Author Archive for Michelle Miller

31
Oct
18

The Felt Witch Project

Happy Halloween!

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Here’s a little witch I made to see if I could felt it up quickly and finish by Halloween.
I just made it! Whew! I went with a witch since they’re one of my favorite Halloweeny subjects and I like felting them. I wanted the size small and the design simple and this is what I ended up with!

Little Witch Run Red Run 01.jpg

I hope you all have a great Halloween!

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30
Oct
18

Frank ‘n’ Bride, Monsters

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Finally, here’s second part of the wedding commission I worked on. The Mother of the Bride wanted something fun and different for the wedding shoe game (click here to see the game explained).

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She saw my original Frankenstein’s Monster on my site and thought that would be perfect along with a matching Bride of Frankenstein. We worked out a design that would fit her budget and I got to work.

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We went back and forth on making the bride more like she was in the movie or the colorized version that shows up on the internet.

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She really liked the red hair, so we went with that.

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Plum was one of the colors in the wedding so to tie everything together we gave the monster a plum shirt to match the wedding party. Bride-WIP-Run-Red-Run-03.jpg

The client was really happy with the final product and said the bride and groom were thrilled to have them for the wedding and to have such a unique gift to put on display to remind them of their special day. Frankenstein-and-Bride-Run-Red-Run-05.jpg

17
Oct
18

Once Upon A Midnight Dreary As I Felted, Weak And Weary…

Needle Felted Edgar Allan Poe Run Red Run

A few months ago, I was asked to make some felties for a wedding. The mother of the bride wanted something unique for the signing table, and since the wedding had an Edgar Allan Poe theme, the first commissioned figure would be the tiny, mustachioed author.

Needle Felted Edgar Allan Poe Run Red Run

I’ve felted a few different Poes over the years, but while this new commission was designed to be simple, and not too detailed, it would be a little larger than all my others (which is easier on the eyes and fingertips).

Needle Felted Edgar Allan Poe Eyebrow Run Red Run

I dressed Edgar in his traditional suit and tie, and had fun trying out different eyebrow positions. Because the client wanted to keep it simple, I used the basic “egg” form I often use when teaching new students how to felt, and just added some extra touches (like the same color vest the groom was wearing, and a feather quill the client provided).

Needle Felted Edgar Allan Poe Run Red Run

The client loved the finished product, and so did the bride and groom. I’m certain he’ll loom morosely over the guestbook at the wedding. And I had an extra-fun time working on him, having been inspired by a recent visit to Poe’s gravesite in Baltimore.

Michelle Miller Edgar Allan Poe Grave

Next time, I’ll post about the custom felts for the bride and groom. Can you guess what they are? Hint; They’re not Poe characters, but they’re just as spooky fun as he is.

As always, there’re a few more photos in the Gallery to see.

31
Oct
17

Something Felted This Way Comes

Happy Halloween!

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I was commissioned to make a Halloween Witch for a friend after she saw my Little Witch Helga from a few years ago. The only direction she gave me was “make her face scary” but she liked the design of Helga. The new witch got the same candy corn hat and a similar body as Helga. However, this witch has also got a one of a kind handmade broom!

Here’s some progress photos:

Witch-WIP-Run-Red-Run-01

She’s bald!

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Hair!

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More hair!

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She’s all packed up and ready to go! My friend loved her! Whew!  There are more photos of her in the gallery to check out. I hope you all had a great Halloween!

31
Oct
16

Happy Halloween!

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire BatRun Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

It’s time to celebrate my favorite holiday, Halloween! This year I set some time aside to work on a special piece – a ghoulish vampire with the power to transform into a bat!

For authenticity, I used cursed wool from zombie sheep, sheared by ghosts and dyed by witches! HAHAHAHA! I kid. This little guy is made from C1 wool from New England Felting Supply. Not as spooky, but I love their wool!

You may recognize the monster’s design. It’s very similar to the Little Vampire I worked on a couple years ago, with some notable changes: he’s bigger, balder, and he’s got a buff bat body to boot! This time, I also gave him a cloth cape to add a little variety to the textures of the finished piece.

Here are a few WIP shots

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His body is formed and his pants and vest are felted on. There’s the start of his head under his arm.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

There’s progress on the vampire body. His shirt cuffs are done and the jacket is getting felted on.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

His jacket is finished, looking dapper!

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

And here he is almost finished. Making sure his head is the right size one last time.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

Here is the start to his bat body.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

Almost finished felting around the armature for the wings. This takes some time because you have to be careful not to break the needle stabbing into the wire.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat

I had a few choices for the wing color. Decisions, decisions. I narrowed it down to these two purples…but which purple would work best?

Run Red Run Needle Felted Vampire Bat WIP

I went with the more magenta purple, and here it is going into the frame of the wing.

Happy Halloween everyone! There are more photos of this guy in the gallery to see!

 

 

18
Feb
16

Disney Adventures: Felting Some Friends

You may not recognize these two guys, because they’re friends of mine, Hous and Mike. On the other hand, you might recognize them from the vacation vlogs they post to their YouTube channel. Let me fill you in…

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hous and Mike Phoenixterdam

You know I’m a big Disney fan. Such a big fan that my friends and I like to watch other people’s Disney vacation videos on YouTube.  There are hundreds of people who enjoy sharing their trips with the general public, and it’s a great way for me visit the park without leaving my couch.

