Well my 2 Green Dachshund Bags are winging their way to their new home in New York
…………………….. so of course I had to make another one! For this one I used bright summer colours. I wet felted the bag from 2 layers of Perendale and 2 layers of Merino wool batting. Then I shaped it, dried it and hand stitched a braided leather handle (bronze) all the way around. I wanted a big, bold front, hence the Dachshund on the move, a bright yellow sunflower, some tiny white Aubretia and a leaf. I needle felted these …………………. it took forever – the sunflower was particularly time consuming as each petal was done individually. I added the white heart to balance it and then turned it over.
On the other side I needle felted a dachshund holding colourful balloons, again all needle felted individually. Along the bottom I needle felted more flowers blue, pink, white and purple – completing my colourful, summery bag!
I feature dogs and Dachshunds in lots of my felt work. So, I wanted to do something different ….. but I wasn’t sure what.
I sat in the garden watching the dogs play (and making sure they did not knock 13 year old Libby off the ramp in their excitement). And the little birds visiting the garden kept my attention for a long time. So busy, so pretty. I recognised the Blue Tit and the Long Tailed Tit and there were plenty of others, some that I did not know. They were busy little things, gathering the hair that I had earlier stripped off the dogs when grooming, stealing the moss from my hanging baskets and troughs for their nests and seeking out insects from the plants and trees.
So I set to work on a new bag. I used Cerise and Mulberry Perendale for the bag. I cut a resist from some cushion-floor vinyl. I used 4 layers of wool strands, wet felted over the resist. I cut the handle holes in when the bag was well felted and continued fulling and shaping with soapy hands. I left to dry for 3 days while I thought about how to complete it. I used nappa leather to hand stitch around the handle holes, both as decoration and to strengthen the handle area. I decided on a Long Tailed Tit on one side with some Primroses and a Marigold. These were needle felted on from a range of Merino, Shetland and Perendale batts.
One the other side I decided on a colourful Blue Tit with some leaves to decorate the bottom, again using a range of wool batts to needle felt them firmly on.
So, I think I probably have OCD. I cannot just do nothing. Ever. If I am not cleaning I am crafting, or grooming dogs, or gardening …… sitting still makes me jumpy. I think this is rooted in having 6 children and never having enough time to get everything done. Now they are grown and gone, and I am not racing up and down the motorway doing business consultancy, I get bored ……………… so although I do lots of crafts, I am always looking for different things to do and to make.
Felting, both needle felting and wet felting have occupied me for a while and I am not yet getting bored ……. because there are so many different things you can do with them. Having started with hats, I carried on with dogs, then pixies and witches, some felted bowls and yesterday I started on a felted bag.
The inside is 2 layers of rust coloured Perendale Batting, the outside is 2 layers of Shetland Undyed Batting and the middle section is 4 layers of the Rust Perendale. I wet felted the bag around a plastic resist – just a shape cut from a plastic file. I used bubble wrap and ordinary washing up liquid, rubbing each side for 5 minutes, and repeating this 4 times before rolling up in a bamboo mat. I then rolled it 50 times, turned it a quarter turn and carried on until all 4 turns were completed. I then turned it over and repeated the process until it had been rolled 400 times. By this time the resist was starting to bend and the wool was well felted. I carefully sliced open the top and removed the resist. Then carried on soaping and working the wool until the bag was firmly felted. I then rinsed (adding some essential oil so it smells nice!), left to dry overnight, before needle felting the embellishments on, braiding the handle and hand stitching that completely around the perimeter of the bag. I am now starting my next bag …….. the dogs are groomed, ironing done, cleaning done …… See my items for sale here:
So for this post I thought I would share my Magical, Mystical Felting, piece by piece …. I have been making lots of felted dogs as people had ordered them and I was itching to try my hand at felted dolls and mystical items …… Finally, I grabbed some time and started firstly on my Child of Pan. She took a while as her face would not behave as I wanted it to! I sculpted her body, arms and legs first, then her hands and fingers (which took ages and were very fiddly) then her head and face, complete with eyelids, eyes and freckles!!. I added her tail, horns and elf like ears and then dressed her. The hair I wanted was not available within my considerable stash of wool so it was off on a trawl of the internet to find what I needed. I found a fantastic artist selling some doll hair seconds made from Tibetan Lambs Wool – she was so kind and sent me extra to make sure I had enough. It was exactly what I wanted – curly, wild, soft and bouncy.
Next I stayed on the “other worldly” theme and started on my little Pixie / Elf. He is sitting cross legged, with his hands on his knees, his wild mop of blonde hair standing up around his elfin ears and a cheeky grin on his face. His long, skinny legs are comfortably crossed, his hat sits by his side and he rests his hands upon his knees. He is dressed in a felted Lichen Green top and Forest Green trousers, with a jaunty cotton bandana loosely tied around his neck. The black and purple psychedelic magical mushroom stands next to him. I made this next and after felting the patterns in I stitched tiny little pearls all over it for that extra bit of magic! I wet felted his little hat and added a braided leather band with a feather for the finishing touch!
My witch took many, many hours and incorporates felting, sewing and embroidery – all of which are my passions. I wanted her to be voluptuous but tall, elegant and slender – after lots of hard work I achieved the look I wanted. Her face is detailed and mysterious. She has a wonderful half smile and a shock of luscious black hair. Her body is made from natural coloured Perendale Batting. Her top, boots and leggings are beautiful, soft Merino wool. Her skirt is black tulle with purple Merino wool nuno felted around the bottom and black ribbon bows stitched on. Her purple top has a Triple Goddess felted into the centre of the front. Her cloak is beautiful – made from black velour with a purple satin lining. It has a full, lined hood and I embroidered a Pentagram on each side of the front. The cloak is a replica of the ones I make for real witches. Her hair is from a Manchester wig shop – I needed it to be thick, black and straight – this hair piece did the job perfectly!