I hope this finds you all well. Our country and the entire world is in a state of unknown right now. We are being asked to stay at home. This may be something new for some of you! We live in such a fast paced world that I believe we have forgotten how to slow down and take time to enjoy what is around us…family, friends, the beauty of nature…and I could go on.
Personally I never have a hard time occupying my time. However, there are folks that just don’t know what to do with themselves or their children. If you don’t have a hobby, then now might be the time to rekindle or start one!
What is a hobby? A hobby is something you enjoy doing for fun in your leisure time. Many of us don’t have a lot of leisure time, until now. There are a lot of things we can do; reading, cooking, hiking in nature, crafting. This last one is where I come in!
A great craft is needle felting. It is easy to do, inexpensive to start, and great to do with your children. What can I make?…more on that in a minute but first what are the benefits of doing a hobby such as needle felting?
How can I benefit from doing a hobby? Reasons to start a hobby.
Hobbies help to structure your time. More then likely if you have children you are now working with them through virtual systems for their education. That time is structured but what about after. Hobbies help to hold attention while creating a final project we can feel good about.
Tip: Using cookie cutters as a mold to make your project is a great way to start.
Hobbies help to promote flow. It will be easy to get caught up in all the news and worry more then we need to and as a result many of us are going to lose sleep over it. When we are concentrating on a hobby time flies and we become fully immersed in what we are doing. Hobbies that stretch our skills foster this desirable state!
Hobbies help you cope with stress. By focusing on a non-work-related task, you are giving your mind something else to think about. When you are really into it you are in a state of flow and your worries fade away…couldn’t we all use that right now!
Hobbies help you unite with others. I’m guessing that if you have children you don’t have much time to actually “do” things with them. You are busy running them to one place or another. Dinner may be a quick run through the fast food! This is a time when you actually have time to spend time with your children and really re-connect with them and get to know how amazing they are all over again.
Hobbies have physical benefits. There are a lot of studies that have shown being involved in a hobby such as needle felting lowers blood pressure, higher levels of positive psychosocial state and lower levels of depression and anxiety!
Most of all it is FUN!!!! Don’t get me wrong, our situation is serious but we need to make room for having some humor and laughter in our lives as well.
If you are interested in learning to create your own wool painting using needle felting techniques, I have just the thing for you!
Go to my website and check out my Free “5 Easy Steps to Creating a Wool Painting” . It is a PFD download and is loaded with pictures and lots of how to’s!! You will also have access to my Wool Painting Facebook group. It is a place to post your work, ask questions, and make comments.
In just a little over 2 weeks the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival will begin! I am so excited to be vending at this awesome event. This is my first year!
I am also teaching at this show; Wool Painting (check it out at the previous link. Please note this is not the subject of the picture we are creating!) This class will show you how to make a basic wool painting using wool fibers and felting needles. It is a 2 hour class and spots are still available!
Here are some behind the scenes preparation as I get ready everything ready for the class!
First it starts with finding the inspiration! I like to go to Pinterest. I can get lost in there….LOL
Once I have an idea then it is time to start creating the design;
Then to add in details!
Now I can add some stitching and any other embellishments. As I am doing that I need to start making the kits! This is a messy job….LOL
There you have it! It is going to be an awesome class! Hope I will see some of you at the show March 20-22!
Once you learn some basic techniques, the process of needle felting is very easy. You are just poking at fibers to get them to tangle up and create a solid mass. To get started you basically need just 3 things; Wool, needles, and a cushion or foam pad to work on.
Felting Needles; Felting needles have little barbs on the end that help tangle the fibers. They come in many different sizes; the higher the number the smaller the gauge. Depending on what you are trying to do will decide which needle size is most appropriate to use.As you poke your needle into the fiber and pull it out, the barbs grab on to the fiber. The fibers become intertwined and this is the process of creating felt.
Fibers: Different fibers will give you different results. The most common fiber to use for felting is wool. Other fibers can be used but should be tested for their durability in the felting process. The easiest preparation of wool of wool to use for flat or 2-D felting are carded batts. These batts are generally shorter fibers and allow you to use small bits of wool at a time. This makes it really nice for blending fibers. Rovings are another type of fiber preparation that involves coming the fibers into a straight line. They are generally longer fibers and do not work as well with this type of felting, although they do have certain applications.
Work Sufrace: The best type of work suface that I have found for my two-dimensional work is a dense foam pad. The foam should be stiff but not too hard. This surface provides you a place to allow the needle to go in and out of while poking the fibers. Care has to be taken to not felt the fibers into the foam. This can happen if you don’t periodically lift your work off the surface during felting.
There you have it! Decide on your pattern, lay down your fibers and start poking with the needle. It really is an easy and forgiving craft!
I am so honored and excited to announce that 2 of my wool paintings have been accepted to the Nature Art Showcase and Sale! The show will be held at Barrow-Civic Theatre; 1223 Liberty Street, Franklin, PA and is is part of the “Franklin on Ice Festival” held in Franklin, PA.
Artwork was to be inspired by and represent the natural or outdoor recreational assets of Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Venango, Forest, or Warren Counties.