Run Red Run Walt Disney World Main St

Run Red Run Walt Disney World Main Street Parade Dragon

A little while ago we found some vacation vlogs done by two guys from Amsterdam named Hous and Mike under the screen name Phoenixterdam. We could tell right away that they loved Disney as much as we did and they seemed like super nice guys. Watching their videos, we always felt like we were right there in Disney with them, and they always made us smile.

Run Red Run Mike and Hous Phoenixterdam Mickey Pretzel

 

Run Red Run Hous and Mike Phoenixterdam

 

Somehow, the stars aligned and we discovered our upcoming Disney trip was going to overlap with Hous & Mike’s next trip. So while we arranged to meet up with them to say hi, we also got to work on a way to thank them for all the laughs their Disney videos gave us. My illustrator friend, Vince, decided to give them a couple of his Untold Tales of Bigfoot t-shirts.  And, if there was enough time, we thought it would be nice to felt them something to go along with the shirts.  We talked about something Disney-themed until we had the bright idea to felt Hous & Mike.  Vince sketched the design and I started felting.

Run Red Run Mike and Hous design Vince Dorse

Vince’s design was stylized version of a portrait. I think they turned out looking like the guys in a fun, cartoony way.  Hous wears a ballcap in a lot of the videos so I felted a removable hat, and Mike has these gold/magenta sunglasses, so his feltie has removable felted sunglasses.  I freeze-framed their vlogs a hundred times to make sure I got details like their eye color correct. They both have awesome beards, so I felted those to have a little movement in the mouth area.  Just by adjusting a little with my finger they can have a more open mouth look or a suggestion of a smile.

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Run Red Run Needle Felted Hous and Mike Phoenixterdam

We managed to meet Hous and Mike a few days into our vacation. We had a nice surprise when they pulled out a couple of packages of Dutch Stroopwafels from their bag! They’re so tasty, we can’t get enough of those now! Then we gave them our gifts and I think they really liked them. Their reaction to opening the felties has got to be my absolute favorite unboxing. As you can see in the photos, I think they were very touched.  We became fast friends and met up many more times before we had to leave for home.

Run Red Run Hous and Mike Untold Tales of Bigfoot shirts Vince Dorse

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hous and Mike Unboxing PhoenixterdamRun-Red-Run-H&M-Hous-Mike-unboxing-02Run Red Run Needle Felted Hous and Mike Unboxing PhoenixterdamRun Red Run Needle Felted Hous and Mike Unboxing Phoenixterdam

Thanks Hous and Mike for making our Disney vacation memorable and special!  You guys are the best! For more images of the Mike & Hous felts, browse my gallery.

Please be sure to check out Phoenixterdam’s YouTube channel and watch their fantastic videos of their Disney trips, cooking tips, life in Amsterdam, and things they love.

Down below, Mike and Hous set up the felties in Amsterdam and sent me photo.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Mike and Hous Phoenixterdam design sketch Vince Dorse

03
Dec
15

The Haunted Mansion’s Hatbox Ghost

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost

Welcome, Feltish Mortals <—ha! Fans of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion might recognize my latest felted ghoul. It’s the mysterious Hatbox Ghost, a long-rumored-but-rarely-seen denizen of the creepy old attic in that classic attraction.
Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost

The ghost recently returned to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, and I wanted to celebrate by creating this tribute. This time I decided to go beyond the felted figure and build a cobwebbed attic corner for him to haunt as well.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost

There are more photos of the finished piece in my gallery, but if you’re interested in how I brought this happy haunt to the life (er…afterlife), I’ve posted a pretty comprehensive step-by-step below. It’s a pretty massive “ghost post” so settle into your doom buggy and let me guide you through my process.

I started with a wire armature to give the ghost stability and make him posable. As the wire was covered with core wool he started taking shape — like some kind of weird monster or a Picasso.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP

I slid the Haunted Mansion Story & Song CD into the player to set the mood, and began adding the blue wool for his skin and clothes.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP

To get the colors I wanted for this I had to order a wool that I don’t normally use and it was a little tougher to work with.  It took longer to felt and ended up a little fuzzier than I like, but the colors were perfect for a felted ghost.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP

I got most of the body done before starting on his creepy face.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP

The ghost, his hatbox and top hat. Some parts and pieces coming together.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted an environment for the ghost to haunt, so I asked some friends to help me put together the attic set. I wasn’t aiming for an exact duplicate of the Haunted Mansion attic, just something that evoked that same feeling of creepy clutter.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP Attic

A friend (who, unlike me, knows what he’s doing with woodworking tools) cut strips of wood to replicate the look of vintage roof lattice. Then we stained the wood (three different colors to add depth) and glued it all together.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost WIP Attic

We also collected and built props to create the perfect haunt. Papier-mache boxes were bought and fashioned into hat boxes and a suitcase. We painted them and used craft foam to give the suitcase some old-timey straps and a handle.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost Props

We also rummaged through craft store shelves to find tiny antique-looking frames. I found some images of the actual portraits that collect dust in the Haunted Mansion’s attic, printed them to size, and slipped them into the frames. A few trunks (one with a Barbie wedding dress hanging out) and curious objects (like that rusty birdcage) festooned with some leftover Halloween cobwebs and the attic scene is done. Check my gallery for more photos of the finished piece.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost Attic

I love the Haunted Mansion ride, and the story behind this grim, grinning ghost fascinates me, so this project was so much fun to felt!  I’m really glad he’s reclaimed his space in the ride at Disneyland. I’d love to see him in person. They say they always have room for one more soul at the Mansion. I should make my final arrangements for that trip soon. I hear the ghosts are dying to have me…

Run Red Run Needle Felted Hatbox Ghost

 




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