Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Christmas Trees

christmas tree diyCelebrating the classic holiday centerpiece: the Christmas Tree!
1. Can't go wrong with this scallop cut tree by Allsorts -and the pattern is easy to understand!
2. Stand up trees by Joggles.
3. These little brooches by Purlbee are perfect for passing and adorning gifts!
4. Super excited about these bright and easy trees -must go see them at The Creative Salad.
5. Little embroidered trees by Cynthia Treen at Martha Stewart.
6. And a great craft for the kids by The Magic Onions.

Happy merry making to you!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Instagram Flashback: November

1. One of the things I love most about Benzie (which is a lot!) is building customer orders. One by one the colors come off the bolt to create the custom picked rainbow. Oh, the things it will become!
2. Every year the youth group in my church host a bake sale called Yule Time Market -it's a way to raise money for summer camps and service projects. My part is designing and creating the packaging for the cookies and soup mixes we sell -I love that I can use my ribbon gifts in this way!
3. Did you see the most recent tutorial round-up at Benzie? Seriously fun!
4. I was in charge of making place-settings at our families thanksgiving celebration. Each leaf was made individually using polymer clay and alphabet stamps. It was baked then painted with metallic acrylics. Totally want to make more!
5. I'm thankful for my husband. We may be totally different on the Myers-Briggs or Ennegram scale -but we both take our oath of "for better or for worse" seriously. There is unique sort of intimacy that happens under the umbrella of commitment and I'm thankful that I get to do life with him!
6. And closing out with this custom garland for a christmas tree! In Red, Fern and Sky.

See you next month!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Thanksgiving Feast

thanksgiving felt food diyHere in the U.S. -it's the month of thankgiving and feasting and Benzie is celebrating with our own Thankgiving dinner! This entire dinner is made with only 10 colors of felt -and even has it's own Benzie Collection. Thanks to all the wonderful crafters who put together these tutorials! 

1. Thanksgiving is complete without the Cranberries -and this tutorial is one of Benzie's very own. 
2. Hot cross buns! by ShellyInspired. We used Benzie felt in Toast and Ivory.
3. Turkey leg by Art Threads. Cinnamon and Latte felt was used.
4. Sugar snap peas (a favorite in our house) by Craftiness is not Optional in Zucchini felt.
5. Cutest little corn cob ever! Derived from While Wearing Heels in Ochre and Ivory.
6. And pumpkin pie from Little Dear at Sew, Mama, Sew in the color Pumpkin (of course), Ivory, and Latte. Go check out the original -it includes some great embroidery!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cranberry Jello -diy and pattern

Thanksgiving classics -turkey, green bean casserole and.... cranberries! And what better way to serve cranberries than in a jello mold?! Here's my contribution for the big day -a pattern and diy instructions so you can make your very own felt cranberry jello side dish!
felt jello diy
felt food pattern
1. Supplies: Benzie felt -I used Brick and Fern (and a scrap of Zucchini), matching thread, needle,  scissors, thread, bit of poly-fill (not pictured) and pattern.
2. First -cut all your piece out of the felt. The trapezoid and flower shapes are for the jello mold and the leaf shape is for the lettuce. First sew the trapezoid shapes together. I used a mixture of the back stitch and blanket stitch. You could also whip stitch but small and neat stitches are key. Then add the top and bottom of the mold and a bit bit of stuffing. 
3. Cut out mint leaves -and attach.
4. Cut out the lettuce leaf. To make the veins -I machine sewed the crease. This could also be handstitched. 
5. Lettuce!
6. Cranberry jello mold is complete!
felt thanksgiving pattern

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Instagram Flashback: October

