WIP – A Flower Painting

I have been looking for full time employment since I’ve been back from our holidays.  In between job hunting, I have been felting and blogging.  You can start reading about the places we went to since the beginning of June.  It’s on my other blog.  I believe there is a link on the sidebar.  We started in France and the rest is a bit of a roller coaster!

I have been putting my hand to wet felting.  It is like painting, but with wool.  I have amassed a nice collection of different wools to play and experiment with.  Interestingly, each type of wool has its own characteristics and is better for some things than others.  Merino wool is supposed to be great for wet felting with.  I haven’t wet felted with 100% Merino wool yet.  Corriedale is meant to be great for dry needle felting (2D and 3D) and the Merino is meant to be great for wet felting as the fibers are thin and long.  Merino is also very soft.  Some manufacturers make blends.  Needle felting has opened up a whole new world for me, and also jargon.

So far, I have wet felted exclusively with Corriedale wool which is a bit more coarse and with shorter fibers.  So far, I have learned that it wet felts very quickly.  I am guessing that is due to nature of the shorter fibers.

My current work in progress is based on one of my drippy flower paintings.

IMG_5264Here is the painting after wet felting for the second time.  First I used Corriedale as the bas, and then I used a mixture of Merino and Corriedale for the colors I needed.  There was a slight issue with some of the shapes going askew and the colors not being vibrant enough, so I needle felted into the painting to tidy it up and added some extra leaves.  My edges also got really thin, so I tacked on some extra wool.  I then wet felted the whole thing again and got the above. My painting spread out quite a lot and I think that this is a characteristic of the Corriedale.  This piece measures 12 x 14 inches.  I started with 12×12 hoping it would shrink down, so I need to work out how to improve on that as I have been following the instructions (there are different ways!).

The next step was to do the free stitching.  I found some colored sewing thread and embroidery thread cheap at the charity shop and topped up at the haberdashers.  I get a bit scared of the free stitching as you don’t use a foot on the darning plate.  Anyway, here is what I did next.

IMG_5305I just sat at the sewing machine and went for it.  In my acrylic painting, the flowers are quite abstract, with swirls of paint in each flower to show movement.  Here was an opportunity to do something different.  The next step is to add some detail with the embroidery thread without going over the top.  Wish me luck!  It’s been a long time since I have done any type of embroidery! 🙂

Needle Felting an Owl

I was looking at various felting tutorials and randomly came across a tutorial for an owl.

Downloads2If you know what you are doing, this will only take about half an hour.  As usual, I always watch the videos before doing the tutorial.  In this instance it was a good thing as I was able to make some adjustments that turned into an afterthought on the video.  Most of the time I don’t always have the exact material as to what is used in the video, so I tend to wing it! Get it?! Ha!  In this case, I added a bit of wire to the base of the owl to make him more bendy.  There are no legs here as it is meant to be used as an ornament, or sitting on a nest.  He fits in the palm of my hand and is a few inches.  I used some lovely topcoat that I bought from the fibre fair I recently went to.  The hairs are very long and soft.  I had to cut them as they were so strong when I tried to pull a piece of roving.  I think it would make a lovely knitting yarn.  Anyway, it does make great fur or fluff.   Owls don’t have fur, but they do have fluffy looking feathers.   There are so many different ways to make owls as there are so many different types too.  Making the eyes symmetrical is a bit challenging, but he does look cute with his crazy eyes.

Generally I am not into cute art.  Not that I am a serious artist, it is just that the cuteness factor doesn’t really cut it with me.  I like folk art, but I don’t think of that as being cute, like a puppy or kittens are cute.  However, when it comes to needle felting, cuteness counts for me.  How strange!  I am aiming to try and make something every day, so I best get cracking.

Needle Felting Animals From Cookie Cutters

I went to a local Fibre Fair this weekend.  It was a lot better than the craft fair I went to with my daughter.  There were some local artists and crafts people (mostly women).  It wasn’t a big event, but I went and looked, learned a few things and got inspired.  I think I spent most of the time chatting to everyone.  There were some very talented people there.  I bought some wool.  How surprising! Ha!  It would have been rude not to.  I bought some Romney wool from Kent.  It is a chunky batt sliver and will make a good base for future critters.   I also bought some nice white top coat.  The most fun thing I purchased were these Wensleydale locks.

IMG_4784These are hand dyed and will make great elements in a felted painting.  These locks are so much nicer than the dyed locks I purchased from another supplier.  OMG, I actually sound like I know what I am talking about!  That’s the funny thing when I start something new – I always learn stuff.  I am learning about sheep and all the different types of wool.  Considering that we have a lot of sheep near where we live (and it is lambing season now, so cute) it would be rude not to learn about them.

So, after I had a look around the fair and got inspired, I went to the shops and did a few errands.  I found some cookie cutters in the shape of jungle animals in the pound shop and had an idea to make some brooches.

IMG_4781Yes, you can felt things in a cookie cutter.  These are only 2-3 inches tall.  They still take a lot of stabbing (technical term).  I saw a demo using a heart shaped cookie cutter to make a garland.  I made the giraffe and elephant quite thick because I wanted the neck of the giraffe and trunk of the elephant to be quite sturdy.  Once the critters were quite firm, I embellished them.  I added tails to the giraffe and lion, an ear to the elephant and the rest.  I just googled pictures of the animals.  I think they look really cute and would make a fun brooch or a mobile as they are as light as a feather.  I only worked on one side as they will be turned into brooches.  My daughter asked me why the monkey looked angry and I told her he was having a bad hair day.  I might try and turn the giraffe into a llama as they have a similar shape.  I will be keeping my eyes peeled for some fun cookie cutters next time I go out to the charity shops and such.  Hey, I just thought they could also make great fridge magnets too!