Sunday, February 24, 2013

Felted Friends--Puppets and Puppet parts

 Meet Don.  Don was named by my youngest when she was home from school with a tummy bug.  Don was just a head on a stick at that point.  I was busy felting fingers and hands while my little girl watched movies with a bucket at her feet, just in case.  During the scary parts of the movie she would ask to hold "Don" (he really was just a head on a stick at that point! :)  He was good company.

His hands and head are 100% needle felted wool.  His robe is handwoven fabric from my collection.  It's a cotton warp with recycled yarn for the weft.

 Here's Don playing at the piano.
And here's the latest individual to join my needle felted collection.  I've been calling this head "Marlene".  She has features that remind me of all sorts of people I know.  Her hair is pulled back in a french braid.  Her hands are small--so dainty compared to Don's!   I've been toying with the idea of making her outfit to include a pullover vest.  Right now she has joined the other heads in my collection and is just awaiting the right moment to be finished.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guitar Strap

This pile of pieces is what I finally got to work on today!  My daughter got guitar strings for her birthday last month and she has been practicing regularly with the big guitar on her knee.  I promised her a handwoven strap...I even found a strap in my stash--it's based on one of the samples I have and combines an open weave like huck with a inkle-like central band...Even better, the strap is pink, which is a favorite color for my daughter!  
The challenge from the last couple of weeks has been the acquisition of the metal slider piece.  The strap is 2.25" wide and most slider pieces I have found max out at 2" inner diameter.  After consulting with my co-workers/volunteers at Conner Prairie and searching in vain at the thrift store, I sent a schematic to my husband to see if he had some scrap and could make a piece.  He could and did! 
 Hooray for people with tools and scrap metal!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Needle Felted Friends

 To the left are the pieces of a needle felted doll.  The body parts are all loosely felted to a "cubit" standard. (Check out this post about human proportions by a cast bronze artist, David Lemon.  The cubit is the length from the elbow to the tip of the fingers.  In adults, it is roughly 18".  The human body is about four cubits tall.  I've learned that I'm not so good at creating felt creations with the cubit standard!)

 The pieces get felted together--leg pieces together; arm pieces together.  Then they are attached to the body and clothed.  This piecing technique comes from Ruth Lane's The Complete Photo Guide to Felting.  The upper leg and lower leg are stacked one on top of each other and felted just enough to hold them together.  Then the leg is wrapped in more felt to help hold the pieces together, but maintain flexibility.  In the case of the legs, I used the brown alpaca fibers to do the wrapping and made the pants at the same time.
 After all the pieces were attached, including the head, my creation posed with another felted face--a star.
Here the star and an unfinished "weeble" (anyone remember the "weebles wobble, but they don't fall down" toys?) take a break.   I wonder what they've been saying to each other.  :)