Dolly

antique style needle felted doll

I always loved the photographs of little girls with giant bows on their head; I’ve always wondered how this style came to be! Who came up with such a disproportionate hair ornament for a little girl?

Needle felted doll with felt dress and shoes

I have a few antique bisque dolls of my mother’s that inspired me to felt this doll. Needle felted completely from wool, each piece (arms, legs, body and head) was individually needle felted and then sewn together. The head is my favorite part of the doll to make. I take great care to give her a face with an authentic look, I like to style her hair and I think the eyes are the most important part of the face. I found these particular blinking doll eyes in the flea market, I think they’re old because they’re made of metal, not plastic.  

blinking doll eyes

I really don’t like to do the arms and legs, I find it challenging to make both arms and both legs identical (or close to it).

felted doll parts

 The dress for this doll is similar to the original dress of the antique bisque doll, but made from felt. I needle felted a design on the bodice to break up the hot pink color.

needle felted dress detail

I made the socks from some white tricot and old lace that I had, and the little black Mary Janes are also made from felt. 

real life dolly

Childhood Friends

Needle felted teddy bears, 16"
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Torn and tattered
You were my friend
when it really mattered

These needle felted teddy bears were easy to make. Each bear was made by felting together wool shapes.

  1. The teddy bear head is made from a ball, a cone (snout), a tiny ball (nose) and 2 half circles (ears). Two dolls eyes were inserted and glued above the snout.
  2. The body is a big oval, the arms are  long tubes, the legs are longer tubes, the feet are short tubes that are attached to the ends of the legs.
  3. The head, arms and legs are wrapped with curly, brown mohair yarn (2 skeins), then felted securely into the shapes.
  4. The head, arms and legs are sewn onto the body with a doll needle and embroidery thread. Voila, Best Friend!

    Best Friend

Magical Mushrooms

What is it about mushrooms that we all find so enchanting? Is it the colors? Is it the many shapes and sizes? Is it that our imaginations see these fat little fungi as trees in fairy landscapes? I have been particularly taken with the delicate underside of the big umbrella part of the mushroom. I’ve needle-felted quite a few mushrooms and used them as Christmas ornaments, but this time I decided to go beyond my ornament designs and add the many layers of the underside, called gills. I felted the mushroom cap as usual, starting with a felted ball, I cut the ball  in half, hollowed out the half circle, I felted the underside of the half circle and then I attached the felted stem to the middle of the cap.

I cut the gills from cotton felt. I cut a felt rectangle for each gill. The length of the gills are determined by measuring from the middle of the cap to the outter rim of the cap. I sewed all the gills together on one end till I could wrap them around the stem. I sewed every gill to the underside of the mushroom at the stem and at the outter rim of the cap.  

Sewing the gills to the underside of the cap is very time consuming. After I sewed the gills to the underside of the mushroom cap, I trimmed each gill from the outter rim of the cap to the stem, so the gills are rounded.

She’s in love with a pig!

Smooooooch!

We’ve all been in love with a pig once in our lives, haven’t we? I find that when I’m needle-felting, I need to really be “into” what I’m felting. Because needle-felted sculpture take so long to do, I have to be inspired by my subject. I don’t know if I could needle-felt an armadillo or a hippo for example, not that there’s anything wrong with armadillos or hippos. I’ve always wanted a pig, I think because they’re supposed to be very smart and they seem to have a lot of character. If you’re going to have a pet, why not have one you can talk to, right?

needle felted pig

Here in Israel, the pig is not a popular animal; observant Jews aren’t supposed to eat pork, so if I were a pig I’d want to live in Israel. I’m a bit fascinated by the level of repulsion concerning the pig in the Middle East. When the swine flu was affecting people all over the world, the Jewish religious community couldn’t bring themselves to refer to this particular flu by it’s common label, but made up the term the Mexican flu instead. Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with Mexicans. “Bury your head in the sand”, I say and “everything will be o.k!” I’ve read that it’s common to mark out the word pig with a big black marker in Muslim countries. This is done in bookstores, in children’s books as well. I wonder what the job title of the person who marks out the word pig is. Many Middle Easterners and other Muslims have no idea who Kermit’s main squeeze is, nor do they want to know.

I have fond piggy memories from my childhood. There was a pig farm near where we lived and every time my parents drove by it (must have been 10 times a week) my brother and sister and I would hold our noses and yell Pee-ewww! Every single time. So, I’m not upset that Emili has fallen in love with this particular needle-felted swine, I can think of worse company to keep.

Emili and friend

The Adventures of Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood decided to have lunch with her grandmother one day, so she packed some sandwiches and headed off into the forest.
Red's mother warned her not to dawdle in the forest because there were many shady characters lurking there!
the lurking monsters…
the lurking vampires...
the lurking witches...

 

and she didn't notice the most dangerous lurking creature of all...
The Big Bad Wolf!
Red arrived at her grandmother's house way past lunch and she noticed her grandmother didn't quite seem like herself.
Red said "granny, I'm sorry I'm late, but there were so many interesting things in the forest, I got hungry and ate our lunch, one thing led to another and anyway, here I am!"
"You ate our lunch?!" " Damn it Red, I'm starving!" yelled the Big Bad Wolf.
"Oh my goodness!" declared Red, "I'm such a ninny. I think I left the iron on at home . Gotta go granny! Later!" Red ran out the door and hurried home, never really noticing that the Big Bad Wolf had eaten her grandmother and was waiting to gobble her up too, because let's face it, Red wasn't the sharpest tack in the box." C'est la vie.