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January: Meet Lulie, the Musical Bird!

Hi Everyone!

Well, after what feels like an eternity of tedium, (i lost track of the hours LONG ago!) I have finally finished January’s project! Meet Lulie – the adorable and fabulously talented blue bird! I mentioned in an earlier post that he had a special musical talent and am so excited to finally reveal it! Scroll down to see the video! =)

Video of Lulie in action, playing “Somewhere over the Rainbow”

Here’s a few other views:

Getting those little wings symmetrical was a bit tough! I like to think he’s doin a little dance ;)

Detail of the hand crank for the music box.

If you’re not familiar with my project, I choose two cards at the beginning of each month; one for a project and one for a theme. My project for January was toy making, and the theme was music. I’d been wanting to try needle felting for some time now – so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

After some brainstorming on how to integrate the musical theme – I decided to try the daunting task of making a needle felted toy into a music box of sorts. As fate would have it, my boyfriend had bought me a tiny music box at a toy store in Austin on a road trip a few months ago.. so it seemed only natural to give it a try.

Below are some of the process photos. Adding the music box inside the toy definitely made things a lot more complicated!

1. Starting out with a bit of loose wool roving

2. Stabbing to begin creating a ball

3. Basic ball formed for the head – now to add more wool to make larger and shape.

4. The basic head shape that will sit on top of the music box

5. Now to create the body that the music box will fit in. I cut a piece of foam the same size as the box to use as a form to build around.

6. Testing music box for fitting. Body form still needs some building up and rounding!

7. Body and head forms are done. The body came out much larger than I thought though, so I had to go back and add some more wool to blend the two shapes.

8. Well, I ran out of white wool – lol – so just started using whatever I had the most of to fill out the form!

After that last photo, I honestly got a bit lazy on photographing the rest of my process. =P It basically involved covering the whole form in blue wool and then felting on the eye patches, belly patch, beak, wings and tail separately. I believe it took me a total of about 20-25 hours to complete.. though at some point I just lost count. haha!

Even though I will be moving on a new project next month, I am definitely planning on continuing with needle felting whenever I have some spare time between other projects! I love the process and versatility of it – and plan to start felting some of my cartoon characters into toys soon!

Thanks to everyone who helped me out on this – and to those of you who have been following along! Your support means a lot to me!

Stay Tuned – I’ve picked the cards for February’s project and will be revealing it soon!


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Caela #

    Wow. I wish I had something more creative to say. But I am stumped. You are so cool. Love it much. Love you more. :)

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011
  2. Caela #

    I just can’t get over how cute he is. Really.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011
    • Thank you Caela! Sooo happy you like him! =D

      Wednesday, February 2, 2011
  3. PG #

    LOL, that is really great! I toyed (forgive the pun) with the idea of putting a music box in one of my animals ages ago, but never got round to it; it works really well – and judging by the size and fine finish of your bird, I have a pretty good idea of how long it too, but well worth it!

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011
    • Thank you Gretel! I definitely learned a LOT doing this one! I felted the entire body solid from wool – but I wondered if you could create a base from foam that you build the wool around.. to save time and wool.. is this something you’ve ever tried?

      Wednesday, February 2, 2011
      • PG #

        I’m probably the wrong person to ask that question of, as I’m a complete purist when it comes to needle felting. When I made my second toy, a little cat, I did try using a cotton wool base in the body and head, to save time, but it didn’t work well for me as the barbed needle sometimes pulled tiny bits of cotton wool up into the merino so it actually slowed me up. And as I did it more I found I was *seeing* the animals in the wool as I started to collect it together, and as I felt so solidly I just like to have a proper body so that when you squeeze it, it is very firm with no give. This is just a personal thing though – and wool is relatively cheap, so I don’t think the savings add up to more that a trifle. But, this is me; I am not one for *rules*, so if it works for you then go for it. Or, try keeping things fairly small (though I’ve found I get really pernickety with very small things and gone cross eyed trying to get them perfect!)

        Thursday, February 3, 2011
      • Haha – well i can definitely understand your viewpoint there! I may try it out just to experiment sometime – but after what you said, I have a feeling that I will probably stick with solid wool – as I really like the solid form it makes too. Thanks for the words of wisdom Gretel! =) *s

        Thursday, February 3, 2011

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