Marsha Neal Studio Class Schedule

Sarafina Fiber Art Certified Needle Felting Classes and Marsha Neal Studio Needle Felted and Jewelry Classes are typically taught in person through:

Bellefonte Arts. 803-C Brandywine Blvd, Wilmington, DE 19809

Blue Santa Beads. 1165 West Baltimore Pike, Media, PA 19063

Owl Be Beading. 1278 Birchwood Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18017

If my schedule allows, I do travel locally to teach smaller classes (such as bead societies, craft guilds, trade shows, etc). Minimum 6 students to travel to teach. Please let me know what classes you are interested in learning when you email me (Marsha at MarshaNealStudio dot com).

May 8, 2024 (6-8:30pm) Bellefonte Arts: Sarafina Style Needle Felted Hummingbird with Marsha Neal Studio.

Above: Marsha Neal Studio Trapeze Earrings Class at Blue Santa Beads 4/13/24 (10:30am-12noon)

Above: Marsha Neal Studio Sari Ribbon with Ceramic Beads Earrings at Blue Santa Beads 4/13/24 1pm-2:30pm.

*Classes may change if venue requests a different class or a 2nd class to be added if 1st sells out. Please be aware that if you purchase your spot in a class, the class is not refundable unless the venue has a waiting list and can fill your seat, or if you send a person in your place. Classes are not for children due to the use of sharp needles and small beads.

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Needle Felted Krampus Head

Inspired by my friend Diane Hawkey and the making of her ceramic Krampus figures and Krampus head ornaments, I wanted to create a needle felted Krampus head. And of course I like to have a visual reference for creating things and why not share here. I don’t have every little detail, for that I would have to teach a class. For now, this is just a fun inspirational project. Hope you enjoy!
PS – check the bottom of the post for the link to Sarafina Fiber Art with video references if you want to learn more about needle felting.

Ceramic Krampus Head Ornaments by Diane Hawkey
Using 1 piece of 26 gauge wire, I made these wire forms.
I then covered them with Sarafina Oats Core Wool.
I also melted some Sarafina Swax and covered the Core Wool (using the colour shapers).
Here the Swax has set up. To get it this smooth, I rubbed some Sarafina Ewe Smooth on my hand, then when the Swax was still warm and pliable, I pressed it in and smoothed it out.
One set of horns in my hand for scale.
Here I’ve got 4 sets of horns done, and have made a face shape using Sarafina Carob Core wool on the Sarafina Zullitool.
The head shape is attached to the horns with more core wool, and then I added little ears to make the head seem more goat-like.
Using more of the Sarafina Carob Core Wool, I create a bunch of face shapes (Sara from Sarafina came up with an awesome tool she calls the Face Ace – I love it!)
Using a Sarafina technique for blending face shapes, this Krampus is really starting to look disturbing and kinda evil.
Here is a different head where I began to fill in the black of the eye.
I created a red tongue with Sarafina Christmas Red Core and teeny pointed teeth with Sarafina White. The Ewe Smooth helps roll out those teeny pointed teeth.
Here are the 4 that I made. You can see they all vary a bit and I tried out all kinds of weird freaky evil eyes on them.
I though they were a bit too smooth looking and not quite freaky enough, so I dug out some washed, but not perfect sheep curls to create a little beard and some hair.
Here is the whole creepy gang!
And a little bit of a close up.
I think I should work on a pointy nose for next year!

I do work part-time at Sarafina Fiber Art where I help purchase raw sheep fleeces, and help wash and dye them for kits and online inventory. One of the really cool things about working at Sarafina is learning things from Sara in person and seeing things as she develops tools and techniques (it really is magical). For those of you not working there, she has lots of videos showing off these tools and techniques. Over time, after making some of her projects, you can start to create your own creatures based off of your knowledge she shares. I want to help point you in the right direction so you can learn cool things too.

