Crafty Chicks Felting Day

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of leading a three hour felting class with five Crafty Chick friends. After a potluck lunch we got started with creating a wet felted piece then moved on to needlefelting. Most had not made felt before but all of the Chicks dove in and were great sports about it all. They were even game to try out my Needlefelting machine. I had a great time and I think they did too!

I shared my felting books and showed them my favorites written by Moy McKay, Scottish artist and felter extraordinaire.

5 ladies wet felting

Starting with wet felting

5 ladies sitting at the table needle felting in details

Second step is needle felting in more details.

wet felted piece

Sue’s felt sample created prior to class and used for a demo.

felt with flower

Michelle’s felted piece

CCBonnie's felted pansie

Bonnie’s Felted Pansie

felted piece ready for stitches

Kearsten’s felted piece ready for hand stitches.

felt with flowers

Kathy’s felted piece.

felted piece with many flowers

Cheryl’s felted piece

With the addition of a little stabilizer material, the pieces are all ready for additional machine and hand stitching to add more details and embellishing. I think they look great for first timers and a short 3 hour lesson. I loved how game everyone was to try a variety of things.

Creative Days

Someone told me recently that they thought I was like a little bird with my art and craft activities, suggesting that I “flitted” from one to another. I couldn’t figure out if it was a compliment or not. At 5′ 10″ tall, it’s hard to picture myself flitting about.

I do know that I sometimes have trouble getting started on a particular project when I have many on my mind, in the works, have new-to-me things to try, or want to revisit a favorite medium and technique. Sometimes though, I just like moving various projects along a few at a time.

Take this last week or two for example, I’ve been all over the place. I’ve participated in an online webinar for lampwork glass, watched DVD’s about oil and acrylic painting and gourd painting, helped my friend Sheila get started with needle felting,

Sheila's needle felted bird in progress

Sheila’s needle felted bird in progress

created at least one small Zentangle related drawing each day in my Tangle-a-day calendar book,

One page from Zentangle-a-day calendar

One page from Tangle-a-day calendar

created at least one small daily painting almost every day,

A daily painting.

A daily painting.

taught wet and needle felting to a small group of friends,

Crafty Chicks Saturday Felting

Crafty Chicks Saturday Felting

worked on samples for an online felting class with Fiona Duthie,

Felting Surface Design class samples

Felting Surface Design class samples

and continued work on a hooked rug pillow that I’ve designed around a theme of water.

Rug Hooked Pillow top-to-be
This list doesn’t include the time I’ve spent reading and studying artists and art books. And now it will include getting two blogs posts out before March 1.

I still don’t know if it’s flitting, lack of focus, or just a crazy, strong desire to create. I do know that I love the learning and accomplishing of my creative days. Whatever you want to call it, I appreciate that I have the capacity and time for it. Do you create with single minded focus or do you like to have several projects in the works at a time?

Felted Poinsettias

I managed to slip in a little felting during the past holiday season. I had the urge to play with felt and create a holiday card or two for a special friend.  I started with a desired card size, laid out my merino wool fibers in 3 layers, then wet felted the fibers until I reduced the size by 30 percent. It took quite a bit of rolling to get the size down and I would have been just as happy to have it be less dense and spend less time doing it.

I fused the felt to a thin piece of interfacing for added stability. Next, I needle felted some additional dyed wool nepps in the flower center.  The nepps are little felted balls of short fibers created when a second pass of the sheep shears is made. I placed a single layer of plastic bag over the felted piece and drew on the plastic with a dark marker to create a plan for my machine stitched lines. I did not stitch through the plastic.

I also felted a separate piece of red felt, stitched some small petals and needle felted them in place. After the stitching was completed and additional nepps were added, I fused the felt to card stock using an iron and fusible web.

 

wool fibers laid out for felting poinsettias

Merino wool fibers laid out for felting poinsettias

 

 Merino wool fibers arranged for felting poinsettias.

comparison of lightly and heavily felted poinsettia pieces

 For comparison – lightly felted on the left, heavily felted on the right.

points_plastic

 Thin layer of plastic placed over the felted to visualize where stitching will go.

points_first_stitch

 First stitching completed, red thread.

points_noseconds

 Second stitching, green thread, ready for small petals.

felted poinsettia piece

 Final piece, ready to be attached to card stock.