Friday, 23 May 2014

Materials and Techniques - 'Fiddle dee Dee'

So many crafts, so little time! I love finding out about what other people in the creative world are doing, so every second Friday I run a series of interviews about the materials and techniques that others use. Today I am talking with Deanna, who hand-stitches felt food and other toys for children. My three-year-old daughter, sitting on my lap as I type, says that we should get some of these, they look great. Deanna is based in Gainesville, Florida in the United States and her store is Fiddle dee Dee. She is a fellow EtsyKids team member.

 Please tell us a little about yourself. 

My husband and I have been married almost 31 years. We have two wonderful daughters (and two great sons-in-law). Our oldest daughter is expecting in early July – our first grandchild! We enjoy travelling, camping and home DIY. This year the DIY projects are taking most of our spare time – we’ve remodeled our kitchen and are now working on the first of two bathrooms. 

My daughters introduced me to Etsy. That’s when I found the felt food patterns and I knew I wanted to make some. Many of my patterns come from other Etsy sellers. I have modified a few of them, and I’ve also come up with some of my own. Now that our family is growing, I have another reason to continue making felt toys. It will be fun to have my own product testers!

What materials and techniques do you like to use? 

In my handmade shop, Fiddle dee Dee, I use a lot of felt. I discovered felt when I was looking for a project I could take with me on a long flight. I found out very quickly that wool blend is great to work with. It holds up better than the craft-store felt and comes in many more colours! I also use cotton for dolls and for the stamped bags I make for my packaging. Most of the felt food is hand-stitched while I watch TV in the evening. I always have several projects in progress, so I can pick which one I want to work on.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process? 

I have so many ideas for things I want to make, and not enough time to do it all; but my biggest challenge is the marketing. There are so many social media outlets! It’s been fun to get involved with some new people and shops on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Scheduling some of my promoting has also been a real timesaver. I’m also on several good Etsy teams – a great place to find help and support.

What is coming up next?

I recently started my own blog. It is a slow process, because of time constraints, and because the writing doesn’t come easy. I’ve also wanted to open a second shop for a while. I am happy to say that I opened my supply shop, Busy Little Bird, in late March, and I’m looking forward to expanding it over the next few months!

After my husband retires, we’re planning to take some longer trips. Many to visit the grandchildren, I’m sure! I’ll have plenty of time for sewing and working on my shops. No matter what, I know I’ll always be busy!

And some coupon codes for you!

At Fiddle dee Dee, use coupon code FELTFUN15 for 15% off any order.
At Busy Little Bird, use coupon code BUSYBIRD for 10% off any order.

All images provided by Deanna of Fiddle Dee Dee.

Did you enjoy this interview? Want to read some more? Check out the rest of the materials and techniques series. Or let me know if you would like to contribute.

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