Feltoohlala's blog

Feltoohlala's blog

New address

 

 

 

Feltoohlala continues here! http://www.feltoohlala.com/

and the new blog access is http://www.feltoohlala.com/blog

I hope to meet you there too!

Rooi as in rooibos

This is my new little pixie doll Rooi.

 

 

 

I had to question and needed inspiration to have her named that way... collegues and friends, each giving the naming a different aspect of the doll to show, how interesting for me to see from the outside!

There was a lot of rose shaded names, and even more beautiful and poetic finds.

There was a little debate on wether she was a nerdy librarian or outdoorsy lover...

Well I think she is both ! Made her a little herbalist set, as a pixie on its way through the land to collect and name should have.... I am no miniaturist, but I enjoy adding together a few bits and findings repurposed as a smalll scale item for a doll.

 

 

 

 

How content this one is!

 I enjoyed creating her expression, having closed eyed with a smile glowing through her skin for the sun light.

Because a pixie just knows how valuable each ray is, early in the spring, to collect energies and good strength.

 

 

 

And so I called her Rooi, like in rooibos, the tea..

 I really wanted her colours to appear and hear in the name as well as much as her likings...the call of the land, the clean space with bright light, and some revigorating and soothing emotion too.

South africans, this probably speaks to you! Are there any pixies running through your fields?

 

 

Let's keep dreaming!

 

 

(As usual this pixie has a lot of pictures in her flickr album and is listed on etsy.

Have a look clicking on the links!

 

 

 

On the shelf today, + new slippers for Blanche

Pixies tend to travel a lot... I decided it would be nice to take regularly photographs as a group as it forms and unfolds on my working table... as long as I am doing pixies!

So here you go for this week group picture:

You have Sugar, (travelling to France, today), Blanche, Spume, Thistle, and two new comers, Roois and the last one, probably Tea or Tess (but more about them at a later date, I will show in detail then)

 

 

Aren't they sweet and cute all in a row?!

Also it is informative, I see that Sugar is so tiny while Thistle is babyish.

It tells very much about their personalities too, and show how unique a little soul each pixie is, on its very own way.

 

And, as I was preparing for the photo shooting when I took Blanche from her box,  I felt she really needed some kind of shoe. And so I immediately complied and made her a pair of slippers, with a piece of pink satin ribbon and white lace.

 Oh, is  she happy now, and more relaxed! And so am I.

 I probably should not go back working on  previous works that are done...but I can't help loving and spoiling these babies so much!

That is what she looks like now (and I will upgrade her etsy listing too) :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why so sad little fairy?

For fairy lovers, this is my first take on it!

 

 

 

 

 

This little one is indeed much fragile and even tinier than my regular pixies.

I managed to felt her wings on and I am quite happy with the result I must say, for the colors blend well, and are the exact tones  her eyes have.

 I wish they would be more delicate or transparent even, though I like the intensitiy of their colour and that they are felted over a very fine armature to bend.

 

 

 

Why the sadness....surely nothing lasting, like summery showers are. The cry is already over and she is in the warmth and the release of the afterward, with one more tear perling down the eyelashe still.

Or, is it more serious? Did she realise she was born in the times of dark fairytales and cannot find her match?

Nevertherless she will need comfort and warmth in her new home! I hope you like her! Her name is Sugar.

 

As usual you can see more picture on her flickr album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/feltoohlala/sets/72157651284447305/

and she will be available on etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/people/feltoohlala

 

 

 

 

 

 

February rosebud.

February.

I thought had her done, pouty mouth and all, and still, something was quite just not her... till she smiled!

 

It all happened as I finally found out silk kimono slippers would only do the match for this girl, anything else feeling bulky and wrong.

And as magic, fluttering her so soft eye lashes,  there they were, the most tiny teeth you could imagine!

 

 I had to add antlers to her apparel, to be playful and  of course cuteness with much roses and colours annuncing a soon to come and most awaited spring time. (But just not yet. Play time with the idea of warmth and budding life as the weather is grey and the sky low.).

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Rosebud, the romantic yet a bit mischievous little wool doll.

More pictures on her Flickr album and of course she is available in my etsy shop too.(-EDIT: Rosebud found a new home, thank you! )

 

 

 

 

 

Thistle, the resilient.

Some dolls remain silent, some are loud.

Thistle is of the first sort, the sort you FEEL at your side without even knowing she is there!

She was compared to an ancient spirit, I think that is not far fetched! But one of the good sort again, and a baby. 

I could not have photographs sooner for lack of natural light. And so, she remained steadily on my table waiting, patient,and shining , and all the time giving much needed love .

 

I gave her as much a feel of nature as I could in these winter days from which I got the inspiration. burnt lavish colours, natural fibers, a feel of dry grass and earth...but with a fire inside , something warm and fresh. Some might find she looks a bit ghostly, eerie even, I think she is just true and primer to nature , but a nature put to sleep with the "fire inside" waiting to give its bloomings. Winter. The strength is inside, like the to germ grains are under the ground getting ready.

 

I hope you will like her as much as I do! I even hesitated a lot to give up on her and put her on sale or not.

But I did , in order to have room for more creations, you know how it is.

So she is ready for a new home and you can find her here.https://www.etsy.com/listing/221043473/thistle-a-needle-felted-art-doll-by?ref=shop_home_active_1

Also more pictures can be seen on her flickr album i encourage you to see https://www.etsy.com/listing/221043473/thistle-a-needle-felted-art-doll-by?ref=shop_home_active_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Je suis Charlie

 

 

What and how to respond in front to a world full of barbaric craziness, hatred and dark stupidity?