1. There's my cute kiddos in their school uniform shirts -if you look closely one is wearing a praying mantis as a brooch. Stylish.
2. We harvested the rest of our little garden this month -and still have a large bucket of tomatoes in the fridge waiting to be made into tomato sauce. We roasted the carrots up with potatoes and peppers and onions. Teenagers even eat them -it's that good!
3. You didn't miss the launch of Benzie's two new colors did you? Love them! We also said goodbye to Sunset and Slate.
4. Benzie is also offering custom, multi-sized garlands in the handmade shop! Any 3 colors at 3 yards or try the 6 yards at a discount. Custom garlands are very popular on Benzie and now even easier to purchase!
5. The kids had several days off school -it was wonderful to have them home and confirmed even more that I'm a much better fit for school aged children! We had a fabulous time visiting family, crafting and loads of game playing (our current favorites being Chess, Go Fish, Uno and Farkle). We also tried waxing leaves by dipping them in paraffin wax. Just so you don't go to 6 stores like I did -you can find it in the candle aisle of big box craft stores.
6. Annie. I've been a Little Orphan Annie fan for years. I've seen the broadway production twice. I broke up with my boyfriend after each time (different boyfriend) -luckily I haven't made my husband see it with me. I want to keep him around for a while yet.

See you next month. For more instagram fun my name is @benziedesign.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finding your wings

This past summer I had the privilege of mailing a lovely package a felt over to Ashley Ann, my favorite blogger, hands down. She picked out the Geranium felt collection in the 12x18" size and said it was going to become a gift for her daughter. A beautiful gift of wings.

Ashley Ann talks about how the wings and headband was constructed on her blog but the original tutorial can be found at llevo el Invierno.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Raspberry Jam

I think most of you have noticed Benzie's newest additions -but a proper welcome is in order for two new beautiful colors!

Raspberry and Blue Raspberry -delicious!

These two new colors also deserve a new updated Heathered Color Collection -right in the shop.

The Heathered Collection coordinates perfectly with each other. I love the mason jar labels Lisa made just for Benzie -perfect for gift giving! You can purchase some of your very own from Sew Love the Day's shop. Thanks Lisa!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Costumes

A few of my favorite costumes for Halloween or just for dress-up. I'm especially loving the hooded sweatshirt takes -easy and quick!

1. Shark attack! from Fiskars.

2. Have girls? -make a bouquet! from Martha Stewart.

3. Lion hoodie by A Beautiful Mess.

4. Little Miss Sunshine via Real Simple.

5. Little Miss Piggy -love those ears!  via Real Simple.

6. Big bad wolf -another hooded sweatshirt! via Ellinee.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Instagram Flashback: September

1. September was full of organizing, cleaning, and restocking. See last months #4 on the reason for my recent interest in cleaning. But isn't that a pretty view of my studio?
2. The most anticipated craft show of the year -Renegade!! Here is what my friend Katie said about it... and senior citizens. Next year I'll take a cue from them and wear my white rubber soled sneakers, it's really not worth the blisters kids. My favorite vendor by far was Poppy and Fern -oh, my -her embroidered items were just beautiful! I picked up a bowtie wearing giraffe necklace, I'm told he knows how to party. I also got to say hi to Susannah Bean, one of my very first felt customers. But most importantly I got some good friendship time in with Katie. There's nothing like an old friend.
3. We took my new 6 year old to see Disney on Ice as a late birthday present. It was done well -in traditional Disney style. I definitely appreciated the more artistic and theatrical aspects and hearing my daughter gasp 'Ariel' at the sight of The Little Mermaid. It was magical for her. Not so much for big brother. P.S. Check out the felt wand she is holding -it's from the tutorial!
4. I've had this dream of making no-knead bread in my dutch oven. But first I had to get a dutch oven. When I finally got it for a steal at a garage sale it still just sat in storage until this month. But I made chicken in it instead. Anybody have some great bread recipes? Preferably whole grain ones?
5. More organizing. I love my needle holder from The Small Object. I got that at Renegade last year.
6. And we ended the month with an 8 year old! Really! A Nerf party was in order -I made bullet baggies out of felt of course. I think I'm going to like this year. He's becoming more thoughtful and I see seeds of kindness starting to sprout. In ten years he'll be a senior in high school. Oh the places he'll go!

See you next month. For more instagram fun my name is @benziedesign.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Magic Star Wand DIY

I recently created a star wand tutorial for Mayi Carles Heartmade blog. Felt, sequins and glitter -all sewed up to make some magic! Do you see the secret little pocket?

I chose the colors for the wands from the Mayi Carles collection at Benzie. Don't they look amazing together? If you haven't heard of Mayi -you're in for a treat! Her personality is magnetic and guaranteed to leave you encouraged, renewed and ready to take over the creative realm!

Here are the supplies I used -get the full tutorial here!

