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Taos Wool Festival

Back in October my mom and I met up with a couple friends in Taos, NM and went to the Taos Wool Festival. It was loads of fun, both the festival and just hanging out and shopping/sightseeing, but I didn’t get around to writing a post about it right away, so lots of the details have slipped my mind already. I do have lots of pictures though!

The festival was interesting and enjoyable. I had expected it to be huge like the Fiber Fiesta, but it was much smaller and closer to the size of the Fiber Arts Festival at home. That was okay, because it wasn’t so overwhelming. There was a nice variety of booths and a few interesting workshops as well as lots of adorable animals and a dog sweater fashion show! I ended up getting an abbreviated private session of a spinning workshop because a heavy rainstorm blew through and we hid out in the booth of the person who happened to be the teacher for the workshop. So I’ve been experimenting more with color in my spinning since then(I’ll post more on that later). There were also Churro sheep, which are an adorable heritage sheep breed from NM with gorgeous, but rather course, wool.

After the festival we wandered through the shops in Taos, including a local yarn store, and found some neat things including a big installation of prayer flags, a knitted skeleton, and a yarn-bombed bicycle.


Then we went back to the hotel and I taught one of our friends to spin with a drop-spindle.

She caught on really fast, too!

She caught on really fast, too!















Taos doesn’t have an airport (at least not a commercial one), so we flew into and out of Santa Fe and drove to Taos. The drive was gorgeous, and of course we stopped at a local yarn store in Santa Fe too.

It was a really fun trip, and I would like to go again. My mom seemed to enjoy it but was also generally uninterested in returning, so maybe I’ll have to find some other folks to take back with me!


Postcards- and a Sheep name!

First, for those who may have been waiting for a while, I decided to name the stuffed sheep Ramona. Today she’s keeping an eye on the garden for me to scare rabbits away.


Don’t worry, it’s just a nerf gun and she has terrible aim, no rabbits were harmed. I’m sure she will continue to have adventures for me to share with you.

Now, the postcards!

My postcard this time was on the theme A Rose, is a Rose, is a Rose. The obvious thing to do would be something involving roses or flowers, but I don’t enjoy making flowers all that much, so I was trying to come up with something else. Then I remembered that Andy’s grandmother’s name was Rose, and there are a lot of Roses out there. So I decided to do a postcard covered with pictures of people named Rose. First I did a good deal of thinking and google searching to find famous Roses, or Roses that Virginia (the card’s recipient) knows and pictures of those folks. Then I arranged them all into the right size on the computer and printed them onto fabric (I love that printable fabric!). I decided that the fabric was too see-through and the color of the backing I was going to use (brown) wouldn’t look very good behind it, so I found a red/pinkish fabric in my stash to put behind it. You can’t really see the background fabric, but I didn’t want it to be real visible and it works.

Then I decided it looked a bit too plain, so I wanted to add some flowers and “vines” to it. I embroidered the vines on and bought some little premade silk flowers to put on (I don’t know how to make them and was too lazy to learn for this, I really don’t enjoy making flowers), as well as a shiny one with sequins! Then I just folded the edges under and zig-zagged the postcard back on, and voila!

I had trouble finding enough Roses, so I added in some Rosies as well and decided to call it A Rose is a Rose is a Rosie. Everybody asks and I do know who each Rose is, but I don’t have an easy way to show which is which so I’ll just list them in sort of rows starting at the top left corner.

Top row: Rose from Dr. Who, Calypso Rose (a musician), Rose from Titanic, Rose Nabinger (a composer), Karla Rose Hanson

Middle row beginning with picture on left edge: Rose Lynch (Andy’s grandmother), Rose (an actress whose last name I don’t know and I can’t find where I saved the picture), Rosie Perez (actress and film producer), Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder), Rose Leslie (another actress), Rosie O’Donnel

Middle row beginning one picture in from the left: Rose Bassino (one of the victims of the shirtwaist factory fire which prompted workplace safety reform), Rose from Goldengirls, Rose Ortiz (the Pink Power Ranger), Rose Kennedy

Bottom row: Rosie the Riveter, Rose Mcgowan (another actress), Rose Venkatesan (I think she’s an Indian actress, I don’t remember for sure), Rose Stone (I believe also an actress), Rose Porteus (possibly an actress, mostly famous for an infamous boyfriend), Lady Rose Gillman (a British noble/possibly sister of Kate Middleton, can’t remember)

That took up way more space than I expected, sorry. But now, pictures of all the other amazing postcards that were given out!

