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31  Cat - needle felted kitten (almost life size) in Felting: Completed Projects by Harlan on: January 09, 2013 11:43:02 AM

Needle felting cats is what got me into this art/craft, but it has been a while since I had the opportunity to do a serious cat (I've done some cute, fun feline projects). WHile I have a lot of projects that need attention, I decided to start this new year with a feline. My husband is calling this one Pryant (which I think is a reference to its size compared to my Prittens and not its name).
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32  Re: Pods and Pollen Needle Felted Necklace in Felting: Completed Projects by Harlan on: August 09, 2012 06:57:39 AM
I've been so busy working on this pod and pollen class - just about everything I have done has been related to it in one way or another.

Re-did the necklace from scratch to photo all the steps involved so this is version 2 on the same theme:

I think I do prefer the more "vine-like" embellishments on these tapers.
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33  Re: IYP 21 Summer Soiree Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Harlan on: July 27, 2012 06:48:42 AM
Totally AWESOME SWAG!!!!

I've been so busy of late, I haven't had much time to check and see all the goodies people have been swapping - WOW!!!! Such kewl swaps!!! It's a real treat to see all the creative goodies!!! BRAVO AND KUDOS EVERYONE!!!!!!

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34  Pods and Pollen Needle Felted Necklace in Felting: Completed Projects by Harlan on: July 19, 2012 08:19:16 AM

I have been very busy putting together some new classes. I started out working on a needle felted earrings class and ended up taking the earring ideas and putting together this necklace prototype. There were numerous different challenges, but probably the most difficult was sewing all the pods and pollen together! I'm more or less pleased, but I may end up adding a couple small bits to fill in some gaps.

Hope everyone is staying cool! It has been so hot here that I have not been able to be as productive as I would like. I'd work for a while and then have to retreat from my craft room to some place cooler. Fortunately we had rain yesterday and again today which has brought down the temperatures to a far more tolerable level.

Merino Fiber, Beads, needle and thread and a whole lot of TIME!!
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35  Re: IYP 21 Summer Soiree Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Harlan on: July 08, 2012 11:45:20 AM
Delighted that you're pleased Missingwillow!!!  Cheesy  Cheesy

I had a lot of fun making your Beatrice as a twig sheep! She looks super in cubbyhole #18!! What a nice collection you're getting!!

Her bell seems to have gotten lower during the trip - you can pull on the ends of the garland to raise the bell if you like! I didn't secure the garland in case you ever wanted to remove it for some reason.

I enjoyed doing the swap!! Jack LOVES his new pouch!! It holds everything that he likes to carry with him and makes it SO much easier to find everything!! It couldn't have been more perfect for him!!

I'm enjoying the soaps!! SOOO nice!!! =^..^=
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36  Re: IYP 21 Summer Soiree Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Harlan on: July 06, 2012 11:54:06 AM
My swap was will MissingWillow and I am just SO DELIGHTED!!
I told her how my husband is in a wheelchair and he has all this stuff that he carts around with him. He's been using this old funky cosmetic travel case that is about a zillion years old and it just doesn't work well. I gave MissingWillow a few pointers on what would be useful for him and she worked MAGIC!!!

I had mentioned that Jack is a vet and a confederate at heart. She looked for confederate fabric, but wasn't able to find any - NO problem! Jack is just tickled pink!!

It's so beautifully made and has all these wonderful pockets to make finding his stuff so much easier!! She also included pens and a note pad AND some confederate beer cap magnets AND a super lovely tin box which will now be his pill box!!

BUT WAIT!! THERE'S MORE!!! (gosh I am so spoiled!!)....

MissingWillow also included the most heavenly handmade and totally fragrant soaps!!

They're so pretty (a flower, a sheep (too kewl) and a leaf) I almost hate to even use them (almost)!!
AND she included a lovely note telling me about the search for confederate fabric and getting design help from her husband (and I didn't include any note in the package I sent her - I'm so bad about such things)!!

I am just tickled!! This was a super swap!!!

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37  Storing Felting Needles in Felting: Discussion and Questions by Harlan on: June 18, 2012 11:07:17 AM
Over the years I have had a variety of methods for storing needles none of which I particularly liked. As I was reorganizing my work space yesterday I once again started thinking about possible solutions.
I wanted something that was easy to access, would protect the needles, and would protect me from the needles.

