Christmas in July :: Inspiration

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens

It is already the end of July. How are your Christmas preparations coming along?  Now don't laugh.  I am not kidding.  Christmas comes close on the heals of Thanksgiving, which gives one very little time to craft and prepare.  Rather than stress out, I am suggesting that we, meaning you and  me, learn from my mother who started her preparations in July.  Running a catering business as a single parent kept her extremely busy from the 1st of November though New Years, but she was not about to lose out on any of the fun.  She had a room she designated her wrapping room.  When Mom passed away in October, 2008, we found gifts for us already wrapped.  I couldn't' stop crying at the time, but I was so grateful to have that one last present to tuck under my tree.

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Art Review :: Lindsay Obermeyer Art 1988-2007


Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher

A friend recently challenged me to feature an artwork a day on Facebook.  Well, as I am going through my images of previous work and looking at how I want to group them for a new website I am building.  I decided to focus on clusters of art rather than one single work.

The first post is of my Visions of Paradise series completed between 1988-1992.  They were my alternative reality to urban living with all the anger and violence swirling in the air outside my window.  I made a conscious choice to focus on the positive and the beautiful.  This series was well received, and was featured in books and magazine articles and a few of these pieces are now in the Museum of Fine Art Boston.

In 1992 I went off to graduate school in Seattle.  That same year I was diagnosed with cancer again.  My work turned from the exterior landscape to the interior. 


Much of this work has also sold,some to private collectors and the rest to a university oncology department.  The work allowed me to process, analyze and accept that cancer would be an ongoing problem in my life. I would never be fully rid of it. Basically at the root of this series was the fragility of the human condition and all the fears and anxieties that go along with it.

I continued on this same track but delved deeper into microbiology.This collection began with a grant. I wanted to show at the International Museum of Surgical Science. As I wrote the grant the story of a young Victorian woman developed. She was interested in medicine, but relegated to only the girly arts of embroidery and knitting. So while she embroidered patterns of femurs and leucocytes developed. Her sweaters were non functional and display the tumor they were intended to cover.



Handmade Holidays Blog Hop :: Snowman Pencil Puppet

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop 2013 Logo 300x283  

Welcome to the third annual Handmade Holidays Blog Hop!!  This is my first time participating and I'm thrilled. Some of the best craft designers in the country are participating.  I will have a new project today and tomorrow, so be sure to check back.  Don't forget to visit the many other blogs involved as there will be tons to inspire.

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embroidery :: a pillow inspired by antique crewel work textiles


A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.  --  Chinese Proverb

Lately, I've been tidying and organizing my studio.  I don't believe I have previously shared this pillow
I made.  Inspired by traditional American crewel work of the 18th century, I blended embroidery stitches
on a scrap of wool fabric with some needle felting.  Crewel work is a form of free embroidery as 
opposed to counted embroidery such as cross stitch.  Linen and cotton fabrics are typically used, but
I thought this tartan was especially festive. 

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CHA Winter 2013 - Let's Cr8te!

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Felt Bird EK Success

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." -- Albert Einstein
At a CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) tradeshow there is so much to see, scores of new products to try out, and dozens of fabulous workshops and seminars.  The 2013 winter show was no exception.

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free pattern: Dotty Necklace

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Dotty Necklace

"Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly."  --  Epictetus

I wanted a colorful accessory, something simple and not fussy - enter Dotty Necklace.  The colors reflect my love for spring, the soft greens of ferns and moss.  Each bead was needle felted following my pancake bead pattern. The directions I provide are for an 18" necklace.    


16 pancake beads made from Clover's Natural Wool Roving in Chocolate, Mint, Moss Green and Off White

tiger tail or other bead stringing wire

2 silver crimp beads

2 glass beads to match roving

2  silver 5mm jump rings 

1 heart toggle closure

flush cutters

needle nose pliers

milliner's needle



©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Dotty Necklace

Using the milliner's needle, poke a hole through the center of each wool bead.

Cut a 24" piece of tiger tail.

Open one jump ring, slip one half of the toggle clasp onto it and then close the ring.

Thread the tiger tail through one crimp bead and the jump ring and then back through the crimp bead.

Squeeze the crimp bead using your crimp pliers.  Give it a quarter turn to round the bead.

Clip off excess wire.

Add a glass bead to the wire. 

