#283

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Time flies, when you’re stabbing fun. I was going to have an early night, and all.
I wanted to make another cat, so I made a pipe cleaner armature, and tried to cover it with some fluff that I’d made from some variegated brown acrylic yarn. It was probably too small or something, as it was too tedious, even for me, and I gave up for now.
Instead, I began using the fluff to make a ball, then practiced making some thin shapes, that I had trouble with previously, and they looked like bunny ears, so I attached them. The acrylic seems to knot quicker and tighter than the wool, so it might be why smaller shapes are easier. Once I got to this stage, tearing myself to bed, I decided it would be so cute to make a little girl bunny with a light blue or red dress. Maybe I should do both and have sister bunnies. I like how the different shades of brown show in different areas. This wouldn’t have happened if I had continued brushing the yarn, and let it all mix more. It slightly mixes the colours as you work the felt, so I didn’t bother beforehand.
I did a little more work on my doll, making her more feminine with a nice figure. She still looks crazy and her feet are facing sideways for some reason, but it’s slowly progressing. I haven’t found any wool that I can use as a skin tone yet, so I could try some yarn, as its easier to find colours in that. I think I even have some around the house, somewhere.
Time to sleep, so I can craft and game more tomorrow. Night y’all.

#282

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I made a cube!
Every time I start a project, I think of two more. It’s like a never ending pyramid scheme of creativity. I’ve had to start writing down ideas, more than usual, so I can continue with each project. Tonight, I had about four different felting objects that I was switching between because it’s fun and keeps me going. I’ve been wanting to get out my clay, but that would involve cleaning, and space, so I just tend to stick to felting which doesn’t need much room or setup. Perhaps I’ll get to clay when I’ve thought up enough designs that I can just model them without the thinking in between. I’ll have time on the bus on my way to gym to write out ideas. Otherwise I’m usually crafting, gaming, or sleeping.
I recently stopped my game design course that I was doing, and thought I would have nothing to do, but I’ve spent more time being able to create without feeling guilty that I should be doing homework. It’s definitely improved my mood, and creative flow.
Creativity begets creativity.

#281

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Kidden charm.
One day, I will buy some neutral wool, and make some cute cats and miniatures. Until then, here’s an orange and mustard tabby, with blood red nose and weird mouth.
I saw a video showing the process of a needle felting kit for a cat keyring. It was cute, but I thought it was a bit big for a keyring, and wanted to make a smaller one. I can’t seem to get the ears  to work as easily as the video, although they skip any time consuming parts. It seems to take a lot more effort than they show, and a lot less blood loss, despite them holding the needle right at the end so they have no control!
Guess they just make it look easy.
I ended up sectioning off too much orange wool, so decided to try making a ring. Unfortunately, my finger size crossed with orange wool made the ring look exactly like a burger ring, and made me hungry. I don’t even like orange, or the feel of wool, so it was just a trial. Delicious looking trial.
I also made yet another ball. This time using a plastic stencil to felt a heart shape on it. It worked rather well. Using the same concept as the cookie cutter, but being careful not to stab the hard plastic, in case you break the needle.
I also began another orange/ginger cat. This time as an ornament. I have a curled up cat figure and wanted to make my own version. Took ages to just make two legs and the tail. I still have to make the ears, which hopefully will work better this time.
I hope I’m getting better at the needle felting. It seems like I’m still getting an awful lot of new finger wounds.

#280

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No, I haven died of blood loss, I’ve just been experimenting with needle felting, doing small projects that aren’t very documentable.
I had to take a break from stabbing to make a card last night, for my partners brother. I had no idea what to put on there. My partner came up with a ‘simple’ idea, which was more elaborate than the one I made. It took about an hour, which I created while waiting for a download, so he could go to bed.
I don’t like making cards too close to the giving, as I like to use wet glue to adhere a lot of pieces, or glossy accents, both needing at least two hours to dry, but preferably 12 hours, for the glue to cure. This ensures it has the strongest bond it can, before going into the envelope and being jiggled around. I love me some PVA.

#279

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I ended up going with the no-research approach with this bowl. It’s working out rather nicely, but isn’t finished yet. I used a small container as a mould that was clear, which ended up being useful, as I could shine light through to see any thin spots to bulk up.
I can’t seem to get the pieces to look nice and smooth and non-fluffy or holey, if it’s too compacted. I’ve seen many pictures with nice, smooth finishes on them. Occasionally you see people trimming off the fuzzy bits, but it doesn’t seem to completely solve the issue for me.
Maybe that research would be a good idea, after all.

#278

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So, I think I have the needle felted ball mastered by now. I’ve attempted to branch out into stars and bowls, but my repertoire is still limited. I made the star using a cookie cutter, placed on my sponge, and filled with wool. Then, stabbing, and flipping regularly, so it doesn’t get stuck to the sponge. When it was sturdy enough, I took it out of the cookie cutter, and reshaped it into a star, rounding the edges as I went.
The bowl doesn’t seem to be progressing well. If you remember a while ago, I told you that I had a ball of stuffing that failed… Yeh, this is what it’s turned into. The ball failed so hard that it’s now a container. I tried to harden it, so it was at least sturdy, but the stuffing doesn’t seem to thicken like the wool does, at least, not without hundreds of hours of pushing fibres in, then pushing them out again. I decided to add some wool as a layer to help things along. It certainly thickened the bowl, making it sturdy, but it has shrunk, and become a little deformed. Not to mention, all the fibres from the outside are being pushed inwards, so if I push them back, I’ll get white bits all through the nice colours. I’ve been trying to push the innards down, but its all a mess. I keep working at it, hoping it’ll all work itself out, as I think of more ways to fix it. I think making a wool one from scratch might be useful. Either beginning like a clay coil pot, and working in snakes around a base, or perhaps finding a ball shape to use as a mould. Then again, I could look up a tutorial and stop trying things without prior knowledge. I guess that’s why I spend so much time on things, I forget to write down results, or don’t research fully, then I begin at the beginning. Both learning from others, and beginning from scratch are great ways to learn. One, adding my creativity to known techniques, the other, discovering my own solution to a problem.
I hope that makes sense.