And make some magic!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Pillows

I am enjoying a few hours to myself each day while the kids are in school. Even if those hours are spent with me running around the house picking up, dusting, vacuuming, washing laundry and cleaning the kitchen – at least I am able to focus on my work with few distractions.

One thing I’ve noticed – with this huge increase in housework – is the disarray of our house! How did it get like this? Summer must cause rampant increases in dust growth and clutter buildup.

I am able to look at the home décor that surrounds me with fresh eyes, and one thing stands out – how lifeless the pillows are in our living room. This is the same living room that doubles as a gymnastics practice area and fort building center. The thought of making some fresh pillows with new fluff on the inside makes me happy – and I’m sure I could spare an hour or two of my cleaning to create some! With all of these styles below I may need to make a few of each.

1. Pretty Flower Pillow – from Better Homes and Gardens
Simple and sophisticated, create a floral pattern with felt on this cushy pillow.

2. United States Map Pillow – from The Children's Nest
A patterned fabric for the map on top of a basic felt pillow; you choose the heart's location.

3. Pillow with Rosette Clusters – from The Etsy Blog
Lots of folded felt circles create the texture on this stand-out pillow.

4. Triangle Pillow – from Creature Comforts
Very basic triangle shapes arranged how you please make an iconic design statement.

5. Sunburst Pillow – from Living Savvy
A basic pillow frame with strips of fabric looped around a small central circle, swap out felt for the pillow sleeve to have more durability.

6. Knotted Pillow – from Kris Krafting
Careful measuring and sewing will give you this beautiful pillow; worth the effort for the texture created.

7. Felt Monogram Pillow – from Little Lovelies
Matching monogram and basic pillow form team up for this classic couch comfort.

8. Felt Ruffle Pillow – from Persia Lou
It's easier than it looks to make this monochromatic ruffle pillow, simply pull the stitching strings.

9. Felt Flower Pillow – from Purl Bee
Make a statement with this layered felt pillow; careful measuring and cutting give you a striking design.

Jen Van Oosbree is a stay-at-home mom with two daughters and enjoys convincing her husband that being a stay-at-home mom is a lifelong career.  She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Instagram Flashback: August

1. Last month of summer started out with a camping trip to the Indiana Dunes -the dunes were beautiful! The bogs not so much due to our lack of rain -but I love the other wonderfully made treasures found on our hikes!
2. Iowa. Isn't it beautiful?
3. The Mister and me. I love being married to him!
4. See those little ones? This pic marks my first day as a mother to school aged children! I'll be honest, the past 7 years haven't been all magical play-doh time and bedtime cuddles. I've got two of the most rotten, stong-willed, obstinate children on the face of the earth. But before you read me wrong -I say all those adjectives with much love and admiration for children come out much like their parents. I have and continue to be sanctified by my children. Now I give their teacher a turn. 
5. Did you know that lentils are high in iron? Especially the brown ones. Red are much prettier though!
6. What do I do all day with my kids in school?! I've been cleaning out closets, cooking and of course crafting! Feels so good!

Happy September everyone! 
More instagram love @benziedesign...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Winner of the scallop wreath!

Congratulations to #18! Margaret, you can contact me to receive your lovely wreath or kit. Thanks to all who participated!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Introducing Scallop Wreath Kit & Giveaway!

I'm giddy -and I think you will be to. I have something for you that will make all you crafting machines happy and shout with joy! A diy wreath kit is here -and everything you need is in the kit. The instructions, the foam wreath and even the pins are included (well you'll need your fabric scissors). Can you say 'easy'?! Let's stop pinning girls -and get to the real meat -and you don't even need to go to the store for this one.

Have you seen some similar wreaths around? This wreath was originally found by Smile & Wave and then altered to make it work for a Crafternoon -and a few tweaks and packaging touches later -Benzie kits for all!

And you have five awesome color combos to choose from -I can't even pick my favorite! But go ahead -you can share yours and be entered in a giveaway for one of the kits (or I can even make you a finished one if you're not a crafty type!). Just enter your favorite combo and a winner will be announced on Monday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Owls

Owls sure look smart, and this is why we associate them with school studies. Now that August is here it's time again to prepare our children to return to the classroom. We pulled out the class supply lists last week and my older daughter was super excited to start gathering everything. We were able to locate 25 pencils amongst the debris from last year’s school remnants. I want to save money this year by using up the older supplies to their complete end before buying newer ones.

