The Best Christmas Present Ever

I hope you will indulge me with tolerance for sharing some family photos.  This was
The Best Christmas Present Ever!

Charles, Zavier, Anna, Leila, Keandre’ Marlow, Clayton Petty, Rachael Danals, Adam Petty, Abby Petty, Aaron Petty

Four children and four grandchildren organized and pulled-off surprising my husband and I by having a family photo taken.

I was nearly in tears when I opened the large, but very lightweight box, filled with mostly tissue paper and then a large envelope filled with family photos.

 Little Clayton had said “cheese” one too many times.  Nothing like the honesty of a child when they have reached their limit!

It had probably been ten years since we had had a family photo taken.  I was so touched by the thoughtfulness of this gift.  We just never know what our children are capable of.

  Thank you kids!

Needle Felting in Christmas Cookie Cutters

Nervous as I might have been about whether I am teacher material or not, the first of our Fiber Art Classes here at our NEW farm and fiber studio, was a fun one!

Christmas Needle Felting

Everyone seemed to have a good time …

Christmas Needle Felting Class - Mittens

… learned something new …

Christmas Needle Felting Class

… and went away with some completed, needle felted Christmas items!

Christmas Needle Felting Class - Ornament

Needle felting with a cookie cutter is a fun, and easy way to create flat shapes that can then be used for embellishments on other felted projects such as a journal cover or purse, or sewing projects, or onto a sweater, T-shirt or a jean jacket.

Christmas Needle Felting Class

They could be used to make a necklace, a pair of earrings, or a key chain.  Attach a ribbon or embroidery floss and hang them on your Christmas tree, or give as a gift, or use as a decoration on packages.

Christmas Needle Felting Class - Gingerbread Boys

Using a cookie cutter saves you from having to create a template for your shapes. It is an easy way to guide your needle while you felt.  There are felting molds on the market created specifically for needle felting, but if you have a variety of cookie cutters stored away you might as well try your hand at cookie cutter felting. The molds that you purchase are made of plastic, so if you have plastic cookie cutters try those first, if your cookie cutters are metal, take care near the edges so as not to break your felting needle.

Christmas Needle Felting

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Place the cookie cutter on the foam work surface.
  2. Lay roving inside the cutter so it fills the total shape. You can make a thicker shape by utilizing more roving, or a thinner shape by utilizing less roving.  Be sure you don’t have empty spots.
  3. With the cookie cutter in place, use the felting needle and begin jabbing the fiber, paying particular focus to edges and points. Be sure to hold the needle straight up and down, or it may break, and keep your fingers out of the way.  These needles are extremely sharp!   Felting sticks, or chopsticks from your favorite Japanese restaurant, are very helpful to hold the fiber down while you poke.  You will poke your fingers less by getting used to using these.
  4. Turn the felt over occasionally so it does not stick to the foam.
  5. You will see the fibers gradually compressing into felt.
  6. If any areas are too thin, add more roving and continue felting that region with the needle until the new roving is blended in.
  7. Continue felting with the needle until it holds together and becomes firm.  The degree of firmness is determined by how long you felt the piece.  The more you felt, the firmer it will be.
  8. Remove the cookie cutter and gently detach the felted shape from the foam.
  9. If the edges look ragged, felt around the edges until the shape looks smooth and finished.
  10. Your shape is now ready to attach to any project. You can also add embellishments, or embroider your shape with embroidery floss, beads, sequins, or charms.

Below were the books I had in class that had lots of great ideas in them.

 

We also covered how to felt a ball, and make it into a flower.

Christmas Needle Felting Class - Flowers

For larger balls, stuff a panty hose with loose fiber or batting, tie it at the top and cut off the excess hose.

Christmas Needle Felting Class - Felted Balls

Wrap the ball with rovings, overlapping, and wrapping different directions making sure to cover all bare spots and tacking in place with your felting needle as you go.  Decorate with colored rovings, and other bits of fiber or yarn.  Begin the felting process as described above.

Felted Alpaca Ball OrnamentI

Be sure to see our Alpaca Wool Roving Sampler in Christmas colors!

