Skeleton Finger puppets
By Arwen O’Reilly
I honestly can’t decide which of Cheryl Smith’s amazing Halloween-themed crafts to gush about first: Her plush pink skull earrings? Her handstitched “Boo” pillow? The black cat brooch? Or her skeleton finger puppets, which totally knock me out? Not generally one to fall for felt (or finger puppets), Cheryl’s beautifully stitched creations are having me see the material in a new light. Make sure to check out her shop on Etsy to see her other fantastic finger puppets, toys, and jewelry, too. (Can’t wait for Easter so I can justify a handful of felted chicks.)
Arwen: How did you get involved with crafting?
Cheryl: I believe I inherited the “craft gene”. My parents and grandparents were each creative in their own way. I was exposed to many types of crafts and needlework when I was young, so naturally I had to try everything!
Arwen: How do you feel about Halloween?
Cheryl: I love Halloween! I think that Halloween is the best holiday for crafting! Costumes, decorations, creative recipes, parties … What more could you ask for?
Arwen: Other than Halloween, what inspires you?
Cheryl: I find inspiration everywhere. I really love very tiny or very detailed things! I love the unexpected — for example, a piece of art in which you find something different each time you look at it.
Arwen: What are some of your most important influences?
Cheryl: My grandmother, Anita Smith, was a strong influence in my life. She always encouraged me to try new things, and the time I spent with her was filled with creative activities. She taught me many things and I have really great memories of the time we shared and the projects we worked on together.
Arwen: So what’s one tip you’d give to other crafters?
Cheryl: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Find your own way ~ Do your own thing.
Arwen: And what are your favorite crafting books/magazines/websites?
Cheryl: Here are a few of my favorite websites: Crafster.org features all types of crafts & needlework. Lots of project ideas and tutorials, as well as monthly challenges. I love to see what everyone is working on! And Nervousness.org is great because it is so much fun to participate in collaborative projects, and to receive work from other artists. There is always a nice variety of projects going on … everything from ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and art dolls, to collaborative books and matchbox shrines.
And here is a special link for Halloween: Free Haunted Paper Toys to print and assemble. So many fun paper toys here — masks, games, a marionette, and much more!