Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Actions speak louder.


Some powerful words, often heard - but how often taken to heart? I'm a parent, and having children has been the biggest motivator in changing my actions. I can tell them my expectations, I can try multiple reward systems and even teach them to pray for a changed heart; and that's the easy part of parenting! But how do I carry on conversations when I'm on the phone? Am I complaining? What is my attitude reflecting when I'm cleaning - my petty irritations, or joy? How do my husband and I deal with disagreements - selfishly or with grace? That's the hard part, I guess.

This also carries over into how I expect Benzie's customers to be treated. In both shops (felt and handmade) I strive for photos that communicate and descriptions that clearly and honestly state what it is that you're purchasing. I don't want there to be any unpleasant surprises! Benzie values integrity and it saddens me to come across shops that fib about the wool-content in their product or mislead a potential buyer on the way items are constructed. It's hard to show actions in an online world - but I want you to know that every garland is lovingly made, every description honest and each sheet of felt carefully packaged; wrinkles ironed out and promptly mailed to you my customer. I know how hard it is to wait for those packages! You might not see them - but these are my actions of appreciation for you - because actions always speak louder than words.

Image found via Oh, Hello Friend who found it via Atypical Type A (which may be my long lost crafting twin as her tag line reads "Creative Adventures of a Perfectionist") and final credit to the artist John Tibbot, whom I just supported by purchasing a print.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Felt like a tutorial: Birds

I love the onset of winter bringing with it spurts of activity from birds outside my windows. Once in awhile they all gather at the bird feeder – all of them: cardinals, blue birds, pigeons, chickadees, black birds, woodpeckers. And what a site it is to see, I catch myself walking by the window and stopping just to watch them. Pigeons, being lazy, stay underneath the feeder eating up dropped seeds. Bluebirds swoop in scaring away a family of chickadees into a nearby bush. Cardinals sit on the treetop waiting for their turn.
Most of the time, when I walk by the window, all I see are huge squirrels… they have figured out how to jump and slide down onto the bird feeder, hooking their back paws onto the feeding posts, hanging on with their front paws. They go to town eating as much seed as they can, working in teams; one squirrel on the ground while the other sloppily grabs food from the feeder. I always have high hopes that the birds will fly in and reclaim what is rightfully theirs! 

This month I have found a wonderful selection of felt bird tutorials to inspire you in your crafting adventures!

1. Bird in Flight – from While She Naps
Create some motion with wings spread wide and an open beak.
2. Bird Mobile – from Spool 
Handmade birds stationed on found sticks create a lively mobile. 
3. Spring Felt Birds – from Poppytalk 
Simple pattern with birds on a wire or to decorate a tree. 
4. Felt Bird – from Lavender’s Blue 
Simple stuffed bird makes a great winter friend for your home. 
5. Sweetie Bird – from Rhythm of the home 
Darling stuffed bird with wire feet. 
6. Felt Bird – from NZ House 
Button eyes and feather stitching details give this bird a crafty quality. 
7. Felt Bird Sachets – from Positively Splendid 
Stuffed with dryer sheets, these sachets combine fresh scents and cheer. 
8. Red Cardinal – from Apine industriose 
A realistic looking stuffed bird with bead eyes and twine feet. 
Perfect gift to make for a child, these bright birds are adaptable as a keychain or brooch.

Enjoy the winter season and the birds, and if the squirrels start to eat your bird seed, I’ve found that running outside and shouting, “Caw, Caw” at the top of your lungs startles them a bit. 

Jen Van Oosbree is an admirer of Benzie felt, graphic arts and anything Girls Scouts. She will be bringing monthly DIY selections to the world of Benzie Felt Fanfare.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughts of Summer

January is always a favorite for me -endless holiday list thrown away (finally!), empty calender, and a year full of possibilities ahead. And with that -so much energy and hopefulness in my heart. I anticipate adventures, new ideas and growth -in my family and in myself. But inevitably -hard times will come. I hope I will always find the Summer: bright, energetic and totally invincible.

Society 6 found via The Ardent Sparrow
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