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Needle felting for the mind

Hi, Alex here!
For a while now we’ve been wanting to produce a new needle felting kit to add to our ever growing collection of crafting kits here at The Bead Shop. Steph and Emma are our needle felting experts but we wanted to aim this kit at complete beginners. So for the production of this kit I thought I’d have a go! Needle felting is something I’ve always wanted to try. Inspired by seeing Emma’s adorable needle felted bunny Ralph, I was keen to get involved and I also had a slight ulterior motive… 

Ralph the Rabbit

I have a degree in metalwork and jewellery and usually my main form of crafting is making sterling silver jewellery. I sell my Defina Designs pieces at craft fairs (when craft fairs were still allowed). But since lockdown I’ve not been feeling motivated to do this. It’s not that I’ve not been wanting to craft because I have, but during lockdown silversmithing felt more like work, than a release. Without using my creativity I’ve missed the positive effect crafting usually has on my metal health. I have been diagnosed with generalised anxiety for over 5 years now and I’ve always found that crafting helps with this. Finding something creative to focus on even for a short time is almost like a form of meditation for me and I know I’m not alone in this. This article from the guardian website reports an increase in crafting during lockdown, which I think is absolutely amazing. We’ve definitely noticed an increase in our sales of creative kits.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/may/04/a-good-yarn-uk-coronavirus-lockdown-spawns-arts-and-craft-renaissance

Steph and I collaborated on the design of this kit. Together we decided we wanted to have all the colours of the rainbow in the kit as rainbows have become such a positive symbol in recent weeks. I wanted to create something to hang in your home while Steph created wearable art.

Steph was my guide through this process, she gave me lots of hints and tips on how to create the best needle felted ball I could. Steph has included these tips in the instructions she has written for this kit. Working with felt was a great way to get the creative flare in me back again.

Cats and crafting
Here’s my cat Bella ‘helping’!

I really enjoyed the repetitiveness of the stabbing actions to get the felt to compact and trying something new felt good too (pun intended)! 

Alex’s Felted Garland

According to Mind, lockdown restrictions have had a massive impact on the nations mental health. We can’t resolve this issue with a felting kit but we can try to help in our own little way. For every sale of this kit we will donate 25% of the price to Mind, a charity that is doing great work to help and support people with their metal health. To find out more about the work they do, or find out about support available you can visit their website here.

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