Posts Tagged ‘needle felted

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

20
Sep
19

Feline Felts For A Cartoonist Cat

Jackson-and-Foster-01.jpg

After posting a few felted kitties on Instagram I was asked by my friend Wayno® (cartoonist for the nationally syndicated comic, Bizarro) to needle felt a couple cats for his wife’s birthday; two stylized versions of their rescue cats, Jackson and Foster. Wayno® and I discussed the project and decided realistic pet portraits weren’t what he was after — he’s a cartoonist, after all. So I was excited to get the chance to felt some cartoony kittehs!

Foster and Jackson.jpg

I got some photos of Jackson and Foster and got started. Jackson is a little bigger than Foster and one of his eyes is a little cloudy (I’m told it doesn’t stop him from being a regular cat though).  Foster is the orange and white tabby with big, bright eyes.

Jackson-and-Foster-07.jpg

These kitties wear collars with tags in real life. I tried my hardest to felt the tags, but just couldn’t get results I was happy with because of their near-sub-atomic dimensions. Another cartoonist friend offered to draw and print the tags on a heavy paper (I know so many handy people). Anyway, they came out perfect! You can actually see the designs on the tags even at that microscopic size.

Jackson-and-Foster-05.jpg

I had so much fun felting these little guys. And word from Wayno® is that his wife adores them. Mission accomplished!

30
May
19

Needle Felted MacFluff is On The Case

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It was a foggy night on the docks. I could hear the distant bell of a fishing boat steering into the harbor. But then, another bell chimed nearby — the message alert on my phone! It was James Anderson, creator of Ellie on Planet X, asking if I could needle felt the main character from his book, MacFluff Goes to Sea. A foghorn sounded ominously as I typed my answer. Of course I would. You don’t say no to a pup as cute as MacFluff.

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Here’s the turn around that Jim drew up for the MacFluff feltie.

Run Red Run Needle Felted MacFluff

Initially, I planned to felt a squinting eye under MacFluff’s patch as a little surprise, but wasn’t sure if Jim had that design element planned. He wasn’t sure what would work best, but when his wife suggested the classic cartoon “X” we all knew that was the perfect solution.

Run Red Run Needle Felted MacFluff

Jim was such a pro to work with and the process went so smoothly and effortlessly that, with the little extra time and wool I had on hand, I quickly felted up MacFluff’s duck friend, Gordon. Since it was going to be a surprise (and I didn’t have a model sheet to work from) he might not be exactly to scale, but it gave MacFluff a traveling companion for his trip to Jim’s mailbox.

Run Red Run Needle Felted MacFluff and Gordon

Run Red Run Needle Felted Gordon

This is the third or fourth original character I’ve felted for a cartoonist and they’re always fun. Jim was a pleasure to work with and I had a great time sculpting his character. Please check out Jim’s site ellieonplanetx.com and his Instagram and Twitter account @ellieonplanetx. You’ll find lots of fantastic art and a few photos of his sweet dogs! And if you’re interested in reading his book about MacFluff, you can find it here on Amazon.

30
Dec
18

“There’s a million things I haven’t done, but a felted Hamilton isn’t one.”

The hit musical Hamilton is coming to Pittsburgh on New Years, so this latest commission was timed perfectly.

Hamilton-02.jpg

This Christmas commission for a Hamilton fan was designed to look like a Funko Pop figure. You know…those big, square-headed plastic knick-knacks everyone’s going nuts over? The recipient is a Funko Pop collector and, as of yet, there is no official Funko Pop Hamilton figure. Enter Feltco Pop by yours truly.

Hamiton-04.jpg

If you’re that one person on the planet who hasn’t seen any promo images from this hit, Broadway musical, here’s the photo of Lin-Manuel Miranda I used for costume reference. (Photo copyright to whoever takes these beautiful Hamilton promo shots)

LinManuel_refphoto

I’m told the gift went over big Christmas morning and was a preamble to the recipient getting Hamilton tickets. Lucky kid must’ve been on the “nice” list.

Hamiton-in-box.jpg

If Santa didn’t bring you any high-priced Hamilton tickets, consider this: a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind Hamilton feltie from an enterprising local creative might make a more affordable alternative. 😃

I hope everyone had a great holiday! Happy New Year!

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
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




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