Magical, Mystical, Felting

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.  

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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!

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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!

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Magical, Mystical, Felting

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.

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 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!!)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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Making The Miniature Pinscher

Complete – Castana the Witch

Well I finally completed my doll and I decided she would be a witch.  I made her a lilac flowing robe with purple sparkles adorning its billowy skirt and a rope belt.  She has a purple satin choker with a single pearl at her throat and a beautiful ceremonial cloak made from black crushed velour with purple satin lining.  It has a draped, lined hood and round silver fasteners on the front. and a pentagram embroidered on each front panel. She wears  a traditional witch’s hat and black velvet slippers.  She is 75cms tall and her hair is raggety purple strands cut from the purple satin that lines her cloak.

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Complete – Castana the Witch

Doll Making

Well ……………….. after lots of heavy duty sewing on trolley covers and leather leads…….. my hands needed a rest so I turned to my first love – doll making!   So –

Here she is.  “Jessie” in all her finery.  Jessie herself is made from heavy off white linen.  Her outfit is all shades of lilac and cream – matching underskirt in pale lilac, top skirt is soft, swirly cotton and her jacket and hat are deep purple cotton with the contrasts being made from the skirt fabric.  Her elegant scarf is from the same flowery, floaty material and her super soft shoes are faux suede.  Her facial details are hand embroidered and her hair is soft, crinkly baby wool.

Jessie stands a statuesque 75cms tall 

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I thought it would be fun to take you through the steps of doll making so here is my current one in progress – I will add more pictures as I clothe her and give her hair and a face!

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Doll Making