Thursday, September 16, 2010

Handmade for the Holidays

I am brimming with excitement because I just found out that I've been chosen as a vendor for my very first juried craft fair: Handmade for the Holidays! I've done a few shows before, but never anything quite like this. It will feature handmade work from over forty local artisans and crafters in my area, and it is the first "urban" craft fair to be marketed in my city.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Foster Rabbits: Tootsie and Blackjack

Tootsie isn't really that new. I was trying to bond her with Ruth (whom I've posted about before), but Ruth got adopted out as a single rabbit, so now I'm trying to bond her with Blackjack. Ruth is a stray and Blackjack was surrendered because his owners no longer had enough time for him.

So far, the going has been tough, but I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Tootsie is a difficult animal to foster as she is incredibly athletic and very capable of escaping her confines. She is able to jump over an exercise pen and also open a pen. I have her penned underneath a table and I've clamped the door shut so she is unable to open it.

Tootsie seems eager to dominate Blackjack, but is perhaps nervous about doing so due to his size. He is quite large, and is very overweight. He often hops up to her and sniffs her, only to find that this causes Tootsie to run away after a few seconds. This evening she finally mustered enough courage to mount him to show him she wants to be boss. After a few minutes of scuffling, they laid down together peacefully for a few minutes. I also fed them a little salad to celebrate this milestone, which they were happy to eat from the same dish.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Infection: 2010 - Oshkosh Zombie Walk

One of the reasons I haven't been posting as regularly the last several weeks has to do with the fact that my husband and I are both on the planning committee for the annual Oshkosh zombie walk called Infection. I'm in charge of food service, which is one of the ways the walk helps to make money to support the Time Community Theatre, an old run-down cinema that we're trying to bring back from the dead.

Of course, I contributed some of my art to the walk as well. I donated three custom catnip toys to the event to be used as prizes. Last year I contributed a zombie survival kit for cats. It contained a med kit, molotov cocktail and chainsaw catnip toy. This year I did zombie cupcakes. I didn't get any photos, but I will make some more soon to list in the shop.

I also sewed a pageant sash for Miss Zombie Walk. It was my first time sewing with slippery fabric. It was pink with black letters. Check out a picture of the pageant winner: Phal-angi, a zombie with a finger fetish. She was so clever!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Excuse my Absence

Phew! I've missed you guys. I must apologize for taking a month long hiatus from the internet, but I'm back in cyberspace now and feeling energized and very rejuvenated after a much needed rest.

I'll fill you all in on the details soon enough. In the meantime, here's a cute photo:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vacation - Ashland, WI

Sorry I haven't been posting much this past week. I've been sewing my little fingers numb getting ready for upcoming craft shows. I've also been preparing for my mini-vacation to Ashland, WI to visit my buddy Claire. This is my first vacation away from my husband. Traveling without him should prove interesting.

Here's a teaser photo. I hope to take a few shots while I'm up there.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new!

Today was a difficult day here at the Bartlett-Tetzlaff residence. Tanuki, my beloved foster ferret went home with her new family. It's always hard to say goodbye. I just keep telling myself that if I keep them all I'll have no room for new foster pets. Here's a picture of her with the boy that's going to love her next:
Speaking of new foster pets, I just brought home Ruth, a little 2-3 month old mini-lop. She was found outside at a county park in my area. She needs to be fostered because she currently is spraying to mark her territory, but I have confidence that once she gets spayed she'll stop this behavior.
Good girl. She seems to like her litterbox, she just likes marking things as her property more. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

One Year Anniversary - New Business Direction Announcement

This month heartfeltwool celebrates it's one year anniversary. There is a part of me that still cannot believe that people (or their animals) enjoy the things I make. Growing up I never thought of myself as creative or even a little bit artistic. This project has been life changing for me.

One of the best parts about starting my shop has been giving back to animals. I have thoroughly enjoyed donating 15% of my sales to my local shelter. The funds have been used to purchase food for the shelter's small mammals, the animals at the shelter most people forget about when they make a donation.

The purpose of this post is to share with my customers a new direction for my business. I sat down to analyze my costs and profits from last year. While it brings me great joy to see the good that my 15% has done for the shelter, I am realizing that I cannot grow my business in meaningful ways while donating this amount.

