Sunday, August 26, 2012

Adding eyelid,lashes and whisker details to needle felt animals

 Above and below are two of my latest needle felt animals . The one on the left is my usual style and critter on right is with leather lids and lashes and a little shading on the "skin" . This is very much the experimental stage and still needs a lot of tweaking but these are some ideas that I have been wanting to try for a long time so thought I would share for you to take it in your own direction . Unfortunately, my usual low lighting is still a problem but if you click on the pictures you can see a little better detail .
 Below are some of the items I collected to start this experiment . What you will need...

 leather scrapes from recycled coats I bought and cut up from the thrift store .
Two sided tape from AXMAN both wide and narrow styles .
fingernail polish bought specifically to match pink skin tones
acrylic eyes
scissors or box cutter for cutting leather
brown/black mohair or alpaca for the lashes
A large or heavy book to hold leather strip
eyelash curler
hairspray or diluted clear drying glue( to shape lashes upwards)
 The first step was adding the two sided tape onto side of leather you don't want showing .
Then cut along the edges of the tape for a nice straight line .
if you are using a thin leather, you can forget adding the pink nail polish to the edge and cut out larger then eye and wrap around back of eye . If you are using a thicker leather........
 You can place the leather in pages of book as a clamp and with leather edge exposed add nail polish . just remember that it can drip and you don't want any of that on the front of lid so lean book in opposite direction . When it appears dry enough to not drip you can lay book down until it is completely dry <----(I learned the hard way that this is important )
 Next step is the lashes and this picture shows what not to do ! I cut a strip of the thin two-sided tape and added directly to the eye above where I wanted the base of lid . I then peeled off the paper and added some of the brown mohair leaving about 1/2 of tape to fold over and hold lashes in place and that sort of worked soon as I tried to trim and shape with lash curler , several of the lashes pulled out and I ended up with a bit of a mess .

Sorry no pictures of the solution but I basically took a larger then needed strip of the two-sided tape and taped the ends of it down leaving stick side up and placed a thinner layer of lashes on it . I then folded the sticky side on top of that (folding it in half ). That did work but next time I am going to try a thin layer of glue instead of folding tape over . you then cut to size and place above the line that will place the edge of the leather lid to cover the tape .
 The second two experiments were......

 shading using mineral make-up (instead of traditional paint in airbrush ). I did try using permanent markers for shading when I first started felting but I didn't like the crunchy rough texture that resulted . I thought some of my " never used" make up might make a more subtle result with out altering texture of the wool .

 second experiment was how to add whiskers "if" I ever decide far I like my animals better without them but I thought I might want to try it on some critters, some day . I bought some horse main? on Etsy and a beading needle that has a "hole" the length on the needle so is easy to thread .The needle is strnge enough to go through the wool but thin enough not to leave a big hole . Only problem I see is someone pulling on one end of the whisker could pull it all the way threw but hey.....Don't pull on the whiskers and problem solved . ( Although my goal is to make the most durable animals possible I don't think it is to much to ask that someone treat them as they would a living't throw them around the room, don't lift them by their arms or ears or pull on their tails or whiskers . )
That's it for now, more experiments to follow and hopefully, better pictures of my latest critters .

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