We did need to buy some additional items though – so we headed out to a store today to complete the task. A future kindergartener and a future 2nd grader each with list in hand, and a mom with a centrally parked cart ready to walk circles around and around the school products until each last item was located. Some items require specific knowledge… like the Vis-a-Vie markers. I felt like a pro finding them right away. We weren’t so lucky with the larger school box requested for 2nd grade though… we might have to wait and scope out what the other kids bring with them on the first day.

There probably won’t be any owls in the classrooms – those big, beautifully placed eyes are only handy for selecting prey in the wild. Owls do make awesome inspiration for art projects – simple and complex, flat and fluffy. I hope you enjoy these owls below with their variety, color and texture.

1. Owl Ornament – from Juicy Bits
This basic pattern is hand stitched together for a super cute owl.

2. Goodnight Owl Sleep Mask – from Ginger & George
Take a fashionable nap with this felt sleep mask; fusible webbing and some sewing make this doable.

3. Owl Stuffie – from Hammer & Thread
Replace the fabric with felt and stick with the more advanced sewing for a darling owl friend!

4. Plush Owl Pillow – from Joshua Trent
A simple pattern and fabric glue make a sweet home decor addition.

5. Felt Owl Measuring Tape – from Tiny Apartment Crafts
The embroidery work makes this owl a stand out, add the measuring tape in the middle for a useful tool.

6. Felt Owl Key Chain – from The Orchard in Bloom
Take this owl with you everywhere you go on your key chain; basic hand stitching is all that's needed.

7. Snuggly Owl – from Make It & Love It
The perfect pillow for anyone needing a soft squeeze; felt would work well with this pattern.

8. Felt Owls from Styrofoam Balls – from Factory Direct Craft
Cut out your felt pieces and glue them onto a styrofoam ball for this decoration.

9. Zakka Style Owl Pennant – from Moonstitches
For Christmas or just for fun, this pennant is easy to create.

Jen Van Oosbree is a stay-at-home mom with two daughters who loves volunteering on the Cultural Arts Committee at her kid's school. She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Instagram Flashback: July

1. Look at that plate -roasted walleye done Italian style. It was amazing! My husband and celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at a little resturant called La Sorella di Francesca. The food was delicious and the company even better. I love being married to my man. 
2. A little summer face painting party. So sweet!
3. A completed tote bag! I loosely followed patterns and instructions from the book 1-2-3 Sew. Super helpful and super detailed for a beginner sewer -but it stilled turned out a bit smaller than anticipated:  making it a perfect bag for my 5 year old daughter! Oh, and I finally used up my souvenir fabric from a trip to San Fransisco 3 years ago!
4. Functioning vintage signage is always a treat!
5. I spent a week with 4500 high-schoolers -learning about privilege and lack there-of, surrendering to Jesus and some hard work at an urban farm. 
6. And closing with my little professional strawberry slicer!

More instagram love @benziedesign...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Party!

One of the best things about planning a party is taking a theme and applying it to every last detail. The atmosphere, food, games and decorations all relate to shape a unique experience. An ordinary room or space is transformed into something magical. Adding drama with a huge mobile in the dining room, or hundreds of paper lanterns at a picnic shelter; parties give us the opportunity to think outside the box with our décor.

The anticipation of a party is also a wonderful thing, especially for children that may have helped plan along the way. They know there will be few limitations on the goodies, drinks and fun to be had, and there will be lots of friends around to partake in the festivities.

When you begin to plan your next party, consider using felt. It is an inexpensive way to add bold color and handmade detail to your gathering. Garlands, banners, party hats, gift wrapping, bows, mobiles, cake toppers – there is no end to the joy you can create with felt.

1. Rainbow Table Runner - Say Yes to Hoboken
Triangles of felt are ironed onto a heat and bond backing for a quick result.

2. Felt Birthday Hats - Princess Lasertron
Saturate the felt with stiffening spray then add homemade ruffles and a pom pom. 

3. Felt Flower Garland - Mom it Forward
Felt flower shapes are hot glued together around green ribbon. 

4. Felt Crown - hellobee
Two colors of felt are shaped together to create a fun crown for party guests.

Pinking shears and stitch witchery make this project very simple to complete.

