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

Inspirational Birds

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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.

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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.

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Inspirational Birds

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

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

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 …..

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:

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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!

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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!

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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!!!

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He is tired of posing now!!!

 

More Dachshund Needle Felting