This is what I ended up making this morning - a variation on a jewelry roll.

The layer of batting on the inside holds the needles nicely in place and should also help to prevent rust. I just need to make a couple more of these needle rolls so that I have a different roll for each of the different size needles that I use.

How do you store your needles???
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38  Review of REVERSE/INVERTED Barbed Felting Needles in Felting: Discussion and Questions by Harlan on: May 31, 2012 08:33:37 AM
Recently a number of my needle felting friends started talking about reverse/inverted barbed felting needles. The idea behind these needles is that they pull fiber OUT of an object rather than push it in and the general impression I had been given was these needles might be useful for creating fur.
Sources for these needles always seemed to be in far away places and my friends were waiting weeks for theirs to arrive. I managed to find a source here in the U.S.A. so decided that I would buy a set and see what I thought. It took less than a week for my needles to arrive so I set about setting up some tests to see what these needles could do.
In appearance, these needles are roughly the size of a #38 with only three blades (not the four blades of a typical #38star needle). On the top, the "L" portion, of the needle there is a small notch which makes it easy to identify these needles as being reverse barb rather than having to haul out your magnifying glass and examine the barbs. There were 2 barbs per blade. The first barb was suitably close to the tip, but the remaining barbs were placed along the full length of the tip.
In preparation to test the needles I firmly felted a block of core fiber which I surface covered with black Merino. This would provide suitable contrast to see the fibers pulled out by the reverse needles. Because my core fiber is different in fiber content than some of the commonly used fibers I also made blocks of Merino (pink) covered with black Merino and a block of Corriedale (dark green) covered with white core fiber.
I color coded the sides of my blocks so as I experimented and took notes I could clearly identify what experiment I did on any particular side.
On my core fiber block I worked in only a straight up and down needling method. My first test was roughly the same amount of pokes that I might do if I were furring that space with regular needles. The result was sparse. Good for a peach fuzz effect, but not sufficient for fur. The fibers did not resist a simple tug test very well.
My second test was a great many more pokes with the needle. This did result in more fibers being pulled to the surface, but still insufficient to look like fur.
My third test on the core fiber block was similar to the second test, but I trimmed one area and left another untrimmed.
The fourth test side of the core block was used as a "control". On this side I furred three small sections using core fiber, then Merino fiber and Silk fibers using regular needles. The fur covers the surface well, and withstood a simple tug test. I do have to add that when I fur with regular needles I do so at an angle, not straight up and down as I used the reverse needles on the other sides of the core block. I will return to this subject the angle of the needle a little later.
Next I created a block of pink Merino fiber and repeated the up and down poke experiments with the reverse needles. The results were similar to those of the core block. Sparse fiber being pulled out, insufficient to create the look of fur and weak against a simple tug test.
Last I created a block of Corriedale fiber. This is not a fiber I use often, but is very popular among needle felters so I felt it should be included in the tests. Unlike the previous tests, on the Corriedale block I poked at an angle (not straight up and down). The fiber pulled to the surface was still sparse and insufficient for creating fur, but it withstood a tug test better than the tests on the previous two blocks.
Using the reverse/inverted barbed needles at an angle produces results more resistant to a tug test.
It takes a lot more effort (pokes) with these reverse barbed needles to produce poorer results than if an object is furred with regular needles. Pulling fiber OUT of an object reduces its firmness - probably not significantly depending on how many pokes you do.
These needles might be useful for a transition between a non-furred area and an area furred with regular needles. The may also be useful for creating a fine peachfuzz appearance. I read somewhere that the fiber pulled out with these needles is given a slight curl. That may be true, but I see no way that the user can control the amount of curl produced. They may be useful for reducing the firmness of an object that has been felted too firmly, but I haven't actually tested that.
I personally am not very impressed with these needles. I don't see them as really useful tools. I didn't witness any results that couldn't be reproduced more easily and with better control and integrity with regular felting needles. I may do more experiments with these needles and if I learn anything new or change my opinion, I will let you know.

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39  Happy Cat! in Felting: Completed Projects by Harlan on: May 29, 2012 05:59:26 AM
I've been experimenting with a bunch of different projects - this is a small piece I made at the end of last week:

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40  Re: Chibi A_Dori_Ball in Felting: Completed Projects by Harlan on: May 25, 2012 04:10:52 AM
THanks!!! I ended up making some more:

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