh, you are really something, you know it? You my friend are on a roll. I love them all, and I just noticed a comment you made.. There will be some for sale? I will be standing in line..
    You are such an inspiration, in more ways than you know.
    love and blessings,
    Penny

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  20. oh my goodness Jeri, your little animals are adorable and charming!

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  21. MORE MORE MORE BUNS AND BIRDS! I am very greedy when it comes to my friends' goodies! Jeri, Penny alerted me to your addition of bunnies today, and I must say that you best watch out for me coming to pester you one day so I can make a purchase! FANTASTIC - even better than Steiff for sure!

    Bravo!

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  22. There wonderful!!! You are an amazingly talented woman!

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  23. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MORE BUNNIES! Jeri Landers, you never stop; is your secret name MOTHER NATURE? teeeheee.....you just create more and more fabulous creatures that I could swear FLY, PEEP, eat carrots and so on. These bunny heads are the promise of more spring fun to come, and I want front row center when the shenanigans begin! Between Penny's new squirrel and these birds and buns, I am having my own spring party here, on-line!

    One day Jeri, one day I will have a Landers animal to accompany my books. Carry on with the fun! Much love and a lot of respect for your gifts! Anita

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    1. Mother Nature indeed! Sometimes I feel like mother natures helper, at least.

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  24. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I love the ~gang~ ....They are simply adorable Jeri!
    Something told me you were sew, sew, sewing!
    fondly,
    Penny

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  25. Oh my gosh they are all so precious! I have taken up quilting lately. Like I need another hobby! I want to make throws for all the grands and my kids. Would love to find some of your fabric to use! Have fun and Blessings to all the critters at the hollow!

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    1. Carol, I hope you can find the fabric, It was printed many years back, but still can sometimes be found in online quilt shops and ebay. Happy quilting! The quilt in the Mamsey book will be available as a pattern as soon as I get around to making it!

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  26. That was you Jeri? I wondered who that was... Name was.not familiar to me.
    Thank you so much for your kind words. Oh, the painting was added later today... It was of my son, yes he had such a belly when he was little.
    Thanks for visiting.
    fondly,
    Penny

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  27. Jeri...great job on your cheeps and buns...enchanting! You have a gift for making the inanimate come to life...both on paper and in cloth!! I love watching your creativity unfold!!

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  28. Oh my goodness Jeri ~ you must just ooze talent ( and energy) from your pores.
    These are marvelous . I am quite taken with your cheeps and bunnies !
    I don't know what happened to my blogger list when I stopped using google plus but somehow I lost you ( and my other google plus friends) on my blog roll list I have just tried manually adding your blog back on my list ~ I hope it works ... I have missed you !

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    1. Willow, I got on google + and I really don't like it... but now I can't get rid of it; it's like a zombie that never dies! Thank you for the kudos on the cheeps. I will visit you soon, I have been remiss in visiting everyone.

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  29. Your talent never ceases to amaze me Jeri. I am loving your chicks and peeps. The yellow one on the green tomato is my favorite. So sweet.

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