Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Gnomes

 These little needelfelted gnomes are my favourite gift for the little people in my life (and some of the bigger people too!) They are quite easy to make, and have so much character. Use them in storytelling, for play, or as a little pocket friend to whisper secrets to!
  They make a lovely Valentine's gift, with the hearts needlefelted onto their tunics.
These little gnomes are made in the same way as the ones featured in the Trille de Bois Waldorf School Tapestry. 
Love Gnomes:
Materials:
0.2 ounces wool batting/roving in 4 colors: hat, skintone, tunic,leggings
small amount of wool roving for boots ( optional)
small amount of wool/mohair locks for hair and beards
pipecleaner
felting needle and sponge (a good kitchen sponge will work)
sewing needle and thread

 Finished, the Love Gnomes stand about 6 inches tall. You can make them taller or smaller by adjusting the length of the pipecleaner, and the amount of wool you use for the legs. 

Divide the skintone wool roving, so you have small long strips, about 0.5 inch wide and 6-8 inches long. Cut the pipecleaner to measure 8 inches.
 Fold in the ends of the pipecleaner so they meet in the middle.
 Using a very small amount of roving, wrap wool around the folded end of the pipecleaner. Start wrapping about 0.5 inch from the bend, and wrap around to 0.5 inch past the bend. The more evenly and securely we wrap on the wool, the easier our finishing is, so take your time with each step!

 Fold the bend in the pipecleaner tightly, and wrap remaining wool around the folded end . This gives a really nicely finished hand, with no wire ends exposed.
 If the hand looks too heavy or lumpy, just unwrap it, and start again with a smaller amount of wool. It's always better to work with less wool, and add a few more layers if necessary, than to have too much wool, and need to needelfelt indefinitely to get the size you want! Repeat on other side for the other hand.
 Wrap a small amount of tunic color around arms, Start at one end of the arms, and wrap the wool around until you reach the other hand. As you wrap, pull on the wool roving a little, and as you near the end you will just be left with a few fibers. You will probably be able to wrap evenly to the other hand, then start wrapping back towards the middle to finish.  Wrap these last fibers around tightly and the wool will hold itself in place.
 Once the arms are wrapped, roll them gently in your hands to secure the wool ends.
 Take a piece of your leggings color wool, about 4 inches by 6 inches, and roll it up tightly.
 Needlefelt over the leg, remembering to turn it over and work on all sides so it stays round. Leave about 1 inch at one end fluffy, to attach to the arms.
 Wrap the fluffy end of each leg around the middle of the arms, passing the extra wool around towards to middle, between the legs. This gives a little extra body shaping.

 Wrap some some tunic colored wool around the legs, just under the arms to start to build up the body shape.
 Wrap the wool over one shoulder, then under an arm, and back up and across the body, in a criss-cross pattern. Then wrap again just around the body under the arms, until it is nice and plump! The body will come down in size with needlefelting.
 Start to needelfelt the body. Felt all over, always turning to keep the shape rounded. Felt under the edge of the tunic to make it stand out a little from the legs.
 Felt under the arms to attach the body to the arms, and pull the body into a tunic shape.

