Friday, 12 December 2008

Some food for thought? perhaps felt food?

I currently take care of three children ranging in age from 6 months to 7 years old. The 4 year old has a little wooden kitchen where she whips up all kinds of imaginary meals, especially pasta. However, she uses mom's real pasta from the pantry to throw in the pot and boil(all pretend of course). So you can imagine how they get on the floor, stepped on and broken and just messy. While browsing the Internet for a little something to give this one child in particular, I came across some wonderful felt food on Etsy. And of all things, some felt Penne as well as felt bow tie pasta!!! Of course I purchased the felt Penne as well as some really adorable pancakes that have a topping of felt strawberries and a splash of sewn on syrup.

The women behind the felt food extravaganza is Becky Morello, and she doesn't just stop at pasta and pancakes. At her shop one can find tons of colorful vegetables, even delectable looking deserts, all made of felt of course so that makes them fat free. Oh and lets not forget my personal favorite, pop tarts. Whether you purchase them to add some fun to your home decor or your stocking up that little ones play kitchen, just know that your buying an incredible handmade item, something I doubt you will find in any store.

Becky told us the following:

" I'm a stay at home mom of my 2.5 year old daughter Sydney. My husband's in the military so we are out here in the northwest part of Florida. I really don't sit still very well. I love to craft, bake, clean, and exercise. Even though, I do enjoy napping! : ) I am so blessed to be able to do what I am doing right now - meaning to stay at home and craft on a daily basis. I also have a personal blog:"

Now its that time to read more about the lady who creates in felt!

1.Tell us a little about yourself including your creative background. Any formal art/craft training or all self taught?

I have been crafting my whole life. My mom was a quilter and taught me to sew. My dad's hobby is woodworking and creating beautiful furniture. Together they remodeled many old homes and did everything themselves. My motto, which comes from my dad," I can make that!"

What veered you
into the direction of creating with felt? When was it that you first picked up this c
I started making felt food during all the recalls of toys coming from China. I wanted to make something safe for my daughter and my niece. I don't really know how all the food came about. I think it just was a "I can make that" moment. Felt was great choice because it comes in a lot of colors, doesn't fray and is pretty easy to use. So I made a set of fruits and veggies for them and decided to make one to see if I could sell it. They sold very quickly and the rest is history.

3. Are you inspired by anything in particular? How do you keep things fresh and come up with new ideas?
I usually think of new foods as I lay in bed about to fall asleep. I guess my mind starts winding down and I'm able to think more clearly! : ) My new ideas comes from customers asking for specific requests (ie: sandwich, apricot, spaghetti & meatballs), things I eat on a regular basis, or things I see at grocery stores or restaurants. With all the delicious real food out there, it's endless possibilities.

4. Your attention to detail is amazing, I especially love the pasta you sell, its gonna be perfect for the little kid that steals mom's pasta to fake cook with. How long does it take to complete a piece, for instance the pancakes and strawberries?

It's hard to say for each piece because I usually make them in big batches. For example, make 10 pancake & strawberry sets at a time. It's a lot quicker that way. If I'm left to work, I can get a lot done in afternoon or night.

5. Describe your work space, where do you create, and when usually sew.
I have a room in the back of the house that's my craft room. I'm so fortunate to have a whole space for me and I totally take advantage of it. Everything in that room I just love, to the color of the walls, my tables, decorations. I have to admit during the holiday season, my busiest time, it takes over all tables in the house! I usually sew during my daughter's nap time, Saturday mornings, and from 9 to 11 pm at night.

6. Besides sewing felt goods, are there any other crafts that you love to get involved in? Are there any that you would love to learn?

I would love to be able to do all sorts of crafts like knit or make jewelry but I've come the realization that I can't do everything! Even though, I have been doing some needle felting (which is very addicting). But really I say I sew and scrapbook and for the rest - I'll support other great crafters out there!

7. Seeing that the world of handmade is growing bigger and bigger everyday and lots of people are looking to list on Etsy, what advice would you give to would be Etsy sellers? And the pros and cons of selling your work.
My big piece of advice to Etsy sellers is to take great pictures. If you take great pictures, other sellers are more apt to put you in treasuries or Etsy will pick you for various promos and this is huge - it's free promotion and it works! The pros of Etsy is I'm able to be at home with my daughter but still craft on a daily basis and make money doing it. The cons is sometimes I can't separate down time from work time since it all happens at home. I always feel like I could be doing something.

8. Every crafter/artist has their favorite tools/supplies...................if you had to choose three of your very favorite, which ones would you pick?

A serger (I don't use this for my food but I absolutely love it for all other sewing), polka dot fabric or paper (it's all just so cute), glitter (everything looks better with a little sparkle).

9. I tend to get have a few people that really inspire me. Do you have any? Perhaps a famous artist? author?

I love Ali Edwards scrap booking stuff - it's all so clean and well put together. What really got me back into sewing was Amy Butler fabric. It's just so fresh and new with the larger prints and big colors.

10. Any resources you might share as well as advice to someone who is looking interested in sewing up some felt pieces of their own?

I've noticed there is a couple sellers on Etsy that sell patterns for felt food or if your confident in your sewing abilities there looks to be some fantastic Japanese felt food books around. And remember to tell yourself "I can make that!" but if you really don't want to you know you can always visit my shop! : )

If your in the market for some hand sewn felt goodness, be sure to visit Becky's Etsy shop!


jen renee said...

wow, BEAUTIFUL stuff!

The Jen said...

I love the BeckyM shop! Its been a favorite of mine for a while.

~Jen of ReannaLily Designs~

Leigh said...

Awesome stuff Becky! Great detail!


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