My doll is slowly evolving… And quickly being stolen by our resident kleptomaniac.
I was watching videos on YouTube about needle felting. There was one from Threadbanger’s ‘Man vs Pin,’ which you can watch here. There is Blood and swearing warnings.
Another video I watched was much more useful, and gave me a few tips that I didn’t know. The main one that will come in handy the most, was that instead of felting the inner stuffing from scratch, you can just wrap sewing thread randomly around it, to get it started. The inner, cheap stuffing won’t be seen, and it leaves plenty of space to actually felt layers on top. As you may see, I tried this, and it was so much quicker and easier, as well as getting rid of a lot of bulk, even if she does look like the worlds most misshapen body builder. I began needling in some of the bulges, so it’s a bit smoother beneath the next layer. I’m wondering whether I should use the felt sheets I have, or wait to see if I can find a skin coloured wool to use, next shopping day. I’m often impatient when it comes to these decisions, and decide to use the lesser quality materials, in case I leave it until pay, then forget about it, or spend money on something else. I’m in a momentum with this at the moment,
that I don’t want to lose. Perhaps to keep it going, I can make practice pieces, like I did for the eyes, but with lips, nose and hands.
Hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.
Knitted puffy bow!
Not quite how I had imagined it, as I wanted it to have more height. I forgot that knitted fabric acts differently to cotton, where squares make perfect bows. Its still cute, especially when I squish it sideways to be shorter. I also probably should have taken more care wrapping the centre so it looked neat. All things learnt for next time.
As for my doll, I began bulking out her arms, and defining the face a little. I’m not sure how much will make it through her skin layer, but thought I could at least block it in to see how it might look and how big I’ll need to make the facial features, etc. Also, making the dents for where the eyes go, so they don’t look buggy, might be a good idea.
I want to get a couple more colours of actual wool roving, as I only have red, and would like to play around using actual wool to make something nice. I’ve seen little felted cats made to copy real cats, and that would be great to do of our cats. So many embellishments and charms can be made with felting. It’s and excellent medium, whether done with synthetic, cheap materials, or pure wool roving.
Today I made an eye-ball. It’s a thing of nightmares, but it was all about the learning. After a while, I was just having fun. I might even add more eyes. When I was learning clay sculpture, my teacher got us to make a practice piece of facial features individually, which helps focus and practice without worrying about wreaking a large piece. This can be used for most arts.
This project was about learning how to put felt eyelids around beads to make it look like eyes. The character that I’m basing the figure on has completely green eyes, that’s why I didn’t bother painting irises and pupils on beforehand, as I don’t need to practice that yet.
Basically, I felted a ball, stitched pearl beads into the ball and pulled tightly, so they were slightly inset. I then experimented with folding felt and laying it on, using one layer, putting the bottom lid on first, the tried the top lid on first. Most of them looked sleepy, until I figured out that I had to push open the bottom lid nearly all the way. One had a bit of space between the lids, so I stuck some pink in for the corner of the eye, but it was too bright and looks weird. One eye has eyeliner added in pen, which made me want to experiment with shading and colouring. This might define it better, perhaps even adding glue to the areas that came out a bit fluffy.
Maybe I could try painting some eyes on, if all else fails.
I wanted to try something for my needle felted doll, so I tried out the technique by making a small ball.
I tried making a larger ball, but I didn’t do it right, and had to start smaller. I made a base ball with polyester filling, then raided my felt sheet scraps and needle felted them on. It worked out well, and the heart shape hole was actually a coincidence, left after piecing randomly, so I filled it in in pink. I definitely need to invest in a tool, so I can use more than one or two needles. It takes such a long time. It took me two and a half to make this and the mistake ball. It’s a bit tough to pierce the flat felt, as it’s already tightly compacted, but with a bit of work, it all lays nice and flat. This will come in handy when applying to the doll. I’ll probably felt the skin right on, then make removable clothing. Years of dressing barbie dolls should help with that part.
Instead of showing you painstakingly slow progression pictures of my needle felting, I thought I’d show you how that yarn, that I bought, knits up. It’s 4ply soft baby yarn (which looks a bit softer in colour than this), and using 3.25mm needles. Most of my knitting needles are on unfinished projects, or half in another dimension, so it’s rather slim pickings at the moment. I decided that I would make a small, puffy, knitted bow for a headband, as it didn’t need a pattern. Knit a square, sew into tube, sew ends of tube, after stuffing, and wrap middle with yarn.
