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Kirstie Allsopp Needle Felting Kit

I've been seeing loads of projects on Pinterest and on online tutorials about something called "Needle Felting". 

I was stumped! 

I'd never heard of it before and had no clue what it was. But something that allows you to make things like this ... 


Has to be worth a look! 

So i went to my online mecca Hobbycraft and had a look at their range. I found this full kit by TV presenter and fellow craft enthusiast Kirstie Allsopp.


Its priced at £20 which when you read the description, seems like good value of money *Even better value for me since i had a gift card* so i checked out and waited patiently for Mr postman to deliver.

When it arrived, i practically skipped to the door. I ripped into the outside packaging and i wasn't disappointed :)


Inside was 20 different colours of felting wool (totalling 200g) ... As well as a booklet, a foam mat, a 7 needle felting tool and 2 extra needles ... All of which, i think, is worth the £20


Its safe to say i was really excited to get started.

When i sat down and got the bits and pieces out i was a thrown by the booklet. It was marketed as "Complete with instructions, hints, tips and tricks" but i was a little let down as its not got any instructions other than roll in a ball and press. If i hadn't had a look online before hand, i would have been at a loss as to how to start.

I had looked online however and the use of cookie cutters was on many pages, so i got out a heart cutter as a simple starting point and got going.


I was too into what i was doing to remember to take pictures at each step but its really simple.

I placed the heart cutter on the mat and got a little bit of the purple felt wool. Using the single needle i started piercing the fibres till they stuck together. *I know that sounds totally mental but trust me, it works*.

I started going round the edges and then into the middle. When the wool came to the end, I added the next layer and continued to pierce the felt. I done this with 3 layers, which i felt was thick enough. I lifted the cookie cutter and peeled the heart off the mat *I did panic slightly when it seemed to be stuck but it does come off quite easy* 

The bottom of the heart was very "fluffy" so i placed it back in the cutter (base side up this time) and continued to pierce till the stray fibres where down and joined. I took the heart out again and i was very happy with it. A little bit of cleaning round the sides was needed but afterwards i was chuffed with the heart :) *when doing a last wee clean up, watch you don't stab yourself with the needle. I done this twice and they are seriously shape!*

I was so pleased i decided to do another heart, just to make sure i got the hang of it ... I think i did, Don't you?

Another thing i seen alot of was the use of polystyrene shapes, so out came the craft box and i rooted around for a simple shape. First one that came to hand was a heart ... *I'm seeing a theme here* so i grabbed some pink wool and this time i decided to use the felting tool that came with.


I like the felting tool alot ... mainly because it lets you cover large areas in a short amount of time, but its also got a guard around the needles so that should one break, its not going to ping up on your face. Plus Agent M was watching me and was desperate to try ... hes got a better chance due to the guard on this tool.

I followed round the heart the same as before, only this one doesn't need extra layers cause its already 3D. I did neaten it up a bit at the end with the single needle in the areas that the tool couldn't quite reach.

I started to get the hang of needle felting pretty quick which just shows how easy it actually is.

When i was looking for a cookie cutter, i did come across the small gingerbread man cutter. Now, i know its July and I'm not one of those folk that are daft in Christmas all year long but i wanted to try some adding some details and this was my best bet.

I really like how it turned out :)




Again i followed the basic principle of layering it up to the thickness i wanted. This time i did 4 layers as I'm planning to give it to my mama for her Christmas tree (she is daft on Christmas) so i wanted it to be 'solid' enough to hold up the festive season.

When it came to the fine details, i used the smallest amounts of white, red and black wool and just kept piercing it into the same area till it stuck and looked how i wanted.

Agent D came home and seen the "Gingy" and was really impressed ... Thinking I'll be making some of our tree this year too now :)

So back to the kit itself ... 

I really like it. 

There is more than enough wool there for you to make multiple projects. The wool i used was minimal amounts and you don't even notice there is anything missing from the packets. The tool is AMAZING and having the extra needles there makes it easier to do finer details.

My only let downs were the instructions or lack there of but then its simple enough that a quick look on pinterest, you get the jest. 

The other let down is there is no yellow wool (which is a primary colour after all). I would have loved to make some flowers and stars but will need to purchase my own yellow unfortunately.

Overall i give it a 4 outta 5

Have you tried any other of Kirstie's kits? 
Have you found a different felting kit that ticks all the boxes?




Our surpise day at Legoland

As i posted before, we got a pair of free tickets to Legoland Windsor courtesy of The Sun Newspaper, which luckily happened to be when we were in England on holiday.

