Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Experimenting on the weird side

"Women spitting fire"...I actually made this small bag several months ago and put it aside to consider what I wanted to do about the mouth...I didn't like the shape of the mouth I had originally made, so I had ripped it out and now have an inch of red fiber in it's place . I thought I might redo it but I kind of like her she is...distressed and spitting flames .
This is one of several experiments using some teddy bear eyes I had bought several years ago . I'm still not sure what to do with them, but this is my version of "giving someone the hairy eyeball" .

Obviously...alien/human hybrid dedicated to Fox and X-files..."I believe" . .....that I need a lot more practice making faces .

Thought I would fancy up the "smelly balls" with some needle felt "eyes" . They are actually easier for me then trying to felt around the teddy bear eyes . I did spray one with some Ax my BF got for Christmas and it does still smell great after a week, next I will try it in the car to make sure it actually does make a good "scenter ".

I've seen several needle felt rocks but they are always gray Being an agate/rock hound from childhood...I wanted to make some that are as pretty as the agates I find on Lake Superior...(wish I could find some this bright and big ). I guess they could also be used as pin cushions but I just like looking at them . Two of them are suuposed to llok like they are inlaid with turquoise surrounded by a rim of silver . One of them didn't turn out very natural looking but still kind of fun to look at .

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shepherd's Harvest..."Where the wild things are"

This little dragon looks exactly like I did when told it was "bed-time" . He doesn't seem to appreciate his tie-dye footie(and wingie) PJ's or his matching braided hat...he just doesn't want to miss John Stuart show .

In spite of his pouty exterior, he is generally a good natured dragon with a Romney face and soft merino needle felted outfit .

Shepherd's Harvest count down to fiber deliciousness

Alpaca "man" has his own needle felted toy .
This was a bit of a break from my attempts at making "realistic" animals as I let myself wander into the more imaginative world of beasts . The face is needle felted from Romney and the body and arms are alpaca with Merino for the "human legs" . In other words...he is a "mutt" , bit of this and bit of that . He is one of my largest creations so far which also meant a bit less blood loss as I find it much easier to sculpt large then to do miniatures .

A simple summery necklace of stretchy crochet with colorful merino accent balls . It can be adjusted as a multi level choker or longer laureate style .

Another crochet necklace with merino accents, an easy way to add summer color with any casual outfit .

Hard to see size perspective , but these are actually a little larger then a chicken egg . I needle felted these using Romney and merino layers on a black leather cord that can easily be adjusted for hanging length. They are intended to spray with your favorite scent and be hung in a closet, from a car rear view mirror or on a bed post . (After adding scent, do be sure to keep them away from animals and small children who might think they are meant to be chewed on .)
Eventually, I hope to add my own line of scents with these but I know there will be at least one vendor at Shepherd's Harvest selling herbal products that will probably have some nice scents that can be used with these...."Smelly balls" (sorry ma, I couldn't resist) .

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two new sites for needle felters and craft lovers


This is actually two great links in one . (Actually am putting it here so I can find it myself...I have about 1,000 book marker/favorites now and can't seem to keep track of all of them) .

The original link is to "Craft Gossip", which has great craft tutorials and links to other crafters blogs and this particular article has a link to the felter..."Gourmet-Felted" from Etsy, who does some of the most amazing animal felts and has some great info about how to felt on their blog . I just found some info there about using wire armatures that I am interested in trying .

So, if you need to spend some more time on-line, check out these cool web sites .

