Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Tis the Season

We haven't any snow (and don't want any, thank-you) but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here... In the Company of Friends is really proud to have been chosen by the Swan Sampler Guild to produce a special edition "toy box" for their members.  This fun set was a fund-raiser for the guild (of which we are happy members), and when the box was announced for sale it sold out in a number of hours!  It was a lot of work, and so much fun - it took up the bulk of the fall for us at work, and we are so happy to report that all the boxes were sent out last week in time for Swans to give themselves an early Christmas present!  Phew!  We felt a little like we were in Santa's workshop for awhile, and it's always a pleasure to send out a product with so much love in the design and execution...

The Swan Box was similar to this, though it was an exclusive design just for them.

We felt like celebrating when we were done, so off we went on our annual tea party!  Once again, we went to The Secret Garden in Sumner, WA.  They do a Victorian Christmas Tea we love in a gorgeous setting! 

While in Sumner, of course, we did a little shopping, and Becky found me a glass frog that I've been looking for for quite awhile.  We'd seen the idea online before, and it's just the perfect thing for holding a display of embroidery scissors.  These glass frogs can be found at antiques stores quite reasonably.

Now we have a little time to work on some of our last-minute gifts and a few projects we've been putting off.  Here's a few of mine.  This one was done for an ornament exchange at a local guild.  Easy as can be - I just glued buttons to a papier-mache ball that I'd painted gold.  Add a bow, and done!  (of course, the hard part was FINDING my button stash - that took days, but I now have a reorganized craft closet!

Another very quick idea for a stitching friend could be a Christmassy beaded fob for a pair of Santa Scissors.

Last but not least - yesterday, I made up my acorn pin cushion.  It turned out really cute, didn't it?

This is a double-cap.  And here's a quick tutorial on how I did it.  Naturally, the first thing you need is acorn caps - we picked some up on our recent Connecticut trip.  We scoured the grounds under some oak trees ...

I had two double caps, but one broke apart.  I figure that's what glue is for.

First, gather all your materials together - wool roving, glue, acorn caps, felting needle, sponge and glue.  

I use a three-pronged felting needle because, well, because I'm lazy - it goes three times faster - but a single needle is fine.  A felting needle has tiny barbs along the shaft, and is super-sharp.  You have to be very careful not to stick yourself! 
Be sure to use a sponge or piece of foam under your wool to protect your table top.  It's also a good idea to have a piece of cardboard or self-healing mat under the foam or sponge.  

Take a small piece of wool and roll it into the approximate shape you want, place it on the foam and plunge your needle into it over and over.
Move your wool around and keep shaping and re-shaping as you work.  The more you move it and shape it, the more uniform the shape will be and the more control you will have.  This takes time - don't worry if it doesn't seem to be working.  In fact, after a little while, try to pull it apart and you'll see that it is definitely working.  

After I was almost finished, I decided I'd prefer some of the darker wool on the outside, so I just added it at the end and felted again..

It's finished whenever you are satisfied with the shape and density.  

I did the second one just the same, but it was smaller, so went a lot faster.  

Then I added some glue inside the caps and placed the felted acorn as I wanted it.  

Then I wedged the acorns between some items so that the felt was pushed against the glue and waited overnight for it to dry.

And this is the result!

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season no matter how you celebrate!  

Becky and Julie


  1. Thank you so much for the Swan box! Mine is under the tree. It's so hard to resist just opening it now. lol!

  2. Thank you for this tutorial! Lovely pincushions. And as I'm kinda collecting pincushions.......
    But first some wool and a needle!!

  3. I love pincushions too - and pins - I'm always buying pins with different heads or making beaded ones...


  4. It's a very good idea i did the same last year, just have a look on my blog .on november 6 2010 and you'll see them.
    i love your blog and all of your creations!


We love to get discussions going - please let us know what you're thinking!

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails