Halloween is pretty much my favorite holiday, it’s creative and fun and it inspires me; this year I’ve needle felted several Halloween puppets. Most of these puppets were time intensive and they have lots of details; I want to share some of my techniques and thoughts about needle felting faces in this post. Not all portraits have to be photo-realistic, cartoon techniques and-caricatures are also good ways to make needle felted portraits. My needle felted portraits tend to be realistic. NOTE: This is an advanced project but it can be simplified. This puppet is not a toy because of the hair and eyes which can be choking hazards for children. If you wish to make a puppet as a toy, needle felt the eyes (don’t use glass or plastic eyes or fake eye lashes) and felt the hair firmly so it can’t be pulled out.
These puppets can be used for puppet shows and they can also be conversational pieces of sculpture for your home or business.
For the holidays, I’ve designed a needle felted winter scene and several needle felted ornaments that utilize NEW FELTING TECHNIQUES!!! The first needle felted project is a winter scene…..
Needle Felting with Angelina fiber
This beautiful winter scene of three pines trees and two snow covered deer use Angelina fiber in the creation of the needle felted trees.
Angelina Fiber: This fiber comes in all different colors and can be blended with many types of textiles; when heated it bonds with the fibers creating a beautiful shiny, sparkly effect. You can find this Angelina fiber here or here. These shiny fibers are the perfect extra little something to make your felted creations festive!
Materials list: 25g. green wool, 4 felting needles, sponge (felting surface), .05 oz. green, .05 oz. white, heat bondable Angelina fiber, felting handle, 100g. poly fiber-fill stuffing (pillow stuffing), thread, iron, glue, paint brush, white glitter.
1. With sewing thread, bind poly fiber-fill stuffing into a cone shape.
Approximate Poly fiber-fill/wool breakdown:
Large Tree: 45g of poly fiber-fill/ 9g green wool
Medium Tree: 30g of poly fiber-fill/7g green wool
Small Tree: 17g.of poly fiber-fill/5g green wool
2. Cone ready to felt with green wool.
3. Felted cone (tree). Needle felting is the art of sculpting raw wool with special needles. The needles mesh the wool fibers together, creating a firm and durable form. This craft is surprisingly simple and fun!
4. Felt (poke continuously ) the wool covered cone with the Angelina fiber; it takes patience to felt the Angelina into the cone because it’s a little unruly.
5. Felt the white Angelina fiber (snow) on last.
6. After the Angelina has been felted into the pine trees set your iron to the silk setting and use an ironing cloth while ironing the Angelina fibers. Iron for only a few seconds.
7. Felted, ironed Angelina tree; the fiber changes color once it’s ironed. The finish is stiff and a little “crispy”.
Felt the trees in different shades of green for a more interesting look.
8. Paint a little glue onto the deer; sprinkle with white glitter.
Add white or silver glitter to a few deer, rabbits or other foresty friends to make the winter scene come alive 🙂 Put them on a silver platter and use them as a holiday center-piece.
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”.
I’ve just returned from Budapest, Hungary, inspired by the beauty of the city and the many creative crafts from the Christmas market. Even though Budapest is a modern, vibrant, European city, you can still experience old world artistry in everyday life there; in a way it’s like taking a trip back in a time machine! From quaint, wooden subway ticket booths, real leather hand-holds in the trains, a very large array of architectural styles throughout the city (Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau, Renaissance, Classicist, Modernist and Bauhaus), castles that dot the landscape and communist era statues that still stand, there is a real fairytale quality about this city.This Eastern European town gives you a glimpse of the way things used to be; a vintage patina colors surfaces, glittering snow paints the city and bells toll; during the holidays you can hear classic carols, concerts and symphonies. I saw handmade knives with carved bone handles, shadow puppets and puppet theaters designed by local artists, wool felted hats and bags to help keep out the winter cold and handmade lace for which the city is known; all crafts made with the highest quality.
My family and I usually travel in the spring and summer, this was our first winter vacation so the really special aspect of this trip was that it was the first time my girls have seen snow, played in snow and built a little snowman; it’s been 13 years since I’ve been in a winter wonderland-ahhh, the brisk air! We enjoyed the experience so much we’re thinking of making a yearly tradition:)
The somber light reminds me of the long Chicago winters, but when you live in a place like Israel where it’s always summer, a week of grey days, rain and snow is a nice break.
2012 Christmas wreathIn the winter, it gets dark around 4 p.m., there is little light on most days, but what light there is glows a magical yellow…
My inner child is happy and I’m inspired for the New Year…
Artsy Info. Caroline Froberg (from Silverwhitewinters) is starting a new blog for and by blogger artists. She writes: ” I need creative souls from everywhere, to make the most awesome blog ever” I want all types of artists, and I want to spread the creativity across the world.” The blog will feature artists’ works and tutorials; it’s for showing off, learning, sharing and meeting other artists! You can post about felting, sewing, working with beeswax, photography, crafting etc. Both tutorials, tips and tricks, from blogger to blogger, and reader to reader. I plan to post about my love of felting, come join me:) You can contact Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org
I started this post by listing what I considered my accomplishments and important “stuff” that happened this last year, but decided that was boring and if you really wanted to know that, you could read several of my past posts. Reflecting back on the past year’s events, I saw a pattern that I’d like to share with you: One thing leads to another. It may not seem very profound, but when something “bad” happens, I try to figure out what “good” -if any-resulted from the event in the first place. When I closed my store almost 3 years ago, it was a big loss for me in many ways but recently I’ve started to see good things come from that 5 year store experience. The life experience, the people I met, the skills I learned and the work that I produced seem to have made a path for me that I’m now walking. You just never know what’s going to happen in life!
I’d like to wish my readers a Happy Hannukah, a Merry Christmas and a healthy and peaceful New Year! Now imagine that I’m handing you a present with a pretty bow on top, open it and you’ll see my gift to you, a needle felted gnome and his pet hedgehog tutorial:) Needle felted gnome and Hedgehog tutorial
You can find more needle felted kits on my lullubee site, the kits comes with everything you need to make the projects and detailed instructions.