Archive for the 'work-in-progress' Category

15
Jan
20

Do You Want to Felt a Snowman?

Run Red Run Needle Felted Snowman

Usually, when I sculpt my felties, I work alone. But recently I thought I’d try a little collaboration with my friend, cartoonist Vince Dorse. He’s done designs for me before, but this time he contributed sculpted, paper clay accessories to the final piece. The result is this snowman that we decided to make on a cold winters day. Vince drew up the design and we got started.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Snowman
Sticking with what I knew best, I felted the wool.

Snowman WIP

And, trying out something new, Vince sculpted and painted the paper clay accessories. I really love how the paper clay eyes, buttons, and arms turned out!

Run Red Run Needle Felted Snowman
A snowman’s a pretty basic sculpt, but getting his personality right is key. Here I am needling in his smile.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Snowman
After the accessories were painted, we stuck ‘em into the snowman. They look great!

Run Red Run Needle Felted Snowman
He also got a felted scarf and flap hat. We had so much fun working on this sassy snowman during the winter holidays. As we worked, we filmed the process, sped up the video, (for a total of eight minutes instead of hours and hours) and put it up on YouTube complete with commentary.  And here is it for your viewing pleasure:

If you want to follow Vince or me on any of our various social media feeds, here’s all the info you need. Thanks for stopping by.
Vince’s Website: vincedorse.com
Vince’s Instagram: @vince_dorse
Vince’s Twitter: @vincedorse
Michelle’s Instagram: @runredrun
Michelle’s Facebook: Run Red Run

 

02
Dec
19

♫ I Want an Alien (Feltie) for Christmas ♫

Yes! A Christmas-themed post in time for Christmas! I was super excited when artist/animator Dave Pryor asked me to recreate the alien from his animated video of The Fountains of Wayne song I Want an Alien For Christmas (if you haven’t seen the video, here it is).  I love the song. I love Dave’s animated short. Let’s do this!

Dave asked for a clear display post to levitate the alien and his ship — you know, to make it look like it was hovering. Sounded fun, but it was a challenge finding something that would work.

After some searching online and in craft stores, I found clear, acrylic donut stands that I thought would work. They’re just tall, mostly transparent posts with a sturdy base. Good. The weird part was taken care of. After an energy-packed snack of about a dozen donuts, it was time to buckle down and felt the character.

I started with a wire armature for both the alien (now named Dart, according to Dave) and the ship. For some strange reason, I took NO photos of the ship in progress (?!?) but the process is essentially the same as the alien: wire, covered in core wool, and built up into the proper shape.

Once I get the figure pretty close to the finished shape, I can start needling in the color. There are only so many colors of wool people offer when you’re ordering for projects like this. Luckily, someone had this very alien green.

More needling, more color.

This little guy has a recessed mouth, so I had to cut that out and start shaping it. He looks pretty shocked about the whole ordeal.

I ordered a few different sets of plastic eyes to get the size right. Dave thought the ones I started with were a little small, so I was glad to have some larger eyes on hand.

After more back and forth with Dave, the eyes were moved a little farther apart. Most people are pretty particular about their designs, and I don’t blame them. So I’m happy to try to get as close as possible with my 3D re-creations.

Annnnnd here’s the finished alien and his ship, zooming in from parts unknown.

As a bonus (that I didn’t reveal to Dave until I sent him his feltie), Dart can come completely out of his spaceship, and his arms, legs, and antennae are poseable because of the wire armature. That way he can disembark and go on some adventures around Dave’s house.

You can find illustrator/animator Dave Pryor’s work on Instagram: @DavePryor72

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!

Witch-Run-Red-Run-02

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!

Witch-WIP-Run-Red-Run-02

Hair!

Witch-WIP-Run-Red-Run-03

More hair!

Witch-Run-Red-Run-06

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!

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

 

12
Aug
12

Work in Progress: Almost Finished

Run Red Run Needle Felt Pirate wip Needle Felted Needle Felting

Here are some more progress shots of the Disney-inspired pirate. The jacket is almost complete in these shots.  The trim around the jacket’s collar/lapels/hem was time consuming, but I think it was worth it. I’ve been needling furiously on the head, so next post: finished pirate!  If you want to go back and see the other WIP posts, just click here and here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run Red Run Needle Felt Pirate wip Needle Felted Needle Felting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24
Jul
12

Work In Progress: It’s the Felting Life for Me Part 2

Run Red Run Needle Felt work in progress pirate

 

Yo Ho!  Still working on the pirate, here are some progress shots.  There will be more to come.  And if you want to go back to the first WIP post, just click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run Red Run Needle Felt work in progress pirate




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