Archive for Stuff I Make

Enjoying Needle Felting

I really enjoy working with wool felt and the needle. The craft of shaping and sculpting the wool is called needle felting.  A couple of reasons why I liked needle felting right away is because I noticed that it could quickly reduce stress and  because it’s very forgiving to a beginner. Even if whatever I’m  working on doesn’t come out exactly as intended, it doesn’t come out horrendous, either. That makes me want to keep on trying it out. Another reason to like it is that it’s a pretty minimal craft. The basics are: a needle, wool batting and a foam felting pad or you could use a kitchen sponge. From that point, you can make whatever you want! I just love that.

The first time I ever felted was from a kit. It was one from Woolbuddy. I found my kit while browsing in Maido, a stationary  and gift store in SF’s Japan Town. It was a penguin kit. My First Wooly Friend

woolbuddy felt making kit

This is the Woolbuddy kit for my first felty

The penguin wooly had a good albeit short life. Unfortunately, recently its life ended abruptly after a visiting dog mistook it for a toy stuffy after the wooly had fallen off its shelf. Sad. I reflected on it being my first needle felt wooly and comforted myself by promising the creation of more wooly’s to come.

The latest wooly art that I made was for my Aunt’s birthday. Like me, she likes little cute things, especially if they’re small, have fur and are rodent- like.

Image of a wool felt hamster

Wool felt hamster with a food bowl and hamster wheel.

 

Image of a wool felt hamster approaching his food bowl

Wooly hamster approaching his/her food bowl

 

Image of handmade wool felt hamster eating out of pretend food bowl

I can’t wait to eat! Then go on my funwheel!

 

9 Neat Things To Know About Felt:

  • Felt is an industrial material.
  • Felt is used on stuff like the underside of cars to protect the car body, as well as in the construction of a home.
  • The finer the wool, the softer it is. Think of merino wool, you see it a lot in clothing. Coarse wools are used to make carpets.
  • Coarse wools felt quickly. Softer wools take much more time to felt.
  • Wool roving  is rolled up wool that  you get in thin 5 inch wide strips. The fibers are all straight and go in one direction. It looks smoother and can feel softer.
  • Wool batting is wool that’s rolled up into sheets. They’re wider than the wool roving and can be fluffy-like. The fibers are not straightened nor directional. It looks a little coarser than wool roving.
  • Felting needles have different gauges and therefore will felt the wool a little differently.
  • The felting need was created and used for industrial use. In the 1980’s, David and Eleanor Stanwood developed the felting needle into a handcraft.
  • Needle felting is different than wet felting. Wet felting is the oldest technique of the two. Historically, it’s also been the one that artist use more. Wet felting involves rubbing soapy wet fibers together. Needle felting is a dry process that has been growing in popularity.

Do you want to try needle felting? Just go for it!

It’s fun, doesn’t require a lot to begin, and it’s not rocket science. But I mean, if you’re into rocket science, that’s cool, too. I get it … Still! You’re going to love needle felting.

‘Til next time, keep enjoying the little things: because it’s about the little things in life!

 

Simply Designed Handmade Beaded Necklaces

This is one of the first necklaces I’ve made. A friend of mine gave me a bunch of blue beads that I later learned were part of a glass bead kit that featured all kinds of shades of blue beads. I love blue hues. Working with colors for this made the necklace fun to make. I decided to make it a short choker length necklace because I had casual summer beach jewelry in mind.

It’s a straightforward design and easy enough to make.

Glass Bead Necklace in Blue

Back of Blue Bead Necklace

This next necklace is a combination of chain and potato pearl beads with some acrylic beads plus some genuine raw garnet beads. I made a pair of short dangle earrings from the leftover potato pearls and rough garnet gemstones. I really enjoyed working with both materials – chain and beads.

Seems like there are so many expressions of this combination of materials. I find it inspiring and fun to work with.

Chain and Potato Pearls Plus Acrylic Necklace

Chain Plus Potato Bead Necklace Close Up

The necklace below, I whipped up really fast. I was wearing this black top and in the moment I was inspired to add something to it. I had materials for awhile and wanted to use them up. Finally an idea came to mind. I like this necklace because there’s something about it that’s a little more masculine than what I normally make and yet still feminine. I think the inverted triangle represents that strong femininity and the heavier chain is the masculine part.

Inverted Triangle Chain Necklace

Inverted Triangle Chain Necklace II

All of these necklaces were fun to make and I was inspired when making each one. On of my favorite things about making necklaces is receiving ideas. The necklaces featured here are pretty simple designs.

Until next time, keep enjoying the little things in life!

 

DIY Spring Wreath Idea

One thing about me is that I’ve always got something to do. I never get bored. I can’t. I’ve got too many projects that I have planned to do. I have most of them written down in a small notebook called “Home Projects”. A lot of my projects are home related, like for better organizing or for beautification, or maybe it’s something I can re-use in a new way. Some home projects I just try because I’ve seen it done somewhere else and I think “why not” , just to try it.

One of those home projects is a handmade DIY wreath. I always see these beautiful wreaths sold at stores like Target, Wayfair, Pottery Barn or Harry & David. And honestly, while I love them, I feel that the prices on those things are more than I want to pay. Inspired by DIY wreaths across the internet, I finally got around to making my own Spring/Summer DIY Wreath.

I happen to see a smaller sized wooden wreath for $1.00 at Target. I picked it up because at a price like that, it can’t be beat. I’d been thinking of working with a larger size wreath, but I justified that the smaller wreath would be less intimidating to work with, being my first time and all.

Next thing I did, I went to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store because they were having a faux/silk flower sale. It was a very good thing that the silk flowers were on sale because they definitely can add $$ up if you’re working on a larger flower arrangement. Heck, even a small one, like mine. Surprisingly, the flowers cost me about $20.00 for all of my selections (on sale).

When I went to Jo-Ann’s, I intuitively picked out my flowers. I didn’t go for a theme. I didn’t go for any particular type of flower. I went with the feeling I get thinking about Spring. To me, Spring is about renewal. Spring is about freshness. I chose fresh and renewing colors. As a result, I ended up with a Spring wreath that I can keep on the entrance door of my home throughout the Summer.

Pictures of my home project DIY Spring Wreath:

Door Spring Wreath

 

Handmade Spring Wreath

Home Project Spring Wreath

 

If you’ve never tried to make a wreath and you’ve given it a thought, you should go for it! It’s an easy project, perfect for someone just getting into the groove of their creative side.

Here’s what you’ll need, in no particular order:

– a glue gun (with the little glue sticks)

– flower wire

– silk flowers

– wire cutters

– a wreath (I recommend a wood one for working with the silk flowers).

– definitely, you’ll need inspiration, so scour around the web for some ideas of what you’d like yours to look like.

Please let me know what you think!