Sunday, December 30, 2012

Felt Soap!

Now that Christmas is behind us and I am not making Santa's, snowmen and angels, I am needing to create other felty fun things.
So while watching Lord of the Rings ( the first two movies) with my family this week, I made these soaps. 

I wrapped wool around the bars of soap ( i used a variety of soaps, but mainly using Yardley's English Lavender) and needled the designs loosely in place before adding water and wet felting the wool around the soap until the wool shruck and it was nice and snug around the soap.

My felted soaps with needle felted embellishments

Fresh scented soap encased in soft merino 100% wool.
 Gently exfoliates while it cleans! After use, place so it can air dry.  
When the soap is gone, you can use the felt as a scrubby pad or you can cut a slit in it, insert another bar of soap, and then stitch it closed.

~Using Felted Soap is Good Clean Fun~

Hand Felted Soaps

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Needle felted holiday family!

Happy Holidays!
from my felted friends to all you out there in blog viewing land!
Merry Christmas
may you have a healthy & peacful holidays

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Princess Cake!

Today is my birthday!

Mt cake is a special cake from Albemarle Bakery Company.
 It is  a traditional Swedish cake with layers of vanilla sponge cake
and bavarian cream with a thin layer of marzipan over all!
And a pretty pink rose on top. Heavenly!
a great way to kick off my birthday.

well, it's not my birthday any more and I didn't get this posted... but I like the photo....
so Happy Belated Birthday!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Needle Felted Snowmen!

needle felted snowmen
I have been a bit envious of the photos of snow that some of my Facebook friends have been posting. Here, in central Virginia it's been very warm... a bit unseasonable warm actually. So I decided to make a little snow of my own and felt me up some snowmen!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa and the Seventeen Sisters

Santa & Me!
On "Black Friday" I ventured out with my daughters to Williamsburg to meet up with our  Yankee relatives that were down visiting for Thanksgiving. After a yummy lunch at an interesting restaurant called Food For Thought, we went to Colonial Williamsburg to wander around.

One of the first things I saw was SANTA ~ this was not just any jolly old holiday Santa... but the real deal with a beautiful cape and crown of holly on his head. We snapped a photo... it's a bit in the shadows... but I think you can see how splendid he was!
Seventeen Sisters~ Narcissus bulb
Wandering down the cobblestone streets on Williamsburg there was a stall with garden goodies.  I remember my grandmother putting narcissus bulbs to flower in a vase at Christmas time & I always like to do that too. ( plus they are my birthday month flower) There were some amazing bulbs there-like the ones in the picture above-with delicate yellow centers. I bought a few for me and got more to give as gifts to friends. As I went to pay for them the woman told me these were called the "seventeen sisters" (or Avalanche) because on each stem there are about 17 blooms!
 I am eager to seem them in bloom... I just put them in a vase today with rocks & water!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Red Haired Angel

Thanksgiving Angels~ Needle Felted with LOVE!

Thanksgiving was a little unusual this year. My husband had to work. My oldest daughter's hubby was out of town & she had to work. So we had our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday...  cooked a picture perfect turkey- golden brown with all the trimmings and usual "sides." Eliza and I got up early and baked two pies with crusts made from scratch. Pumpkin & Pecan... both yummy.

On "real" Thanksgiving, Eliza went to work with Gabe and I was home alone. I spent the morning curled up on the couch with kitty at my feet and the dog curled up on the rug. I discovered Rebeca of Sunnybrook Farm with Shirley Temple on TV and was happily felting away creating these angels.

Sometimes when i end up making multiples of things at one time I get a bit more creative ( usually because I don't like doing the same thing over & over). I found some yellowish doll hair yarn and tried out a new  hair "do".... one things led to another and the red haired angel was born!

It's a bit hard to tell the actual color in this photo but it's close!

Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

900 page views


 I have 900 page views.....
that makes me oddly happy and curious at the same time.

 I like thinking people have had a little glimpse of my fibery creations.

My journey into fiber making is  intrinsically linked with my healing journey from some serious health challenges in the past few years.

