Posts Tagged ‘needlefelting’

So I noticed a lot of folks coming in from my sister Insoulated’s Tumblr and I just wanted to give y’all a shout out and make a quick post about the Angel-Banishing Sigil I made for her to give Misha Collins in Rome (OH. EM. GEE.).  Check it out!


This is the third sigil I’ve felted.  The first was for my sister on her last birthday; the second was for the Desert Bus craft-along (have you seen my button up there at the top right?).  I learned a lot along the way – originally, I had needle-felted the base as well as the sigil from loose wool fibre.  For Desert Bus, I used a fine felting needle to needle-felt laceweight wool yarn (100% merino; not washable/superwash) onto some super-fancy, handmade wool felt that the local yarn store imports from the Netherlands, which allowed me to make the button flatter and more evenly round.  After Desert Bus, my friend Tally of Tally’s Treasury put up a tutorial for making banana birds and I realised that blanket stitching was perfect for a piece like this – why didn’t I think of it before?  The final product, with more of the same wool yarn for the edge stitching, is what you see above, a pin-backed Angel Banishing Sigil that you can take with you everywhere you go!

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All my gift knitting is done!  Done and blocked!  And ends woven in!  And any buttons, etc. sewn on!  In fact, I’ve had about 24 hours to bask in my done-ness!  So finally I have a few minutes to devote to the blog, and I thought it was time to show off my dolls’ winter outfits.


It’s my festive doll shelf!  What with Mr. Salamander being so handy (he’s a contractor, and a damn fine woodworker), we have a lot of shelves around the house, including one specially for our small Christmas tree (we get a 3-4 foot real one because we are fancy and setting up artificial trees destroys the skin on my hands), which doubles very handily as a doll photograph staging area (or it would if the lighting were a little better…something I hope to improve in the new year).


For Suzuha I put together one of the Barbie dresses I bought her with a hair tie to make a snow fairy outfit!


Edik, of course, is Brat Moroz/Santa Dahhhling.  One of these years I will make him another Christmas costume, but I love his elf outfit.

And Posy, in a wool felt top ’embroidered’ by needle-felting with laceweight wool yarn!


Rada is wearing my completed Winterhold.  I’m hoping we’ll get a bit of snow this winter; I’d love to get some outdoor playtime pics with this one!


My second crack at the stranded colourwork turned out completely adequate (although I think I have a ways to go before I could describe it as “good”) and overall I am in love with this cute coat!


“Do you think it will snow today?”

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Voting is over, the winners have been announced (no, I was not among them, not even close), and I’m finally at liberty to post what I’ve been crafting this month, that’s been taking all my energy!  I’m really proud of all the things I made, even though they obviously didn’t please the crowd as much as they pleased me (I was tied for about 34th place out of 37 or 38 different scores, with I think 54 entrants who completed all three challenges…yeah…congrats to everyone who made top 25 anyway!).  I foresee them making plenty of further appearances in my doll photography.

The Wicked Sweet Triathlon had three events.  The first, Risqué Business, was to make an outfit for a doll out of nothing but 2 pairs of women’s underwear.  I think this was the challenge in which my (lack of) photography skills hurt me the most – there were some entries where the garments looked less interestingly designed (okay, I’m biased) and less well-executed (and that’s a little more objective position) than mine that still got quite a few more votes, presumably in part because the photos were better.  I have improved a lot, even compared to looking back at my photography from Japan (2008-9), but under pressure I still have trouble.  But then that’s part of why I started this blog, to learn and grow.

My outfit was made from a couple of pairs of drapey hipster undies (hipster cut, not hipster type person) with light, nearly see-through material that I thought would drape really well on Suzuha.  Turns out even very light material gets a bit stiff on 1/6 scale bodies…but I think you can still get the flowy sort of style I was trying for.  The outfit was inspired by Mori Girl fashion, although the colours are very bright for a Mori outfit, which should strictly speaking be made up of neutrals, faded pastels, and low-saturation darker tones.  But I was working with what I had…unfortunately, Mori Girl Panties are not the sort of thing one can pick up on the cheap at Zellers, heh.


Originally, I was going to crochet a sun hat to go with this outfit, but it wasn’t working and it wasn’t working and I was running out of time…but crocheting flowers worked just dandy, hence the sakura-inspired headdress.



Every part of the outfit features some sort of braid.  This was sadly the best picture I had of the trousers…see what I mean by my photography being a major handicap?


The dress is designed to be worn with her wings, although I didn’t end up bringing them out for the photoshoot.  I am very into this kind of “racerback” style of dress right now – I have been wearing the one I own all summer!  Braided fabric is really interesting.  For this outfit I also learned how to do a four-strand braid, which was pretty interesting.


Then came part 2: Shadowcasters!  The challenge was to make a doll-scale light source and photograph it both in action generally and then with your doll casting a shadow using your light source’s light.  I wanted to make one of those shadow lamps that kids have, with aquariums and stuff on them…somehow a carousel seemed like the right thing for Rada.  I basically built a lantern out of vellum paper and cardstock to go around a dollar store emergency puck light, decorated it with some glitter glue, and dropped it on top of a couple of tea tins posing as a bedside table.  On the whole, I think it turned out awesome…but that’s just when I look at the photos, and not when I think about how much time I spent fighting with the damn lid, which is completely unsecured and loved to pop off just as I was about to snap a picture.  ARGH.