From here on out, I will be donating a reduced percentage of 5% of sales to the shelter to allow heartfeltwool the opportunity to explore consignment and wholesale opportunities. I believe that I sew a high quality product that pets and owners alike can appreciate. I have been approached about wholesale pricing, but have not been able to offer as competitive a rate as other makers of catnip toys because the amount that I donate constitutes such a large portion of my expenses. I believe that by lowering the amount that I donate to my local shelter, I will be able to greatly increase the number of wholesale opportunities available to me by offering a competitive wholesale rate while still recouping my costs. This could actually end up resulting in the same or an increased amount of money going to the shelter from sales of my toys if I can increase the number of toys being sold through wholesale and consignment, regardless of the decreased percentage donated from each toy.

I hope that my customers will understand this change in business model and will appreciate the fact that it truly is a numbers game. Lower costs will allow me to increase the overall number of sales off of Etsy, and will allow me to donate more in the long run.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sewing Machines: How Do I Choose?

I'm perplexed. I've decided that I finally want to get a sewing machine, and I've never had one before. The problem is that I've never used one and I'm not sure what to look for. I just picked up Diana Rupp's book Sew Everything Workshop, and I think I've come to the following conclusions:
1. I am thinking that it would be best to purchase a sewing machine from a dealer who can provide a limited warranty on used, refurbished machines or can sell new machines with a warranty. I would also like to be able to take classes from the place that I buy the machine and have the opportunity to ask them follow up questions, and possibly take my machine to them to be fixed if there are any problems.
2. I am leaning towards purchasing an older machine because I want a machine that has metal parts. If I buy a newer machine I will make sure that only the case is made of plastic.
3. I don't care about fancy stitching options. I need a straight stitch and zigzag options. Anything else is just extra.
4. I may want a one-step button hole option on my machine.
5. I definitely want a drop in bobbin loader.

Sewing machine veterans: What other advice do you have for someone looking to purchase a new machine for the first time? What features do you find useful?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Daily Affirmations

I just saw this video for the first time this week. I thought I would post it on the blog so those of you who haven't seen it (I don't know if this video is viral or not, sometimes I feel out of the loop) can see it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Some more new stuff!

This has been a very inspiring week! I'm gearing up for a couple of shows, so I wanted to create some new work. Here are the newest items available in my shop:

I made a treasury!

I made a treasury to feature the work of some of my fellow Etsy for Animals team members. For those of you who don't know, members of this etsy team donate a percentage of their sales to a charity that helps animals.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Goodbye, Stanley and Gunther.

Once upon a time you two were little rats, and like all young animals you were ripe with the potential of the animals you could become. You were born blind and hairless, but day by day you could see the world a little clearer and could explore a little further from your litter mates and mom. Your white fur grew in, flecked with just a hint of light brown. Your eyes were a vibrant red.

There were three possible fates for rats like you. Some are fortunate and are born to be pets. Some are raised to feed other pets. But you, Stanley and Gunther, were born into life at a laboratory. Many times I wished I knew what happened to you during your year there, but all that I know is that you most likely were not held or touched very often.

After a year at the lab you went home with a nice man that liked you very much. Gunther, you especially had a fondness for this man. I don't know exactly why you ended up in a humane society two years later, at three years of age, but there you were. When I approached your cage you cowered under a cardboard box. You both shook with fright when I opened the cage door.

Two months later, I grieve you both. You learned to stop fearing the opening of your cage door and the entrance of my hands. You learned that crumpets covered in peanut butter are delicious. You both learned to enjoy the liberating feeling of sleeping out in the open, outside of your wooden hideouts, stretched out or curled up in your soft bedding. You lost a lot of weight, and could turn your exercise wheel three rotations. But at three years old you couldn't learn to behave the way pet rats do. You didn't have enough time to learn to stop biting hands. You didn't have enough time to learn what it takes to be adopted.

I grieve the loss of my two rat friends, Stanley and Gunther, but mostly I grieve the circumstances that necessitate the retelling of this story, over and over, countless times for countless rats.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Catnip Toy Designs

I just added two new designs to the shop: a grumpy cupcake and a lightning cloud. I've been very influenced by the Japanese kawaii style lately; it's been very fun making it my own! These two are very fun to make, especially the plump little cupcake.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life after Cable Television

Over the course of the past several months, my husband and I have discussed getting rid of our cable television. We had a 12 channel basic cable package, and even though it was only about 11 bucks a month, we figured it would be better for us to have a little extra cash each month and to stop spending so much time in front of the television. Any by us, I mean me, since I have a famously disgusting addiction to television and my husband hates it.

