Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mascot

Shhh, I am making a school mascot pillow as a gift!
It is a little hard to see in the photo, as the Scottie dog is all black.  You can't really see the texture of the fur.



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick Holiday Ornaments

I am making some models of holiday ornaments for my Nov. 1 class at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (http://www.lewisginter.org/events/event_detail.php?event_id=1430), including some small angels and elves (or little girls):


In the photo above you can see angel and unfinished elf, with the pipe cleaner armature I used to help make the form in the center. First, I wrapped the limbs of the armature in white core wool, then lightly and carefully needled it in place.  The nap on the pipe cleaner helps "grab" the wool, so only light needling is needed (more if you are making a doll for a child to play with)..  I needed to be careful of the wire inside the pipe cleaner, though, as it is easy to break a needle if I hit it directly. Then, I loosely created a ball of core wool, and inserted it into the loop on top, to start to form a head, covering it with more core wool and needling it into shape.  For the angel, I then simply draped a hank of core wool to for a skirt, wrapping a long pieces of core wool around the waist to anchor it and needling that into place,  I wrapped wool around to form a bodice, then added curly lock hair.  I made the wings separately, and attached them to the back.
The process for the elf was similar, though I striped the legs with green wool, and added a waist band with bow in back (I lightly needled a ribbon of green wool to form the tie).  I also added a short shirt, so the striped stockings could be seen.  I intend to add a hat to the elf and a few other embellishments.
Have fun!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Newest Class

My students at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and I had fun fashioning flowers for our summer hats today!  We felted on backing fabric, then made several free- standing flowers, learning how to crimp and cup the flowers.  Next class, in November, will be on holiday ornaments!  Go to http://www.lewisginter.org/adult-education/AdultEducationArtintheGarden.php for more information.  Fall classes will be posted Aug. 1.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Needle-Felted Summer Flowers


My next needle-felting class at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, VA is next month.  We will be creating flowers to decorate your favorite summer hat!  This is a one-day class on July 19.  For registration information, hours, fee and directions go to:
http://www.lewisginter.org/events/event_detail.php?event_id=1371
Classes fill up, so sign up soon!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Felted Rug

What does one do when one's long weekend vacation will be a total wash-out, rain all the time?
Start an over-ambitious, large needle- and wet-felting project, like this wool area rug!


I had some wool batts made years ago from some sheep not particularly known for their fleece (but it was inexpensive!  And it wet-felts exceptionally well).  I made pre-felt in autumnal colors and cut out leaf shapes, making a stencil from a scan of my colored pencil drawing of sassafras leaves:


This project will take me ALL summer!
Keep needlin'!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Starting a Rug

I am starting a small area rug, using some deep brown felted batting I had made a few years ago.  I recently drew (using colored pencils) a loose circle of sassafras leaves in their autumn colors.  I thought  this might make a beginning pattern for an area rug (or wall hanging) repeating the circle swirl outward to the edges of the rug.  Here is the drawing:

Next, I scanned the drawing just to get some cut-out patterns for the leaves I would use.  Then, I made some pre-felt in autumnal colors and began to cut out the leaves, pictured below. 


Here are some of the cut out, pre-felt leaves.  The next step is to needle-felt them into place on the background, then begin wet felting.  I need to do much more work on this, so stay tuned for updates!




Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fast Felting Fun

Like most felters, I often have bits and pieces of wool around after making a project, and I sure have a large scraps bag.  One thing to do with these bits, that is fun and fast, is to make wet-felted spheres.  What can you use these for?  Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and jewelry.  Because I often make felted flowers, these can also be the center of unopened peonies. With a little practice, you can make them egg-shaped for Easter decorations.

The steps:
1. Take a bunch of lose wool.  Lightly form it into a ball shape by rolling it between your palms.
2.  Wet the ball of wool with hot water, and add a tiny bit of dish soap.  Continue to roll the ball around.  It will feel loose and squashy at this point.
3. While it is still loose and squashy, check for cracks or fissures in the sphere and fill these in with some fresh wool. I just wrap the fresh strands around the sphere.
4. Continue rolling.  As the sphere firms up, apply greater pressure to make it quite firm.
5.  Rinse.

To make balls of the same (similar) size, select equal amounts of wool.  If the ball is too large, keep rolling.  Too small? Well, it is hard to add more wool once the ball is firm.  Keep trying, and you will get the hang of it.

Keep playing with wool!  You will learn a lot about it!