Of Mice, Dogs and Witches …….

So, the felting continues.  I am blessed that people seem to like my creations and purchase them so I can continue making more!  They are great fun and absorbing to make and a change from making functional items like dog show leads and beds!  My latest three are:

a little mouse in an apron, holding a piece of cheese

a trotting wire haired dachshund

a new witch to replace the one that is now in her new home!

The mouse was great fun to make.  I needle felted her around 2 pipe cleaners to keep her legs straight and used a pipe cleaner for her tail, which also keeps her standing steady!  I machine sewed her little apron, felted a flower in front of her ear and felted some bright yellow Perendale wool batting for her cheese …… I used pink nail varnish to colour her black polymer clay nose and I used a long doll needle to stitch her whiskers through, then dabbed them with a bit of glue to keep them in place.  The whiskers are Icelandic Top Wool.

_DSC8001

Mt trotting wire haired dachshund has been in my mind for a long time but every time I tried it, the leg positions looked all wrong.  So, after several attempts I completed this red, which I am moderately pleased with.  I looked at lots of videos and pictures of dachshunds moving and found a really good video of a European Champion that helped me finally crack it!

_DSC7999

The witch was a pure indulgence.  She literally took weeks to make.  Her body, arms and legs are all sculptured from Shetland wool batting and her face took a long time as I knew how I wanted her to look ………….. she had several heads before I settled on this one!  Her skirt is beautiful – wet felted merino wool.  Her top is fine gauge tulle with purple merino wool nuno felted on.  Her cloak is black velour with a purple satin lining and has a hood, purple ribbons and 2 Pentagrams embroidered on.  She wears a crescent moon bracelet and a moon and stars necklace.  Her hair is needle felted in and is a mix of Icelandic Top Wool and synthetic hair extensions.  Her broom is twigs from our garden, bound with brown plaited leather.

_DSC8004

_DSC8006

_DSC8007

_DSC8005

Of Mice, Dogs and Witches …….

More Dachshund Bags

Well my 2 Green Dachshund Bags are winging their way to their new home in New York

L1003705

 …………………….. 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.

L1003720

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!

L1003722

 

More Dachshund Bags

Inspirational Birds

L1003699

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.

L1003699

L1003700

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.

L1003697

L1003698

Inspirational Birds

The Mad March Hare

blog-15

A friend asked me how I made this hare………………….. it is kind of hard to explain so I took pictures as I went along – hopefully this will explain how I made him!  I used lots of pictures of hares to help me and I found his head particularly hard to do – I made the head 3 times before I attached it (finally)

First of all I got my wool and needles ready – I added extra wool colours later – grey, black and 2 different browns.  I got an assortment of needles out – larger ones for rough felting the shape and finer ones for the detail – some inbetween ones for bits like the ears.

blog1

blog-2

He started life as an onlong shaped piece of wool batting from the second bag from the right and I started to needle the piece until I saw the shape I wanted emerging

blog-3

Next I felted his 2 back legs from 2 more clumps of batting.  I rolled them into shape, bent them at the foot and knee joints and felted them for a long time to make them keep their shape – just wool, no wire or armature – then I dressed the legs and feet in their first coat of top wool and started to needle in the first coat on his back

blog-4

blog5

I then made the tail and started mixing the colours for his thick, back coat and added the white hairs that go up his sides

blog-6

Next for the front legs.  These are long and straight so I used fine chenile sticks (pipe cleaners) to wind the wool round before I felted it.  I then attached them to the body, felting them in hard so they do not come loose.

blog-7

Next for the head and this was really difficult to get the right shape and to felt it onto the body at the correct angle.

blog-8

blog-9

blog-10

I did not felt his head too firmly yet as I needed to add the eyes – to do this I made holes with a bradawl, and glued the eyes in place.

blog-12

blog-11

Adding the colour and texture to his face took forever – white around the eyes to define them, then a fleshy nose, different shades of brown, grey and black to match the contours of the face and of course, some whiskers to stitch in.  I stitched these in with a long doll needle so that they cannot pull out easily – I secured them each with a dab of glue.

blog-13

blog-14

I carried on felting over to make sure his top coat had the right mix of colours in and then I made the ears (forgot to take pics of this as I was so engrossed!)  Then I felted them on to the top of his head, leaning backwards slightly, edged with white hair and with the classic black stripe and tips.

