I have to confess that I haven't been craft free this weekend. I couldn't help it. If I don't keep my hands busy crafting I might actually have time to wash the dishes, or something awful like that.
I've been wanting to try needle felting for what seems like forever and last year my Backtack II partner Norbu was kind enough to send me some felting needles and roving. Plus how could I resist after seeing this incredible needle felted link via Molly Chicken recently.
This was my first attempt that's supposed to be a hedgie, but it looks more like a bear head with an afro.
The doggy was my second attempt. I used a tutorial I found at a Japanese craft site that was very helpful (there's a lot of other tutorials there too). The wire armature worked out nicely and I'm a lot happier with this one, but boy what a time consuming and painful craft. It took me two full nights of stabbing to do the pup, which also meant two full nights of stabbing myself. Of course keeping both eyes on the task at hand and not one eye on the television probably lessens the amount of bloodshed.
Terrible, terrible photo, I know, but awesome, amazing print! Ages ago Hillary mentioned a print she bought from Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine and I've been in awe of his work ever since. Lucky me, I finally got my hands on one. This print is called "animals of Prince Edward Island 2006" and I can't stop looking at it. It's 6 screens printed onto yellow french paper and even more brilliant in person.
Once we get it properly framed the burning questions is where to hang it? Buddy says it belongs in his room, Mr. T thinks the living room and I want it all to myself in my craft room.
And thanks to everyone who left a comment with suggestions for jump starting creativity. I agree that at times like this it's probably best to take a break and I've been relatively craft-free for the past couple of days.
I can't count the number of times I've tried to post this week. No matter what I write I can't hit the delete button fast enough. Sadly that's the way it's been going with crafting too. Lately, I feel like hitting delete on every project I start. My thoughts have been all over the map and I can't seem to focus my energy in any one area. Any ideas on how to jump start a creative lull?
But I do have one good thing to share. Look what we found at a local Indian market we discovered recently.
Anything made by Pillsbury seems hardly "authentic", but it was mighty tasty and I would have bought it just for the package alone.
And thank you everyone for the lovely comments about my hedgepom! I'm always thrilled when people enjoy something I've made. I really appreciate each and every comment, so mahalo nui loa!
I had lot of pets growing up, dogs, bunnies, chickens, turtles, birds, guinea pigs, but what my heart really longed for was a kangaroo rat. It would be like having a mini-kangaroo to play with! But lucky for all the kangaroo rats out there, they're not allowed in Hawaii.
My next pet obsession was in my 20's when I desperately wanted a pot belly pig. But Mr. T and lots of research convinced me that it wasn't the best pet for me either.
And then the other day while watching a trailer for The Boys of Baraka (which I really want to see) one of the boys was keeping a hedgehog for a pet. Now this is the pet for me! I wasn't aware that people even kept them as pets, or that there are International Associations for them. But they aren't allowed in Hawaii either, so for now I'll have to be content with a pygmy hedgepom.
So far he's been pretty easy to care for. He doesn't require a lot of food, is house-trained and likes to spend most of his time gathering flowers.
May 5th is celebrated as Children's Day in Japan these days but at our house we still recognize it as Tango no sekku or Boy's Day and we went over to my parent's house today for our official celebration. Buddy has been waiting for Boy's Day since Girl's Day back in March and he was thrilled to have a day for "just boys" according to him.
I was going to do a boys day post, but it's been such a busy day and our official celebration is going to be on Sunday. Plus I forgot to take a picture of the boy's day shirt that Buddy wore to school today and we already ate the kashiwa mochi this morning.
In the meantime, you must look at this over a flickr. They are all so fantastic it makes my head spin. Look at the knees!
(Added: I just found this picture on her blog. If that's how small they all are, I'm really going to faint! Wow!)
Finally, a craft post. I've been dying to try freezer paper stencils after spotting them over at Angry Chicken. I have to admit that at first I was a little skeptical it would work for me. But then Hannah tried it and hers came out beautiful and she even started a flickr group for it.
I traced this monkey from the cover of a Gomi Taro book and then I used tiny manicure scissors to cut it out. After ironing it in place, I used Print Gocco fabric paint and sponged it on with a Tsukineko sponge dauber. The Gocco paint went on a bit too thick and I had some coverage issues, so I think I'll try a different type of fabric paint next time.
I'm not sure if I was supposed to leave the stencil in place until the paint dried, but I couldn't wait, and oh my goodness it really does work!
And I couldn't help sneaking in this Gomi Taro book I got for a song at the used bookstore the other day. I'm hooked! I must go make more!
(Added: I just read on the flickr Freezer Paper Stencil Group that people have been using exacto knives to cut out their stencils. I'm glad I didn't read that before I cut my stencil out last night. After cutting myself one too many times carving rubber stamps I shudder at the thought of using an exacto again. And thankfully the manicure scissors worked really well. The pair I have is the type with really tiny blades that curve at the end. And the blade tips are sharp enough that I was even able to use them to make the tiny holes for the eyes and nose.)
On Saturday I thought I'd make a quick stop at my favorite thrift store before I headed to a haircut appointment. But when I got there the store was gone. Literally. A bulldozer was loading the last of it into a truck to be hauled away. I was heartbroken.
Hawaii really isn't a thrifting haven. We just don't have a lot of thrifting outlets, not the way you would find in the mainland or elsewhere. The few good thrift stores available locally are only open twice a week and for limited hours. And I loved this particular store. The volunteers who worked there were the nicest ladies and they took such great care of the store and the goods they sold. I've bought loads of sewing notions from them for such a steal that I often felt guilty. The local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores don't sell a lot of craft related items and if they do the prices are a lot more expensive (and forget about finding anything made out of wool to felt).
What made it even worse was that I learned from a very good source the reason for the closing, I won't get into it here but it definitely was not a good reason.
Since I still had some time to kill before my haircut, I decided to check out a Goodwill I'd never been to before. It just so happened to be a 50% off day, and although the pickings were slim I did manage to find two brand new bags of quilt batting for $1 a piece and this cute little crewel embroidery kit: