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I spend a lot of time crying while I’m crafting.

Daisy eyeglass case made of felt

(Behold, one of my crafty eyeglass case endeavours. It made me cry.)

Yep, the boo hoo and crafting are an inseparable pair for me.  Partly, it’s that things rarely seem to turn out looking as incredible as I saw them in my head, but mostly, it’s the fault of the felt.  I love felt, but it does not, alas, love me.

Quite the opposite, actually.  But, I don’t care.   I am stubborn and prone to holding on to things and people even when all the signs are saying, “let go, for pity’s sake, LET GO!”   That stuff is like catnip to me…and probably makes me just as itchy.

Anyway, I just love felt.  It does not really love me.  This is the kernel of my inspirational crafting story.

Boler trailer out of felt

This is a replica I created of a friend’s vintage Boler trailer. I cried the whole time I made this.

Maybe I love felt because I’m not a very patient sort and felt is so forgiving.  There’s no basting or pesky finishing of edges.   You can cut shapes out of paper, pin them on and just cut the felt.  Presto, it feels like you’re halfway to a finished product.   Hurrah!

I am meant for projects that the average grade 2 student can finish in under a day.

Maybe I love felt because it seems like an inexpensive risk for me.  At 0.49 cents/square (even less if it’s on sale), it’s a perfect low-level investment for a rushed and not always terribly skilled crafter to make.  And, I don’t drink coffee so for the price of one of those frappa-lappa-chinos that people buy, I can mess up two or three times without feeling terribly wasteful.

Although, I do miss out on the whipped cream, which is quite unfair.

MG E-reader cover

The e-reader cover I made for my dad. He has an MG sportscar and his initials are MB. I thought it was clever…even while I cried.

Maybe it’s because it evokes such a handmade, vintage feel, no matter what you create with it.  So, to my friend who pointed out the hand stitching on my Valentine’s Day heart pin with some disdain…that would be the handmade, vintage feel that I was going for.

Honest.

Ditto for the St. Patty’s Day shamrock and Remembrance Day poppy.

Heart

A heart to show my love for Practical Man. Of course, it made me weep.

Maybe I love felt because I hope that someday, felt will love me as much as I love it in return.  And, maybe someday, I won’t have to knock myself out with allergy meds for us to get along.

Because frankly, felt is a little rough on me.  I think it’s a dysfunctional relationship, if I’m honest.  There’s a lot of blowing my nose and wiping my eyes and I always convince myself that things will go better next time.

Owlivia

“Owlivia” felt pillow/doll. A 40-Kleenex project.

That’s why, occasionally, things are a little lop-sided.  Not because I am not inclined to measure.

And I get itchy.  Which can throw off the stitching.  And the allergy meds make me sleepy.  Which means I often have to finish things in a hurry.  But, this is the nature of my unrequited love affair with felt.

Isn’t it grand?

My most ambitious project to-date was the superhero mobile I made twice for two recent babies.  Here are the little pillows that hung from the strings.  They were double-sided masterpieces, if I do say so myself.

Batman

Green lantern

Flash

Superman

Wonder Woman
I hear the babies cried and cried when they saw their mobiles.

I know the feeling.

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No, it’s not a hat (although, I love those too!) it’s a tiny travel trailer, shaped like a marshmallow–or a boler hat, thought its inventor.  These little “eggs”, as they’re sometimes called, attract a fair amount of attention on the highway and were manufactured from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s. 

I’ve always loved them (and their flash cousins, Airstreams) but a month ago, I suddenly felt like it was the time to buy one.  Cue the internet search.  Not easy since our internet service is somewhat “vintage” itself.  Living in the country as we do, we can only get dial-up.  But I was obsessed and a huge thrill went through me as I found ads for Bolers that, ahem, were nowhere near where we live. 

But what’s a little geography when you’ve got a vintage dream?

A fellow vintage vehicle nut who is a friend of my aunt and uncle’s was very helpful with tips on things to look for when buying (check expensive-to-fix torsion suspension by making sure trailer bounces a bit when you get in it) and he had all the necessary enthusiasm for the little trailer to help my very supportive but slightly shell-shocked husband to get up to speed in the search.

So, last month, we bought a Boler.  It’s our second vintage vehicle:  the first being a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle.  The Boler is a kindred spirit hailing from 1974 and it was owned for 25 years by an 80-year-old couple who tearfully parted with it, sending us along with hugs and best wishes.  Not an atypical acquition process, from what I hear.

I’ve already become one of “those” people, who join Boler groups (check out:  I own a Boler on Facebook) and wave enthusiastically at other Boler owners on the road. 

Forget vampires named Edward…even though it needs a little TLC (but that’s half the fun isn’t it?), I’m in Boler love.

You are reading a post from Christine Fader’s “A Vintage Life” blog.  Join the romance with all things retro at https://avintagelife.wordpress.com

Our Boler, circa June 2010