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Archive for the ‘needlefelted’ Category

Each year, the girls look forward to decorating the home for Valentine’s Day.  Last year, I made a variety of window stars that I put on the windows.  After the holiday, I packed them away to use again this year. 

It was so easy this year to decorate the main window in the dining room.  Here’s what it looks like:

As the girls and I looked through the bin of Valentine’s Day decor, we came across the paper cuttings I did last year for each of them.  One chose red paper as the backing and the other chose pink.  We hung the paper cuttings with a couple more window stars in the living room.

Since I just put out the winter nature table scene on the dresser in the dining room about a week ago, the girls and I decided to keep it up.  So this will stay up for a little while longer (perhaps right after Valentine’s Day it will be changed to another scene).

Winter Nature Table
Since we decided to keep the winter nature table where it was, Olivia suggested putting a Valentine’s scene on the bookshelf.  The table is more craft focused rather than nature focused since the winter nature table has the nature elements (e.g., rocks, sticks, pinecone, walnut shell beeswax candles). 

Valentine’s Day Items

The display on the bookcase has hand-embroidered gnomes made from wool felt and sheep wool stuffing from sheep who use to live here.  The elf clogs are hand-embroidered and made from wool felt as well.  I made a pair for each of the girls using their favorite colors.  The wet-on-wet watercolor lanterns are made from watercolor paper, kite paper, and tissue paper.  The girls made them a few years ago.  The two cards are handmade featuring origami designs made from Japanese paper. 

The picture is of Casey who died 3 years ago on the day before Valentine’s Day.  An artist painted the picture in exchange for some of my work.  It’s been a treasured picture…and one that has been the focal point of several displays.

I like to make a few new things each year, so this is a new window star I made.  It follows a base pattern that I use for another star, but I changed things up a bit to create a new pattern.  Here it is:

I also made a couple of miniature bears from a wool sweater that I felted in the washer/dryer.  The bears are holding a paper bunting with Valentine’s Day theme paper.  The bears are available in my shop, but I’m going to make another set so the girls have something else to decorate with in future years. 

Bears (made with a felted sweater) holding a bunting

The other item I just started making are bendy dolls with wire, beads, and wool felt.  I use a length of wire and two different size beads to create a miniature human form.  The clothes are hand-embroidered onto the wire frame.  The hat needed to be hot-glued onto the bead head in order to stay…otherwise it just slips right off.

I’m doing some for my shop as well as some for home.  The girls like them because they can bend and be posed in different ways.  Here is the trio of dolls that I made this weekend:

There are still a couple of weeks until February and some more things the girls and I want to do before then that relate to the holiday….more crafts, recipes to try, and activities to do.  Next week, I’ll post some more Valentine’s Day ideas.
Family room window with winter-white stars

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Yesterday, I finished all the window stars that I was making for customers and shifted focus this morning to wool.  If you’ve been following along, I’m doing the “Art Every Day Month” challege during November.  The goal is to do something creative each day – whether it be a new, smaller piece or working on a larger piece. 

This morning I spent the time needlefelting six wool felt balls.  Made them in the following colors:  red (2), orange, yellow, blue, and purple.  As the day moved along so quickly, I wanted to make sure I got them in the mail to the customer and forgot to take a picture.  However, here’s one that is representative of the colors I used:

In picking out the colors of wool to use, I ended up organizing the wool bin.  Lots of beautiful, hand-dyed wool to work with…and to think of more things I can make with it.  Already have a few ideas for what to make to put in my shop as well as to keep and decorate the home. 

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On a recent afternoon, I was organizing my wool.  I had not done much needlefelting recently, so I thought it would be fun to take a little break, pick up the barbed needles, and start creating some natural toys for children.  Ended up making a dozen of the wool felt balls.  It was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

These felt balls (to the right) are needle-felted from beautifully soft, 100% wool roving. They are colorful, safe, and fun to play with indoors. They are the perfect size for small hands, and easy to catch and throw.

Felt balls also:
– make great cat toys
– can be easily juggled
– make a light-weight bowling ball
– teach children about the colors of the rainbow
– are natural and safe to play with (no risk of lead!)

Each felt ball is approximately 3 1/2″ (8.5 cm) in diameter; and 10 1/2″ (26.5 cm) in circumference. The core is clean roving that was from one of the sheep I raised at Harvest Moon’s organic farm. The outer layer is wool roving that has been hand-dyed with natural dyes.

Some of the wool balls are a single color…while others use roving that have a lovely blend of shades and specks of vibrant colors.

If you’re interested in purchasing a felt ball (or a whole collection of them), please visit Harvest Moon by Hand.