 Using the strips of skintone wool roving, roll up a ball that is about 1.5 inches in diameter. Roll as if winding a ball of wool, keeping the surface as even as possible. If you find a little bit sticking out, roll the next wrap so that the bump is covered.
 Needelfelt lightly over the whole head, keeping the round shape.
 You can either needelfelt the whole head until it is the right size, or you can gently wet felt it. I like to do this in order to get a nice smooth surface for the face.
 Optional wetfelting: Apply a drop of natural dishsoap to the head. Hold it in the palm of one hand and very gently roll it with the other hand, not pressing or squeezing.  After a minute or two you'll feel a felted skin on the surface, now roll more vigorously for another 2 minutes and rinse well under running water.  Shape it into a nice round head and set aside to dry.
 Sew the head onto the body. You could needle felt, but I like to sew it to be sure it is well secured and ready for play! I sew through the body then through part of the bottom of the head, and work in this way around the whole head twice- I want to be sure it isn't going anywhere! At this moment the little doll comes to life!
 Select a piece of  hat colored roving, that measures about 4 inches long by 2 inches wide. Wrap the roving around the head, keeping the face clear and covering the whole back of the head. Try to wrap it into a cone if possible, but this is not essential as we can needlefelt it into shape.
 Felt in lines from the head to the point of the hat. This will secure the wool for the hat, attach the hat to the head and begin the basic shaping. Shape the top by felting, working around the hat until you get it to nice tip.
 Felt the brim of the hat by needling up along the edge between the face and the hat wool. This helps define the face and tidies up any woolly fibers remaining there.
Wool locks are great for hair and beards as they have all that natural crimp and curl. You can also use wool roving or yarn.  To attach a beard, take a small amount of wool roving, or locks. Lay the fibers out, half over the face and half over the body. Felt along the chin line to attach.
 Then fold the top locks over, and felt along the chin line to hold in place. This gives the most natural beard look! To attach long hair, try the beard method but attach the wool along the hat line along the back. For short hair, just needelfelt a little wool roving, locks or yarn all along the underside of the hat.
 Check the face for an extra shaping required, A little extra needlefelting around the temples is usually good.
 For the boots wrap a small amount of wool around the bottom of the leg. Needelfelt all over. To shape the boot, needle felt only in a line about 0.5 inches up from the bottom, this will make a fold in the foot.Once the fold is in place, turn the boots and shape as you go. Do some felting on the bottoms of the boots to give a good sole (Because all the gnomes have good soles!).
If you aren't using a separate boot color, use the same process as above without adding the extra wool. This will still make the foot shape at the bottom of the legs.

I don't usually add faces to my gnomes, but if you'd like to- this is my method- it makes a nicely shaped  eyes and mouths, without having them indented into the face.
 Use only a few fibers of wool, and needlefelt them in, only partially, and only in one spot. Don't pull your felting needle out all the way-just needle in the one spot. You'll see the wool fibers shortening as they get tucked into the skin. Leave a tuft sticking out.
 Clip off the tuft of wool fibers, as close into the skin as possible. Ta-daa!
Use this method for the mouth also, but felt in a short line, maybe three needle widths across. If you want a little smile, felt the middle of the mouth downwards, toward the chin.  Clip off any extra fibers.


Needle felt a little heart onto the gnomes tunic, and then, if you haven't already, decide to which special person your little love gnome will be giving his heart!

I'm giving away two finished Love Gnomes or 2 kits for making your own. Please leave a comment below to enter.   I'll draw two names on January 25th, and the winners can each chose either the kits or the finished gnomes.  Good luck!
Enjoy!
Fiona


143 comments:

  1. Dear Fiona, I work in a small Waldorf kindergarten in Rijeka, Croatia and my children and I would be delighted if we could win a gnome!

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  2. They would be cherished at the nature table in my daughters classroom!

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  3. Oh wow.. .I would love these!!
    They look adorable!

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  4. ooo,wow what a lovely gnome !!
    i cross my fingers :))

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  5. A fine and useful tutorial for mommies with two left hands ;-)
    Would love to win!! Keep up the good work, love from Holland!

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  6. they are adorable! what a sweet and generous giveaway.

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  7. I can't resist the giveaways.. these are adorable.

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  8. I really love thes Love Gnomes. Would be a perfect birthday gift for Myself!!!!!

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  9. Thanks so much! They look so lovely. I am definitely giving them a try!

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  10. Totally cute!! What a great tutorial~ I'm in love with your love gnomes :o)

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  11. How cute! Great tutorial.

    I was told once that you shouldn't use a normal sponge with needle felting but I should instead buy this expensive one. Its nice to see another person breaking that rule lol!

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  12. So very cute. I do wrapped floss bendy dolls. It is neat to see the made by felting them

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  13. I loved your tutorial I have always wanted to do felting and would like to make one of the gnomes for my 3yr old grandson.

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  14. What a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  15. These are so fantastic! I can't wait to make some for my girls. And thank you for the opportunity to win.

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  16. Oh! This is a great tutorial! I can't wait to give it a try - thank you so much!

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  17. What a fabulous tutorial! Thank you very much! This will be perfect as a small Valentine's gift for my 4 and 2 1/2 year old.

