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.
Playing with your Food, is one of the needle felting projects that I’ve been working on for several months with the Craftsy website and it’s finally up and ready for registration! I’ve designed and wrote tutorials for needle felted foods, toys for children. The workshop contains step-by-step instructions and photos of how to make several different types of foods and deserts, things that I thought kids would identify with. The cool thing about this workshop is if a student has questions along the way, they can send me their questions and I’ll answer them and help them with their project.
I designed the projects at a beginner’s level and a needle felting basics section is also included. The basics of needle felting (the way I do it) are outlined and explained also with step-by-step photos and instructions.
As an imaginative toy for children, food is one of my favorites to sew and/or needle felt. Small children can use fruits and vegetables or their favorite foods to learn names, colors, shapes and counting. Older children can use the food you needle felt for them to “play market” or to “play restaurant.” With a little set-up help from an adult (providing paper bags, a basket, play plates, an apron, a pad of paper for taking restaurant orders, a table cloth or making a menu) playing market or restaurant can provide very creative situations for your children where their pretend games can also be a platform for them to learn social skills and math, using their needle felted food as tools.
Safety: Please remember that not all needle felted foods, as natural and unbreakable as they are, are appropriate for children of all ages if they contain small pieces. If you have children that put things in their mouths and you make these needle felted foods, with a sewing needle and thread sew the small parts onto the tart and cupcake or omit the small pieces (blue berries, strawberries and cherry) completely.
Note: These needle felted items will be available on my Etsy site at the end of the summer:)
Today is a day meant for a duck……and me, a dreary, rainy, chilly day in Tel Aviv. These rainy days are my favorite, I’m not a sun-goddess, thus Tel Aviv is a challenge for me, being so sunny and all. These rainy days are snugly, contemplative and they remind me of home and ducks!
As a child, my grandfather Perkinson used to bring magical things to my brother, sister and I from his farm. He brought us fruits from his persimmon tree that my mom made into persimmon pudding (delicious!), butter made from a churn, big dried gourds that he had made into bird houses or drinking cups, arrow heads he found in the ground while building fences, petrified wood he found in the streams along with lizards and turtles and one day he brought ducks to us and my life long love for these birds began!
I had a lot of pet ducks as a kid, Muscovies and Mallards mostly, they started off living in the corner of our kitchen; my mom boxed off an area where they could live till they were big enough to venture outside and fend for themselves.
They “peeped” for the first few months of their lives, fuzzy and yellow. After they were bigger and they started to resemble small ducks instead of yellow dust bunnies with legs, they moved outside into a pen that my dad built for them next to our house, but they were like loud little “watch dogs”. My ducks quacked at visitors, strangers and cars that pulled up into the driveway; eventually my dad rebuilt a bigger pen at the back of our property (far from our house) for my loud pets. I played with my ducks every day. They followed me around like a swarm of bees, if I stopped for a moment they were all over me looking for food and this made me laugh, I loved my ducks. They quacked when they saw me coming because they knew they were going to get fed; as they ate the corn and grains that I brought for them, I played in the tall grasses that grew inside of their pen. I built a fort in a corner of the duck pen and barefoot and covered in mosquito bites, I pretended for hours, my ducks being bit players in my many imaginative scenarios. These duck memories have followed me through my life and ducks have always been one of my favorite birds/pets.
Because the Fairytale Frog tutorial that I did was so popular, I decided to do another tutorial with the same multi-jointed technique. Feeling a little artsy after I made my chimp, I fashioned him as “art” after a few famous artists. For the above shot, I draped my chimp in the clothing and head covering to mimic Girl with a Pearl Earring, I placed him in front of a black background (like the Vermeer painting) and took his picture. I photo-shopped his eyes to look at the viewer and blurred him a little to look like a painting.
For Salvadore Monki (after the famous photo of Salvadore Dali), I took Monki’s photo with a needle felted moustache. I photo-shopped his eyes to look like the expressive eyes of Dali in the photo and changed the image from color to black and white. The cropping and the moustache here were key!
My final piece of chimp art is the Chimpanzee Scream. I created the background with pastels (to look like the famous painting by Edvard Munch, The Scream). I positioned my chimp in the lower right hand corner and took his picture. Voila!
I had a lot of fun recreating these Chimpanzee pieces of art, a little something more to highlight my needle felted work!
Moments before the alligator attack, Kitty and I were sitting in the kitchen minding our own business….
….and BAM, the needle felted alligator puppet jumped off the table and attacked Kitty!
…oh, I was just daydreaming! I started making some puppets the other day, I intended to make a dragon like this one:
….but at one point it started looking like an alligator, so I “followed the shapes”. The simple puppet I set out to make became more complicated, with fairly sharp fimo teeth and finger slots to put your hand so the alligators mouth can be opened and closed. This isn’t s step-by-step tutorial, but I did shoot a few of the creation stages, have a look!
I made the alligator’s top jaw first, his lower jaw second and the body sleeve last. I inserted glass doll eyes into the sides of his head. I connected the two jaws with a thick, flat piece of wool that acts as a hinge.
The tricky part of making the finger holes in the jaws is making them deep enough for your hands so you have real control over the motion of the jaws. I used a pair of scissors to cut deep holes in the top and bottom jaws, I pulled out as much wool as I could so that it was still snug when I put my hands inside the holes. I felted the holes as best as I could to make them smoother.
Here is the gator without any teeth, he looks pretty pitiful. I made the alligator teeth from off- white fimo (the photo shows an example of the teeth placement).
I shaped the alligator’s teeth so that they’re slightly rounded, those are shark’s teeth at the top of the photo, for a future project. I baked the teeth at a low temperature for about 7 minutes, then took them out to cool and harden.
With scissors, I cut deep slits in the jaws (following a photo of a real alligator with his mouth open) and glued each tooth in with fabric glue.
I needle felted a sheath to cover my arm; I wrapped the sheet of needle felted wool around the end of the alligator’s head and needle felted it on.
Now I have a fairly realistic alligator puppet with which I can use to help tell fairy tales or stories, use as a conversation piece at dinner parties or chase the cat around the house with!