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Math Gnomes
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

This is a set of Waldorf-inspired math gnomes that I made for a customer for my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

The gnomes stand between 9-10” inches tall, and each is needlefelted by hand. Sometimes I use 4 barbed needles at a time and at other times only a single barbed needle (for example, when attaching the curly sheep wool to the face and body or creating the math symbols on the bodies).

Each gnome has a different math sign on the body – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and equals. Individual gnomes and combination of gnomes can be used in combination with natural tactile elements (e.g., pebbles, gems, acorns) to make learning math more tangible.

There are many Waldorf-inspired stories using math gnomes on the internet. You may choose to use one of the stories as they are presented…or create your own stories.

The gnomes are made from sheep wool – the interior core is from cream-colored wool from sheep that I raised at Harvest Moon’s organic farm. The exterior (colored) wool is from a variety of textile artists who hand-dye sheep wool.

For a set of custom-made gnomes or other needlefelted items, please visit my shop, Harvest Moon by Hand.

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Harvest Moon by Hand has been a member of the NaturalKids team for over a year now. Currently, the team is doing a blog-a-thon which is a great way to learn more about the team and some of the shops’ blogs.

Throughout this post you’ll see some of the lovely work that is offered by Naturalkids team members (including Harvest Moon by Hand) that would make beautiful additions to a spring nature table.

(Felted vases by Viltalakim)

The NaturalKids Team was started by woodmouse in 2007. Early members included faerierebecca, fairiesnest, and cozycottage. It was a small group, with a small presence on Etsy.

Since that time members have come and gone, but our mission has stayed the same: to be a group of sellers dedicated to creating natural products for children. We are a diverse group of artisans who make natural toys, utensils, clothing, and accessories for children.

(Two hand-embroidered wool felt sheep from Harvest Moon by Hand)

Our sellers work with materials from the Earth, such as wool, cotton, silk, and wood. Our goal is to support, promote, and have fun together while building our businesses.

(Wool robin eggs in nest by Cute Little Thing)

One of our first team blog posts read as below and it is still true today:

We are a diverse bunch from all over the globe who have at least one thing in common: we all work with natural materials in our products for children. Oh yeah, and we’re all pretty darn crafty & talented too! Wool, wood, cotton…just simple materials direct from the Earth.

So who are we?
– Some of us are mothers of small children.
– Some of us are mothers of grown children.
– Some of us make dolls, some of us make hats, some of us make toys.
– Some of us have been selling our wares for many years.
– Some of us are just starting to discover our talents and start selling.
– Some of us work with natural materials for environmental reasons.
– Some of us work with natural materials as part of the Waldorf educational philosophy.
– Some of us work with natural materials because we believe they are healthier and safer.
– Some of us just like working with natural materials.
– Some of us sell our wares for a living.
– Some of us sell our wares as a hobby.
– Since that time, some of us are fathers.

(Pair of 2 wooden bunnies by Dad’s Wooden Toys)

Thank you for reading and now join in the fun to take a trip to see what you may find at these NaturalKids Team Members Blogs! Happy Spring!!!

Please take some time to visit these blogs by other Naturalkids Team members:

http://thereluctantcitydweller.blogspot.com/
http://thefairiesnest.blogspot.com/
http://tribaltimes.blogspot.com/
http://katsinthebelfry.blogspot.com/
http://polarbearcreations.blogspot.com/
http://fairtradefamily.blogspot.com/
http://germandolls.blogspot.com/
http://curlymonkeyandco2.blogspot.com/
http://bananabottoms.blogspot.com/
http://woolies-woolies.blogspot.com/
http://birchleafdesigns.blogspot.com/
http://pinpon-dayanara.blogspot.com/
http://sqrlbee.blogspot.com/
http://www.thesittingtree.net/
http://themuddyfoot.blogspot.com/

(Felted acorns by Sewn Natural)

For more gift ideas for spring and Easter celebrations, please visit the NaturalKids Store.

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Pile of Dyed Wool
Originally uploaded by Pictures by Ann

Taught a class to a group of homeschooled children about needlefelting. They each made a Christmas tree ornament using sheep wool.

This is selection of wool that the children chose from to make their Christmas ornaments. I like the vivid colors of the wool.

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One of the skills that the girls have been learning over the past couple of years is needlefelting.

For Easter this year, they learned how to make a needlefelted egg. Using an egg-shape base, they chose the color of wool they wanted. They used a single barbed needle to felt the wool onto the egg form.

Needlefelting is a calming, peaceful activity for children. It is excellent for developing hand-eye coordination, and the result is a lovely, all-natural piece that the child can play with or use to decorate the home.

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