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Pandagirl’s Year in Review

Pandagirl’s Year in Review

I know I’m late to the party, but I’ve been traveling and have several family affairs looming that need my attention.

I started out in 2014 as a forum member and then in March I was a Global Moderator!  This past year has brought many challenges and delightful learning and wonderful outcomes in terms of felting.

My year started with experiments in dyeing.

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I shared my venture into encaustics.

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Tried my hand at painting with wool.

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Experimented with different wools.

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Participated in the quarterly challenges.

Jackson Pollock - Marilyn

Stewart Stephenson - Marilyn
Stewart Stephenson – Marilyn


Monet 2 after felting
Monet 3rd quarter


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Land Art 4th Quarter


Tried framing methods.

burlap 2

I broke down to drum carder envy and began my foray into making batts.  Woo hoo!

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Cathy and I tried indigo dyeing.

silk and thick n thinMy marketing blogs…

addiction biz cards wool side






I know it’s been awhile, but its more fun felting than marketing…  Sorry.


I taught a felting  class.

Toni and her placemat


There was a period of obsession with pods and vessels.

After rinsing

I ventured into free motion stitching.

moy layout

Then I experimented with embellishments and making a book cover.

finished front

Designing and making a handbag was a huge accomplishment for me.


I  experimented with 3D felting – grapes and flowers.

finished 2

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I learned a lot of new techniques in Fiona Duthie’s class.

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It was a busy year visiting farms, mills and fairs.

susan democarder back







I made scarves including a cobweb scarf.

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A big project was a 3D free motion stitched bowl, oh my!

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Felting a rooster, I learned to combine wet and needle felting.

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Our holiday exchange was an experiment of combining beading and felting.

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All in all, it’s been a very productive and inspiring year felting. Of course, there were many more projects that were completed.  It has been a wonderful year.  I want to thank all of you for teaching, inspiring me and encouraging me to do and try more.  Thank you!  A special thanks to my fellow moderators and Luvswool (Cathy),  Leonor at Felt Buddies and Nada for pitching in and contributing to the blog.  It’s been a terrific, fun journey.  I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings and what I learn and try!



What Does Your Calling Card Look Like?

What Does Your Calling Card Look Like?

In a few weeks, Cathy (Luvswool) and I are going to attend the Midwest Fiber Fair in Grayslake, IL.  I started thinking about what a great opportunity it might be to introduce some people to the Felting and Fiber Forum/Studio.  But I didn’t have any business cards.

So, while working on one of my felt projects I decided that if I’m representing a fiber collaborative I should have business cards that reflect that concept.

I pulled out a bunch of prefelt pieces leftover from other projects and piled up a stack of embellishments and went to work. Of course, I forgot to take a picture before I felted them.  I used just one layer of prefelt so that it wouldn’t be too thick and proceeded to play with the embellishments using yarn, silk, silk habatoi, silk hankies,  sari threads, throwsters waste, silk gauze with sequins and ribbons.

When I finished felting/fulling the pieces, I cut out a business card size plastic piece and cut out the cards while the felt was still wet and soapy.  Then I worked the edges some more before rinsing and drying.

biz cards wool side

After they dried, I steamed and shaped them a little more. Some of them shrank while drying so I did a bit of pulling and stretching.

I didn’t want to sew them on, so I used three different types of glue (Elmers Clear, Sobo and Tacky Glue) to see which would work best, but all worked nicely and didn’t leave any residue.  I applied it using a wooden stick so it was evenly covered. The nice thing about the glue was that while it was wet I was able to stretch and manipulate the felt to cover the card.  To make sure they stayed put I piled a couple of heavy books on them to let them dry and flatten.  I left the organic edges because I like that look.

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I’m not sure how people will react to wool business cards, but I think it sends the right message.  I’m definitely a fiber enthusiast.

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The next time I make more cards I will stick to silk and embellishments that are flatter.  While the yarn and ribbon are nice and very textured, it is a bit more bulky.  What do you think?


A Real Life Example of Product Presentation

A Real Life Example of Product Presentation

Amanda from FeltFinland has graciously offered to do a guest post for Marketplace Mondays. Take a look at her website to see some of her delightful creations that will really put a smile on your face. So here’s Amanda.