Finally, he was done!!!  I hope you like him and enjoyed my guided journey to his completion.

blog-15

The Mad March Hare

Making The Miniature Pinscher

Well ….. the wind is howling and the rain is lashing down.  The dogs were all asleep so I started needle felting a Miniature Pinscher.  Not an easy task when it is only going to be small …. 11cms (4 and a half inches) long and the same high.  So I got out the wool and a range of needles – thicker ones for the body felting and finer ones for the legs and face.

min-pin-1

 Usually, I make the body first but as the legs are quite fiddly, I did the front legs first, using fine chenile sticks to felt the wool round, making sure the outsides were black and the inside of the legs red (as observed via Googling lots of Miniature Pinscher pictures!!)

min-pin-2

Once the legs were eventually felted, I made the body from black roving and felted the legs on.  To make sure they are secure, I stitched through them and the body with a long doll needle and black thread, then used black wool to felt over the stitiching.  The body needed quite a lot of felting as the tummy tucks up and the dog actually looks like a wedge shape in real life so I had to slope the back down and the tummy up.  I then felted over the black chest with a band of red brown roving with a fine black line down the centre.  I left the neck mostly unfelted because it needed the head making and attaching.

min-pin-3

min-pin-4

Next for the tail, which was felted around a small piece of a fine chenile stick so that I could bend it appropriately.  The under side of the tail is the red brown, the same  as the inside of the legs and the chest.

min-pin-5

I felted the tail on, making sure it was firmly attached and bent at the right angle.

Next for the head.  I rough felted the shape which was incredibly complicated because the breed has a full face, finer muzzle and eyes that are sort of facing forwards.  I messed and messed with this – starting over at least 3 times!

min-pin-5b

Finally, I added the eyes – small black beads on wire, which are glued into the head after making a hole in the felt with a Bradawl.  I then felted around them with a fine line of cream batting to give the impression of eyelids, which are slanting upwards from the corners.  Next I added the red brown colour to the face and under the chin, glued on the polymer clay nose and felted a fine black mouth line underneath.  I felted a flat piece of black and overlaid it with a fine layer of pink, which I used to cut the ears from, attaching them so they stood high and pointed on the back of the top of the head.  A little more felting and a bit more wool added to give the neck the correct width and strength and he was finally finished.

He took about 5 and a half hours to complete.

min-pin-8

min-pin-7

Prior to making him I made a pretty Chinese Crested, using the same methods as above

_dsc7600

Making The Miniature Pinscher

More Dachshund Needle Felting

Well the long winter days have to be filled so I carried on felting ……….. in-between sewing, making leads, quilting, making trolley covers and embroidering!  So – here they are:

_dsc7512

The pink one featured in my previous post.  The next one I did was the green one, with his coat and hat on.  I rough felted some polyester toy filling to get his shape.  I then covered it in Perendale batting.  I used Merino for his eyes and nose and was itching to try and felt over to make him a coat and hat.  I worried about that as I did not want to ruin him but once started, there was no going back so I ploughed on and was pleased with him in the end!

_dsc7514

Next I wanted to sculpt the “sitting pretty” dachshund.  That was a challenge!  Getting the back legs to look right (and look the same) was tricky but nowhere near as difficult as the front paws and the head leaning to one side!  He is made completely of Perendale wool which felts well and leaves a fairly smooth finish.  I added a colourful scarf to give the whole figure a bit of fun!

_dsc7513

Now I had done a few I wanted to try my hand at a little “wirey” person.  I bought some wool roving in different colours and mixed it a few strands at a time in short pieces to give the “wild boar” look to the coat.  It was painstakingly slow but to do it any other way would have looked “stripey” so it was a case of plodding on …………….  I covered him all over in a brown undercoat and felted the top wire in 10cm strips ……. lots of coffee was consumed during this part!   With the finished shape completed I enjoyed adding his eyes, beard and eyebrows and am pleased with the finished piece.  Am hooked and will be starting another one soon!!!

_dsc7530

_dsc7520

 

 

_dsc7535

_dsc7524

_dsc7528

_dsc7532

_dsc7534

_dsc7526

_dsc7536

He is tired of posing now!!!

 

More Dachshund Needle Felting

Raspberry Pink Dachshund on a Windy Day

pink-dachs-2

So …………………. I mastered wet felting and was pretty pleased with myself!!  Never having tried Needle Felting I kept looking and researching and decided to give it a go.  Next step was to purchase a needle felting kit and wait impatiently for it to arrive.

download

Then to decide what to make and to choose the wool.  Living with dachshunds is sort of all consuming so I decided to make (yet another) dachshund, slightly comedic, and in a jazzy colour.

 

I made a sort of oblong shape and started felting with the needle – and it began to take shape – the wool for the dachshund is Perendale Batting – beautiful to work with. The eyes and nose are purple Merino, beautifully soft and a luscious colour.  The scarf is a mix of odds and ends.  I wired the legs and feet so he is poseable and I wired the scarf (that was tricky!) so that it looks like it is blowing in the wind.  And here he is – “Waldo” The Raspberry Pink dachshund!!!  It took a while – lots of needle felting in the evenings …………………………. it was great watching him  come to life!!!

pink-dachs-2

pink-dachs-3

pink-dachs-5

pink-dachs-1

pink-dachs-4

Raspberry Pink Dachshund on a Windy Day