Felted Crimson Toadstool

Saturday, April 1, 2023

A few years worth of moons ago, I purchased a needle felting kit at Benzie Designs‘s to make a crimson toadstool. I’ve taken it with me on trips, moved it around and around the house, opened the box on many occasions, always with the intent to make it, but something in my head constantly prevented me. I’m glad that I was stalled, now, because I sat down with it the other day in a huff to just create something, anything, and this was as good as any other project I could do, so I did the hardest thing. I began.

By day’s end, I had a lovely little family of mushrooms! I’ve only made one other felted thing, a little bird (two, technically), and I recalled some lessons learned there. I still screwed up, but felting wool can be forgiving so you can’t tell, other than I could have felted it tighter to wrap all the little loose ends in. I even broke the needle this time, but thankfully both a friend and my aunt had gifted me some needle felting supplies so I had plenty of extra.

To me, needle felting is like drawing. The beginning is so… boring! It’s hard to imagine that it will all come together, but somehow it will. I took many breaks from it – I definitely do not like how roving feels on my skin; maybe the wool pulls oil out and makes my hands dry? There’s just something about it that makes me put it down. And then, also at the same time, it somehow leaves oil on my skin, so I always have to wash my hands right away, too. Is that just me? Probably. It took quite a while to get the crimson cap sized and shaped. But then the rest went fairly quickly.

It also always amazes me how little tiny tufts can dramatically add color. They look see-through and nearly plain white or black as you hold them, with the way the light bounces off. But when you poke them into another color, their real color shouts back and you get a nice mottled look!

I like Benzie’s kits and will suggest them to anyone who wants to try a needle felting project. While I do think they are a little high in price compared to other kits, I’m well aware there is a lot of effort going into designing and packaging. Too, they include thoughtful extras, like in this project: the small wooden bowl, the pre-cut leafy tufts at the base, and the spiral and scalloped cuts for the mushroom gills. Having these pre-cut rather than asking me to make them takes away a lot of frustration considering the tiny scale, and is just enough to bump it up from a plain little project to a lively little one. And Benzie is a cute little shop with real-world rent to pay as well. (It is “local” enough that I can see it in person, though I can’t justify getting out that way just for the shop.) I also know that sometimes I just need the convenience of a kit to get something done, and that’s worth the higher price to me, too. So, while they know nothing about me or my blog, I am going to give them this free little plug!

One last thing: beginning this project (which obviously led to finishing the project, too!) loosened whatever was holding me back from crafting, and I’ll be sharing two more projects shortly after they’ve been received by their target audience. Huzzah! (Plus, my craft room closet is back together and leveled up my room to what I’m calling now my art studio. It’s nice to be so organized!)

 

 

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