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141117 Tiffany needle-felting hair onto her pulled wool angel

Monday morning. November 17, 2014.

Today, our  Waldorf School of Orange County craft group gathered in the lovely garden outside of The Company of Angels store. The Waldorf School of Orange County handwork teacher, Christine Newell showed the craft group how to make fairy mobiles out of natural wool fibers. Since we are in Fall season with Thanksgiving in the near horizon, we made fairies holding cornucopieas. I decided to present our day as a step-by-step picture tutorial so that those who wanted to, could learn along with us. The supplies fee for today was $12.

With the holidays in sight, I have been crafting and stocking up my little online handmade Etsy store. So please support Jzin’s Castle of Costa Mesa Etsy store for your holiday shopping. Please tell all your family and friends about my little shop! Thank you a ga-zillion!

Erica at the front office is continuing to collect Knit-A-Square for charity for Knit-A-Purlooza. We are not done until January 23, 2015. So turn your knitting in!

I would like to feature a member of our community each week at the bottom of this page. This way, we can can be the support for one another! Please E-mail me if you want me to feature you. My e-mail is:

This week, we feature The Company of Angels, the lovely little gift shop at our own Waldorf School. It’s the best kept secret in shopping in Southern California!

There will be no craft group on November 24, 2014, as the school is closed for Thanksgiving holidays. Please join us back Monday 8:40am December 1, 2014. Let’s donate our craft day to the crafting for our Winter Festival Elves Workshop. You get to learn how to make simple little gifts and toys for children and donate your handwork to create magic for them at our December 6, 2014 Winter Festival! Click here to see last year’s magical Elves Workshop.

Click here to see FUTURE craft group schedule plus a gallery of our PAST craft group projects.

– Jzin, the crafting fiend

141117 Corinna helping Carolynne attach wool top roving hair on her pulled magic wool angel.

Monday Morning Craft Group at The Waldorf School of Orange County.

Click on below picture to see a schedule of future craft plus a gallery of our past craft group projects.

140907 Monday morning craft group. Waldorf School of Orange County. Show girls. CastleofCostaMesa.Com. 2

You can “like” and follow our weekly craft group projects on facebook here.

Please think also of craft group projects you will like to make or see offered, as our craft group donations for our 2015 Waldorf School of Orange County annual gala fundraiser. It’s still early for May 2015, but it’s good to give ourselves plenty of time. E-mail me, if you have ideas: You know if it’s up to me, it will be another playscape set or puppet show set!

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Crafting in a Garden, Among Friends

Lucy and her beautiful fairy, handmade this morning!

141117 Lucy and her finished pulled wool fairy from craft group.

Monday Morning, November 17, 2014. Christine Newell showed us how to make pulled wool roving angels. These are great as mobiles to be hung in your child’s room. Each one has a seasonal theme to usher in the new season of the year. These were a little different from last year’s project in that the angels today were holding wet-felted cornucopias.

141117 Christine Newell teaching craft group to wrap wool roving for making doll hands.

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Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial

Christine Newell made this wool angel mobile (below, left) as an example for our craft group project today. You may pin this picture to your Pinterest Board, so that you may refer to this page when you want to craft this at home.

141130 dyptich Step by step picture Tutorial make pulled wool fairy angel CastleofCostamesa.

I want to share with you my favorite source of wool for hair: Kid mohair locks. I am very picky which locks I use, they have to be super silky and shiney. I get mine from a Canadian store, DyeingForColour. Here are some dolls I made with the kid mohair locks from DyeingForColour.

 141118 Jzin's needle-felted hair collage DyeingForColour

Shop for luxuriously shiney kid mohair wool locks on DyeingForColour Etsy store here. They also sell the white and colorful merino wool tops used in this project today.

Wet-Felting Cornucopia

141117 detail Kathy demonstrating wet felting cornucopia with finger

We started by wet-felting cornucopias for our angels. As these were drying in the sun, we proceeded with the rest of the dry work.

Kathy wet-felted a blue cornucopia for her fairy.

141117 Kathy demonstrating wet felting cornucopia with finger

Wet-felted cornucopias drying in the Southern Californian Autumn morning sunshine.

141117 Finger wet-felted tiny felt cornucopias drying in the Californian morning sun.

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Making Head-Face-Chest-Torso Piece

Christine gave out pieces of white wool tops. Using a long thin wisp of wool top, she tied a knot in the middle of that wool top.

141117 tie a knot in the middle of your wool roving.

