Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And so we traded!

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. 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!


JLB said...

This is my first time seeing needle felted creatures. They're cute! and they look fuzzy...I like fuzzy...hmmm :)

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

Very sweet, cute, clever and crafty! Where did you find the time? I just love the shipping container.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww, blogging amazing me every day. I'm so glad you had such a great experience and made some new friends, too.

I am loving that llama journal. I may have to stop in to say hello to Lola Nova and see if she can make me one, too. hehe


Flartus said...

Wow, you are so creative...and talented! Love the sheep and the penguin. And I'm very impressed by your fairy. Seriously, you need to start marketing something along these lines..."Snow Friends" or something. How cute!!

Alpaca Granny said...

Our creative friends are an inspiration, aren't they?

Mom L said...

Wow - I love your felted creatures! My fave is the penguin; what a little love. Your idea of the recycled coconut thingy is fantastic - I can just see Lola Nova's dtr living out your story with all her little props! But where's Luna?


Cat said...

Oh they're all sooo cute!!!


Nancy K. said...

VERY cool!
The chicken and the owl look to be wet felted. Do you know if they are?

Mare said...

What a wonderful trade and beautiful gifts! That is a great story....

Chickenista said...

How cute is that owl! Loving it.

Karen said...

Oh, my gosh! Those are so cute.

Lola Nova said...

I just saw your post, I'm so glad you wrote about it. I too am finding the blog world an amazing community. So, much fun!
My girl is still very into the little creatures and the story, hurray! And I am so pleased that you are enjoying the trade as well.
What a great experience :)

Nancy K.= The owl and hen were made from a good quality wool felt that I bought locally. I have not really experimented with felting my own yet, maybe someday.

AKColleen said...

My favorite part is the story! Not that I don't think the "characters" are very creative, but I can just imagine myself at that age playing with the "toys" and acting out the story. I don't think you lack any creativity!

JLB said...

Claire: wanted to post this here as well so I knew you'd see it,
"Thank you Claire! I really was starting to think I was doing this for nothing. I just wish I could get feedback from some other as well. :) Feel free to pass on the link to the blog and write comments on anything you want researched vet wise :)"

d/iowa said...

ok i am in love with your little creations and lola nova's too!
will barter prints for tiny wool creatures!