I thought it was going to be extremely difficult for me to give up television. In the morning I love watching The View and Martha Stewart. Anytime I'm home during the afternoon I watch court T.V. (Judy and Judge Hatchett are my favorites). I also love watching COPS in the evening. Let me just acknowledge that I don't consider any of these programs (with the possible exception of Martha) to be quality programming. I'm actually pretty embarrassed that these shows have become a regular part of my viewing schedule. Nevertheless, I tuned in faithfully each week, eagerly anticipating the little dose of drama they provided my life.

I predicted that giving up television would lead me to feel disconnected from the world and to regret that I could not tune in to my favorite shows. I couldn't have been more wrong. Since I'm not watching T.V., I'm not watching previews of upcoming shows or "coming up next" advertisements. I have absolutely no idea about what's going on in TV land, so I don't feel left out. I also feel more connected to the world around me than ever before. I've been listening to N.P.R. every time I'm feeling lonely at home, and I am cherishing the opportunity to listen to interesting interviews and hear up to date news.

So long, cable. We had a lot of good times, but I'm much healthier and happier without you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tanuki's First Bath

I was really apprehensive about bathing Tanuki for the first time. I was somewhat worried that she would be scared of the bath (like my foster rats in the past have been), so I approached the situation expecting the worst: that she may panic, scratch, or even bite.

I couldn't have been more wrong! Tanuki seems to actually enjoy the bath. When I put her in the tub she walked around (I already had the tub going at a low setting so there was a little water in the basin already). I used the handheld shower sprayer to wet her fur, and she seemed to enjoy the warmth of the water. She stood still while I lathered and rinsed her. So cute!

I set up a drying station ahead of time thinking I may need to quickly remove her from the bathroom to dry her off. I didn't realize that ferret fur dries very rapidly on its own, so I didn't even need to use the blow dryer. I layed some clean towels on the floor and tanuki dried herself by rolling around on them and dragging her, erm... "hindquarters" on the towels.

Right now she's cuddled in a dry towel in her cage. Here are a few pics of the aftermath. Next time I'll ask my husband to make a video of the bath itself to share.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New catnip toy: cracked tooth

This one is right out of my worst nightmares. Literally. I have dreams about tooth decay or my teeth falling out on a regular basis. Not sure where that phobia came from, but this little guy makes having a cracked tooth a slightly more cute prospect:
I've been staying busy preparing my new etsy shop, Buttons by Bernie. The profile, policies and banner are up. Now I just have to start listing items. Exciting! It's been a year since I started heartfeltwool, so it's fun to go through the process of setting up a new shop again.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My husband and I have been making 1" and 1.5" buttons for a few years under the name Planet X-Press. We recently decided to change the name to "Buttons by Bernie" in honor of our favorite lagomorph. We are also going to be setting up shop on etsy in addition to our selling buttons on our website. Stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Shout Out: M. Patrizio

I'm like most etsy sellers. I have a favorites list a mile long and I follow many artisan's blogs. However, there are certain shops that stand apart. These are the shops that I find myself compelled to revisit, curious to see what the artist is up to. They inspire others to innovate by consistently creating exciting new items. I hope to occasionally share some of these shops with you so that you can check them out to! I hope some of them inspire you the way they have inspired me.

M. Patrizio
Mariyn Patrizio's shop caught my attention several months ago when she updated her storefront with a menagerie of accessories for her Timmie doll, a crocheted green amphibian who fits somewhere on the development spectrum between a tadpole and a frog. She also sells adorable notepads, stickers, t-shirts, cards, and a variety of other crocheted creations, but Timmie has always stood out to me as something special. I think it's his impressive wardrobe full of unique accessories. Who can resist?
What I love about her work is that her crocheted creations take on a personality of their own. With his simple face and blank expression, a number of ideas can be projected onto Timmie. He is the perfect canvas for accessories, but even alone his thin-lipped expression connotes emotion.

I hope that you find M. Patrizio and her work as interesting as I do. As a person who runs a small online business, I also find her blog and website to great examples of quality web publications.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Catnip Toy Giveaway

It's about time to give back to the lovely people that help support my shop. It's time for a giveaway! I'm hoping this will be the first of several giveaways this summer. The winner will receive a free catnip toy of their choice!

