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Archive for Tag 'felting'

Tiny Treasures- Felt Painting Boards and Giveaway

Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”.  These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of  finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!

Materials:

a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.

5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt.  A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method.  All felt will work for this though!

small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors

tiny twigs

wood glue

Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.

Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.

To make the wool tree painting:

First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…

This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.

Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.

Paint the branches on your tree.  Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs.  Add a few on each side and down the trunk.

We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger.  Drop them randomly onto the tree.

If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.

Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different.  Here are some ideas:

These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.

You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks, Frost Gnomes and  Pinecone Gnomes.

Giveaway

National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!

Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.

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Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 11, 2011 09:47 PM | 397 Comments

Tiny Treasures – Pinecone Gnome and Giveaway

by Annette Ringeisen of Wool Creations

 

Collecting pinecones is always fun. There are so many different types and shapes, that each gnome will have a unique character.

You will need:

Pliers, skin colored fiber, curly fiber for hair, fiber for eyes, felting needle

For this project choose a cone that stands up easily. Take a pair of pliers and remove four to five scales in the area that you want to put the face.

Take some skin colored fiber and ease it into the hole. Use your felting needle to move it deep into the nooks.

As you attach the fiber you will also shape the face.  Add a little more for the nose.

Around the face add some curly fibers with your felting needle. Make sure that everything is in the place you want it.

Add a small amount of fiber for the eyes.

Sometimes I like to embellish the top of the pinecone as well.

These gnomes look great on your Nature table, but can also be hung as Christmas ornaments; just add a little ribbon.

To make another one our cute pinecone gnome (desgined by Duo Fiberworks) please click here and scroll down on the Free Patterns page.

Enjoy other projects in the Tiny Treasures series:  Frost Gnome, Tiny Toadstools, and Rainbow Rocks.

Giveaway

For those of you who LOVE needlefelting, we’d love to giveaway a copy of Laurie Sharp’s beautiful book, Wool Toys & Friends.  Please leave a comment on this post by Sunday, December 11 for a chance to win this beautiful book.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 7, 2011 07:06 PM | 132 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Rainbow Rocks

Rainbow Rocks are the second project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions; for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Children love to make these felt geodes, and are always amazed when they are cut open. We have been making these to be given out at our Winter Faire, along with a short story about The Rainbow Rock, and instructions on how to “break” them open.

Materials:

0.5 ounces/  13 grams assorted colors of wool roving

small piece of bubble wrap

dish soap, warm water, bowl

Use a small amount of wool roving and wrap the roving tightly into a ball about the size of a cherry or grape.

Wrap the ball with another color of wool roving. It can be helpful to divide the roving along the length into thin strips, to make it easier to wrap evenly. Continue adding layers of color, completely covering the ball with each new layer. To help keep the ball evenly shaped, roll it in your hands for a minute or so, after adding each new layer. This is a wonderful tactile experience for children.  Add about 5-6 layers of color, or until the ball is about the size of an orange. If you want your Rainbow Rock to look like a stone, finish with a layer of white wool roving and then grey or brown for the last layer.

 Holding the wool ball securely in both hands, dip it gently into a bowl of soapy water. A good felting mixture is 1Tablespoon of dish soap to 1 quart (1 litre) of water.

Hold the wool ball in both hands and  gently squeeze the wool while cupping it. This will help to keep the wool in place and after about 5 minutes of squeezing, a felt “skin”will develop. It is important not to roll or squeeze the delicate wool ball too much at the beginning.  Dip into the bowl as necessary to add a more water and soap. The wool ball should roll easily in your hands, with some lather on the surface, and be wet all the way through.

For about 15 minutes, alternate between rolling the wool ball in your hands, rolling it on your bubble wrap piece, and squeezing it. Apply more pressure as you work to increase the felting.

If you working on these as a group, especially with young children, pass the felt stones around in a circle, each taking a turn to work on each one. In this way stronger hands get to work on the wool stone and help with the felting.  This also adds a playful co-operative element to the craft, and keeps children engaged in the activity.  Just remember which one is yours, so everyone ends with their own one back!

Once the wool rock feels quite firm, rinse well, squeezing under running water to get out the soap.  Then finish the felting by rolling the wool rock under your hand on a towel, to get out any excess water.

Shape into your desired stone shape and leave to dry.

Use very sharp scissors or a kitchen knife to cut open the Rainbow Rock. Start with cutting into the rock , just under the surface, making tiny clips with the points of the scissors. Continue working around the rock in this way, cutting a little deeper with each round. Children love to see the layers opening as you go.

Once you’ve cut in through about three layers, you can probably cut the remaining layers all at once by cutting the Rainbow Rock in half.

Open up and take a moment to enjoy the array of colors and shapes formed through the felting.

We first made these when my oldest son was three years old. We passed a thread through the top of each half and used them as Christmas ornaments.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, tiny frost gnomes, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

If you’d like to accompany this craft with a story, you could read  The Rainbow Rock . This story would also be nice to go along with a real crystal geode as a special Tiny Treasure!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Nov 26, 2011 06:07 PM | 21 Comments

Needle Felted Pomegranate

By Laura Lee Burch 

The pomegranate symbolizes fruitfulness, learning, knowledge and wisdom. Inside the pomegranate are many, many crunchy, tart but sweet tasting red seeds and this is the part that you eat. The seeds are eaten by themselves (snack), put into salads or squeezed for their juice.

