Tag Archive | needle felting

A Herd of Felted Animals

Back in January, my sister in law organized a craft weekend at a retreat center near her house.  I’m not particularly crafty, but my mom really wanted to go and she didn’t want to make the long trip down to Portland by herself.  So, I organized all of my craft projects and made the trip.

The craft weekend was really designed for people who do scrapbooking, with rows of tables set up so you can spread out all your stuff and not have to worry about putting it away until the end of the weekend.  And if you have kids, you need an opportunity to get away from their constant need for attention and greasy fingers…

The retreat center brought back memories of summer camp.  I never actually went to a regular summer camp, but I saw some in the movies.  You know the kinds with row upon row of bunk beds.  Yep, that was this place.  There weren’t that many people there though, so mom and I had a whole room of bunk beds to ourselves.

Our sleeping quarters – they did remind me that I have gotten too old for bunk beds. My Tempurpedic is much better!

Our sleeping quarters – they did remind me that I have gotten too old for bunk beds. My Tempurpedic is much better!

Since I don’t scrapbook, I brought a latch hook rug that had been half finished since I was about 19.  I endured endless ribbing at work about the fact that I have a latch hook rug – in fact, one coworker was in tears because she was laughing so hard at my expense.  I did manage to finish off that rug – a finished project!

I also brought several felted animals.  Readers of this blog know that I hosted a felting party last year where I made a felted owl.  Piddles, as he came to be called, has traveled the Western United States with us since then and has been featured in some of my blog pictures.  And everybody knows that one needs friends.  So I wanted to give Piddles some buddies.

Mid-felt on a frog and a penguin

Mid-felt on a frog and a penguin

Over the course of the weekend, I finished off two felted goldfish and two felted frogs.  Piddles is now part of a menagerie!  I have no idea what Jon will say if any or all of them join us on our next trip!

Piddles hangs out with his new friends

Piddles hangs out with his new friends

 

Felting Party!

It started like this… About a month before Christmas, I was sitting at the lunch table with my coworkers reading Sunset Magazine.  We are lucky enough to have Sunset at the lunch table because one of my coworkers brings them in when she is done with them at home – although they are sometimes missing the good recipes…  This particular issue contained a picture that piqued my interest – a felted owl!

If you have seen some of my previous posts, I have a bit of an obsession with owls, and also lately, felted things.  For those of you who don’t know what felting is, this is my completely uneducated description.  You take wool, shape it into the shape that you want, and then you stab it precisely 10 million times with a barbed needle to compress the wool and get it to take on the shape you want.  You might think that stabbing it 10 million times might make it fall to pieces, but the barbed needle gets the outer layers of wool to mix together with the inner layers of wool and become very strong.  Ok, I imagine that was not really a helpful description at all.  But have no fear, you will eventually get it… I’m sure.  And if you don’t, well, you probably don’t care anyway.

So anyway, I apparently obsessed over the little owl in the magazine enough that my coworkers decided to get me one of the owl kits for Christmas!  And each of my coworkers also got a kit, and there was talk of having a felting party!  Which I hosted on Wednesday.  We all got together for appetizers and drinks and everybody brought their kits.  There was only one rule.  You couldn’t get a head start.  We were all supposed to be in this together!

The Felted Owl Kit

The Felted Owl Kit

My Owl started out as blobs of wool... like this.

My Owl started out as blobs of wool… like this.

To be honest, felting is really like playing with a voodoo doll while strung out on meth (not that I have any firsthand experience with either).  You stab that sucker over and over and over again!  So we all shared who we were imagining on the end of our needle… I’m never telling…  We chatted and laughed and obsessed over whether our blobs of wool were ever going to look like the picture on the box.  One of my co-workers got a lot of grief for starting early… or in other words, she cheated!  She shaped the body over the weekend!  She was feeling guilty until my other co-worker admitted to watching a video about needle felting beforehand…  And on occasion, you heard “ouch!” when one of us stabbed a finger.  I don’t think anybody drew blood though!

This is what I like to call the "third grade girl" phase

This is what I like to call the “third grade girl” phase

But eventually they started to take shape!  And my owl was born!

We've Got Eyes!

We’ve Got Eyes!

We Are Looking Like an Owl Now!

We Are Looking Like an Owl Now!

We are having another felting party next month to finish our kits – I just have the little spots on the belly to do, and I was going to be adventurous and add some little feet, even though feet are an add-on!

And no, it isn’t just an excuse to get together and drink!  What do you take me for – a wine lush?