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Needle felted guinea pig (number 3)

May I introduce you all to my third needle felted guinea pig. I made her in loving memory of a beautiful piggie of a lady in Warrington. I completely enjoyed felting her especially as she has the cutest face and wonderful markings!  She has now gone to live at her furever home and will receive lots of cuddles. She is also my first creation to have one of my new ‘Fit to be loved’ heart tags sewn on. 🙂

Here are few photos of her when she was a work in progress. If you would like more ideas on how to make a guinea pig of your own please see my photo tutorials; felting a guineapig and felting long fur.

Needle felted WIP guineapig (17) Needle felted WIP guineapig (18)

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Needle felted WIP guineapig (23)  Needle felted WIP guineapig (25)

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Needle felted WIP guineapig (28)

And here she is all fluffed up and posing for the camera 🙂

Needlefelted guinea pig (12)   Needlefelted guinea pig (6)

Needlefelted guinea pig (25) Needlefelted guinea pig (21)

Needlefelted guinea pig (1) Needlefelted guinea pig (13)

Needlefelted guinea pig (2) Needlefelted guinea pig (3)

Needlefelted guinea pig (4)  Needlefelted guinea pig (11)

Needlefelted guinea pig (16)  Needlefelted guinea pig (23)

Needlefelted guinea pig (24)

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Heart Tags

I was very excited this week to receive these little acrylic hearts with ‘Fit to be loved’ engraved on them. I bought them on etsy from Stacy Hotchkiss of ‘Running with scissors‘. Very impressed with the little organza bag presentation. I love the extra detail of adding the heart attached to the ribbon so I can see what was inside. 🙂 

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I have been thinking for a while now of how to make my needle felted animals  identifiable as being created by me. If I were a painter I would sign my painting with my name. Not quite so easy with a fibre sculpture.

I did look at metal tags but these being transparent are not so conspicuous and don’t take away from whatever colour wool I use.   

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I liked the hearts as they really suit the name ‘Fit to be loved’. They each have a tiny hole so they can be sewn onto my creations.

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I just love love love them! Can’t wait to use my first one. 🙂

I would well recommend Running with Scissors. Great product and a friendly helpful service.

2014 review for fit to be loved

How exciting! The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

Thank you to everyone for following me and encouraging me on my journey. Without you all I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wish you all a blessed and exciting new year!!

Click here to see the complete report.

Miniature donkey

Miniature donkey

I can now reveal my latest creation, a miniature donkey!

I was sent some photos of an absolutely gorgeous real miniature donkey and asked to needle felt her as a surprise Christmas present for her loving owner. It was an absolute pleasure to create her as I looked at those cute eyes and wonderful fluffy coat.

As she is a hoofed animal I quickly realised that to stand up she would need some stability so I wrapped core Corriedale wool over a wire armature. She soon started to take shape!!

Needle felted donkey 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needle felted donkey 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made her as a young fluffy donkey with long fur rather than when she was a bit older after a summer moult but this meant I really had to think about how to get the right colour and texture for her fur. I ended up buying 4 wool colours and mixing them carefully by hand with other brown and cream colours I had to get the right shade.

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Once I started adding the long fur I had to be so careful not to let the strands fuzz up when laying the animal down to reach all sides. I therefore had to start on the legs and tummy and do the back and face last so the fur was looking its best in these areas and I didn’t end up squashing her ears.

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Thankfully donkey fur is slightly matted so I didn’t have to worry too much about it having to look silky smooth! I just love doing faces so this was hard for me to have to wait til the end but it was definitely worth it 🙂

Needle felted donkey 3

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Needle felted donkey 6

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Fox and squirrel ready for adoption!

Fox and squirrel ready for adoption!

Looking for Christmas present ideas? 

How about a one of a kind wool art sculpture from Fit to be loved?

I have just put two red beauties; the red fox and red squirrel up for adoption in my Etsy shop!!

Some of you may recognise the little red squirrel ‘Chestnut’ as she stars in my ‘adding head and limbs tutorial’ and I have posted about her before. The red fox has been nicknamed by a few friends of mine as the ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ as he is so strikingly red and looks like a real gent in character, ready to go on an adventure.

I absolutely adore them both but they are looking for their forever homes.

05-IMG_4096Have you ever seen a real red squirrel? Aren’t they adorable! Though they can be shy and hard to find. Thankfully I managed to get to see some at a British wildlife centre recently but unless you live in certain places of the UK and abroad you may never be privileged to see one in the wild. But you can now have your very own miniature in your own home..

Chestnut is a one of a kind sculpture, made through the art of needle felting. It has taken many hours to give her that unmissable joyful character! Her core is made of natural undyed Corriedale wool from New Zealand, her tail hands and feet are wrapped and needle felted over wire. You can see she holds a nut ready to take a nibble..

Her beautiful red coat is made of soft Merino wool (non-mulesed) from South Africa (Cape). Colours were blended and varying layers of wool were needled into place to create her natural fur texture. Her nose and eyes are made of wool too, so no glass or plastic beads.

Why not give her a new home this Christmas and keep her warm and snug?

needle felted fox (4)-001

The inquisitive foxes we sometimes see in our garden were the inspiration for making him. Although some find foxes to be a pest, it never ceases to amaze me at how we have such a beautiful wild animal of their size in the UK! I even had the priviledge to nurse a 5 day old cub once!

This striking red fox has been lovingly hand-made from 100% wool over wire.

He is one of a kind, and it has taken many hours of needle felting to give him his noble character!
His core is made of natural undyed Corriedale wool from New Zealand, wrapped and needle felted over wire. This natural wool was also used for his chest and tummy fur.  The wire gives him stability and his head, legs and tail can be carefully repositioned to other standing poses.

