Hi there! I'm going to show you how I made this little guy:
One of my all-time favorite ways to create things---by using super-sharp, barbed needles, repeatedly stabbing into fluffy wool until the fibers interlock and form shapes. Ahh...definitely a great stress reliever, and FUN.
It had been a while since I'd done any needle felting and I was really starting to miss it. Then the other day an idea popped into my head to make some tiny little art-dolls...but different than anything I've seen done anywhere else in needle felting. Cute little kid-faces peeking out of hooded costumes...I've got so many ideas swimming in my head with these, I'm having a hard time concentrating on anything else.
I've already finished a "practice" one (or prototype if I want to sound all fancy) so I could get a feel for how to approach it, what to do and what to avoid. Now I'm making one for REAL :) Here are a few photos taken at my worktable tonight (click on any photo if you want to see it a little more closely)...
After shaping a ball from the wool, I begin needling in 'eyeholes' and doing a little basic sculpting of the face. I like to do these steps first because it gives the whole "coming to life" effect sooner, and it always spurs me on to keep going when I see a little face emerging :)
The hair I'll use for these dolls is silky Tibetan Lamb; this stuff is so soft and beautiful. I have a lot left over from doing polymer clay sculptures - I love crossover supplies!
The little bunny girl up there is the first one I made when I got the idea...she's looking down at the featureless face and waiting patiently for a friend to be created :)
I'm using black German glass eyes with loops on these little guys (and girls) as you can see in the photos, but I'm applying the hair first, and here's why: I do a lot of 'deep' needling when applying the hair because it's so silky... I find that it needs a lot of poking to be really attached firmly. And since I am going to be sewing the glass eyes in for extra durability, I don't want to risk hitting the eye-thread inside this little guy's head while going to town on needling the hair in. It would weaken the thread and I kind of like everything to stay put! So the major hair application is done first, then the eyes get sewn in using a long doll needle.
Here, I've sewn in the eyes and am finishing up the hairline, with quick little jabs as you can tell from the blurriness of my right hand! And yep, that does result in quick little jabs to my own fingers once in a while, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Really it's more startling than painful. Honest.
That's it for tonight, hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow night to continue!