Ah well, some of us are directly engaged, high and loud.They risk more hatred and more violence in return than what they wanted to spread.

I so hate it when deep values of humanity, freedom of expression, democracy... are shattered... but personally, I chose to keep a distance and that my work offer an alternative, and provoque smiles and soothing.

My engagement in my work is in a other way, spreading grains of love and serenity rather than brilliant irony or cynism.  I beleive also that you get back what you plant, the fruit for its tree...I want to give the world a place of love and tranquility. In itself it is also a provocation. Lightness.

My thoughts are all for those who are unfairly juged hard and punished for crimes they did not commit. My generation grew up with these lights of intelligence, humor and consciousness.  And we had it for granted that expression is free of fear, free...

And it must still be so , I wouldn't like other kind of radicalism taking  place of what makes what a human being is.

 

 

 

 

First fruits (premices) and promises of the New Year

 

And once again, I want to thank all of you who trusted me with a doll (or dolls) and gave me the means by your support to fulfill my dream of doll making!

2015 seems to start strong, I am full of desire for accomplishments and new challenges!

See you soon for the updates on these babies, and I will also show my baby ram that accompanied me silently through the first colds and the darkness of december. 

Have a blessed year!

 

Edit on the 08 of january:

OMG! You all know these heads a re works in progress and not cut heads or whatever horrible thing, do you!  I never meant to make horrifying pics nor produce such thoughts!

In regards to recent events that took place, please pardon me if these photographs of my work hurt your sensitivity, I only saw beauty in it and thought naturally this is only what they meant!

Merry Holiday !

December is always so busy for most of us crafters. Difficult to keep up on every front.

I also happen to have a kid who was born on the 22nd, and as I am basically a maker of things, I usually use all my creativity to fabricate a toy of my own, that will pass the child test, !

This year she got a tree house with a familly of little bendy dolls. She is seven years old. And she loved it so much it was worth the hours spent away from my felting needle!

I hope you had the immense priviledge to be surrounded by your loved ones by the end of this year, and enjoy the warmth coming from true love.

I wish you many many joyful and meaningful events for the coming year. And if you happen to be patient as you were and still visit me from time to time on this place, I hope your spirit be uplifted by my little creations as frivolous and kind they should be.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2015!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shay

Here she is , my shooting star!

Some little doll just feel special.

This one, with her grace and her crown on her head, happens to even be pretty! Not something I aim at particularly when I create a doll, but when it happens, it is rewarding.

Shay will be hard to let go! Of course, all of them, my dolls, are dear to me, and usually the last one feels even more... but I am kind of proud of this one and will be so happy when her new home feels right for her!

 

And her coat is soft, oh so soft!

Show yourself to the world little doll!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are walking upon the skies...

 

 

I uploaded tons of pictures on my flickr album. Some are descriptive, others are for the beauty, it was hard to choose the right pic.

Feel free to check the others there.

Shay is also looking for a home and can be purchased here (very very soon, I have postage issues to solve before promissing whatsoever!).

With much love!

Shooting Star accessory.

Sometimes, little things just make me most happy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detour

I had a little "detour", aka experiment, with paper clay... a "NO FIBER " desire. (Yes, it is possible, and though I had to stick strong to my prime wanting, no textile, no fiber, at all !)

 

 

 

Of course, I had to make a little doll, and so this is what I got after a few days work. She is still in progress as I am not sure of how I want it to be done (what painting effect) and too many ideas .

 

 

It won't mean I will not continue creating needle felted dolls, but I might do else as well. We'll see.

I am not sure I will record these progresses on that site either...

If only I had more hours a day than 24, wouldn't that be great!

Anyway, I loved trying myself at another medium, it helps keeping my mind and my hands fresh and clear at creating.

 

I suppose it will change much during the next steps, and I even have ideas for a next project too...

Paper clay allows much room for finer details, and the doll is "small" (smaller than my little felted pixies), with a new jointed system for me.Still, she appears strong and healthy rather than delicate and fragile.

Funny. I suppose this has more to do with my personality than the adventages of the technic. So far, I like it this way. Do you?

 

 

Feltoohlala feels ohlala!

 

Art doll Quarterly is a magazine I don't have the privilege to be able to find in Hungary, but as any other doll maker, I knew about and longed for reading.

I am immensely proud and happy to be featured in the winter issue of 2015, with a couple of pages, alongside people I very much admire and respect! And I think the article is pretty as it could be! 

As well as it is my first written press ever for FELTOOHLALA! Big time WOOTWOOOT!

 

 
 

A lot did happen during the last two weeks, as I had both my kids on holiday at home, the finish of two little dolls, that even happen to find home soon after they showed up in my Etsy shop! This is so rewarding for my hard work, I am so thankful!  <3

These were miss Moss and little Gerda:

 

 

You can view more of them on my flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/feltoohlala/sets/72157646573994223/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/feltoohlala/sets/72157648656750808/.

(make sure to check in my etsy as well as I have a couple of pixies yet selling and will update more very soon! ;)  ) 

 

And then, I also had to seriously review my mailing packages to somewhat sturdy them up even more...the Post does not provide proper boxes nor care for handling well, making our job kind of difficult now when we post overseas with regular Post!

