Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring is in the air

Yes, you can definitely feel it, smell it, hear it and in my kitchen there is a sign . . . . . 
I'm so pleased with the new "reversed "barbs" needles I can't stop making the new needle felted Barn owls .
You can see the difference : both wings are needle felted with the "ordinary" needles and after that I used the Reverse needle on the wing on the left side. See how the colours blend in ? 

I particularly love the part around his head and on the chest. All fluffy and soft looking :-)
Here is Mom laying on her nest and Pa and the "real " stuffed :-( owl are watching the progress.
She needs a beak and the little dots on her feathers.
I couldn't needle felt the dots, the fluffy effect would be gone so I used Norwegian sock wool ( it's a mixed colours wool) and I embroidered the wool on the grey parts.
Here they are : Mom and Dad :-)
The only thing I have to do is attach her to the nest .
Doesn't she look happy and comfy ?

Helen X

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Barn owl wool :-)

I finally found the right colour wool to needle felt a Barn owl. I made them of woolfelt but never needle felted one.
I couldn't find the right colour, up until last week.
I only ordered a pound of each colour but the box was huge !
 Yummy yummy colours ! I immediately made a "test"owl and used my newly discovered  felting needles with inverted barbs.
These needles pull out wool and create a fluffy look and . . . . and ! you can blend the colours.
I needle felt very firm ( if you want to cut a needle felted animal I made in half, you need a chainsaw) ( Mmmm who would want to do that you might ask) because it's so firm the surface colours don't blend in that good. Now with these "inverted"needles you pull out the core colour and it becomes much more "one".
So, I'm happy and the owl goes to a very generous Birthday girl. ( I can't tell who of course)
Because she is but half an owl I put her in this box and I like the way she is taking a peek :-)

Helen XXX

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"how to " make the panel-mouse

You will need : piece of wool for the head, piece of wool for the leg, felting needle, eyes,  little piece of skin-coloured felt, eyes ( 4 mm. ) thread ( white) pipe-cleaner, scissors, piece of cardboard
 You roll the piece of wool for the head in a egg-shape, one side more pointier.
Poke until it's firm-ish.
Poke the tiny piece of skin-coloured wool on the pointy side ( nose)
Like that :-)
Forgot to mention : super tiny piece of orange wool
Poke it in like this to form the mouth and nose-stripe
Until it looks like this . . . . 
Put pins in the head to determine the position of the eyes
Check from all sides if they are symmetrical
Put the thread trough the eye
Stick in the needle in the place where the eye will be and come out with the needle in the back of the head
Pull a bit and knot the string on the back of the head ( you can needle felt a bit of wool over it to hide the knots.
Work the other eye the same way
Cut ears and needle felt a bit of fluff on
Poke the ear on the head
Squeeze it a bit together to make it a bit folded
Work the other ear the same way ( check if they are symmetrical) and I put a bit of blusher in the ear, looks good :-)
Cut a piece of the skin-coloured felt for the leg and cut fingers
Glue the pipe-cleaner on it
And wrap a piece of the white wool, make sure the fingers bend a bit otherwise it looks funny.
You can stop now and wrap the little one in a blankie ( if you don't have eyes you can sew a little stripe for the eyes and it will look as he is asleep )
Get the piece of cardboard and draw a half circle around the head, like this
Cut it out and colour the inside black ( I used a marker) , I left a little white on the right side for the effect but you have to stick the finished mouse on something where the light comes from his right side ( for the proper effect)

You cut the leg so it's as short as this .
Tadaaaa meet Hank !

( by the way, the light comes from the wrong side, the effect is better if it comes from the other side)
So, I hope you all like this and I would say: go go go ! make lots of them !

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Little sillyness

I found this little mouse today, this was really my first needle felt attempt.
I stumbled upon Natasha Fadeeva ( http://www.fadeeva.com/ ) 4 years ago and was totally in awe of all of her critters. The mice and the cats were my favourite.
I've never heard about needle felting before and had no idea what it was all about.
Her cats are mostly knitted and I thought, well I can give that a try. I emailed Natasha and she was so very sweet to mail me a pattern of the knitted cat. I bought some fluffy wool and started to knit.
Mmmmm, didn't work. I can knit a sweater as long as the pattern consists of squares, square front, square back, square sleeves sewn together and voila: a "sweater".
So after endless research on needle felting on the internet I bought needles ( in a shop where they sold supplies for making dreadlocks) and I started my first mouse. I copied Natasha of course and this mouse was my first :
It had a terrible body and I put it away in a box where I save my "attempts".
I think after about 8-9 months I tried again and made this Pinky:
Well, to get back at the mouse, I found it and I thought her little head was cute, so I cut of her body, glued it on a piece of black cardboard and glued the whole thing on the skirting ( I'm not sure how it's called in English, vertical boarding ? )
Silly isn't it :-)