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shepherd's Harvest Needle felt contest ...Alpaca Women

Alpaca women is in love with the small wonders of life...moss, stones, bark, bones . (she is holding a tiny bird skull I found, boiled and painted with glow in the dark paint about 20 years ago . ) I would like to send her to her new home with a bag of such goodies and hope that her new owner would add their own small daily finds to her hands, which are meant to be an alter of "Awe" .
As to her construction...whew, human bodies in needle felting are much more difficult, for me, then clay . There are some advantages, like easily changing the appendages posture with a few pokes of the needle and no muddy hands but the body alone took over 20 hours, another 3 for the Alpaca head and 2 hours to add the dress which is beautifuly dyed Merino from Copperpot on Etsy.(http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=14584598)... In other words, not something I could afford to sell often . This will be a very limited series unless I learn some techniques to speed up the process. As is, I used a 40 needle, Merino for the body and dress and Alpaca from Northstar Alpacas ( http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5001683 ), over Romney for the head . Perhaps would have been wiser to use Romney for the body but I prefer the softness of the skin with Merino .
A bit of trivia...the head was inspired by the beautiful Sonata (mother of JR) of North Star Alpaca...You can see her and her gorgeous son here....( http://northstaralpacas.blogspot.com/2009/03/school-day-for-jr.html ) I believe it was her fiber I used , a beautiful silky auburn

Friday, April 10, 2009

needle felted cuff with bit of natures "bling"


I'm not a beading addict but I sure am a fan of pretty rocks . They are what inspired me to make this beaded needle felt cuff . This was actually my first attempt at "not" starting with a piece of wool to felt onto but just using merino to create a free form shape . It actually started life as a neck warmer that I made to short(ooops), so cut into 4 sections and felted a bit more to "mend" the cut ends . I'm not sure about the names of the green stones are but think they are mangnivite (or some such)...whatever they are, I love the way the pop on the magenta .

I had originally thought I would add a button to this but liked the convenience and softness of just felting the two ends to each other . Took a bit longer to make that way but sure feels good .

braided needle felted bowl for large "Emu" eggs

This was an experiment....

I made some felted large "emu size" eggs for my mom's birthday which is just before Easter but couldn't seem to find a basket I liked to put them in . I haven't learned wet felting very well yet, so decided to try going "old school" and make a braided basket of wool roving .

For this, I used two different blends of Romney that I got from a shop on Etsy..Fleecemakers...(http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=107081 ) . I took two 6 foot strips of sherbet and cream and one of autumn spice which I put in the middle . I clipped all three roving strips with a large chip bag clip and put that on top of a 6 foot cabinet . Then I began the braiding, being sure to keep each strand separate, (they do want to get tangled so you have to keep separating them . )

When I got to the end of the strips, I even them out a it and tied a light knot . For the large basket I needed, it took two of these 6 foot sections . I then coiled the first strip around a large Tupperware container and began needle felting . I used a size 40...which I use for everything but would go much faster if you have a larger needle or more then one . Just be careful not to poke so hard into the plastic that you break your needle . I poked from every angle, moving the bowl around as I went until I had an even looking wide tube shape . I then coiled the second 6 feet braid into a spiral on my felting mat and felted that together (adding a semi felted roving oval that I had lightly felted to the shape I wanted . ) I, gain, felted from all angels,. to make sure the fibers were bond to their neighbors . I only lightly felted the edge of this oval because I wanted some loose fibers to bind to the "tube" body of the bowl . I then put the bottom onto the body and more mad poking ensued . From start to finish, it was about 6 hours of work .

I think that you could also sew the braids together to get a different shape before you begin needle felting and might even be able to put in washer to wet felt but haven't tried that yet . Sure would speed up the process but might lose some of the braid detail, so depends on the effect you are after...braided look or more blended colors .

As mentioned, I use Romney not merino for this so it s not "soft" but keeps it shape well and felted faster then merino which I will experiment with next . Stay tuned .

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shepherd's Harvest "alien pod" needle felted jewelry

I did actually finish something this week , my alien pod necklaces attached to needle felted "rope" necklaces . I embellished them with some of my favorite stones of carnelian, flower jasper, picture jasper and what ever the green stone is ......I looked through all my Etsy orders and can not seem to find this stone ,(although I did manage to spend another $60 on crafting supplies...I have no will power). I recall it was dyed "M" something . I may have to go ask on the Etsy forums, some of those folks really know their rocks .
Anyway, I do like the results and they are comfortable to wear . I tied one of the felted ropes and the others I added a wire wrap of copper with silver plate toggles . The pods themselves are attached using beading wire .


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