Posts Tagged ‘art dolls

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.

Run-Red-Run-H&M-Hous-Mike-box-02

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

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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

 

11
Jun
15

Mike and Mindy Commission

Run Red Run Needle Felted Mike and MindyJon Esparza, creator of the webcomics Mike and Mindy, Bubble Fox, and Peppertown, commissioned me to sculpt his characters, Mike and Mindy, in glorious 3-D form.  These two have a lot of fun together and get into some crazy situations. You can laugh along with Mike and Mindy and all of Jon’s comics over at jonscrazystuff.blogspot.com, read a few of his comics below, and see more shots of these wacky kids in the gallery.

Jon EsparzaJon EsparzaIt was great working with Jon. He tells me he’s thrilled to see his characters in 3-D. These 8-inch Mike and Mindy figures represent the third time I’ve been commissioned to recreate comic characters (Bigfoot and Scout from Untold Tales of Bigfoot and Lope from The Graveyard Gang being the other two).

Run Red Run Needle Felted Mike and Mindy

Mike and Mindy going home

 

05
Jun
15

A “Beary” Fun Class!

 

Run Red Run Needle Felted Bear

I taught another needle felting class at Sweetwater Center for the Arts this month. Like last time, we went over basic needle felting techniques. But this time, instead of an owl, the class made a bear.

The students did a wonderful job sculpting the wool into cute little bears. The class was filled with mostly first-timers (and one repeat student) and I love how they each added their unique spin on the project.

I hope to teach another class in the near future. As soon as I know all the details, I’ll post them here.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Bear Class

 

Run Red Run Needle Felted Bear Class

 

 

 

23
Dec
14

A Santa Claus For Mrs. H

Run Red Run Needle Felted Santa                                          I felted a Santa this year for my high school art teacher.  I can’t draw. Never could. And yet she worked tirelessly trying to teach me perspective, values and composition. Not many people have that kind of patience. But through all of my underwhelming experiments with 2D art, she continued to encourage me to find my creative spark. It wasn’t until years later when I started needle felting that all of her efforts finally hit home. I wanted to thank her for her encouragement, and a felted Santa Claus seemed like a fun way to do it.
Run Red Run Needle Felted Santa w BoxIn addition to all of her support in High School, more recently she was instrumental in my having a collection of felties on display at the Sewickley library in October (my first show!) and she talks up my work to anyone who will listen.  She was my all time favorite teacher. Not only because she’s so generous with her time and talent, but under all of that she’s just a really great person.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Santa and Bing This Santa is slightly different than the last Santa I made.  Oval eyes this time, instead of round (I thought the slight tilt made him look kinder) and his jumbo mustache might actually reach out farther from his face than my last Santa, if that’s possible. And since I can’t seem to run a photo shoot without one cat or another sticking their head into the mix, I’m including the photo of Bing the tabby sizing up Santa as a potential chew toy.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! And the Happiest of New Years!
There are more photos of Santa in the gallery if you want to check them out.

01
Nov
14

La Feltie De Los Muertos

RUn Red Run Day of the Dead Skeleton Dia de los Muertos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hate to see Halloween pass. Of course, as a Halloween is winding down, Dia de los Muertos is just getting started! Today we think of the Day of the Dead as a Mexican holiday, but the foundations of the holiday predate the arrival of Europeans in Mesoamerican by thousands of years. I can’t let the festival pass by without a contribution.  This year I made a little Catrina with a felted shawl and skirt and wooden coffin. I love making these little guys. It’s the detailing and ornamentation of the skulls the appeals to me. Overall, the day of the dead isn’t a morbid time. It’s a celebration to remember the loved ones we have lost. I think the art of the holiday is meant to take the fear out of death and maybe to remind us death is a just another part of life.
Go to my gallery for more photos of this little skeleton!

 

31
Oct
14

Happy Halloween 2014! Needle felted Charlie Brown Ghost.

Run Red Run Needle Felted Halloween Charlie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I had a little trouble with the scissors.” I wasn’t sure I’d have time to get this felted and photographed, but I wanted to do something fun for Halloween. And here he is. Good Ol’ Charlie Brown in his ghost costume. No matter how terrible the costume, no one should get a bag of rocks for Halloween. Come on, people!

I took a photo of the “sheet” without the form under it so you could see those were actual holes, and not just black spots felted on. There are a few more shots of Chuck in the gallery. Happy Halloween!

Run Red Run Needle Felted Halloween Charlie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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