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  18. so adorable...I can't wait to try one.!

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  19. Thank you so much for your generous and inspiring tutorial. I and the little people in my life would love to give them a home where they will definitely be cherished.
    Thanks again, really nice clear instructions!!!!

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  20. I would be tickled pink to recieve a gnome and kit :) I heard about your tutorial on the yahoo waldorf crafting group, thank you so much for sharing your considerable talents!
    Susan in Alaska

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  21. Fiona,
    The little gnomes are adorable.And have inspired me to get out my roving! Thank you for the tutorial.
    Peggy

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  22. thanks so much Fiona for sharing your work and for the nice giveaway.I'm so inspired!
    Penny in Maine

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  23. Very Cute! I think we will start some of these this week!

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  24. Thanks Everyone! I'm so happy you're enjoying the Love Gnomes!
    If you have any questions as you're making- feel free to ask!
    Fiona

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  25. These are adorable and your tutorial was wonderfully done! Thank you for sharing and we would love to be entered in your giveaway.
    Blessings in the New Year!
    Jen

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  26. This is a great tutorial! It has inspired me to try to make one!! :)

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  27. These are just adorable! Thank you for the tutorial and giveaway! :)
    Jodi

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  28. Those are amazingly too cute and beautiful!!! I guess, I have no excuse anymore, with your help I'll have to try and make some! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Great tutorial! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the chance to win :)

    Cheers,
    Hope

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  30. Thanks for the clear tutorial, I have all the materials and am ready to make my first one!

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  31. Lovely tutorial - found you via Totally tutorials. I love all gnomes and I might even watch that silly movie gnomeo and juilet. :)

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  32. Very good tutorial, Thanks! I have made my first attempt to one of the little gnomes and i must say I'm happy with the result although there is still plenty of room for improvement! :-)

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  33. Hi Fiona. These gnomes are adorable and the tutorial is very well done! I'd love to win a kit so I can learn how to needle felt!

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  34. Thanks so much for this awesome tutorial. It was very well written and easy to follow. I would love to be entered into this giveaway and be able to make these for my daughter.

    Thanks again,
    Kelly

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  35. I've always wondered about needle felting! Your tutorial is inspiring for an admirer of the craft! =)

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  36. So adorable! Can't wait to try making these.

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  37. Very cute! I like the beard!

    Honey

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  38. hi Fiona! what a lovely gift to share! thank you for this very detailed tutorial...i can see some gnome making in my near future, the kids at my preschool are wild about gnomes!

    i do have one question...do you always only use the pipecleaners for the arms? and never the legs? is there just not a need for it?

    thanks again...

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  39. Hi Kristin! Thanks for your kind comments!

    I have made small dolls that also use pipecleaners in the legs. These I designed just to be partly pose-able. We are able to felt these Gnomes much more without the pipecleaner inside. You have to be careful not to hit the wire with your needle, so work to the sides of it. Either way works well!

    To make these with bending legs, use one pipe cleaner for each leg, but to about 8inches long. Fold the pipecleaner in half.
    Wrap on the boots in the fold, in the same way as we did the hands. Then cover the rest of the leg pipecleaner with legging color wool, leaving a small amount of pipecleaner open at the top to wrap around the arm pipecleaner. Then continue with wrapping the body in the same way.
    These are lovely also...just depends what you would like them to be like, and how you see them being used.
    Hope this helps!
    warm wishes,
    Fiona

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  40. this is a fantastic tutorial! Ive seen similar ones but with less detail, after reading yours I feel like ive got all the clever little tricks to get the little details just right:) Id love to win one of your stunning little creations

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  41. I love their hats - they are so cute!
    Great tutorial!

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  42. They are sooo cute! I love them. Great giveaway!
    tshaw6580@yahoo.com

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  43. Oh my goodness! These are SOOO cute!

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  44. Love this, great tutorial ... thanks for sharing. Still new to needle felting and the pictures of each step is so very helpful.

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  45. So adorable!
    I have been hoping to learn needlefelting this year so I can make my own gnomes (and other woodland lovelies!).
    Your tutorial is great and so easy to follow.
    hugs,
    Heidi
    heidig@gmail.com

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  46. My husband normally doesn't like gnomes, but those are so cute I don't think he could resist. I'm going to have to work one up out of my current stash!

