Friday, June 25, 2010

Blergh. I cannot, for the life of me, manage to make a sheep that looks decent. For now, I give up. Perhaps in time I'll try again.

I tried to base it on a kit I found on Etsy (big surprise there, right?) but it appears that I'm just destined to fail. The face is too small, the ears are crooked, the tail is pathetic, the body uneven and not round enough. Oh well.

At least I got to use some of the brown wool that I'd purchased for my tree stump. It's luxuriously soft - much softer than I expected. And the Imp seems to like the sheep, even if it does look.. well.. sort of like a dog, really.

Not sure what I'll move on to next. I need to try and make a monkey, I know. And I ought to work on that tree stump. Oh. And my younger niece wants a mushroom house for her birthday (in a couple weeks! eek!). Not to mention the really great book I'm reading (that will actually get reviewed, too!). I also want to try wet felting with the Elf some time. There's a great tutorial here that I want to try out as soon as we acquire some bubble wrap. So many things to do!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Needle felting - Part three

The Beast let me put him down! My hands are free! Though I really ought to wake the Imp. He's just so adorable snuggled on the couch. Due to the unusual quiet, I thought I'd try to wrap up my recently-made-needle-felt-creations posts.

A friend of mine expressed an interest in having a needle felted sheep (she also mentioned a monkey, but I haven't gotten there yet). How could I resist trying?

You can say it (she did) - it looks like an exceptionally fluffy polar bear. Well, it does. And that's what comes from using the same techniques and base ideas for two very different animals. You live, you learn, right?

I have another sheep in the works. My hopes are high that it will look.. well.. like a sheep! In the meantime, the Beast was in need of a mobile. When the Imp was a baby I rigged a mobile out of scraps of paper (colored with contrasting patterns), an old record case/envelope/thing, and some string. It was sad. But he loved it. I couldn't bring myself to be so sloppy this time.

Based on (you guessed it) a mobile I found on Etsy, I decided to make little felt squares with needle felted contrasting patterns. The Elf helped me sew them up before I stuffed them. I'd wanted a better way to connect them to the ceiling, but with the urging of my husband to *just finish it so he can enjoy it!* I rigged it all up to a piece of cardboard with hemp cord. Needless to say, the Beast loves it. He'll lay and coo and giggle at it. This, of course, makes it all worth it.

Thus concludes the backlog of things I've needle felted. Whee!

Needle felting - Part two

I was able to attend a breastfeeding support group meeting this morning. Having the opportunity to discuss some of my tandem/toddler nursing issues and concerns with a lactation consultant (and a group of fairly like-minded women) was.. refreshing. Calming. I feel better able to approach life in general today. So I thought I'd attempt this post while the younger kids are napping. Of course, since typing that the youngest has decided to sleep nowhere but in my arms - which makes typing... special.

After completing the mushroom house I decided to try making a hollow tree stump similar to a sewn one I'd seen on Etsy. By the time I'd gotten the core done, I'd discovered that dying roving brown was harder than I thought it would be. Using things I had on hand I managed really great red-oranges, tan, beige, purple - but no deep browns. So I eventually gave in and bought some from an Etsy seller. This was at least one month ago. I have yet to actually open the bag of wool, let alone complete the tree stump.

One of many things that distracted me from the tree stump was the realization that I needed to make a birthday gift for my father. I don't know how it started, but the man loves polar bears. With that in mind I set out to make him one.

My husband lent his critical eye to help me round it out some. As my first animal sculpture, I think it turned out rather well. Which is more than I can say for my second animal attempt (to be seen in a forthcoming post).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Needle felting - Part one

I've been meaning to post for a while now. It's taken me this long to bother tackling adding photographs here. This is what happens when you've gotten used to one journalling platform, I suppose.

In the recent past I fell in love with needle felting. It was a fluke, really. A lark. But it grabbed me and hasn't let go.

At first I just made dryer balls. I had wanted to buy some through Etsy but couldn't justify the cost. As it is, I hardly ever remember to use the ones I've made. Mostly the Imp plays with them - or the cats do when they're left out unattended. Oops.

For Earth Day I took one of the dryer balls and added blue and green to it to make an Earth ball for the kids to play with. I also made a little green car with wooden wheels (and had plans to knit a road despite my lack of knitting skills).

Eventually I came across a neat video tutorial for a toadstool house. Being an avid mushroom lover, how could I resist? I can't recall how long it took me to completely make the house. With small children it's a wonder it was finished at all. I used roving that I'd dyed myself and a bit of yarn that had come as part of a swap from the amazing Suzanne.

Here are some photos of it. I've learned some things since making this and have thought about going back and touching it up some. The thing is, I've never seen (in person) nor held anything needle felted, so I've no idea if I'm doing things the "correct" way. In any case, I enjoy it. When I get the opportunity to work on these projects I find a bit of peace.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm doing it again. I'm losing steam with this whole review thing. And yes, having a newborn (not to speak of the other two monsters) will do that to a person. Mostly I'm just reading for brainless fun. I don't want to have to think, let alone form coherent sentences describing why I do or do not like what I'm reading.

So this blog will be veering. Temporarily? Permanently? Who knows. Life is all about change, right?

Right now my main focus in life is my kids. They're very time consuming. In the midst of all the family craziness, I'm trying to simplify my life. Which is a little laughable since I seem to keep adding things to it (children, crafts, hobbies). But in my own way, I'm working on it. Less junk, less waste, less spending. At the same time, I'm working on more. More patience, more fun, more mindfulness. Clearing out the clutter (mentally and physically) to let in the air. I think it's time, don't you?