Waldorf style Marie Antoinette Doll

needle felting
Marie Antoinette doll

 After we returned home from Paris, all my inspiration I had gathered there vanished. I guess living in a small apartment with my three, shreiking kids, husband and my mother-in-law for two weeks will zap the creativity from even the most creative soul! (oh, I’m just kidding –wink-or am I?)

I saw three movies on vacation:

  • Super 8 (very cute)
  • Brides’ Maids (gross, but very funny)
  • Bad Teacher (o.k.) 

I read 4 books on my i-phone (I think reading books on my i-phone is WONDERFUL):

  • Water for Elephants
  • Before I Go to Sleep
  • A Stolen Life
  • A Big, Little Life

Apparently, reading a lot and seeing movies is also a recipe for losing your creative spark; I rarely do either of these things, except on vacation. Before we went on our trip, I was full of creativity, partly because my friend/muse Tiffany came to visit me from New York and we worked on lots of projects together. She’s always full of good ideas and enthusiasm, which helps me a lot! I need a full-time muse.

Rivoli mosaic
Art Deco building decoration on Rue Rivoli

The week since I’ve been back have been spent cleaning, doing laundry and fretting about how I would find a renewed, creative spark.  Trying to revive my Joie d’Art, I tried eating copious amounts of cheese, eating a ham sandwich on a bagette, drinking Champagne instead of wine and using all the French words that I know-all to no avail. The one thing that I can usually find the patience and enthusiasm to create is a doll, so before I really get down to business, I made a Waldorf-style Marie Antoinette doll, in honor of our trip to France.

wool, cotton
Marie Antoinette, cotton face, wool hair, taffeta and tulle dress

 I’ve had a fascination with Marie Antoinette’s style and look for a long time. I’ve made many costumes and dolls based on this 18th century French queen. She is needle felted, but because she is so small (8″ tall), it was hard to put the detail that I wanted into her face, at least in a reasonable amount of time, so I covered her wool face with cotton tricot and embroidered her facial features. The hair is made from curly, silver/white wool. The rest of Marie is made of wool wrapped/needle felted around  a pipe cleaner armiture. I sewed her dress from taffeta, tulle and lace. I’ll soon be putting a kit for sale and posting a tutorial on how to make a smaller (5.5″ tall), slightly simpler version of pipe cleaner dolls and clothes, so stay tuned.

My other Marie Antoinette inspired projects:

Marie Antoinette
My Marie Antoinette puppet, child's costume and wigMy felt Marie Antoinette wig
costume
Marie Antoinette, child's costume in my store

The Waldorf-style pipe cleaner dolls are easy and fast to make plus they can be made to be more attractive to older children (8-12 years old), less “babyish” than the stout Waldorf dolls.

paris
Rue Rivoli Art Deco building decoration

Needle Felting FairytalesTutorial

needle felting
The needle felting frog/princes is looking for his princess.

How many frogs have you kissed looking for your prince? Well let’s not go into that now, but this little felted frog is really a prince that has been enchanted by a spiteful fairy. He is doomed to be a slimy, green amphibian till a princess gives him a big smooch. Will he find his princess, will they live happily ever after? Follow this tutorial to make your own needle felted frog/prince:

Needle felting fairytales
The Frog and the Princess
The Frog and the Princess
Breaking the Spell!The Frog and the Princess
needle felting fairytales
Waiting for love

Continue reading “Needle Felting FairytalesTutorial”

Witchy-Poo, Needle felting doll tutorial

The coven

This tutorial shows how to make a needle felted witch using a cone as the base shape. Use these dolls as a Halloween center piece or offer Witchy-Poo and friends to your children for creative, spooky fun.

Materials: felting needles, sponge for felting surface
wool: black (body, hat, arms) I prefer felting a course wool like shetland or New Zealand, here I used black merino because that’s what I had; Merino is a wool I like to use for hair. The witch’s hair in this tutorial is felted from a very course New Zealand wool for that wild and crazy look, but the hair of the witch in the back is grey merino.
peach (face, hands)
purple (decorative band on hat)
 grey (hair)
 red (mouth)
core wool or fiber-fill (base shape)
thread (for wrapping core wool or fiber fill to make base shape)
black felt (hat brim)
 

Continue reading “Witchy-Poo, Needle felting doll tutorial”

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