I had a tonne of fun setting up this photo shoot!  I got to bring out all of Rada’s toys (and there are getting to be a lot of them…!) and I set up the corner shelf which formerly supported our Christmas tree to look a little like a child’s bedroom.  I imagined that Rada was home sick with the ‘flu, and Vasya had bought Yukata!Bunny to make her feel better.  Rada, feeling a little less tired today, is introducing Yukata!Bunny to her other toys, but she’s still got the chills, which is why she’s wrapped up in a snuggly blanket (knit from SophiaRowan’s handspun that I won back in the days of the ResinCast podcast).


Later (and for the shadowcasting shot), she’s staying up past bedtime drawing by the light of her merry-go-round.



In these photos, you might also notice how upright Rada is able to get and stay…just want to give a shout out to the lovely Linzabeth, who recently sueded and wired my bratty baby (that’s her in the “wiring the legs” photo!  I feel famous!).  Rada now stands like a fucking rock and can hold some awesome poses…the only thing I didn’t anticipate is that since she’s been wired she’s a lot harder to dress, since I can’t bonelessly fold her arms in on themselves as I used to.  Who knew?  So happy with Linzabeth’s services, though, and she’s so sweet that she even fixed the chip in Rada’s eye makeup and fixed/improved my terrible blushing job (not that anyone but me will ever see it, regardless).

The third and final event of the triathlon was my favourite, both in terms of my own entry and in terms of what everyone came up with.  The challenge of The Doppelgänger was to create a “double” of your doll and photograph them together.  Any material.  Any craft.  If you are a member of DoA I highly recommend wandering over to the Anniversary subforum to have a look at the entries; they are amazing.

I actually set out to make an amigurumi doppelganger.  I was going to needle-felt ball joints along the lines of the plushies Tally makes, but I didn’t have time to consult her on how her joints work and as I started stuffing the limbs I realised that I’d been using too big a crochet hook for the yarn meaning that the fabric was gappy and showed the stuffing.  I’m also just not very good at stuffing things evenly, and what with the needle-felted balls and then the unevenly applied stuffing everything looked horribly lumpy and misshapen.  So I said “the heck with this!” tossed it in the bottom of my craft basket, and started on a totally new tack: needle felting the whole thing!  I made the joints with jewelry findings as I was finding that thread was just too flexible and let the limbs fall out of their joints a little.



I need you to know that I broke all two of my felting needles right at the end of the project, at a time when there was absolutely no way I could get to the store and pick up more before the deadline to submit photos.  You can imagine me sitting there with the 1.25cm broken-off point of one needle trying my hardest to get the doppelgänger’s hair attached to his head with pretty mediocre results…in the end, I got out to take photos and his hair started flying away and I had to stick it on with the sticky-tack I’d brought out to help Posy stand up!  But hair notwithstanding, I’m super proud of how he turned out.  My concept was that he’s a skinwalker type creature, hence the red-white outside that’s meant to be reminiscent of raw meat or anatomical drawings of musculature.  Here’s the photo I submitted for the contest, with text.  He actually does stand on his own if you get him balanced just right, but there was a tiny breeze the day I was taking pictures so I had to improvise with the landscape.


And if you want to see a larger version you can click through on the original photo here.

So that’s what I’ve been up to all August.  I had a lot of fun, but it’s been great to get back to my regular knitting projects as well.  My test knit of Ur-Bun is hopping along, and I’m hoping to be able to release the pattern sometime this month or next.  Also, isn’t it time for a Rhodion update?  My water lilies are now 8 repeats long (out of a total of 26 repeats of the main pattern, 13 for each side, and then the border).  Nearly a quarter of the way through!  And I’ve amazingly managed to complete two of those repeats THIS WEEKEND!


Doesn’t look like that much, does it? 8 repeats? This little crumpled thing?

But it’s going to be unbelievable when it’s done!

Phew.  Well that was an update and a half!  No more secret projects for a while; they’re too challenging to catch up on!

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It was my sister’s birthday yesterday.

On Wednesday, I’d had a fabulous idea for a present.  I just got some basic needle-felting equipment last weekend – so far, I’ve used it to make mushroom decorations for my terrariums (which I will post about eventually, I promise).  I was trying to think if I could needle-felt something related to the fandom she, I, and another friend have been geeking out over hardcore lately: Supernatural.  Well.  I present for your enjoyment the one, the only Angel Banishing Badge!


This is an Enochian sigil that’s used several times in the last few seasons of the show.  It’s frequently rendered in blood, which is part of the reason I used the colours I did (also, I only bought five colours of roving to start with).  There’s a safety-pin sewn to the back so it can be pinned to clothing or a bag (next to her IDJIT and ASSBUTT pins, which also reference the show) or used as a tie clip.  Of course, I was sewing the pin on as she walked in the door for her party, so excuse me for not showcasing the back…I assure you, it’s totally professionally, carefully, perfectly sewn, no half-assedness at all!

I expect I have a lot to learn about needle-felted applique like this – I totally winged this project because I had so little time I didn’t want to go searching out tutorials – but I enjoyed it a lot and I think I will be making more like this.  Only, you know, next time I’ll sew the pin on the right way around.  :headdesk:

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