Since using U2’s music in my video is a big no-no, I put a playlist here with my favorite U2 songs to play along with the video. Enjoy!
Those of you familiar with my work know that I rarely offer my dolls for sale. As living conditions for my collection get more and more crowded, I am faced with the reality that I must learn to say goodbye. So!!
Little Daisy is available for sale on eBay
Daisy stands about 7″ tall and is solid needle felted wool.
I had to make a Li’l Travolta Saturday Night Fever style! Boy does that take me back. I have to find a place with a disco ball for his official photo shoot but in the meantime we took him out sightseeing here in Alaska. When we stopped in at McHugh Creek along Turnagain Arm he learned an awful lot about the Dall Sheep we spotted in the moutains…Hmm….I wonder why he was so fascinated????
I have never needle felted will Dall Sheep wool. Sounds interesting, though.
I must say, I’m pretty smitten with my Li’l Cash – he looked like Sean Connery for so long and while I am a fan – Li’l Sean was NOT who this guy was supposed to be. So, like I usually do at that one special moment where my character comes to life – I shouted out with glee “I DID IT!!!!!!” It really is a fun moment…really fun.
Li’l Cash stands about 12″ tall and is 100% needle felted wool. He is fully jointed with needle felted joints and stands on his own without the use of wire armatures.
For his core, I used my favorite wool batting from www.zwool.com. For his flesh layer, I used my all time favorite needle felting wool – Norwegian C1 Felting Batts (beige peach for Johnny’s flesh) from New England Felting Supply – For his suit, I used Merino Prefelt, also from New England Felting Supply. His hair is Merino roving. And like always, I used my Felt Alive Super-Duper, Color-Coded, Rubber-Coated Felting Needles.
Li’l Cash – An original Felt Alive Wool Sculpture by Kay Petal
I made Clementine for a VERY special project. She made a long trip to China to a doll manufacturer to study her for possible mass production of my designs. Well, it was no big surprise to learn that they can not be easily reproduced – the style does not lend itself to the assembly line. I was glad to get her safely back home!
Eleven Li’l felted celebrities all in a row! Pretty funny – The Li’l Beatles were the first – their scale is a bit smaller than the others but I love them just they way they are.
front row – l-r Li’l Bob Dylan, Li’l Marilyn, Li’l John Lennon, Li’l Ringo Starr, Li’l George Harrison, Li’l Paul McCartney, Li’l Elvis, Li’l Janice Joplin.
back row l-r Li’l Elton John, Li’l Willie Nelson, Li’l Conan O’Brien
She looks tragic to me – I find it strange that most of my characters have a spark of joyfulness to me, but not so with Li’l Marilyn. This one was a real challenge – I don’t think Marilyn wanted to come to life in wool. But my li’l Marilyn is very balanced – she stands all by herself on her little red shoes
I am really happy to introduce my newest li’l Felt Alive celebrity – Li’l Bob Dylan! I just love how the wool can take on the look of a rugged face and a steely-eyed expression. And curly sheep’s locks seemed like the perfect choice for Dylan hair.
My Little Willie Nelson!
Willie is about 12″ tall and is 100% Needle Felted Wool. His hair is a blend of Alpaca and Icelandic Wool. Like all my characters, I start with a basic body structure using what I call “core wool” which is basically wool batting that has not been dyed. The outer layers of the skin and clothing are made with Norwegian C1 Felting Batts. Willie was a wonderful, fun challenge for me – and he stands on his own!
Here is Willie with his buddy, Conan O’Brien!
And here is a video so you can see how lifelike he is!
I think I have found my calling! Celebrity Felt Alive – Hmm…
This is so new for me – I am in my mid forties and never realized I had any kind of artistic abilities – that is until I discovered needle felting – two years ago! I am having so much fun with it – My new Li’l Conan is really a Felt Alive star. Somehow I captured Conan in wool – from his piercing look in his eyes, right down to his swagger, this truly is Mini Conan.
Li’l Conan is a HUGE FAn of the real Conan O’Brien and he plays in front of the tv every time Conan is on – it’s hilarious. He dreams of being Conan’s little desk buddy on his new Tonight Show….a li’l fella can dream…
Here is a little video so you can see how lifelike Li’l Conan is!
I have been up against a challenge ever since I started needle felting of learning how to capture my work in the best light. I am finding that nearly as much as I love creating needle felted characters, I love taking pictures of them. My favorite lighting is natural lighting and my favorite backdrop is my gorgeous Alaskan scenery but I feel it is important to get several excellent, high-res shots of each piece in a controlled studio setting. But how?? So, like most things I’m curious about, I turned to the internet. After much research, I finally have a solution. It is called a light box or a light tent.
My nephew made mine out of PVC conduit and unions. It comes apart for easy storage. I just have a plain white sheet to drape over the top – this filters the light – and I purchased a Flotone photographic backdrop that graduates from black to white. I use this as a sweep and stand my work right on the backdrop – this gives a seamless, wrinkle-free background. I think it gives professional look to my photos. Beside that – I have two 300 watt clamp lights to shine light in from either side to control or even eliminate shadows.
Here is a photo of one of my dolls, Evelyn making her debut in the light box.
And in this photo – I didn’t even need to turn on my lighting – I have a nice, bright studio and this was taken on a lovely, sunny day.
I invited some of my Felt Alive online students to join me in a challenge to capture the essence of Hilda – A vintage plus-sized pinup caricature by artist, Duane Bryers.
Starting at the BOTTOM row- it’s FeltingFever!
