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Natural Kids

Natural Kids: April 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Needle-felting is the fine art of jabbing wool repeatedly to make tapestries or figures. I taught myself to needle-felt. I did not order a book or go to a class. I simply ordered some wool and needles and started poking it to see what I could come up with. I did not know if I would be good at it or not. I just wanted to try it and see. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it and the creations just came to me. 

Here we have a Calla Lily mom with her tiny bud baby...I did this thinking it would never sell, it was just "too unique"...but it did sell and everyone loved it. I enjoy trying to come up with something different. I look through endless books about animals, just to see what animal looks like fun and that I might enjoy making. I sit and let my imagination soar to see what figures come to my mind...what would we find in a make-believe world?

My children have picked up wool and needles and have come up with some pretty original ideas themselves. They have even sold a few of the things they have made. I am very proud of  them because they work hard on things and they have such a passion for it. I never want their passion for creating with their hands to fade. I try to always encourage them.

There are several people online who have needle-felting kits. Green Mountain Wee Woolies often sells kits. Our very own, Orit Dotan, has wool available, as do many others on Etsy. Children enjoy feeling the soft wool slide through their fingers. The wool calms them. I have seen it time and again...a child comforted by wool...they whisper, they are gentle. 

I encourage you to begin this wonderful craft yourself and see where it takes you. Or to help your children discover it for the first time. It is a magical feeling to hold something so precious as wool, something that animals grow and we take freely...and to turn around and create something of beauty that others can enjoy. The process of getting the wool cleaned, combed, dyed and then creating with it is lengthy and labor-intensive. It is really amazing! I have a great respect for the animals who provide for us.

Here is a needle-felted tapestry of a fairy sleeping. This now hangs in a little girls room half-way across the country. That makes my heart sing. I love knowing my creations are being enjoyed by others, but especially children. 

~Ode to the Sheep~