At one point in my needle felting I began to wonder how I could make the surface more interesting, so I began to experiment. I needle felted a mask using a large felted ball as a mold to help me obtain the curved shape of the mask. I felted the mask face as I’d felt any doll face but as I started to apply the colors of the face I became bored with the felted outcome. I decided to start the long, arduous process of embroidering the mask.
It took me several years to finish this project because many other projects became more important and I put the mask away, time and time again. Because of the tediousness of the embroidery I wasn’t excited to finish it.
As I progressed with the mask embroidery, the shape of the mask changed and I had to keep reshaping it. Getting the needle through the center part of the face was very difficult. By this point (above) I was anticipating adding color so the process became more exciting!
The mask came to life with the addition of each different color that I added. The more colors applied to the surface, the faster I worked!
I compare the many colorful thread stitches of my mask to brush strokes; the outcome reminds me of an impressionistic painting.
I sewed/glued a chop stick to the side of the mask for a handle; I felted a handle, embroidered it black and inserted the thread-wrapped chop stick into the handle. I sewed black beads around the mask to compliment the handle.
The feel that the messy, inside of the mask is as interesting as the outside! I’m looking forward to my next needle felted-embroidered mask and I’m sure I will finish it in record time!
Imagine looking chic outside in the cold, even in a hat!
The girl who’s always on her A-game wears a 1960’s needle felted/embroidered hat!
Straight out of Mad Men, the 1960’s Doo keeps you warm because its lined in fluffy fleece and keeps you looking gorgeous inside and outside this winter!
The 1960’s Doo is needle felted from wool, the details are embroidered and beaded onto the wool hat.
Wear a piece of art!
This needle felted hat took so long to make I lost track of the hours! The hair shape was felted and then hours and hours of embroidery started. I used varying colors of yellow and ochre to give the “hair” depth. The fancy headband was also embroidered and beaded. The interior is lined with fleece so that the hat is actually usable in cold weather!
It’s time to talk about costumes again; one of my favorite topics! I haven’t made many full costumes lately, but a friend of mine Sara Rabinovich is a master seamstress and is creating some wonderful Halloween/Holiday get ups! The wonderful thing about Sara’s pieces is that she designs them, makes the pattern for each piece and sews them together with finesse. I used to buy store-bought patterns for sewing, until I moved to Israel I was unfamiliar with the pattern-making process. If you can make your own patterns (as well as sew your own costumes) your creative possibilities double! Two of my favorite costume accessories are the crown and the Ruff. Sara’s black crown is based on the Gothic style: tall and pointed; this crown works well for a Halloween Goth princess but I also think it could be worn by the Evil Queen for an Alice and Wonderland themed costume. A Ruff (short for ruffle) is a piece to cover the tops of the gathered shirts worn in the 16th and 17th centuries. Sara’s Elizabethan ruff sits like a cloud around the neck; it’s made from black organza trimmed in exquisite lace. The ruff is adorned with hand-sewn white beads and the neck band is made from satin, so as not to irritate the skin. You can see many more of Sara’s fine handmade ruffs on her Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CostumeRenaissance?section_id=12065759.
The rest of this handmade costume make it suitable for a Goth Princess, a masquerade ball as well as elegant Vampire attire! The skirt is made from organza with layers of tulle to give the skirt a “lift”.
Hi! I’m still here, busier than ever even though you haven’t heard from me. I’ve been itching to do some felting but I’ve been working on my lullubee craft kits site (www.lullubee.com) , trying to prepare projects at least 6 months in advance. I flew to NYC last week to do a little business and to present lullubee on a morning t.v. show in Dayton, Ohio. When I returned to Israel, I had to continue with our annual Halloween party plans (jet-lagged) and finish my daughter’s costume for the party; she was the Corpse Bride. The party went well (according to the kids); there were many more kids this year because Elli wanted to invite both sides of her class (Israeli and French). Just remember, when decorating for Halloween, everything is scarier with lot of spiders and rats sprinkled over it. Here are a few highlights from the party:
I picked up a few Styrofoam tomb stones at a Halloween super store in NYC; I thought they worked nicely in the “garden”.
Once you enter, all the furniture has been covered in white sheets to give it that haunted house look. With the addition of a few black lights and a little eerie music, the illusion worked really well.
I like to add a lot of little details like this “horrible” bloody utensil garland, spiders, crows, cobwebs, changing portraits and dripping blood.
I picked up these changing portraits at Michaels Crafts. It appears to be a normal portrait, till you look at it in a different angle-Love it!
I didn’t have time to make the Halloween treats like last years, but we had a few things on the table that I think you’d think twice about eating or drinking…
The drink labels we put on the soft drinks were pretty funny, but I’m afraid most of the humor was lost to Hebrew and French speakers.
I put some of the props we have into glass jars filled with water and food coloring for a most “unappetizing” table of treats!
The brain jello mold is one of my favorite tools for Halloween food (it’s mostly a prop because no one eats it); those darned kids couldn’t keep their fingers out of it! I serve it with the desert saw.
I made a box shaped like a coffin and filled it with Halloween candy.
We all love Halloween around my house, but Elli and I love it the most! I love the creativity in the decorating and costumes and Elli likes the drama of it all and doing scary make-up.
I’ve just finished another successful Purim season (whewwww!) To try to explain the frenzy, as an artist, Purim for me is like Christmas craft preparation time would be in the United States. First of all I’d like to thank everyone in Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas for all the orders! I’ve been working like a donkey for a few weeks now, day and night trying to finish the orders in time for everyone’s party. Word of mouth has brought me enough to keep me busy and I usually take the special orders that involve needle felted accessories rather than sewn pieces.
I reconnected with some old customers which was really nice. I really didn’t let people know where I was or what I was doing after I closed the store because I needed to figure it out myself first! I decided to make toy making by needle felting my main priority but the costume gig follows me around where ever I go, which isn’t a bad thing.
Taking orders is a tricky business, I’m always afraid I’ll accept too many and then not be able to finish on time. I don’t accept any and all orders, I take jobs that interest me and I work with clients who appreciate the art of the costume. Many times, I ask people to call me back in a few days to see where I am and to give me time to re-evaluate my time situation.
Taking special orders freaks me out a little, I always feel much better when I know that everyone (especially the kid I made the costume for) is happy-if the kid is happy the parent is happy! I also love to receive photos of the kids in my costumes-I have a collection! I think next year, I’ll start to ask for orders in January so I can stay on top of things better.
The problem with deciding “what you want to be” early is that kids constantly change their minds. One week they want to be a tooth fairy and the next week they want to be something completely different , therefore early decision making is risky!
Every time I start to sew, I wish for……. a nice studio, with a window, away from my kids’ play room, and space for all my fabrics, wool, felt, tulle, tools, laces, trims, ribbons, zippers, snaps, Velcros, sponges of different thicknesses, bias tapes, metal and plastic boning, threads, iron-on fabric backings and hundreds of patterns to be organized. I wish for…….. a place for my little sewing machine, my iron and ironing board, my mannequins, my photo backdrops and lighting and hanging rack to sit and not be in anyone’s way. If I had my own organized space, creating would be so much easier!
After I finished the last costume order, I wandered aimlessly around the house trying to decide what to do! I decided to cook some food for my hungry family that I’d ignored for the last few weeks. I now have some new patterns to prepare for my Etsy site and special orders, I’m working on some needle felting tutorials for Craftsy and I have a fun project: to design several little boys’ kippas. So back to work…..