Then, she pulled out a piece of skin color wool top and laid that down across the knot. This skin color piece will be the face, neck and chest of your doll. With this in mind, select a piece that is dyed evenly.

141125 Christine added a layer of skin colored roving on top.

Next, this skin colored piece is tied down the same fashion.

141117 Tie skin color roving on top of white wool roving.

The knots will eventually be on the very top of your dolls head, as you can see in the subsequent steps.

Making Doll’s Head

Setting the Head-Face-Chest-Torso Piece aside, Christine showed us how to make solid cores (ball) for the inside of the doll’s head.

141117 process of making pulled magic wool fairy angel mobile

Jzin’s tip: when making dolls, one of the most important step is to pay attention to the size of the head. First, decide on how big you want your overall doll to be. It is helpful to have a finished doll to compare your project to. Then, be sure to make your head the appropriate size for that doll body. It is wise to make the correct doll head size now, rather than complete a doll at the end which has a head that is too big or too small. It will be much harder to adjust your doll’s head at that point when you are completely done making the doll. Hence, always keep an eye on the desired size of the head as you progress in your doll making!

(1) KNOT. First, tie a knot to create a bulk to start off your doll’s head.

141117 tie a knot to create bulk at the start of rolling a doll head.

(2) ROLL up each tail in alternating directions so you have a ball in even spherical shape.

141117 Tiffany rolling wool roving to make ball for doll head.

Remember to roll and hold tightly so your doll does not have a limp and soft head.

141117 Rolling a tight ball of wool by turning in alternating directions.

(3) FELT IN PLACE. A few pokes to prevent the ball from unraveling.

141117 Christine Newell needle-felting core ball for head of doll.

(4) SIZE. Assess desired head size.

1411117 Christine comparing the size of the core ball to the desired doll head size.

Insert the core ball into your Head-Neck-Chest-Torso piece, centering the top of the head under the knots.

141117 inserting core ball into face piece for making doll head.

Using a thin strip of roving, tie up the neckline.

141117 tying the up the core ball inside the head piece with thin strip of wool roving.

Voila! Here is the piece for your doll’s head, neck, chest and torso. The knots made earlier to tie up the white and the skin colored wool roving are now hidden away at the very top most part of the head.

141117 Voila here is the wool head piece doll head.

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Book Recommendation

Magic Wool Fairies by Christine Schäfer. This book has so many colorful examples, it will inspire you to no end! You can buy a copy from our school store, The Company of Angels or online.

Magic Wool Fairies by Christine Schäfer

Excerpt: Magic Wool Fairies by Christine Schäfer

Excerpt: Magic Wool Fairies by Christine Schäfer

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Making Arms and Hands

Next, wrap wool roving around pipe cleaners to make skin colored hands and colorful sleeves for your doll.

141117 Jenifer, Kathy and Tina in the grove wrapping wool fibers on pipe cleaners.

Take thin, flat wisps of wool top to wrap. As you roll the wool top around the pipe cleaner, gently massage the fibers into the pipe cleaner with a very light touch, keeping in mind to have your wrapping be flat and even, with no bumps or gaps.

One hand done.

141117 wrapping skin colored roving to make hands for wool doll.

Now determine the total length of both arms for your doll and trim off or fold down excess pipe cleaner. Compare your arms to the head/torso piece so you can get an idea what length is optimum.

141117 determine desired length for your doll's arms.

Wrap and roll on colorful wool tops to make the sleeves for your doll. See how Christine flattens her thin strip of green wool top? Thin and flat, this is how you avoid bumps on your doll’s arms.

141117 Thin flat piece of colorful wool top.

Christine wrapping the green sleeve over the skin-colored hand.

141117 wrapping colorful roving to make sleeves on pulled wool dolls.

Christine also suggested we decorate the sleeves by tying wool tops of contrasting colors onto them. Rachel at work…

141117 Rachel lacing up the sleeves of her fairy doll with light colored wool roving.

Lucy’s doll spotted chartreuse sleeves with maroon lacings.

141117 Lucy's doll with chartreuse sleeves and maroon sleeve lacing.

Here is an alternate post on how to wrap the arms by Fiona Duthie, on her excellent blog.

141127 Fiona Duthie Tutorial Love Gnome

How to wrap hands and more – Love Gnomes Tutorial by Fiona Duthie.

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Attaching Arms onto Neck

There are at least 2 ways to attach the arms onto the body. The first way is to wind pipe cleaner at the base of the head, where the neck is. After winding it around the neck, you can fold over the excess pipe cleaner to make your other arm. If you still have excess,  you may snip some off.

