Starring Birch...


Advent day 11!! We are really ticking these December days off at an alarming rate.

Today we had a something a little different in our little advent stocking...

A couple of birch bark stars! I decided I might need a little break from needle felting when I woke up the other morning and realized that I was felting in my sleep~my hand was holding an invisible needle and making little stabby motions on an invisible handful of wool. Hmmm.

Besides, since these advent gifties are also going to serve as our tree ornaments this year, I thought a little diversity might be in order. Hence the stars.

First, let me say that no birches (or anything else) were harmed in the construction of these stars. All the bark was found loose on the ground, on site and I carefully avoided any big pieces that looked like they might be home to any little critters who were engaged in important decomposition work.

A cool thing about working with birch bark is that a relatively small strip will yield quite a bit of material. It is composed of paper thin layers and once the bark is cleaned and dry you can carefully separate the layers, giving you bark that is as thick or thin as you desire.

I washed mine with warm water, blotted the excess water off and then let it air dry until almost dry. Then I wrapped the birch in a cloth and gave it a quick press. My husband took this lovely shot when he chanced upon me ironing bark, much to his amusement if not dismay...

These stars are based on Moravian stars. They are so easy to make and there are tons of good tutorials out there in webland. If you like them, you should check out these fabric stars. They are lovely and come with an easy to follow tutorial. Don't forget to follow Betz's links. They will lead you to more inspiration and how-to fun.

Well, that's about it for now. The light is waning and it's time for me to cozy up here and get my knit on.

Sending cozy thoughts your way.