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  47. Oh my goodness those are ridiculously cute! I love the one with the frizzy red hair! Thank you for sharing the tutorial with us all! I have never felted before, but am definitely inspired to learn now that I know there are felted items that cute in the world. :)

    melissa_anuket@hotmail.com

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  48. My daughter is just learning to needle felt. She will love these!
    Thanks!
    Amie

    jonesami@gmail.com

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  49. I am a new mother of a 10 month old son and my mom does so much for us and I would love to give her the finished gnomes for Valentine's Day :) Thanks for the tutorial and giveaway :) Genni

    lulu5156@gmail.com

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  50. those gnomes r juz lovely.
    i wish i could win it and make it on my own :)

    -xoxo-
    syura
    asyurra_28@yahoo.com

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  51. This is such a great project! I would love to try and make this, thank you for a great tutorial and a great giveaway.

    bourkea(at)yorku(dot)ca

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  52. These are so sweet! I would love to try to make one of these... (and sometime tells me after I make one, I will be making many!) Thanks for the instructions!

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  53. Thank you for the chance to win, and for the very clear tutorial. I've not had much success with needle felting but your directions make it look possible! I also have some very nice wool locks, so I'm thinking of making little Santas for next Christmas.

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  54. Whoa... these are incredible! I saw them on Craft Gossip and I gasped a little. Just amazing! I would love to link to your tutorial if you didn't mind.

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  55. I would love to win these adorable little gnomes! Thank you for the tutorial!

    turtletopp07 at aol dot com

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  56. Thanks so much for sharing! They're super cute!

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  57. Oh my, what a lovely gnome. Great tutorial.

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  58. your love gnomes are absolutely adorable!
    have a terrific day!!
    ox
    christina

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  59. I love your gnomes. One day I should really have a little faith in myself and try to make one.

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  60. I love these gnomes! Your work is fantastic. Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  61. These look amazing, I would love to join your generous give away.

    sletvoldline at gmail dot com

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  62. Your love gnomes are absolutely adorable. I just found your blog through Craft Gossip.

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  63. gorgeous gnomes! I love how each has their own personality and they are all so colourful and seem to be in perfect touch with their natural environment!

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  64. what a great tutorial! thank you for the offer!

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  65. Thank you so much for this lovely tutorial. I've been looking to try needlefelting and now I'm extra excited to get started! Beautiful work, thanks so much for sharing!

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  66. These gnomes are so darling! I have a friend who would just love them. Thanks for the giveaway! leahclaireh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  67. I would love to make one of these for my daughter, she is 3. They are so cute. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  68. Thanks for the very clear tutorial!

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  69. These are adorable and your tutorial was well done! Thank you for sharing!! Please enter me in your giveaway.
    Linda Taylor daisy522@aol.com

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  70. These are adorable. Thank you so much for the tutorial. I know one person who would just love a little gnome!

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  71. Even I think I could make one from your simple tutorial! I would love one of these little guys. :)

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  72. Wow, love the little guys, super cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  73. I LOVE these!!! They are simply adorable...I love anything woodland..gnomes, fairies, pixies, etc. You have helped me with this tutorial..Thank you so much! I would simply treasure one of these little woodland creatures. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  74. I am new to felting and am so grateful to find your tutorial! Everyone told me, "just start and try things", but I need to first see something done, then I can duplicate and add my own touches! Again, thank you and I would be honored to have one of your Love Gnomes and a kit!

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  75. Oh my goodness, I can't believe how darn cute they are! Great tutorial!=)

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  76. "Adorable" doesn't even begin to describe these! Thanks for the great tutorial...wish I had some roving....

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  77. I have felt, neddles but not nerve yet to make anything in felt,lol,This tutorial you wrote makes look easy even for me.Love these knomes so, so cute,I'm happy for little I've learn on here,lol,lol, Thanks

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  78. My mom loves gnomes! I would love to make one for her!
    hanibee8@hotmail.com

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  79. You are so talented! Love them!
    sogoodforus@yahoo.com

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  80. I love these little gnomes!!!! Needle felting is something I've been wondering about and curious to try for several months now but haven't gotten brave enough to buy the supplies yet. I think this would be a fantastic first project! :)
    maebellecreations@hotmail.com

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  81. Darling, just darling. Who doesn't like gnomes? I'd love the chance to win the giveaway.
    maphisx7@gmail.com

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  82. Thanks for the highly instructional tutorial. I can't wait to try making one of these gnomes. They are adorable! Thanks also for the giveaway opportunity!