141117 wrapping pipe cleaner around neck making arms for pulled wool doll mobile.

An alternative way is to open up your Head-Face-Chest-Torso piece and embed your arm piece into it. If you do this, you should push your arm piece high up close to the head, as to avoid a floppy neck.

141117 hiding arms piece inside the head face neck torso piece

Here is my crafting process, I did it differently so I could control the length and stiffness of her neck.

141117 Jzin's crafting process of making Lady Winter wool angel fiber arts mobile doll

You can purchase the completed dolls above on my Castle of Costa Mesa Etsy store here.

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Adding Robe onto your doll

Christine chose a bright red robe. She tied a red sash to create an Empire waistline on her Napoleonic gowned fairy. 141117 Christine adding red robe and sash to her fairy doll.

Homeschooler Aubrey chose to make her angel’s robe striated in dark and light blue notes. She also needle-felted a red rose to the waist.

141117 Aubrey needle-felted a red rose on the waist of her fairy doll.

Mom 1: Babe 0. Yay! Mom continues on crafting as baby finally rests.

141117 Ruby asleep on mommy's back as she continued crafting.

Kim’s work in progress. I love how Kim selected related colors in differing tones, yielding rich, soothing coherence visually.

141117 Kim's fluffy pink and maroon pulled wool angel in the process of being made.

My Winter Fairy work in progress. The minty green I chose was not a wool top but thick, Peace Fleece wool batting, I think that influenced me to use different methods for making my fairy.

I did not tie a sash. Instead, I needle-felted a waist onto my Lady Winter doll.

Adding frost colors.

141124 Jzin's crafting process of making Lady Winter wool fairy angel Frozen Elsa mobile.

Here’s a look at my Lady Winter, when finished. Now available on Etsy.

141120 Jzin's Lady Winter with her snow wand in rosemary bush

Embellish with Decorative Apron

Choosing wool top of contrasting colors, Christine add a very thin piece of wool tops onto the stomach as apron. She needle-felted the piece with a single line at the waist, then fold down the apron. Tina’s angel has a lavender apron. I love how Erica neatly “combed” her skirt and apron with the felting needle each time she lays down a layer of wool.

141117 Erica adding purple wool top as apron on her wool fairy mobile

Erica’s lovely fairy mobile, completed at the end of the morning.

141117 Erica's blonde curly haired wool roving spring fairy mobile with cornucopia of flowers.

Crafting Cornucopia Contents

Christine’s example. Next, Christine showed us how to make this impressionistic cornucopia spewing colorful contents.

141103 Christine's Winter wool felt roving magic wool angel fairy with cornucopia 2 2

Start with a thin piece of white wool batting. It is semi-see-through.

141117 Christine showing thin piece of wool batting for making impressionistic cornucopia contents.

Tina needle-felted multi-colored flowers to her cornucopia.

141117 Tina needle-felting flowers into her fairy's cornucopia.

Adding Hair to The Fairies

In dollmaking, we normally add hair close to the final steps, this way if your doll has long tresses, it will not get in the way during the earlier crafting process. This is my favorite step of doll making: discovering the moment of the crowning glory. Aubrey selecting the right wool fibers for creating the hair for her fairy doll.

141117 Aubrey selecting wool fibers to make her angel doll hair.

Kim used straight wool top. Rachel picked wavy dyed wensleydale locks. As you can see, adding hair to dolls is jolly fun business.

141117 Kim, Ruby and Rachel needle-felting wool onto doll hair.

Rachel braided headband of contrasting colors for her doll.

141117 Rachel tying a braid with roving of contrasting colors

Rachel’s completed fairy mobile at the end of the morning.

141117 Rachel's finished handmade pulled wool needle-felted spring wool fairy mobile with cornucopia of spring flowers.

Attaching String for Hanging the Doll Mobile

Tina used a doll-making long needle to attach clear nylon string. She sewed it into the head starting from one of the top sides of her doll’s head.

141117 Tina sewing nylon thread into the head of the fairy mobile

Sharmin’s fairy mobile hung from clear nylon string.

141117 Sharmin's purple locks fairy hanging by clear nylon string.

Making Wings for the Fairies

Rachel’s fairy wings.

141117 Rachel's wool fairy wings.

Making wings is so simple, it’s a cinch!

141117 making wool wings cinch in the middle.

