Friday, July 15, 2011

Needle felting

Lila and I recently had a date at the Forestry in Harrison County.  We joined a group of "Young Explorers" who meet every so often to do cool things in the outdoors.  We were put on their mailing list by mistake when we signed up to volunteer at the Forestry.  Happily, it's right up our whole family's alley.  The activity we participated in last weekend was wet felting.  They had a lady there with her spinning wheel, turning wool into yarn.  (I have a spinning wheel, but haven't touched it since Lila was born.)  Then, there were two teenage girls guiding the process of taking the wool (right of the sheep's back) and washing, rinsing, and then rolling it in our hands to "felt" it.   We were supposed to create beads which we then died and strung on a necklace, bracelet, etc.  As soon as we got there, Lila told me she wanted to make a fairy.  I blew it off and told her, "No, we're going to make beads", thinking a fairy was not going to work with this method.  However, after making a couple beads, I realized if we sewed the shapes together, we might come up with a fairy-like shape.

This is what we ended up with.  The fairy is "facing" Lila with blue wings, a green dress, and red hair.  I was actually pretty impressed at the whole thing.  We had good teamwork and the fairy was pretty cute for wet felting with our hands.  However, it inspired me to give needle felting a try.  I had all the supplies at home, but had never tried anything 3D before. 
wool roving wrapped around a pipe cleaner frame

I used a pipe cleaner as the frame, bending it to look like a little stick person.  Then, I wrapped roving (wool that has been washed and combed) around it.  Then, I used my needle-felting needle to "felt" the wool by stabbing it over and over again. 

Here is fairy #1 that Lila calls "Delicate".  When I finished making this one, Maggie came out and said "dat for me?!" Which, of course, meant I had to make one for her!

Here is the one I made for Maggie which she calls "Grace".  She has llama fiber as her hair and it is super soft.
 When I finished those two, I really wanted to try a mermaid.  We were taking a trip to Indianapolis, so I brought my supplies and felted away.  This is the mermaid. 

I didn't actually set out to make it look like Ariel, but I guess that's just what my mermaid vision is.  I gave her features, which was a first as you probably noticed.  I'm ok with how they turned out, not super pleased.   But, I'm definitely hooked.  It's a quick project with neat results. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Scarlett O'hara would be proud

I’ve been on a crafty kick lately.  So when my dear friend Melissa brought me a bag of fabric, I was kinda excited.  One of the pieces was a sheer curtain with a pretty tie-dyed/batik kind of feel.  I was really digging it.  After considering what it should become, I turned again to my new One-Yard Wonders book and immediately decided it needed to become the strapless tunic.  I tried to take advantage of the finished edges as much as possible.  The only change I really made was that, once I was finished, I was unhappy with the ....well...what are they called... the slits on the bottom on the side that allow ease for booty.  Anyway, they just didn't look very finished as I've never been very good at making teeny tiny hems.  So, I made some bias tape from the fabric and covered the slits with it.  I'm much happier and I think it looks more finished and less homemade. 
Now I just have to find somewhere appropriate to wear it.  =)