How you can enter:

1. Write a facebook fanpage review of my catnip toys. This will earn you one entry into the contest. Navigate to my facebook fanpage and click on the "Reviews" tab on the first page. Then, write a description of my catnip toys and publish it. Only new reviews will be eligible.

2. Upload fan photos of your kitties enjoying my catnip toys to my facebook fan page. This can be done by simply posting photos on the fanpage wall. They will automatically be included in my fan photos section. You can earn one entry into the contest for every photo you upload. You are limited to three photo entries for the contest, but please feel free to upload more if you have some great shots. :) If you uploaded photos in the past, upload up to three new photos this time to be eligible. Here are some samples from last year:

Entries must be submitted by July 15, 2010. If you have not purchased from me in the past, there is still plenty of time to place an order so that you can be eligible for the contest. I can't wait to see your photos and to read your reviews. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Busy Busy

Things have been hectic this week. In addition to my etsy shop, my husband and I have a button making business called Planet X-Press. We got a huge order this week (10,000 buttons!!!) so I've been working on those.

Here's some buttons from the last order we just finished up. They're for the band Frodus.
I've tried to enlist some help around here, but Tanuki doesn't seem to want to cooperate.
"What, I thought you said it was my turn to pick out a record!"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Catnip Toy: Koala Holding Bamboo Shoot

I just listed the newest heartfelt personality: an adorable koala holding his favorite snack. These guys are now available in the shop.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One Man Wrecking Machine - Guster

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday morning! I'm mustering up the courage to attend graduation today. It's going to be heartbreaking to say goodbye to my students, especially since I won't be teaching at this school next fall.

This video from Guster cheered me up, though. It features some of the adorable plushies available from Monster Factory. My favorite part is when the main character is sewing. <3


One Man Wrecking Machine - Guster

kiko | MySpace Video

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Pleasant, Unexpected Surprise

Tonight was the evening of the awards ceremony for the school I taught at this last semester. Students are presented with awards, and at the end, everyone enjoys delicious dessert. Since going vegan a year ago, I've learned to expect to not partake in such delicious desserts. I just can't expect food to be free of dairy, especially since I live in Wisconsin (formally known as the dairy state, curse you California for stripping us of our title!!!).

Anyway, this evening was different. Upon arrival I was greeted in the parking lot by one of my students, who had made a special vegan dessert for me. It was a Swiss Cake Roll pie. Delicious! I couldn't believe it. First of all, how thoughtful is that?! Second of all, it was probably one of the most delicious desserts I have ever eaten, before or after making the decision to stop eating dairy.

What a pleasant surprise! Too bad I didn't get the recipe from him...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Foster Animals: Stanley and Gunther

I've had Stanley and Gunther for about three weeks now. I've been pretty quiet about them up until now because, well, I guess I just have been having a hard time getting a good read on them. This is complicated by the fact that they are outrageously under-socialized and the last pair of female rats that I fostered were very outgoing. These guys are happy to just lounge about in their cage all day. I'll open the door and they won't come out for exercise.

They are definitely coming along, though. They are much friendlier now than when I first got them. Stanley used to try to wedge himself under his exercise wheel when I would open the door to feed them He was terrified of my hands. They both still hate to be picked up, but they do run to the cage door to beg for treats now. They also perk up when they hear the front door opening because they know I'm coming home and will want to give them some attention.

As much relative progress as I've seen, I'm still concerned that they are too shy to attract an adopter. I really hope that someone who understands rats will come along. All they need is a little love and time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm inspired again!

Just stumbled upon this new video on Etsy about a couple of upholsterers. The video itself is artfully shot - the beginning sequence times the sounds from the tools the women are using to the beat of a song.

The more interesting thing about the video is the message, however. They talk about how upholstery is a dying art. It's difficult to find places that will teach you how, and much of the knowledge is passed on between family members. Most upholsterers are old.

Why should so many art forms be lost to the next generation? I'm suddenly inspired to change this in whatever small way I can.

Folk artists and crafters unite!

