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Archive for the 'Felting' Category

Quickie Question: Dear Santa?

Monday, November 26th, 2012
By Twistie

Dear Santa,

There are a couple things I’d love to find under the tree this year. Here they are:

First off, I’d like a nice selection of rovings in pretty colors to do more needle felting with. I like this selection of 50 colors from Mielke’s Fiber Arts. At just $32.00, it’s even a deal.

I could also use some pretty new lace bobbins from Knotwork Lace Tools. Pretty and practical. I love these bobbins!

So what about all of you? What crafting goodies would you love to have Santa deliver down your chimney?

Tell us all about it!

Cloche To You

Saturday, November 10th, 2012
By Twistie

Well, it’s finally starting to feel like autumn around my neck of the woods, and some parts of the country have really been feeling the chill… and the damp… and the… let’s just say there are some places where I imagine bundling up is not merely a good idea right now, but an absolute necessity.

Of course, colder weather always makes me think of really great hats. Okay, I admit I think about them a lot all year round and in every kind of weather, but cold weather hats have a special place in my heart. And that adorable felted cloche with the buttons up top? Is seriously on my holiday wish list!

It’s the work of one Julie Sindon, who makes fabulous felted hats for a living. This one is just $55.00, which makes it an affordable number as well as attractive.

Oh, and right now she’s a featured artist on Poppytalk, where you can get a variety of her lovely hats and scarves.

Of her felting, Julie has this to say:

All hats are made of boiled wool, which means that they are knit large, and then felted (or shrunk).  It’s just like when you accidentally shrink your wool sweater in the washing machine, except that we do it on purpose.

Gotta love that.

Nothing Mere About It

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
By Twistie

I have a longstanding love of meerkats. They’re so darn adorable. I love how they stand and act as sentries for the community.

Of course I’m not in favor of having wild animals as pets, except for sloths. Apparently the biggest hassle of having them as pets is remembering to take them out every few days and hose them off so they can take care of their bodily functions. What? I read an article in National Geographic many years ago. It seems that sloths are quite friendly creatures.

But meerkats? Yeah, not gonna happen. And my neighborhood probably isn’t zoned for sloths, dagnabbit.

But I could order one of these deliciously detailed needlefelted meerkats from Etsy artist Daria Lvovsky for just $62.00 plus shipping from Isreal.

It’s even on a wired skeleton, so it can be posed in different ways.

Not big on meerkats? That’s okay. Lvovsky also does a wide variety of creatures and fairy tale figures to brighten your home and delight the eye. Now, do I want a koala or a vulture first….

I Am Not Worthy

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
By Twistie

Okay. You guys know I recently took up needle felting, right? And it’s been going really well and I’m quite chuffed with myself about how cool and fun it is and how pretty it looks.

And then I see this:

Yes, it’s a Panserbjorne Armored Ice Bear from The Golden Compass needle felted from alpaca with armor by Whiting & Davis.

Seriously, check out the expression, the detail, the lines and the shading. This is a freaking masterpiece.

Even though all I know about The Golden Compass is that there was a book and a movie, I want this bear. I don’t have to know more.

Well, maybe I have to figure out where I’m coming up with $1,800 to pay for it, but really, that’s a side issue right now.

SteviT, I wish I could afford to buy up everything in your Etsy shop. You are a true craft artist.

It Takes Moxie

Friday, May 11th, 2012
By Twistie

I’ve always felt it took a certain amount of moxie to be a craft artist in a mass-produced world. Little did I know there was a craft artist called Moxie. This is one of her works from a series entitled icons & totems & pieces of the past which showed at Gallery Hanahou in New York City last year.

Moxie’s craft of choice is needle felting. Yeah, that little Leggo boy I remember well from my own misspent youth is entirely needle felted, and displayed in what appears to be a wooden cigar box.

I’m also loving the Hungry series, though it might disturb some very delicate sensibilities.

For a bit more background, read this cool profile on CNN. Then head to her website and learn some more. I, for one, think she’s pretty fabulous.

I Hope It’s What They Want for Christmas….

Monday, April 30th, 2012
By Twistie

… because most of the people I know are going to get something a lot like this:

Not this specifically. It’s the work of Etsy artist chicthrills, and it’s beyond fabulous. It reminds me of Raoul Dufy’s work.

Image via

My needle felting isn’t quite that advanced yet, and my style is coming out a little different. Then again, I’ve only been doing this for a couple months.

All the same, I’m going crafty for the holidays and I’m giving myself a lot of lead time. It’s only April and I’ve just gotten myself a bunch of inexpensive wool berets from Amazon in a variety of colors that I know will appeal to those around me. We’re by and large a hat-wearing bunch, and berets are popular in my circle. So with some pretty wool rovings, a couple sharp needles, a few budget hats, and some of my infamous creativity, well, my friends and family will find themselves getting custom headwear from me and Mr. Twistie.

