Tag Archive | felting

My Week of Being Me

With the coming Lunar based celebration and the progression of time marked in the twins being firmly placed in the teen years I decided to take one of my busiest weeks (did I mention Valentine’s Day?) and re-center myself and place my focus more firmly on doing “me”.

Well, it has been a week and what have I learned?

  1. I am a pretty awesome person, and I don’t mean… hey look at me I am so awesome, but more… there is some much potential I can still tap… I have plans and ideas, more hopes and dreams than I really have examined. I don’t know if I inspire awe in others but after a week of letting my mind run unchecked at times and firmly focused on tasks at others I realize I need to be proud of myself.
  2. This week I started my journey in yoga. A special thanks to those who suggested Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. Her beginner video has me confident and ready to continue. It has lead me to realize that I can better silence all the activity in my mind. That I can find time for myself even if it has to be me saying “nope time to stop and do this activity” and ignore the busy house around me.
  3. I am a success even when I fail because I tried. Sometimes I wonder if I am good enough, strong enough, smart enough. Well, I don’t have answers to those wonders but I did realize this week that I AM enough because I give my all. My family is covered in love and good intentions because when I do these things for them that I have done for years I do them with integrity and intention. Maybe to others I need more of this aspect or the other but I know that in my success and failure I am learning and adapting which means I set an example to my children that is positive and strong. They see that I don’t give up or let it get to me, I adapt. Which is what I ask them to do.
  4. I took on a personal challenge… a week of 9 hours per day with 250+ steps per hour. Which sometimes had me hopping around like a lunatic 5 min before the hour when I got caught up in a visit or with crochet (definitely a hobby that leads to a comfortable chair and not a wandering body). But I managed. This showed me that I need to get up and move, because each day by 6pm I felt better. I wandered the house and picked up things I usually would have sent a kid to do or done later. I showed my kids that movement was a positive and that it was okay to break up a moment by moving around. And I celebrated like a silly goose often as I made my steps.Screenshot_2018-02-17-21-25-57
  5. The big thing I didn’t so much learn but had reinforced in my mind is that while my life is hectic and sometimes unconventional and occasionally a little isolating it is amazing. I am blessed and challenged at the same time. Sometimes by my own choosing and others by what life has thrown at me. It isn’t a question of changing anything or wishing I could change anything but a full realization that what I am living right now is utterly unique to me and my family. There is no true equal comparison out there to what we are as a family. There is no need for one. The love of my life is amazing, my children a challenging collection of unique humans who amaze me as they drive me mad. And without them I would not be me. Yes I don’t drive, I homeschool my kids, I am shy in public, scared of more than a few things, but I am also loved… I am strong and decisive… I support my family in so many special ways and hopefully am finding ways to do the same for friends and extended family. I love, am loved and will always find ways to share love… which makes me, my life, and those around me… AMAZING.

So as I ignored ways to compare things, my life, my appearance, my school set up, my parenting choices, my home… I freed myself up a bit. Freed myself from some self doubt, from a few fears, from little niggling obsessions I sometimes have trouble letting go of. (And maybe started the road to being a little more “bendy” as Ken would say)

I took a week of introspection and exploration and realized… why should I stop? Maybe a little less care of my appearance to others and a little more joy is what I need… oh and 3 classes a week of R.I.P.P.E.D. and some amazing documentaries with a good crochet project. Always a good crafting project… cuz creativity soothes this soul… as does making knots, origami, felting… I am branching out. So here I am embarking on a month or more of finding me in my life. Wish me luck!!!IMG_20180214_151346_502

Haku… The Process of Making a Dragon

So first and foremost… I got the most amazing idea and pattern off of DeviantArt thanks to Aphid777. Check her out, her patterns are not tested and often leave a lot of wiggle room, but if you are ready for a challenge and an amazing result – she is the best! Small-ish Haku can be found HERE, her profile link is HERE

Spirited Away is one of my all time FAVOURITE movies. And Haku one of my favourite dragons. So when I came across this gem on my random look through the artist’s fiber art, well I knew I HAD TO make one of my own (with Ken’s amazing help).

First off my supplies… I used Caron Simply Soft brand yarn and stills from the movie to pick my colours. I used white, blue mint, blackberry and soft pink. IMG_20170521_142549_579

For detail work Ken used roving wool from a variety pack we purchased off of Amazon. You really do not need much for this sort of detail work. The process he used is called felting. 