Thread your milliner's needle with the wire and proceed to add the wool beads.

Remove the milliner's needle.

Add the final glass bead.


Attach the other jump ring to the 2nd half of the toggle clasp.

Thread the tiger tail through one crimp bead and the jump ring and then back through the crimp bead.

Squeeze the crimp bead using your crimp pliers.  Give it a quarter turn to round the bead.

Clip off excess wire.

making a needle-felted pancake bead

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer felted beads
"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment."  --  Claude Monet

I love making these felted beads.  They are quick to make, easy to do and can be used in a variety of jewelry projects.  They are an offshoot of my other felting experiments and a nice alternative to the more common ball-shaped bead.  

For this particular group, I chose a woodsy palette in shades of green, chocolate and cream.  To get started you will need the following:


1 package each of Clover's Natural Wool Roving in Chocolate, Mint, Moss Green and Off White

1 Clover Needle Felting Claw & Mat Cleaner

1 Clover Needle Felting Mat (small)

1 Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool

1 1" biscuit cutter


Put your biscuit cutter on the mat and press it slightly into the surface to keep it stable.  Pull a tuft of the roving . Gently roll it into a ball shape and stuff it into your biscuit cutter.  


Using your needle felting tool, begin punching down the roving.  Move from the center to the edge of the circle and back.  I hold the biscuit cutter with one hand while punching with the other. (In the case of this photo, I was using my left hand to take the photo!)  Once you have a fairly uniform surface, lift up the biscuit cutter and flip it over and felt from the other side using the same process.  Continue until the bead is flat like a pancake and about 1/4 inch thick..


Remove the biscuit cutter form.  Hold the bead in place with the claw in one hand and continue felting with the tool along the edge of the bead to firm up the sides.


When the bead feels dense and firm, pull a thin tuft of a contrasting color and lay it across the surface.


Remove one of the needles from the needle felting tool.  Punch down in the center of the tuft to begin attaching it to the bead.  Twirl the tuft of roving around the needle and continue punching it into place.


It will soon form a dot.  Continue punching around the edge until the dot it is round and dense.


You now have a bead!  You may add another dot to the flip side if you wish.  

Glue your new creation on a pin.  Thread it onto a cord.  Add it to a jacket zipper. There are many possibilities!  

craft fair season + thankful


"Each day comes bearing its own gifts.  Untie the ribbons."  

--Ruth Ann Schabacker

It's craft fair season and I am busy in the studio.  The DIY Trunk Show broke all expectations! Thank you to all who stopped by my booth to say hello.  Your smiles were a great gift.  And to all who made a purchase, thank you again.  I woke up last week to find a giant puddle of water in the basement.  The leak was more than a leak.  Evidently everytime I turned on the bathroom sink, a huge waterfall came cascading down my basement wall.  What normally would have caused a major panic was offsett by such great sales and knowing I could easily pay the plumber.  So a mighty THANK YOU!

You can next find my work at the Out of the Box Holiday Gift Market (see image above).  I will be there 12/10, 12/11, 12/17 & 12/18 selling my beanies, berets, and bags as well as new charming paper ornaments made with vintage papers and colorful felted hats pins.

In the meantime, I am busy knitting more of the red "thread."  I picked up another 68 donated hats, so I guess that means another 68 yds of i-cord to knit over the holiday weekend.  Yeah!

My daughter and I have a tradition.  We make pumpkin pancakes followed by either pumpkin pizza or homemade pumkin ravioli (in a sage and brown butter sauce) followed by pumpkin pie.  Yes, being a vegetarian, it's a pumpkin theme around here rather than the focus on a turkey.  When completely full and barely able to move, we head out to the movies to watch the latest chick flick.  Unfortunately there aren't any chick flicks on offer, so I think it will be the latest Muppet movie.  While I will miss family in St. Louis, I am thankful for the down time we have together, giving us a chance to recharge the energy levels before holiday season swings into high gear.

 Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

knitting pub crawl and a holiday market

Two great events this weekend!

The first is Unwind - a Knitting Pub Crawl with The Red Thread Project® - Saturday, 11/12, 3-6. Registration / check in is at the Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA) - 1448 W. Morse. You must check in and get a wrist band at RPBA, but then can travel to whatever bars in whatever order. The goal is to visit all 6 pubs. At each bar you will receive a playing card, the best poker hand at the end of the night at each bar wins a prize.

