Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I've been a bit busy lately..................

getting ready for Eastbourne Christmas Open Houses. I was very lucky to be offered a place in a really nice Art Studio and Gallery in South Street. Of course, as soon as I had accepted a virus intervened and slowed down production to almost nothing. As these things always happen, once I'd recovered from that,  I was asked for three red Santas to go to the USA in time for Christmas! I did wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew, but I set to work:

and made these, with lots of embroidery and embellishment:

and finally, tired and with sore fingers, I arrived here: 

and in between, I made a couple more items ....................................

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Meet on the night of the full moon..

I had it in mind to make another related pair of figures, but this time masked and hooded and conspiring at night.

"Meet on the night of the full moon, by the old town wall at the usual place".

I sketched out a rough idea first.

Then I made the collaged fabric, sorted out patterns and sewed and stuffed the figure and needle felted "the wall"..

And began the embroidery.

needlefelted the headdresses

made the moon

needle felted  and wrapped the tree

and tried out an arrangement of the pieces.

This didn't change much from the original idea. I still have the faces to paint and then to fix the bits onto a base.

Monday, 24 August 2015

More wiring..................

Still using the plastic covered garden wire. This time for a cheerful granny who enjoys cleaning!
She has copper wire spectacles. Her lightly sculptured cloth head has applique hair and hand painted features. She wears a hand crocheted cardigan that matches her socks.

Granny holds a feather duster in one hand and a brush in the other. She wears a printed cotton skirt and a white apron.

Her arms and fingers are poseable.

Here's a full length view. Although she has arthritis, she is still sprightly. She wears white cotton bloomers and stiffened felt boots and she stands on a lightly weighted cork base.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


I was trying out a different armature, green plastic covered garden wire, and a quite different design.
First of all, this little dancer. She has wool wrapped arms and legs, a needlefelted body and cloth head and hands. Her skirt is felt, her petticoat is felt and tulle and her boots are stiffened felt. She carries a wired, wrapped and needlefelted bouquet.

The arms and fingers are poseable:

People always want to look under the skirt:

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Decide on a background....................

I've made the components:

Now I can't decide whether to paint the base, or leave it as it is.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Day 6

Beading finished. 1 hour.

Features painted in. Half an hour.

I could finish it here, but I'm not sure. Should I make it male or female? Eyebrows, hair, beard? I'll put it to one side for a bit while I think about it. So far, this has taken nine hours and 40 minutes! I'm not sure I want to time any more of them!!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Tree Day 4 and 5

Finish embroidery back and front. 2 and a half hours.

Day 5. Beading to the front one hour.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Tree Day 3

More embroidery.

Trelllis stitch on a foundation of buttonhole. Detached chain. French knots. Straight stitch.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Tree Day 2

The piece has been stuffed. The face padded and needle sculpted, then stitched on. 

Embroidery begins.

The base has been covered and stitched on.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Tree's company

I'm not sure how this is going to work out. The plan is to make a tree-person. I used two different fabrics, brown for the trunk and green for the crown. Layered onto ecofelt and embellished with scraps of chiffon fabric and wisps of wool sliver (roving).

  Reinforcing the embellished fabric with preprogrammed machine stitching.

 The pattern, cut out in paper. Much the same as usual but with a bigger "head dress".

 The shape outlined with a marker and stitched on double fabric ready for cutting out.

 Shape cut out with pinking shears.

 Turned inside out ready for stuffing.

And I will need a thick cardboard disc for the base.

So far so good!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

More face saving and a surprise

People often ask "how long did it take you to make it?" I can never give an answer, so I timed this one. It took seven and a half hours - partly because I decided to change his upper lip - partly because I was experimenting with a recently acquired reverse felting needle that does exactly what it says, pulls some of the fibres back out again to make fur. I thought it would be useful for blending and for "facial hair". It was. Often people find it irresistible try to "do" the ...needle felted hair on my strange concoctions and, of course, as soon as it is attacked with a comb or a brush, it starts to come out. I made shorter hair with this. So, anyways, I reckon without experimentation and alteration, these little things take six hours. Clearly, if I was selling them and wanted say ten pounds an hour, plus materials, plus some value on design, skill etc. etc. unless I was Tracey Emin these would be unmarketable!  Timing myself on this one certainly gave me pause for thought!

Work in progress here.

 Back view.


Friday, 10 April 2015

Saving face..............

I find needle felting faces quite difficult but I keep trying because I think, especially for small ones, I can get more contoured features than needle sculpting.

So, I've been trying to improve my technique.

They are on a base of 2 layers of felt with a stiff interlining between. I put a brooch pin on the back of each. I'm not sure what I will do with them, possibly mount them in box frames and make them removeable.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Footloose and fancy free!

I made new feet for the owl. I think these look much better. Before he looked as though he was sitting on a spider!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Not a slow worm this fellow.....................

he's a speed freak!

 I made the worm a while ago in response to a challenge from ADO - anthromorphic. I always intended for him to have a vehicle of some sort. He is needle felted on a wire armature and he has a knitted scarf.
I found the wheels for his vehicle in a stationary department. They are erasers and they come to pieces so I could sew them on like buttons. For the headlamps I made the blue felt balls and added the yellow and grey afterwards. The steering wheel is stiffened felt and has a plastic washer inside.
His car is made for a pair of slippers I made for a doll and rejected. I turned one inside out, put one inside the other and stuffed the space in between. I knew if I kept them I would find a use for them!

A Worm in a Car was inspired by someone I know!