Lola Nova has a very cool and crafty blog. She is very creative and makes wonderful clothes for her daughter, which often make me quite green with envy. A while ago, she posted some pictures of some adorable felt ornaments she had made. I knew I had to have one! After a little discussion, we agreed that I would send her some handmade felt from my shearing this spring, and she would send me a hen and owl ornament. But then, I learned needle felting, and Lola Nova said she wanted a needle-felted sheep! So, I set out to make her one (but of course she will still get some handmade felt this spring after shearing, processing, dying, etc.).
In the meantime, the ever busy and crafty Lola Nova got busy with her skillful hands, and in short order, I had a wonderful package. Here's what it contained! First, a lovely hen ornament, that reminds me very much of my favourite hen, who sadly passed away last year, dear Rosie. She hangs on the tip of my Canada flag that is over my desk.
Second, there was an absolutely darling hoot-owl, with lovely green eyes that peek out at me. Green is my favourite colour, so he hangs on my bulletin board, and sometimes he perches in the gardens featured in my calendar that is also on the bulletin board.
Then, such a remarkable surprise, a llama journal! I had commented on her handmade journals in one of her posts, and said she should do a llama one. Little did I expect her to take me seriously, but she did, and this wonderful journal in such a delicious color of felt arrived. I have been using it for my journaling on my farm animals. I just love it. It even came with a custom bookmark with animal-related quotes on it! I'm telling you, Lola Nova is one creative lady!
After all that, I had big shoes to fill, so I realized a single needle felted sheep was quite out of the question! A whole field of sheep? Possible, but maybe boring. So, I tried to venture into the creative side of my mind, which is rarely used, and came up with some ideas, all of which were shipped to Lola Nova in this:
Yes, I can hear you saying..."what the heck is that?" Well folks, it's a coconut shell. You see, Lola Nova and her hubby went to Hawaii, and I was mailing this around that time, and their trip inspired me to send my little creations in this zippered coconut shell that I actually received at an event at our local zoo. There was a table full of them and you paid $20 to pick one, and inside were different prizes (zoo passes, etc). It was a fund raiser. So, re-user that I am, I decided this was an excellent shipping container.
Inside....an assortment of needle felted fun, resting on a bed of dyed locks.
First, there was the requisite sheep, which I did in two shades of brown. Then, I tried my hand at a sort of fantasy fish creature. I love the way some fish have those wavy tails, so I tried to recreate that idea of movement in its fins and tail.
Then, I needle felted a penguin, and a little girl character, whom I modeled slightly after Lola Nova's daughter, who has the most wonderful curly hair. I would trade in my hair for hers any old day! I gave the character a scarf and a hand warmer, and suddenly it came to me, she was the Fairy of the North Winds.
Once that thought occurred to me, I had the crazy idea to write a story about how the Fairy of the North Winds went to visit her friend the penguin in a boat made from a seashell, that was pulled by a magical fish. Along the way, there was a sort of an accident, and she was rescued (with the fish) by her friend the penguin, and their new friend the sheep, who happened to own th coconut boat. At the time, I thought I was a bit nuts, but I decided her daughter might like it, so I put the story in the package.
Turns out, her daughter loves the story and likes to act it out with the little creatures! Poor Lola Nova - she only got the dyed locks for herself!! The best part - Lola Nova brought her daughter a seashell from Hawaii, which has become the fairy's boat! What a coincidence!
What I loved about this trade was that it was something I never would have had the opportunity to do if I had not decided to start a blog. I really enjoy "meeting" the blogosphere of those who read my blog posts, and I never realized what fun that would be when I started writing a blog. I am so glad that I did! Thank you Lola Nova, for this great trade!