needle felting + christmas = tomtem!
Oooooooooh !!!!! I am totally bewitched with this needle felting.
And this afternoon – after a delightful trip to Little Sparrow’s new premises in Carlise Street Balaclava (one of my favourite grocery shopping destinations) – I popped on the sunglasses, took my felting bag and wee bundles of new red and green wool outside and rolled and stabbed and rolled and stabbed until the sun finally sank and the mosquitoes carried away my feet, ankles and all.
That’s right – after a cold and gloomy morning, we had SUN this afternoon! Ah, be still my beating heart :-) What could be more lovely than creative work in a sunny garden. Creative Christmas work, that’s what :-)
For all those of you dear folk who have not tried needle felting, I took these photos step by step, just so you can see what pure alchemy this is. I have always been entranced by the nature of needlework – that with just a single thread or yarn or thin and flat piece of fabric you can create something so three dimensional and rich. But needle felting – it takes this sense of wonder to new heights .
: sigh :
Of course, tomorrow we have our weekly date with the Farmers’ Market (thank goodness – we’ve just eaten the last two eggs, with the last two slices of ham and bread for dinner – ahem! if you sit in the garden until after 8pm with barbed needles and wool, sadly dinner doesn’t cook itself. I know – strange) but I don’t know … I think we could perhaps go without food for the week so that we may tootle out to Winterwoods instead and get MORE WOOL!
Despite such delight, I am still working things out. This Christmas Tomtem is my own pattern – a Lily creation – and I’m very pleased with how he turned out, but there are still technical aspects I’m unsure of.
Note 1 :: I learnt how to do hands from Mama Pumpkin – but forgot the order of wool with Mr. Tomtem – think about the order of steps carefully as I progress.
Note 2 :: I wasted a good deal of green wool on his bonnet – at least half of the foundation is green – not thrifty Lily! – need to do as much foundation work with foundation wool as possible.
Note 3 :: For pairs – e.g. feet and arms – tear the required wool up at the same time to ensure I use the same amount and am therefore more likely to feet and arms the same size!
Note 4 :: All pipecleaners are NOT created equal – buy a stash of extra sturdy pipe cleaners.
Note 5 :: Skin colour cannot be fudged – another supply for the stash – and preferably something not quite so apricotty! (Funny story about apricotty skin colour – for Abby’s second Christmas, we gave her a dear little baby doll – one of those rubbery, anatomically correct dolls – and it was “black”. For the same Christmas, Mum gave her the same doll – she swears she didn’t know about ours – and it was “white”. By the time Abby could talk, these babies were Brown Boot (pronounced as in “foot”) and Orange Boot!)
Note 6 :: Leave centred elements – such as belt buckles – until the end, so that they don’t get twisted around as I work.
I’m sure there’ll be more to learn as I go on – and I’ve popped a couple of books on my Father Christmas list that I would love to get stuck into.
Until then … I shall cheerily experiment and stab away. St. Martin, St. Lucia and Mary – you’re all one step closer to your sweet felted existence!