Find Me In Handmade Seller’s April Issue!

I don’t normally post non needle felting related blogs but couldn’t resist as I am so thrilled to be April’s featured business in the fabulous online Handmade Seller Magazine. A huge thank you to Dani, founder and digital artist, at Handmade Seller Magazine for inviting me to be this months featured seller. Wow, writing a feature is hard and takes so much more time than you realise but, I really enjoyed going back over the last 6 years and reviewing my business journey. And, even if I do say so myself, it’s a really good read 📰

Handmade Seller Magazine Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts
I have been a ma-hoosive fan (and subscriber) of this great online publication for about four years now and it’s a fantastic resource for handmade sellers. It covers everything from E commerce and Etsy to Pinterest, blogging, SEO (search engine optimisation), photography tips, resources…the list really does go on and on.

April 2019 Handmade Seller Magazine Featured Seller Sandy

Even better, featured stories are told by the people who know best, business owners, sharing their own stories of successes, and failures.

handmade seller5
Handmade Seller Magazine

It was a real honour to be asked to contribute. I hope you enjoy it and it helps you on your own handmade business journey or just gives you the courage to start.

Sandy xhandmade seller6

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

needle felted mushroom, snail and leaves

New Needle Felting Kit Launch: Forest Floor Garden

‘Crafternoons’ just got better…

I am so excited about the launch of my latest needle feting kit: Forest Floor Garden. The first in my new range of ‘garden’ needle felting kits.

IMG_8580

Shop Kits Website

It has so much going on and will keep one or two people occupied for a fabulously creative afternoon.

Incorporating three separate elements; mushrooms, snails and leaves, which mount on a lovely piece of split Hazel (from coppiced Welsh woodland*). Each element comes together to create a beautiful forest floor garden theme.

mushroom5

It is my most detailed kit to date with no fewer than 74 full colour photographs! Suitable for confident beginners and beyond. Just add enthusiasm!

You will learn all the basics of needle felting but with the added bonus of new types of wool and techniques to create fabulous shapes.

 

*I have carefully sourced the wood slices, which are split Hazel, from coppiced ancient woodland in Wales. It is an area that the owner has carefully nurtured back to life and is now full of all manner of flora and fauna. Wood slices are really popular for crafts but most come from unsustainable forests. If there comes a time when I can’t find a sustainable source then I will simply stop putting them in the kits.

IMG_8511.JPG

 

PINTEREST WORKSHOPS FOREST FLOOR GARDEN.png
Brand new to needle felting? Then pop over to the easy tutorials and dos and don’ts page.

Video Tutorials

Dos And Don’ts

FELT CLUB PHOTO

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Needle Felted Maine Coon Cat

I was beyond excited when my good friend and talented artist, Nancy Sullivan, agreed to be a guest on the blog and put together a needle felting tutorial for you all. What I wasn’t prepared for though was an advanced tutorial that is so detailed that I have yet to see anything to match it. This beautiful life-size version of her own cat, Scout, has taken many, many, many hours to complete and is beautifully written in Nancy’s typically charming and funny way. Whilst it is a very advanced tutorial, Nancy’s writing style and presentation still make it easy to understand as she skillfully and seamlessly moves you from one section to the next, introducing techniques I have never seen used.  Thank you so much for all your hard work, time and generosity Nancy xxx

COPYRIGHT LAW APPLIES!

YOU MUST NOT:

  • Copy and sell/promote this tutorial as your own
  • Share the link and password for this tutorial on any social media, Facebook groups or via any other forms of communication
  • Print tutorial for use at workshops
  • Tutorial is for personal use only and cannot be used for any other purpose

However, sharing photographs of your sculpture on social media, Facebook groups and giving as gifts is acceptable but please make sure to credit your source of information and inspiration.

Failure to comply with the above would be viewed as copyright infringement. 

All link content on this post is the property of Nancy Sullivan.
All content appearing on this blog is the property of:
Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts
Copyright © 2019 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts. All rights reserved.