Here is a list of different Sarafina Fiber Art videos that will help you understand the techniques behind the above photos:
FELTING FOR BEGINNERS (if you are completely new to needle felting, start here!)
SWAX (this video shows you how to apply wax to your wool). Using Ewe Smooth – rub on your hands like a solid lotion – helps keep the Swax from sticking to your fingers.
FACE ACE (this one will show you how to use the Sarafina Face Ace to make shapes, attach shapes, then blend in the shapes with some fuzzy wool).
SARAFINA GOAT (this one will give you good goat face shapes, wrapping the horns, and swaxing the horns).

If you want to get started on your own needle felting adventure and are ready to buy supplies through, use the 1x coupon code for 10% off discount of Sarafina wool tools and supplies with: MARSHA10 at checkout.

Art Elements Bee Theme Blog Hop

This month’s Art Elements Blog theme was Bees. So many ideas buzz around in my brain when it comes to insects. Bees are one of those insects that I do really enjoy, but can be annoying if they are not happy with you. So I try to keep them happy by planting lots of flowering plants in my garden for the longest bloom time and providing them with plenty of space for their own habitats.

Early Spring Flowers in bloom. Perfect for pollinators that have emerged early.

I am part of a ceramics community called “ClayShare” and there are some great classes and really cool tools. I ordered some of Sharon Hoppe Designs laser etched rolling pins, and one happened to have these bees and sunflowers. Perfect for this month’s theme. I made some of these mason jar ceramic disc lids to hold up your cut flowers. They just sit on top of the jar opening, and you put the flower stems in the holes.

Laser Engraved Wooden Rolling Pin designed by Sharon Hoppe Designs from The Texture Shoppe. Ceramic Flower Holder Discs by Marsha Neal Studio.

You can see below how well these work for keeping the flowers spaced out. These are perfect for getting rid of that annoying “not enough” cut flowers for the arrangement to look nice.

Ceramic Bee textured flower holder for a mason jar. This was my first test batch with these discs and I realized that it may be helpful to have a small bit of extra to the inside lip of the lid to keep it from sliding around. But regardless, it still helps hold these flowers upright instead of letting them all flop to one side and not look full.

When I think of bees, I think of honeycombs and that shape being a hexagon, I wanted to carve out some new clay stamps (I fire them, then they get pressed into a clay slab, then cut up into my shapes for final pieces).

Hand carved clay texture stamps. Hexagon shaped for this Bee theme (top three images). Bottom 6 images shows the cut out from the textured slab: raw and refined. Glazed pieces will be out of the kiln by this weekend.

One thing that I want to still do is make a needle felted bee – especially since Sara put out a new Bee video: Sarafina Needle Felted Bee Tutorial (You’ve got to watch to the end and check out here MC Bee Pollen Pocket Dance).

Thanks for stopping by to check out my post for this months theme. Here is a list to the other participants:

AE team:














Evie and Beth


Art Elements Gnome Blog Hop

This months theme for the Art Elements Blog Hop is Gnomes. I was delighted that Jenny picked this theme because I’ve got a thing for gnomes and love making them out of wool. You can see some previous posts I’ve written up about Bottle Toppers and Gnome Ornaments.

I usually create these gnomes with a bit of a theme to give them some character, and recently I’ve been making a lot of bunnies due to teaching a class in early March, so I thought it would be fun to put some bunny ears on this gnome.

This is the Sarafina Fiber Art way of making bunny ears. Sara created the Zullitool which makes really great shapes perfect for ears.
Top Row – lay out fibers and add blenders. Flip fibers, then use the zullitool to shape the ear.
Middle Row – create the basic bunny ear shape and use the multi-needle tools to flatten and make the shape secure. Add some pink for the inside ear color.
Bottom Row – the wide bottom gets folded and felted to create a tapered bottom with fringy edges that get felted onto the hat of the bottle topper gnome.
I made the base of the ears to blend with the hat. To cover seams, I used a bit more of the hat color to blend the ear bases. Then added a hat rim color around the hat, and used it to also felt into the ears a bit more for added support. Also added a dried bit of plant material into the had (because this gnome was definitely hanging out in a garden).
Here is the detail of the hat ear area where I used some of the Sarafina Moose Moss dyed curls to help secure the plant material to the hat a bit more (the headpins at the top of the hat are Sue Kennedy’s creation).