 

 

 

 

 

...on track now am about finishing a new little pixie (of course) soon to be released, and one more to go  before finishing the pixie serie... Till next time!

 

Forgotten Pixies!

Ooops!

I realise I did not make proper presentations for my earlier pixie little dolls! Crazy! Where is my mind going sometimes!

 

So first, I will introduce you "Hazel" , because she is already gone (I am so very thankful!).

She left to California, I suspect her to like it better warm, than darn winter cold in Hungary! Hazel is just a sweet girl, with a light smirk on her face saying she does not buy it easily... clever little soul!

 

 

 

 

And you can see more on on her FLIKR album.

 

Then comes the first pixie doll I ever made, "Bramble"!

I particularly like her style because of her somewhat "sci-fi" features. Makes me dream.

Anyway, Bramble wears her name well,  I find. Something a bit wild and strong and fragile at once!

 

 

 

Her FLIKR album shows many more pictures, and here is her Etsy listing.

 

 

After her comes "SPUME"!

Oh, this one calls my childhood back somehow, the times spent under the sun, in the beauty of the nature on an island. Doesn't she have something of a mermeid too? Her eyes, her soft soft faded hair....

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her FLIKR album, and her ETSY shop.

 

And finally, meet my softest and most white "Blanche"!

Something of Blanche recalls the winter feasts dont you think? Or the next morning, full of good resolutions and hopes for the new year. With a little bite in the heart for what 's left behind...changing times (she wears little horns, see!). She is very beautiful, as a white page can be , or frost flower!

 

(in her simplest apparel...)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her FLIKR album (quite large actually), and her ETSY listing.

 

And that's it for today folks!

Spike, the hedgehog pixie.

Could not finish this week without presenting here my latest doll Spike!

This one is a hegehog pixie, full of life and colours, which spikes are but soft and bushy!

Even a little pointy hat says it all, she is a fun little girl.

I am particularly fond of her little dark nose, and I think her facial is great, with features both fine and very defined.

Adding eye brush on her lashes makes her a bit quirky, or sad, or just terribly clever, I can't choose what suits best, it changes as the angle changes! I guess she really is not a boring creature to live with.

How would you define her looks or style?

It is a bit steampunk and shabby and bohemian at once! Pixie style! That , which is sweet and fruity- acid at the same time. I hope you like her, I listed her on my etsy shop earlier this week.

 

(on progress yet)

 

 

(...candied apples of course)

 

 

 

 

You can see more pictures on my FLICKR:https://www.flickr.com/photos/feltoohlala/sets/72157648209577688/.

See you soon with my next little one! I made a whole bunch remember!

on handwork.

 

 

 

Today I would like to share with you the words of Renate Hiller on hand working.

She very beautifully explains what I have been thinking since long, and be fighting for everyday of my adult life!

This awarenes was given to me through a simple woman, (I mean a person far less educated than most of us are nowadays), in the person of my own grandmother.

As I was staying for a few days at her place on my own, as she was  thinking loudly, she stated "what are we going to do of you, there is no way you will keep your hands resting, the hands must keep busy even though you are thinking, look at my hands, they worked all their life long, it is so precious". 

And even though I was a little girl I just knew she touched something foundamental and right. I had never thought of my hands before, else than to keep them clean before eating... and of course, the brain was what was most valued in the school or even at home.

Then she taught me knitting, canvas work, I could watch her sew her clothes...

I made long  studies, I even started my student journey in a promissing place for having that kind of "abstract carreer" that makes you read and verbalise a lot...(till the big swich). 

You have here exactely what it is all about, and thus also a little key as to comprehend my point of view about  the world, through my work.

Enjoy how gracious this lady is , how clearly she says it all.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfoByYLSBY8#action=share

 

On my table today...

4 more little miss' to dress up and give a hairdo!

 I am building an army to love and cherish like a treasure, each of its kind , each for its kind! So I surely will have a table full of little limbs and heads in the close future too.

I haven't given them names...should I? Of course I should, can't wait till they tell me their story!

 

 

 

 

A handful of lilies

Fingers? No fingers?

Somehow, I can't help always giving more details, more expressing parts!

 

Isn't she a cuty pie!

These are probably the smallest hand I ever felted up to now...or just about...because, speaking of such and smaller....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even more little pixies showed up, to give me a hand.

 

Let it call my big escape, when really the worse happens and gives me a hard time coping with life and "let go" is just simply impossible...on slow motion though. Sorry for the delay, my heart is full sorrow and anxiety now and blocks my creativity away.

Yet, I am trying to catch my breath back from here and make something nicer and prettier and soothing and in focus.

I never speak personal matters in this place, but it does not make me less a person like anybody else, with doubts and faults and bruises from life. I wish not to let it affect my creative journey though, especially in the form of a theme or a motive....it is my choice, but it is hard. I live my life excessively inside,  I often need to recenter, and this means time.

 

You can see more pics of these on my Flickr if you wish,

and also ,they will all be available at my Etsy!

Yes, after a very long break, the shop will reopen for a short time!

I really need and appreciate your suppor , I hope you will love them and grab them all to bring home!

FELTOOHLALA in PRAGUE

 

Those of you being so very privileged to be in the marvellous city of PRAGUE of the Czech Republic, will be able to see and get some  FELTOOHLALA's dolls at 7 DESIGN STORE ( https://www.facebook.com/7designstore), Misenska 7.

