Friday, April 18, 2014

Tutorial: How to make needle felted animals

Early last week, while walking through Daiso IMM, I found wool roving. I was very excited because these are cheap! I have bought rovings at almost double this price at a craft shop! How can I resist buying these then? I bought each of every colour I found and a needle felting kit shown as below.

I am still a noob when it comes to needle felting. I do not know how to differentiate between the different types of wool. I read there are roving, sliver, top etc. I also read they are different types of needles meant for needle felting. Ah... these are for the more experienced and more passionate needle felting lovers. Meanwhile, I think my felting needle and wool roving would serve me well enough.

Today I will be doing a tutorial for needle felting of this animal kit.
I find that the roving in the kit is different from the more expensive one that I have bought from store. This feels courser. For beginner, I think this kit is good because at a cheap price of S$2, felting needle and wool rovings are already provided. You would need to read on that package what is being provided and what you need to prepare. I didn't have an awl, I went ahead to buy any way. Instructions are available in English. Estimated time take is indicated as well. I did mine within 3 hours.  I am quite happy with everything. The only complain I have is that the rovings are stacked on top of each other, instead of being rolled up. Hence I have got bits of black wool in my white roving. 


1. Spread out the rovings, checking for any foreign particles. I found some and take them out. These foreign objects may break your felting needle when you stab them.
2. Pick out the amount you need for felting. In this case, instructions are provided in leaflets. Roll into the shape that you want and start felting on a felting mat or sponge.
3. Harden the wool roving by stabbing in and out. Tips available here
The almost-done core
The Core that looks like cocoon.
4. To add on more volume,.wrap the wool round the core. My suggestion is to felt the new wool along as you  wrap as per below picture. I do not mean to leave your needle like that. I couldn't hold the needle as I am taking the photo. Just put on your imagination cap, imagine my right hand felting the new wool on the core. Felt a few times as you wrap along the core. The purpose of doing this is better manage the shape of the sculpture.
5. After wrapping, secure the ends by stabbing into the core. Continue to poke in and out till the desired shape is obtained.

6. Making the jowls. Start by placing the middle of wool strip to the center of face, working sidewards and downwards, finally, back to the centre. This, I find, is quite a challenge to do.

The jowls is done but looked lopsided
7. Making the ears. Half a strip of wool and stab separately. Compare from time to time to make sure they look similar. Do not stab the joining end (to the head) too much as too much stabbing will harden the felt , making it difficult to felt on the head.

8. Make hole for the eye with an awl. I have tried to do without the awl, seemed like it is not working too well. I had a difficult time trying to dig holes for those eyes. The eyes looked almost like popping out! Whahaha... (refer to my last picture) Should have checked my hubby's toolbox for an awl. The eye parts are glued on after that.
9. Making the nose and mouth by stabbing black wool to the head.

10. Finally, open a jump ring, insert at the top of the head and close it. Pincer is required for the job. Put a ball chain through the jump ring

Ta dah!
The job is done. Hope you have been enjoying reading our posts and liking us on facebook

When I give this to my little girl, she asked me where is the body... LOL...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blooming flowers!

Singapore's weather is pretty predictable. Hot, wet and humid almost all year round. No define four seasons. Flowers bloom all year round. However, since the mid Jan, there was a dry spell going on for 27 days followed by abundant rainfall may have triggered massive flowering as such these spectacular, lovely scenes.

Early April, we have the pink flowers blooming, especially the Trumpet trees. They remind me of the Sakura in Japan.

I have seen trumpet flowers blooming years ago when I was in my school days along AYE expressway. They were beautiful. Usually these flowers bloom in late March to early April but they do not last long. Within a week, they are all gone. It had been quite some time since I last travelled along AYE.

Ghim Moh Link  (photo credit : my brother)
9th April

Trumpet  trees in full bloom

Flower Carpet

SMU (Singapore Management University, after we visited The Basement for one last time.)
10th Apr

The pink bloom was almost gone when we reach. So the Trumpet trees located here look almost like "normal" green trees. Seriously, I have yet to differentiate each tree by simply looking at their crown or leaves. I wonder how possibly to do that without looking at the flowers or fruits. Probably, it was never possible. :P Anyway, I did not try capture any pretty pink blooms with my camera as they look insignificant in my camera screen.
The tree with the white flowers. Believe it is just under the Trumpet tree. Look at the pink trumpet flowers which had already fallen.
I  love this flowering bushes.  Some flowers are with spots
A fruit spotted, by little one, among the bushes.