6. Ruffle Garland - My Blessed Life
A needle and twine are all you need to work your felt strips into ruffles.

7. Felt Gift Bows - Prudent Baby
Nine strips of felt are twisted into loops and glued on top of each other to shape this lasting bow.

8. Cake Topper - Wedding Chicks
Felt makes a great cake topper, this embellished heart uses fabric glue and a few stitches.

9. Modern Colorful Mobiles - Project Wedding
Replace the paper in this tutorial with felt, add some stiffening spray, and stitch them into a row.
Jen Van Oosbree is a stay-at-home mom with two daughters and enjoys spending the summer at the local library. She brings monthly DIY selections to the colorful world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Instagram Flashback: June

1. First thing on Junes bucket list was a visit to the Art Institute to see Roy Lichtenstein's exhibit. Images of hotdogs, comic strips and out of proportion brush strokes filled each room as we walked through his early images of Mickey Mouse to his final landscape images. All made with his signature pattern of dots -inspired by newsprint -but painted, not printed by hand and with a help of a stencil. Big, bright and bold -this is how I would paint, if I were a painter.

2. We are crazy about Legos over here! My son wakes up playing with them, talks about Legos when he can't play and falls asleep building. Every day! We spent some time organizing by color -here's the gray pile. Good thing I like organizing!

3. Easy meal: Get a tortilla, add favorite pizza toppings and grill. Feta and dill and lovely additions.

4. Our church has a day camp of sorts (vbs anyone?) every summer and this year I took on as the craft lady. You wouldn't think it to be difficult to come up with five 15 minute crafts -would you? I totally underestimated the time constraints thus it ended being a bit crazy. This watercolor day was my favorite.

5. Our first family vacation ever! Well, we have taken trips before -but always with family and friends and not just the four of us. We stayed at a little resort in Wisconsin -swimming, putt-putting, canoeing and enjoyed just being us.

6. We also did a bit of geocaching and gave up on our first one ever -but not without a fight! We went two different days -three different times (one time through thick buggy woods) with 2 different gps's. It was located in an active logging forest so it must have gotten logged away. But at least I got a cute picture in of my little troopers!

Also -remember Crafternoon? Read more about it on Katie's Blog -did someone say 'tattoo parlor'?!

Enjoy your summer and more Benzie instagram photos, my name is benziedesign. See you there!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Crazy strong, ultra attractive and super magnetic. The only magnets made by Benzie.

These wool felt covered domes are 1 1/2 inches wide -making it functional and beautiful wherever they stick. And get this: they can hold well over 15 sheets of paper. Really, truly! Eight different color combos, three magnets to a pack and attached to a shiny card.

Now that's magnetism.
Currently available in the shop.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shop Exchange

Several months ago I participated in a shop exchange sponsored by Oh, Hello Friend -we were paired according to similar shop aesthetic. Check out what I sent:

A custom ordered neapolitan garland and a matching set of magnets.
And what did this lucky girl get?

A beautiful ceramic lunch tray! Handmade by In Her Words -seriously lovely and perfect for lunch. But let's not set limits -I use it as a jewelry organizer!

This was my first exchange ever -and so worth it! Oh, Hello Friend is currently hosting a Lovely Packaging exchange -don't miss your chance!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Kids Crafts

Summer has arrived at our household and I’m going for a multi-tiered approach of activities; utilizing both a ‘bucket-list’ and an ‘I’m bored’ container. The ‘bucket-list’ is an actual bucket with clothespins around the top, each one with a different place or fun item written on it. Once we complete an activity, we put the clothespin into the bucket. It’s a great way for the kids to visually see how many awesome things we’ve done so far!

The ‘I’m bored’ container is a way for the kids to entertain themselves if I’m in the middle of preparing a meal and can’t drive anywhere or help them get something started. Within the first hour of summer on the first full day of no school for either of my children, all ‘I’m bored’ activities were read and completed or deemed unworthy. I might need to look into a third tier here… since there are several more weeks of summer staring me in the face. Maybe I need a ‘Mommy needs a break’ bucket, filled with relaxing suggestions of ways I can take a few moments for myself and breathe deeply in between trips to the swimming pool and library? The problem is – I would enjoy it way too much and probably work my way through that bucket within the first day as well!
These felt craft projects should provide several solid hours of entertainment for the kids, and maybe for the parents too!