For the actual structure of the dragon we purchased 12 GA solid white insulated wire from Menards. We wanted to be sure the dragon could be shaped without snapping the wire and hold form. 

For whiskers and horns we used wrapped in DMC floss color matched from pictures and super glue for ends. (E6000 would work too, except we couldn’t find ours).

For stuffing I used the usual fluffy stuff you buy at Joann’s Polyfil.

I had Ken cut and double our body wire. We went longer than suggested so we could cut as needed. The length we used was around 62 inches… 31 inches when doubled over.IMG_20170521_142549_580

I did not place the wire in the body until I had crocheted a bit down the length, going around the wire once it was in the piece was one of the more annoying processes of the project.20170524_234055

I also varied my amount of stitches to meet the bottom center of the piece from what the artist did. Again this is all eye balling and personal preference. I found that once my head was formed putting a stitch marker on the top of the nose of Haku made it easier to eye ball my return to center.

The trick was to consistently add stuffing without over stuffing, but a long stick was quite helpful. 

Once you crocheted to the near end of the tail it was time to trim my end and cover it in electrical tape to avoid a sharp bit poking through. Then PATIENTLY decreasing until you tie off and finish.

The belly is an easy one piece. If I make this again I would consider making the entire structure longer (mostly for fun with posing) and that would change count. But her pattern was easy to read.

Ears are a quick process. Legs took more work. We used a single piece of wire threaded through the body to each leg for our assembly. And did not poke our wire through the side of the leg as indicated.20170708_174309

Feet were added after, easy enough. (and obviously legs and feet were AFTER mane, but you get the idea)

The mane and fluff at the end of the tail was hooked in like when you are hooking a rug. I made sure to face all my knots toward the front of the body and to keep them close to center. Eyeballing and what you like is key. Lengths do not matter, as once they are in you take a cat brush and brush them until they are fluffy and then trim. 

Before brushing

Before brushing

20170717_142120Message_1500517039610Ken felted in our details and BANG dragon! I am super pleased with the side view though we feel we need to work on our eyes to better get the front view. Though front on loses the body so… not the view I want anyway! 

And there you have it…. HAKU! Into the local county fair he went. (Like the next day after completion. Nothing like JUST meeting a deadline). End result – first place in crochet, storybook characters! Not bad! 20170728_194459

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Christmas With the Schwartz Family

December 22

Yes yes,  November will be rehashed but first… lets share some Christmas 2015 cheer! Our parties with friends and family have always meant the world to us and with the bulk of our friends (who are family) up north we were ALL excited about the opportunity to have a Christmas celebration with friends closer to home.102_0187

This was our first celebration of the year and our first PRESENTS of the year! But first, the making of the gingerbread houses. We went with a process Renee learned about through Nathan’s kindergarten class where you use a school milk carton (thank you Mrs. Speltz for saving those for us!) and graham crackers instead of the basic gingerbread pieces. Much better structure! Each of the kids had their own to decorate with a combination of bought sweets and Halloween candy. Talk about creativity!10888147_10152550296407727_997171063_nIMAG0866

102_018610881347_10152550296332727_462094515_n10904777_10152550296347727_1344162956_n10893810_10152550296352727_394258487_nAnd then, once the kids declared themselves done the adults took over and made one a piece.IMAG0873

Supper was delicious pulled pork and assorted nibbles. I think we ALL ate more than our fill.102_0191

Look at that masterful pour by Chris

Look at that masterful pour by Chris

And then… presents! I got to give out the first of my handcrafted pieces personally. All were well received. I am especially pleased with how the Pikachu turned out for Renee… Ken tried a new process to us called Felting. Lots of jabbing and loose wool and the possibilities… well things are going to be even more interesting craft wise around here! You can find the Pikachu pattern I used HERE. This deviantArt artist is AMAZING! 

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Pikachu!

Pikachu!

All of the kids were really happy with their presents, although I think Trinity with her toy bow and arrows was the most pumped.

Of course we had to take a group picture! What a crowd!102_0195

102_0198I do have to show off my special gift. Renee knows me so well! LABELS for my crochet projects! I am dying to make an afghan or blanket and sew one on! Sadly I ran out of found yarn on a blanket I was making so have to remake it before I will have one done but they are so cute! And my favourite colour – BLUE!10868294_10152956347806151_274196724871734689_n

There is something spectacular about a friends who are family Christmas isn’t there!

Of course Mystro pictures as well!

Of course Mystro pictures as well!

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