Okay, I'm taking the plunge and spending another 300 hard-earned bucks to stretch my creative wings, again. I've decided to purchase a new Babylock needle felting machine to use as an embellisher for the felted handbags and the custom sweaters I create.
Have been searching for a fresh new design twist for the line of custom clothing and felted handbags I sell under the Irrational Exuberance name and, as often happens, I stumbled upon the answer quite by chance. On a visit to my local fabric store six months ago, I was admiring one of those terribly expensive Babylock embroidery machines ($5,000++) that (who am I kidding?) I'll never buy. In fact, it's become a running joke with the whole store staff that as soon as I'm ready for my husband to divorce me, I'll be in to purchase the top of the line machine! Still, the owner of the shop, Joanie, patiently shows me all the whiz-bang features and lets me play around with them to my heart's content. I suppose it's because we never fail to draw a crowd of lookyloos while I ask questions and Joanie demonstrates. If Joanie sells one machine to one of those women, I suppose she figures it's all worthwhile. Anyway, on my last visit, Joanie quickly pointed out the new needle felting machine she'd just received from Babylock and it really started my creative juices flowing. The price was certainly right and I had a blast experimenting with that machine. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right for me to make the purchase right then and there, but I told myself that I would have one of those clever machines - soon. I'd done needle felted embellishments in the past - by hand - with happy results, but I found the process terribly tedious. The machine promised better results, at a fraction of the time and effort. I was sold.
Unfortunately, Mom's illness put all my creative endeavors on hold for about four months so the whole idea was quickly forgotten...until last week. I'd dropped into the store to purchase some magnetic closures for a couple of handbags in the making and there it was - the needle felting machine - sitting right on the counter by the cash register with a lovely "20%-Off Sale" tag on it. Kismet! I convinced Joanie to hold it for me while I went to my "Bank of The Old Man" to whine for a temporary loan. It took a couple of days worth of favorite meals and sweet talk, but my DH (dear husband) finally gave me the go-ahead. He muttered something about it being a Mother's Day-birthday-anniversary present all rolled into one. Oh, happy day.
I'll post some photos of the little gem and a 1st project, soon. Meantime, if you've been thinking about a similar purchase, you might be interested in reading this product review I ran across while researching these needle felting machines online. You can read it here. It's really informative, fair, and balanced comparison of machines by Babylock, Janome, Bernina, Brother, Husky, and the Fab Felter by Nancy.
Let me know if you answer the siren song of machine needle felting. I'd love to hear from you.