A Wooly Tale


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Needle felted Christmas Presents

Needle-felted-Christmas-Presents

I have to admit that I had a bit of a stress earlier this week as it suddenly dawned on me that not only had I decided to needle felt three Christmas gifts and had barely started one with less than a week to go but, I also had my Christmas cards to design, print and send! On top of this, I am getting married next June in Italy and I still haven’t designed the invitations and they need to be ready to take with me when we visit in January!

This evening I am happy to report that I am feeling much calmer! Somehow I managed to complete the second of my needle felted presents earlier this afternoon! The third will be done by January as my friend and I have decided to Christmas in January (it makes it last a bit longer!)

The second of the presents turned out to be much easier than I anticipated and only took me a few hours to complete

Needle Felted Mushroom

This is not something I would normally think of needle felting but it was so simple and so much fun to do that I can see myself making many more and maybe even doing a tutorial on making them in the new year as it is such a great beginner project for anyone wanting to try sculputual needle felting!

It came about as I was showing my colleague other examples of needle felting on pinterest after showing her Gus the Mouse.  Whilst we were looking around she kept commenting on how much she liked the different mushrooms and toadstools she saw,  so I decided to make her one of her own for Christmas.

Needle Felted Mushroom too

I always think it’s the little details that make a project different so couldn’t help but add the little ladybird and butterfly

Needle Felted Mushroom front

I am am pleased to report that other than the odd little present all my Christmas shopping is done…Yippee!  Myself and my other half will be visiting my family in the Lake District for Christmas so this will be my last post before the new year!

Merry-Christmas

I couldn’t sign off though before showing you someone very special.  Last week you saw him peering out of a teacup as the poor little thing only had a head.  Now, he is all finished and ready to go to his new home for Christmas…..doesn’t Gus look smart!  He has completely stolen my heart and I am finding it very hard to give him up, even my other half has fallen for him but I know he will be happy where he is going! I wasn’t going to do any more needle felting before Christmas (too busy) but I can feel another project coming on, just to make sure i don’t miss Gus too much!

Needle Felted White Mouse

All that’s left to do before I head over to Handmade Monday is to  thank you for taking the time to visit my little home on the web these past couple of weeks and I hope I see you again when I get back!

“He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew
like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!””

Jo

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Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…

Twas-the-night-before-Christmas

Mouse!  Okay, so I no it’s not technically Christmas yet and most certainly not the night before but I couldn’t wait that long before sharing this little chap with you!

Needle Felted Mouse

Can you believe this little fellow nearly ended up in the bin??!  In fact he very nearly didn’t happen at all if things had turned out differently…here’s what happened…

He started life as what was supposed to be a bear but I got the proportions of the face wrong. Rather than throw the piece of wool away I decided to experiment with glass eyes as I have never used them before.  Once the eyes were in ( so easy to do….I have no idea why I was so scared of using them!) I couldn’t resist giving him eyelids… a nose…some little cheeks… a tiny mouth … some big ears, I honestly couldn’t stop and before I knew it this little chappie was staring back at me! “I can’t believe you were going to throw him away” my other half said to me very accusingly!  Neither can I to be honest, it just goes to show what a bit of perseverance can acheive!  He is going to make the perfect Christmas present for my friend once he is finished and I know she will adore him.

back-to-the-beginning

As you may be able to tell, I haven’t been needle felting for very long at all.  I first picked up a felting needle a year ago and with the help of an online class I made a dog which I proudly showed off to anyone who showed even a vague interest!  I am not sure why, but I then stopped until about 8 weeks ago where, spurred on by friends and family telling me I had a talent for it, I picked up the needle again and started to create Paula the Polar Bear!  So all in all I have probably been needle felting for 3 months.  The great thing about this is that I am still developing my ‘style’ which I am finding really exciting as I never know what’s going to appear in front of me next!

Still being in the experimental faze came in very handy this week as, not one but two parcels failed to arrive from the supplier I order my wool from.Where these parcels have ended up is a complete mystery!  The suppliers were very helpful but in the end we both decided to give up trying and they refunded my card. That still left me with a wool shortage!  I learnt to needle felt with Norwegian C1 wool and a quick google online told me that they were the only suppliers of this in the UK, everyone else supplies Merino wool.   Now, don’t get me wrong, I love merino wool, I could honestly sit and stroke it all day but it is a very, very different type of wool to what I am used to and I had been told it is more difficult to needle felt so I had always steered clear other than when I was felting the small details.

Merino Wool Vs Norwegian C1 Wool

The top wool is the Norwegian C1 and the bottom is the Merino top.  As you can see the Norwegian C1 is a much coarser wool and pretty much felts itself, the Merino on the other hand is a smooth silky wool.  However, my search also uncovered the fact that Merino wool is actually cheaper than the Norwegian Wool I had been buying, which surprised me as Merino has a reputation as being very expensive!  Not only that, there are a lot more colours available.

So, I pulled out some white merino top I had been saving to make a Santas beard (but the wool to make the rest of him didn’t turn up!) and started to make a bear, which turned out to be a mouse 😉 And now, I am completely in love!  It has meant forgetting a lot of what I have learnt as Merino handles very differently but oh, the end result is so worth it!

In  short, I have learnt not one but two lessons this week; 1) Perseverance pays off sometimes and 2) everything happens for a reason…if that wool had turned up I would never have looked around, I wouldn’t have experimented with the Merino top and most importantly,  there wouldn’t be a Gus (that’s what I have nicknamed the mouse!)

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great week! I’m now off to have a look at what everyone has created on Handmade Monday!

Jo


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Custard the Needle Felted Dog

Custard the Needle Felted Dog

Well, I returned home from watching Skyfall this evening only to find Custard waiting eagerly for me at the door!  I had promised him that I would introduce him to you all this evening and I think he is a bit cross that I have left it this late (patience isn’t his strongest quality!)

Custard the needle felted dog

So without further ado,  Custard meet everyone, everyone, meet Custard!  Custard has been a little while in the pipeline and he and his friends will finding new homes with my friends this Christmas!  Not this one though, oh no, he will be staying right here with me!  He needs a few little tweaks before he makes it out in to the big wide world I think.  I have decided he would be better off with black glass eyes rather than needle felted eyes and I think he will look more polished with an embroidered nose…what do you think?

Needle Felted Dog

Custard was quite adamant that I explain to you from the start that he is not called Custard because he is a coward, far from it.  He has battled hardened criminals, a pack of wolves, giant gnomes, a sea monster and the Yeti in his short little life…well,in his imagination anyway!  I am sure he would in real life too if the opportunity came, he really is a very brave little dog indeed!   No,he is called Custard simply because his most favourite food in the world is custard, vanilla custard to be precise.

Needle Felted Dog

He’s also quite partial to the odd session of Karaoke, unfortunately this tends to be at 3am in the morning and often it’s only because he is lonely!  Apart from eating all your custard and waking you at 3am in the morning with his rendition of Bright Eyes he has a lot of good qualities.  He has big ears for listening, a big nose for urgent detective work such as sniffing out your mobile phone or house keys and most importantly, a big heart!

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Custard as much as he has enjoyed meeting you and I’m sure you’ll be seeing much more of him!  I would ask him to say goodbye in  person but he has snuck off to Handmade Harbour to sniff out what everyone else has been up to and to be honest I think I’ll join him!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Jo & Custard