1. Juice Box Monsters – from Crafts by Amanda
Wrap up an empty juice box with felt and create a scary face.

2. Camp Charm Bags – from Family Fun
With a little basic sewing, kids can create their own treasure bag.

3. Felt Crown – from Somewhere in the Middle
Shape a crown out of felt and add an elastic band, genius!

4. Coffee Cozy – from That Artist Woman
Basic embroidery and a piece of felt make a cute Father's Day gift.

5. Ocean Scene – from Craftster
Use this as inspiration for helping your little ones create their own felt masterpiece.

6. Felt Flower Tiara – from This is Me Inspired
Lace pre-cut felt flowers onto pipe cleaners for a beautiful tiara.

7. Flower Rings – from Givers Log
Layer felt and fabric, add a button center and the pipe cleaner creates a ring.

8. Acorn Owls – from Designer: Helen Bird
Add eyes, beaks and wings to a few acorns and you have a play land!

9. Felt Decorated Journal – from Better Homes and Gardens
Cover a journal with felt and personalize the front with more felt shapes.

Jen Van Oosbree is a stay-at-home mom with two daughters and enjoys spending the summer at the local swimming pool. She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Instagram Flashback: May

Instagram has got to be my favorite social media to date. No words -just photos -and so easy! Click and post all in an instant! Take a peak @benziedesign, I tend to share more outside of the Benzie realm here. This is some of May's memories:
1. Updated business cards -they should go out soon!
2. Sugar scrubs leftover from Crafternoon -seriously easy: Sugar + Olive Oil + few drops of essential oil and you've got yourself a scrub!
3. Husband graduated and got himself an M.Div -and figuring out life. (Really -shouldn't we have that done by now?!)
4. Working on a little backstitch. I've definitely got that down -how about you?
5. Little gift from my sister-in-law and her brand new etsy shop!
6. Every six weeks it's my turn to go to the farm for our co-op. My children so look forward to this and I reflect on the rural, supposedly more simplistic life. Maybe it's just me trying to figure out life again?

See you on Instagram!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Embroidery Basics: Backstitch

The backstitch is one of the most basic stitches of embroidery and is most commonly used to outline. My favorite use for the backstitch is applique on linen or when stitching Benzie's felt together. Pretty and easy!

Here is a step by step photo tutorial:
1. Working from left to right -bring your needle to the front at point one and back down again at point two.
2. Now your needle is under your fabric -bring it back up at point three making sure of even and straight stitches.
3. Backstitch through point one.
4. There you go! Your first backstitch is complete!
5. A completed row.
6. And for the backside. 

And to make this super clear -a diagram below. The top of the line represent the front side of the fabric and the bottom represents the back of the fabric.
Up at 1, down at 2. Under to 3 and back to 4...
And again! See -pretty and easy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Flowers!

Flowers are like fireworks, displaying their color and beauty for a short time and then fading away. We have to be alert to even notice some of them at all. Especially those that only bloom once in the Spring and then wait another year before putting on a show. Other flowers are more generous, giving us beauty for an entire season, seducing butterflies and hummingbirds.

Selecting my favorite felt flowers was a challenge since all of them capture a different element of assembly that makes them charming in their own right. Some are loosely folded together and hot glued, while others are meticulously sewn together petal by petal. They can be attached to hair clips, purses, brooches, or added to stems for a long lasting bouquet.

I chose the most interesting flower creations to inspire you to try something new with felt for this month of May flowers.

1.       No-Sew Felt Flower – from Marryl All Write
These petite flowers are added to barrettes and a stretchy headband.

2.   Large Felt Flower – from Tres French Hens 
Flower petals with seams down the middle to add depth.

3.       Flower Pin – from Jones Design Company
A little hot glue and a few shapes of felt create this pin.

4.       Gray Felt Flowers – from Craftaholics Anonymous
Strips of felt are twisted and stitched for this loose creation.

5.       Felt Tulips – from While She Naps
A bouquet of tulips to last you for years, these are very realistic.

6.       Felt Flower – from Food, Wine & Mod Podge
After this is all stitched up it's ready to be put wherever you want it!