You have worked hard to make some great felted works of art. You have an opportunity to sell them. What you need are those extra little touches that will catch the eye of the buyer and also encourage them to return and buy again another day. Product presentation is a key part of selling. No matter how stunning your creations, if they are haphazardly piled on a table, not many people will give them a second glance. I have developed and learned a few ideas over the last 3 years of selling at craft fairs which I am happy to share with you.

Make use of all the space on your table without overcrowding.

Don’t forget you can add height – a small set of shelves, an upturned box, branches, logs are a few things I have used. I have always liked wood and wool together. 

Choose an appropriate coloured cover (sheets and old curtains are cheap options) for your table, one that won’t detract from your work. Make sure it is big enough to fall down and cover the front open side of the table. This allows you to store your boxes and bags under the table without the world seeing them! One of the photos shows how not to do it – pink cover which is too short – all the tables were set up the same by the folks organising the fair!

I also like to use baskets and basket weave trays of various shapes and sizes to display my products – this also helps to keep things together and prevents products getting all muddled.

Pricing – personally I like to individually price my items, using free-standing labels on the table top next to the items or small price tags stuck on pins then stuck in the relevant item. I do not like to put sticky labels directly onto the felt.

If you do not want to show your prices, have the costs of each item readily available (in your head!) for when a customer asks. Print prices on stout card from your computer using a clear bold font – these can easily be reused too.

Add your own personal touch – I give names to a lot of my creatures such as Aliens, Owls etc. I print them onto good quality card from my computer and these go home with their owner. Don’t forget to add to the label your company name, website etc. 

Pop one of your business cards into the bag the sold item is going home in. 

Cellophane bags work really well with small felted items and can be sealed with customised stickers. Bags are available in different sizes and cellophane wrap can also be used. Paper bags have their place but will hide your creation! Plastic bags have their use if it is pouring with rain to keep your sales dry on their way home!

I hope these few pointers will help. I found it useful attending craft fairs as a buyer and seeing how other people presented and packaged things. It gave me some great ideas but also showed me what not to do!

Guest poster: Amanda Heikkinen

Is Your Business Card Attractive?

Is Your Business Card Attractive?

Many times, the first impression a customer sees of you may come from your business card. Is it attractive? Have you included photos of your artwork on your card? Printing costs for business cards are surprisingly low these days. There are many printers online and if you find quotes online for printing, check with your local printer to see if the online price can be matched. Price, however, is not the only consideration. Many of the online printers make it easy to set up your card and offer very attractive options for layouts without extra design or layout charges.

Many artists use Moo cards. Moo cards are inexpensive, provide color printing on both sides of the card and will even send you a free sample pack of cards that you design with your own artwork. They also sell postcards and mini cards. Another website I found that looked promising was Uprinting. Uprinting sells business cards, post cards, hang tags, letterhead and even banners that could be used for a booth sign.  There are hundreds of options online for printing and doing your research ahead of time is important. Shopping local is also important so do get a bid from local printers as well. If you are printing a variety of promotional and packaging items, ask to see if you can get a multiple item discount. (I have no connection to these companies and have not ordered from either of them.)

Your business card should include all your contact information so that people can reach you. Give them more than one option. There are people out there that don’t use computers much and giving only an e-mail address will prevent that customer from reaching you. Do you have a tag line? A tag line is a short phrase that summarizes your product and what it can do for the customer. If you have one, it should be on your business card. Other information that can be included is your website or ETSY address, your name, your company name and even if you don’t include a physical address, listing your town or region lets people know your general location. If you have a logo and use it on the rest of your presentation package, it should be included on your business card. Two sided printing is great because you can have photos of your artwork on one side and the informational bits on the other side.

Carry your business cards with you. If you meet someone who is interested in your work, handing them a business card is the first step towards making a sale. However, if you are doing a retail show, you don’t necessarily need to give everyone who steps in your booth a business card. Many times, someone who comes into your booth may not be interested in purchasing your work. If you offer them a business card, you are giving them a way to exit without buying anything. They will tell you that they “will think about it”, take your card and you’ll never hear from them again. Instead, tell them about your work, answer any questions they may have and if they are not interested, they will move on. Save your cards for customers who buy something or for someone who shows real interest.

Spending a little bit of extra money on professionally printed materials usually pays off in the long run. If this is your job or your business, treat it like a business, design an attractive business card and present yourself professionally.

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