Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mollie Makes Me Needle Felt!

My mother has introduced me to a wonderful crafting magazine - Mollie Makes. It is published in the UK, and not always easy to come by here. Luckily, it is available as a digital edition on my iPad - the picture quality is great and you can zoom in to see the tiniest details. The moment I saw the most recent issue's cover

I knew I had to make one of the adorable felted dogs. Because, 1) you can never have enough crafty hobbies, and 2) I already have a lifetime's supply of roving (thank you Etsy) just waiting for me to find new and creative ways to use it up!

Any excuse to shop for new supplies will do - after poking around on Amazon and doing a bit of research on Ravelry, I decided on the following three items:

The mat is a Green Soy Needle Felting Foam Mat from Mielkes Fiber Arts - HIGHLY recommended. Eco-friendly and a super smooth finished piece! I also tried the bristly mats from Clover but I noticed that the fiber sticks to it like mad, and it creates a lot of "fuzz" on the outside of the felted piece. I think the Clover Mats would be great for applique felting though! The needle felting tools are both from Clover, and are perfect. I use the green 5-needle tool when I'm getting started - when the fiber is still very loose and before the real shaping begins. The pink 3-needle pen is perfect for the detail work - fine shaping and attaching bits - it is also dead easy to remove a couple of the needles and turn it into a 1-needle pen. So, here is my wee little doggie, under way:

He's a bit squidgy on the inside still - like one of those molten cake desserts - but if I firm it up much more he's going to get teenier and teenier.  Maybe this is normal for needle felting?  Anywho, still one leg to go!

And ears...Mini Photo Tutorial on these to follow! I'm amazed at how fun it is, and how quickly I've become just a little addicted. Sculpting, as an art form, has always looked impossibly daunting - the talent involved in seeing a finished work inside a lump of raw material, be it stone or clay or fiber. This little dog is designed by Gretel Parker and she has a wonderfully sweet and whimsical sensibility, and clearly a great deal of talent.  So thank you Gretel and Mollie for pointing me in a new direction!