#277

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Fluff!
Well, now that secret Mother’s day business has bee taken care of, I have a short amount of time to do some playing around crafts before the next birthday rounds.
I found myself in a variety store today, then found myself buying two wire dog brushes. The other day I mentioned carding wool, and thought I’d pick up some brushes to try it, while I found them cheap.
Firstly, I tried brushing some yarn to make some felting materials with (this is the pink fairy floss looking pile.) I wrapped the wool around my hand and cut one end. Leaning the lengths on my leg, I brushed with the dog brush to get a pile of fibres. I had to use the fine needle, as the heavy needle wouldn’t go through the ball at all. I used acrylic/synthetic yarn, and to my surprise, it acted very different to the wool roving, or felt. I figured I had more colours in yarn, and it’s cheaper than wool roving, so it’s another way to gather supplies. The pink actually came from a ball with pastel pink, yellow and blue in it. Its much softer than the wool.
The darker ball of fluff was a mix of all the colours that I had in my pack- blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, and green. I don’t know why I thought it would seem more brown. Maybe from a distance, but I’m still thinking in paint mixing. It doesn’t seem so in the picture, but it’s rather purply, but you can still see strands of each colour in it.
Here is the video where I learnt about carding, and it’ll explain it better than I can.

#276

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So, quite a few crafty things happened today.
First off, I found myself in the newsagents, looking for some inspiring supplies, maybe even look for a knitting or needle felting magazine to look at. There wasn’t much in the way of anything but scrapbooking and card making. There was one cute one with a birthday themed embossing folder, and mini stamp set to match, but it was rather specialised, so I put it back. I then found two large packaged magazines, each promising a large amount of items for a smallish amount of money, certainly less than it would have been worth for the items alone. I couldn’t decide which was better, so I bought both. This was a good decision, as the one I was thinking to put back ended up with a huge amount of gorgeous fairy stamps inside. All up, I received seven sets of stamps, four magazines, some paper, a pile of card bases, ribbon, quilling paper and tool, cutouts, rhinestones, templates and a small baggy of gold glitter. It all made me feel a little less guilty for spending the money.
I spent a large part of the day needle felting. I made some beads (small balls), balls (medium sized balls) and worked on the face of my doll (small balls on a larger ball.) I learnt a couple new things on YouTube, such as when adding detail, stab shallower, but more, so it doesn’t all just cave in on itself. Another thing I learnt was that you can wrap the wool around objects to create tubes and shapes to help build up features. I also found out what carding is (mushing various wool with brush things to make roving or a batt of wool.) I tried this in small scale with a cat hair removal brush and the jeans I was wearing. It worked ok, but since I mixed dark green and yellow, and it isn’t paint, it looks a bit mottled, but I still like it.
I’ve begun adding skin to my doll, and it looks like a diseased zombie. I used a mustard colour to add the bumps, and its peaking through in some places, which is icky. I’m worried, as the wool is already thick and getting hard to puncture, even with a fine needle, and I have a lot of work to do on the face.
I decided the other day that I wanted to make a meme about crafting upsets, and things, so I needle felted a mascot for this, I just need to photograph him. Although, now I know a bit more about making faces, he could do with some brow bones.
The five needle tool, that I spent a bunch of money on yesterday, is quite annoying. It has a safety guard that seems to limit movement, and doesn’t help stabbing injuries, unless you were to hold the needles side on (which doesn’t happen,) it had a loud piece of metal designed to keep the needles in place, but it bangs every time the needles go in. Even with five needles, it doesn’t seem to do better than one without the handle. I had to replace the fine with heavy, and add my original needle, with a lot more notches, to get it to do anything practical. Even then, there’s not a lot I can use five needles on in small scale. I should have waited, and got the three needle Clover on that I had my eyes on, but couldn’t find. It won’t go to waste, especially if I do any bigger projects. I really need to put nail polish on the ends. There is no easy way to tell each felting needle apart, and is recommended to colour code each type.
It’s so nice to be able to concentrate on craft for a while. If only I didn’t have so many projects that I’m torn between at the moment. My house is getting messy again.

#275

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Bye bye money!
At least I shouldn’t need needle felting supplies for a while. They had no choice for colours, but at least it was a six pack and worked out cheaper than individual colours at the other store I go to. I got a handle with fine needles, and a heavy needle refill pack. They were pretty expensive, but I figure it’s an investment, reusable, and refillable, so it works out in the long run. Also five needles has to be quicker than one!
Amazingly, I discovered that I had barely any black felt in my big box of felt. This shouldn’t surprise me, as I love black and it matches everything, but my felt collection is quite large, so it was strange.
We passed a lady selling beads and handmade bracelets. Well, we tried to pass, but failed miserably. We spent ages picking out beads and bracelets, getting ideas and talking to the lady about her work. We spent more than we should have. You can look at some of her work here.
Other than that, I stocked up on plain white card, and bought some charms for a secret project. Couple of hours, and soreness all round, but nice haul. Now I need to sleep to have energy to play with my new, pointy toys :D.