 

Of course everything else is also worth coming, and discovering there, a lot of creations and new talents are represented in this new place.

 

I was very honored and happy when Ági thought of me and my felties, along with fellow hungarian designers and creators!

Thank you so much for this new opportunity to have my dolls a place to be discovered and appreciated "in flesh".

 

early summer treat.

 

I took this wee one to the garden...

 

 

...to enjoy the light , and to watch the birds...

 

 

 

...and rest in the shade, with the summer treats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can't have it all? Thoughts on joints and other intentions..

As a doll maker of course, my main concern is of what is a doll, and what makes it a doll.

Also, we have an image of what a doll should be and what she also should do, technically.

The very work is an actual struggle with elements and materials.

 The joints (or avoiding joints that show) are a basic task , a question to ever evolve for improvement.

The human figure in figurative dolls is very complex. Each joint has a range of movement very specicific to that part of the body, and makes it a difficult job for us to complete at full range realitically. (All my respect to our Creator, and its perfect intelligence in that matter!)

 

 

Needle felting has this thing, that it makes it possible for relatively soft dolls, with no visible seam.

Wonderful!

... only, if you want to get an expressive idea of a movement, you are as limited, and frustrated as with any other medium doll, if not more!

 

 

Let me explain!

 

You can choose to only sculpt the doll in a position (wether already sitting or dancing or sleeping...) and what you get is a soft doll, a soft sulpt, that can be manipulated but cannot hold another pose by herself  else than the one she was designed for.

To me this is frustrating for an art doll.

I wish my doll to be posable, to be able to hold the pose, to remain soft as a soft doll too, and ,(not the least of my expectations), to be realistically doing so as much as possible, so that the dream is not interrupted by the question, "is it possible, how can she possibly stand that way?"

 

 

It is afine balance between the soft material, pliable at every place but sturdy enough to keep the same shape, with a structure  that holds a move and forces it at only specific places of the doll in respect of a minimaly correct anatomy.

 

But why, I don't know. It 's probably linked  to the idea I personally have of what a doll should be.

That is, have it all, for real, like a real being, only it is a projection of a picture we have from it...

 

 

In a way I see that the so convoited ball jointed dolls reach that success, regarding the posability.

That only to some extent : those double jointed knees and elbows give monstruous results in term of anatomic correctness, and the disturbance created, once you visualize it, prevents you to appreciate the technical performance ot the joint itself in my opinion, and it freaks me out as much as it is possible ... 

And yet, those so particular joints are so ever fascinating to me esthetically, if taken for themselves.

 

 Unfortunately the trick is quite  pointeless (to me) once applied to needle felting, when the very technique itself allows jointless, seemless results! 

 Cloth dolls have attempts with extremely complicated patterns to acheive expressions, and even posability, but basically meets the same problems as needle felters do.

Combining mixed media is very appealing, in its very idea .

But I am attached to work on a dolll that is close to the visual line of its structure.

Though I try to give many details, I also try, and it is most important for me perhaps, to keep the line clean and simple and the structure free. Question of the flow.

 

 

 I know that when I played little girl play with a doll, my imagination made her doing most of the things she technically would not be have been able to. And it did not matter so much what support the doll was made of, anything could make it actually, even a picture, or a simple piece of cloth.

But as an adult player, I do not manipulate my dolls in order to make them play into my stories. I do not intend either to illustrate a state of being, a time in the movement. I hope my dolls are not expressionless, but I also hope they are not too frozen into one expression either, for ever....I try hard to make them full of the POSSIBILITY for expression.

 

Of course, when I take a picture, it is an illustration of a state, something fixed in time. Although I always try to capture something that is open enough for the imagination to interprete, and continues one's own story, let the other free to have its play even with the image.

I wish my doll be free of the material they are from!

 

And I am so ever frustrated and failing to obtain that I intend the most.

Each time.

Imagine what a virtual doll could be, animated as in a film, only you would have it all in real to touch and feel. Yes, I feel like Gepetto, I wish I could make my dolls live! 

And that is probably very unwise, and must remain the world of fantasy, a mirror rather than the reality. 

 

 

 

Yes, a mirror, as a window or a door for the soul and the heart. A subjective and evolving matter.

-No free will for my dolls, (does it make me  a crual creator?), but freedom for all possibles  - I sketch a story but you play with it with the support of the doll, in a win -win situation, there is no right or wrong compared to my initial intention, it is you, hopefully who is showing of, if you dare let your imagination take of.

You know, just a bit of magic, and let go.

 

 

 

The seagull

On a much lighter tone than in my previous post, let me present you "la mouette", the seagull!

Don 't you ever think a second that I was extra fast and already finished my later doll!  I actually used the body of a previous project that I thought did not suit my idea of it in the meanwhile and had been cast away. But not for long!

I am sorry if that piece interferes with the previous pictures of the doll I posted, I could not hold it longer as Spring shouts here it's coming!

 

"Seagull" is actually an answer to the idea of aspirations and the essence of desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is pain in ecstasy too, and perfection is only a direction (even for a doll!). Yes, it is all focus and bending the arch to its extent.

 

 

 

 

 

Birds are light in their flight and yet so unpleasant characters from close.

You do not put seagulls in cage.

Yet seagulls cry loud and shrill, they are sharp and quick, somewhat englued together in one unique search for survival .

 That is for the pain.

 

Still, seagulls are bright under the sky. And their crowd is joyful and greedy and much alive .

