Showing posts with label needle felted. Show all posts
Showing posts with label needle felted. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sweater Weather! Top Ten Fave Needle Felted Sweaters

It's officially Sweater Weather in my neck of the woods and I'm all about it. So much so that this weekend, while I was procrastinating lesson planning, I decided to do a little wardrobe planning instead because #priorities. After rooting thru Mount Sweater (seriously, if you follow me here, you've seen my stories...I have a sweater-hoarding problem, y'all!) I decided I had so many sweaters, I thought I'd go with a theme...and settled on animals. Here's this week's line up:
Boom! Side note: I have enough animals sweaters to last me two weeks, maybe even three. Did I mention Mount Sweater? 

Whilst rooting thru my jumpers, I noticed that a fair amount of them had been created by yours truly. And that's when I thought a blog post of my Top Ten Fave Needle Felted Sweaters was in order (conveniently, I've needle felted EXACTLY 10 sweaters...countless dresses...but 10 sweaters. Exactly.) So here you go. If you are looking for a super fun craft that allows you to take out your frustrations while stabbing something repeatedly AND NOT GET ARRESTED, have I got a craft for you! 
My Very First Needle Felted Sweater! If we are gonna talk needle felting, let's start at the beginning, shall we? I started needle felting in January of 2013 (seems like yesterday!) after a visit to Anthropologie. I'd spotted a BEAUTIFUL sweater that I was determined to buy until I spotted the $98 price tag. Say whut now?! I remember examining the sweater carefully and thinking, "I think this is felt...I think this is needle felted!" That evening, I went home and watched several YouTube videos on needle felting. After stumbling upon a video where a sweet British woman exclaimed, "You can needle felt on ANYTHING!" I decided to get the supplies and give it a go on this thrifted and moth-ridden purple sweater. here's the my preferred needle felting supplies:
This Clover brand needle felting tool can be found on many websites. I like it because it holds three needles, making the job a little easier and it fits comfortably in your hand. Just a side note: when buying replacement needles, purchase the Clover brand ones. They are designed specifically for this tool.
The needle felting tools usually run about $12. If you aren't sure if this is the craft for you but still wanna give it a shot, you might consider inventing in a pack of needle felting needles. They are barbed and razor sharp so if you poke yourself, there will be blood. No sharing needles, okay? Not a craft for the little kiddos, okay? You can purchase a pack of these for half the cost of the needle tool. Why do I need so many, you ask? Well, as a newbie, breaking needles is not uncommon. 
When needle felting, you gotta have a cushion underneath otherwise your needles will break. My cushion of choice is this one, also created by Clover. However, a foam cushion, like that used to reupholster furniture would work as well.

Now, let's talk roving. I'd like to recommend purchasing from a local provider. How do you find that? See if your community has a Fibers Guild. Mine doesn't have much of one...but where my mom in law lives, Birmingham, they do. Reaching out to them will put you in contact with someone who just might produce their own wool. Or you could contact my two favorite ladies: Sue Bunch at Back to Back Fiber and Natasha at Ester's Place. They are GREAT!

Now, back to the sweaters!
Crazy Cat Lady Sweater! After seeing a cat sweater on ModCloth, I decided to make a portrait of my cat on my sweater. So here is Asha! This method of needle felting, I call Paint By Numbers. If you follow the link, you'll see just how easy it was to needle felt. Now, easy does not equal FAST...needle felting is time consuming, FYI.
 Crayola Crayon Sweater! I'm still waiting for my endorsement from these guys. I mean, how much more love do I have to show, I stabbed your logo on my sweater?! If you want an easy sweater, try this one on for size! Flat shapes of color and LOTS of stabbing. 
 Pencil and Line Sweater! Want a fast project? Here you go! By the way, the best place to find sweaters to stab is the thrift store! The sweaters DO NOT have to be wool...remember, you can needle felt ANYTHING. Here's a closer look. 
When it comes to yarn, you can needle felt any kind of yarn, it does not have to be wool! I used yarn on both the zig-zags and the looped lines. Word to the wise: when needle felting yarn, DO NOT CUT IT! It "shrinks" as you felt, meaning it will "felt" and get smaller in size. So only cut it when your project is complete to ensure you've used enough yarn.
 Put a Bird On It Sweater! Remember back in 2013 when we put birds on EVERYTHING? So much so Portlandia did a hilarious skit about it. Well, I'm guilty! I love stabbing birds (ahem) onto stuff...including this sweater. Sadly, I rarely wear this sweater! Whenever I put designs on the back, I always remember that I can only wear them when my long hair is up...otherwise, they go unseen!
 Foxy Stoll Sweater! Here's another short-ish project stabbed upon a thrift store sweater. I'm telling you, once you get in to this craft, you'll either be raiding your own closet or that of the thrift store. The best part is, if you mess up, who cares?! You're only out a coupla bucks!
 Owl-y Sweater! Not even gonna lie, so much of my sweater-inspiration comes from Anthro! I see that cute sweater, get all excited and then I see that price tag...but DIY motivator there ever was. This owl was a direct Anthro-inspo.
 Floral Felted Sweater! As was this one! I love this sweater and practically live in it during the winter months at home. That being said, it took FOREVER to make because of all the small flowers and fruit. But I think it's one of my faves. 
 Van Gogh Sunflowers Sweater! Did you know that you can needle felt fabric?! That's right...if you find yourself without wool roving then hit the thrift store and purchase some 100% wool sweaters. Wash them, dry them and you'll have felted fabric. With that you can cut out shapes and the felted fabric will not unravel. Felted wool is what I used for the flowers and leaves of this sweater and the one below. Just place the felted wool on the sweater and stab as you would wool roving. 
 Calligraphy and Flower Sweater! This sweater involved needle felting wool roving, needle felting felted sweaters and WET felting! I don't talk too much about wet felting on this blog as it's not my most favorite thing ever but...I did it for the yellow centers of the flowers. This whimsical sweater was a blast to make. 
I have shared A LOT of felting and fibers videos on my YouTube channel, so if you are interested in learning more, you might wanna subscribe here. Thanks, y'all! 

