Thursday 16 January 2014

A New Friend {with JoFY stamps by Designer Jo Firth-Young}

Hi everyone.  Hope this blog post finds you well. I'm Jo Firth-Young, designer of the JOFY range of stamps.  In the 18 months of multiple stamp releases I have really enjoyed designing each set and seeing what YOU make with them even more!

A while back I made a 'Critter' (my weird little creations made from fabric) for PaperArtsy - you may have seen him on the stand at shows - he sometimes likes to tag along (& he pops up on several pages of the PA site). 

He's called PAMM (PaperArsty Mini Mascot) and he was created using PaperArtsy Minis - and not how you would normally see them used, go here to see the stamps used and more of the Mini designs.

I thought it was time he had a friend to keep him company and so here she is.

She looks like fun doesn't she?  She may lead PAMM into all kinds of trouble and she'll definitely lead him onto the dance floor. lol I've decided to call her PAGG (PaperArtsy Glamorous Girlfriend).

Critters are quirky little fabric creations I make - they are made in an organic way- I don't really plan them. I just take rectangles of fabric and sew them together - and they are never intended to be 'perfect', or symmetrical - they are all 'not quite right'.. and that is part of their charm... and I've wanted to create a Critter with JOFY stamps for a while and to make a friend for PAMM was the perfect reason.
But, I did plan this Critter and drew a sketch to remind myself & list options, I find this a really useful thing to do:
I flicked through all the JOFY stamps sets looking for images that could become body parts, facial features and clothing patterns.

I knew that I wanted to use the large flower from JOFY10 for eyes (always knew that image would make great eyes!)

I tested a couple of options for eyelashes - flower from JOFY12 and JOFY14.
Of the two options, the seed head on JOFY12 and the large flower on JOFY14, the latter made the most fantastic eyelashes when stamped upside down!

What you'll notice in the photograph below is that I have cut the stems off the flower heads.  I often do this with stamps to make them more versatile - I do it very carefully (with sharp scissors) and in such a way (with one or two clean cuts) that I am able to piece them back together on an acrylic block when I want to use the stamp 'complete' again.

To create the eyes I stamped the flower head first in Black Archival ink, masked it off and then stamped the selected flower upside down over the top.

PAGG is created mainly with calico - I find this a lovely fabric to work on/with because it is strong enough to have items added to it/sewn onto, it accepts paints and inks really well and is fairly hard wearing. It is easily available from most fabric shops and is reasonably priced. I teamed the calico with a lovely blue quilting cotton that I had in my stash.

To gauge how big I need the base rectangles I stamped the two eyes onto scrap, cut them out & laid them on the fabric pieces.
Happy with the size I sewed the calico and blue cotton together - I did this twice creating a back and front for the Critter.I then stamped JM14 repeatedly on the blue fabric to create a pattern for PAGG's clothes (and ironed it to 'set' the ink).
I stamped the eyes and eyelashes using black Archival ink, and also created 'hair' by stamping the grass image from JOFY11:

I die cut feet from grey felt using the Tim Holtz Artful Dwellings die and placed them as shown in the photo, placed the other panel right side down on top and sewed them together around the  edges of the blue area of the fabric (as if I was making a bag).
 I then created a base for Critter so it stands up - sewing a triangle across the corners....
....will create a sturdy base like this: (known as a square bottom, and used in bag making)
When the corners had been sewn it was time to add hair ( and very funky hair it is too!, I used felting wool).  Hair is added across the top seam - positioned in the same way as the feet (see diagram  and photos below)

Then, with the hair added it was time to sew up all the remaining sides leaving a gap for stuffing through. I stuff the critters so they are full but not too firm.  Beans or beads could be added at the bottom of the critter to weigh it down and keep it upright.  The hole is sewn closed by hand.
I stamped several leaves (JOFY09)onto painted calico (using Hey Pesto Fresco Finish)

I planned to stitch them around the Critter's waist as a kind of frill but changed my mind and they became a hair accessory when teamed with felt flower and button.
PAGG is now sewn up completely, stuffed and ready for embellishment.  Buttons for eyes, a nice little hair accessory, an simple embroidered mouth and a ribbon around her waist.  I also hand sewed on arms - just in case she wants to hold PAMM's hand.
So that's PAGG - please join me in welcoming her to the PA family, she's going to live at PAHQ, and please say hello to her if you see her at the shows.