The journey starts today with a brown beret and some rovings in gold, maroon, and red. This one will be for me and will feature autumn leaves. After all, I want to start with something fairly simple that’s for me. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll get some good pointers for doing better with the next one. If it goes well, then I’ve got a new hat for my collection and a boost to my confidence.

Wish me luck, gang! I may need it.

Looking Through a Glass Camel

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
By Twistie

This has been me for the past week. I’ve spent a lot of my waking hours stabbing needles repeatedly into wool rovings and creating felt motifs. It’s really a pretty simple thing… but as I learned long ago when discovering bobbin lace, sometimes there’s amazing scope for adventure in a very simple thing.

So I went looking for a little inspiration the other day and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this:


The Whole Kit and Kaboodle

Monday, February 27th, 2012
By Twistie

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to try out some new crafting techniques. Well, I took the plunge recently. See that beginner’s needle felting kit up there? Yeah, I ordered one of those from Mielke’s (pronounced ‘Milky’s’) Fibers.

The kit comes with eight needles (two each in four different sizes), a 12″ x 9″x 1 1/2″ foam work surface, a generous amount of carded fleece in some eight different colors, a strip of cotton batting, a bit of yarn, and a set of instructions in basic techniques taught in the form of four different projects. The instructions tell you how to do the work and suggest shapes and colors, but leave the final design up to the student, which is great because it encourages you to delve into your own creativity right off the bat. The needles come in a sturdy plastic tube and jabbed into a piece of foam so you won’t hurt yourself before you begin. They also include a handy chart to explain the color coding on the handles of the needles, including the length. That’s a good thing since two different styles have the same color handles, but one is significantly longer than the other.

As soon as the kit arrived, I pulled all the bits out and started playing. What do you know? By the end of an hour of reading instructions, identifying tools, etc. I sat down and in less than half an hour, I had a pretty piece of needlefelt in the form of a red heart I can wear on my sleeve… but will more likely attach to a hat at some point. I even managed it sans bloodshed! My vocabulary of vulgarities remains unenhanced, but at least I’m not wearing bandages on my fingers. I do, however, firmly believe the reason the kit suggests using red fleece to begin with is so that if one does draw one’s own blood, it’s less likely to ruin the project.

All in all, I’m thinking I spent $25.00 quite well. I’d been looking at needle felting beginner’s kits for a couple months, and this one seemed to me to offer the best combination of quality, versatility, and ease of use. If you’re looking to take up this fun craft, I highly recommend this as the kit to get.

Get Classy

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
By Twistie

As much as we love to craft on our own, there’s nothing like a good technique class to help broaden horizons, pick up new skills, and correct bad habits. Heck, just the chance to be in a roomful of people who enjoy using their hands to create things can be a breath of fresh air!

But sometimes you don’t know where to look to find a class. That’s why I sat down and found some courses where you can learn new techniques and hone old skills.

First up is the illustration above. It’s a quilt. The title is Big Sur in May, and it was created by quilt artist Judith Baker Montano. It’s pretty spiffy, isn’t it? In point of fact, I think it’s pretty breathtaking. Well, as it turns out, Ms. Montano is holding a workshop in quilting land and seascapes in May through the Madeline Island School of the Arts in Wisconson. The class is four days long and costs $620.00. See here for details on the class and how to sign up.


Dying to Please You

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
By Twistie

Mmmm… pretty colors.

It’s fun to have lots of pretty colors of yarn to play with. Whether you plan to knit, crochet, or do massive string art with it, color is an integral part of the charm of your finished product.

But not everyone loves to do the actual dying. Sort of like the way not everyone wants to spin the yarn. And of course there is that learning curve when you’re playing with techniques, but can’t count on the best results, yet.

And that’s where the aptly named Decadent Fibers comes in.

They carry a wide variety of yarns in natural fibers, such as: merino, silk, organic cotton, and mohair. Some varieties do contain a small amount of nylon to help keep the shape of the finished product, but it’s just a touch.

Best of all, every kind of yarn they sell can be custom dyed. Sure, they’ve got a lot of great colors they make every single day, but if you don’t find what you want there, you can request the color you need and they will create it for you.

Don’t want yarn? If you’re looking for roving to spin or felt, you can get the same great range of colors.

Need something to do with all this yarn/fiber? They also carry a range of books, patterns, and kits to get you going, including their one-skein knitting projects.

Then again, maybe I’ll just splurge on a few skeins to fondle when nobody else is looking.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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