So, I see some parallel, in a way..... as my felt art expands and grows and goes out into the world~ a part of me does do... a stronger, more whole & healthy art making self.

It has been a difficult journey but I feel I am on the right path

winged hearts with love... from me to you... who ever you may be

There are 36 days and 15 hours until Christmas

Thursday, November 15, 2012

MY Facebook Page~ LIKE IT

needle felted acorn ornaments

So I have this facebook page for my felty art & I am trying to reach my goal of 100 likes.... so if you'd like to... go check it out and "like" it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tomte or Nisse~ needlefelted

Needle felted Tomte or Nisse

Here are two of my newly needlefelted Tomte or Nisse!

tomte (Swedish) or nisse (Norway and Denmark)  is a mythical creature of Scandinavian folklore. Tomte or Nisse were believed to take care of a farmer's home and children and protect them from misfortune, in particular at night, when the housefolk were asleep. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scandanavian Seamless Resist Technique

Here's a brief intro to making a seamless purse or bag.
I begin by creating a batt of wool roving and add decorative elements last.

laying out fibers 

I often use a resist pattern when making my purses or bags.
This technique is called Scandinavian Seamless and it creates a finished product with NO seams!

making the "seams" by folding over the dry wool on the edges of the resist pattern

the pattern is enclosed by wool on all sides
but I have allowed extra wool on one end to make the flap
The end result is that the fibers that are overlapping the edges of the pattern felt together so there are no seams.
I will post a photo soon of the finished bag!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Not that this post has much to do with Halloween other than I am writing it on October 31st!

wet felted bags swinging in the breeze
sheep inlay design made with prefelt from New England Felting Supply

Merino wool with some coopworth curly locks

I hope to create a tutorial to upload in the next week or so. Meanwhile I am excited to share that I have been accepted for membership in a local artists gallery!

 I have been making a lots of seamless felted bags!  Using a Scandanavian seamless technique and inspiration from a book Chad Alice Hagen wrote called something like Weekend Crafter I came up with a pattern for these resist technique bags.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

acorns & pumpkins

colorful needle felted acorns bask in the autumn sunshine

Inspired by the beautiful colors of the fall trees, 
I  created some fall color of my own.
This rainbow array of acorns were made collecting acorn tops while taking walks with my dog in the woods. I then baked the tops to ensure they were nicely dry & that there was nothing living in or on them.I began by needle felting little balls of 
Corriedale roving and then hot glued the acorn top back! Easy peasy.
needle felted pumpkin pincushions & needle felted acorn necklaces
With some of the acorn tops my oh-so-helpful husband drilled tiny holes with a dremel tool. I threaded colorful ribbons in and tied a knot on the inside of the cap and then hot glued the cap onto the acorn. It takes some testing to find the right top for the right acorn!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Fiber Festival

Little girl with flower headband
This weekend was the Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier Station, Virginia. 

My friend Allegra always has a booth there and I was able to help her a bit and also take a few things of my own to sell. The little girl in the picture above was a bit reluctant to have her picture taken and, somewhat reluctantly, allowed me to photograph her. 
Thank goodness for my new smart phone!
 I LOVE how it looks on her!

Needle felted Santa's waiting to go to the  Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival
It's that time of year!!! Getting ready for Christmas and making Santas... there is a Mrs Claus in this photos... can you find her?

Needle Felted Acorns
I have been collecting acorns for awhile intending to needle felt some & put the "tops" back on. Motivated be the fall and my husbands willingness to use his Dremel tool to drill tiny holes in the tops for the ribbon to go through, I have finally made some.Here are some I have made as Christmas ornament's. I also made some as necklaces &  some just to use as decoration.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Angels... wooly & wonderful!

