OK, so, as I do every fall, I have been collecting acorn caps like a crazy squirrel. I don’t save the bottoms; they sometimes have little grubs in them. If you are going to be stockpiling these things, you certainly don’t want an infestation in your supply cabinet. Besides, I am not as inspired by the bottoms. I have always picked up acorn caps, but a couple of years ago, I started making felt wee folk flower fairies and began collecting them with a great sense of purpose. I needed them for the fairy hats after all. What if I wanted to make a bunch of fairies in the middle of March? Better grab a few more…The first time I visited my friend Michelle’s house, we hung out on her deck which was scattered with bunches of acorns; her yard is surrounded by huge oaks. We didn’t know each other well then and although I was reluctant to let her know I had a squirrel side, I did collect a modest amount. (2 years later she is well aware of this neurosis of mine and even has started making felt wee folk of her own.) Another friend, Andri, recently traveled to Tennessee and brought me a bag of acorn caps covered with a “fringe”. They look really cool, but I haven’t figured out what to do with them yet. My forest ranger husband identified them as bur oak acorns. What supportive friends! This fall I was inspired by an old Martha project which used velvet to make the acorn bottom and glued this into a natural cap; so lovely and tiny. I’ve been dabbling in needle felting and so made this:
I loved it and was quite proud of myself. Even though I got the idea from a magazine for some crazy reason I was crushed when Katie delicately told me that Betz White had recently made the exact same thing! And, she’d already posted about it. I felt like a bitter copy cat even though I hadn’t even seen Betz's. I set my acorn on our nature table and stewed for awhile about what else could I do with acorn caps. (On the back burner I mean, its not like I wasn’t able to function or anything.) Well, days later the idea for the little snowmen with acorn cap caps came to me, and I set to work making them. Last week inspiration struck again. I wanted to make something to use the cap upside down like a little basket, and I remembered the tiny toadstools I recently thrifted. What about a tiny gnome to stand beside it? How about a moss carpet? Sound OK?
The gnome is based on one in the book Feltcraft, just made much smaller. I added a scrap of tea dyed knit for his face and a bit of wool for his beard. I drilled a hole through the acorn cap to pass a gold thread through to hang it up, but it is top heavy and spun upside down. I plan on adding a small twig behind the gnome and drilling a hole in that, hopefully this will be more effective. I’m excited to make a bunch of these for Christmas gift toppers and maybe for the bazaar, which is rapidly approaching. I’ve gotta finish my climbing gnomes first….