That is for the moto and the ultimate goal.

 

 "Don't beleive what your eyes are telling you,

All they show is limitation.

Look with your understanding.

Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly."

Jonathan Livingston seagull by Richard Bach.

 

 

 

 

Keep dreaming, keep loving!

 

 

 

Skin: the story of a slow birth.

When I first was introduced to felting (it was wet felting, I made a little  ball ), I was told that it should be ready when the felting is firm, and elastic. Dropped on the floor, it had to bounce! And indeed, the squeeze is close to the one of a tennis ball. 

So true for the features you do not wish to move ever: the face, the nose...

(Other parts of the doll, for instance  the belly, can be allowed to have softness. Thus the armature inside will be able to bend in all position and even showing bumps and holes . Most often, it is an area that wears clothes and "no skin", so the texture will have a looser aspect.)

 

I am often told that my dolls look so "clean", meaning their texture does not ressemble the medium they are from, aka wool fiber! 

I like it when I can take a picture , and the doll absorbs the light, and surfaces are all smooth , and the eye is tricked. Not that I do not like the fluffy visual aspect of wool. But needle felted human figure skin can too easily look acneous and full of "orange skin deeples" if one over looks the felting process.

I can assure you that felt is difficult to photograph too.

 

As I am creating human figures, I pay a great deal of attention to get as smooth felting as possible, avoiding the holes made by the needle , trying to get transparency between layers to get some inside glow... So that the eye is not distracted by the technique, but accepts the figure as a whole.The question how, or what it is made of, should come later eventually.

This is of course hard work and I am sorry to (often) tell fiber artist collegues that no, I haven't discovered a top secret technique on how to get it felted that way that WOULD BE FAST. The shape is what comes first as I go on felting, but till the felt is not done, the work has to be carried on, an on.

 

 

 

And this is all what has meaning to me , the process of felting is simultaneous to the sculpting itself. Each time I poke, I create a depression in the material, thus transforming the piece. And with each poke, I get closer to the texture of felt! Question of balance, a real conversation with the piece.That is one of the reason I do love needle felting and that it is never boring to me. Even after a million pokes! 

Moreover, I like the very idea of creating the skin of the doll itself.

 

 

Felt gives a texture that is utterly close to something alive and organic, and suits well my point in doll making I find.

To me it is like wrapping the soul intside the  skin. Nothing too pretty really, no easy, cleanable design object prop. there!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And though the human figure doll in its specific demands, not allowing accidents, is so challenging,  the result can be very rewarding too.

My dolls are not intended to be pretty little objects as cute and ugly as they should. They want to express what the soul is saying within, and eventually reach their point bothering your comfort zone... 

I know...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above pictures are all from my actual work in progress, the doll is unfinished.

All my dolls come through this crude stage and that is how they look before entering a specific story. This is how I prefer them.

This is also the moment I enjoy the most, some time in between my idea and a doll, a little sketch in three dimension that evolves and has a life of its own already. Something raw.

I hope I was not too obsessional giving you the insight of how I get things done!

 

The Young girl and the Unicorn finale!

Oh, why is it htat it is so difficult for me to actually let go and state my doll complete and picture it to bring it to its doll life ! (yes, that too).

 I have it there, near me, all mine, all in its creation life, which is very exciting and fulfilling, but secret and silent. So she seats on my working table, at the corner, and I am in a new story already, and it waits, and waits and waits.

There is never enough time, enough light , (enough courage?) till I actually finish the process and bring it to sight, a violent task for me and a sudden one.

It is because after that, I part from the doll, she stops interesting me, concerning me. (I try not to get too obsessed).

The next doll is often a therapy to recover what I failed in the previous one too. 

Yes, it is that intense!

 

Step 4 is for the details...

 

 

So, the young girl and the unicorn.

I tried to give you an insight of my work with a sort of step by step for the unicorn. there are many other ways to needle felt actually! I would say try and work what works best for you, nothing can spare the practice and asking the right questions and answer them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unicorns are fantastic figures often pictured and viewed as romantic and beautiful, dreamlike horses. But it was not always such so. They are also beasts, fighting beast with evil intentions.

My unicorn here does not look too fierce nor dangerous. It is a young , almost playful one. But it is huge, and strong,  and will eventually grow. 

I like the contrast, the game between beast and disciplined, wild and friendly, strong and frail. It applies to  the young girl too, I find, and Youth in general.

Potential, undisciplined, eagerness to get it all. appetite for life, for joy, for love and for power.

Potential for tenderness, but also for mistakes, failures and betrayals.

And reconciliation. Potential for life!

 

 

 

 

Art Doll Contest in Russia

 

 

 

I am so excited and a bit sad to become a nominee for the Pandora Platinium World Art Doll Contest in Moscow!

The event will take place on saturday the 8th, with a banquet in the evening in a prestigious palace hotel in the russian capital.

Already, a lot of wonderful doll artists gathered on the list, it is altogether so intimidating and motivating.

Of course, russian dolls are so exquisite and prove magnificent crafting technics as well as storytelling skills.

I applied at the last minute with "Muse", in the very afternoon of the inscription closure, and few days ago was the selection made already, so everything is all of a sudden for me.

And this is also why I  also feel so sorry to part from the event right here, as I won't be able to be present in Moscow nor to send the doll in such a small time (less than a week). I unfortunately do not know anybody who would make the trip and represent me there going from Budapest on friday ... ahhh.

