First workshop in the new studio.

After removing the divider wall I had put in previously, and rearranging my supplies, I was ready for the first felting workshop in my new studio. With a heater, electricity, hot and cold running water and a microwave, we had all the conveniences of being in the house.

It was a pleasure meeting Diane and she worked on a beautiful merino wool and silk scarf using the soft felting technique. The little locks of wool she added along the edges were from a different type of sheep I dyed last season..

Hosted a Felting Workshop Today!

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I hosted a one on one workshop with a great artistic lady named Elly from Corvallis.  She made one very fluffy colorful scarf plus a smaller neck warmer scarf.  Here are photos of the large scarf as it is drying on the rack.  I taught Elly my method of felting which is much faster than the rolling on the noodle method.  MUCH faster!

We had fun and she says she will probably come to another workshop and make more felted items.

If my readers are interested in learning to felt, or just want a place to felt where there is instruction and lots of supplies (merino wool in all colors, silk fiber, wool locks, and more) for your project, please call me at 407-766-2588 or email me at micheleballantynedesigns@gmail.com and we will schedule a workshop for you.  I can have up to four participants at my workshops.  Workshops are 6 hours for $100, or 3 hours for $50.  In a 6 hour workshop a more complicated item can be made, like the scarf in the photo Elly made using locks of wool as a fringe and decoration, and possibly a second simpler item like a smaller neck warmer scarf.  In a 3 hour workshop a less complicated scarf or other item can be made.  You may notice that each side of the larger scarf Elly made is different.  The scarves you make at my workshops can be made to be reversible.

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The flip side of the scarf.
IMG_4856 Elly at the workshop
After the wet felting, Elly applies a little needle felting on some stubborn fibers!

New flyer for the workshop at the ranch

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Jennifer, the owner of the Alpaca Ranch, suggested a flyer with more color; and my daughter Melanie suggested more photos of workshops on the flyer, so I came up with this.  I like this flyer better with the white background because the lettering is easier to read.  The flyer may not be as “pretty”, but it works.

Jennifer suggested I work on felting a scarf on Feb. 11th, while I am at her store at the ranch during her pre Valentines sale.  She had already invited me to sell my scarves there on that day.  She thought I might like to use my time to make a scarf while also demonstrating to customers what we will be doing at the workshop.  I love the idea!  If anyone wants to stop by to see the store and get in on some Valentine sales, and see my felting process at the same time, come on over to the ranch!

What a perfect little paw print!  What I saw while I was organizing my garage :-)

Today (written on Wed. Jan. 25th) I’m organizing my garage! Or I should say I’m supervising the organization of my garage! Ha ha I’m sitting in a rocking chair, in a big fluffy down jacket, telling my son and my niece what to do.


My niece is a real go-getter. She has worked for me many times before. She helped me build my spiral house up on the mountain. I pay her well because she is a very hard worker. She doesn’t let the cold or the wet stop her.

I have two workshops coming up this weekend and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I need to get some furniture out of my house, which is too full, and do some cleaning, but my garage where I want to store some of the overflow is full already.

I called Rachel and asked if she had some time to come help me get organized. I was so happy when she said she did. She came right over.

Then my daughter Melanie called and asked if I wanted the minions over today. LOL, the minions are my grandkids. I call them my minions because they are my little helpers who earn video game playing time by working for me!  I told her I was intensely focused on cleaning but I could use the older two today if she wanted to bring them over.

She brought them over and the deal was that they were to help me until it got dark then they could play video games. They helped for a good 2 1/2 hours before playtime. By then I was exhausted and we all took a break and they played games. Later I had them do another little job, then they played some more.

By the end of the day, Rachel had worked for about 7 1/2 hours. The garage was clean, the house was rearranged, I was out $108 to an excellent worker, I was exhausted, the kids had worked, and I was happy that I had accomplished everything I was hoping to. It was a great day!

Fun and Productive Workshop Yesterday

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On Dec. 8, we had a workshop with Eileen and MaryJo.  MaryJo chose red merino and silk 50/50 blend, which, when dry, will be super soft and have gorgeous texture.  I wish I could have taken a photo when the red wrap was dry, but that usually takes overnight, and my workshops don’t last that long!  Unless we did a sleepover . . . Hmm, that would be fun too!

Eileen created a long narrow scarf for herself, using the woodland colors merino and silk blend along with mocha and cyan merino wool accents.  You can see the gorgeous colors and shine even when wet, but again, I wish I could show photos of this scarf when dry, the fibers fluff up into beautiful textures and brighter colors!

The workshop lasted less time that I expected.  We didn’t get started on time due to the weather and being not sure if the workshop would even be held, but they made it to my house at about noon or so, and we worked until a little after four.  They were fast putting their fibers down in the shape they chose, and the fiber felted easily.  They left before dark, which was good considering the weather was still icy.

My sister Cheryl jumped in an hour or so after class started, and created something as well.  She was so funny because she has felted before and she just went to town doing her own thing.

I had been working on a pattern for a certain look I wanted to achieve in a future wrap/scarf I want to make, and when I finished the pattern late last night, I saw that she used the shape of my pattern without even seeing it!  Ha ha!  As she worked, she appeared to be just throwing her fibers on willy nilly, but in the end everyone could see she knew exactly what she was doing.  You can see by the outcome . . . Beautiful.

I was able to take a photo of her project today, with the shawl she created all dry and arranged on the mannequin.  The colors and textures pop more when dry than when wet so the finished product is easier to appreciate.

I’m having a difficult time posting the photo of her scarf so I will post it later, below.

For upcoming workshops please click HERE.