Needle felted vessels are easy to make, they’re useful and they make great gifts! It helps to look at a photo as you make your piece or better yet, if they’re in season, have a real pomegranate in front of you while you create.

Pomegranate Vessel 15″ diameter x 7.5″ tall

Materials:

Red wool (approximately 30g)

White wool (approximately 20g)

Poly fiber-fill or core wool  (approximately 50g)

Sponge felting surface

Felting needles-medium gauge

Felting needle handles (for 4 to 10 needles is preferable)

Sewing thread to wrap shapes

scissors

1. With sewing thread, wrap poly fiber-fill or core wool into a firm ball (15″ diameter). Felt red wool over the entire ball.

2. Cut the ball in half with scissors. To hollow out the ball, pull out the core of poly fiber- fill or core wool from both halves of the ball. It’s very important not to pull too much of the poly fiber-fill out or the sides with be weak and floppy.

3. With white wool, needle felt the inside halves of the ball, felt till firm and smooth. Sculpt the insides of the ball into bowl shapes, emphasize felting in the curved areas of the interiors of the ball. Hold the two halves next to each other while felting to help make both sides the same. Felt red wool along the edges.

4. With sewing thread, wrap a handful of poly fiber fill or core wool for the knob at the top of the pomegranate. Cover the knob with red wool, needle felt till firm and smooth, leave the bottom of the shape unfelted so it can be felted/attached to the top of the pomegranate easier.

5. Place the red knob on the top half of the pomegranate, needle felt into place. Cover the area where the two shapes meet with  red wool, needle felt around the connecting area to make the connection seamless.

6. To make the flaps on top of the pomegranate, take 5 tufts of wool. Find the center of each tuft and fold both sides down to make a triangular shape. Needle felt the triangles till firm and smooth.

7. With scissors, cut out the center of the pomegranate knob. Needle felt the flaps around the top of the knob. Fill in the hollowed out area with red wool and needle felt till firm and smooth.

Laura Lee Burch, originally from Greenfield, Indiana, lives with her husband and three daughters in Tel Aviv, Israel.  A graphic designer and illustrator by training, she is an avid crafter and sewing designer, and the author of two sewing books on children’s clothing and accessories.  You can contact her by visiting her website LauraLeeBurch.com.

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 9, 2011 01:24 PM | 16 Comments

Flying Felties!

We’ve been having so much fun making and using these flying felties with our young visitors this summer.  I think they are better than fireworks and just as beautiful as they fall from the sky! Children from the age of three can make them, with some assistance, and both children and adults have fun tossing, flying and chasing them!

Materials:

1 wooden or plastic egg 2.5-3.0 inches (6.5-7.5cm)  long

0.3 ounces (8 grams) wool roving or batting in assorted colors

5 x 30 inch (75cm) lengths of ribbon in assorted colors

1/2 cup beans, rice or lentils ( we used black turtle beans)

bowl filled with warm water

natural dishsoap

small piece of bubble wrap

sewing needle and thread

Tip: sometimes we’ve used the felted pouches that remain once we’ve finished using a felted soap scrub- perfect for flying felties, or little felt treasure necklaces!

Open up the wool fibers by gently stretching them, keeping the wool in long strands. Wrap the egg completely with the wool,  turning and wrapping like winding a ball of yarn.  The egg should have about three layers of wool wrapped around it. Play with alternating colors.  Feel for any thin spots and add more wool with an extra wind covering that spot.

Cup the wool egg in your hands, add a drop of dishsoap, and dip into the bowl of warm water.

Lift the wool egg out gently and start squeezing it between your hands, turning occasionally. Do this for a couple of minutes until the wool develops a felted skin. Start rolling the wool egg in your hands. Rolling…rolling…rolling….Roll the wool egg under your hand on the bubble wrap.

Bowls of soapy water and bubble wrap hold lots of potential for play!

To finish felting, roll the wool egg in the bubble wrap and roll for a few minutes.

Squeeze out any excess water and leave the wool eggs to dry.

Cut open the bottom of the wool egg in a cross. Squeeze out the egg. Fill with beans or rice.

Sew up the opening at the bottom of the feltie, leaving a small opening to insert the ribbons.  Tie your selected ribbons together  in a knot at one end, insert the knot into the opening in the feltie, then finish sewing up.  Be sure to stitches are tight so no beans will fall out and to secure the ribbons well!

Ready for flying!

Hold the feltie by the ends of the ribbon, wind up and toss and watch the feltie fall to the ground, ribbons flying brightly behind. Make a chalk target on the ground and see if you can get your flying feltie to land inside.  Toss and juggle with a friend….Hours of summertime flying fun!

