This Alice in Wonderland piece is two dolls (Alice and the flamingo) put together. The Alice dolls were pretty much like a lot of other dolls that I’ve felted, except that she has hand-painted (beads) eyes and I used colored pencils to color parts of her face.
One of my goals for this set of Alice in Wonderland dolls was to felt expression into the faces of the dolls. I needed to hand paint the eyes of all my Alice in Wonderland dolls to give them the exact expression that I wanted. Alice needed to be looking at the flamingo, the direction of her eyes are looking sharply to the left. I wanted to color parts of Alice’s face (also parts of the Queen’s face) but I wanted the coloring to be subtle so I used high quality colored pencils to color parts of the lips, under the eyes (of the Queen), the cheeks and lines in the face. The eyelids were felted over the painted beads (eyes) after they were set into the eye sockets; I embroidered the edges of the eyelids to better define them. The Alice doll is made of up of 6 pieces (the head, body, 2 arms and 2 legs) The arms and legs are jointed by sewing them onto the body with embroidery thread. Alice’s hair was made separately, then felted onto the head, so it would have a 3-D, puffy look and not appear flat on the head. I made the traditional blue dress and white apron for Alice because I love the original costume. Alice’s legs are felted white (as stockings) and her black MaryJane shoes are felted onto her feet.
The flamingo had to be made after the Alice doll was finished in able to achieve the proper proportions of the flamingo to Alice. The body of the flamingo fits into Alice’s arms, his neck loops around and the head comes face to face with Alice. The flamingo’s neck stays in this position because there is a heavy gaged wire inside the neck allowing you to bend the neck so it comes to exactly the right spot to stare at Alice.
My favorite part of the flamingo are his legs. His legs are boning sticks (for sewing), wrapped in black wool yarn. The flamingo feet are pieces of black felt. How many people can say that they’ve made a pair of flamingo knees?!” I sewed the flamingo into Alice’s arms. Stay tuned for more Alice in wonderland dolls….
This is the first antique style doll that I ever needle felted; this doll reminds me of my daughter Emili. My mother’s bisque dolls that I’ve saved are 70 some years old and they’re very fragile. Some of the antique bisque dolls that I have, have chipped faces and broken legs. This replica of my mother’s antique doll will never break (because she is 100% wool), but I will take special precautions when storing her.
The stinky moth ball (made from Paradichlorobenzene) is now thought to contains cancer causing chemicals, which I definitely don’t want to use to store toys for my children. There are several natural herbs that are thought to repel moths: lavendar, rosemary, mint, thyme, ginseng, cloves and lemon. I’m going to make lavendar sachets and store them with my wool dolls and toys. The best way to protect your woolen sweaters, yarns and toys is to store them in a clean, air-tight plastic container. Today, as most of us are looking for more environmentally friendly ways to do things, wool is a great choice! Wool is a sustainable resource, it supports farmers around the world without hurting the animals!, it has very little environmental impact compared to other types of textiles, dust mites don’t like to live in wool, wool is very strong, wool is flame resistant, wool repels moisture and it has anti-bacterial properties. For more information about wool see: http://www.woolrevolution.com/index.html.
I believe that in the last few years, because of so many chemical scares pertaining to children’s toys, natural fibers have become more appealing to parents who want to make sure that the toys they give their children are safe. For more information about chemical toy testing please see: http://www.emaxhealth.com/50/18749.html The Waldorf education system has endorsed natural fibers for children’s toys since it’s inception. Natural fibers are believed to stimulate the sences and give a child something safe with which to play.
A few years ago, I was looking through a book about needle felted figures and I thought to myself , “I want to make one of those!”. I taught myself how to needle felt by looking at a lot of photos of finished pieces, reading what I could find and practicing a lot. I started creating my first needle felted pieces with spheres and other simple shapes.
This little bird in her nest is made by adding shapes together, oval body, little oval-flat wings, ball head, triangle beak. A thin layer of wool over the area where the shapes are connected blends the shapes together seamlessly. I sewed two tiny seed-beads onto the head for eyes. The nest is a sphere, cut in half and felted into a bowl shape. I sewed a beaded string to the bird and Poof,she’s an ornament.
Keeping with the round theme, I made an apple.
I added a twig for the stem of the apple.
The apple has a surprise inside! A cute little worm, made completely from spheres!
This little green worm has eaten the entire inside of the apple…
exept for the seeds!
The apple started as a sphere, it was felted into an apple shape, cut in half, hollowed out and the inside was felted white. The twig and big green leaf were added to complete the apple container. The little worm consists of four spheres felted together. The seeds are tiny balls, mostly shaped by rolling them between my fingers.
I was so thrilled that Barak Obama was elected president, that I felted a puppet of him. This is an historic day, and I see that some of those around me don’t understand why. I see attitudes pertaining to race changing for the better in America and I feel that this is an important and progressive movement in the lives of the American people. I grew up in the Midwestern United States in the 1960’s and I’ve heard and seen the racial attitudes of many of my family and friends and I know we are now moving forward. Good luck, Mr. President!