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  83. OMGoodness...these are the cutest gnomes I've seen!
    I would so love to have one, and he/she would be my travelling companion. I would take a photo everywhere we go and scrap a page about it.
    It would be a wonderful book for my granddaughter :)

    Thanks for the chance, you are a VERY crafty lady!

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  84. oh wow these are SO cute and adorable, i would love to have one.

    Emily C
    ebbtide45 at yahoo.com

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  85. Perfectly adorable!!
    zinger_17 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  86. Thanks for the instructional tutorial. I can't wait to try making one of these gnomes.I am taking a class at LCC and really having fun in it a hole new world. i will let you know how i do thanks again.lori

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  87. Oh my goodness these are the most incredible amazing Gnomes! You are so truly creative. Thank you for the amazing detailed tutorial! I would be so honored to give one of your precious gnomes a home!
    kellyprnatcharterdotnet

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  88. Oh wow your work is amazing!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share all the steps it takes to make them to. Now if I'm not the lucky winner I can try my hand at making some for my children :)

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  89. Hi, hope your having a good day or night.You make it sound so easy to do I have to work a long time to get mine to look anything like yours. Please enter me and thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

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  90. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I'm new to needle felting and can't wait to give this a go.

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  91. What a wonderful thoughtful present, and a very well explained tutorial! I have made felt dolls before, but never needle-felted - they look amazing! Thank you for such a wonderful chance and giveaway!!

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  92. I love gnomes and I love these needle felted ones. I've never done needle felting so would love a kit to help me along...

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  93. These gnomes kill me, they made me laugh. I'm going to give them a shot this weekend - thanks for the tutorial!!

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  94. I want one! I've been looking for a gnome to take with me and photograph wherever I go and these are perfect!!

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  95. Love these! They have been on my to do list for awhile. thanks for sharing the tutorial...maybe now I'll get busy :)

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  96. Gnomes! Love them! What a lovely tutorial and I would certainly love to win a kit! Thanks!

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  97. I love garden Gnomes! And I have been itching to learn felting. I would love to win, thanks for the opportunity!

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  98. Oh I'm going to try making one for Valentine's Day!.....that is if I don't win! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

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  99. So cute! I would be lucky to win!

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  100. These are fantastic. i would love to win and be able to have a go at making one
    Caroline

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  101. I'm a real felting addict, so new creations always interest me.

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  102. These are super cute!! I would love to win!

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  103. These are adorable. I'd love to learn how to make them. Now to hunt for some roving!

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  104. My MIL gave me a beautiful package of roving for Christmas, and a set of needles. I've been staring at them wondering what I should make, and I think I figured it out :) My girls will LOVE these for Valentine's day. They are gnome and fairy crazy, and love handmade goodies from Mama (I'm so lucky!)

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  105. I have just started needle felting and this was a great tutorial. Thanks. I would love to receive the kit.
    vah_mom@hotmaildotcom

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  106. oh my~!!! thanks for the tutorial! learned so much.

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  107. Thanks so much for all your comments! I wish I could give you each a gnome or kit!
    It has been really helpful for me to hear that you like having such detailed instructions. Sometimes when I am writing them, I feel like I may be including too much, or that maybe some steps are self-explanatory. I'm glad to hear that these can be helpful, and, if you already are familiar with the craft, you can just skip over the instruction. Thanks for your feedback! I'll keep the draw open until Midnight tonight, PST- as long as possible! And let you all know the winner in the morning...Thanks for all your kind comments!
    Warm wishes, Fiona

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  108. Would LOVE to win, but even having the tutorial...is So AWESOMELY WONDERFUL that I feel as though I already have! Good luck to us all!

