100 days of ornaments

You know that #May_Be2015 creative challenge that my friend Rozanne had me guest post for? Well, she’s at it again. But this time Rozanne and our mutual friend Brooke are doing a writing challenge: #100Scribbles (100 days of scribbles – free writing). They really enjoyed the daily creative prompt (as did I, although I didn’t partake in every one) and wanted to keep up the momentum, but to concentrate on writing. (By the way, check out the #May_Be2015 Instagram feed – it’s filled up nicely!)

Rozanne put the call out there for people to join, but I thought that my attention needed to get back to my work. So I have tweaked the challenge to be: 100 days of needle felted ornaments. I lack a productive routine, and I need one if I am to get things created for fall (and to list on Etsy and my web shop) and not be in pain with repetitive strain injury, so what better way to get into a routine, but to commit to one for 100 days? So first thing in the morning, it’s up and needle felting! (I am actually going to be making other things as well, but the ornaments are fun and

If you have a favourite animal (or other) that you think might work for my Wool Ball ornaments series, please comment. If you’d like to follow along, check out my Instagram feed, or the hashtag #100NFOrnaments.

I love that I’m not the only one who has taken the 100 days theme and run with it. One friend is doing 100 days of wild edibles and another is doing 100 things that make her day!

 

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Focus on coffee

Long time no write! For some of that, I was actually out of the country on my family’s first ever holiday south (in fact I haven’t been south myself in over 20 years!), where my husband and I visited a coffee plantation and got ourselves some green beans (we roast our own) from the source!

 

When I got back it was a slow start but now I’m back and in full-on creative mode. However, I’ve been neglecting the blog so I thought I should update you on goings-on.

First of all, I’m excited to announce that Lynn’s Lids sheepy wool dryer balls, catnip balls, and tea cosies will be available in another brick and mortar shop, this time in Millbrook, Ontario, at Anchor & Co, which has its grand opening this Sunday from noon to 5pm at 30 King St. E. in Millbrook. It’s also open Tuesdays-Saturdays 10am-5pm, I believe. Doesn’t it look like the sweetest little shop?

Anchor and Co, Millbrook, Ontario

CountyCupboardOnce I got back into work mode, I decided the first thing to ease myself in was to customize a French press coffee cosy for my friend Helen of County Cupboard. She choose the green and said she’d like something that looks like a compass. I looked over her company’s web presence and found an image with her new logo in it (right) and thought I’d do a simplification of it:

I was also faced with a little rejection news this week (sadly I will not be a the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale this September) and had to cheer myself up, so I decided to adorn an orange French press (Bodum) coffee cozy with something that would do just that: Amsterdam canal houses.

AmsterdamOrg5sm

And here’s a little video my 8 year old helped me make on Instagram showing you the full 360°:

And since I’ve also been neglecting my Etsy shop, that Amsterdam coffee cozy is up for sale in the Etsy shop, along with another Bodum cosy (click the photos to view the Etsy listings):

Lynn's Lids handmade French press cozy in purple with bistro

I will have to update my website to include coffee cosies as well, now, but it will have to wait a bit as we are starting some spring cleaning around here, and on Monday I am heading to a friend’s farm to see sheep shearing with my boys for the first time! I’m pretty excited and hope to get a few good photos and be able to tell you about the process afterwards.

Other than that, I had a custom order for a family cottage on a tea cosy:

 

I’ve been working on reusable coffee cup sleeves. They’ll keep your coffee warmer than those cardboard things, and you can use them for years! I’m thinking they may make a great teacher gift, or stocking stuffer come that time of year.

 

I’ve been enjoying the sun and above freezing temperatures around here:

First beach day! #nofilter #homeschool #BeachTO

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And I’ve been sketching. Lots of sketching.

P.S. The other brick and mortar shops are the Cobalt Gallery and Clay Studio (sheepy wool dryer balls and natural wool catnip balls) and Furballs Pet Stuff (natural wool catnip balls) 

Custom works

I love custom work. I find the challenge of creating something tangible from someone else’s imagination or an image they send pretty thrilling. And their ideas can be pretty fun!