Then in the middle we have Germa’s Felting
Then on the top row we have me – feltalive
What a fun bunch of Hildas!!
My nephew Nick and his girlfriend, Mindy, stole away to the mountains the other day with several of my characters in tow. They returned with the most fabulous photos!
There’s more pictures – Here is a slideshow of their day!
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
Meet Mac! He is my crazy little Scotsman with a penchant for Irish Whiskey. I planned on making a grumpy little old man in a wool suit. When I was ready to get Mac dressed, I decided to let him pick out his own outfit. So – it’s not my fault!
It’s censored for the blog.
Here’s a link to see the the Real Mac
As you can probably guess, I had a blast creating Mac. In my online classes, I stress the importance of relaxing and having fun! I certainly practiced what I preach when it came to my little Mac. He is about 8 inches tall and solid needle felted wool.
Here are a couple of my latest creations! I have several more in the works! These are so fun to make – I made these using the same soft sculptural techniques that I teach in my online class. It’s fun and easy to learn! No patterns, no sewing, stuffing and no seams – just solid needle felted wool!
I think her name is Hazel. She just jumped off my felting pad today. She is really difficult to photograph and is SO much cuter in person. She is another example of a wool soft sculpture – she is so soft and huggable. In her seated position she is about 8 ” tall. Make sure to watch the little video of Hazel. The background music is “Way Long Timey Ago” by The Red Clay Ramblers
Here is my latest character to leap off my felting pad. His name is Cheider and he is the largest I have made so far. He stands about 20″ tall to the tip of his hat. He is made of 100% wool with no wire armature. I wet felted his hat and it is removable. Make sure to watch the video to see him in action.
I just can’t help it – these two crazy kids just showed up on my felting pad. I do find it unusual how this old man bears an uncanny resemblance to my late father. I didn’t mean for there to be any resemblance but it is striking. My four year old niece who only remembers him from pictures took one look at this guy and said – “Oh – that’s my Grandpa Vern” I know it would just crack my dad up so the name stuck!
Dad had a great sense of humor and would love the fact that he gets to wear Superman Underoos.
I really don’t have any plans when I start needle felting a doll. Funny things always happen which might explain my addiction to this craft.
I made a little video show of Grandpa Vern and his gal enjoying a little music. (Music is “Boogie” by John Hartford)
I find it unusual how this old man has an uncanny resemblance to my late father. I didn’t mean for there to be any resemblance but it is striking. Dad had a great sense of humor and would love the fact that I put him in Superman underoos. My four year old niece who only remembers him from pictures took one look at this guy and said – “Oh – that’s my Grandpa Vern” I know it would just crack my dad up so the name stuck! Like my Dad, this guy is a little bit naughty so please enjoy the video of Grandpa Vern in action!
This is Cookie! She knows that a curve is the sexiest distance between two points and she is proud of her voluptuous figure. From a Yiddish word meaning ripe and juicy, Zaftig has come to be understood as pleasantly plump.
Cookie is needle felted out of 100% wool. She is very soft and is fun to pose. Her gorgeous red hair is from dyed curly wool.
Cookie dropped something!!
I created Cookie using soft sculpture techniques that I learned from Birgitte Krag Hansen. She is not totally complete yet as I have to do much needling to create a less fuzzy skin. I just had to share her because she makes me laugh! When I get her done I will post a video of Cookie in motion!
Hi everyone! I’d like to share my fantastic experience that I recently had. In late August, I learned that my needle felting idol, Birgitte Krag Hansen would be in Alaska in early September putting on needle felting workshops. I was so lucky to be able to take not one but TWO workshops with her. The first workshop was a one day event titled “Funny Theatre Figures. This class was in the tiny, remote community of Kenny Lake; I had to drive 4 hours in each direction to take this one day workshop. It was so worth it! Our class was in a little library with only 9 people in the class.
Birgitte is on the porch and that’s Penny Wakefield, her host from the Fairbanks Spinners and Weavers Guild.
There wasn’t even running water – we had to use the outhouse out back!
We had so much fun learning how to make these funny little theatre figures! The little guy I made is in the video below. His name is Kleebus. He only has one hand (and that is at the end of his neck/body) but really, he needs no more! He is fun to play with and kids absolutely love him. Birgitte taught us how to work the wool so that the characters come to life. I hope you enjoy the video of Kleebus as he hams it up for the camera! Sorry about the backgroud noise – its one of my big dogs having a big drink of water!
This is Hailey! (My 4 year old niece is in charge of naming my creations)
I made her in the 3 day workshop I took in Fairbanks with Birgitte. This was so intense and I learned so much. Luckily, I took a flight up there because the 6 hour drive each way would have kicked my butt.
The workshop was called “Figures in Motion” and I had the idea that mine would be sunbathing. The end result was more like she was flying!
The last pictures were taken during the workshops – Birgitte’s Workstation is quite interesting. I love the one of the family of characters that were made in the class. There were some fun and talented people there!
I entered some of my felted creatures into the Alaska State Fair and was pleasantly surprised at how well they did.
My dog sled team took a first place ribbon in the category of Fiber Arts – Needle Felted – Other. It also won a special recognition from a sponsor – which I believe means a cash prize – not sure yet though!
Having a blast with this needle felting stuff!
This is Skye.
She stands about 12″ tall and is my first completed doll. Needle felted over a wire armature. Not bad for a newbie!!
These next two are my first creations (well, except for one that mysteriously disappeared.) They are made over wire armatures and are pretty small.