Heh! I have taken many shots from these plants. :P
I am not sure what flowers are these. Looks like Frangipani but the petals arrangement looks more like a pinwheel to me. Also, the centre of these flowers are less yellowish as compared to Frangipani.

Picking up a trumpet tree flower
Ghim Moh Road
14th April

It's the yellow flowers' turn to bloom. Other yellow flowers, eg Golden Showers, are blooming in other areas of Singapore too. The one I have capture is the more commonly found ones, I think, I spotted them in at least 3 areas. I spot some in my own neighbourhood too!
 These , I think, are Xanthostemon chrysanthus. (Golden Penda)

Red frangipani
15 April 
More Xanthostemon chrysanthus (Golden Penda)

Blooming Golden Penda

For more Singapore Blooms, you may want to refer to NParks' Facebook page.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

How to bandage a child's finger tip

Do you know how to bandage a child's finger especially it is a serious cut and it is at the tip of the finger? When little one gets hurt, I am sure parents will be lost, not knowing what to do, especially the cut is at such odd places, such as the finger tip.  I have learnt a trick or two and would like to share them with you.

Last week, we had quite an experience doing that. Little one's middle finger was being cut by a pair of scissors! I was not there when it happened. My caretaker took her to the A&E. As the fingertip was almost snip off, a mere plaster is not enough, it had to be bandaged. She was not to wet her finger for 3 days for fear of infection. No antiseptic cream or solution was given. No bandage was provided.

Look at her bandaged finger...
Little one and her injured finger (Background: The National Museum of  Singapore)
However, it is such a unfortunate incident that little one wet her finger while going to the toilet on the second day. :( I was flashing the toilet and forgot to remind her not to wash her hands. I was left with no choice but to take out the bandage and re-bandage it before the stated stipulated time. See below.

The cut
I had to pat dry with clean sterile non woven gauze and air dry. Since the bleeding already stopped, air drying is possible. I applied non adhesive gauze (but I do not know why it got stuck to her blood clot later since it is a jelonet paraffin graze) and add on a secondary dressing.

Tip 1: Removing gauze from the blood clot

The next day,  I realised *urrgghh*, the gauze can absorb much of her blood and got stuck to the wound. It was quite traumatic for little one as whenever I tried pulling lightly at the stuck gauze, she cries in pain! In the end, I consulted my dear friend for help.
"Soak the affected finger into boiled, warm water."
This I did. I tried to distract her by playing her favourite movie when doing it. Of course, she didn't want to do so. She finally agreed after much persuasion.
Before soaking, I had trim the gauze to almost the size of her fingertip. I soak for a minute or two, then using a tweezers to pull lightly at the stuck gauze. If it doesn't give way, soak it again. It works miraculously. Little one did not cry.

Tip 2. Applying adhesive bandage or plaster.
After her blood clots up finally which was 2 days after the above mentioned gauze incident, I apply normal plaster. I get those that are more than enough to cover her wound so that there is no way the adhesive part of the plaster would stick to the clot.

Below pictures showing the steps to do so.
Snip with a pair of sterile scissors ( I use alcohol wipe to clean) as shown on both end. Do not cut the cushion if the size is not too big to cover up the wound.

Apply bandage as shown. Fold the bandage to cover the wound, ensuring the cushion surrounds the wound properly.  Tape the other end of the plaster over the finger.

You will end up having this funny looking thing that looks like a finger puppet. Gently close the gap at the sides so that it is sealed up. You could leave it this as it is or use a white micropore tape to wrap around. I find them easier to take off than the brown ones. (sorry for the blur photo)

Do you have any other first aid tip or experience to share? 

I am wondering where to get individually packed non woven gauze because the one I have got is always in a pack of 5. It is such a waste to use only 2 or 3 pieces and I can use the  balance after that since they are not sterile any more.

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