from farm to felt….

We discovered these little creatures a while back and I had to just share this with everyone! 100% Natural and cruelty-free handmade toys!

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I would love to introduce the creator of these unique characters: Meet Corja:

Taaibos has always been a name very close to my heart and at the age of 3, I had the privilege to go there every holiday. I then grew up in Cape Town where I share a ton of memories but that’s a story for next time. This story is the story I will one day tell the world.

The farm life was a very different life and I would do anything to be back where everything just seemed so carefree and easy. Because my grandparents were very resourceful we had just about anything you need on the farm.

What more do you need when you can have everything super fresh and 100% organic every day of your life? Well, that’s how my grandparents lived on the farm on Taaibosfontein in the heart of the Karoo. Everything was sustainable and fresh from the milk to the eggs, meat and veggies. My grandpa was a Merino sheep farmer and not only did we eat a lot of skaap tjoppies we also got to share some amazing times during the sheep-shearing season where we played in the wool bins.  We just loved it so much that we ended up playing for so long in and under the freshly sheared merino wool that the oil from the wool coloured our skins brown. We crawled around in the wool bins and created houses with rooms from the baled wool bags.  It was bliss.

One memory is so fresh in my mind I can almost taste the lovely sunshine rushing through those amazing window of Granny’s large lounge: “Today I will learn how to knit”

We quickly washed up after lunch and went to the big lounge… The big lounge had the most magnificent windows looking out into the garden. My gran had really good taste when it came to furniture and she had quite the ball and claw collection. The big lounge was always warm and always caught the afternoon sun at its best. Today was knitting day, my Ouma taught me a little rhyme to remember and it went something like this. Opsteek, omdraai, onderdeur af, just continue this till you reach the end of the needle then turn your work and start again. By the end of the holiday, I made a short little scarf that I was quite chuffed with. It had character and a few interesting holes here and there. It was then that I discovered my love for crafting and needlework.

For years I indulged in knitting and crocheting projects until I discovered the art of felting in 2012. I was browsing around Pinterest as I would usually do for some creative inspiration when I came across needle-felting. I was hooked. I saved almost ten different folders of cute felted creatures and was so intrigued. It was only a few months later that I met a lady at the Bryanston organic market, selling these super cute felted Christmas characters. I was so excited that I finally came across someone in South Africa whom not only knows about needle felting but shares the same passion as I do. I immediately wanted to know if she hosted felting classes: “well I would love to if there was enough people interested” was her immediate reply.

It was only the following year that I heard from her again, asking me if I was still interested. I couldn’t wait to get started and for my first class, we made felted twitter birds. What a challenge! But I was hooked. It was the beginning of many creations.  I started incorporating them into gifts, finishings and personalised customer commissions.

 

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Ben & Mish Selfie Felties

 

The art of needle felting is a very forgiving and therapeutic one. It takes a lot of time and hours of patience to create something. It usually starts off as a little ball of Merino or Corridale felt that you poke and prod continuously using a very fine needle. Slowly the creature starts forming and developing a character. Each felted creature is completely different and you will never create the same shape or character no matter how hard you try. I have started making more and more felties and still get excited once it starts taking shape.

The other awesome thing about fealties: they are made from 100% hand spun, hand dyed Merino wool! Besides being totally unique and cute they are natural and cruelty-free! Just another guilt-free pleasure I can share with the world!

Corja custom made this beautiful whale for Mish. We are going through the loss of our Phantom and she named this feltie Phantom in honour of our pekingese.

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