Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Wonder of Wet-Felting

A few years back I had the opportunity to learn how to wet felt.  I was so excited as I anticipated the workshop.  We were told to come with an idea and we would be wet felting a wall hanging.  As the workshop began I realized right away that the idea I "came" with was too complex for a first time project.  Understanding and experiencing the process of wet felting was a lot and then trying to create a beautiful art piece at the same time was definitely overwhelming.  The project was completed that evening and I tried not to be too hard on myself about my less than perfect first try.  It worked out that I was soon able to try again and with less jitters was a bit more successful.  Because I work with children I wanted to somehow use this new found craft for them.  So I reasoned, how about lay the wall hanging down and make a story mat? I am sure that many had already thought of the idea, but it was new to me and I was quite pleased with the concept.  Here is an example of one of my story mats.

I liked how this one turned out.  The thickness of the finished felt and how much it was felted gave it a nice feel.  I also like the unique and abstract shape.

This was inspired by a lovely chicken story that I ordered out of Scholastic, and for the life of me I can't remember the title.  However it would be lovely to get out a Minerva Louise book or Chicken Little to go with.

That's a mushroom next to the cave if it's not clear.

The nest is not attached so the children can move it in or out.  Please remember that the eggs can be choking hazards for little ones if you decide to make something similar.  What felting projects have you been creating lately?

Monday, 24 June 2013

I am a Sunflower

Someone recently posted a fun personality quiz  on FaceBook.  Fill in a few questions and find out what kind of flower you are.  Somehow I liked that I am a sunflower.  Have you taken the Myers-Briggs personality test?  It is a little more in depth and based on the work of Carl Jung, and mother/daughter team Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers.  Turns out that I am a Nurturer.  An ISFJ.
The description of a Nurturer resonated with me.  It was good to be reminded of my good qualities and strengths and also to see what things are challenging to my personality type.  I work in a field of work with people, people, people all day, everyday.  Little people and big people.  I've come to the conclusion that it REALLY matters who you work with.  Most times I can get along with most people.  I like to think that I work hard at that, trying to be self less and generous.  I like to encourage others and let team members know that they are doing well.  How ever there are times when I figure out (eventually) that there are some people that I just can't be around.  When the way they talk or behave impacts my value system or just hurts me regularly and consistently. It sure makes work more work when relationships are not compatible.  I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  I've come to  the point where I know a change has to happen.  What or how things will change remain to be seen.  
For now I will remember that I am a Sunflower.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


A few years ago I had the opportunity to learn how to needle felt.  My first project was a jingle ball like this...

  I loved it so much I made another and another and another.....uh, it was a little addicting!  The same thing happened when I got on to making little dolls.  One was born daily for a while.  Let me introduce you to some of my dollies....

Cosmo and Violet



A Gnome Family....Papa, Mama and the children, brother, sister and baby

And another Gnome Family...Papa is so proud of Mama and their new baby, he brings her a flower.

I have discovered that needle felting is very therapeutic
 for me.  I have not been endowed with large measures of patience, (hand sewing can sometimes make me a little crazy, as in break the needle and throw the project across the floor kind of crazy), so I like that I see results fairly quickly with needle felting.  So does my husband.  

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

Today is Father's Day.  I have been thinking about the different "Father's" in my life all day.

My childhood Father was away a lot when I was young.  When he was around life was unpredictable and not always so good.  He had some serious problems he carried with him from his childhood.  There was bad.  There was good.  I moved away when I was fifteen and he was not really in my life after that. He has passed away now, but I think of him.

I met my Heavenly Father when I was fifteen.  He literally took me out of darkness and brought me into light.  My life has never been the same.
He saved me.  Over the years He has taken care of me.  Faithfully.

My Father-in -law was a special man.  In many ways I didn't really know him.  He was very quiet, but observant and thoughtful.  He accepted me for me and I knew that.  He let me know in gentle ways.  Like the time he bought me a lovely bottle of perfume.  And the time he gave me some money to buy a new dress.  When he passed he gave his Bible to me.  To me.

And the Father of my three children.  I love him for being a wonderful Dad to them.  When they were being born he was there....sometimes on the floor after fainting, but there.  He participated fully in all aspects of their up-bringing.
They are all amazing young adults because he was there.  I truly believe that.

It's good to get these thoughts written down and out of my head!  All this thinking has made me kind of melancholy.  Now for a James Bond movie with the boys.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

One Step at a Time

I've been going to the local gym for a while now.  I feel that slowly but surely I am getting stronger and maintaining my flexibility. I am very proud of my progress and have toned up and over the course of the last 6 months have lost 10 lbs or so. My goal is to do about 30 minutes of cardio and then some strength work and some yoga type stretching.  I found an article on Pinterest that talked about body types and what kind of workouts suit each type.  You can check out the article here.  That helped give me some direction.  I also like the holistic, scientific, core stability and nutrition taught by the Paul Chek Institute.
 I realize though, that while I LOVE the feeling after I have completed my work out, I have to drag my sorry butt TO the gym Every Single Time.
I am looking forward to some days off this summer.  In my dream world I will be going to the gym every day!  We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My Happy Garden

My sweet grand-daughter and her parents came to visit recently.  One of the activities I planned, was to do some gardening with them.  I've been seeing some gorgeously quaint fairy gardens and miniature gardens on Pinterest lately and thought it might be fun to create our own. In actual fact we had some work to do because I hadn't even removed the pots of dried up plants from last summer.
                             Nana's garden was in very sad shape!

We started with a trip to the thrift store and found some colorful planters.  Next a trip to the local Greenhouse and Farmer's Market for an assortment of succulents, and colorful flowers.

Lots of planning and digging ensued.

The addition of a little mirror for depth and reflection.

A lovely bowl of succulents, rocks and pine cones.

The sad pot is happy again!

I didn't have a fairy, but this little gnome needed a home, we thought.

Ta Da!  
A little neighbour girl came by and thought the gnomes home needed a door and so she found a little rock just the right size.  

And his yard.  I will keep you posted on how it fills out as the summer goes on! The little neighbour girl has dropped by several times to play and imagine and dream with the little gnome.  She made him a parking lot, # 76 and also a grave stone.  I am not sure about the significance of that but, you know, maybe it was important to her for some reason.

I hope you are finding happiness and a creative outlet with your own gardening this season.