Add caption

I have been needlefelting these angels today... they have helped to keep my mind on healing thoughts while  my sweet cocker spaniel, Millie, had eye surgery today.  In the past year, she has had four surgery to remove tumors from her lower eyelid. Today they had to remove her eye! It was with a heavy heart i dropped her off at the vet this morning. But I am hopeful that this will be the last of the seemingly endless vet visits and that she can heal up and live out the rest of her years in peace.

needle felted angels

view from behind

Friday, August 31, 2012

Pengiuns visit the Aquarium

I have been enjoying making these little creatures!
 They are about 3-4 inches tall & each one take about hours and a half ( or longer ) to needle.
 I try to do it while watching TV but mostly it means
 I do not actually watch the TV or I stab myself~ OUCH

they are fascinated by the myriad of fish!

Needle felted Penguins on holiday!

But willing turn to pose for a group shot.

Happy penguins on holiday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pumpkins & Penguins

I've been making little needle felted pumpkins and penguins!

 These are not quite done, but I wanted to write a post and there's that saying:
 "a picture is like a thousand words" ( or something like that).

needle felted penguin

This is a close up of the penguins and is really more true to color. I have wet felted some wool that I intend to use for the feet and am considering how I want to do the eyes. The book, wool pets  by Laurie Sharp, was a given to me a few weeks ago by a dear friend. It is a delightful book of needle felted "pets".  I had been eager to try making these. They are so cute and fun to make.

needle felted penguins atop of needled felted pumpkins

I am off now to add some stems to the pumpkins and the finishing toughes to the penguins

Monday, August 20, 2012

Simple Gifts Simply Felt has a Facebook Page!

Check it out!

Kokeshi ladies go to new homes!

Japanese Kokeshi dolls needle felting
Group photo!

This weekend the 4H Summer Inbound Exchange program came to a close. Forty Japanese teenagers had spent a month in Virginia staying with host families from all parts of the state. This is an amazing program that matches host families and Japanese youth for a one month "homestay". It is an incredible opportunity to create lifelong friendships and build cultural understanding.

My sweet little needle felted dolls were given as a Thank- you gift to the families that hosted the students and chaperones.
the pink sisters!

close up of hair & flowers
 I had a lot of fun making all of them and it was a bit sad to see the go, but I know they will be happy with their new families. And. hopefully, be a nice reminder of their Japanese son or daughter.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Joy of Felting!

 Last week Leslie and I taught a week long class at Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Va .
We had an awesome group of students!
Below is our class proudly displaying their felted goodies at the student craft showcase

Joy of  Felting  @ Augusta Heritage Center Summer 2012

wet felted tea cozy & wet felted bowls

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Felting Frenzy!

 Started off the week with a fun trip to Stony Mountain Fibers with the hubby to purchase, weigh, package & price up all the merino wool  I was so happy to have help! It was no small task to select colors and then package it all up. I will be taking with me to West Va next week.

I have been felting all week in preparation for teaching a week long class at Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Va.

Check out the Joy Of Felting in the craft class section! This will be a kind of intro to felt making class where students will explore wet felting as well as needle felting.

My latest "little" project is a nifty Ipod or Cell phone cover. These can be made with about 1/2oz of wool and are a nice way to teach felting over a resist pattern while creating a useful handy item at the same time.

I have been enjoying laying out thin layers of a rainbow assortment of fibers creating "rainbow" sheets of wool fabric and I am waiting to decide what or how to use them.

photos posted later today!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My First Felt Hat!

I made my first felt hat yesterday!

Using the "Dapper Flapper" pattern from Gillian Harris' book - complete feltmaking! 
 Mine was not so dapper, however! I think I may have enlarged the pattern incorrectly. I used some lovely coral colored merino along with some varigated merino I acquired from Stony Mountain Fibers. The hat fits fine... but it was long ( like I could have pulled it down over my face well beyond my I trimmed it and rolled up the brim.

 This is when I wish I had a "smart phone" and I can just take a pic & upload it... but my phone is not that smart, so I have to use the camera & then upload to computer and then post here...
So I will have pics up in a day or so
 Going back to the drawing board and felt another today and maybe make some modifications on my design.

