Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 46

was to start a project each month that they could each
work on until the next month's class, " says Elizabeth, noting they've made everything from baby chicks to owls over
the past year.
A bit of an introvert, Elizabeth still enjoys the online
teaching sessions. When someone wants to sign up, she
adds them to a private Facebook group where she uses
Facebook Live to instruct. When a crafter needs additional
help on the project, they can always review the video and
pause it as needed or Elizabeth will answer them one-onone. Students pay a monthly class fee via PayPal and sign
on from anywhere with an internet connection to participate. Members can get a list of needed supplies for monthly projects from Elizabeth or, if they prefer, she'll send a kit
of supplies for the project for an additional fee.
" If the project needs special pieces, like eyes or maybe
metal feet for an animal, I usually try to include those in
the kits for free, " says the instructor.
As word got out about Elizabeth's woolen creations people began asking for commissions, especially for her small
dolls, which average about 8 inches in height. Requests
came in for a friend who'd recently lost their son and a
caregiver who helped a friend through a serious illness.
That was the start of a line Elizabeth hadn't considered -
what she now calls her Mended Heart dolls.
" I usually send a little story along with the doll, " says
Elizabeth. " They seem to resonate with people. "
Special requests include dolls for adoptive parents, widows, women trying to conceive and survivors of abuse.
" I used an old necktie and cut out a tiny tie for the
widow doll to hold, " says the artist. " The widow who commissioned the doll loved it. "
Another special Mended Heart doll was for a mother
who had just lost her baby. Elizabeth created a special angel doll holding a baby. " No two of the dolls are ever alike, "
says Elizabeth.
Now that things are opening back up again, the artist hopes to eventually get out to shows. Until then, she's
happy to teach through Facebook and sell her woolen
wonders online.
" The online sessions have been great because the common thread of art draws us together, " says Elizabeth.
" We're like a felting family. "
For more information about needle felting, contact
Elizabeth Exley at elizabethexley@gmail.com, 816-753-4245
or follow Gingham Trundle on Etsy and Instagram.

Right: Needle felting doesn't require a
lot of expensive tools to start the craft.You
need a felting needle, a piece of upholstery
foam or a felting pad for a work surface,
pipe cleaners or other wire for any needed
armature and wool fiber. Felting the wool into
a shape with special barbed needles is how
Elizabeth Exley her makes wool creations, such
as this mother-daughter Mended Heart doll.

46

RURAL MISSOURI | JUNE 2021

Crane



Rural Missouri - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 4
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