Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday's Focus - Whimsical Winter Wonderland

The first snowflakes of the season have begun to swirl and dance upon the McBride House in New Brunswick, Canada, and the magic wintry wonderland they're creating is giving way to whimsical reveries for Bella McBride - as she makes her presents, felt.

That's a little bit of a play on the phrase, I know, but at McBrideHouse, owner and designer Bella does make her presence felt by creating felted presents that are beautiful bits and baubles of whimsy and artistry all in one.

Having been chosen as the theme selector for today's Friday's Focus theme I asked her to share a little about herself and her creations... and as you read her story, I'll share some of my own personal favorites from this delightful shop and the enchanting collection of felted sculptures you'll find there. You can just click on the photos to be taken to each listing for more information or to purchase one of these whimsical works of art!
"I'm the girl next door, born and raised in the same small community that I live in now in southern New Brunswick, Canada. I'm a true country mouse, a former botanist, lover of all things pink, caretaker of two cats, one husband and too many felted creations to count. I love the smell of old books and the written word. I am a work in progress, an animal lover, a lover of nature, shy, passionate and fiercely loyal. I love the challenge of creating something from nothing and needle felting helps me achieve that goal.

My sculptures are made from a technique called needle felting. This involves poking and prodding different colours of wool with a very sharp barbed needle until you reach the perfect shape. It literally takes thousands of pokes, hours and hours and sometimes days to reach just the right one-of-a-kind soft sculpture. Every sculpture is unique and takes on its own personality.

In my early 20's I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and over the years I have fought this tooth and nail and have struggled to find a proper balance. Because of this, working outside the home became more and more difficult so I needed a way to supplement our income, and give myself a creative outlet. I also come from a long line of resourceful and artistic women and creating is simply in my blood. I feel a drive to create something from nothing and that challenge really influences me.

It's easy to get bogged down in the realities of life so I try to bring a feeling of whimsy and fantasy to my little sculptures. I want them to make you smile, laugh out loud or even say "awwww". My goal is to transport you to a place where you forget your worries... if even for a fleeting moment. If I can achieve that then my goal has been successful."
Amazing inspiration from an amazing artist, wouldn't you say? I know I couldn't help but be inspired by Bella's story and creative goals!

In selecting a theme for today's Friday's Focus, Bella asked that I focus on something , "with the theme of Winter Wonderland, Snowflakes or Whimsical Winter." She expressed her feelings that while it might be a little *predictable* for this time of year, she hoped that I would be able to track down some items that would help others to share in the magic she felt seeing the first snowfall of the season. Bella, I'll try my best!  Here's my selections for the theme of "Whimsical Winter Wonderland"!
Winter Toddler Snow Princess Tutu Set by Baby2BNashville

Bridge Into Wonderland Photo Print from shashamane

First Snow - Giclee of Original Oil Painting by WordWeaverArt

Whimsical Deer Ornament by IrenesArtwork

King of Snow by jardinhiver

First Snow Original Watercolor Painting by SummerSaylor

Snow Queen Ballerina Doll by petalbelles

Brighid's Yule Crown by Thyme2Dream
OOAK Jack Frost Sculpture by mindy141
Frosty Light Up Christmas Decoration by SeasonalWreaths
Let It Snow Quilled Snowflake Ornament by QuillyNilly
Whimsical & Vintage Inspired Christmas Decoration/Ornament by GlitterStudios
My goodness, I could have easily shared a hundred more whimsical winter wonderland themed goodies with you, but I hope what I've showcased here will convince you of what a wonderful selection of items there are available from the handmade marketplace.  Whether you're looking for beautiful needle felting like our friend Bella from McBrideHouse creates, or painting, photography, papercrafts, beadwork, or any of the other amazing crafts that so many talented artists and artisans offer, chances are good you that you'll find something that touches your own spirit of wonder and whimsy.

I hope you've enjoyed this Friday's Focus. If you'd like to have the opportunity to select next Friday's theme (and have a mini-feature of your shop done as well), please leave a comment and share your thoughts on today's selections!  Be sure to leave contact information as well.  One randomly chosen commenter will be chosen sometime next Wednesday (November 23rd) afternoon and contacted to decide on a theme!  (I'm bumping it up a day for the sake of Thanksgiving dinners everywhere!) Of course, I love reading your comments for whatever reason you feel the desire to post, so please, please comment! 
Now I'm curious - what's the most whimsical thing you've ever delighted in doing on a magical wintry day?




shash ... said...

thank you so much for featuring my bridge into wonderland print!

Helen said...

Perfectly balanced collection to get us in the mood for winter... delicate, whimsical, elegant, white... I'm honored that my little "First Snow" girl got to be a part of it.
To answer your question... The most whimsical thing I've ever delighted in doing on a magical wintry night happened after our part of the country suffered a devastating ice storm. With no power, the only source of light or heat was the fireplace. My husband, two nearly-adult children, and I were trapped together in that one room. There was nothing to do but hunker down and tell remember-when stories. I think that night fits your requirements for whimsical, delightful, wintry, and magical.

baby2bnashville said...

Very magical and wonderful! Lovely!

mysticwynd said...

Thank you to the shops featured here - i loved the opportunity of seeking out your wonderful talents to share on my blog.

Helen - I love your story! I remember those nights after the storms in the Midwest... what a wonderful way to turn what might have otherwise been a miserable situation into something magical and memorable!

I have so many whimsical wintry memories that I think I'll have to really consider which one to share here, but I promise I will!

Bella McBride said...

I knew I could count on you to find some wonderful whimsical winter wonderment's!

It's been a delight to be featured in your blog and I look forward to future postings of other artists.

Thank you so much,

Laure said...

Magical discoveries ! Thank you so much for featuring my king of snow !

Deanna, Silver Lining Designs said...

Enjoyed seeing and hearing about Bella's work as a former (and forever Maritimer)it was particularly heart warming to see the lovely felted sculptures she is creating.

Thyme2dream said...

YAY, I love Christmas!! I am the original anti- grinch, lol. Thank you for including my Yule crown in this beautiful post:)

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