I won't be in Schaumburg, sorry. I do break needles but no more than when I needle felt through mohair. Go to this link on my site and download my FREE instructions for needle felting an armatured critter. http://www.purelyneysa.com/felting/inst … ooklet.pdf
Email me after you read the instructions and we can work on any problems you may have.
The plastic eyes are here: http://www.purelyneysa.com/nsupplies/eyes1.html
I do from time to time have sales on felting supplies, eyes, critters etc. If you signup on my site for my "friends of Neysa" I send out specials that don't appear on my site.
i have a question along these same lines, working with an armature...
neysa, your online tutorial about how to do this was so wonderful and helped me through the whole procedure. i am having a little trouble getting the felt as firm as i would like around the small arms and legs i am working on. they are not quite as firmly felted as the head, which has no armature. my mouse is 4.5" tall, so the arms and legs are pretty small, i used fairly thin 22 gauge wire, which i wrapped just a little with florist tape. it's really not too bad, but i just can't get that really firm feel to it that i'd like. i have thought about wet felting the area closest to the wire and then dry felting onto that, will it work do you think?
i tried felting around the limb more, thinking i had just not spent enough time on it. so i took an entire evening, about 4 hours! and just felted that teeny arm over and over. i was able to move the felt around enough to think i was making a little progress, but in the end, it was nearly the same as when i had started, and not any more firm than the other limb that i hadn't worked so long on. so i'm almost thinking i overfelted the wool and it just couldn't get any firmer, is that possible? :doh:
thanks again to everyone here, you've all been so wonderful.
gail, good luck! give it a try, it's not as daunting as it sounds. i wrapped my wire with a small amount of floral tape, someone else told me hockey tape works well because it is double sided. i haven't tried that yet! don't worry your needle won't break unless you get overzealous, which can happen just in mohair, too. my problem is in getting the wool felted firmly around the wire.
as a tip... for limb ends... i added an extra pad of slightly pre-felted wool to the top over where the wire ended, after i was completed with the limb. it lengthened the end of the limb a bit so you have to take that into account, but i had absolutely no problem with wire poking through the end and i can bend it all around!
ginnie, if you over needle the wool you won't be able to get a needle in it. When you are working and needling gets harder you switch to a smaller needle (a higher number) if the needle won't go in it should be as hard as a rock..
Limbs are hard especially if the critter is small. I wrap and needle until it seams well attached. Question... the wool you are using does it felt until it's hard on the body or do you needle and needle and seem to get nowhere? If so it may be the wool and not you. Some wool doesn't felt or compress well... it stays "fluffy".
When I make chickens ... mice or ??? sometimes I use Sculpey SuperFlex Clay and sculpt around the armature on the legs, bake it and then start needling. The Sculpey Flex is bendable and flexible it works great for rat tails. This may solve your problem on the next critter.
neysa, does this mean you are needlefelting directly into the flex clay once baked, or are you just using the flex clay for the exposed "skin" parts, like the feet on your chicken? sorry, it's a silly question i guess!!!
i must not be over-needling the wool because i can still stick the wool with the needle okay, it goes in fine. but like you said, i just don't seem to get anywhere as far as firming it up is concerned. the wool i'm using felted so nice and hard for the body and head, and i thought it had a nice smooth finish, so i went ahead and did the entire piece with that same wool. but i would like almost rock hard and that is not what i am getting on the limbs.
Ginnie, WHat I have found works well and fast on parts that you want very firm , is to hold the peice you are felting right between your fingers and apply pressure as you felt. This forces the fibers together and makes them tight. Cauction: high risk for poking your fingers so beware. Also roll the piece you are working on inbetween needling. This helps to compress it.
Hope this helps
gee, sorry to be so long to reply here, but i had no power for the last four days, we had a big 18" snowstorm here in vermont... the snow was really wet and heavy so it broke many trees and took down all the power lines! the worst part was that after dark, i couldn't do any needlefelting, there just wasn't enough light. :cry:
anyway, i have already started a few more creatures, and tomorrow will post a photo of mousie who is, at last, finished. i am really slow at this! anyway, i read somewhere that if i make the limbs too hard, they won't be able to move with the armature. so i think i got it just right now, it's darned hard, as hard as i could get it with the armature inside, but not rock hard. mousie is only 4.5" tall, so the arms are small and thin. i tried all different sizes of needles, beginning with the largest needles first. with a little more practise maybe i'll figure this out. i wish one of you lived next door, though!!! :rose: