Lots of stuff converging… gardening/harvesting, managing the flock of growing lambs and kids, housekeeping chores… and the simple act[s] of day-to-day living.
Among all the activities, Katie & I have been focusing some attention on a few 4H Armada Fair projects, namely dairy product and fiber art. Two topics/categories which are natural for ‘us’ since our lives are spent around our dairy goat(s) and small flock of Shetland sheep [that is, fiber].
When we became owners of a pair of dairy does [six years ago], we were naive in the ways of goatkeeping. We have learned [and continue to learn] so very much from our sweet goat friends! Our goat dairy [consumable] 4H project is chosen each year with focus on a particular country/culture… and then the research/trials begin. For example, France/Chevre, Greece/Feta, Italy/Ricotta, and so on. Last year we chose England/Cheddar, in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! This year, Katie chose Mexico!
But, today’s post is a sneak peek on one of her wooly fiber art possibilities for Fair. This wooly project involves several techniques/skills: wet felting in the flat, 3D wet felting, needle felting, a little sewing, knitting and machine felting.
I know what you’re think’n, but I didn’t have anything to do with Katie’s SHEEPY choice!!! I like this project because it represents the wonderful natural color/pattern(s) of the Shetland sheep!!! It requires NO SPECIAL TOOLS – anyone can do it! Katie will be able to share the various ‘how-to’ fiber’n techniques with the judge. I think this little sheepy[pillow] turned out quite well…even if she doesn’t make it to the Armada Fair. Katie has a couple more wooly fiber art project in the works…
Another day and one more wooly sheep chair pad.
Made with my Shetland wool fleece. Love the moorit [Reese] and white [Dove]!
HEY!!!! I thought that sheepy looked familiar? [locker hooked vs. needle felted] hahaha
AND ~~~ If you’re local and looking for something fiberlicious to do ~~~ check out the Spring Fiber Expo this weekend in Ann Arbor!
Hello! If you follow me or visit from time-to-time, you know I’ve recently ‘freshened’ my laundry/mudroom. The freshening, as I call it, consisted of several minor/low investments: 1/a little elbow grease to strip the wallpaper and scrub the walls, 2/repaint the ceiling and walls 3/repaint the peg coat rack 4/install a new [lower profile] dryer vent 5/new stainless steel water supply lines to the washing machine 6/mount a vintage drying rack above the utility tub and 7/build additional shelf/install hooks [and repaint] the closet.
We still PLAN to purchase new solid wood doors to replace the hollow core builder’s standard…and I’d like a new faucet too? I’ll secretly be on the look-out for an awesome vintage utility tub. [sigh]
So, why bring ALL this up AGAIN!!!!???? Well, ‘cuz I needed to add a wee little bit of me……
Everyone knows that I’m nutz about SHEEP…so, I repurposed my ceramic sheep sign [hanging in my farm shop] here, above the door to announce that a crAzY sheep lady lives here!! The ‘black’ ceramic also ties-in nicely with my coat peg rack. hee hee
But, that’s not all.
I needed a SHEEP to go with my sign!! So, I made a sheepy tushy cushy…for this old stool. For grins, I painted the legs of the stool for feet. bwahahaha
Here it is all-together!
Now, that’s MUCH better!!! Come back, and I’ll tell you how I made my stash-busting, no-sew, kid friendly ‘sheepy tushy cushy’!
My family **once again** indulges me with a small 4-foot, table-top tree [a Salvation Army find] that’s decorated entirely with primitive hand-made sheepy ornies, garlands and more sheepies! Did I mention ALL sheepies?
You can read more about my sheepy tree how-to’s HERE.
However, this year, I thought it only fitting that my primitive sheepy tree [what else would you expect from a sheep-lover?] also has a sheepy tree-topper!? So, think think think!!!??? You don’t suppose I could FIND a sheepy tree topper somewhere???
You’re gonna laugh at my solution! I have a few old/vintage tin graters in my shop. I think they’re actually quite nice on a table setting (or outdoors lining a snowy walk) with the warm soft glow of tea/votive candle light! Nevertheless, I cut a piece of the already punched tin [bonus!] out of a cheese grater, drew a prim SHEEP on it, and with my trusted tin-snips, snipped snipped snipped out my sheep! HA! I even added a little ear. I temporarily ‘attached’ it to my tree-top with a piece of fine wire, but, hopefully The Hubbs can solder a ‘ring’ to the back of it!?
These pics aren’t the best [it’s been pretty gloomy/rainy outside] and the lighting is also poor! But, you get the idea.
…and another view.
I think this make-do sheepy topper suits me just fine!!
A re-use, re-purpose simple sheepy project… or any other scrappy tin ornie from a vintage cheese grater!
The past week or so of unseasonably warm weather beckons me outdoors… to a multitude of gardening tasks. Primarily: clean-up, raking, weeding, turning compost, transplanting/pruning, and on and on! I’m exhausted just thinking about it – and the old bones are feeling it!
That leaves little time for creating (and I desperately need to create!). Well, besides creating gardening plans, that is! I try to keep a level head, focused, prioritizing a To-Do list and most importantly, taking little bites! After all, it’s the tortoise that won the race! For me, it’s a matter of perspective… knowing that there will ALWAYS be something to-do on a list somewhere!!
In the meantime, I managed to make a little Frenchy dairy goat – in all fairness – long overdue, considering all the sheepies that are foremost on my mind!
She stands proudly looking about curiously, as most goats do!
You could make your very own dairy goat ‘topiary’ too!
How-To: First, draw a dairy goat (had to be recently freshened, that is, have an udder – heehee) on a piece of muslin – remember, front & back! If you’re not great at ‘drawing’, there’s many goat diagrams available in goat books, etc that you could use for a pattern/trace. Next, I sewed the two pieces together and stuffed it (leave an inch or so opening to ‘stuff’) with fiberfil (and some dried fragrant herbs?). I then painted my goat with acrylic paint – here’s where you can get creative… because there are many colors/patterns of dairy goats… or, paint it to resemble your own goat!
I applied a fine coat of mod podge & tinted wax, and used a wooden dowel for a base (but you could use a natural tree branch too). I wrapped my dowel in a spring green butcher’s twine, but you could paint it, leave it natural, or wrap in ribbon, yarn, etc.
For the base, I recycled a vintage child’s alphabet block by drilling a hole in the top to accept the dowel. Any ‘base’ would do – be creative! I stamped the letter ‘C’ for chevre (goat in French) and a paper image of a goat onto the block. Last, I added a fabric scrap ‘banner’ with ‘chevre’ stamped onto it.
I also made a spring-tyme bunny. I added a wooly tail, seed beads for eyes, embroidery floss nose/mouth and needle-felted the topiary wooly green ball around the dowel. (The dowel is wrapped with ribbon.) I stitched on a few randomly placed vintage mother-of-pearl buttons and glued a pink ribbon rose atop each button.
Well… got to go… daylight’s burning… and the great outdoors is calling!