To update on the needle felting, I did a fair bit of the legs. They still need so much work done, but they are mostly blocked in. There is absolutely no way this figurine will stand up by herself at the moment, and will need a whole load or wire to do so. Now would be the time where I decide to let her sit, or wrap her in wire before she gets too bulky and I can’t add things without them showing on the outside. I suppose I could use a doll stand that are used for displays.
Beginning to fluff my armature.
Just using polyester filling and blocking in the shape, slowly. It’s quite fun, despite being repetitive and risky, but I don’t mind menial tasks occasionally, and there have been no puncture wounds, yet. I’m not packing the stuffing too tight, as I’m not sure how to pose the doll/figure, and there’s room to change the proportion if it’s off. I can usually eyeball the figures proportions, but that’s usually with the skin on, and on paper. Pipe cleaner bones are a bit bendy and tricky to approximate. Of course, I could have measured, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, dolls hardly ever have realistic proportions!
I’m going to try covering the stuffing later with felt sheeting for skin. Hopefully, I can cut darts into it to make it fit without much bulk, but sculpting features as I go. I have no idea how I’ll do the hands. She was going to be a fantasy character, so she’ll probably be wearing some gloves. Hopefully, that will make it easier.
Remember how I said I like a challenge… Or the time I always bite off more than I can chew for a beginner.
I maaaaay have gone shopping again.
I found some black crochet cotton, which is surprisingly hard to find whenever I need it, so I picked up a ball. I realised later that I could make some more gloves whenever I get around to making the pattern. Trying to balance between all the crafts and video games is rather harder than I thought. But it’s all fun, so I can’t complain yet.
I picked up a few pipe cleaners/chenille stems for making armatures for a needle felting idea I had, then I got home and found an extra packet full.
I found an image the other day saying “Life’s short, buy the yarn,” so I went and bought a ball that I had my eyes on a few weeks ago. I have either used or lost a bunch of my stash of wool without realising, so it’s okay, I’ve decided. Also, it knits up so pretty.
I got a small photo frame that I wanted to trial as a small write on/wipe off board. I am sure I wanted to get more photo frames for the glass, but I can’t remember why.
In the variety store, I found some jelly moulds. I thought they might be good for resin, but when I looked at them, the plastic is too hard and there isn’t much detail, but this would make perfect plaster of paris moulds. Not that I know any kids, but this would be great for painting with them.
So… I went shopping today.
I only looked for three things, and only found one of those, but I suppose it keeps me busy and happy, so I can’t complain. A few years ago I would never have gone shopping alone, due to anxiety, so it really is retail therapy, as I’ve come such a long way from then.
First off, I got some Aida cloth. This is for a gift later in the year, so hopefully that all turns out well ;).
I got a bright paper pack on the clearance table, which is great because I had the same patterns in pastel, so I can mix them together and I knew I’ll make use of them, as I have the other pack.
I had been looking for oval dies for ages, and just when I thought all hope was lost, and I’d have to buy them online, I found them. I was lucky found them now because I designed a card for someone, that has to be made within a couple of weeks, and circles just didn’t fit right. It was hard to decide between these and stacking hexagon dies. They were lovely, but not as practical, and I knew it was just my emotions wanting them.
Other things I bought include; an A5 clipboard, kitty themed post it notes, small and useful stamps, chocolate moulds (I got for resin) that come with cute animal alfoil wrappers, a knitting themed notebook for knitting themed notes, and Christmas sentiment stickers that were on sale.
It’s probably more than I should have gotten, especially if I want to start saving for the massive craft market coming up in June, but it’s all craft supplies. The only difference is between buying them now or then.
Today, I had some ideas about needle felting
Before I began, I had to create a needle proof glove, that I had seen online, and since I had used the right hand of these gloves for a tablet glove, it worked out perfectly, as I needed a left hand glove. Basically all you do is put your hand in a position to hold the wool in, and wrap your index finger and thumb in duct tape. It works a dream! No tetanus, although it did get a bit sweaty and cramped up due to not being able to move the fingers much, but no tetanus.
The first idea involved felt dolls, and I was thinking about covering obvious seams by needle felting a piece of matching felt over it. Then I thought of sculpting the felt head after it’s stuffed. Then I thought (all in a short amount of time) that I could try felting toy stuffing, as it’s cheap enough to practice on, and I could make the bulk of the item in that, and cover in the expensive/coloured wool or felt. It worked just as well as the wool, and with the glove it all came together very easily. I wanted to see how tight I could get the ball by just felting. I didn’t finish, but there was quite a large handful of stuffing when I began. This could possibly make a nice centre for a play ball for kids. Since toy stuffing is generally kid friendly, and covering with fabric shouldn’t be too hard, also you can make it larger and softer for babies, or harder for older kids and pets.