 

 

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Aug 21, 2011 10:04 AM | 37 Comments

Evolving through Handwork: The Value of “Process”

In our modern world, we have become a “product” oriented society. The enthusiasm and appreciation for “process” has been lost. With technology, we insist upon immediate gratification and instant results to meet our ever-changing whims. Vermont Grand View Farm, a sheep farm in the Green Mountains of Vermont, runs fiber classes and summer camps for moms and children in hopes to provide a means to slow down, observe, explore, and create. Children and their moms are invited to spend a week at the farm learning about animal husbandry, farm life, and the many fiber arts of spinning, felting, weaving, and knitting.

Getting to Know the Sheep

One goal for their summer camp focuses on teaching children how to enjoy the “process” of creating, by engaging all of their senses. The farm becomes the perfect tool for meeting this objective as it abounds with numerous opportunities for learning. The setting allows the children to slow down, discover the world around them, and fully engage in the steps necessary to produce a product without distractions.

This July, one group of summer campers met this challenge with much enthusiasm and proved that children can still enjoy the creative process. Within a week’s time they learned how to go from sheep to yarn. They began their week being introduced to the sheep, angora rabbits, and llamas who live on the farm. All week, they cared for the animals, providing them with fresh water and new pastures for grazing and learning about the relationship between nutrition and fleece quality.

Washing Wool

Their first day, the children skirted and washed a newly shorn Romney fleece. They learned about lanolin, crimp, and lock formation as well as the importance of careful feeding habits to reduce vegetation from contaminating the fleece. In the days that followed, the children dyed the fleece and learned how to card it into batts for spinning.

Dyed Wool Drying on Screens

By the end of the week, they were ready to spin the wool with drop spindles made with recycled CDs. At last they had yarn to take home with them.

CD Drop Spindle

To help them bring all of these steps together and to better understand the “big picture” of where knitted items come from, the children worked on a group mural which highlighted what they had learned. With wool as their medium, the children made the background for their mural using a wet felting technique. After layering the wool into a large batt, they covered it with a sheer curtain and began gently massaging warm, soapy water into the wool. Next, they rolled it up using a swim noodle and recycled pool cover. Now they were able to work the wool more vigorously rolling it back and forth until the wool turned to felt. This piece of felt became the background for their mural.

Gently Wetting the Wool

Rolling the Wool

Once they had made the background wool fabric, the campers were able to begin depicting each of the stages of going from wool to yarn. The children had decided to represent the sheep, shearing and washing the wool, carding and spinning, and lastly knitting the wool. They spent one afternoon making sheep and placing them on the background. Needle felted clouds and flowers were also added.

Making Sheep

Over the next couple of days, the children each made felt dolls which represented themselves. The dolls had pipe cleaners for arms and legs which were wrapped in wool. Then, they wound more wool around their figures for pants and shirts needle felting them into place. Using wet felting, they created small wool felted balls for heads and found yarn or wool to match their hair color. Each of the campers decide which stage of the process their doll would engage in on the mural and they began felting and assembling their portion of the mural.

Shearing

Carding

Spin

Knit

Completed Mural

By the end of the week, the children had completed their group project. With smiles on their faces, they proudly presented their masterpiece to their moms.

The children approached their work all week with much joy and laughter. Often, as adults, we sometimes lose sight of the joy in the process of doing something and get bogged down in the steps. We want to hurry along just to get to the end product quickly. The value of taking time and savoring each piece of the project gets lost in the desire to have a final product in hand. When this happens we often skip the process entirely and grab the finished product from the store. The campers at Grand View Farm, fully embraced each day and the tasks set before them proving that there is just as much value and joy in the process as there is in the finished product.

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Kim Goodling

Kim Goodling

VT Grand View Farm

Kim, a home schooling mom, is shepherd to her flock of Romney sheep on her Vermont hillside farm. Kim’s sheep, llamas, and angora rabbits provide the fiber for her mill spun yarn which she sells as yarn CSA shares. In addition to tending her flock, Kim teaches fiber arts classes and runs fiber retreats and camps for adults and children. Her farm offers B&B Farm Stays and invites you to visit their farm for a full farm immersion experience into the wonderful world of wool. Follow the activities at VT Grand View Farm on their farm journal and facebook pages.

Spin

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Giveaway

VT Grand View Farm is giving away one night’s stay in their Farmhouse Suite which sleeps up to 4 people. Sleep under cozy down comforters in 4-poster beds and enjoy waking up to roosters crowing, farm fresh eggs, and home baked muffins. Relax on the porch overlooking the mountains, visit with the sheep in the pasture, or stroll the dirt roads and forest trails.  To enter drawing for this gift, valued at $200 please leave a comment by Thursday, August 18th midnight pst.  Winner will be announced on Saturday August 20th.

We have a winner!

Christine Condon
Submitted on 2011/08/16 at 8:35 pm
What an absolutely lovely business you have. I would love to see your beautiful farm and B&B! Thanks for the fun contest!

 

Posted by Kim Goodling on Aug 15, 2011 06:15 AM | 321 Comments

Cross Stitch Double Decker Bus

Check out this Cross stitch double decker bus.

Posted by Living Crafts on Feb 1, 2011 12:26 AM | 2 Comments























  




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