Last week I taught my first class at a local state park. My friend is a park ranger and wanted to offer some free classes with natural crafting projects for kids this summer, which I thought was a great idea. I immediately thought of another friend, who is an amazing handworks teacher for children, but it would have been a long drive for her and I didn’t want to ask her to teach a free class. So, I signed up to teach a class, though I had never taught anything before. I brought some smooth stones that my mom, Bracken, and I had gathered at the beach while we were there. I also brought some tulle fabric, soap, and some wool. We did wet felting in the sunshine, on a beautiful summer day, with the lake in view. What a great way to spend a summer day!
The kids and adults all seemed to enjoy themselves and when we created the pouches, I loved seeing all the creativity. I didn’t snap very many pictures because we were all soapy and busy creating. The project (felting around rocks, cutting a slit to take the rocks out, and then turning them into pouches) is one that our family has enjoyed making over the years and also a project that Bracken made last summer during our friend’s felting class. (If you’d like to have some wet felting fun, this video has some good tips for felting around rocks. We didn’t make felted rocks, we just used rocks as our base to felt around, but I found the addition of using the tulle fabric to be very helpful with the felting. That being said, there are different techniques I’ve seen people use and all have had successful felting results.)
After the class we had a picnic with friends and then went swimming in the lake for the first time this summer. (Swimming in the lake was something I really wanted to do before summer was over.) Afterwards, when we were headed home I thought about how good it is to stretch ourselves sometimes, to do something out of our comfort zone, and sometimes to do things that even makes us a bit nervous (like teaching a class for the first time.) We can surprise ourselves. I definitely saw ways that I could improve, but overall I had so much fun. I got to meet so many kind people traveling from all over who were camping there. And we all got to enjoy a beautiful day together and make something with our hands side by side.