7.       Felt Flower Hair Clip – from Ordinary Mommy Design
This simple, flat flower benefits from embroidered details.

8.       Felt Rose – from How Joyful
I confess... these are my favorite; the layers on the outside and the compact center are gorgeous.

9.       Felt Brooch – from Betz White
Lots of separate petals give this flower a fun, happy feel.

Jen Van Oosbree enjoys the versatility of Benzie felt, slow strolls through the garden and camping with her family. She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Curator: Aimee Ray from Little Dear

I cannot wait to introduce you to Benzie's newest curator -she is an author, illustrator and embroidery designer. In fact -she has even taught me how to embroider. Well -not in the "face-to-face, let's have some tea" sort of way -but I have gotten quite cozy with her book "Doodle Stitching" and owe all my french knots and chain stitches to her! Here she is: Aimee Ray of Little Dear.

Aren't her patterns just perfect! And everyone needs a gnome -right? You'll have to visit her shop for even more patterns (and gnomes!). Check out the matryoshka dolls pattern -it is my favorite!

And what good does a pattern have without it's coordinating felt pack? I love the colors that Aimee chose for her Benzie Color Collection: Blush, Strawberry, Cotton Candy, Butter, Fern, Pistachio, Swan, Icicle, Sky and Toast. Perfect candy land colors!

Check out more of Aimee Ray, Little Dear:

And get the Little Dear's Color Collection at Benzie. But there is more -Aimee has included a little gift for those who purchase her felt collection -but for a limited time. Oh how surprises make everything sweeter! Go quick & get crafting!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Anemone Brooch by Benzie

I've been working on a little project -a brooch inspired by an anemone. They are gorgeous flowers -large petals with dark button centers and distinctive stamen. Just gorgeous and I envisioned one as a brooch. I made my first one over a year ago -it looked something like this:I've worn it a lot over the past year, even fulfilling some custom orders for friends. This gave me the opportunity to refine, tweak, perfect and refine some more (yep -total perfectionist!!). And now I have some ready in Benzie's handmade shop -and just in time for mothers day!
Loving the little french knots!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Felt like a Tutorial: Wreaths

Is there a more classic decoration than the wreath? Whether it greats your guests at the front door, hangs above the fireplace, or graces a wall in your home, the wreath is a timeless form of creative expression. Wreaths are very popular these days as people free themselves from the traditional and explore bolder adaptations.

Historically wreaths have symbolized many things; by being displayed at a funeral or memorial service, they represent the circle of life. When they are made of dried grains and flowers and put out in the Fall they celebrate harvest time. In ancient Greece and Rome they were even used to show an occupation or rank. Amazingly, the wreath is still just as familiar today as it has been throughout history.

When deciding whether to hang a wreath in my own home, I find the circle of life meaning to be what the wreath represents for me. But these days, the more fashionable the wreath – the better! You can jazz them up with felt in many ways and there’s no end to the possibilities. I hope you find these wreath selections inspiring!

1.       Autumn Wreath – from Withywindle
Change the colors to fit the season with this 1 hr. creation.

2.       Leaves & Lace Felt Wreath – from burlap & blue
Create texture with overlapping layers of curled felt.

3.       College Colors Argyle Yarn Wreath – from Spirals & Spatulas
Support your favorite team while decorating!

4.       Felt Flower Wreath – from Twig & Thistle
Floral elements pop from this jazzed up wreath.

5.       Leafy Felt Wreath – from mollee sullivan
Change this wreath to match the season, swapping out the daisies for red berries.

6.       A Pretty Rosie Wreath – from the pretty poppy
Contrast elegant felt roses with textured twigs.

7.       Ruffles & Yarn Wreath – from Six Sisters’ Stuff
Simple and fun, add as many ruffles as you please!

8.       Nonna Wreath – from Jones Design Company
Bunch and scrunch the felt around this wreath to create texture.

9.       Scalloped Felt Wreath – from a bit of sunshine when skies are grey
Choose your favorite colors to make this wreath pop! 

Jen Van Oosbree enjoys the versatility of Benzie felt, the awesomeness of graphic design and the fun of Girl Scouts. She brings monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.
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