needle felted happy pear

Needle Felting Tutorial on Faces

Needle felting faces is my favorite part of the felting process; it really brings the felted project to life.  This tutorial focuses primarily on needle felting basic yet animated faces.  The adorable pear below will be used to demonstrate this process!
needle felted happy pear
Before I add a face of any kind, I basically have completed the entire felted project minus the all important face.  As you can see this pear is already shaped and colored; you cannot necessarily see this, but the pear is also densely felted before I add the face.  Adding a face on a soft felted project will result in the eyes, nose, or mouth being indented.  This indentation could misshapen your final product!

After the colors and shapes of the product are as desired, it is time to add that face!  Sometimes, before I add a face I think my felted project is not going so well.  After all, a face really animates the overall feltie.  But waiting til the end, really is the best.  So here we go.

Place straight pins where you would like the eyes, cheeks, nose, or mouth to go.  If you have made a sketch of your desired product, refer to it at this point.  If not, simply rearrange the straight pins until the positions of the major facial features seems correct.  I have placed a needle for the eyes and cheeks.  The mouth will be minimal and straight pins will be a distraction to me around the mouth, so I have left the mouth undesignated at this point!
how to make a needle felt face
Let’s start on those eyes.  Grab two small and equal amounts of your eye color.  Roll each of these tufts into a small ball between your fingers.  Remove the straight pin, slide the tuft of wool onto the middle of the straight pin and place it back on the chosen area of your felted project.   Next begin felting the eye shape.  My eye is black and circular.  To felt this shape I choose a distance away from the center of the straight pin and maintain that distance as I felt circularly around the straight pin.  Once the eye shape is weakly established, I remove the straight pin and needle felt the entire eye until it is even.
needle felting basic eyes
To highlight the eye or add pupils, grab two smaller tufts of wool in the color of choice.  Roll the tuft into a ball and place this tufty ball onto your felting needle.
how to needle felt a face
Next position the tip of the needle where you are adding your highlight or pupil and go in and out in the exact same point on your project.  This will focus that tiny tuft of wool into one small area.
how to needle felt eye
My pear just happens to be a blushing pear and therefore needs pink little cheeks.  The cheeks are created the exact same way that the circular eyes were created two steps ago.  Place the wool tuft with the straight pin, needle felt circularly around the pin to create the border for the cheek, remove the straight pin, and felt until even!
tutorial on needle felting faces
To create the smile on the pear, I grabbed a very thin piece of wool and stretched it into a thin line.  I then placed one end of the wool onto the far right side of the mouth and used my felting needle to tack down the line of wool as I progressed to the left side.  Afterwards, I grabbed another small tuft of wool, stretched it into a thin line and felted it over this guideline to get a smooth, finished look!
needle felting faces tutorial
My happy, blushing pear is now complete!  This is a very basic face, but sometimes Less is indeed More.  I will share a more complicated version of facial features in a future post.  If you have any questions, please ask!

handmade play food, needle felt pear

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Using Sheep Wool in the Garden!

felt water retention

Maintaining a Well Hydrated Plant Can be Easy and Fun Too!

 

It’s spring time and as a result gardening has completely taken over around here!  While researching wool a few months back, I came across the idea of using sheep wool in the garden.  I decided being I have a few pounds of wool in my closet that I would give it a shot.

From what I can remember, the usefulness of wool in the garden is water retention and the slow release of nitrogen into the soil!

