They both have leaves but Adam prefers to wear his on his head (male pattern baldness) and Eve prefers to burn hers as incense or make a nice pot of tea. They are hanging out in the garden on some dangerously poisonous rhubarb leaves. Be careful you two!
Adam has a googly eye and Eve doesn't shave her armpits but love is blind and they love to hang around the garden looking for their children, Peace & Quiet (not born yet.)
I found it interesting, the comments made, when I offered some felt balls I made for sale at a local market.
The main question asked was 'what are they, what do they DO?' In this day & age of commercialism, electronic toys and such there seems to be a lack of imagination on the part of the consumer. My pat answer was, roll, throw, catch, toss, bounce, play. By the end of the day I was saying-oh, it's a Ipod-just buy a cord & plug it in to the computer & it will record & play music.
I'm not sure what the message is of the consumer who lacks such appreciation for simple beauty & pleasures...
My latest craze has been making felt wool balls.
(every gal needs a pair or three!)
The colors are vivid, crisp & set well. Nobody can resist smelling my wool balls because of the flavorful colors!
Sometimes I tuck a chamomile or catnip tea bag into the center or a homemade rattle for added excitement.
After I degrease/precomb the wool I lay it out in long strands side by side on 3 sheets of plastic wrap laid out on top of blank newsprint.
raw, degreased wool
lay out long strips
I dye it 'in the wool' which means before spinning. I use unsweetened kool-aid powder, an artificial flavor/color drink mix.
sprinkle on dry drink mix
spray generously w/vinegar
Sprinkle powdered drink mix on prepared wool. Spray with full strength white vinegar, saturating thoroughly.
sausage roll in wrap
prepare to microwave
Roll wool into plastic wrap making a sausage & put into a large microwave safe bowl. Fill the bowl to cover wool with hot water-using a spoon to submerge if needed. Microwave in 1-2 minute intervals checking (careful-HOT!) inbetween. When water runs clear the wool has taken up all the dye. Cool on counter. When cooled to room temp. run under warm water to cold water briefly while still wrapped up. Drain as much water as possible in colander w/o squeezing too much.
wet, cooled, fresh dyed wool
Dry wool separated into strands, artisan ready!
Unroll plastic from wet/dyed wool & lay out to dry on hangers in the bathroom, a sweater/drying rack or on blank newsprint. You now have beautiful raw dyed materials to use in your next project!
You can also use dissolved kool-aid for a more uniform/solid color. I heard it works-I haven't tried it yet. Just add wool to hot water in the bowl that has kool-aid dissolved to desired strength. Heat in microwave as instructed. (never leave items in microwave unattended.)
Making wool felt balls
Look at the soft & fluffy, lovely goodness!
To begin wrapping your ball you can use a teabag or rattle or pompom to begin. Use your raw/undyed wool for the center, saving the colorful wool for the finishing touches.
Just roll the strands around & around building the ball as you go. I have found the bigger the ball the more uniform they turn out in the end result. We like big, uniform balls!
Like a cloud of inviting buttery fluffy goodness!
Wrap & wind the colors making texture & abstract design
Take your dyed wool & wrap it around the wooly ball, interlacing & weaving & winding it until you are satisfied. You can leave raw spots or not, depending on your preference. I opted to cover most I could.
Fully wrapped, large wound ball
Take small, wispy pieces and add them to the spaces the winding & weaving left uncovered, if desired.
Just lay the wispy wool colors together, gently pressing them into piece.
Cover all the space you don't want to see show thru.
Ready to be bagged & felted
Tightly wrap balls in netting, using twist ties to fasten or preferrably,(not pictured, yet) place each felt ball into a pair of pantyhose or socks, knotting each one off separately & trimming them so they aren't attached.
Balls wrapped in nylon
Throw the wrapped balls into the washing machine with HOT water. Use additional kettleful of hot water too, after washer fills. Add 1/8-1/4 cup liquid detergent to help felting process. I use cheap, liquid lemon dish soap. Start washer, regular cycle. Lift lid & check every so often to make sure nothing is snagging or twisting & making mishapened balls. When the nylon is integrating into the ball so much that it sticks & has to be peeled off then you know the felting is complete. Spin, rinse, spin.
Finished washing machine made, hand dyed felted wool balls. Great for babies, kids, moms, dads, dogs, cats-anyone that likes this kind of thing! They juggle great & are easy enough on lamps & furniture to play with indoors. Wool's wonderful properties make it a very safe material especially for asthmatic or allergic children. Wool doesn't harbor mites like other stuffed toys/animals can. Also wool absorbs heat as it is held, which is a comfort & welcoming-especially in a treasured doll or stuffed animal.
Wool brings good things to life!
It should look something like this when completed
This is some of the 1st wool I dyed using the technique described here. Strawberry, grape, black cherry & cherry.
Find this info useful, interesting or intriguing? Leave me a comment, please. I love feedback! Thanks!
This is so easy! It just couldn't be any easier! If you have some wool fiber you want to color-this is the way to go! All you need is simple equipment you probably already have in your kitchen and some light color fiber. Add powdered drink mix to hot water in microwave safe bowl (I use pyrex). Stir to dissolve with skewer. Use 1-2 packets depending on amount of wool used and desired color saturation. Moisten wool with hot water under faucet before adding to dye bath. Squeeze out excess water and push down into dye bath with skewer or hand protected with rubber glove (or dye your fingertips like I have done!) Microwave at 2 minute intervals for about 6-8 minutes or until all the color is absorbed into the fiber. Let cool to room temperature or strain immediately in a colander over the sink. (I have done it both ways!) Put the strained, wet wool in a mesh laundry sack and spin them dry further in the washing machine before laying out to dry completely on racks or baby gate racks like I used over the bathtub. The wool dries a lot faster if you spin out the excess water in the washing machine before laying out to dry. Remember to use the end spin cycle only.
Now see? I was right! That couldn't be any easier! You will be so pleased with the results. I use small batches to dye individual pieces I have cut out of felted sweaters with great results. You can use this method to dye skein wool, socks, sweaters or anything wool that can fit in the microwave (and take the heat!) When I cut out pieces to dye in the microwave from recycled wool felted sweaters, the process gives the wool a more compact & fuzzy texture. It's very lovely. If you cut out the pieces after dyeing a swatch of felted fiber, the edges of the innermost fiber can sometimes be undyed and depending on what you are creating, this may or may not be something you desire. The idea is to experiment and have fun!
It's nice using these powdered drink mix dyes because they work well, have strong, vibrant colors are inexpensive to use, are readily available and are safe to use in your own kitchen cookware and require no special additions or equipment.
Here I've moved the wool aside in the bowl so you can see that the water is clear as the wool as taken up all the color. This is exactly what I want to happen! The heat of the water bonds the color to the fiber making it permanent. It won't fade with washings. This is a permanent dye.
The colors I used here are ice blue raspberry, secret twist green(dark olive), cherry switch blue(robin egg), grape illusion red/orange, strawberry lemonade pink, and lemon lime green.
I lay the wool out over the tub to dry on a baby gate turned drying rack that I covered with mesh cloth.
Here's a miniature ornament I made with needle felted wool and silk with glass beaded hanger and tail in natural silk cocoon. SO cute!
I hope my creative works have shown you how easy and accessible this art is and inspire you to create your owns work. Enjoy! OX