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Monthly Archive for March, 2011

Glass Egg Beads

Glass Beads

If you like beading, these eggshaped blown glass beads are a treasure for Easter.

They also have fabulous German-made egg-shaped papier mache boxes for decorating. I’ve used them once to the delight of many.

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 31, 2011 02:50 PM | 1 Comment

10-Minute Garden Gloves

Gloves
Recycle your old winter sweatshirts into spring gardening gloves. This super fast and easy tutorial by Lately Constructed does not require pattern!

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 31, 2011 10:30 AM | 2 Comments

Shop Tour: New England Felting Supply

New England Felting Supply is housed in the Magestic Theatre

New England Felting Supply is celebrating their fourth year as the only retail store that caters specifically to feltmakers, although it seems they have been there forever! With so many options available online to purchase roving, few can offer in-depth personal knowledge about wool characteristics and feltmaking techniques. The staff at NEFS is trained to explain details about the feltmaking process and to help customers choose the exact wool or blend for their project.

Here’s Fiona Duthie, Senior Contributor Editor at Living Crafts, wearing her own design featured in the Fall 2010 of Living Crafts using New England Felting Supply’s prefelt.

The entire store occupies the center of a 1920’s vaudeville theater in Easthampton, Massachusetts where hundreds of colorful wools are stacked from the floor to the balcony. Many fibers are sold “general store style” where you can choose whatever amount you like from barrels and bins. Other items are pre-packaged. What’s missing from their entrance is a warning sign for those who might stock up more than needed. Taking a friend is advisable, or at least that’s what I should be doing. Ehem.

I’ve personally used their prefelts to my delight and it works like a charm. What I really appreciate about them is also the variety of colors they have available.

Here's Christine White, Owner, posing by the prefelt collection in her store. Photo taken by Fiona Duthie when she visited their store last year!

NEFS opened in May of 2007 when feltmaker Christine White of Massachusetts decided to divide her 7-year-old feltmaking studio business, Magpie Designs, into a separate retail store and a private art studio. White is the author of the best-selling Uniquely Felt, called “the feltmaking bible” by the Library Journal. This valuable felting book has been reviewed in Living Crafts magazine, and the clear instructions and many beautiful examples makes it a uniquely valuable reference book for beginner to advanced felter. The store has been modeled on the same principles found in the book which is to say, lots of information and plenty of examples.

Uniquely Felt

NEFS has a thriving Local Wools Program where a number of wools from family farms are available for purchase year-round to help support the local economy. But perhaps the best known product lines include their premier C-1 wool (a top grade classification from Norway) which many felters agree is the best needle-felting wool available and their Short Fiber Merino Batts, which are only found at NEFS. The Short Fiber batts are a special preparation of cut merino combed out into batts (blankets) which makes the wool felt extremely fast and results in a much finer, tighter finish than merino top.

NEFS was also the first importer of merino prefelt in the United States and carries several different colors and weights of this popular material.

There is an year-round educational program too. Christine considers this to be a cornerstone of New England Felting Supply since it arose from a teaching studio. Instructors range in skill from beginning teachers who are encouraged to develop their skills during drop-in classes to the very best week-long workshops with international teachers from Canada, Finland, Turkey, England Holland, Australia and more. Instruction in many felting techniques can be found on class schedules. Visit the website to buy color cards for the 125 colors of merino combed top or any of the other product lines.

But if you can, stop by the brick and mortar store in Easthampton to experience the astonishing theater full of color! Hours are 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday. Directions are found on the website or you can send an email.

Thank you for your interest. Let us know how we can help you with felting!

Prefelt Giveaway

Giveaway

This generous giveaway valued at $125 includes Uniquely Felt book with directions, plastic cup, two bars of soap, four yards of prefelt,  four each 14″ squares of prefelt, one 5″x14″ prefelt, and a citrus metal can! To enter, leave a comment here by 8:00 p.m. EST Thursday March 31st, 2011. Winner will be announced on Friday.

Citrus Blanket

Finished Blanket

And the winner is…

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 28, 2011 06:30 PM | 546 Comments

Embroidered Fabric


Beautiful embroidered fabric, handmade by Mexican Otomi Indians. Help sustain an old tradition in jeopardy of extinction. One can take up to three months to make!! Sold in squares and 2 meter [about 2.2 yards] or larger. You can also buy small squares.

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 28, 2011 05:44 PM | 17 Comments

Nature Weaving

Nature Weaving
This beautiful weaving a tree project from That Artist Woman blog is done on a twig simply shaped into an oval frame. What a fun project to do after the end of a walk! Happy Spring!

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 28, 2011 07:27 AM | 2 Comments

Across-Stitched Eggs

Across Stitched Eggs
These cross-stitched eggs by Forostyuk Inna, showcased in Sublime Stitching blog may have been stitched through Across-Stitching! My guess is if you thread your needle and keep going from one side of the egg to another you’ll cover all your basis, but it is only for those who have lots of patience.

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 25, 2011 09:27 AM | 1 Comment

Scissors Cover for Mother’s Day Gift


You can sew this for yourself or another mother [no, not the other mother] you love! In every household lives at least two to three scissors, each for a different purpose. Scissors come in so many different sizes and shapes, so these instructions are designed to tailor-make it for any scissors. Although the making of the cover is the ordinary part of the project, the design is what makes each one unique, and there are many possibilities. Here’s how you make one with some wool felt and embroidery floss:

MATERIALS

Wool Felt: A piece of thick [5mm] felt the size of your scissors, blue, and yellow felt, and assorted colors for decoration.

Embroidery floss

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Lay your scissors on a piece of paper and draw a line, leaving ½” of space all around.

2) Using your pattern, cut two pieces of felt, one out of extra thick felt [5mm] for the back which can be of a contrasting color, and the other out of felt with regular thickness. We used thick felt in the back and regular thickness of blue felt in the front.

3) Trace this same pattern on a piece of yellow felt for the pocket, so you can decorate and stitch your flowers before cutting the felt.

4) Now trace and cut two blue bells out of the blue felt, five circles out of pink felt, one red flower and one small yellow circle for the middle, as well as two thin leaves out of green felt, as shown.

5) Draw your pattern with a light green color on the yellow felt. Glue all the flower pieces in place and the two green leaves on the yellow felt as shown in photo. With pink thread stitch a French knot in the middle of each of the 5 pink circles. With green thread stitch stems for your flowers, using the Stem Stitch, and some leaves as shown in photo.

6) Once you finish decorating the pocket, cut a piece off the top of the pattern depending on how much of the scissors handles you want exposed.

7) Using the decorated pocket as pattern, cut an identical piece of yellow felt to use as pocket lining.

8) With double red thread, Blanket-Stitch the two yellow pocket pieces, attaching them together at the top edge.

9) Place the yellow pocket on top of the two blue pieces used for backing, matching edges and pin in place. Blanket-stitch around the whole outside edge, through all four layers of the yellow and blue, and around the two blue layers at the top.

10) Your scissors cover is ready!

Red, green, and pink.

Now you have your pattern.

Book Giveaway

Fanciful Felties

For all you felt lovers who like to hand-sew, we have two beautiful books to giveaway today. One of them is the American classic, Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor and the other is Fanciful Felties by Samantha Cotterill. To enter drawing please leave a comment here by Saturday, March 26th 8 p.m. ET and the winner will be announced Monday, 28th.

And the winner is…

faith 2011/03/24 at 10:12 am
we are new to felting and i would love to get a hold of one of these great
resources. thanks for the chance!

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 23, 2011 04:00 PM | 399 Comments

Lamp Shade Mobile

This cute-as-a-button mobile on the Dottie Angel blog does not come with a tutorial, but I suggest everyone hurry up and pay her blog a visit for all the vintage goodness. There is a bubbly crochet blanket to die for …

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 23, 2011 07:17 AM | 2 Comments

Quilt Labels Tutorial

quilt label
Making a custom label for each quilt you make can make it even more special for your loved ones. Here’s a tutorial from Etsy that includes some examples. I love the hand embroidered even more.

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 23, 2011 07:10 AM | 1 Comment

Black Hen and Little Chick

By Suzanne Down

Following is the instructions to make the Black Hen, little chick, and a cozy nest for Suzanne Down’s Mama Hen Surprise story in the Spring 2011 issue of Living Crafts:

1. Form a hen shape with dark pipe cleaners

2. Add a second pipe cleaner part way down from the head to just below the tail to create a 3-dimensional shape. Wrap any extra wire around itself.

3. Cut a third pipe cleaner in half and shape leg lengths and little chicken feet. Attach to each of the two bottom wires.

4. Wrap black wool wisps around the pipe cleaner frame. Make sure the wire is well covered with wool.

5. Take a poufy length of black wool roving the size of your hand and roll it around in your palms. This pre-felts it softly. Place it in the inside of the chicken form. This will help create a 3-dimensional chicken.

6. Using wispy lengths of black wool, begin wrapping it around the form of the chicken, needle felting each length to the inner wool to hold it in place. The inner wool will help to maintain the 3-dimensional shape as you work.

7. Pull the lengths smoothly and firmly around the wire form to get the chicken shape. For the head and tail area, use shorter lengths. Do this until you have a nice plump chicken form. Needle felt to give more form to the chicken. The more you needle in one area, the more it contracts in – this is the sculpting power of needle felting!

8. Using a light brown wool roving and small wisps, wrap the legs and feet, needling to attach and strengthen the wool. Join the leg wool to the body wool too.

9. With black wool, take two small equal proofs of wool and shape wings on a large sponge, one next to the other so they will be the same shape. Needle through the wool, into the sponge, and shape around the periphery. Peel them off the sponge, hold them up to the chicken to check proportion, then needle on the other side of the wings.

10. Needle felt them to the hen’s sides, leaving a part of them free.

11. For the beak, take a very small amount of light brown wool and roll it in the palm of your hand. Shape it on your sponge into a 3-dimensional beak in proportion with your chicken head. Needle it in place onto the chicken head.

12. Now it is time to create the red combs on top of the head and under the “chin.” Take small bits of red wool roving and roll (prefelt) in your palms. Shape them on your sponge as shown. Attach to the head of the chicken with your needle.

13. Needle felt on a tiny amount of white wool with dark brown wool over it for eyes, careful to balance each eye so they are symmetrical.

14. All that remains now is adding any decoration you might like. I have used tiny lengths of white to add to the feather look on the tail. This is optional.

The little chick will be made in exactly the same way, just start with a much smaller wire frame and keep the wool fuzzy. You may decide to make several, some black, some yellow. The little chicks will just get a tiny beak, and they do not yet show their combs.


To make a cozy nest, use light brown wool roving. Roll a thick length of roving into a circle shape big enough for your black hen to easily sit with room to spare. Needle the ends together to hold the circle. Place a round of wool to make the next bottom and needle felt all of it into a whole.

And now you have the most important props to make your story visual!

To download pdf click here.

Posted by Living Crafts on Mar 22, 2011 01:14 PM | 8 Comments























  




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