Farm Felt Baash Needle Felting Retreat

Felted Flock

New Friends

I attended an artists’ retreat on Saturday (March 29, 2014) — the Farm Felt Baash in Kasson, MN. It was held at a beautiful farm owned by Amy of Needle & Felt.

Lamb Cuddling   Lamb and I

See this black lamb with white markings on his head that I am holding? Well, I won the opportunity to name him over on Amy’s blog. Although the lamb was really nice and calm in my arms I decided on the name Rebel. Winning the ability to name a lamb is one of the coolest things I’ve ever won! =)

The Farm Felt Baash was an event all about sheep and needle felting wool. There was a small group of 6 of us so we all got to chat a bit throughout the day and, I think, become friends. It was such a great feeling to be in a room full of needle felting enthusiasts.

I’ll show you around the farm and show off a few of the animals. The rustic red barn was so charming!
Sheep In Pasture   Barn

Amy decorated her home for us SO beautifully:
    Beautiful Decor   Beautiful Decor

Daffodils

The sheep have it made – a large pasture, a large indoor barn stall with lots of hay, other temporary stalls and obviously loving caretakers.

Lambs - Rebel

Sheep

Lamb

They share their home with a few goats as well. I learned that goats can be very lovable. While Amy and the other women who attended the retreat were standing out in the pasture one of the adult goats came up and was getting petting. He also came over to me and untied my boot laces! 😉
Goat   Goat Untying My Boot Laces

Baby goat… look at those ears!!
Baby Goat

Whenever I ask people the question, ‘So why do you have goats –what do you get out of it?’ they say how they would like to do this or that, but really…they just have goats. Their hearts are just won over by them.

After hugging on sheep and goats, we played around with a variety of fibers, felting needles and other tools. I decided that I would like to get some spiral felting needles!
Bright Wool Testing New Needles Felting Needles

We ended the afternoon by each creating a needle felted sheep (or whatever we wanted) and creating a temporary ‘flock’. The final photo is at the top of the page. Here is my sheep in the works:
Working On My Lamb For Our Flock Group Project

The event was from 10am – 5pm, which is quite awhile, but the time just flew by because I was having so much fun. I left Amy’s farm even more inspired to have sheep some day, more inspired about needle felting, more knowledgable about different fibers, and most importantly, feeling warm inside because it was time well spent with like-minded artists. I look forward to attending another retreat at Amy’s some day, and/or attending other similar artists’ retreats.
Fun fun fun!!

Holding Lambs (Me, Mary, Anna, Melanie)

Needle Felting Update (3+ Years!)

Needle felting is something I have enjoyed since I first picked it up well over 3 years ago. Over this time I have made many things! One of the first things I ever made was a rabbit with real cat hair on the outside, followed by owls. I am continuing to make owls, snowmen, woolly worms, bees, mushrooms, custom cats, mice and more. It is a goal of mine to make more new needle felted characters this year. This last year I did some really neat projects so I feel the need to keep the ball rolling. I want to share with you a couple of the new snowmen I felted this month, as well as some of my all-time favorites. (New owls at the top of the post!)

Snowmen – January 2014
Needle Felt Snowman
Needle Felt Snowman
Needle Felt Snowman

Custom creation – July 2013
Custom Needle Felted Character

Woolly Worms – Spring 2013
Needle Felted Woolly Worms

Mushroom Cluster – Spring 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felted Red Amanita Mushroom Cluster

Sammy Cat with Real Cat Hair – June 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felted Cat Figure with Real Cat Hair and Wool

Owls – December 2012 * Favorite
Needle Felt Owls

I do have a walrus started 😉

First Owl With Button Eyes

Happy New Year! I’m so thankful for more time to do art 🙂

So far the most notably new thing I want to share is this needle felted owl. I make owls regularly, have for a couple years now, but I usually use glass beads for the eyes. This time I gave vintage buttons a try and I like the outcome.

Needle Felted Owl With Button Eyes
(available in my Etsy shop here.)

I’m definitely setting aside a lot of time this year to try new things. Watch out!

Group Of Owls

I made up a group of owls in time for Christmas. Having so many around at once was a lot of fun. It is hard to choose a favorite!
Needle Felt Owls

Needle Felted Mouse Handmade Out Of Wool and Cat Hair

Just yesterday I finished this totally custom needle felted mouse that I made out of wool and domestic cat hair. He was made with love..
Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson

Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson

Ben, Get Off That Hen : A poem by yours truly, the non-poet.
Little mouse ran out of the house, to find his brother Ben.
When he reached the yard he laughed so hard.
Ben was riding a hen!

Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson   Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson

Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson

Isn’t he CUTE? I’m totally in love with him and will miss him. He belongs to a gal in Colorado who mailed me hair that she brushed off of her own cat over the spring months. It’s so awesome to see this one of a kind mouse outside of my mind’s eye and share it with others.

There are many steps to creating something like this, and, as you can see, at some stages it looks really odd and makes ya wonder if it really will end up cute. The finishing stages when I stitch on the eyes and felt on the other facial features (making it come alive!) is my most favorite part.

Washing Cat Hair Before Felting   Felt Mouse w/ Cat Hair ~ In Progress

These are the steps I took to create this one of a kind cutie:

  • I cleaned the cat hair thoroughly but carefully
  • felted a mouse shaped form out of core wool
  • wet felted a tail and ears out of colored wool
  • covered the wool form with the gal’s cat hair
  • attached the ears and tail
  • stitched on glass bead ‘eyes’
  • stitched his little hands together
  • felted a little nose and smiling mouse mouth

Needle Felted Mouse with Cat Hair and Wool ~ Handmade by Ginger Halverson

I put hours into creations like this and I feel that it’s a wonderful way to spend my time. If you’re interested in a custom mouse or other animal for yourself or a loved one, check out this Etsy listing I made using this mouse as my example.

Needle Felted Kitty Cat Figure!

Meet Sammy. Sam. Samson. Sambert! He is a soft orange cream and white cat that spends his days charming one of my dearest friends. His BFF is a yarn ball, he is a fan of tuna fish, and he is scared of bubbles. He is an indoor cat with big dreams.
Jackie & Sammy     Sammy

Since Sammy is so gosh darn adorable and loved (and also getting up there in years) I requested a bunch of his hair. My friend brushed and brushed all winter long (he loves it) and saved up enough hair for me to make this needle felted kitty cat figure:
Needle Felted Cat Figure with Real Cat Hair and Wool

Needle Felted Cat Figure with Real Cat Hair and Wool

It is made of sheep wool for the inside/shape of the cat and then it is covered with real cat hair. The tail is all cat hair. The white detail on his chest is white wool since I didn’t have all white cat hair. It was created by a process called needle felting — small barbed needles are pushed into the wool countless times which essentially weave the fibers together.

Here it is before I added the white details to his chest:
Needle felt cat with real cat hair - in progress

Photogenic!
Needle Felted Cat - Real Cat Hair and Wool
Believe it or not, this was my first needle felted cat! I’m sure he’ll be cherished for years by my friend. Oh, he is also Sammy approved!