I really had fun making this guy up and want to make a few more like him. And possibly the teeny gnome ornaments with bunny ears too. Those would be lots of fun!

Here are the rest of the Blog Hop Participants:

AE team:


How To Finish Ribbon Ends

I have been selling Ute’s hand painted silk ribbons (2mm round cord, Silky Ribbon and Fairy Ribbon) since 2004, and the question I receive most is: How do I finish the ends of these silks? And instantly my brain is overwhelmed because there are so many ways!

When I am looking for jewelry inspiration these days, I usually go to Pinterest to see if there are any DIY tutorials or photo inspirations. Here are two of my Pinterest Boards where I save things I like (these are great places for you to start to get ideas yourself).

Marsha Neal Studio Ribbon Jewelry Pinterest Board

Marsha Neal Studio DIY Jewelry Tutorials

There are some physical differences between silk, leather, cord, and other materials that you can use as layers in jewelry design to consider when designing with them (do they hold knots well, do they compress, will you need glue, etc). Some things come with experiencing the nature of these various materials and how they wear over time.

To have your jewelry piece hold up over time, avoid chemical exposure (pool water, salt water, some hand soaps), direct sunlight, sharp edges that come into contact with the material, tight knots in places you want to untie later, etc.

Here is a list of some techniques that I really like to use:
– Overhand Knot (simple – like tying your shoe laces).
– Wrapping using wire, waxed linen, silk (fold over cut ends, looped ends, wire wrapped end with a cone bead to cover it up).
– Stop Bead (silicone lined bead or silicone o-ring).
– Crimp Ends (Glue in, teeth clamp, fold over, large crimp beads).

Marsha Neal Studio Beaded Braid Bracelet Kits (silks are tied to 1mm waxed cotton & itself).
Silks are tied with Irish Waxed Linen (Left and Middle).
Silks are folded over loop end and tied to itself (right).
Necklace design by Staci Louise Smith. Silk is folded over loop end and wire wrapped to hold secure. Great way to use cut parts of silk and Sari Silk as in this piece.
7mm Silicone O-Ring acting as a “Stop Bead”. You can pass the silks through the stop bead either in opposite directions (left) or all through in one direction (right). There are nicer silver and gold beads, but I could not find mine when writing this post.
You should put knots, beads or some other small resist at the end of the silk to keep them from coming back through the stop bead.
These are crimp tubes with loops. These are used for silk cord, leather, cotton cord, satin cord, and anything else that you can press into. You’ve got to use pliers to crimp the middle section to hold the material secure.
These are U-Shaped Fold over crimp ends. Use Flat-Nose Pliers (metal or plastic – without teeth – depending on your material). The silks are laid in place, one side folded down tight, then the other side. Cut excess silk sticking out by the loop.
These are the same sized U-Shaped Fold Over Crimp Ends as above.
This photo is showing the Silky and Fairy Ribbons instead of the 2mm round cords.
There are also Folding Crimps that have teeth to hold the silk in place.
The ends were doubled over at the very end to give the crimp a bit more to bite into.
This is also the type of crimp where a bit of E6000 epoxy comes in handy to make sure that is stays put over time.
If your silk ending has a solid loop, you will need to use a jump ring or a split ring to add closures to it. Here you can see simple lobster claws which then needs another loop to attach to. Keep in mind the ease of use with these closures. Many different options out there – you can even make your own closures.

I will probably keep updating this post as I make other samples, but I am hoping this will help spark some ideas for some basic ways to finish the ends of these silks in jewelry designing.

Sample designs with Ute’s Silky, Fairy and 2mm silks.
Ute’s multi layered silk design (not sure how this is secured in the back. Possibly slips over the head or maybe all of the layers join behind the neck).