Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Needle Felting: Sir Bastian

Meet Sir Bastian Dormer, with his lady love Mistress Arbella:

Background image (Layer Marney Tower, built 1520) from The Beauty of Britain and Ireland, Joyce Robins, Chancellor Press, 1992

Last year I made Arbella, the Tudor mouse. She was always intended as one of a pair, and I've finally finished her swain. It took me a little while to get started, as it's hard enough to draw a mouse performing a Tudor courtesy, let alone sculpt one which will also stand up by itself! 
His face is a bit coarser than Arbella's, as he is corriedale wool, instead of the finer merino.

He wears a doublet, robe and trunk hose, but no nether hose, and has a chain of office and a cap, which he carries. The feather I found while walking the dog. I had been planning on using a canary feather, but it isn't moulting season and my canary did not oblige. 

His legs and tail are made of thin copper wire, wrapped with embroidery floss and then coated with clear nail polish. There's not much room for changing the pose, but slight alterations can be made to help him stand.

I started out with a rough sketch, having done a bit of study into mouse skeletons and Tudor courtesies (or bows), built the wire framework for the legs and tail from there, and then covered it with dacron stuffing to form the core. I built the main body all as one, and made the head, arms and cape separately. 

Here are some more snaps of the two mice together:

They're roughly life-size for domestic mice, both fit into my hands comfortably:

Merino and Corriedale wool, #32, #36 , #38 and a star felting needles, copper wire, embroidery floss, glass and plastic beads, feather, polyfill stuffing. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Needle Felted Egg

My cousin's daughter Mary is having her first Easter this year, and my mother wanted to give her a little present. We found a cute egg cup, and wanted to put a chocolate egg in it, but bizarrely we just couldn't find an egg-sized chocolate egg – so I felted one instead. I didn't want it to be a huge exercise, so I cheated a bit. Most of this is a polystyrene egg, I've just felted on top of that as decoration:

While the front of the egg features a bunny, the back has the letter 'M', for Mary:

And there are spots to match the egg cup:

Merino wool over a polystyrene egg, using #32, #36 and #38 felting needles. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rose Wedding Invitations

I recently completed a big wedding job. I did the Save the Dates almost a year ago, and the wedding itself happened earlier this month. I did all the stationary and miscellany for it, which was a lot of fun.

I was originally sent a lot of images that the bride and/or groom liked, and combined a lot of this inspiration (regency stripes, roses, floral designs, cute touches, decorative borders...) into one cohesive design. Here's a closer look at the main invitation:

All the items were held together with ribbon, finished with a motif in pearlescent lavender card, the same colour as the backing board used for the same invitation. For the motif I combined the monogram I designed for them when I did the Save the Dates with the flowers from the main design. 

They quite liked those quaint sketched birds-eye view venue maps, but with the odd shape of the area that had to be included, this didn't fit the space too well, so I compromised with a more modern looking oblique-angle map created in Illustrator, embellished with sketched landmarks in Photoshop:

There were a limited number of brunch invitations going out as well. For these I did an illustration depicting the couple and their dog. More on that in another post:

The illustration was also used on the thank you cards:

I also designed place-card menus for the reception, mounted on the pearlescent card. As well as the main guest book, each table at the reception also had a small book for guests to write in, each featuring a different question for them to answer. The bride bought small notebooks which I then covered by hand, using the same Coco Linen Ivoire paper that the rest of the stationary used. I had two designs for the book covers, and changed the question for each one. The books were just thick enough to include the question on the spine of each book, which you can see in this picture, which also includes the cover of the ceremony programme:

To finish off the books nicely, I glued in half-endpapers. Half of these re-used the illustration with the dog (the other half of which is at the back of the book)

and half used a montage made up of the bride and groom's names:

In addition to the above, I designed miscellany for the Reception, including signage, cookie jar labels and table numbers:

By far the most time-consuming item was the seating plan. At well over A3 in size, and featuring a lot of roses and leaves, it took me quite a few hours. Below is a mockup I made to show the bride how it should look, using a photograph she took of the frame at the reception venue:

The majority of the above work was completed in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe inDesign CC, with a touch of Adobe Illustrator CC in the mix as well. I printed all the items using an Epson Artisan 730 and Coco Linen Ivoire paper and card. 


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