 

About The Artist

My name is Nancy Sullivan. I was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in
1950, moved to New York in 1988, and have been here in Southern
California since 2002. Yes, I am 68 years old!
My interest in art began in the 2nd grade when my teacher told my mother
that I had talent. Because of that, my parents worked hard to give me as
many opportunities for special art student programs as were available
through my youth. Later, in high school, I entered a statewide competition
in Oklahoma and won the first place prize, a small scholarship for college.
Since then I have managed to work art into everything I do.
I started working in Medicine at age 26, and before long my first
“secretarial” job included working in eye surgery, designing and editing
medical publications and doing medical illustrations of surgical techniques
and graphically presenting research results for journals, textbooks, and
international medical symposia. My mentors paved the way for me to
attend workshops and special courses in anatomy and illustration. I was
very fortunate to be able to create a situation where I could get this
education as a part of my job. I also had the opportunity to attend and
observe human head and neck dissections with Ophthalmology Residents.
I also designed training manuals for non-medical employees so they would
understand the basics of ophthalmology.
I learned the most about anatomy from Joseph Sheppard, a celebrated
sculptor and painter from Baltimore, who now lives in Italy. His training
and publications gave me the knowledge to take my work to a higher level
of accuracy. He teaches drawing human figures from the skeleton out –
which is exactly how I approach the animals that I needle felt.

nancy life drawing

Needle felting is only the most recent of a life-long progression of crafts
that I have enjoyed practicing. It started with making “outfits” for my
Barbie doll when I was very young, which evolved into making my own
clothes when I got a bit older. I used to make plastic car models with my
oldest brother when we were young, and he was meticulous with tiny
details, which seemed to rub off on me. My Grandmother encouraged me
to take up quilt-making, which I did for many years with her, and
continued to do on my own after she died.
In my career, most of my “craft” involved technical illustration, but I still
managed to do some quilting and other projects on the weekends. While
in New York, I was exposed to the most wonderful variation of arts and
crafts, attending shows and Museum exhibits as often as I possibly could.
I was surrounded with inspiration from all kinds of art and music.
The best time I’ve had has been since retiring, being able to choose how I
spend my time – I have taken up genealogy of my family and created
many volumes of information and images, and “scrapbooks” to be handed
down to future generations. Paper crafts have taken over the landscape of
my life, since there is no limit to the creativity you can translate into
tangible pieces you can hold in your hands and share with others. Stained
glass was also very exciting and rewarding. Recently I have enjoyed doing
hand-bound books; stamping, mixed media and watercolor remain some
of my favorite crafts. I make hand-crafted gifts for Christmas each year,
and design greeting cards for all occasions.

I’d like to share with you some words that I have learned are true
enough to live by, and they are certainly relevant when you think of
how our artistic endeavors can enhance our enjoyment of life… the
older you get, the more meaningful these words become!

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief
requirements of life, when all that we need to make us
really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
Charles Kingsley

Thanks to Sandy at Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts, I have added needle
felting to my growing list of interests, and enjoy it more than
anything else I have done – wool sculpture – it’s the best!
All these artistic endeavors have enriched my life enormously, and I
am very pleased to have this opportunity of sharing that with you.

TAKE ME TO THE TUTORIAL: Needle Felting a Maine Coon Cat Advanced Tutorial – By Nancy Sullivan February 2019

nancy maine coon 6
needle felted sheep picture

How To Needle Felt A Picture

All photographs and finished pictures are Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts originals so please make sure to credit my pictures as inspiration should you decide to use them as reference for your own picture. This also applies to all social media and blog pages. Copies of my picture must not be sold! However I am happy for them to be gifted as long as full credit is given. All copyright laws apply.

I have had lots of requests to put together a quick guide to get you started on needle felting a 2D/3D picture so, using my own pictures as inspiration, here it is. It is suitable for all abilities (including complete beginners) and you can work at your own level and at your own pace. If this is your first time needle felting then please watch my beginner video tutorials to familiarise yourself with basic techniques:

HOW TO NEEDLE FELT

BASIC SHAPE VIDEO TUTORIAL

If you are new to needle felting, or don’t have many colours, I have put together a picture pack containing a carefully chosen wool selection, natural pre-felt and natural effect fibres that can be used for needle felting and wet felting. I will be focusing on needle felting but you can adapt to suit whatever project you are working on.