My sister and her partner got a pair of tickets too, with the same date as us, so we all decided we would go together. With Agent M being such a big Lego fan, we decided we wouldn't tell him where we were going but instead tell him we were going to a garden centre so he could get a double surprise. *oh i know, I'm such a sneaky mama*

We had it all planned out to the last detail ... My sister had a voucher for 50% off a ticket at the gate so that was Agent M's ticket down from the £40's to the £20's and we brought our own lunch and drinks so we could save as much as possible toward getting a special something at the gift shop.

We got everything in the car and set off on ... 

When we pulled up to the gates and saw all the Lego models he clicked and got really excited. When we were standing at the gate waiting to go in he was fit to burst :)


 
Big smiles from the boy with the missing teeth lol

When you go into the park, the first thing you notice *or at least for me* is the models. There are so many and they are so detailed. There is never any doubt of where you are cause there is Lego everywhere :)

 

We decided that we would start at the bottom and work our way round *The plan was to try and see everything there but you know what they say about the best laid plans ... * So we headed for the tram and made our way down to the Knights kingdom.


Again you see some models but as you get into each area you see they stick with the theme i.e Knights and dragons in the Knights Kingdom. You can see Agent D in this photo. I used him as scale so you can see just how tall the model is. *Agent M thought it would take "about a hundred bricks" to make ... think he might be slightly off lol.*

The first ride we went on was the Dragons apprentice. I was slightly concerned that it would be a bit to much for his first ride but he was adamant he wanted to go on so we stood in the line. 

Now ... Agent M has never been to a theme park ... so hes never been on a ride. I did try to explain to him that it was a mini roller coaster but till you actually go on a ride, you'll never really get it. Safe to say he got it! ... and how I laughed when I seen the picture the camera took of him.
True to form though after he got over the initial "wow crap" moment he was game for anything. So next we went on The Dragon. Walking up to the castle where the bigger roller coaster was we spotted Nessy chillin in the water. Canny blame him. It was roasting that day!


Id love this in my garden. So beautiful

Inside we were near the front of the queue so we could didn't have to wait that long. We go to see the group in front go and we could hear them scream which really rattled Agent M. He got the option to go somewhere else but my little dude wasn't letting anything get the better of him.


  He had his "dad" (what he's started calling Agent D) and he was prepared. I sat behind them and i had to go awe when i heard him say "don't let me go dad ok?" ... Bless :)
He managed to get through the ride (and even wanted to go on again) ... sadly the screens at the photo booth were on the fritz so we couldn't get to see our pic :(

I loved looking at the models ... Lego is such a versatile toy :)


Next up was Pirate Shores which is home to the Pirate falls Treasure Quest. This is Agent D's favourite ride and to be honest in the heat, some water splashes were a welcome addition. We were in the queue for a while but you don't notice as much because there is a ship play area and things to look at.

   

We didn't get a water splash as much as a full on drench but we kinda needed the cool down and we were gonna dry off pretty quickly anyway. 


Since we were soaked anyways we thought we'd head up to the Land of the Vikings and go on the Vikings river splash. On the way up we stopped in at Loki's Labyrinth and mama had some palpitations when Agent M was running off into the maze. Turned out it was Auntie Em that got lost lol. Nothing a quick "Marco" ... "Polo" couldn't resolve :)

  


Look at the view from the top of the Viking hill ... stunning!

Ice Dragon

Fire Dragon

The river splash was so much fun and cause it spun and made waves we all got soaked even more *though i got my butt wet and it looked like i had an accident* 

After the water rapids we decided we could go to the Star Wars mini world then head back to the car for some lunch (since we had managed to spend the whole morning in the park already).

Watching Agent D in the Star Wars world was like watching a kid at a chocolate factory. He was looking at everything and was so excited by each and every display. Since i had the camera all i kept getting was "snap that" "oh snap this" "awe babe, get a picture of these" ... such a big kid lol

  

Rather than bombard you with photos (cause there is more of this area than any other in the whole park lol) I've uploaded my faves.

Now here is where I'm opening myself to attack but I've only seen one and a bit of the star wars movies ... *i know, i know ... Agent D is horrified too* but this is one of my faves cause there are loads of little jar-jar binks :)

  

I know this is the Millennium falcon cause Agent M has begged me for this or the Death Star for the last 2 Christmases but i just cant afford that much money on a toy. Its not doable for me as much as it kills me.


