Thursday, June 29, 2017

DIY: Needle Felted Postcards

Ciao! Last Thursday, my mama and I returned from a whirlwind trip to and video heavy blog post to come. Over the past weekend, as I was scrolling through my endless photos of Rome, Florence and Venice, I decided to recreate some of my favorite memories in the form of postcard-sized needle felt. It was super simple to do...although, like all needle felting projects, it is time consuming. However, I love to sit, relax, watch something that doesn't require too much focus (anyone else watching Glow right now and having 80's flashbacks?!) and create. So needle felted postcards it is! 
After sharing these on my IG, I got handful of questions about how these were made. So I filmed the process and slapped it together in this video. I hope it answers your questions...but if not, feel free to drop me a line in the comments!
The hardest part about creating these postcards...was not having a drawing of the image created beforehand. I didn't draw on the felt or work from a sketch, I just went for it. Sometimes this was frustrating as I had to (gently) tear out what I didn't like. For the most part, working without a script, so to speak, was pretty dang freeing. It felt like painting. I think that's why I enjoy felting so much. It takes me back to my painting days...but it is a medium that I find much easier to work with than watercolor or oil paint. 
I asked mom many times what her favorite part of our trip was. We both have had a hard time answering that question! For me, one of my fave days was our bike ride thru Tuscany to visit a couple of vineyards and stop for a traditional Tuscan lunch. It was magical and a day I definitely wanted to capture on a needle felted postcard.
To give the sunflowers a more 3-dimensional look, I didn't needle felt them entirely so they were raised up a pinch. 
One daily question while in Italy was, "Where should we watch the sunset tonight?" The sunset it late, close to 9pm so we usually tried to be somewhere magical every evening to catch a breathtaking view. On our last night in Rome, that meant the top of the Alter of the Fatherland. I loved the silhouette of the statues even more than the view!
For a couple of Euro, we took a glass elevator that was packed with tired tourists toting bottles of wine and cameras. 
With paint, colors tend to mix...with roving, you can layer many colors and it takes on an atmospheric look that I love. 
I have never worked this small with needle felting can be tedious. I have a tendency to over work images (which is what I think I was doing with the image of Venice below) so I always have to take a break, step back and look at what I'm creating from a distance. Anyone else like this?
Gondola man just about did me in. At first I was hesitant to put a gondola in the image as it seemed rather cliche...but there are literally gondolas EVERYWHERE in Venice, it's no exaggeration. And the light between the buildings really is that beautiful. 
Venice has this magical ability to be "postcard ready" everywhere you look. One person I met referred to it as being like Disney. She's right. Except Disney would charge you a small fortune to get on the island and require you to have a magical tracking band to get to the front of the line at St. Mark's Basilica...which is actually a really great idea. But I digress. 
 I've already started on a fourth postcard...I just can't stop. I'll be certain to share those with you when they are complete. 
 Until then, I need to figure out how to display these bad boys. Small frames? Large frame/large mat? A frame that can hold multiple images? 
Until I get that figured out, y'all have a wonderful day and we'll chat real soon!

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  1. Amanda6/30/2017

    Gorgeous! I totally want to try this. I say frame them, but maybe in a shadow box or something so you can still see the texture. When my cousin and I went to Italy together a couple of years ago, we asked each other about our favorite days, too. We both agreed that our favorite day was the one we spent hiking down a mountain near Lake Maggiore. Like your bike ride, it was so nice to spend time outside together in a beautiful place and finish it off with a delicious dinner!

    1. Yeah, I think in a frame...without glass would be good. I'm so excited to make more, I'm hooked! I really think my fave days are the ones spent just like you described: relaxed, no set schedule and outside. That was one thing I didn't want to do, especially in Florence: spend too much time in museums. How un-art teachery of me! Sounds like I'm not alone ;)

  2. Your postcards are beautiful! I am just learning to needle felt so I loved your video! Thank you for sharing your process!

    1. It is so super easy! I think once you start needle felting, you'll find yourself hooked. I have many felting videos on my YouTube channel, just look under the "Fibers" playlist! Have fun :)

  3. Im going to rome tomorrow,can u please tell me where can i buy a felting needle in Rome?????im not Italian so it is really hard for me to find it!
    It would b nice if u can tell me the shop or address in Rome,really hope i can get it ASAP!
    thx a looooot :)

  4. Hi there! My name is Kaitlyn and I'm currently going to school to become an art teacher! Your blogs and Instagram posts have been so influential in shaping my teaching philosophy and have been very encouraging for me when classes are a pain in the neck and I feel like maybe it's not worth it. You are most definitely one of my idols as an artist and an art teacher and I hope I can be at least half the art teacher you are someday! I hope you see this (since this blog post is from 2 years ago -_-) because 1) I really want you to know how much of an inspiration you are to me and many other up-and-coming art educators, and 2) I wanted to ask if it was okay if I "stole" this super cool needle-felting postcard idea as an idea for a lesson plan (just for an art ed class assignment at the moment, but I may use it in my future classroom!). I'm choosing you as my "contemporary artist" and this particular blog post as inspiration for the lesson. (PS- I was really hoping to see you at NAEA Boston, I saw your outfits on Insta and they were so cool! Our student chapter at IUP [which I am currently president of] had 7 members go this year, and we were all bummed we didn't see your "meet up" post until hours after you were there.)


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