Saturday, 26 May 2012

General things and Needlefelt Hedgehog

I am always doing or talking about random (that's on trend!!!) subjects as well as fiber crafts I know but that's because my interests are so varied and I do like to let folk know that I'm not just some boreing ol' fart, who doesn't have any other strings to my bow or should that be bows??
Some of you may know that I recently aquired a greenhouse which has been put to good use this spring. If you remember, apart from the last few days, the weather in our area has been pretty poor to say the least, in fact I was beginning to despair of ever getting any decent weather!! So when the greenhouse was sited, it was almost immediately filled with trays of seeds, pots, cuttings  and all those good things.
Now, most packets of seeds contain hundreds, if not thousands of seeds, which invariably sprout and grow on, ready for pricking-out into bigger trays and so on. Well you may be able to guess where this is going....I now have the equivalent number of plants for which I need to find garden space !!!
I have runner beans, broad beans, planted out and just about starting off up the strings. marigolds in every nook and cranny not to mention literally thousands of Anthirrhinums coming on !! Sweet williams, Wallflowers, tomatoes, Lettuce, Spring onions and loads of trays of Beetroot.
Some of these trays of plants were recently put outside to 'harden off' and were doing great 'til last night, when the so-called 'breeze which was forcast, turned into a full-blown gale!! causing untold havoc...trays over-turned, established plants shredded and broken. Well, I have managed to salvage most and the wind has now died down somewhat but it's pretty disheartening, wouldn't you agree!!

The false eyes post generated a lot of replies offering solutions and useful feedback...thanks to all.

On to the Hegehog.
At the moment he looks like a monk hedgehog, with a patch on his back devoid of spines!!
I'll post this now and later I'll stick a couple of pictures up and give a brief description and how-to!!
Thanks for reading thus far, Phill 

One hour later....

OK I'm back with the pics and I've watered the seedlings, Oh! and by the way, the ind has dropped to a whisper!!

 In the picture above you cansee the hedgehog, the working area and the felting needles as well as the lengths of wool I'm using for his spines.These are around 3 1/2 inches long, it just depends on the size of your project and what looks right.
 The body is made from polyester wadiing as discussed in earlier large ball, one half that size and one in the shape of a cone for the head!!

 I started with the underside and used a lighter colour which was used also as a 'fringe around the head and edge of underbody.

Use whatever colours you prefer, try one with really funky , flouro colours, use wooltops or rolled yarn for the eyes and nose. Add all sorts of features such as spectacles and goofy teeth!! Have fun with it1

 Now you can see why I called him monk hedgehog!!

 And the portrait!!
I've just realised that i neve told you to fold the yarn in half when making the spines!!! Just fold in half and needle the bend into the wadding base, simple as that.!

Have you met my little dog?? Friends, Igive you Jack, the laziest dog in Wales, possibly the world!!

I hope you have fun with this project, it's a nice easy one to start out with, if you're just beginning with needle felt and if you are experienced, it perhaps gives you a little inspiration.
Have fun, if you need advice or help, just ask, I will do my best to advise you. And if you would like to comment, I would appreciate that too.
Thanks for reading and see you soon, Phill

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The eyes have it!!

To my regular readers, this post has nothing to do with fiber crafts!! Its with regards to another love of mine which is Papier Mache....I know, it's nothing like my felting stuff but it still has the same artistic merit...I hope!!
This relates to a little problem I was facing, which was the making of eyes, more to the point, realistic eyes. It's possible to buy them online but difficult to obtain eyes much over a couple of inches and those are really only available from specialist taxidermy shops...and run into a lot of pennies!!! So, I was hunting around for ways to make my own and came up with what I think is a, not too bad a solution, using clear plastic spoons!!!
Before you fall over laughing, have a look at the picture and let me know what you think. They are set in a plasticine eye socket!

The yellow one, I bent abit using hot(very hot) water, then painted the backs.