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Monday, May 22, 2017

DIY: Felted Cactus Garden

I am an infamous plant serial killer. "Grow succulents!" they said. "You can't kill a cactus!" they told me. LIES, people, all LIES. Where there is a will, there is a way. And there ain't no way any plant will survive in Casa de Cassie...until now. 

Allow me to introduce you to my Felted Cactus Garden!

These haven't been completely "planted" yet, hence the needle felting cushion showing underneath. I'm still trying to decide exactly where to place them. Right now, I'm totally diggin' the hippo planter I scored at an estate sale this weekend. Here's the how-to video on creating your own needle felted succulents!
It's a labor of love, not even gonna lie!
I seriously could not stop making these. I only did the one, shown in the separate container, using the wet felting method. The rest were all created with a whole lotta stabbin'! 
 I'm still trying to figure out where Harriet the Hippo is gonna live but for now, I'm kind of loving her in this nook in our bonus room. This is one of my favorite rooms in the house as I've completely decked it out with my most cherished of kitschy items. That lamp was another estate sale score and those pillows feature the artwork of Vladimir Tretchikoff, a fave of mine. A company called The Tretchikoff Project currently sells beautiful reproductions of his work on bags, jewelry, pillows and more. They were kind enough to send me these to review and, I have to say, I love them! The print quality is stunning and the images are so beautiful and rich. I'll be sharing more of their products super soon but for now, consider this a sneak peek. 
This hippo is diggin' it's cactus garden, I think. Can you blame her? 
So my decorating style, in case you cannot tell, is more is more is MORE MAGNIFICENT. I am a lady who loves her stuff...the kitschier, the better. I've always been a collector of things. As a kid it was Hot Wheels then books (Nancy Drew but only the blue vintage hardbacks...I was weird) and stuffed animals. So.Many.Stuffed.Animals. As an adult, I'm all over the place with my collections: Enid Collins bags, enamel flower pins, vintage clothing, bird wall pockets from the Czech Republic, old photos and paintings of women (they hang in my sewing room) name it. If it strikes my fancy, I need to have a dozen or more. 
 Now I can added felted cacti to the list of collections!
Thankfully, they have a long life expectancy...even in my incapable hands. 
Y'all know I'm prone to felting...I just love to stab stuff! If you want to see more needle felting videos, be sure to subscribe here
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

DIY: A Needle Felted Camo Jacket for the Artist

Power to the Art Teacher!

OR in the case of this week of craziness, Power to the Cranky, Tired, Gray-Haired-Growin' Art Teacher...wait, scratch that once more. Forget Power. All this art teacherin' lady wants is grape flavored adult drink and chocolate. Copious amounts of chocolate. And no one will end up with a paint brush in their eye. 
So this lil jacket o' power has been in my sketchbook and on my mind for many moons, y'all. In fact, my end goal is to have the front of this jacket ablaze with art teacherin' badges like the Girl Scout badges I had on my sash as a kid. Like a "No One Gave Themselves a Haircut in Art" badge and an "I Didn't Huff the Sharpies After a Rough Day with Kindergarten...Today" badge. You know, the ushe. 
Y'all might remember from my last needle felted coat that I'm on a bit of a Mad Men bender. Well, I'm nearing the end of the show (noooooo!!) which means I'm in the midst of the late 60's/early 70's. I was fascinated with that era in high school and college, dressing full tilt hippie (with bell bottoms as big as my head, butterfly collared shirts and a sweet stacked sneaker). My fave jams were Sly and the Family Stone, Ohio Players, The Jackson 5 and the soundtrack from Shaft (yes, seriously. Just ask anyone who shared neighboring dorm room walls). I had that time very romanticized in my small little head. As an adult-sized human (with a tween-sized brain) I now realize that time in history was both a frightening and swiftly changing one: the shooting death of a president and his murderer; the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr.; riots; protests; the Vietnam War; women's rights; racial tension and the list goes on. The Black Panthers were formed during this time and made famous the slogan "All Power to the People" to protest the rich, ruling (and white) class which they found oppressive. 
Soon that slogan came to represent all people who felt the injustice and inequality of the time. I find it is similar to how folks now view that ALL lives matter, not just some. I think that fighting for equality will last for many years to come. Thankfully, we live in a country where we are free to express our unhappiness (peacefully, of course) with our many gifts: song, acting and art. 
And so all that serious chatter to say, such was my inspo for this here needle felted number! Because I worked on this between Mad Men episodes and was much to lazy to hop up and get my camera, I don't have any process pics. My bad. But I figured y'all have seen enough of my needle felted stuff to get a pictures. If not, I've added a Big Fat Hairy List with Links at the bottom of this here blog post. 
In other news, I'm so excited to wear this to NAEA 2016 in just a coupla weeks! Who's going to Chicago for the art teacherin' convention? I do hope to see/meet/watch-netflix-and-chill (er, wait, no) with all my fave friends! 
Until next time, Power to the Art Teacherin' Types! 

And now, for that big list of all my needle felted pieces...
It all started with a hole-y sweater that I thought I'd experiment on...all these sweaters are thrift store finds that I embellished with needle felting. Many of these posts include step by step and video: bird sweater; crayola sweater; puppy sweater
 Then I moved on to dresses...the Starry Night dress; Kandinsky dress number one and number two.

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