His nose and eyes are made of wool too, so no glass or plastic beads.

His foxy red coat is made of soft Merino wool (non-mulesed) from South Africa (Cape). Colours used were rust, cinnamon, mink and raven. Colours were blended and varying layers of wool were needled into place to create his natural fur texture.
Dark brown Corriedale wool was felted over his legs and back of ears, used for detail on his face and also blended on his coat for shadow.

Could you or someone you know give him a loving home this Christmas? He doesn’t bite and costs nothing to feed 🙂

Please contact me if you have any questions about either of them.

Amanda x

Needle felted ferret!!

Needle felted ferret!!

After 7 weeks I finally stepped back into my office in London today. Pneumonia and pleurisy was not at all nice to have and definitely took away my energy (even to the point of not being able to needle felt at one point! )but I managed it in. Yay!!

I have so been blessed by my parents (who looked after me for 2 weeks at theirs in Lincolnshire) as well as my friends who have made me feel very loved indeed with texts and cards and gifts ! I have also been able to rest and slow down! I am now home with my lovely hubby again and getting back to normality gradually..

Today was not just about accomplishing the commute and seeing my colleagues who I have so missed, but I have been working on a surprise secret birthday buddy gift for my CEO who celebrated her big 40 at the weekend and today she got to see her new ferret. Of course she knew it was me as she knows I needle felt but never mind. 🙂 I just loved the look on her face. I have planned this since January when I found out I was her birthday buddy!

She did at first jump with a delighted shock when she opened the wrapping as I had found a picture of her beloved pet ferret on facebook and copied the colours and pose as best I could.   So worth the hours spent when I can make someone smile 🙂

I started with the head with core wool, very similar to when I made my badger, adding layers of soft merino colours on top.

01-Ferret (14) 02-Ferret (121) 03-Ferret (1) 04-Ferret (15)

05-Ferret (16) 10-Ferret (3) 11-Ferret (4) 12-Ferret (5)

Ferrets are beautiful creatures and very unique with having such a long body and neck. This one has just been asleep and woken up so is still curled up tightly but face looking at you with those adorable big eyes and twitchy nose and whiskers asking for a cuddle. I made the eyes bigger than in real life as .. well I couldn’t help myself- a bit of a fit to be loved interpretation 🙂

You can see more pictures in my facebook Ferret album, but here are a few of the finished ferret. Hope you like them  xx

37-Ferret (90) 24-Ferret (32)

32-Ferret (42)  39-Ferret (99)

26-Ferret (35)  42-Ferret (114) 46-Ferret (119)

44-Ferret (117) 35-Ferret (84)

How to make a rice bag for needle felting

How to make a rice bag for needle felting

“How do I make a rice bag to use as a needle felting base?”

I have been using a blue foam pad since I started needle felting (as featured in most of my tutorials) which has been really great to use but I am finding that tiny bits of blue do come off of it now onto the piece I am working on and fibres tend to stick to it and the whole thing is looking a little fluffy, holey and worse for wear. After looking at alternatives for a needle felting base on the internet I came across a rice bag. Many claim it to be hard wearing and perfect for 3d sculptures. I didn’t want to pay the earth by ordering one on line and so for my birthday my mum kindly sewed one together for me from an old cotton bag. I added the rice this morning and finished it off. It is approx. 14 by 9 inches in size. So here’s how you can make one too; 1) Take an old rectangular cotton/burlap bag – I have several of these at home and usually use them for my shopping. You could pick one up from a charity shop, or buy one from a cheap store /supermarket.  If anything like this one it’s probably best to give it a good iron before you start sewing 🙂 Best to use a plain one or one with a nice pattern you would like to show off. This one had a boring motif so this was hidden from sight once sewn. The weave should not be too tight but wide enough to allow the barbed needle through. You may need to test what you feel happy with. image 2) Fold the bag in half, unpick the handles and remove. You could leave handles if you wish to hang it up. By folding the bag in half it will be double layered so it will be long lasting. The size of the bag should just be right but with this one my mum picked the thread from the top side too to allow an extra inch width.   3)Sew the edges by hand or by machine, stitches should be close enough to prevent any rice grains from coming out of the bag. Ensure the corners are well sewn by double stitching to reinforce. Simple back stitch is fine. Leave one end open for adding your rice. Turn inside out so stitching is on the inside with a neat edge.  4) Measure approx 1.75 kg of rice. I used cheap long grain rice. Pour into the bag using a funnel or jug (you can do this straight from the bag but mine tend to spilt and rice goes everywhere). You can choose more or less rice depending on personal preference. This amount comes to almost three quarters of the bag when holding the bag upright like a sack. If you fill it too much it will be very heavy and not lay right for a flat felting surface. Too few grains and the surface will dip.          5) Before sewing up completely, lay your bag out as you would use it to check you have the right amount of rice. You should have at least a good inch depth for the needle to go through. Then sew up as neat as you can.       And there you have a rice bag!!! Simple!!! 🙂    I have to say I am loving it already. It feels different to my old faithful foam pad but I am quite liking the sturdy feeling of it and it looks like good quality and long lasting. I may not carry this one around as it is fairly heavy and I have soon found my needles don’t stay put for too long if I stick them in the bag like I used to with my foam pad, but then I sometimes break my needles from being lazy and not putting them back where they belong so that may be a good thing. Hope this inspires you to have a go and make a quick simple bag for yourself… Hmmm looks like my headless cat is pawing at it and enjoying the new feel too 🙂 

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