Be careful what you wish for…and how you ask for it

Jeff makes giant armatureI’m really happy that some friends from my favorite online needle felting group volunteered to test some new armature designs for us. I’ve also been working on a doll just for fun, to celebrate the season premiere of Jeff’s life-long favorite, Dr. Who.

Jeff, our armature maker, is very precise, and he researches and uses proper proportions when making a frame. We had a giggle this week when I miscommunicated my need for a body frame for (the 10th Doctor) David Tennant’s head.

I told him that Tennant is 6’1″ tall, and I showed him the head I’d already made. Proportionally correct, Jeff returned with a frame quite bigger than I expected!

Fortunately, our new horse prototypes will fit on a crafting table and are on their way to our volunteer needle felting experts for testing. Next test, a Pomeranian! It’s always so interesting to see how each animal has evolved differently or not. I’m saving images of armatures and skeletons on a Pinterest board for our reference and to share with you. Be sure to follow our boards and suggest your favorite needle sculpture pins.

What will you be doing in August?

#CTMonthInTheLife #workspaceI’m delighted to join in the fun of Create and Thrive’s new Month in the Life game. It’s a “Photo-a-Day Instagram Challenge for Creatives,” and there is a theme for each day. For example, on August 1, we post a photo of our workspace. Since Jess lives in Australia, I started early in the U.S. with this photo of Feather Woman. I made her for a needle felting exchange.

Be sure to tag your Instagram photos with #CTMonthInTheLife @CreateAndThrive and share them with us via Twitter and Pinterest.


Brain Boosting Veggie Mobile

Andre’s Kiva Zip loan has exponential superpowers! Not only can we support the care of, as I call them, “happy pigs and chicks,” who live on a sustainable, family farm, but Andre’s new truck will deliver vegetables to children in the city who may have fewer options than his family for finding fresh, healthy food choices.

Barbour Farms

I like to think of Andre’s new truck as a type of bookmobile. I cherished summer bookmobile visits when I was a kid. Someone who offers kids a source of brain power through good nutrition is certainly a super hero.

Andre Barbour
Let’s build that brain boosting veggie mobile! Invite your friends and co-workers to lend to Andre.

Midsummer Meetup Planning

ewe and me felted sea starsWe had a terrific response to the release of our schedule for the second half of 2014. We added a short, late afternoon session to follow our usual mid-day Sunday gatherings, so that people with morning obligations or those who cannot make a three-hour meeting have another option. I was delighted to see that folks who signed up for the first session want to stay for the second.

Here is what we’ve planned so far:

August: (Mid-day) Beginning Needle Felting & (late-day) Needle Felted Bonsai and 3-D Landscapes

September: (Mid-day) Framing Fairy Stories (Armatures) & (late-day) Sea Softies

October: (Mid-day) Scary Softies and Felted Zombies

November: (Mid-day) Needle Felted Pumpkins and Gourds

December: (Mid-day) Advanced Needle Felting Reindeer

Sew Powerful Purse Project

Sew Powerful Zambia TripI was delighted to learn recently that the man who sends me marketing advice (via subscription) has also co-founded an organization that supports artisans and girls. Today, Sew Powerful sent out an invitation to download their free cross-shoulder purse pattern, make and share a purse with a young woman in  Zambia, and maybe even get to hand-deliver it. For every purse you share, you get one entry for a chance to help distribute the purses in Zambia.

I sent Jason a message asking if we can add some felted elements to the purses, and I’ll update this post once I hear from him. I’m hoping to get our felting meetup members to help with the sewing and embellishment. Purses are fun felting projects, so I’m really hoping we get a “Yes” response. Everyone will soon be busy with holiday projects, and this one would certainly get us in the spirit for making and giving!

Helping Hands

needle felted hula dancerI tried out one of our people armatures today (it was taller than the one in the photo), needle sculpting my first human. Inspired by the leaf weavers seeking a Kiva loan I wanted to help fund (too late, but that’s good news, as it’s fully funded already), I decided to make a hula dancer with some pre-felt, also a new experience. I rushed a bit, so I am going to make another skirt with narrower fronds. The hardest part was the hands (don’t look closely), for which I really need to practice.

While I was searching for a link to the loan I wanted to fund, I ran across the video below that introduces the field partner, Negros Women for Tomorrow. This is also the group that assists many of the entrepreneurs which Guys Holding Fish help, since the field partner is located in the Philippines, which has a lot of fish-related small businesses.