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Meanwhile, Liz brought a large box of raw local sheep fleece and carded it to weave circular rug, using a make-shift loom fashioned out of hula hoop (See this page for instructions on how to do that). 141117 Liz carding raw wool with a drum carder.

Liz’s drum carder with raw wool being carded.

141117 Liz's drum carder carding raw fleeces into roving.

Jenifer has some very clever hacks for needle-felting  tucked away into her little case … medicine bottle as carrying case for felting needles…

141117 Jenifer's needle-felting hack kit with pill bottle, finger guards and pencil case

… blue little hot glue gun finger guards protecting fingers from barbed felting needles.

141117 Jenifer using hot glue gun finger guards for needle-felting.

Our Work from This Morning

Thank you Christine for yet another day of crafting joy!

141117 Deep in the process of doll making.

Christine Newell’s fairy mobile, handmade this morning.

141117 Christine's pulled wool spring mobile fairy angel with criss cross laced sleeves and headband

Kathy’s springtime wool angel bringing colorful flowers from her cornucopia.

141117 Kathy's pulled wool magic fairy angel with cornucopia of plenty spewing spring flowers.

Our handwork from this morning by (from left to right): Christine, Erica, Tiffany, Kim and Carolynne.

141117 5 pulled wool fairy angel dolls mobiles handmade by craft group this morning. Here’s my Lady Abundance mobile with Cornucopia of Plenty, A decoration just in time for Thanksgiving and Autumn. She can be displayed alone or holding the cornucopia (included), wheat stalk for fall (not included), or your own flowers for springtime (not included) to a mark of the changing seasons. You can purchase this doll, handmade with love, here.

141117 Jzin's Lady Abundance and her cornucopia in brambles

Handmade by (left to right): Christine, Erica, Tiffany, Kim, Carolynne, Jzin. Bottom center to right: Rachel, Corinna, Aubrey and Tina.

141117 10 completed wool fairy angel doll mobiles hanging in cherimoya tree 2.

Lady Winter with thick, luxurious, 100% natural Tussah Silk hair. This handmade mobile will usher in the Winter and all the magic and wonder the season promises!

141120 Jzin's Lady Winter with her snow wand in rosemary bush

My first pulled wool angel, made in craft group in December 2012.

121206 Jzin's handmade pulled Magic wool fairy Roman Catholic style Holy Guardian Angel logo

Please Support Jzin’s Little Etsy Store, Castle of Costa Mesa

I have added many handmade gifts onto my online shop, made by me and my 10 year old daughter. Please support our work! Thanks! – Jzin

P.s. If you are local to me, and you can pick any of your orders up from The Waldorf School of Orange County, Costa Mesa, you can get FREE SHIPPING with this code: WSOC888PICKUP – it means I will not mail it, instead you will pick up from me at the school.

141128 Winter Guardian Angel Blonde Curly Tresses by passiflora bush.

Winter Guardian Angel. Available on my Etsy shop here.

Guarded from harm
Cared for by angels
Here stand we
Loving and strong
Truthful and good

The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tale Needle-Felted wool tapestry. This is my first print available for sale. I am pricing it at $10 a piece to make it affordable for everyone.  Buy one, buy a whole stack, they are great as economical gifts for birthdays, stocking stuffers, any occassion! If you can pick one up from me at The Waldorf School of Orange County, you do not pay shipping!

141106 The Wild Swans. Eliza carried off by the king 2

 The Wild Swans on Etsy

Here is a “Miss Upside Down Southern Belle Rose Flower Fairy” I made last week: Hold her upside down, she is a rose, flip her up and she’s a flower fairy! This is a flower that will never wilt and will continue blooming in your child’s imagination! She is listed on my Etsy store here.

141102 Miss Upside Down Rose with green gloves flower fairy triptych 2

Thank you for supporting my crafting mania by shopping Castle of Costa Mesa on Etsy!

140922 Mother and babe of the morning stars needle-felted.

Mother and Child of the Morning Stars by Castle of Costa Mesa.

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1000 Knitted Squares For African Children by January 23, 2015

The Waldorf School of Orange County Parent Association organized its first annual knitting for charity program. This year our squares will be donated to the nonprofit organization, Knit-A-Square, who assembles squares into blankets for African children in need. Our goal is 2000 knitted squares by January 23, 2015!

Knit-a-square for orphans in Africa. Your handwork will hug them with love!