But I feel that my needle felted doll is , if at all,  considered as an accomplished art doll by specialists, and good enough to be in such event, and that is so very rewarding.

You can follow the contest here on their facebook page (and show me support if you like)  (I know it is all in russian! Make the google translate sweat!): https://www.facebook.com/PandoraPlatinum.

 

 

 

It's that time of the year!

 

Yes, here we are again!

I wish you all the love you can get and give, love is to be shared all the year round!

May you be among your loved ones spending quality time together, being strong and brave and good hearted.

I have a particular thought for those of you who trusted me with a custom order this year, it made me happy and permitted improvements in my technics in particular.

 

I realised my posts have been scarce this year, although I gave it lots of thoughts!

Anyway, it is that time of the year for reloading, recentering, for new resolutions, treats and hopes, new motivations.

I personally wish to meet more people for real and to develop FELTOOHLALA's activity aside from the online board too.

Let the fun begin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zaza on the go

Since I went on holidays, right after my last post, it has been so difficult to focus again and even create!

I did very "little" progress on the Unicorn, provided I did rework entirely the body of my "girl a la licorne" just because I found her hands definitely too big for her style... cutting the armature so short for inserting the new (felted three times  in a raw till good measurements accomplished!) hands..., and, in the meanwhile, why not changing the dress, the attitude and just about everything almost! Oh man, do I make myself suffer! HAHAHA!

 

But more of that later, I am back on track now... with ZAZA!

Zaza is the doll I finished a while ago, but never got to the point I could picture and show her!

Although I love her very much, (or maybe that is the very reason why), she laid down on my cupboard waiting patiently, hoping the dust would not ruin her... she even survived a MASSIVE moth attack (this summer brought quantities never seen before, making me wish I had nothing to do with wool ever in my entire life...)....well...

Zaza is very much like me  when I am in a good spirit. Yes, furry chest and all!  I do also have a heart of wool.

So I guess she is inspired by joy and lightness, take it easy with humor! 

 
 

 

I hope she leads you to make your own story, I mean, obviously she is up to something... unless she has already committed it...  but... shush! :)

 

 

The unicorn project, step 3: covering and sculpting.

 

Now it gets exciting!

It  also takes probably the most time consuming work. But that's why we 're here too!

I work quite instinctively, from memory and feelings, but will have to check on that muscle structure!

But you can see how the armature helps me finding the shapes already.

The point is to cover the whole with fine wools, shaping a bit more.

The felting is tight, the legs are as  sturdy as there is nothing left to be squeezed. I would like them slim and nervous and light at the end.

It is still hard to appreciate the proportions as the hooves are yet missing, and the joints very aproximative.

 The body gets much firmer too, although with some softness at the squeeze.

It looks like the horse gets dress in tights or spandex suit :)

 

Then with a single fine spiral needle...soften, soften the skin...

 

You see that I do not pose the figure while I am working on it, although I am impatient to see how it would work like this or like that...that is because it is simpler to keep the proportions right if you don't add pespective with a movement. Soft sculpting permits you that...

 

And because from now, I think I should create another type of joint for the head + the neck was way tooo long anyway......(don't be scared !)

 

The unicorn project, step 2: shaping roughly.

Let's start felting!

But first, a bit of a filler will be needed inside the body.

I used a pillow's inner filling, as I did not have enough coarse wool. (Yes this happens to me also!)

Any thing would do I suppose (again, this is because the size of this project exceeds my usual size standards) as long as you can felt it. Here it has polyester in it.

Then, with a  quite coarse wool type, I tried to wrap the shapes, quite toroughly.

The point is to hold the things together rather than felt it tight, and to roughly shape your horse.  Like a sketch in volume!

 

 

 

This took me a loooong time as I did not dare to use my " bear -paw tool" to work faster (because I feared the armature).

But I should have, and will, now on!

Any way, at that time still, I won't care too much about proportions as long as there are no huge or unforgivable (in terms of hard  work) mistakes.

The whole is meant to be much woolier and much bigger than it will be at the end, as it has not be really felted yet. And I don't want to as I will need something to felt on, for the next step.

I still need to work on the back legs!

The unicorn project, step 1 : on the importancy of the armature.

The unicorn is to accompany my latest little doll.

(you have been numerous to propose all kind of names for her and I thank you all very much, gives me the feeling someone is at the other end, and stimulates me very much! Thank you!)

...Thus an ambitious project, both in size (the doll alone is about 28 cm), and by  skills, never made a horse before, nor a unicorn... and it is complicated. 

I plan to detail quite a lot and share my progress on this page till completion.

Not quite a tutorial, but yet, possibly inspiring, I hope!

 

So, first of all the armature.

Because I do intend to make it posable, of course, (why to keep it simple...) and articulated.

I used 2mm wire, and a "balloon holder straw" (much sturdier than a drink straw).

Few thoughts about the purpose of the armature to keep in mind, in my opinion, (this is pretty much how I make my dolls by the way) particularly for bigger pieces:

 

1-  The armature works as a frame to the shape. It concerns the simple wires, that you will be able to push and reshape easily while you work to perfect your forms. It is  also very useful in order  to keep the proportions and symetry too.

Don't forget we work on soft , everything is ever evolving as we hold the work and poke it over.

 

2- Some strategic parts are trippled and reinforced with wire or pipe cleaner turned around.