Shop Picture Needle Felting Kit

Preparation and planning is really important. I find using a photograph of a landscape, animal, woodland scene etc for reference/inspiration really helpful. It can be the roughest of guides or very specific to the photograph or image you have in mind. You may have a particular animal you want to incorporate into the picture which is also a great starting point; anything goes.

For this guide I am creating fields as the backdrop with a 2 D wooden gate, Herdwick Sheep and pebble wall in the foreground. It is called, ‘Watching Me, Watching Ewe.’ I know, cheese on toast right… but it was too good an opportunity not to. You should hear my pirate jokes. I save those for special occasions, usually workshops.  #sorrynotsorry to anyone who has been at the receiving end of them…

Enough pre-amble, lets get started.


1 – Using a piece of *pre-felt for the back of your picture take a marker or chalk to, very roughly, draw out your idea on to the pre-felt: ZERO DRAWING SKILLS REQUIRED. This way you can ensure that you can fit in all the elements you want to use.

* I always use pure Shetland but any 100% wool felt is OK. Size of the pre-felt I used for this picture is approx 20cm square. A 30cm square is included in the picture pack.

2 – I am making a *Herdwick picture with a landscape backdrop and stone wall to get lots of 2D elements in there. It’s quite a small picture; 20cm square to fit into some lovely shadow boxes I have. Also, starting with a smaller picture means there is less white space to fill which can be a little daunting and it takes less time.

*All photographs and finished pictures are Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts originals so please make sure to credit my pictures as inspiration should you decide to use them as reference for your own picture. All copyright laws apply.

Instructional diagram on needle felting herdwick sheep

3 – Mark your colours and objects so you know where your wool and 2D elements are going to sit. Keep it as simple as possible and remember these are just your guide lines.

4 – Time to get out your wool and needles. I am using a star 36/38 needles (good all rounders) and a punch tool (7 needles) to speed up the process.

5 – I felted the landscape first but you can start wherever you want depending on your picture style. I will be felting on my 2D elements later and adding embellishment. Lay your colour on, or between the lines, you have drawn, and use your needle to gently felt into place. It doesn’t have to be firmly felted but should stay in position.

I have used a mix of coarse wool tops and some semi carded wool tops that I had a lot of.

img_4216

6 – Continue to gently needle felt your selected colours until the back ground is full.

7 – If you are happy with the layout then go ahead and felt the whole background more firmly (but not too flat), peeling it off your mat at intervals so it doesn’t stick. If you are doing a lot of flat felting then I recommend a rice filled hessian or strong cotton felting pad and a punch tool. Trust me, you will thank me later for cutting your felting time by three quarters.

Don’t worry if you have covered up some of your lines; remember they were just a guide.

IMG_4220.JPG

You can also blend colours either by hand or using blending brushes (glorified dog brushes). For this picture I used a blend of Shetland blue top, light blue silk fibre and light grey Swaledale top for the sky.

IMG_4222.JPG

8 – I wanted a distinct line separating the fields and used very thin strips of dark brown Jacob wool top to achieve this. Felt the lines quite firmly into the pre-felt which will push it down and give a little more depth.

IMG_4225.JPG

Time to create some 2D elements.

9 – Wall

I have used lots of muted colours to create the pebbled wall appearance. Avoid all ‘flat’ colours by blending different colour wool by hand; if using the landscape box some colours will not need blending as they will already have texture and different shades. A soft palette works really well for this style of picture e.g purple blended with white, dark grey blended with white or light grey

Make your stones by rolling your wool into a very rough ball shape (this is not the shape you will end up with but will create dimension) and felting all over with your needle. Keep the wool moving as it firms up and don’t try to make it even; have you ever seen even shapes on a dry stone wall… Make quite a few different shapes and sizes; mine are  approx 1.5cm to 2.5cm then place them on your picture in the walled area to see how many more you will actually need.

IMG_4225.JPG

Once done stitch or glue them into position; I’m not a purist and whichever you choose is fine. Clearly, using glue is so much faster and a strong fabric glue will do just fine as long as you give it a little time to dry. Using glue also allows you to move your pebbles about before the glue dries; you will be ready for a cuppa at this stage anyway.

IMG_4287.JPG

10 – Time to make the Herdwick sheep head (or whichever animal you have chosen).

