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Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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  • Notmyyearoff Love that photo - the bee actually looks like he's opening the rose up to get into it! 28 Jun
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

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A Tween Needle Felting craft

It can be tough for the children of a crafter to find their crafting niche. At first they follow their mother’s footsteps, but sooner or later they need to branch out. Some give up. I’ve spoken to so many adults that talk about their mothers making dresses/ knitting jumpers for them, but they never got the hang of it.

I don’t want my children to give up.

Both my girls can draw and paint. I doodle. They have already started to pull away from me in that area. I envy their ability to shade and make something look 3D. They have offered to teach me.

They love to watch me needle felt. So much that each of them now have a needle felting kit. Middle One received hers for her 12th birthday back in November. It is just a needle in the holder, a foam pad and a bunch of colourful wool. She has to supply the imagination.

This weekend, she borrowed her sister’s wool fairy book, looked up images of other fairies on the internet and made her very own fairy. All by herself. I’ve never made one. The only input I had was to point her in the direction of the pipecleaners (Lift arm. Point. Its a strenuous job, but someone has to do it) and suggest a special wool for the hair.

I bought the orange hair wool years ago, when I made waldorf style dollshouse dolls and the bigger type too. The brown string running through the doll’s hair, keeps the curls in place, while being stored. Middle One decided she liked it just as she found it. So the string stayed put.

I really, really love what she has made. First attempt too.

I should talk about the lack of facial features. I know it can bother some people. It is the style, often adopted for waldorf style dolls. Either no features or just the merest hint. The simplest way to explain this approach is that the viewer supplies the expression. If the doll has a fixed happy (I’m looking at you Elf on the Shelf) or sad look, then it never changes. This way, the doll reflects your feelings. Or at least, does not challenge them. You’ll know what I mean if you have ever felt the urge to throw a doll across the room.

She wants to make more. Possibly one for her bestie, if I can dig up a bit more flesh colour wool. We went though my collection and nothing was suitable. It was all too bright or too dark. She didn’t like my suggestion of green. I see now why they sell packs of flesh colour wools.

If you are looking for a crafting kit as a gift inspiration, this Christmas, for an older tween/teen then I can recommend needle felting. It does take patience and fingers do get stabbed ocassionally, but it is also a wonderful, calming hobby, promoting imagination and creativity. The book is one that Eldest chose and bought for herself a while back. She loves using it and getting more ideas.

I quite like the fairy hiding in the garland. I wonder if I can persuade Middle One to leave her there.


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6 Responses to A Tween Needle Felting craft

  • Louisa says:

    Her fairy is absolute gorgeous! It can be hard to find your crafting niche but she certainly has talent in this area. My husband made me some needle felt animals that he really enjoyed making. I’d like to have a go but am not keen the texture of the felt!

  • Briony says:

    I have made dolls in the past and you are quite correct, it is the face that makes or breaks the doll. I always had a terrible time with faces, so much so that I have a doll made up but headless in the cupboard as I know that I shall have a job with the face. Must be brave and get it out.

  • val says:

    That is lovely ! She is very skilled and should be very proud.
    I know what you mean about artistic/crafting space..we want them to find their place and not tread on their toes..it’s hard sometimes isn’t it.

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