Monday, October 20, 2014

Little needle felted beaver

I'm making a little beaver with wings, and I thought I'd show a bit of the process.

There's the beaver. Then a shot of the two wings. The top one is done-ish and the bottom one is half felted.

Once finished with both wings, I roughly attached them to the beaver's back. Notice that I left the tails of the wings with rough felt. That loose wool I can use as glue to felt into the beaver's body and wrap around the base of the wings and felt into both parts to attach everything together. I leave a good amount, I want the wings to be nice and stable.

Don't be afraid to add some extra felt to adhere the wings either, you want the fibers that are on the wings to go deeply into the beaver, the tangle between fibers needs to be nice and tight.

And once it's done, you get my last pictures, beaver with little wings!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Needle Felting: Rubber Duck and Bluebird

After felting a few of the cats, I decided to try to do something different. I figured a bluebird and rubber duck would be fun and I had a lot of these colors, so I went for it.

The bluebird turned out pretty cute!

What this? A cat paw?

Nooo! Destruction of the bird! (And cheeseburger I made for the Binx cat) Oh the humanity!
Note: Cats adore wool, that's why a lot of people who felt also make wool felted cat toys.

But don't worry, the bluebird was rescued safely and is just fine. I think he looks really cute. 

The rubber duckie was next. I wanted to make him with a really silly expression. The beak was hard because my needles weren't the best. I hadn't bought small needles yet. So at this point the beak was rather big. So big I had to felt in a bunch of extra felt on his tail so he wouldn't topple over face first!

Lucky for the duck you can't see the extra felt on his tail because I felted it in so tightly.

Look at that cute expression! He just wants to be picked up and held! I do like the way his beak turned out. It's big and cute. I've since touched it up with the smaller needles so it does close a little more on the sides.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Needle Felting - The Fifth Cat - Gordon

I feel proud of this one! Gordon turned out really well, clipped ear and all! I finally got the ear proportion correct and the felting as tight as I could with the needles I had. I later found out I had only large needles, and there were much smaller needles available.

The back legs and tail were finally built up very well. I learned how to put extra felt around the tail so the tail was attached tightly to the body after more reading up on felting. I also learned the technique of felting with my needles at an angle instead of straight on, which helps felt colors on more evenly with fewer stray hairs. 

Kendall had to make an appearance during my photo shoot.

Without the added fish I made. I worked hard on the face and eyes, using tiny bits of felt with my large needles to get such details. It took a lot of work and a lot of patience was needed, but I like the look I got.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Needle Felting: The Fourth Cat - Binx

I got a lot better! I watched a lot of youtube videos at this point and realized I needed to work on how tightly I was felting. Once I gave myself permission to felt and realized over-felting would be very difficult, I was able to achieve much better results. 

You can see the back is still too loosely felted. It looks a little lumpy. The head, neck and back transition is not smooth and later I went back to smooth this out.

I did get a very good detail work in the legs and arms. I tried make Binx look like he was sitting really cute and for the most part, I got the look I wanted. I noticed the black felt didn't show the details of the arms, so I put some dark red felt in the edges so it would make a little contrast. You can see that from the camera flash.

Later I made a tiny cheeseburger to go with Binx. You can see Vivi's paws here, she likes to try to eat wool Binx.

Once again, though, I made his ears too big. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Needle Felting: The third cat - Kendall

This time I have a in progress picture. I was getting a lot better at the faces of the cats as I tried to make Kendall in cat form. The ears? Not so much. The ears are way to big!

Look at the eyes and the mouth! Not bad! The ears look like fox ears, so they really do need to be smaller. I intend to redo her ears some day so she looks a lot better.

Side view. I was figuring out the tail, arms and feet. I used thread on her paws and whiskers.

Back view to show that I was learning how to get the colors attached so they stuck correctly. It takes a lot more work than I thought at first to get the wool to stick. Everything needs to be well felted, not mildly felted.

This is what my shelf looked like. I was putting all my felted critters up on one shelf.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Video games

I had this dream a while ago, but it's stuck around long enough that I figured I should write it down.

Now and then I have dreams that are heavily based on video games and TV shows.

This one started out with me in a race. I don't run in real life, I'm slow and clumsy, but for some reason I was fit and I was going to run a marathon. The gun went off and I started running hard, and in seconds I had out distanced everyone in the race. It didn't make sense, until my inner dream narrator told me I was doing the race wrong. It wasn't about running, it was about twitching each muscle of my body from top to bottom in sequence. Only then could I move forward.

I told hubby about this part of the dream later, and he said it sounded like a video game. Thinking back on it, it was like some terrible NES game where, instead of just running, you had to punch buttons in order to get your runner to go forward. Push left leg, now right arm, now right leg, now left arm, over and over. Terrible game!

It took me a bit to get used to the muscle twitching, enough time that everyone else in the race twitched their way in front of me. Seeing as I wasn't going to win, I decided to look around.

I was going through a perfectly square cooridor of a kind of castle. It immediatly reminded me of what I would imagine the castles Mario went through in the old NES Mario games. "Your princess is in another castle, but wander down this perfectly straight hallway first!"

I wanted to keep going, but there was a moat in the way, and I couldn't run over it. The viewpoint of my dream shifted and I was looking down on my dream like it was an old school RPG map, and I was a sprite. I could see the castle, and my goal, and I was myself as this glitchy sprite next to a moat of 8-bit rendered water.

I could see a bridge over the moat but I couldn't go over it for some reason, so I went back to where the race began, and my point of view shifted to first person again and everything was no longer 8-bit graphics.

I was in some deep swamp area, with some old huts and campsites. I'd visited this area before on other dreams. It's at the end of a massive lake I tend to have nightmares in. When I have dreams about this area, I'm always searching for something and it always gets hot and miserable.

It was no different this time. I looked for whatever would get me across the 8-bit bridge, and slowly I woke up. I woke up in the midst of finding a canoe to go out onto the swamp part of the lake to search the cattails for whatever I was looking for.

It was a dull sounding dream in a way, but it was also unsettling. I saw myself outside my own body, and I ended up in the list part of my dreamscape. Also, I must be obsessed with old school games for some reason. Weird.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Needle Felting: The Second Cat - Jimmy

The second needle felting project I tried was to make Jimmy as a cat. It... didn't work well. His ears are terrible looking and I didn't felt him well at all.

As you can tell, the tail is tightly felted, but the colors are attached to him very loosely. I hadn't learned yet how to attach colors.

The back needs less improvement than the front, I was getting better at details, but still, I was learning. It doesn't look like Jimmy at all! My husband pointed out that the cat ears would look best if I made them and then attached them to the cat heads, so that was my next attempt.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Needle Felting: The First Cat - Ara

Recently I took up the hobby of needle felting. It's where you poke raw wool with special needles and the wool fibers become intertwined. As they get intertwined, the wool becomes like a sculptural form that you can manipulate with the needle. The more you poke with the needle, or "felt," the harder the wool becomes and the sharper the angles you can get.

Wool comes in a ton of colors and you can make a bunch of shapes.

So this was my first effort. I tried to make Ara, my eldest cat. So I picked a nice grey wool and tried to make a kitty based off a design from Molly Makes, a magazine I picked up.

For a first effort, it turned out pretty good! Not perfect by a long stretch. Now that I've been felting for a while, I know that this kitty needs a lot more felting and the shape is bad overall, but it's a cute attempt.

I will share the next kitties I made soon.