Sorry about the bad memory on some of the postcards, I got really busy immediately after the meeting where we exchanged them so I don’t remember them as well as I usually do. I’ve had a less busy week now, so I’m a bit rested up but we’re coming up on a week filled with birthdays and then the week before the Fiber Arts Festival, so I’ll be busy again! I have at least one other project I want to post about (I think it’s just the one but I’m not certain…) and I will try to remember to take pictures at the Fiber Arts Fest so I can share those with you as well!

Needle Felted Dolls

My mom reminded me that I made a couple of needle felted dolls a few months ago that I should post about.

I play tabletop RPG games with a group of friends, and before we started our most recent long-term game our game master asked us to find pictures to give each other an idea of what our characters look like. I would have liked to draw my own picture, but I’m not very good at drawing, and I looked a bit for a picture online, but couldn’t find anything I liked. I had also been thinking for a while about trying to needle felt human figures, so I decided now was as good a time as any to try it.

I started out with the head, because I figured the face would be the most detailed part so I wanted to be sure it was big enough that I could get the details on. Once I had the basic shape of the head I started the more intricate shaping of the face with the eyes.

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I enjoyed working on the eyes, but I think I should have done them last. And I had trouble finding a good skin color in my current wool stash, although I have since ordered many better skin colors. Trying to fix the color and shape the face while working around the eyes was rather difficult, but it turned out well enough.

Then I started working on the body. First I just connected the different body pieces to each other, trunk, arms, legs, and head. Then I started shaping the large blobs into more realistic body shapes. It’s a large project, and I tend to get a bit bored and ADD on large projects, so I added the skirt on and then went back to finishing the upper body, adding the shirt and finishing the shaping.

Once I had the body shaped, I went back and worked on the feet/shoes. Initially when I put the color for the shoes on the feet, it looked rather like they had been dipped in blood. Luckily when I added the white details they started looking solidly like shoes. The hands were the big challenge. I tried making them all from one piece and adding contours for fingers, but didn’t like that, then I tried forming each finger separately and putting them on the palm, but that really didn’t look good. Finally I went with a basically hand shaped piece where I added the thumb on separately, and put minimal shaping on for the fingers. They’re not as realistic as I might have liked, but they work.

I had some trouble getting the hair just how I wanted it, but it worked out really well. In the end, I felted a portion of it as a flat piece on its own, then felted the back portion of the onto the head, with the front part over the top of the face. I cut the front part into the shapes I wanted for the bangs, and intended to just leave them loose, but they looked like they would fall apart if they got looked at wrong. So, I felted them down a bit to the face, and it turned out really well, letting me get the contours into the hair farther up on the head too.

For Christmas, I also made a different doll for one of my friends in the gaming group. This one is based on her character from our last long term game. This doll is a bit smaller, and I started out with the body, which I think worked much better. The face is much less detailed, but the face wasn’t the more important part of this doll. The difficult part was the lower arms that stick out. I was sure that I could get them to keep their shape correctly without adding wire or something, and I did, but it took a bit of work. I’m quite proud of the flames in her hands, they turned out really well. They also made it much easier to deal with the hands, because I didn’t feel the need to worry about the detail in the hands since they were mostly covered by the flames. I was short on time when I made this one so I don’t have much for process pictures.

Now that I have more skin tones, I want to make more dolls. I told another of my gaming friends that I would make a doll of her character if she gets me a good description and/or picture of approximately what she wants, so if she ever gets that to me I’ll make him. I also think I may make some characters from some of my favorite books. I was inspired by these board books of classic literature that are all illustrated with needle felting (I thought I had posted about them at some point, but I can’t find the post. Here’s a link to their website). But I have lots of other projects I want to do too, so who knows when I’ll get to more dolls? I’ll post those when I do, though!

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