This is where I want it to be very strong , to hold the figure of course, but still bendable.

 

3-  The two straw parts are in between the legs (hard to see on the pic.) at the base of the body.

This is very stiff, non -bendable, and will prevent the features to crash at that point, wether you work on the figure, or play with it. It allows the spine to have a "referency "to hold on .

At that stadium it looks something like that.( the figure will be bigger of course.)

 

I tried to keep in mind the minimal and elegant shape (no detail) and strength lines of the horse.

It can always be adapted and transformed or cut of later on if needed.

Also this is intended quite close to a posssible horse, as a unicorn, but you can adapt lengthes and create a much more styled one if you want to!)

 

It is good to think well and spend time on that first step, as it is what makes the sculpting so much easier  after this.

 

4- I  reinforce the legs with sticks of wood and attach it to the structure tightly, living free the joints.

I did not picture this step but it might be important if you want to bend the legs  at strategic points only, thus make sure about the anatomy you gave to keep as fresh as it was...

 

after that I will need to protect your tools while working because of the armature.

I used  to wrap it everywhere in pipe cleaner or cushion stuffing polyester which I will also use as a filling for this one (because of its size.

Like this:

 

Now, I probably spent a good couple of hours and am almost ready to start felting!!

Again, if you  think well this part of the work, you will be thankful later!

...

The doll of the dolls?

Hi there!

I know , it has been a long time away from the blog!

Little Kim met her new and young  owner and sounds safe and loved, for which I am most happy now. I will respect the child's  privacy, so I won't show you the cute pics I got from them both :).

But beleive me I did get satisfaction there, for accomplishing my task.

 

I have also been  working on a new commission doll,  for which I am most thankful, and got a bit derouted from my previous work which is gasping for her stand and being photographed yet, but I will eventually get there!

I even started a new composition, already thinking on the next one... busy time for inspiration! I will have new things to show! Yay!

 

First of all my White Moth, heading for England in a few days...

 

 

(I changed the way I articulate the neck. I work it separately from the body and as a first item to felt! It results in a better posability for the head)

 

Meanwhile, I was led to a few thoughts regarding my craft lately and would like to share some of it.

First of all, ALL my dolls are some kind of a challenge for me, they really are.

I know, I deliver clean nice pics of the doll because it is part of the magic...

 

 To me,  a doll is for dreaming, thinking, soothing, ..., and should appear (in my opinion)  easy, evident like it was always there,  did not need all the hard work.

 

But there is hard work and technical  mistakes done, I swear! (litterally too:) ). Till I find a way, the way, that satisfies me most at the moment.

Sadly for the moment only...how many dolls do I wish I could get back to rework a part I feel I could now improve, because my technics improved. Or I have a better idea ....

And  I have some shame in it that I could not make it quite as good as it could be... yet, it is not all about perfectionism.

 

There is a remedy for this:  create a new doll, with the new technical additions if needed, and develop some kind of tender indulgency toward the past dolls, which are part of me and my creative journey.

Technics is a form of politeness, it is a nice gesture, but not all.

The way is what matters to me as much as the result.

 

If you are not familiar with how beautiful white moths are , here are some inspirational pictures.

 

As a little girl already, I loved observing night butterflies when one was caught in the morning sun, overwhelmed by the daily light, struck still, like too heavy to ever fly again.

By then, they fascinated me for I could see the beauty in their ephemere being, apreciate their texture, largeness, odd nocturnal presency.

Of course now, as a needle felter dealing with natural wools, I mostly meet with that bug moth type that eats my work, the ones have to steadily fight to prevent my dolls to be acquainted with! Yuck!

But it reminds me also that the matter I work with is alive (and edible!), thus my dolls are earthy , and will, with time pass away, silently eaten by the sun and dusts, maybe nesting all kind of living organisms  and I like that very much.  

 

...And there she is, my white moth!

 

 

Oh, by the way, I hope you like the new features of this page!  :)

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim, first butterfly of the spring!

I was requested to acccomplish a little girl's portrait who loves butterflies, flowers , pink, a real little girl.

Having a five years old myself, I could quite imagine the world she lives in!

Little Kim was created around easter, when late snow and cold still stormed in Hungary,(we made snow bunny in the form of a snow man) but not for long. Soon, the sun rose, and warmthed it all, and the little fairy can fly to her home.

Farewell Kim! May your dreams remain sweet and good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love creating dolls on request, even though it means so much more stress.

Thank you Justine for the journey.

 

 

In the meanwhile, I am still working really hard on new tall dolls , and have also got one ready but still have work on the stand , the pics and so on...so I will keep posted soon . she will be a bit of surprise I think, very whimsy! :)

 

 

inspiration and a new doll.

hard to say what  inspires me...

Often , it is a simple piece of fiber. It is the way it started all too!

There are so intricate and extraordinary feels and touch! I really gave my first try at wool because I saw that fiber, and wanted to explore its possibilities.

 

And so, I created my first doll in needle felt, back in 2010.

 

 

Not much yet...and I certainly did not know I would never stop creating new ones ever since!

 

But here, I dare to show you something I made when I was a small kid, might have been 7 or 8, and just studied the basics in knitting.

I grabbed pieces of wool I found , no matter the colors, (that is what there was), simple design. :)

 

 

See? Told you! It is something I had long in me....doll and fiber.

(The funny is, that I did travel all around the world and lost about every thing I ever owned, and yet , this little doll pops out every few time or so, among stuffs,  always there, never dropped, and my children love to play with her, even though she is scaringly ugly!)