140929 Knit a square Knit-a-square for charity Knitapurlooza 2 You can help us knit 8″x8″ squares for a child in Africa. Pick up supplies and place your donationed handmade love in the front office basket. If you need help/want to learn to knit, come to craft group Monday mornings for assistance. More information on how you can help: Liz Wenger Knit-A-Purlooza Flyer.

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Jzin’s Needle-Felting Pad

2 weeks ago, Christine loaned me a humongous foam insert from a recycled chair cushion. It was a great surface to make a large needle-felted picture. Here is my most recent wool picture: 141106 The Wild Swans. Eliza carried off by the king 2

 The Wild Swans on Etsy

To make it available to everyone, I am selling the print for $10. You can get this unframed 8 inches by 10 inches print on my Etsy store here. Buy one, buy a whole stack, they are great as economical gifts! 141111 Framed dytich The Wild Swan by Hans Christian Anderson

Schedule: Upcoming Monday Morning Craft Group Projects and Other Local Crafting Events

Click on below picture to see FUTURE craft group schedule plus a gallery of our PAST craft group projects.

140907 Monday morning craft group. Waldorf School of Orange County. Show girls. CastleofCostaMesa.Com. 2

You can “like” and follow our weekly craft group projects on facebook here.

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Helena wants us to know that The Steiner Study Group meets every Tuesday 9-10:30am either outside The Company of Angels or in the daycare trailer.

141110 Helena and Steiner Study Group flyer.

“Please join us on Tuesday mornings if you are interested in studying the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy and the Waldorf School Movement. This is a great way to be introduced to this work. We will be studying ‘Anthroposophy in every day life’.” If interested, please register at WSOC front office. If you have any questions, please ask office for the number of facilitator – Helena Gorka.

141113 Rudolf Steiner. Steiner Study Group poster

Truus reminds us to support the Lakota Waldorf School.

Dear friends, The Lakota Waldorf school is unique in that it is the only school that serves children from a Native American community. Please be a part of this transformation of this poorest of all reservations, the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Check out their master plan to build all classrooms in tipi form. Please help support and share the word. Thank you! – Jzin.

1141113 Lakota Waldorf Future Campus

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Be in the know for upcoming handmade giveaways: Like CastleofCostaMesa.Com on Facebook

130530 Square Giveaway 6 Waldorf Flower Fairies at Tanager Park

I give away my lovingly handmade dolls and crafts seasonally. If you “Like” my Castle of Costa Mesa Facebook page, you will be notified of upcoming giveaways. Click here to view the list of my past giveaways. Perhaps the next winner could be YOU? Like Us on Facebook black and white. Fairy Tale Dolls, Handmade With Love. I want you to love learning mandarin chinese!CastleofCostaMesa.Com

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Support Our Local Waldorf Community/ Place a Free Ad

If you are interested in placing an ad on “Support Our Southern California Waldorf Community” (free if you are a member of Southern California Waldorf community) please e-mail me a good picture and a link. If you would like a free shout out for any special events or offer, let me know as well. Time permitting, I will toot your horn. Meanwhile, please support our local peeps! Thanks! – Jzin

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This Week’s Feature:

The Company of Angels Gift Shop: Waldorf School of Orange County School Store.

The Company of Angels store. The best kept secret in shopping for heart-warming, handmade, specially curated, one-of-a-kind gifts, in Southern California, USA.

141117 The Company of Angels School Store for Christmas Tree ornaments toadstool child baby pegasus.

This place brings awe and magic to our daily lives!

141117 Little mouse in rocking cradle bed Christmas presents at Company of Angels.

There is always hot chocolate, coffee, tea and homemade baked goods in the gift shop!

141117 brownies and other homemade fresh baked goods at The Company of Angels Gift Shop.

Arts and Craft books, supplies and MORE. Doll making books, needle-felting supplies, natural wool yarn, hand-dyed felt to list a few.

1411117 Doll making craft books and arts and craft supplies at the Company of Angels gift store in Costa Mesa.

The 100% natural yarn wall!

141117 Yarn, felt, doll-making, needle-felting arts and craft supplies at The Company of Angels Gift Shop in Costa Mesa, Southern California, USA.

I have not even shown you the handpicked book selections, toys, home goods and other sections.

Come on by, treat yourself a visit and check it out yourself!

141117 The Company of Angels gift shop brings magic and wonder into our everyday lives.

  • Address: The Company of Angels, The Waldorf School of Orange County, 2350 Canyon Drive, Costa Mesa, California, USA.
  • Phone Number: (949) 574-7735
  • Check out the store hours on The Company of Angels Facebook page:

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