Early Autumn is a great time for children and wet felting. It is still warm and delightful outside in most places.
- Take a big tub of warm soapy water (I use ivory soap with kids) outside under the shade of a big tree.
- Have a collection of little mini bake pans – hearts, stars, circles, and a basket of fluffed up wool colors.
- Spoon on enough soapy water to saturate the wool.
- Add a few dried grasses, dried flowers, interesting seeds, dried lavender, etc. to the top of the wool.
- Felt that in too!
- You want some delicate wool fibers to be over the non-wool additions.
- Rub and rub the fibers together until they felt.
A Felting Tale For Autumn
The Shepherd and the Mouse
Once upon a time in the high mountains lived a shepherd boy called Hansi. He loved the still warm days of late summer, looking after the sheep in the high green pastures. All around the meadows grew wildflowers. The boy loved to look at the green grass dotted with his white sheep and the rainbow of flowers.
One day he had an idea. He gathered the tufts of sheep’s wool that got caught on twigs and low branches. He picked some grasses and dried flower petals of orange and red and golden yellow. He put the fluffs of wool in his cooking pan. He then added warm water from his tea kettle and a bit of soap he always had with him to wash his hands. Then he gently patted the wool down into the pan until it was wet.
He then got his hands all soapy and started to rub the wool so gently. The wool started to grow together. He rubbed a little harder and the wool grew together more strongly. He looked at the grasses and dried flower petals, and sprinkled some on top of the wet wool. He then took a few dry wool fibers and opened them like a spider web. He put this over the grass and petals on the wet wool and rubbed it all together. The petals and grass made a beautiful design on his wool felt…a nature picture.
Hansi liked looking at it. What fun it was to make this picture! When it was time to move the sheep to another meadow, Hansi left the felt picture tucked on the branch of a low bush.
What Hansi did not know was, as he worked on his wool felt, a little mouse had been watching. When Hansi left the meadow with his sheep, the little mouse scurried over to the colorful felt, sniffed it, crawled over it and under it, and knew this would make a fine blanket for his winter house! Mouse brought it over the meadow to his little hollow in a fallen log. How happy mouse was to have this warm treasure! ‘Thank you shepherd boy,” thought mouse deep in his heart. Now mouse was ready for the cold days ahead.
This story can be told to accompany your felting with children, and even better tell it with puppets. September stories are simple and fun and warmed by the late summer’s sunshine.
Suzanne Down is longtime Director of Juniper Tree School of Story and Puppetry Artswhich offers workshops all over North America and beyond. Her free email story newsletter reaches thousands of people each month, sign up here. Suzanne is the Director of the Larkspur School of Felting Arts, here and on FaceBook. Her story and puppet books are available through her website. You can find her on facebook too – with her personal page and her Juniper Tree Puppets page. Browse through her photo filled BLOG entries for lots of ideas.
AAAAh, bronze star! NO more for you miss girrllll :3