Cute needle felted animal – easy how to

Though I already made some dry and wet felting, I wanted to try making a felted animal, which seems a bit of a more difficult project. But in fact, it is really easy and I am quite pleased with my first one. Here is a step by step process for needle felted mouse.

First, I made a simple wire construction. I used aluminium wire, since it is easy to bend but it is sturdy enough to support the weight of the mouse. As I discovered later, it is best to use a thin wire to avoid breaking the felting needle while poking the wool. I used a 1 mm and 5 mm thick (flat) wire.

Then I put some synthetic batting into the wire construction, to form a belly and a head of the mouse as a base for felting the wool. I could insert the wool into the structure and begin felting instead, but it would take a lot more time.

Next, I applied some wool to the batting and began stabbing at loose wool fibres with a barbed needle. At first I stabbed a bit deeper to make sure that the wool is attaching to the batting, later on I continued to stab more shallowly, slowly sculpting the shapes of the animal.

I felted ears separately and sewn them to the wire construction. The most difficult part is felting hands and legs, because of the underneath wire. To felt those I stabbed the wool at an angle almost parallel to the limbs and proceeded really slow to not break the needle.

After about 4 hours of felting the consistency and shape of the mouse was about right, time for final touches! I applied some white wool roving to the ears, belly and head of the mouse and sewn eyes, mouth and nose.

There were some loose frizzy fibres left that I didn’t like. I tried to press them down with damp towel, but it didn’t work. So I applied a little bit of hair spray to the mouse and gently pressed down the fibres with my fingers. After the spray had dried I simply trimmed the remaining loose fibres with small scissors.  And here is the finished product, voila!

 

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Old house renovation in progress – laundry

We began renovating our old house about five months ago. The progress is slow, since my husband and I are doing all of the work by ourselves – and actually enjoy it. The place that shows major progress is the laundry, a tiny place in the oldest part of the building, about hundred years old. It was built as pigsty on a countryside farm, owned by a rich landowner from Austria. Later on it was used as a toolshed and small kitchenette. It was in a really bad shape and cried for some attention and love.

We wanted to maintain the farmhouse character of the building in structural elements and internal decor – this is where many of ideas from Pinterest came handy.

The plaster was falling apart, so we removed it completely from one wall and repointed the mortar between bricks. Long hours of work were put in, but now the exposed bricks add character to the place and look great with other walls that were re-plastered in white. We also got rid of old suspended ceiling, exposed the beams and put on the insulation. There is still some plaster work to be done, but it does already look pretty ok.

The furniture and internal decor is all made from renovated or reclaimed materials. Besides building materials we will not add anything new to the place.

A renovated credenza from 60-ties that will be used for storage in the laundry. A desk from reclaimed wood boards will cover laundry and dryer machine and will come handy for folding and ironing. The old sink is put on the simple wooden stand.

The lamp is Pinterest inspired DIY: an old piece of wood and simple fabric covered electrical cord. The main feature is lightbulbs in retro-style that are hanging on three cords of different length.

Still lots to do, I am really looking forward!


Do you have a project that gives you thrills of enthusiasm? What is it that you love about it?

 

Tough beginnings on Etsy

I enjoy crafting as far as I remember. So in the midst of middle age crisis I decided to upgrade my hobby and start selling things. The other truth is, I have no more space to decorate my home or to stock my little cuties. I opted for Etsy platform and opened my shop. So far so good. During first two weeks I listed 20 products and had 13 views, no likes and – obviously – no sells.

I have a lot of stamina and will not be defeated right away: I still have to upgrade my photo skills, figure out the CEO thing, start promoting on Facebook (which I do not like) and so on. Lots to do and learn, which is great. And getting out of my introvert comfort zone, which I guess is also ok. But I guess it will take more than this.

I wonder, for average shop owner, what rate of success is there? I mean, I do not expect to make huge money out of it, but at least to cover expenses and have a good feeling about it moving forward. To have some insight I turned to YouTube, where are lots of videos giving tips and telling success stories. But I have a vague feeling that some of them just shifted from selling stuff on Etsy to selling Etsy management knowledge on YouTube.

One video suggested that an option to think about when there are no sells is that the products are no good at all. Reasonable advice, but nevertheless this really stuck my strings of deepest angst I guess a lot of creative people share: of not being good enough.

I guess this will be a very interesting self-development journey as well.


Meanwhile, I keep going with my stuff. I made a wall decoration out of some old wood board, sewn a little bag to be used as a vase, pencil holder, candy holder or anything smallish holder, made some drawing… et voila, here it is.

P.S. If you like it, let me know 🙂

https://www.etsy.com/listing/559690005/wood-wall-decor-farmhouse-rustic-style?ref=shop_home_active_1

I am back, got some news!

Hi, everybody! I haven’t published anything during last several months. My husband and I are renovating our old house – we are doing almost everything by ourselves – so we were busy all days long. The house is still looking like a building site, but one or two big final pushes and we’ll reach the stage I am really looking forward to – making and buying furniture, decorations, making the porch and so on. From next spring on I hope we’ll have lots of creative projects to share with you.

There is another project that suffered neglect during last months: I opened my Etsy shop (ioKikkaDesign) and only now finally filled it up with some items (I still have lots of work to do, though). I am very curious how it will turn out – the marketplace is huge and lots of shops cannot survive the fierce competition. So, fellow Etsy shop owners and buyers, if you would like to share your experience, give some advice or just let us know about your shop – I would be most grateful and interested to hear from you.

Last but not least, here are some pictures of my little cuties.

And here is my current working space (lots of creative mess on our kitchen table). I am looking forward to have a special “womans cave” at the house once we move in – yey!

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My sisters’ bobbin lace jewellery – part 2

I already presented my sisters’ work with bobbin laces. She is doing quite a lot of them, so it’s time to show you what she’s been doing lately. Let’s see some traditional bobbin laces that are firmly sewn to different supporting base: a bangle, earrings, a brooch…

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The lace in the picture above is made with purple cotton thread and sewn into metal circle. This piece can be used as home decoration, if you simply hang it on a wall or on the window, but it can be turned to jewellery as well. A pendant or, if done in smaller circle, a pair of earrings.

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Bobbin lace within bangle. The lace is handmade with silver metallic thread, so it adds texture and colour to shiny bangle base. Very elegant piece.

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This brooch has a base of cotton cloth. Two lace flowers, that are done with cotton thread are sewn to the cloth base of the brooch.

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The lace is put in pendant base. Some beads are sewn between the lace and the supporting metal. Gold complements beautifully to the soft pink and purple colour.

 

 

 

 

I love my sisters’ creations, she is doing really amazing things. Love you, sis!

Happy crafting to you all!

DIY Felted necklaces

Wool can be transformed into felt using needle technique. Here are some ideas how to make necklaces out of wool roving. It may not seem so, but it is really an easy process.

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You will need a special needle, which has small sharp hooks, so when you poke the wool with it, the wool fibres get entangled and slowly get compacted in the desired shape. Besides needle you will need a felting surface, usually a foam pad. The wool is placed on the pad when doing needle felting so there is no danger to poke yourself with very sharp felting needle.

There are many different choices about what kind of wool to use. No worries, just be sure to have the wool that is suitable for needle felting – most of them are. I am using merino wool roving. This is all there is to know to get started.

With some practice and imagination lots of beautiful creations can be done.

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Happy crafting to you all!

Bring kids drawings to life

Many years ago my daughters and I made a fun DIY project. My daughters like to draw and are keen on their drawings, which are on display on our fridge. At the time they also liked dolls so we had the idea to make dolls out of their own drawings. Younger daughter had 3 years and older about 7.

We took two pieces of paper and crayons. The only instruction I gave them was to make a large enough picture, so that it would be possible for me to sew the doll.

The younger drew a humanoid, which seems more like a banana, but I can guarantee you that it is actually a very beautiful princess with long hair and blue eyes. My older daughter drew her own princess, with many more details and colours.

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Next, I drew over the lines and transferred the picture onto a cloth. I put two pieces of cloth and some stuffing in between and sewed main lines of the picture with zig-zag seam on my sewing machine. Finally, we coloured the dolls with crayons and I embroidered details: eyes, mouth, crown…

My kids were so proud to have dolls made out of their own design. They played a lot with these dolls and are still keeping them as memorabilia.

Happy crafting!