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  109. Olá Fiona!
    Muito lindo o seu trabalho.
    O tutorial ficou excelente.
    Parabéns!
    Bjs
    Lelê
    http://jlartesanatos.blogspot.com

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  110. Agradecimentos assim muito, Lele, pela visita e pelas suas amáveis palavras!
    Estes são caracteres especiais pouco!
    Warm wishes, Fiona

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  111. Thanks Fiona, this is a great tutorial.I've done a few little creatures, actually I made a complete nativity scene for Christmas but didn't give them legs. I tried pipe cleaners twice, first for making a sheep (which ended up looking like a mixture out of a bear, a sheep and something unknown) and then again when making a camel. After reading your tutorial I'll try your technique as I'm working on the 7 dwarfs for Snowwhite. Hope they'll turn out as cute as yours.

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  112. Thanks so much! That's a big set to make! Animals look wonderful using these methods. I'll write a tutorial on it one day this Spring. I hope the info here helps with your seven dwarfs- that will be a beautiful collection to have.
    I'm sure they will be beautiful! Warm wishes, Fiona

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  113. My little boys and I love creating and we really want to make an inside fairy garden, I would so love to win a kit so that we could create together and make some gorgeous gnomes for our garden

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  114. they are so sweet :) im gonna do one of them...

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  115. These are awesome. Thanks for sharing. I'll be linking on Facebook.

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  116. These are beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial.

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  117. I work in a Waldorf kindergarden in Holland. I make little gnomes for the children who leave the kindergarden to go to the elementry school. Maybe I will start making them like you, they are beautiful! And look fun to make! Thank you.

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  118. This is really cute!! Thank you for sharing...

    Have a fairy day

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  119. I love your idea of using the pipe cleaner to add mobility to the arms. How fun! I just needle felted my first object last week - a gnome! Of course, it's much simpler than yours, but it was so enjoyable to make it and I am proud of the result. It's too bad I didn't find your tutorial before though, but I will give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

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  120. THANK YOU for being so generous and giving this great tutorial of such lovely gnomes!!! Very sweet from you!!!

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  121. I always wondered how this needle felting worked. Great tutorial for gnomes. I love them. I have several garden gnomes who live in my antique store. Sometimes someone goes to a new home, but I don't mind if they never leave. Just brought the girl garden gnome in I got at auction today. I hope I win.

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  122. I love your gnomes. I made a story carpet out of felt yesterday. I think I'll make a gnome to live in the mushroom pocket! My 5 year old twins will be thrilled.

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  123. beautiful work !!! thank you very much for showing step by step how to do ... greetings :)

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  124. Gran trabajo! y muy lindo! Gracias por compartirlo. Después de verlo siento que puedo hacer muchas cosas con lana. Un abrazo desde nuestra iniciativa Waldorf en Venezuela.

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  125. What a great tutorial (and your finished gnomes are great as well). You have given me the confidence to try some this season. Thank you.

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  126. i work in Juvenile Detention Center for trouble teen girls in Ky . I teach life skills and coping skills this is an excellent project thanks for Sharing Shearl Kissick

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  127. Oh I love them so cute thanks for the great tutorial.

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  128. I'm going to reference this tutorial often. I love the way you made the beard. I've been struggling to get it just right and your technique is the trick. Thanks for sharing!

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  129. Good evening!

    My name is Anastasia, I am the author of the blog rat-felt.ru. I love your creativity! =) Can I translate some of your needle felting tutorials into Russian and post on my blog with a link to your site or page in social networks?

    Thanks in advance.
    Sincerely, Anastasia.

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  130. Estupendo tutorial , muchas gracias , me encanta como trabaja.

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  131. Excellent tutorial. Covers all the bases. Much thanks.

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  132. Your so talented hope to get a kit to make and give away to my expectant moms as a first gift

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  133. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I made a gnome and it turned out great!

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  134. Great tutorial-love little gnomes-i need ideas for garden crafts and these are adorable-need to find more roving-have uncolored for making yarn but spinning is not for me--thanks so much linda

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  135. Great tutorial-love little gnomes-i need ideas for garden crafts and these are adorable-need to find more roving-have uncolored for making yarn but spinning is not for me--thanks so much linda

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  136. Great tutorial, just what I needed to know! Thank you.

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