I will be rotating between these fine bars collecting hats for The Red Thread Project® and assisting with hat making queries. 

Participating bars: 
Act One Gastropub - 1330 W. Morse
Buffalo Bar at the Heartland Cafe - 7000 N. Glenwood
Chuckies - 1412 W. Morse
Duke's Bar - 6920 N. Glenwood
Glenwood Bar - 6962 N. Glenwood
Morseland - 1220 W. Morse

This event is presented by Rogers Park Business Alliance and Sifu Design Studio and Fine Yarns.

On Sunday 11/13 from 10-3 is the 3rd annual Holiday Market at the Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Rd.  I will be there with new beanies, berets and bags, plus my latest line of hat pins and the ever popular all natural, moth repellant herbal sachets.  There will be many fine treats and a fantastic raffle!  Don't miss it!  And yes, I now accept credit cards.  Woohoo!  

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Enjolive Nixie Beanie
Here is Mimi the Mannequin modeling Nixie, a deliciously soft beanie knit from Highland Peruvian wool, merino and a merino / silk blend yarn with needle felted dots for a bit of extra dash.  As always, my mission is to brighten the grey winter landscape with bits of bright color!

Needle Felted Christmas Tree

©2011 Lindsay Obermeyer Needle felted Christmas tree 

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."  

-- Charles Dickens


Mom's favorite holiday was Christmas.  She started getting ready in July and by late September all her presents were wrapped and packaged to send.  Though it seems a bit crazy to get started so early, the holidays were the busiest time with her catering company.  The only way she could have the energy to enjoy the season was to be prepared.  

For years I was the family holiday humbug, but as you can see, I've changed my tune.  This table top decoration is an easy weekend project that's fun to do, unlike raking leaves and painting the trim around the windows.  Leave those projects for another time.



1     STYROFOAM™ brand foam 12" x 5" cone

2     24" of kelly green roving

1    4" of cream wool roving

1   3" each of assorted colors of wool roving - orange, pink, lavender, deep rose, red, blue, navy, forest green,  magenta.

1    Clover Pen Style Felting Tool (holds 3 needles)

1    Clover Felting  Needle Tool (holds five needles)

1    refill package of fine gauge (40) needles

i     Clover Needle Felting Mat (small)

1    miniature star cookie cutter

1    Felt, 9" x 12" sheet in kelly green

1    Aleene's Original Tacky Glue

1    extra long hat pin with a pearl top

1     scissors

1     ultra fine permanent black marker



Place the cone on the green flat sheet of felt and carefully trace the base.  Cut out the circle and set aside.  

Loosely pull apart the kelly green roving and wrap around the cone, setting aside at least 10inches. Do not do the base.

Using the larger needle felting tool with 5 needles, begin felting the wool. Move your needles across the surface to adhere the roving to the cone without crushing it.  If you stay too long in one place, you risk weakening the foam base.  

Check for bare or thin spots and fill in with extra roving.

Pull apart the remaining roving (approximately 4") and roll into a loose log shape.  Place one edge of the log onto the mat and use the pen tool to begin felting a point.  This will be the top of your tree. Continue shaping, turning the work as you go for even felting to develop. Leave tails at the base to allow you to attach to the cone.  

Once it is fully formed, place ontop of the cone and felt into place.  You may need to add a little more roving at the join to fully adhere it and cover and thin spots.  The tip of your tree will feel softer and squishier than the base as there is no foam inside.  

Pull a small tuft of colored roving.   Place it on your mat.  Use one loose needle and twirl it onto your needle.  Needle felt it onto the cone.  For dimension of the dot, focus more of you needle felting along the edges rather than the center.

Continue adding more dots of color around the surface of the tree, leaving the bottom and very tip empty.

Place the star miniature cookie cutter on the mat.  Fill it with cream roving.  Use the pen tool to felt it. Use a loose needle to continue along the edges where the pen tool can't reach.

Remove the cutter.  Turn the star on its edge and use a loose needle to finish shaping.  

Glue the felt circle to the base of the cone.  Carefully trim off any overlap.

Add a pinch of glue to the base of the star.  Stick the hat pin through the top and place on the tip         of the tree.

Once the glue has dried, you may remove the pin or leave as added decoration.