The first time I visited Futuregirl's site I had been searching the internet for tips on hand stitching felt. I wanted to make a couple of small toys and dolls for my first daughter and found some very easy-to-follow instructions on Alice's blog. I lingered on her site for quite some time, reading her past posts and getting to know her through her writing. When I started this little blog, one of the first posts I wrote was about the felt projects I completed using her tutorials. I ignored my shyness and sent her an email with my link. She replied and featured my bag in a post about projects from her tutorials.
Several months later she wrote a wonderful piece about blog comments and I left a reply. I told her about how thankful I was for her encouragement and kind words for my fledgling blog and artwork. We've kept in touch since, via our blogs and twitter.
Another few months (or maybe a year) later, Alice asked me if I was interested in a trade. A painting for some embroidery, knitting or crochet. I may have made an audible 'squee' sound while I replied YES! After exchanging a few emails in which I showed her links as to what type of cowl I might like and colour, I got to work on her painting.
Actually, I had a few moments of panic first. Ohmygod, what have I agreed to? My painting's going to blow and she'll wonder why she ever asked me to trade. Can I get out of this without embarrassing myself? No, no, no, it'll be fine. Just going to do one quick Hail Mary before I tuck this into the postbox. FINGERS CROSSED! While she may not have done the same desperate internal dialogue, it turns out she too gets anxious over trades and was hoping I loved the cowls.
OF COURSE I loved the cowls! They are warm grey, soft and all around beautiful! Plus, I was only expecting one. Imagine my delight when I open the package and find two; one crochet an one knit. I can't wait until our weather shifts just a little bit more so I can wear them.
When creating Alice's main painting, I layered several washes of colour from light to dark. I drew the triangles and filled them in with gouache then outlined them with ink and drew the trees. Alice mentioned she was reading The Hobbit, so I did a little research and pulled a quote I thought was appropriate for life in general. The very last item was four sheets of hand painted watercolour stickers for her correspondence.
The only detail I left out was a title for the main painting. If I had waited to mail it until I could think of a title, it would still be sitting in my studio. I managed to name two little humans, but when it comes to artwork, I'm always stumped. Any suggestions?
This has been a fantastic summer project. One I'm hoping we'll keep up over the years. It's also inspired me to finally tackle the large canvases I have in our main living space. Lots of colour and forest themes are in order!