Welcome to my blog!
It's all about whimsy, art and Halloween!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Needle Felting Therapy

I did some needle felting therapy last year.  It was exactly what I needed at a time when I couldn't bring myself to leave the house.  My chair in front of the TV was the safest place in the world!  I even went months where I just couldn't go down stairs to my studio!

Needle felting is the perfect portable craft!  It's a forgiving medium that you really can't screw up.  You can add more wool, or take some away and work it until you decide it's done.  It can be very Zen.  It is certainly healing!

I set a goal with my therapist to accomplish one project each month to keep me from going down the rabbit hole.  I decided they would be Halloween themed, because, well, to paraphrase Tim Burton - Every day is Halloween for some us! 

I took an online class to learn needle felting some years ago and this Pumpkin guy was the project.  I pulled him out to do an upcycle project.  There are so many inspiring projects like this on Pinterest!  I used a candlestick holder. wired ribbon and beads. 

Whimsy and color feed my soul, so I continued felting and upcycling and made this skully guy.

He sits on an overturned candy dish looking gloriously silly.  This wasn't wired ribbon, so I glued wire, covered with felt, on the back to help me shape it.  I love beading, too!  More color and more shine - What's not to love!

I hope that if you 're suffering in some way, you will try some creative therapy!  It really works!

Love and Blessings

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Snow Crown

So this is my boy wearing a crown-in-progress.  The Snow Crown is the only conservatively decorated crown I've made.

In the last post, I showed the various stages of Crown Making.  For this crown, I wrapped the base in cream colored sherpa fleese .
The main differences are:

    I added a row of wire swirls to attach the "peaks and valleys" profile.  There's an additional wire on top of the swirls.

     I completely wrapped exposed electrical wire in 24 gauge wire.

    The only beads are large pearl beads, iridescent clear beads and a string of aqua party beads.

Of course, it wouldn't be finished without dangles, so I bent the peaks in and added them to the inside.  I like it!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Big Halloween Crown

This is the biggest crown I've made so far.  I took a few photos of the process to share with you so let's go!

I use copper electrical wire for crown making because it's easy to bend and forgiving enough to be straightened again.  I grab Hub's three strand roll and measure by loosely wrapping it around my head three times. Then I strip all the plastic coating off the wires and separate them.

Wrap one strand around your head three times once again and use 24 gauge wire to bind it so it doesn't slip.

Next you'll decide the profile. Will it be tall or compact?  Will it be a flourish all in front like a pageant crown, or peaks and valleys like a king's crown?

I went with tall peaks and valleys for this crown.  To make the profile, you'll take another piece of wire and start bending.  Use the whole wire for this, you can cut extra or add more as you need. Keep in mind that the peaks don't have to be the same height, you can have fun with it.

After you decide the height and spacing, use more 24 gauge wire to wrap and secure the profile to the base.  the more you wrap, the sturdier the frame will be.  Because of the size of this crown, I needed an extra piece of wire.  I doubled the number of peaks to twelve.

Use the third wire to make small scrolls and spirals (or any shape you want to fill in with) and wire them together.  Again, the more wrapping you do, the more blah blah blah. 

After all the pieces are together, you can wrap the base to cushion it.  I used black velour cut into strips to wrap it.  I've also used crocheted scarves and Sherpa fleece from old sweaters.  Choose a material that won't unravel.  secure the material with a needle and thread.  I usually sew beads on as well.

At this point I usually add beads using 24 gauge wire.  I wanted this one to be made with all dangling charms, so added tons of closed loops in the electrical wire.  I made 240+ charms.

The decorating is the fun part! I use all kinds of beads, broken jewelry, knick knacks and doo dads.  It makes any project so personal to use things that have meaning to you.  Here I've used ceramic and polymer clay beads I made and bits from my grandmother's broken jewelry collection.