Monday, May 31, 2010

New Felt / Shop Update

My husband likes to screen print and often buys remnant fabric pieces to save money. For whatever reason, this was a new concept for me. Why have I been paying full price for felt all this time?! I was able to score a ton of felt this weekend. I just love looking at all of the different colors:
I also sewed some new catnip toys. These fluorescent buddies are jelly fish made from some of my new remnant felt. They'll go up in the store this week. For some reason, I just love sewing marine life inspired toys. I suppose cats do have a natural inclination towards seafood, and sea creatures tend to lend themselves to shapes that cats would find appealing:
Hope that everyone else had a fun memorial day weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Notorious B.L.T. - Pot Belly Pig in Search of Home

Just got this update from Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary. Thought I'd pass it along. Perhaps some of my readers are pig lovers or have friends who may be able to help out this homeless pig.

Notorious BLT is in need of a home!

Notorious BLT

As many of you know, GLRS is also home to 4 potbelly pigs. We recently received a plea to take in another potbelly pig in need of a good home. Her family's circumstances no longer allow them to provide for her. Unfortunately, zoning ordinances limit GLRS to the 4 potbellies already at the sanctuary.

If you, or anyone you know, has the room and resources to provide this adorable oinker with a loving home, please contact Lisa Golub at 734.663.2285 or

Piggie Particulars:

Name: Notorious BLT

Age: 1 year

Current weight: Approx. 60-65 pounds

Health: Spayed and up-to-date on shots

Personality: Litter-box trained. Very sweet and loving, used to living indoors, loves snuggling on the couch and sleeping on her leopard-print bed!

New Art Fire Shop!

I've grown slightly disillusioned with Etsy over the course of the past couple of months. Sure, I still love how aesthetically pleasing Etsy is. I love the friends I've made in the forums, the curated, ever-changing front page. I'm not planning on leaving anytime soon.

BUT. I have noticed a sudden drop in views and sales on Etsy. Sellers are feeling confused about why this is happened and no answers are coming from Etsy employees. I've decided that it's time to branch out and experiment with other sites.

One of the biggest surprises to me was how my Etsy shop is being connected with people who are searching for the types of products I actually sell when these people use google to search.

Here's an example. The following are keywords that led shoppers to my storefront on Art Fire:

Emu feather earrings
Bath powder shakers
Emerald gemstone soap
Blue coral jewelry
Fleece baby blankets with crochet border

Here are some keywords that led shoppers to my Etsy store:

Cat Toys Felt Balls
Cat Toys Felted Balls
Cthulhu Toys
Buy Milk Ring Cat Toy
Day of the Dead Stud Earrings

Contrary to what is being said in the Etsy forums, so far it seems that Etsy is doing a much better job communicating with Google than Art Fire is, at least for my personal account.

There is one way that Art Fire definitely has Etsy beat, however. The employees of Art Fire routinely troll the forums looking for ways that they can be of assistance. They answer questions, give feedback about SEO/SERP and offer very helpful advice. The culture of Art Fire is much more supportive than Etsy. Those who are posting in the forums are very supportive and upbuilding.

At this point, I plan to keep both shops open through the Christmas season so that I can get a good comparison. Both have their advantages.

If you'd like to take a look at the differences in the storefronts, check out my shops!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So you want to be an Etsy failure?

I thoroughly enjoyed these instructions posted in an Etsy forum. I hope you do, too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Katie Cook - GRONK A Monster's Story

One of my favorite people from last year's comic con was Katie Cook. Her adorable custom water colors were the highlight of the weekend for me.

She just started a new web comic: GRONK, A Monster's Story.

Check it out!

New Foster Friend - Tanuki the Ferret

Well, there's a first time for everything. I've never fostered a ferret before, and quite frankly I never thought I'd get the chance! Our shelter's normal policy is to send ferrets to rescues, where they will be taken care of by educated staff and paired with other ferrets. They do much better in pairs.

When I found out that the shelter had gotten in a new ferret, I asked if I could give fostering a try. I've had Tanuki for just over a week now. She's doing very well! She's a three year old sable ferret that was found outdoors. Fortunately, she is quite sociable. She only nips playfully when I chase her around. Chasing is her favorite game. As you can see from her photo she is quite flexible, albeit very clumsy.

