Monday, June 23, 2014

DIY: A Felted Foxy Wallhanging

This past Sunday I co-hosted a Pee-Wee's Big Adventure-themed Baby Shower (so much more on that to come ya'll. It was, like, the cutest thing everrrr, if I do say so myself. AND I do) for one of my most favorite friends in the universe, Mallory. Mama Mal's going with a fox-theme for her nursery (she's a big Wes Anderson fan with Fantastic Mr. Fox being the inspiration) so I created this here Felted Foxy Wallhanging for her and baby Lydia Dot!
Now ya'll might recall that I've been down this felted-foxy road before with that What Does the Fox Say? sweater from a wee bit ago. This piece was more involved because I wasn't working on a sweater but creating a background from scratch (ya'll, what does that mean, "from scratch"? People be scratchin' stuff up to work with? Are they developing a scratchy rash? They make cream for that ya know. Just sayin'.) 
But before we get to that, lemme show you what I was workin' with. I found this frame on a thrifting adventure with this sad artwork inside. Okay, I get it, they're praying...or are they?! Let's look closely at this illustration and do a lil rewrite shall we? Here's the scenario, the police have busted in and shouted, "Alright, kid and all your toys, put those hands up and keep 'em where I can see 'em! TEDDY BEAR! No peaking! Dolly-on-the-chair, DID I STUTTER?! Get those hands up! We're not leaving until we find My Little Pony. Horse! We know you've had it out for her since she got to town. Cuff 'em!"

Okay, I admit, that story line is a little weak. Since I couldn't make it work, I ripped it out and eventually used it as the backing for the piece.
For the background, I decided to play around with this assortment of fabrics. As I went, I threw the fabric I didn't intend to use on the floor (because that's where things go when you are a slob, ya'll). When I saw that pile of fabric on the floor MOVE, I nearly had an unfortunate accident that woulda required an outfit change. Gingerly, I picked up the fabric...
To find this sweet baby underneath. Since my buddy Mallory is allergic to cats, I was glad Asha had decided to settle on the fabric I wasn't intending to use! By the way, you can see a sweater I felted dedicated to this lil girl here
Once I had my pieces picked, I either stitched or appliqu├ęd them together. This went together pretty quickly. Which was good because I was making this present the day before the shower. You know. Cuz Procrastination is my Middle Name (actually, that's not true. It's actually B*tch Face but I only tell my closest of friends that secret. Keep it on the down low, would ya?).
From that point, I drew out my design, traced it in Sharpie, cut it out and pinned it in place. 
When felting, I often begin by creating an outline. For this you have to use 100% wool yarn. As I needle punched, I did puncture the paper quite a bit but that didn't harm the needles or the design. As far as supplies goes, I use a Clover Needle and felting mat
Once my outline is complete, I filled it with wool roving. I did post some short clips on the you tubes a while back of a simple felting tutorial. You can check it out here if you can handle my aforementioned B&tch Face.
I didn't want to outline the muzzle so for that I simply traced the pattern in chalk. I like to use chalk because you can erase it pretty easily. I filled that space with white roving. By the way, amazon also sells a whole lotta roving...but I think buying from an independent supplier might be a better. I kinda feel like amazon is becoming the internet version of Walmart, it's taking over the world. But I digress.
 A little cheek and a wool yarn mouth.
For the eye, I decided to try stenciling. I know you can buy felting stencils so I thought I'd give it a try. It worked great! Def gonna be doin' that again.
See? Cake.
For the hankie, I used the same process I had for the white fur muzzle: trace with chalk and fill in. I did attempt some shading with a couple different values of that sea foam green. I thought that complimented the flatness of the fox.
Speakin' of fox, it was about that time that hubs popped in my sewing room to ask if I was planning on changing outta my pajamas. Ever. Answer: NO. It's called Summer Vacay. Pajama-Changing is optional.
Once the fox was finished, the rest went off without a hitch. Or should I say b#tch? Regardless, 'twas easy cakes. 

My fave part was probably the lettering. I simply laid the yarn out and commenced punching it in place. 
Complete, yippie! NOW, I'll change outta my pajamas and slip into something less Goin'-to-the-Walmarts-esque.

I was super nervous when Mallory opened her folks, you know what that's like. What if she hates it? What if she throws in on the floor and projectile vomits on it? These are the thoughts that run through my head. Like, all the time.
Yay! She likey!

Now, this wallhanging puts me in the mind of what I'll be up to this weekend: I'm teaching a Felted Pet Portrait class in Nashville! There are still a coupla spots left if you are interested. Deets here, ya'll. Hope to see some of ya'll there!

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