Amethyst in Snow Bachelor's Button

Amethyst in Snow Bachelor’s Button

Strawberry Plant

Strawberry

My soil is very low quality and it’s tricky to grow anything except the most heat and drought tolerant plants; so I really hope that the wool coupled with excessive mulching will help!    I have five large pots that my children “intricately” painted and they are always the first to dry up.  I put rocks in the bottom of the pot and a layer of wool on top of that and then I topped it off with some gardening soil.  Once the seedlings germinate, I will add some mulch as well.

painted flower pot

My Two Year Old’s Handiwork!

painted gardening containers

Painting By Children Age 2-11

I also purchased a few plants from the nursery.  While planting them, I included a tuft of wool at the base, near the roots, and then covered the wool and roots with soil.  The only problem I have faced so far is the roaming neighborhood dogs!  Dogs go crazy over the smell of wool; and I suppose one of the dogs sniffed out the wool at the base of my spearmint.   It dug the wool up and left the roots of my poor plant exposed.  So be cautious, if you are not planting in a fenced in area.  Just be sure to dig pretty deep when including wool in an area exposed to dogs!

Spearmint

Spearmint

Sage Bud

Sage

Songbird Cardinal Columbine Flower

Songbird Cardinal Columbine

This is my first time using wool in my garden.  From what I’ve read, it is a common and time tested technique in Europe.  Time will tell. I will keep everyone updated about the progress in my garden!  And please comment if you have heard of or used this technique yourself!

Needle Felt Chipmunk–new improved baby version!

I have been so busy with my children all week, but I managed to needle felt an adorable baby chipmunk.  This felted chipmunk is sleeping with its little pink feet in the air.  Here it is sleeping amongst the beautiful and
edible “weeds” in my yard!
needle felt sleeping baby chipmunk
A few weeks ago, I needle felted a different chipmunk for a spring charity event.  Well afterwards, I decided I simply wanted more cuteness in a chipmunk.  Therefore, my new chipmunk design became a baby and then a baby with huge chipmunk cheeks and then a sleeping baby with huge chipmunk cheeks.  At that point, I realized the cuteness meter had been maxed and it was time to bring this idea to life!
needle felt chipmunk with black and white stripes
Yes, I realize that huge chipmunk cheeks on a sleeping chipmunk is somewhat illogical being the huge cheeks should only be apparent while eating.  However, sometimes the most basic logic flies out the window when one is pondering the maximum degree of CUTENESS!

This chipmunk was a rather simple design.  I simply needle felted two small balls, left a bit unfelted on one ball and used that unfelted bit to attach the two balls together.  This is how I achieved the basic shape of the sleeping chipmunk.   Most needle felted animals have arms or legs to attach; being that the legs were simple alluded to with the pink feet,  this chipmunk was rather quick and fun to create.  I love just focusing on the fun detail part of needle felting!

Hopefully I will have time this coming week to needle felt more than one feltie.  We shall see.  Until next time . . .

Wishing Everyone a Happy Spring with Felted Birds

Today is the official beginning of Spring!  The spring equinox happened while I was sleeping.  It is bright, sunny, and very warm outside;  I just love spring!

I’ve been taking advantage of the mostly mild weather here and have been gardening with my children all week.  After disturbing the soil and returning indoors, I peek out the window to see the robins flock towards the disturbed rough dirt to peck at the scurrying insects!  I suppose that is what inspired this little felted robin in a baby blue egg shell. The American Robin is actually not a robin at all.  It was named after the European Robin that has a similarly red-colored belly.  The robin I’ve seen throughout my whole life, is actually a member of the thrush family!  I thought I’d throw in a little education along with my cute felted bird!

needle felt bird for Easter

Here are just a few more of my felted spring birds.  The baby chick is actually posing amongst chickweed.  And chickens eat chickweed, hence the name.  It is one of the first plants to take over my yard this time of year
and it’s edible as well.  I don’t even have to yell at my kids for putting it in their mouth!

handmade Easter chick toy

The felted hen with chick are sitting in front of some massive wheat grass.  I know you can’t see it in the photo, but that wheat grass is out of control.  I grind wheat sometimes for homemade bread, and I tossed a handful of wheat berries on my lawn and they took off like crazy.  I have these tall bright green patches amongst an otherwise desolate lawn!

needle felt birds for Easter
I’m pretty much just chatting at this point.  So I guess I will end with a “Happy Spring Everyone”!!!!!