A few things I have found interesting about ferrets: I was expecting them to be more like rats than any other animal I have had in my care, but they are really much more like puppies that can be litter trained. Tanuki doesn't have the dexterity of rats, although she is fairly intelligent. Not having the use of thumbs like rats makes a huge difference in what she is able to do. She has a lot more energy than the rats I've had, and she can get into a lot more trouble. Ferret proofing is quite the task. The smell was pretty bad at first, but I'm getting used to it. I hardly even notice it anymore, except for when I am holding her. This may have a little something to do with her change in diet, but I think it mainly has to do with me becoming more accustomed to her scent.

All in all, this is not a pet I would choose for myself unless it was the only type of animal I wanted in my house. I think it would be fun to have a pair of ferrets if I didn't already have the rabbits who roam freely in our downstairs.

Here's hoping she finds a good home soon!

Abandoned Baby Squirrels

Most of my friends and customers know that I love animals big and small because I donate a percentage of my sales to my local animal shelter and because I foster small mammals in my home. I also love wildlife, but like many people who interact with urban animals, I know very little about their lives and needs. This weekend provided a learning opportunity!

For a couple days last week, my husband and I had been hearing a high pitched shrieking sound coming from our front yard. We had assumed that it was a bird making this racket, but last Sunday our assumption was proven wrong when we found a lone squirrel at the base of the tree, periodically emitting this same loud sound we had heard.
Adam watched the baby squirrel for a couple hours while I was away at church. Something just wasn't right. We've always watched the baby squirrels in our front tree with delight, but we'd never seen them so small before, let alone without their mother. We called the very helpful folks at Wind River and described the situation. They confirmed our suspicion - the baby was probably an orphan. They told me that oftentimes squirrels rehome their young, a process that takes several hours, but we should have seen the mother. Also, the young often leave the nest and engage in the types of behaviors we were seeing to get their mother's attention when they are abandoned. Unfortunately, if the mother was killed by a car or died for whatever reason, she will never come back.

We were given the contact information of a woman who could take the baby in, and were instructed to feed the baby cantaloupe or watermelon to tide it over until we could get it to the person who could rehabilitate it. He was quite easy to capture, but as soon as we put the box down a second squirrel came out of the hole. After about fifteen minutes of shining a flashlight into the hole and climbing up into the tree with a ladder, we discovered that the litter actually contained five babies. Fortunately they all came out of their nest to see what was happening, so we easily captured them all. They had not yet learned to fear humans, so they came right up to Adam and I (although the last one needed to be coaxed with a piece of watermelon).
Aren't they adorable?! I'm so happy that they are safe and sound in Clinton, Wisconsin with their new human mom. They will be released into the wild in a few weeks, or as soon as they are able to crack nuts on their own.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


This week Adam and I said goodbye to our foster rabbit, Strider. When we first got him two months ago he was charging, lunging, and behaving quite aggressively. With a little patience and a lot of spoiling, he turned into quite the cuddly snuggler. Every evening he hopped into bed with me during reading time for head scratches, and he slept in my bedroom near the heating vent each night.

Strider now lives with a female lionhead rabbit named Fifi and eight guinea pigs. He's going to have a happy life. I was told that twice a day he eats salad off of a giant plate with ALL the small mammals in his home. I think I need a picture of that...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Needle Sculpting Project

I just finished my first needle sculpting project, a gray rabbit! I bought a needle felting kit from etsy seller fancytiger. She has a nice assortment of kits available to purchase in her etsy shop. I think I might pick up the strawberry or mushroom kits next... It was useful to start learning the techniques by following the directions. I opted to felt some of the hair from our foster rabbit Strider into the project. He was going through a pretty good shed when I started the project.
For those of you who do not know how needle felting or sculpting works - it's really quite simple! It consists of repeatedly stabbing roving (combed, washed wool) with an incredibly sharp needle. I stabbed myself quite a few times during the process, so I can testify to the needles' tenacity. In the photo above I am attaching two seprate balls I had felted to form the head and body of the rabbit.

I often held the project in my hands, which is probably why I ended up pricking my fingers a couple of times. The kit did come with a sponge felting pad that I used during the beginning phases of the project.
In the photo below, I am attempting to smooth out some of the bumps in the project.
And here is what my little friend looked like after I finished sculpting him!
He even had a little bushy cottontail.
I have a feeling that this is the first of many (hopefully increasingly advanced) needle felting projects I will tackle. The process was really quite relaxing. I'd like to also continue to use the hair from animals I am fostering for the shelter. It's kind of a fun way to create a project that will always remind me of them.