Thursday, July 28, 2011

Needle felting update: Just a little one!


Just a word of advice, do NOT use styrofoam blocks to needle felt! Little bits of white styrofoam will get stuck in your projects and it is sometimes difficult to dig out. Don't let the styrofoam ruin you "hard felt work"! ;-)

On the other hand... Needle felting an egg. Took me hours! BUT I was doing something else in between needle felting too. Still though. HOURS! :-/ Practice practice practice. ARRR! I've yet to try wet felting. Saw videos on wet felting wool into a ball. I will try that someday! There's a BUT. According to an experienced needle felter and my personal inspiration to start making needle felted eggs, asherjasper from etsy has mentioned in one of her listings that it is not as easy needle felting onto a wet felted item, such as a ball or egg. Besides being an inspiration, she makes the CUTEST egg-and-ball-shaped, theme-based characters. You should check out her work: Asherjasper from etsy.

Now! Lucky Australian eggs are not as big. Teehee!!

PS: Just discovered that needle felters use "wool batting" as the core and apparently it felts quicker, hence a quick nice round egg! Harrumph!! I just purchased 2 pounds (Almost 1kg) worth of wool batting off the Felt Alive's website: Needle felting supplies. Kay Petal is the owner and founder of Felt Alive, making her famous sculptural caricatures of famous people and friends! Check out her website. It's absolutely full of information on needle felting. Yays! It is so damn difficult to find wool batting suitable for needle felting in Australia??

Happy felting! =)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Needle felting tools

As promised, here are the pictures of the tools that I'm using to create the macarons!

I am NOT a representative for the needle felting brand, Clover. Just want to show what Clover tools I use to make needle felting goodies. 

Warning 1: VERY pic-heavy & SUPER SHARP needles!!
Warning 2: NEVER needle felt when you're tired unless you need the wake-up jolt, ie stabbing your finger(s) by accident!

Large needle felting mat. More like a big scrub! :D
You can use this mat OR opt for a cheaper option, block of foam (styrofoam sucks!).
This clover mat unfortunately make your felt projects really fuzzy (DUH, felt! BUT I'd prefer less fuzziness) so a block of foam is good on hand to clean up or shape any non-flat needle felting projects.

Even if there's a safety lock and barrier, I still managed to stab myself twice on the thumb so be VERY CAREFUL!

The good thing about the Clover needle felting tool with 5 needles is that you can felt faster but in the end for flat projects, you'd need to use just 1 needle to "clean up".  That's my opinion though. :D

This pen has room for 3 needles.
I forgot to take a picture of the pen that you can use by just uncapping and you're ready to stab the wool. (Like above picture, just uncap and stab!)

Do NOT use the pen the way as shown above. It should have either the other half of the pen attached OR the see-through guard attached (for cookiecutters/applique moulds) before use.

BUT. The most dangerous part is the SHARP pointy part of the needle!

The needle looks like this on it's own.

The cleaning/felt holder/blending tool. Instruction as shown below.
Another alternative I saw as a holder is toothpick.

Extra sets of needles. These needles are exclusively for the Clover needle felting tool ONLY. I'm not too sure if other brands of needles are compatible with the Clover needle felting tool.

 Clover Assorted bags of Natural Wool: 20g per colour.
After doing a bit of research, batting is actually more suitable for needle felting rather than roving/sliver wool. Please visit Felt Alive's Needle Felting Supplies to find out WHY!

I highly, highly recommend HAMANAKA WOOL that I purchase from etsy: 1127handcrafter and hallowinko 

There's also this Economy FUN Batting and Premium Needle Felting Batts in mixed colours from Felt Alive's needle felting supplies. Pretty!  
Wool roving. Just pull it apart gently. 

 Superhero strength not needed to pull the roving apart, gentle tugs at both ends will do.

If you've scoured through youtube for needle felting videos, you will see some videos where the presenters use only 1 needle and a block of foam. A much much cheaper option! Some people use melamine foam blocks but I find that they disintegrate too quickly compared to the foam blocks from "Felt Alive's Needle Felting Supplies".

June 2014 edit: I highly recommend purchasing felting supplies, kits and wool from online sellers at etsy: 1127handcrafter and hallowinko as they have the best prices! I purchase Hamanaka Wool from from them too, which I absolutely love needle felting with! 1127handcrafter also sells "Carter short fibre wool" and it's absolutely great to needle felt with too!

I purchased wool batting - coloured Economy FUN batting, needles and foam (3 sizes!) at: Felt Alive's Needle Felting Supplies online store

Please feel free to share your info about what other alternative products that you'd use.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Back to crocheting and started needle felting!

Have I been lazy or what!? I have been lazy AND what. :D I have been lazy (been sick as a dog too but better now!), not doing much, just "thinking". BAD but at least I have done some little things.

So! I have been "thinking" about starting on my wedding invitations but I can't be stuffed. AT THE MOMENT. What I've done so far... I've started to crochet again and have been learning them visually on youtube (THANK YOU CROCHETGEEK, Teresa!). Learned needle felting today and stabbed my left thumb TWICE on almost the same spot! Oh, I believe the barbed needles are sharp when the warning is advertised everywhere (packaging and youtube videos) but it just so happened that my right hand was needlefelting while I was holding the wool with my left thumb and index finger. 

Enough blabbing. Here's what I've done so far! Pictures are taken by the iphone so quality is not that great. I promise that I will update with better pictures tomorrow, including the tools I used for needlefelting. :D

My 3D flowers! YAAAHHHH!!

My needle felted macarons! YAAAHHH!!
Whole thing is manipulated from Clover's Natural Wool Roving
No stuffing at all!