Each January, quite spontaneously, I learn a New Thing. It's not deliberate, I don't go looking for a New Thing, I've got plenty of old crafts to be cracking on with - sewing, quilt making, card making, scrap-booking, lip balm and soap making, baking, bread making, photography, blogging, polymer clay modelling, zentangling....but nearly all those things came to me at the start of a new year and now I can add "needle felting" to that list, having fallen for it after spending far too long wandering around Pinterest. Needle felting is done with some woolly stuff called roving which is what wool is before it is spun into wool and special needles which have evil little barbs on the end. When you push the barbed needle into the roving, it meshes the fibres together so you can form it into shapes. For the past few weeks, my winter evenings have been spent learning how to make basic shapes. I started stuffing cookie cutters with wool roving and stabbing it. This is stupidly simple to do but has the effect of making you feel like a Crafting Goddess.
I found you can make several little hearts in that lost space between doing the dinner dishes and falling asleep on the sofa. You need to know that in our family we've been waiting for the arrival of a Very Special Little Person who was being carefully baked by my brother's fiancee. I'd already made a mobile inspired by this post on Pinterest but the hearts were growing and I needed a home for them. The few hearts therefore grew into a garland. In my head I called it "Heartfelt" because every pin prod was for the Very Special Little Person whose arrival was imminent. The finished hearts were threaded them onto embroidery thread and made a garland about 3 feet long.
Having perfected easy peasy hearts, I wanted to make shapes. Below is a cube with a triangle on top. The wire is supposed to be holding a fluffy cloud but this is experimentation and I'll find a better way to make a cloud!
Then I had a go at making round shapes and pointy shapes...ummm, you'll also notice a left over felt heart found after the garland had been completed.
Then I wanted to make something long and slim. I was trying to get beyond obvious shapes and develop a sense of flow and movement. It didn't work but I'm getting the hang of it and making the tiny pebbles for the path up to the tower was fun.
Then came some experiments which didn't work so I'm skipping over those and heading straight for The Mouse, which DID work as I wanted. It's about 6 cm high and although I forgot what I was doing halfway through and veered slightly into bunny ears, what I really wanted was the shape and a head looking up. I have a picture in my head of a mouse looking up at a star on a stick. Coming soon I hope! Might add feet too.
Next I wanted to make something based on some polymer clay characters I did years ago and which form the banner on my blog. Yoga cows. Hmmm. Arms too short, nose not right and udders on the wonk and the cow looks worried. Needs work.
And that Very Special Little Person? He arrived on January 27th 2015 and was named Albie.
His mobile - with a sleeping bear and an awake bear...
And the wee chap himself. Awwwww!