Sometimes, the littlest things put the biggest smile on your face. Here is an incomplete list of little things that put a smile on my face, for reference:
- Sheep and Wool
- Dyeing stuff
- Terrible Puns
- Cute sewing supplies
Do you see where this is going?
For a long, long time I wanted a cactus-shaped pincushion (for pretty obvious reasons) but I also knew that if I had anything in a little ceramic pot that I'd just end up knocking it over, and the tall-skinny shape was all wrong for my space. Enter, the food of the gods.
I bought 100g of merino roving at Woolfest a while ago thinking I'd use some of it for spinning and some of it for my pincushion. It then marinated in my to-do basket for a good long time while I finally conceded that the cactus idea wasn't practical.
First, I dyed chunks of roving in an assortment of greens and browns (Moss Green, Forest Green, Emerald Green, Brilliant Yellow, Tobacco Leaf, and Chocolate Brown from Dharma Trading). While the dyed pieces were drying, I used some of the undyed roving to build the base structures for the pit and the main avocado.
Have you ever needle felted before? The tool is pretty simple - it's a small, thin needle with hooked barbs cut into it to catch wool fibers. You poke (ahem, stab) your project repeatedly which helps 'tangle' the fibers together to form a solid mass. The more you stab, the more solid the shape becomes. It's very cathartic... (read: stabby).
The felting needle is actually part of a 'replacement set' for a felting tool that Clover makes. The tool holds five needles at once and has this little protective sheath that comes down over them to protect them...and you. The replacement needles were less than half the price of the whole tool, and I only wanted to use one needle at a time anyways. Despite the warnings on the packaging suggesting you 'do not use unless properly mounted in the tool' - no humans were stabbed in the making of this avocado. What can I say? I'm a rebel. If you do the thing, though, be careful. Tools are almost always suited for more than their 'intended purpose'. There was also an option to buy a 'felting surface' which was an upside-down, plastic bristled scrub brush that matched the clover tool for $36... but I found a slightly smaller plastic bristled brush at the grocery store for $2.50.
I made the seed first, and then felted the rest of the avocado on around it. I worked on this project in small bursts rather than all at once - it's a great TV project because it doesn't require a lot of thought, but you still have to look at what you're doing so don't pick your favorite show.
When it was done, I hooked a piece of wire through the back of the avocado so that I could hang it on the wall organizer in my sewing corner. I can't get enough of it! In fact, you've probably seen me sneak it into photos in my other blog posts...
Now, here's the thing about not being able to get enough of an avocado pincushion. I really only need one avocado pincushion in my life, but I really really wanted to make another one. This sort of thing happens to me more often than you might think, and it has been suggested by various parties that certain items are definitely desirable in certain markets. I've been thinking about a way to make things that I can't necessarily keep for a while now, and the logical answer is, of course, to sell them.
My main concern with selling is that I don't want this blog to ever be a place where I try to sell you something over teaching you how to make it, because one of my biggest problems with the world is the way knowledge is often kept behind paywalls, so I am of course blogging my usual 'here's how I did the thing' - but I really, really wanted to make another avocado pincushion. So I did. It's pretty much the same as the first, and I've created a new little area of Kat Makes called the Shop, where you might choose - as of the publishing of this post - to adopt an avocado pincushion. That is, if measuring the circumferences of avocados, dyeing wool to match said avocados and then stabbing at it over and over again doesn't seem like your jam.
I will be (probably sporadically) updating the shop with other such items that I like making but can't keep, and anyone who purchases said items may know that I have calculated myself a fair wage for my efforts but discounted the cost of materials if I'd already bought them for my own purposes. Proceeds will go directly back into maintaining this blog at the level I've always tried to achieve for it, and I'll never intentionally keep anything from you so that you feel like you have to buy the thing. If you want to make a thing I have listed and you can't figure it out, EMAIL ME or leave me a comment and I promise (cross my heart and all my stash) that I will do my best to help you.
Who knows - if this little side hustle does well enough, I might be able to start blogging full time!