A little less than 2 weeks ago I got an email request wondering if I could mcat hat mockup from clientake a cat hat from a schematic. It was perfect, and the new customer even included the colours she wanted from my existing products. Even better.

This was the schematic >

It turns out the schematic was made by a mutual friend of the customer’s and mine, so she knew my work and what I might need from her.  I finally finished it last night and I’m quite pleased with the result!

Lynn's Lids custom wool hat - cat toque hand knit and felted wool Lynn's Lids hand knit felted wool warm winter hat bespoke cat beanie

The other custom order I’ve been working on came from someone who had bought one of my tea cosies last year. She was drinking a coffee and thought she could use a cosy for her French press as well. And wouldn’t you know it, that was already in this year’s plan (as I mentioned the other day). So we planned colour and a custom image for her (since she already has the Toronto skyline) and I’m pretty pleased with this result as well! I even gave it a test run today, leaving my coffee in there for half an hour before I drank it and it was still steaming. Hurrah!

Lynn's Lids handmade coffee cosy Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool coffee cosy

Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool coffee cosy with Kitchener clock tower Lynn's Lids custom hand knit, felted wool French press coffee cozy with Kitchener clock tower

They were both mailed today and will hopefully get to their destinations tomorrow or Friday.

Happy new year!

Well… I’m down to my last custom order of the season, which isn’t due for a week or two, so things are calming down.  Determined to finish some custom dachshunds (that were ordered a while back, but not for Christmas) in 2014, I finished off these guys last night:

I have been thinking a lot about the past year of Lynn’s Lids, and how amazing it has been. Highlights include:

  • being a vendor for the first time in the Etsy Section at the Spring One of a Kind Show, Cabbagetown Art & Craft Sale, and the first Etsy: Made in Canada flagship sale
  • heading out of the GTA for the first time to Niagara for the Christmas HandMade Market
  • setting Etsy goals and surpassing them
  • managing my family (we homeschool our 2 boys), home, and business while my spouse was away for 4 weeks with a family emergency during November. I had to back out of 1 sale but we fared very well, with help from my friends and family! (If cancer taught me anything, it’s to ask for help when you need it.)
  • expanding my product line to include tea cosies, iPad sleeves, new orb ornaments and a TARDIS or two!
  • having my dryer balls in Style at Home!

In upcoming news, I have a needle felting class in St. Catharines, which should be fun! This came about from the Niagara HandMade Market, at which I worked away needle felting more ornaments (the family emergency meant I didn’t have as much stock as I needed). A woman and her friend and I got to talking about needle felting and so we planned to get 4-6 of her friends together and have a class in her dining room. The class is 2 hours and they will learn to make an owl, with techniques to make any number of 3-dimensional wool sculptures. The students receive a felting foam and 2 general purpose (38 gauge) needles and the wool to make their owl (see below).

If you are in the GTA and interested in hosting your own beginner’s needle felting class, leave a comment or contact me.

The Leslieville Flea

Also in upcoming news, I’ll be at the Leslieville Flea on Sunday, January 18 from 10am-4pm in the Fermenting Cellar in the historic distillery district. I hope to have every style of hat that I make with me, so if you’ve been thinking about getting yourself a nice warm hat, come down the the Leslieville Flea in 2 weeks! A new style that is really an old style that will be available is below – the rolled brim hat. You can thank my mother, who saw a photo of it and asked me why I don’t make it anymore… Who can say no to their mom?

One more thing in upcoming news: I am currently creating an e-commerce site! I get inquiries and emails from my current website, but I’m hoping to get something a little more professional up there that is easy to update (I currently update the site using TextMate and editing the HTML – yes, I was a geek before I was a mom and an artisan). So stay tuned for that… it’s coming very soon!

Regarding the aforementioned expansion of my product line, customised iPad sleeves were the name of the game this year:

A custom iPad mini sleeve. Love this magenta!

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An #iPad Air sleeve awaiting a button for the #wienerdog lover!

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Finished custom iPad sleeve for the avid camper!

A post shared by Lynn W, Amherst Is. ON Canada (@lynnslids) on

Among the many things I learned this year is this: There are a million different sizes and shapes of tea pots out there. And it’s a good thing I love math, because it’s coming in handy now with the custom circumferences and heights, etc.