Holiday Hours at The Farm

We will kick off the holiday season, Saturday, November 26th with extended hours from 12pm – 5pm here at the farm.

 

Give a gift just a little out of the ordinary… something handmade perhaps…something made from alpaca!  Visit the farm and see the alpacas that produce this wonderful fiber.  Get your hands on some of the incredibly soft and warm items made from this luxurious fiber.  Give a gift that has value Shop for …

Blankets

Hats

Scarves

Socks

Texting Mittens

Gloves

Children’s Hats

Baby Booties

Headbands

Eye Glass Cases

Cell Phone & Ipod Cases

Christmas Ornaments

Many Handmade Alpaca Items


See our beautiful NEW alpaca blankets!  Pick up alpaca socks for Christmas gift giving, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and many handmade alpaca items …

Get your hands on some alpaca fiber!  Luxurious, versatile, soft, warm, strong, resilient, natural and hypoallergenic, alpaca fiber offers many advantages and is considered by many to be the “miracle fiber”.   Once you get your hands on it, you will immediately understand the intrinsic value of everything produced from this fiber.

Alpaca Rovings for Spinning at Alpaca Meadows

Check out our brand NEW Fiber Studio full of gorgeous alpaca yarn and fiber, patterns, and fiber art kits.

Alpaca Meadows Farm Store

This will kick off our monthly Just Sit-n-Knit or Crochet or Spin on the second Saturday of the month.  Bring your knitting, crocheting, spinning, or whatever Christmas project you are working on.  Hang out with friends, relax, enjoy Christmas music, hot chocolate, and holiday refreshments!

Shop The Farm Store … Online, Open Anytime!

Did you know?

Archaeologists have discovered a great deal of alpaca fiber goods from graves and religious sites predating the Inca Empire
in South America, a true testament to the durability of alpaca fiber and its long history.

Rustic Birch Bark Ornament

I found a great tutorial by Cariboo Butterfly Crafts and Designs to make these pretty ornaments made from the bark of birch trees.  Thank you Jen Webster, my new friend in British Columbia, for sharing how she makes these …

Rustic Birch Bark Tree Ornament

Rustic Birch Bark Ornaments

Have you ever wondered why the birch tree is so strangely marked?  I found an interesting story called the Birch Tree’s Bark Story on the Boy Scout Trail website, makes sense…

Little Trees

I just ran across a pattern for these cute Little Trees!

Little Trees

It is a pattern designed by Kala Hotakainen and it is FREE!  Kala says this pattern is worked in an easy spiral holding two yarns together, the Little Trees are super easy and super quick to crochet. You can check out Kala’s Blog that she calls Vegancraftastic for more of her designs.

These Little Trees reminded me of making Christmas Trees out of old Sears Catalogs years ago.  Anybody else do this?  I actually found instructions for Making Christmas Trees Out Of Magazines… it is  a fun craft for kids and a great way to use those old catalogs.

I love the Legends of Christmas and the symbolism attached to different Christmas icons, such as the Candy Cane, Mistletoe, Santa Claus and many others.

There are many Christmas Tree Legends.  One of them holds that Martin Luther, a founder of the Protestant faith, was walking through the forest one Christmas Eve. As he walked he was awed by the beauty of millions of stars glimmering through the branches of the evergreen trees. So taken was he by this beautiful sight that he cut a small tree and took it home to his family. To recreate that same starlight beauty he saw in the wood, he placed candles on all its branches.

Christmas Traditions and Family Traditions at Christmas are an important part of Christmas. Since our kids were little, no one comes downstairs until a picture is taken of the three of them in their pajamas at the top of the stairs.  They don’t all live at home anymore, and they don’t fit quite as well as when they were little, and sometimes they still grumble, but they cooperate.  They also like to look back at these stairway pictures from years past!

Christmas Morning Stairway Picture

Thinking that the present were what makes Christmas my daughter’s favorite holiday, I asked her what she liked best about it.  She surprised me and said, “the warm and cozy way the house feels at Christmas time”.  This makes it work it to me to haul out those decorations year after year!

What traditions does your family celebrate at Christmas?



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