I hope this project has inspired you - whether its to sew, paint on fabric, stamp on fabric or re-purpose stamp designs.  If it has, then please create something and share it as usual.

Jo Firth-Young

A huge welcome back and thank you to Jo from PaperArtsy HQ. What can we say but, firstly Wow! and then Aww! This is a fabulous example of how to use your stamps in unusual ways. We adore PAGG and we know her and PAMM will be lifelong buddies. Even though Jo has used a simple rectangle shape here, the choice of stamps is carefully planned and the attention to detail is perfect. I think you will agree that we all need a JoFY critter in our creative spaces. 

If you would like to join in our weekly challenge with any of this week's guests who have blogged since Sunday night, then join in to link up your creativity HERE. You will go in the draw to win PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00 (London time) Sunday January 19th 2014


massofhair said...

WANT ONE so much, love love love your post Jo, welcome back by the way!

Hope you don't mind if i have a go sometime, love Critters and am a huge Fan of Junker Jane's dolls which just happen to look very similar to your wonder creations.

Glad to see you back, thanks for the smile and the heart melt :-) xxx

Julie Lee said...

Wow! What an original way to use PA stamps! I love this and you could make all kinds of critters - no rules: quirkiness reigns! Really inspiring. Julie Ann xx

Unknown said...

Love it! She's Fab! xx

Lin said...

What a great little friend for PAMM!! will have to have a go at one of these..used to love making gonks when I was younger lol!!

Hazel Agnew said...

Just when you think that your list of to dos is getting under control, well sort of, along comes Jo and throws us a brilliant challenge, sort of a curved ball, It has once again set the old grey cells whirling and I need to go upstairs and root about in fabric. She is gorgeous and possibilities are exciting. Thanks Jo. X

yoursartfully said...

Everyone needs a PAMM and a PAGG in their life.....way too cute Jo. Loving those eyelashes!!!!!


Anonymous said...

She is so cute!!! I'm sure she & PAMM will be very happy together. :)

Helen said...

Love PAGG, Jo, she's very funky...

ionabunny said...

Ha ha. HA ha ha. HAHAHAhahaha. Love it. You tempt me to get out scary monster....

Lucy Edmondson said...

So clever and original and well thought out, Jo! You made me smile. I think pamm will think she is bloomin marvellous!

Lucy x

Alison said...

She's gorgeous Jo! I love her funky pink hair!
Alison xxx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Great to see you here Jo what a fab surprise. Your talent is amazing. I want both of your critters so I guess I'm soon to get out the b****y sewing machine now lol xx

Craftyfield said...

Great out of the box thinking with the creative use of stamps for PAGG's features! Love fabric projects although I can't see myself trying this one...too much sewing!

Words and Pictures said...

So much fun - and wonderful to see how those stamps can transform themselves!
Alison x

kjjc said...

Love her. A perfect girlfriend for pamm

The Hardy Stamper said...

PAGG is a real work of art and will make a fitting companion for your first critter!

Unknown said...

j'adore ce personnage mi couture mi scrap, trop mignon, comme il est décoré, ton idée de lui faire une compagne est génial, j'espère le voir à VS à Paris

Keren Baker said...

You should sell these- she's gorgeous!! Such a fab idea!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh these are the cutest!!
They make me smile everytime I look at them.
A wonderful way to use your stamps, sure got the wheels turning for me.

Unknown said...

Fab love the use of the stamps for eyes. Cute times x

Cathy L. Calamas said...

How clever are these creatures. I am absolutely in love with them! The flower eyes are perfect!!

Rebecca said...

Happy craftin

Cocofolies said...

Really cool and lovely!! I love these dolls and their cute eyes, very cleverly done! Coco x

Linda M. Cain said...

She is absolutely adorable!!! She just makes me smile. Great job, girl!


Sandie said...

What a brilliant idea!! Love how you cut the stamps and made them so versatile - I'd be worried about cutting mine but can see the benefit! Hope your surgery goes well.