Look at his happy face ... hes in paradise

  
 Lego light sabers that actually glow ... Both Agents wanted one ... don't know who's the bigger kid lol

Giant C3-P0 and Agent M

 Buzz Lightyear shopping in the Last Chance Marketplace

After lunch we came back *if you leave the park for whatever the reason during the day, GET YOUR HAND STAMPED so you can get back in* and decided to go to the Space Tower. On the way, we found these three heads with the "We will rock you" music in the background. I was buckled when Agent M started dancing along :)




We got to the space tower and while Agent M and his Uncle D were in line, Me and Agent D were having a wee seat and planning the next area to go to.

  
I absolutely love my "bearded wonder!"


Agent M was all for this ride till he realised how high up you go. You cant see from the pictures but he was holding onto the bar more than helping pull the rope. No matter how many times you tell him the rides are safe, hes still not 100% convinced.


  

Afterwards we took a stroll through the Mini Land. It was so cool to see all the little models made into little towns and some of the more noticeable landmarks. The detail that goes into these models is beyond amazing!



  

Id like to see Nicole Kidman do her thing in this tiny Moulin Rouge 

Agent D seems to think that this should suffice in my desire to see Paris ... not quite but nice try :)



This was by far my fave mini model ... You cant see from the pictures but there were tiny little bagpipe players on the wall. I loved how it was also above the little Edinburgh. Little Lego people can look up to the castle too :)


I couldn't find this castle kit in the shop ... gutted! lol

Through Little London there was a red double decker bus driving around the road. Very cool!

Next up on the map was the Lego City where we were going to get Agent M his driving licence. We were waiting for a while in the queue but as we got up to the photo point, we were told that the machine had stopped working. Agent M was already starting to waver so this kinda pushed him into saying he wanted to move onto the next ride. Shame though cause he was really looking forward to "being allowed to drive a real car" lol. Pretty much all the rides in the Lego City had a 45 min wait so we all decided to move onto the next area which was Atlantis.

Again the decorations in the park are just gorgeous. So much detail! Agent D was all for having this mural on the bathroom wall but I'm pretty sure they would have issues installing it, what with it being about the size of my whole bathroom and all :)


Inside there are more models to admire while you wait but the queue for this one moved really fast so we didn't have any "I'm bored" moments.



I was definitely seeing a theme in all our days out so far ... they all have ad some form of marine life. This one was by far the most interactive though cause your in a sub and are part of the 'mission'. 


This shark was swimming right below my feet. Its a kinda surreal thing when you think these fish live out in the ocean but you can see them this close in a somewhat natural environment.  *I'll never be snorkeling or swimming with sharks so its as close as ill get*

We found Nemo again ... think he was on his holidays too?

Agent M "Inside the fish tank" ... He loves these wee pod things :)

He got to touch some of the marine life ... in his case it was a shrimp

Agent M with his Auntie

After the Atlantis we took a stroll through the park towards the Pirates of Skeleton bay to see the stunt show. I did take pictures of this but sadly my camera died after taking a little video of the show. I highly recommend it though cause Agent M got right into it ... Shouting the panto style "He's behind you" in between licks of the much needed ice-cream.

There are many rides and MANY Lego models on display in the park so I'm gonna stop there as i could go on for ages more.

I couldn't help but think of the park from the frugal mama stand point and I've got a few tips should you want to venture to the land of many bricks ...

  • Look online, on the side of cereal boxes etc for the best offers on tickets. It makes all the difference. If we didn't have the free tickets we couldn't afford to go so plan ahead. They do offers on the site for advanced tickets so ALWAYS check!
  • Where possible, bring your own food and drinks. You can get your hand stamped to go in a and out so its not like you have to carry your sandwiches about all day. They do offer a cup for £7.50 that you can refill as much as you like but its fizzy juice which many parents are iffy about letting their kids drink lots of *I know i am*
  • The Photo booths are really expensive BUT if you buy a photo pass thing for £20 you get 4 pictures or keyrings (which are £10 each) so your getting half price really ... worth it i think.
  • Be prepared to wait in line. ALOT! Its a popular theme park and we went during the summer holidays. There is often something there to distract the kids though (those Lego folks must be parents cause they got your back) :)
  • Where ever you go you will get people who take rude to the next level. When we attempted to go on the Viking river splash for the second time we got to experience a grown man who decided to duck under the barriers and decided my 7 year old was in his way and shoved him into the wooden barrier. *Safe to say i was really angry (especially when he laughed when we confronted him) and M just wanted to go home after that cause he was"too sad" :( *
All in we had a fantastic time at Lego Land ... so much so were hoping to save up enough to stay in the hotel next time and i highly recommend it for Lego fans of every age.

Ill leave you now with the last 2 pics i just love


  


Do you have any tips you'd recommend to others?
Feel free to comment and share :)

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