Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby, You Were Born To Run

Track season is officially underway at Ontario High School, in fact I worked the finish line as a timer at yesterday's meet.  It was a little nerve wracking, but fun! It seemed fitting to name this Treasury according to the season our family is now in, and according to Bruce Springsteen who wrote the song . . .


Leave a comment and vote for your favorite Etsy item, that is not your own.  The winner will be posted here, in next week's announcements, and on my FB page!

Financial Crisis Piggy by Kristen Stein Fine Art
Hand Painted Silk by Silk Story
iRun Scrabble by Jesse Janes
Run Chicken Run by Peacock Garden
Cowgirl Princess by Heather Evans Smith
The Time Chasers by Heather Evans Smith
Highway Run Art Yarn by Magpyi Creations
Felted Wool Journal by Nushkie Design
Running Away by Linzy Arnott
Two Tone Lycra Yoga Pants by Kaya Yoga Wear
Spring Frolic by Vickie Wade Fine Art
Horse in the Clouds by Lucy Snowe Photography
Big Sky Twilight Run  by Lucy Ransom
Run To The Lighthouse by Nicole Wong Illustration
Running In The Night by Nell Print
4 Running Rabbit Charm by Supply Pusher

This song was Bruce Springsteen's last-ditch effort to make it big.  I guess it worked!  Read more about the song.  Want a listen, click Bruce Sringsteen.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Felted ALPACA Bunnies

 Did you know that a group of rabbits, like alpacas, is called a "herd"?  And a herd of rabbits lives in a "warren".  I didn't.

Here's my herd of Needle Felted ALPACA Bunnies.  Meet Bernard, Charlotte, Peter, Beatrice, Debbie, and Liz.  They are all now listed in my Etsy shop.

I attempted some French Knots on the faces of my bunnies, without much luck.  They seem to just disappear.  I ended up felting little wisps of fiber instead.  Then I found this great little tutorial . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Easter Egg and Bunny Felting Class

 My first "stab" at teaching turned out okay, I think.  I wasn't sure how I would be at conveying my thoughts to others.  We all got an egg made, first needle felted into an egg shape with embellishments tacked in place, then wet felted to finish.

I do have kits available if you want to try this at home.  It is not hard.  Remember not to squeeze when rinsing the soap out.  Wrap in a towel to absorb the excess moisture and lay in the sun or sunny room to dry.
The group was anxious to move on to bunnies and so we did.

Everyone brought alpaca fiber that they had carded into batts at home. We all were working with Suri Alpaca, so yes you can felt Suri!  Adrienne had a pretty yellow pastel that she had Dyed with Kool-aid, Christie had some gorgeous white Suri to which she added red, also dyed with kool-aid. 

I was working with multi-colored rovings that I had dyed with Gaywool Dyes.  What I like about Dyeing With Gaywool is that the mordant and dyebath acidifier is formulated into the dye, which makes it simple, and there are so many pretty colors.

We divided our batts into nine pieces that we used to "build" our bunnies.  We started with the body which took the most fiber, then added legs, arms, head, ears, and tail.  Rolling the fiber tightly into the desired shapes was the "key" first step before starting to needle the fiber.

Diane used a natural color and had the help of her daughter, who found felting in cookie cutters to be much easier!  A Multi-Needle Felting Tool makes the work go much quicker, most of us used a tool with six needles.  A double or single needle was needed to get in the tight spots when adding the head and tail.

My daughter joined us, she is 13, can you tell?  I guess she didn't want her picture taken?

When we wrapped it up, we all had some felting to do at home to firm up and finish our bunnies.  Each one looked different and had his/her own personality!

We had fun taking the time out to do something fun together, and everyone went home having learned something new to do with Alpaca Fiber!

Meet Beatrice!

And Peter!

Both are listed in my Etsy shop.  They are definitely one-of-a-kind!

Check out the Fiber Arts Classes at Alpaca Meadows and see what's scheduled next!  Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Aren't these just adorable?  I didn't make them so I can brag about them!  They are made out of recycled sweaters by a friend of mine who has fallen in love with alpacas.  I understand completely . . .

I'd like you to meet the Alpacababes!

 Cammy's favorite game is "hide and seek".  He is truly the best at hiding outside.  Keep your eye on Cammy who stands about 12" tall.

Happypants is just happy that's all!  Happypants stands about 12" tall.

Mato is a bright tomato red.  She is ripe for the pickin'.  And she's ready for fun.  She will have juicy stories to tell.  She stands about 12" tall.


Cashmere is soft and cuddly but was born with a big snout and it tends to get in the way...on the other hand Cashmere loves kisses and his snout is a perfect place to put your kisses.  He stands about 12" tall.

Freckles is so very proud of her spots.  So proud that she named them all!  Freckles stands about 12" tall.
Mr. Man is quiet and true.  He listens to everything you have to say before making any comment.  He is very laid back and you will feel calm just being with him.  Mr. Man stands about 12" tall.

Creamsicle is a delicious friend.  All she likes to do is cuddle and giggle.  That is all.  She stands about 12" tall.

Tweed is a proper English gentleman.  He is so polite, with a wit that will keep you on your toes.  Tweed stands about 12" tall.

Alpaca Meadows is headed to Best of the US Alpaca Show in Columbus, Ohio this weekend and taking the Alpacababes with me.  If I don't sell out at the show, I will list them on our website next week.  They will retail at $40.  If you just have to have one before then, contact me and we can make it happen!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fiber Art Classes

Though I’ve never thought of myself as a teacher, I’ve been asked enough times if I give classes, that I’m going to give it a “stab”! So, for those of you in our area (Ohio) here is my schedule:

Saturday, March 20, 2010
10am-3pm (or whenever we finish)

Basic needle felting combined with some wet felting to make a basic egg shape with embellishment, then building a 3-D bunny for your Easter table! Coffee to get you started and lunch included. Peak at alpacas and visit to The Farm Store after lunch, then back to work! 

*You will need:
8 Ounce Batt of Fiber
Liquid Soap in Pump Dispenser
Plastic Tub Approximately 12”x14”
If you need fiber, please let me know ahead of time so I can card it. It is not pictured on my website but is available at $24 for an 8 ounce batt, available in light fawn and black.


Saturday, May 8, 2010
10am-1pm (or whenever we finish)

This class is a walk-through of what can you can do with your fiber at home, without spending a lot of money, in order to have a product to sell. Introduction to sorting, tumbling, washing, drying, picking, carding, packaging, and selling. Lots of ideas to go home with! Coffee to get you started and lunch included. Time to see the alpacas and visit The Farm Store.


Saturday, June 26, 2010
10am-3pm (or whenever we finish)

Hand-Painting with Gaywool Dyes and introduction to a variety of other methods. This fiber will fly off your shelves, people love it! Bring your own fiber, rovings, or yarn, or purchase from Alpaca Meadows in advance. Coffee to get you started and lunch included. Time to peak at alpacas and visit to The Farm Store.

*You will need:
4-8 Ounces Fiber, Rovings, or Yarn (white or light fawn)
Large Aluminum Roasting Pan—2
Aluminum Foil
Plastic Bottles—3 (can use empty dish soap bottles)
Plastic Gloves
Dish Soap—(any kind)
Plastic Tub Approximately 12”x14” or Small Bucket


Saturday, September 4, 2010
10am-3pm (or whenever we finish)
A combination of needle and wet felting on a form. All supplies included as well as tools to take home and make more with your own fiber. Coffee to get you started and lunch included. Peak at alpacas and visit to The Farm Store after lunch, then back to work!
*You will need:
4 Ounce Batt of Fiber
Liquid Soap in Pump Dispenser
Plastic Tub Approximately 12”x14”
Bubblewrap (supplied)
If you need fiber, please let me know ahead of time so I can card it. It is not pictured on my website but is available at $12 for a 4 ounce batt, available in light fawn.

*If needed, these items can be purchased on our website prior to class.

All classes will be held at the farm.
Alpaca Meadows
185 Bethel Lane
Mansfield, Ohio  44906

Questions?  Call (419) 529-8152 or e-mail me at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bead Felting Kit

I've been busy finishing up projects and getting ready for Best of the US Alpaca Show in Columbus, Ohio next weekend, March 12-14, where I will be setting up as a vendor.

This felting kit includes alpaca fiber in a variety of different colors for making beads, a felting needle, and detailed instructions.  The process described involves both needle and wet felting.

 There also is some suri fiber that works well for embellishing beads, be sure to pull apart and use very thin, wispy pieces.
I like to use a combination of both needle and wet felting.  Needling your fiber into a smooth round ball actually makes the wet felting go very quickly and makes a nicer bead.

Here I made beads and then flattened them to make buttons for my felted mittens, coming soon!
Shibori Knitted Felt: 20 Plus Designs to Knit, Bead, and Felt

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

Felted Easter Eggs

The sun is actually shining today - it is so pretty!  I must get out and enjoy it.  The first day of March, we are getting there, and oh how we will appreciate those first signs of Spring!


I know our alpacas will too.  They have spent way too much time in the barn, that is where the hay is, the snow has been too deep to venture very far. 


And it is way too deep for their keepers, us, to venture through it to put hay in the pastures.  They will be very happy to see green grass and run in the pastures!


Thinking Spring, these are some Easter eggs that I have wet felted.  

If you've been wanting to try wet felting, this is easy, just takes soap and water!  I have put together a kit that is fun and with some creativity, produces lovely results!

The fiber in the kit is from our guard llama, Lacy Lady!  There are also bits and pieces of other fun fibers to embellish with.

In Christian times, the egg was a symbol of new life just as a chick might hatch from the egg.  The egg is symbolic of the grave and life renewed by breaking out of it.
The Easter Egg

And in doing some reading about the symbolism of eggs, I found a good article about The Easter Egg on a website called The Holiday Spot.  Here is a little blurb from the article that I thought was interesting . . . 
Many traditions and practices have formed around Easter eggs. In Europe an egg was hung on New Year trees, on Maypoles, and on St. John's trees in midsummer. Indeed, all were of one accord in using the egg as a symbol of the regenerative forces of nature. Later during the Christian period, it was believed that eggs laid on Good Friday, if kept for a hundred years, would have their yolks turn to diamond. If Good Friday eggs were cooked on Easter they would promote the fertility of the trees and crops and protect against sudden deaths. And, if you would find two yolks in an Easter egg, be sure, you're going to be rich soon. That's what they believed!