Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Felting the Night Away

Yesterday was a fabulous day of needles needle felting. Not a good day of needles, as I had to get some shots. Ouch. However, when the day turned to needle felting, things got much better. What is needle felting, you ask? It's actually really simple. You take pieces of wool felt (it has to be a wool blend, but 100% wool is best), and layer them one at a time on top of each other. Then you use a tool that contains barbed needles. Pressing the needles through the layers of felt (and into a brush) tangles the fibers and actually makes the two layers into one. Nifty, right? I think so. :3
So you press, over and over, and over and over, until you've layered and pressed to your heart's content. 

To start my project, I first sketched out my ideas on newsprint. I had a beautiful tile from Bazaar Del Mundo that I was using for my inspiration. I also wanted to make it different; I love sugar skulls, but with some many of them in commercial design lately, I really focused on making it personal. Giraffes are one of my favorite animals, and I played with balance; his neck playing off the curve of her hair braid. After I had the sketch done, I cut along my lines to form a rough pattern. 

 After I had my pieces, I cut each out of the color of felt I wanted (and cut the whole design out of red). Then the real work starts! Working from the bottom layer, I placed one piece at a time and "punched" it with the barbed needle tool until it was secure. You can tell when it's working when 1. the piece doesn't fall off, haha! and 2. You can see the fibers going into the background.

Working on the bag

Punch, Punch, Punch

The felt-work finished
 After about 3 hours of punching and punching (and punching), I have the base-work for the bag done. I have some beads, also from Bazaar Del Mundo, that I want to add, as well as some embroidery work. Soon the giraffe will have little bead eyes, and everything will be better. :3

To reward the hard work, Ms. Carole, a super good family friend, who we craft with, made melty marshmallows with dark chocolate. Being a camp kid and Lifetime Girl Scout, I appreciate a good marshmallow. She makes them so melty and gooooey and awesome.  Thanks Ms. Carole. 

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