Anyway, off to bed now. May 2015 bring you good health, humour and happiness.

Upcoming shows & new work

My sincere apologies to the people to whom I spoke at the October Leslieville Flea and assured I would be at the holiday market. Due to a family emergency I am not able to attend. I will be back in January, however, at the historic Distillery District’s Fermenting Cellar.

In December, I have 2 back-to-back sales coming up in Leslieville. If you follow the blog then you know about the Artisan Social (check out some of the artisans) on Sunday, December 7 from 1pm-5pm behind the Ceili Cottage (through the red gate) at the Studios of the Gilchrist Canavan School of Irish Dance (1301 Queen St. E.).

Crafternoon Tea in Leslieville

Also, on Saturday, December 6 from 11am-4pm, I’ll be at the 8th annual Crafternoon Tea down the road a bit (947 Queen St. E.) at the Queen Street East Presbyterian Church (SE corner of Queen & Carlaw), benefitting Nellie’s Shelter and Straight to the Streets. This is my first time at Crafternoon Tea and I’m excited to be a part of a great community event!

Also in shows, last weekend I was down in Niagara at the Honsberger Estate at my first HandMade Market which was a thoroughly enjoyable 3 day event!

Right now I’m back to catching up on custom orders, of which there are a few, like this custom (a newly created design) newsboy cap for a bun-wearer in the Canadian Prairies (made to fit over her bun and her ears, with the visor to keep the snow off her face. I’m happy to say it arrived yesterday and she loves it!):

And these fun custom dryer balls which are a gift for a frog lover:

And some more of these adorable little dachshunds:

I also have one more needle felting class at The Purple Purl coming up in December for beginners (the advanced class was last night). While at the HandMade Market some ladies asked if I could teach down there. I am happy to come to you to teach a beginner class if you can rustle up 5 learners (in Toronto, 4 is fine). You will each go home with a finished needle felted ornament of some sort (depending on the time of year and what we collectively decide), along with a felting foam and a felting needle or two (38 gauge), and the skills to create more on your own. If you’re interested in this fun and quick to learn craft, comment or contact me via my website for more information or email me: lynnslids [at] gmail [dot] com.

Etsy: Made in Canada & upcoming needle felting classes

Production is going well for the flagship Etsy: Made in Canada pop-up market at MaRS (Saturday, September 27 10am-4pm), even though a custom order for a birthday present came up and threw a spanner in the works for a bit with this:

However, there should be lots of hats to choose from, as well as some ornaments, tree toppers, dryer balls, tea cosies, and catnip balls.

For a roundup of all of the fellow artisan profiles I have for EtsyMICToronto, check out the EtsyMIC category.

And today the Toronto Etsy Street Team & 416 Hustler just released the workshop list for next Saturday’s event! Check it out (click for larger image or visit the TEST blog post):

FREE DIY workshops at Etsy: Made in Canada, September 27th at MaRS, 101 College St at University Ave, from 10 am to 4 pm

I also wanted to give a heads up about upcoming needle felting classes at the Purple Purl. The schedule isn’t up yet (because we just sorted it out and Jennifer will post it for newsletter time at the end of the month), but I am doing a beginner class making these pumpkins/jack o’lanterns on Tuesday, October 7 (7pm-9pm):

People have asked for an advanced class, so we will be making gnomes with wire armature you can move and position (your choice between male or female). For this class you will need to have taken the beginner class and/or be proficient in making and manipulating simple forms such as spheres and cylinders (legs, stems, arms) and should know how to properly needle and how to control the firmness of your fibre. The advanced class will be on Tuesday, November 18 (7pm-9pm). Call The Purple Purl 416-463-1162 to reserve your spot to either or both classes.

Pinterest board for Cabbagetown Art & Craft Sale

Just a quick note to say that:

a) the cats still love the bed.

b) I’ve made a Pinterest board for the artists with pinnable images (no flash, facebook or pin-blockers) for the Cabbagetown Art & Crafts Sale and it looks AMAZING. I am going to have to keep my shopping in check. Click on the image to view the whole board:

CbgtnPinterest

c) I’ve got some fellow artisan features coming up in the next week or two so stay tuned!