forced blooms

wooly blooms_sheepyhollow

Mindless wet felting; playing with wool to create Spring blooms!

No real ‘method’ to my felting madness. Grab a wisp of this and that hand dyed wool roving, layering as you ‘stack’ colors. The more layers/wool, the thicker your finished piece.

If you’d like additional texture, add little pieces of scrap yarn or wool snippets to the mix, before felting. Working over the kitchen sink or dishpan, rub a little (hand made) soap onto your hands (or directly onto the wool). Alternate hot & cold water and a little rubbing action/elbow grease. An old vintage wash board works well and suits my purpose!

Blot with towel and air dry. Once dry, embellish with a few beads, buttons or embroidery stitches. Add a pin-back and viola!! Sweet blooms!!

Oh, happy day!

 

before / after (felted cushion)

I wanted to make Katie, my daughter, a chair pad (or meditation cushion, heehee) for her apartment bedroom desk chair.

I had THIS hand-painted wool roving in my wool stash long enough. Perfect!!

hand dyed roving

I cut a circular ‘resist’ from bubble wrap to place in the center (between the front and back) of the cushion. Here you can observe the initial layering of the wool roving.

fiber prep_sheepyhollow

Someone mentioned it looks a bit like ‘Cousin Itt’ from The Addams Family (a 1960’s television series).

For the reverse/back side, I used a natural colored gray wool. Here you can see the ‘chair pad’ is already felted… but, I wasn’t particularly happy with the results.

wet felted pad

 

Never fear!!! Remember, there are NO felt failures!!

pads X2

 

I cut it apart and now I have TWO 15-inch diameter circular cushions/felted mats to work with.

Rather than re-sew the hand-felted pieces back together, I opted to use recycled gray wool (which I felted/fulled in the washing machine) for the back. I was quite concerned that my little sewing machine would bog-down trying to sew the REALLY REALLY THICK (dense) hand-felted pieces!!! YIKES!!! ¬†ūüė¶

But… it all worked out in the end. I also purchased a piece of foam cushion from Jo-Ann Fabric Store for the ‘stuffing’.

And, viola!!

hand painted hand felted _sheepy hollow

Katie’s new cushion (a belated Valentine gift); Dennis and kitty approved!!

Happy fiber’n!!

Doilies?

I have a collection of doilies, some that are crocheted by my mother (who will be 90-years-old on Feb 9th) and others (some mass-produced) that I have accumulated over time. I was ‘inspired’ to DO something with them. I often sharing quickie projects that are easily accomplished by beginners,¬†both children and adults.

This little cutie (found on pinterest) has always tickled my fancy! It is a lovely ‘project’ on its own merit. They are very sweet simply hanging in a window or gathered together in a sheepy garland!

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image via

But, since I have an overflow of farm-raised wool fleece at my fingertips, I came up with the idea of sandwiching (is that a word?) a crocheted doily between layers of wool and then wet felting them together. The wool and crochet lace/yarn provides another interesting facet and layer of texture. And you know I’m all about texture!!

sheep3

I think I’m most fond of the black-faced sheep.

sheep1

Naturally, you may embellish to your heart’s content… whatever little trinkets you have on hand in your stash/junk drawer. Buttons, ribbon, found jewelry bits, rusted hearts, beads, notions and so on and on. You may use felt for the face and legs detail, or needle felt a 3-D head for some sheep?

This time, I actually used a little clay to sculpt a head and hand-painted them with a little art paint. I stitched a vintage button to the ‘body’ and then glued the clay head to the button. But, you decide… they are your creations!

What a sweet gift for someone special on St. Valentine’s Day?? I love ewe sheep (with needle felted heart danglers)!?

val lace n hrts

Perhaps, a flock of colorful/hand dyed wool and locks would make a fun decoration for the sheepy-themed Easter tree?? Better get busy now!!

Happy fiber’n!

faux lambskin pelt

Today, I had my hands in the washtub again… playing with wool. I made a few more wet felted wooly ‘pelts’, like this one.

faux lamb

I used my Shetland wool and ‘raw’ Lincoln staples from my friend Chris’s flock. I love the added texture and luster of the Lincoln! Makes a nice chair pad or decorative table dressing?

Not to worry, a sheep friendly project! No animals were harmed by this project [heehee].

graphic felt

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I played a little yesterday [it was raining].

felt zig zag

I wanted to experiment w/a graphic design on wool. I wasn’t sure how ‘distorted’ it would become as a result of wet felting? Wet felting has a mind of its own sometimes.

felt collage2014_05_14

I was not unhappy with the results. This ‘piece’ was somewhat of a departure from my usual sheepy projects! [wink]

 

kidding and therapy

We (my daughter and I) are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Coriander’s kids… any day now!! Last October, I arranged a rendezvous between ‘Corey’ and ‘David’, a handsome and very willing Oberhasli buck, who lives on a near-by friend’s farm. She will be our only doe ‘freshening’ this Spring. As an empty nester, one dairy goat fulfills all my needs for fresh milk, cheesemaking, soapmaking and the pure pleasure of hand-milking!

Corey’s ligaments are gone. Her actual due-date is Saturday, but that could go either way by a few days. ¬†I hope (pray) that we’ll experience an unassisted – normal – ¬†presentation during kidding – and not a repeat performance of last year’s triplets! The barnyard is flooded with recent snow melt, recent rainfall AND the hidden dangers of ice underlayment. It all makes for a treacherous walk back to the barn to check on Corey! Oh Spring, where are you???

My small flock of Shetlands have been sheared and I have yet to sort-out/skirt their wool fleece. I’m thinking I’d like to felt an entire fleece (like a sheepskin rug/pelt) this Spring/Summer. I also spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon hand-shearing Brutus, my Pygora, on the stanchion. He displayed great patience with me and my ‘primping’. Today, I have a bit of clean-up work to do on him as he was starting to get annoyed with me… snip snip snip.

Finally, the past few days I have been playing with the idea of an offering of classes/workshops. Wet felting is great therapy for me… requiring no special tools and perhaps a good place to begin a fiber ART experience?

sheepy hollow sheep

And so, I’ve arranged layers of wool into ‘sheepy’ shapes, adding a variety of natural colored wool to the surface for texture/interest and felted away. What fiber artist doesn’t l-o-v-e one more sheep??

sheepy hollow_sheep1

Then I begin to add a few details/shape personality. A needle felted ‘head/face’, attach wooly ears, seed beads for eyes, a nose, etc. This little ewe sports a string of beads for legs…. but, use your imagination for whatever is lying around the craft room!?

Another ‘idea’ was born with this wee little sheepie brooch/pin (for the sheep lover/fiber enthusiast).

sheepyhollow

She’s completely needle felted (onto a scrap of felted wool ‘base’) with a few curly/crimpy locks/wool staples. Similarly, I’ve needle felted a head, attached ears, legs, seed-bead eyes and nose. Class/workshop project???

sheepyhollow2

There’s always room for one more sheep roaming the garden!

Happy fiber’n!