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The "Felt Club" experience!

Black Friday has been advertised as the official start to the "Christmas Shopping" frenzy. Personally, it is the one day of the year that I try to avoid the local mall. I have found great treasures in the "Indy Craft" shows. Handmade items are always fun and finding unusual items is an adventure. One of the best places in Los Angeles to find "Indy" gifts is the annual "Felt Club" show. Everything is colorful and made of interesting (if not unusual) materials. Here are some pictures from the last one I attended at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.  They do hold one each year at a variety of locations.

Visitors to the show started lining up at 6:00 a.m. to get the fabulous "Goody Bag" which included a book from the "Craftside Publishing Group", felt, beads, and an interesting assortment of really fun craft supplies. I got a plastic gun and a plastic bow and arrow which eventually were turned into earrings (yes these were small).

If you have never attended a "Felt Club" event, you are truly missing out on a wonderful opportunity to see a tremendous range of "Indy" designs and crafters.  

The "Sweater Surgery" recycled sweater tree.      The purse above is a project from the book (Sweater Surgery by Stefanie Girard), this purse is completely made of recycled and felted sweaters.  It is stunning in person.  I just loved the color pallet.

The ever wonderful "Angela Cartwright" well known  for her acting career in shows like "Make Room for Daddy", "Lost in Space"  and other fabulous films and shows. Her  IMBD page has a great listing of her extensive career.  For our purposes, I am focusing on her writing and design talent.  I have all of her books and they are fabulous.  The "In This House" book is "a collection of Altered Art Imagery and Collage Techniques" featuring the work of some very talented designers.  It also has some really instructions on how to make your own book with some great artwork you can use.  Her instructions are limited on purpose to allow for the reader to really make the project "their own".   My favorite book  is "Mixed Emulsions" because the material in that book is applicable to so many different projects.  She is talented and generous with her knowledge.  As well as a lovely person to meet in person.   I can not wait for her next book to be published so I can add it to my library.

Below is Lisa Sonora Beam, the author of  "The Creative Entrepreneur" (Quarry Books).   She was at the show giving mini demonstration of her projects and doing book signings for fans.  She also held a "Make-it & Take-It" that was quite popular.  Her book is geared towards the creative individuals and empowering them to take charge of their business in a way that makes sense.

Lisa Sonora Beam book signing

The "Threadbanger DIY" group came by to film interviews with the various authors and crafters.

Annual Clothing Swap took place on the second floor of the Shrine. This is an opportunity to refurbish your old wardrobe with some new ( to you...) clothing.  The idea of swapping clothing is getting more and more popular.  It is a fun way to add to your wardrobe and to delete somethings as well.

Below is a view from the second floor looking down and the very crowded room full of happy crafters and shoppers.  There really was something for everyone at this show.  Be it shopping, workshops, food, and/or the clothing swap.

Upstairs, they held  clothing swap and any left over clothing was donated to a local charity.  They also had a bunch of work stations where visitors could deconstruct and re-make their new clothing finds. They had a row of sewing machines and all types of lace, ribbons, patches, button, etc. to accent an article of clothing.  As well as some great coaches on hand to lend an opinion or two.

Back to shopping:
There was a booth that had adorable skirts, purses, etc. made from vintage fabrics combined with newer materials.

Craftside Publishing had several "Make-it and Take-its" throughout the event.  The "Sweater Surgery" felt flower class was a hit with the crowd.

 Present at the show were several of the designer jewelry contributors
  to the "1,000 Pieces of Jewelry"    book (Quarry Books) 

To the right,  is Shari Bonnin whom you may have seen on several episodes of "DIY Jewelry Making" on the DIY Cable Channel.  Shari is well known for beadwork. Shari has an Etsy store.  She can be found either selling or attending jewelry shows in Los Angeles and Orange County.

Adjowah Brody of the "Weekend Store" jewelry designs (#0737 p.227) also had a booth at the show.  Her jewelry ranges from typewriter buttons to art pieces that are stunning.  She also has an Etsy store, but I have to say that seeing her work in person is so much more fun.

Old Wood jewelry box recycled into Serenity Shrine

Recycling old boxes into shrines or photo collage boxes is a fun way to use up some of the old papers, beads, and other oddities you may have around.

This is an old jewel box that I had in the garage. Instead of tossing it out, I decided to recycle it into a "Serenity Shrine". After I sanded the box down, I painted with Plaid "Folk Art" paints. I like using their thicker paints, because they flow better and provide a nice even coverage.

After the paint dried, I sealed the box. Then using "Modge Podge", I decoupaged some old paper ephemera to the outside of the box. Then I decorated it with some of cool asian pieces that I had picked up in San Francisco.


sand wood and remove dust.

Allow paint 24 hours to dry in the summer (48 hours in the winter). This allows the "Modge Podge" to adhere better to the wood. Also, pick paints that compliment your paper ephemera. The wrong color pallet can affect the overall theme you are trying to achieve.