Typically available are 2-D and 3-D items including paintings, sculpture, metal fabrication, fabric arts, jewelry, wearable art, photography, pottery, drawings, wood carving, watercolor, and more. Showcase hours open Friday, February 7 with a free public reception featuring the artists from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.; and continue on Saturday, February 8 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
One volunteer was quoted as:“It’s so refreshing on a winter day to enter the comfortable display area and view widely varied colorful art celebrating four seasons of outdoor recreational experiences and natural settings throughout northwestern Pennsylvania,” said Mrs. Marilyn Black
Artists Reception The public is invited to attend the Friday evening, February 7 Artists Reception from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., or the Saturday open hours from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
During the Friday evening reception, musicians will be strolling throughout the art display area. Juliet Hilburn of Hydetown (who is a member of the Franklin Silver Cornet Band) will play the flute. Violins and fiddles will be the instruments of choice for 9-year-old Danae Hansford of Knox, PA and 16-year-old Danika Stroup of Clarion County; both violinists are accomplished performers of classical as well as bluegrass/country music.
Also, the Friday reception will be catered by John Kluck with appetizers, desserts and family friendly drinks.
I will be there Friday night 5-7pm. I would love to chat with you about my wool paintings. I hope you can stop by for this wonderful event!
What’s the difference between wool felt & felted wool? Both are made from the same ingredients, wool roving, but they are created very different.
It starts with fiber that has been sheered from an animal…most often a sheep.
These fibers are then cleaned and carded (the process of breaking up unorganized clumps of fiber and realigning them). The result is what we call wool roving. Now here’s where each textile takes a different path.
Wool Felt is a non-woven textile. There is no thread or weaving involved in the making of it. It originates as wool roving and by adding heat, moisture and agitation, the roving compacts and matts together tightly to form what we refer to as pure wool felt.
Wool felt blends are also made using the process described above but with a combination of wool fibers and those from another material. The most common combination is wool and rayon, a non-synthetic man-made fiber derived from wood pulp. Rayon’s properties are similar to those of cotton and linen, making it an excellent choice for wool blends.
Felted Wool is a woven textile. There is thread and weaving involved. Like wool felt, it originates as wool roving, but the roving is spun into thread after being cleaned and carded. This thread is then woven into wool cloth, which is washed in hot water and dried on high heat to emulate the “add heat, moisture and agitation” process used to make wool felt. This process turns wool fabric into felted wool.
This felted wool then becomes a solid piece of fabric that you can cut without fraying. Some wool felts harder and more dense then others. So you would have to decide what type of project you are making. A fabric that is not tightly felted would not be good for cutting small applique shapes out of as it would have a tendency to fray.
Wool roving is also spun into yarn, which is used for knitting wool sweaters and accessories such as scarves and mittens. You can “felt” these knitted items as well but regardless of your wash/dry temperatures, they will not compact as tightly as wool fabric woven from thread. A good rule of thumb when looking for wool garments at the thrift store it that the item is made from 80% wool or more.
WHICH ONE SHOULD I USE?
I have used both. Wool felt is soft yet strong and comes in a variety of colors. It is also more economical to purchase then wool fabric.Felted wool comes in many colors and patterns. It is however, more expensive but the choices in patterns are more. I use both sometimes in a piece…whatever works with the project I am working on. There are some ladies who prefer their wool applique to be authentic; all done in felted wool all.
I hope this information helps clear the confusion!
I finally finished my weaving project. I think it turned out quite nice. It was fun to explore some new weaving techniques and stitches! I used several different handspun yarns. This website has a lot of good ideas and I used several of them https://aprettyfix.com/5-wavy-weaving-techniques/
There were some problems I had to work out along the way. Definitely make sure you leave more room at the top and bottom of the project while on the loom. It takes more length of warp to tie things off then you think. So…don’t look at the back of the project…LOL…Messy! More learning there.
Here is a sneak peak at where I’m going with the next one. I like the striking looks of all natural color but am wondering about adding some color in the next one.
But then I have seen some really cool weaving’s using natural colors too!
Can’t wait to get into the studio tomorrow and see where i am lead!
I have almost finished my first weaving. This one started with a crochet background and then filled in with different stitches. It still needs some tweaking. I am not sure I like the fringe and I think it needs another row of white stitches. It also needs it’s permanent hanger. I enjoyed crocheting with my art yarn I spun. It added some extra texture that I liked. The crochet went fast and I still got the fun of weaving after. It is something I would do again 🙂
My next project is using a picture frame for a loom. I have warped it by wrapping the warp threads over and under the edge of the frame similar to this:
This is my inspiration!
Of course as usual, when I went to assemble all my supplies there was one yarn I did not have! True to my commitment to only using what I have I needed to make some chunky yarn. I found some I had spun and then plied it for a chunkier version…it has potential for the fringe.
Or I might use this chunky white that I spun on my electric spinner…
Speaking of the electric spinner…
It has been YEARS!!!! since I used it. I bought it when my left knee was really bad before the knee replacement. I was doing a lot of spinning then and thought this would help. I found that even though it helped my knee I missed the rhythm of using hands and feet together. But yesterday I needed to spin some yarn up quick and did not have another wheel at the studio. It worked PERFECT!!!! I didn’t even miss not using my feet.
I now have all supplies ready and off I go to get this project underway….stay tuned!