Please follow the link to the video tutorial: How to needle felt a head shape  You will want to flatten the back of the head so it sits nicely on your picture. You can then needle felt your eyes or use beads (included in the picture pack).

11- Start with a small length of white wool (approx 2g) and roll into a rough oval shape felting (stabbing gently with your needle) and tucking in the ends as you go.  Gently felt until it holds its shape and turning as you felt. Continue to felt until you have achieved a rough egg/oval shape. Now flatten the back of the head by needle felting until it sits flat on the picture but don’t attach it yet; it’s ears are missing.

12 – Ears: For the ears take a pinch of white wool. Lay it on your pad and draw a rough circle with your felting needle and fold the wool around the line you have drawn, felting it into the centre. Turn over (to prevent from sticking) and repeat a few times, leaving one end loose (to attach to the head) and felt until flat, smooth and slightly firm. Repeat for other ear. Attach the loose end of each ear to the side of the head and felt or sew into position so it is peeping over the wall.

13 – Gently felt on very thin wisps (even thinner than that) onto the face to create the nose and mouth. N.B. Easiest way is to roll very thin wisps of wool between your fingers before felting to the face. Alternatively, you can sew on using black or dark grey thread.

IMG_4289.JPG

IMG_4308.JPG

14 – Add your gate by rolling and felting your brown wool into short lengths and overlapping for effect before gently felting into position. You may reposition a few times before you are happy with it.

15 – Add your wool for the body of your animal but don’t felt it flat and keep it quite loose as this will create dimension. I have used loose curly grey locks.

IMG_4311.JPG

16- Now add your foreground details. I have used greens and some locks for a grassy feel but be as creative as you wish. You could add flowers, butterflies, bees etc.

herdwick card artwork.JPG

17 – Finishing touches make all the difference and as you can see I have used french knots (easy and absolutely no need to be perfect). YouTube French Knot Tutorial. Curly locks also add more interest and dimension.

IMG_4314.JPG

There you have it. Super easy 2D picture tutorial.

IMG_4316.JPG


I have done a few pictures which are so worth the time they take. Here are a few more ideas for inspiration.

‘Asleep Under The Cherry Tree’ A gift for my daughter.

Again, I have used French Knots as well as beads for interest and detail.

 

 


‘Midnight At The Northern Lights’ 

Midnight is the name of my hare in the picture and inspiration came from my dream of visiting the  Northern Lights.

 

IMG_1995midnightIMG_2000


You can also use wet felted pictures as a base and then add  two dimensional effects using needle felting. Free motion embroidery works really well on wet felted backgrounds. Below is a very unfinished picture waiting for me to decide what to do next. I have needle felted onto Shetland pre-felt then wet felted the whole scene incorporating locks and silk fibres.

There are lots of YouTube videos showing wet felting techniques: Wet Felting Tutorial

 

IMG_7860.JPG

So there you have it. The possibilities are endless and I hope this guide has inspired you to try something new. Happy creating!

If you would like a picture pack then please click on the link below for the website. You can also find my favourite selection of needle felting accessories and tools.

Shop website wool bundle

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

needle felted hedgehogs

Needle Felted Hedgehog Video Tutorial

Hedgehog needle felting kits are available on the Website

So excited to introduce Colin Hedgehog, the prickliest member of the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts tribe. The full needle felting kit to accompany this video is also available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website.

This is my version of our beloved hedgehog. More fun than you can shake a stick at? Not sure what that means but it is definitely a lot of fun.

Skill level: Complete beginners to intermediate
What you need: Enthusiasm!

So, make a cuppa, cut yourselves a slice of cake and join me for a full tutorial teaching you new tips, tricks and techniques as well as trying new wool and needles.

Bonus! if you are using the kit you get to make at least 3 Colin hedgehogs! What better way to spend a crafternoon…

Happy felting!

Shop hedgehog needle felting kit at: Website     Etsy Store

For all enquiries please message me at: Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

VIP subscribers receive exclusive access to discount codes, promotions and flash sales:

SUBSCRIBE

ETSY BANNER BLUE 9
Instant pattern downloads now available!

Pattern only instant downloads are also available on the Website and Etsy

If you would like to see more of these types of tutorial don’t forget to leave a comment.