 The miracle chick is doing well & holding his own  and runnning out the the pen with the big girls (hens) I am thinking of him as a "he" but really hoping he's a she. I do NOT need another rooster. :)

 and, today,  I have over 500 page views!! Whoo hoo!!! thanks folks

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

the miracle chick

I have a hen that has been determined to hatch out some chicks this summer. She is a lovely Blue Splash Maran which is a French breed.  She is big,white, fluffy, with pretty grey blue flecks throughout her feathers. We call her Blanche.  She started sitting this spring and ended up with two chicks that quickly dissapeared. What happened to them is a mystery, but it seems something got into the hen house and carried them off or ate them :(

Next morning, Blanche was back on some new eggs, seeminly more determined. It takes 21 days from egg to chick... well after the 25th or 26th day and still nothing happening, we took the eggs out from under her so she would at least get up and eat something.
Undeterred, she was back on her "nest" the following morning!  ... determined to hatch out a little fluffy bundle of love.

As I was was headed out of town for 4th of July; hubby marked the eggs (so we could get them from getting mixed up with the ones the other hens were laying) and we began the twenty-one day countdown. Much to our amazement after about 14 days a fluffy chick appeared!! She has left the other five eggs and is busily protecting and seemingly happily hanging out with her miracle chick.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wool Washing

The other day I was given a bunch of lovely unwashed wool~ a blend of Finn, Romney and Tunis and I don't know what else. Today I am experimenting by washing some of it by hand. It takes such a LOT of HOT HOT water and rinsing and transferring from tub to tub with a soapy mixture of Dawn dish liquid.
 I have also found directions for washing it in the machine and may try that  later today.

Wool washing part two...
after three 'washes" in hot soapy dawn detergent water and countless rinses I have some soggy mostly clean wool. It still needs carding ( i don't own carding combs). And ther is still quite a lot of debris in it which, i discovered, will only come out by picking it and carding it.

This was far more labor intensive than I imagined and am even more motvated to try the washing machine technique.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A busy month of teaching classes

 Bridget concentrates on her sweet needle-felted lady bug!
at MadArts in Madison County, VA.

 our finished Ladybugs...keeping cool under the umbrella

 Flower Fantasia class @ Louisa County Library

Group photo of flowers in bloom!

Japanese dolls in the making @ Crozet LIbrary

 Allie!! the most awesome YA librarian takes a break from helping to work on her own doll.

Wren proudly shows off her finished doll! Nice going Wren. 
Wren and her sister are my needle felting "groupies" 
They came to both classes at two different JMRL branch libraries this week. <3

Amazing young ladies from Crozet Library & their Japanese Dolls!!!
So proud of them! They did an awesome job and all made delightful dolls!

 A big THANKS! to the Jefferson Madison Regianl Library for allowing me to teach these classes for the summer YA ( young adults) program. What a wonderful opportunity for the teens in the communities to be abe to learn cool stuff for free!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

AK & the purple headband!

my flower headband biggest fan!
This lovely photo was sent by a dear friend yesterday. It is of her granddaughter who has a collection of my headbands and wears them 

It makes me happy to see her wearing it and to know how much she enjoys them! :)

Hope to get some felting of my own done this week. I am teaching two feltmaking classes for the Jefferson Madison regional Library system this week. Both are needlefelting classes!
 I am excited :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wonderful Peace!

My hubby and I went to Dulcimerville.
 This is what it look like. We stayed at the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC. Just breathtakingly beautiful! I have been busy with my dulcimer and playing music the past few weeks and not much time for felting!  We had a wonderful time learning so many new tunes and new techniques to apply to old tunes!
and hence the title... Wonderful Peace which it the name of a precious hymn that i am learning. It is an arrangement from Tull Glazener. LOVE IT

 I have finished the last of the forty needle felted Japanese dolls and hope to get a group photo up here soon!! Need to put a few finishing touches... a few flowers in the hair, that sort of thing.

Today~ my order from New England Felting Supply came and I an eager to play with the new fiber!
Tomorrow ~I am going to Stony Mountain Fiber and packaging up wool to take to Augusta Heritage Workshops for our week long felting class!!