Friday, November 7, 2014

It's all about the Penguins this year!

It all started with the little guy on the left.  I bought him last Christmas in a great artsy shop here in my town.  There's definitely some wool content in the black part and it's almost 1/2 an inch thick.  I just love how the nose sticks out over the scarf.  The eyes are embroidered but everything else is glued.

So, I made the one on the right.  You all remember my obsession with black and white woven fabrics, right?  Well, I have an entire bin of them and I thought these penguins would be adorable with a woven patterned belly. 

I decided the penguin was a little fubsy, though.  In this new version, I slimmed him down and removed the little hand bits (for easier sewing and cutting).  Now I had a pattern I liked and I went to town.  I've made about 15 of these to use for holiday gifts.  I don't plan to sell them so I had no moral dilemma about copying the original design.  Plus, mine have some distinct differences.  100% wool.  I bought some 5mm wool felt (which is fantastic stuff, BTW) to use as a stiffener in the middle.  The black parts on the outside come from a black wool thrifted skirt.  The black and white woven patterns are all upcycled as are the scarves.  As is the nose!!  So, no new material at all except the cord hanger and the embroidery floss used to French knot the eyes.

I think the whole colony is adorable.  I had so much fun choosing just the right plaid for the scarves.  I hope my friends and teachers love them as much as I.

Now, moving past the ornaments, I began to think about my Christmas stocking entry for The Grey Colt Stocking Contest.  I'm pretty sure I've talked about this before.  This will be the 14th year and I am a founding contributor and have made a stocking (or a pillow or a wreath) every year.  I took my little penguin and shrunk him down quite a bit.  Here is this year's stocking:
 The penguins are about 2 1/2 inches tall.  The scarves are teeny little strips of wool -- super cute!  I did some beading on the outside so the ivory wool looked like slopes.  They almost look like they're at a sledding party, don't you think?  At the top, I took some raw edge wool and fringed it to add some detail that would pick up the patterns in the penguins.  The blue background is hand-dyed by me.  It sparkles in the light thanks to the tiny beads.  I'm so happy with the final result and can't wait for the Stocking Party on December 3rd.  The workmanship of all the participants is inspiring.  All stockings are donated and then raffled off after they are displayed for a week or so.  I've won a few stockings over the years and I cherish them.  The proceeds this year are going to the Kent State School of Fashion to help fund a scholarship.  Very fitting since The Grey Colt is my favorite clothing store ever.  Happy Holidays!!