Fall is here

The leaves started to change colors around the Chicago land area.  The sun is also starting to set noticeably earlier, which is what I dread the most.  I’m glad I have my new hobby, as now I find resolve in the darker hours of my days.  So to keep me in the spirit, I thought I would try a bit of some fall things.  Everyone was out making pumpkins, so I thought I would try at one as well.

I took the ideas that you use string to help press in your groves, but I didn’t have string, so I thought I would try what I did have and that was embroidery thread.  I had gotten some to sew together the binding on my travel needle book.  It took a couple of tries to get it to stay in place.  It turns out that embroidery thread is very slick, so it moves around a lot.  But I borrowed a couple fingers from my husband and got it stay a bit where I wanted it.  Some areas were larger than others, but hey, pumpkins aren’t perfect right?

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So I only had a little bit of orange left, I had to do something to make it stretch.  So I used living felt lemon peel and then laid (what I’m guessing is) living felt Mango over the top with a hint of (again guessing) of hot orange in places to give it a bit of stretch marks.  Or at least, that’s what I was hoping for.  I’m guessing at the colors because some came in a goody bag, and I don’t have labels.  And the spring collection that my mother had given to me isn’t labeled either.  So I try to match as best as possible when I have the color in hand.  My goal, is to just give you an idea of the process I go through.

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So once I felted each slice in (and I felted in an extra slice so I have an odd number vs the even number you get with the string), I started with the stem and I used a cheap-y brown I had left over and in laid a bit of sage (I have a ton of sage wool) to try and give it a dried, stem look.  Then I tried a sample of the sheep locks I had gotten with one of my Living Felt orders, and I only had really bright colors.  So I figured the yellow would be cute.

The husband thinks I should add a leaf, but I tried making a leave last spring and it was awful, and I mean, who honestly keeps the leaves on when picking pumpkins.  I don’t know if anyone actually has grown pumpkins, but their leaves are huge and the stems usually have to be cute with a knife or hedge trimmers to actually get them off.  Plus, I’m bad at making leaves.  So I’m going to leave my leaf making to another project.  Maybe watch some youtube videos on it before I try it again.

There are a few things I would like to try differently, but given my lack of color choices, not bad.  I definitely need to just suck it up and make an order.  But I want to make sure I have some projects in mind rather than just randomly ordering a bunch of colors and racking up a bill.  I also need to figure out where I’m going to store all my wool.  I’m a little OCD when it comes to organization.  Right now I have everything in two plastic tubs in my kitchen and each wool is in it’s color ziplock bag.  But I think I’ll need to figure out a better way.  I may need a larger travel bag as well.  So any idea’s on storage or organization for a little felting spot in the house would be greatly appreciated. 😀

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It’s that time of year again to start thinking of Christmas gifts as well.  I have a lot of ideas in mind, but I don’t know whom I’m going to get for the grab bag that our family does.  So I guess I’ll just idea something up for everyone, and whomever I don’t get, I’ll just give it to them for their birthday.

Yellow!

pikachuSince  I took a break from Slowpoke, I was thinking that I would do a Jigglypuff, since you know, I’m really good at circles.  But then my mother donated her wool that she wasn’t using (it’s not really a hobby for her), and in that collection was yellow.  It wasn’t really a yellow needed to make my husband his Abra, but I could definitely make a Pikachu!  Besides, that’s more of a mascot for Team Instinct anyways.

So I’m using Living Felt Merino Batt Lemon Peel?  It came in the spring collection color set, and they don’t really tell you whats in there.  But that’s the closest I can match it too.  Butter cup was a close color match as well.

My husband felt my frustration with the Slowpoke, and since he is a gaming expert, he felt he should help.  I think he just felt bad because he played his video games all day long (not that I mind, that’s more felting time), so he wanted to spend some time with me.  So he made an armature for me.  He’s definitely not use to making these, nor does he have any clue as to what to expect once the wool goes on, so there were a few unexpected mishaps I had to kind of adjust to.

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Rule #1 to Armatures, don’t make circles.

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As you know, I’m really good at circles, at least without armatures.  But I find putting this beautiful shape (that’s not really a shape) into wire, makes it really hard to fill in the middle.  So around and around I went until finally, I just squished it together and told my husband he is never allowed to make circles on an armature again.  He saw the process, he understands now.  So Pikachu is going to be a little larger than we anticipated.

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cheeto puff arms with a bit of pipe cleaner to hold them downward

I also learned some new tricks with making shapes stick better.  Add a pipeclean, or fuzzy stick. *laughs* I think my tail turned out really nice!

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I’ll be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the face.  When I put on Pika’s cheek color, it took down the cheeks.  My husband says I’m being to hard on myself, but that’s just who I am.  I have to remember, I’m still really new at this, and everything right now is a learning experience.  I’m also happy my eyes are on the same level, I seem to have trouble putting things on not crooked.  Getting there though!

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This took me about 10-11 hours.  Again, I was bad at keeping track of time.  I’ll have to find me an app where I have to clock in and out between project times. I think my next project will be something for the holidays. Maybe pumpkins… do I have any orange?

Felted Book

I have been doing a lot of traveling lately.  Being a competition groomer, means that I take long trips to these trade shows, and I spend a good portion of the weeks leading up to it, preparing dogs and making sure they are all cleaned and they are packed for the weekend adventure a head of us.  So that makes it a bit hard to finish projects.  It made me think though.  Since I had a good amount of down time between dogs, I had some time to felt, but didn’t take any of my things with me.  So I’m on a seek for a good bag to take things with, and I also came up with an idea for a travel needle cushion.  Oh and in case you were wondering, I took first place in poodles entry.

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To start, my brother in law brought back a couple of note pads from his trip to Mexico.  They had this wood covers, and I thought those would be perfect.  They were sturdy enough to keep the book shape and stop anything from bending.  So I took them off the spiral bound they were on and measured out some pre-felted sheets to make sure I knew what my canvas size was going to be.  I later found, I should have left room for the padding for the needles, but I made due.

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After I made my design, I sewed the back piece on so that it would pocket the wooden covers.  I was nervous about this, because I’ve never sewn before.  But I’m actually pretty proud of how it came out.  I left the inside of the front cover open, because I want to get some magnets to hold the two covers together.

Doing the back, I used the spiral holes to help secure the magnetic clasp that’s going to hold the two covers together.  So I worked the top closed and then made sure the wooden cover was exactly where I wanted it, and I sewed it all in.  I completed all four sides on the back, and decided to take out the padding on this side, because it wouldn’t close right.  I just need to work the clasp now.  I would like to felt in some of the color of the front cover so it matches in pretty well.  But I’ll save that for later.  For now I like where it is, until I have some magnets to get in there, I can’t actually finish it off.

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I really like it.  Especially since this is my first time work with a 2-d felting project and my first time sewing something together.  I gave it a test today, and my needles made it with me to our destination and back, without needing to constantly pack up.  I can also use the book as a needle cushion, I made sure to add enough padding so I could stick them in there when I took a break or needed to set my needle down.  Now that I’ve kind of adventured with my tools, I think I can start to do the dogs that I’ve been wanting to do.  I’ll need to experiment with wool tops and do a bit more reading for the different types of wool I could use for the coats.  I might play with batting, practice sculpting in shapes and what not.  I also need to order eyes and probably noses for the dogs.  But I need to figure out what’s a good size for those.

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A bit more research, and I think I’ll have my first dog done.

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