Dachshund Picture

So – this is a Wire Haired Dachshund Head study and I thought it would be fun to share the stages of the picture being made – so here they are! I started with a piece of blue plain felt and used 3 different browns, white, grey, black, tan and ochre coloured wool batting.

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I put the top, middle and ear first so I could see if the proportions were going to be right.

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Then I started to fill in some of the blanks

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I concentrated on a small area at a time, building up the layers to replicate the blend of hair and mix of colours on the face

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The nostrils were tricky because although they are black, the light reflecting gives them a white / silver sheen

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By now I was starting to feel happier with it – not totally, but I felt I had a grasp of what still needed to be done

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And Finally ……… the picture was complete – I will probably glue it onto a greetings card, or put it in a small frame.  Now, onto the next!!!

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Dachshund Picture

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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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 …………………….. 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.

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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!

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More Dachshund Bags

The Mad March Hare

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Innocent Slumber of the Needle Felted Wire Haired Dachshund

Ah the satisfaction of completing my little replica.  I watched our little mini wire Aldo sleeping and thought – that would be good to needle felt – so my needle came out and I started.

The base was pink – really harsh wool that enabled me to get the shape easily.  I made the legs and head separately and before I attached them I covered his tummy in brown Shetland combed top.   I then dressed the legs with a mix of Icelandic and Shetland top – cut into tiny pieces that I hand mixed to get the wild boar look of the coat.  I left the tops of the legs un-felted so I could attach them to the body and I used a long doll needle to stitch through the front legs so they stayed in the right position whilst I felted them on.  I then attached the head – still in its un-dressed state and looking really odd – the pink made it look like an alien!  It took a while to cover the body in its mixed wool coat and once done I added the tail and started on the head – that was very fiddly – adding eyebrows and a beard, felting on the black nose and doing a fine line for the closed eyelids.

When I was happy that he was in the correct sleeping position and his beard was well needled in, I put him aside and made the basket from Green Perendale batting.  The banket came next, a small piece of doubled Sherpa fleece (that I use for my real dog beds)  I embroidered a small paw print on one corner and overlocked it. 

I finally had my mini miniature – 5 inches long in a basket 6 inches wide!

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The Innocent Slumber of the Needle Felted Wire Haired Dachshund

A Dachshund and Mouse Tale …..

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Well, the needle felting bug has really got me.  I have been busy making  wire haired dachshunds and decided I was fed up with them “posing” so I wanted a bit more “action”.  Hence I made a little needle felted mouse with a dachshund crouching ready to pounce, eyes shining, tongue out ……..

The mouse is felted from Shetland wool with brown merino ears.  Its little black eyes are plastic beads on wire and its nose is black Icelandic sheep wool.

The dachshund was tricky as he needed a sloping back, crouching forward, open mouth and tongue protruding.  If you look very closely you will see he also has little white teeth felted into his bottom jaw.  I made his bottom jaw and tongue separately, needle felting the teeth and tongue into the black Icelandic wool, then attached it the rest of his face.  His neck needed to be a bit longer than usual because he is stretching to reach the mouse, his front legs are drawn back a bit under his body and his back legs are straight to provide the propulsion he needs to pounce ……

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A Dachshund and Mouse Tale …..