 

But what of the human figures? I am making dolls, often young women or girls, sometimes with an animal friend.

That is a complex thing to explain!

Human figure is probably quite extraordinary to explore, because it is so improper in term of efficiency as for the body...that is fragile, awkward, unbalanced...very far from the ones of certain animals or plants.

Yet, I always strongly felt the interaction betweeen everything , how much we are strongly linked to each other, basically made from the SAME stuff.

And it does not stop here, I can also feel the same kinship with a stone or a plant, and the very air we breath,... Up to a point it hurts sometimes, or rather, my heart feels overwhelmed.

 

 

And so, if we are made of dust, may it be star dust, all of it!

 

 

And I kind of like it, using an organic material to work with , a matter that is used for the life of the body, the hair, when it is on, or when it is used to cover our body or our home for warmth.

But to use it for the soul.

 

 

 

 

I would like to capture a bit of that little space in our humanity that places us among objects (and beings) in a complex and very intricate organisation (as intricate as my needle felted fibers!), and because we are aware, we can feel the intelligency in what we call world and universe,in its purpose , but also THE LOVE in the purpose. And the joy, the humor that sparkles.

And so my creations are simple, often direct, not trying to say much more than to touch this little part of each of us that is untouched by others, and where we feel and are standing so lonely after all. Like when we dream.

 

I wish my dolls not as decorative nor illustrative as strong their soul is.

They are not pretty, really not,  but their meaning is, eventually.

It is up to you, the stuff your dreams are made of.

 

 

Mine are made of wool and silk and cotton..., and a bit of soul too.

Star dust. Humanity as it should be, a friend said to me once.

 I try.The process itself is a journey, a dialogue. 

And I hope this is where I meet you who watch my pieces, so the journey is less lonely, so we can stand up strong, yet humble.

 

 
 
 

 

Sun kiss

When I was a little girl, I could spend much time observing the shiny little dust pieces revolving in the sun rays .
 And just feeling happy .
 

 

 

C'est le printemps!

I added a comments box on FELTOOHLALA's site, under each gallery page! Check the menu bar at the bottom of the page. Yay!
Still need to make it work so that I get notice in my e-mails though, so I don't miss your waving at me:)...working on this!
I would love to hear from you more often , and even have a chat!
Thank you so much  Claire, who was the first one to join!
 

 

Look at who is there!

More about the doll...

 

 

 

Visage

So removing is the moment  the doll gets a face.

Life is filling her character, yet, not completely her own.

The story begins...

Back to learning the first steps! step 1.

 

Today, valentine's day,  arrived my addi quick felting machine!

 

Thank you Clare for your attention to details , help and support!

Made me feel like a Vip!

 

It came with a little step by step booklet, and I humbly tried the suggested craft, a heart.

Right in the mood wasn't it!

 

I was warned I would need practice to get used to felting this way, and , indeed!

It was some time, till I could just get the shape together, forget the reflex of stepping too fast, befriending my fear of getting stabbed by this murderous tool.

Just think about it: 2500 pokes a minute!

 

After aTOTAL FAILURE with a  shapeless over felted top thing, the whole remaining too soft in the inside (those of you who owns a doll I made know, how tightly the head is felt, for exemple, sooo....), I could sort of hang on to the music  .

And I finally ended up with two heart shapes (for my two little sweet hearts), with very convincing topping.

 

I used the FINEST merino type wool I had, the kind that would drive me crazy and lots of hours work.

And well, this was the FUN part, it did it faster than said!...And, I  did not even poke myself at all!

The hearts are as sturdy AND as soft as you may wish.

 

Tomorrow, I will practice shaping more and mostly fine details.

 

So exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

The DOLL and the two Hares

Today, let me present you what I have been up to for such a long time.

A long work for a big custom order for a couple of rabbits in victorian style, one white, the other black. Plus a doll.

I really tried to work on details I am  less used to AND as it deals with sewing skills and it was not my cup of tea, really.

 

Mr Hare's got a lined coat with hand- made buttons,  and a cane too. Madame Rabbit has a straw hat made from scratch, and was fun to "texture" lace, rather than simply use some trims (which I find usually stiff or out of scale, unless buying ancient pieces...)

Had a big job with the shoes too, all leather and fit to foot :)

They are standing a bit taller than usually I do, even for my tall ones, and I like it! Gives a bit of prestance.

Mostly, I wanted them elegant, but not too stiff,  simple but close enough to the style to recognise it.

I hope I still could create a good compromise between the felted and the fabric.

 

 

And this is one important point to me. I do not like the feel of a needle felted doll in a dressing like when you dress a pet or for the carnival...the fabric often just hide the doll hide the lines. (feel my fascination for non finished dolls here?:) )

I wish I could go more toward abstract on this one. Maybe I just miss the way I made my dolls at first, all in one piece...for the simplicity of the line. Only with more texture...

And saying so, I feel I will , for now on, improve my felted fabrics and make the clothing out of wool rather than sewing coton or silk, and it will be a new thing to study. I so much see what I would like to reach (and I am so far away from it yet) !

This will probably be one of 2013 aim for me.

 

The DOLL is  custom too, but more of that at a later date!

Only that it is some kind of portrait, and that is serves a purpose . Thus, I did not set the doll into a particular expression or feeling. Yes ,she is the one to wear those boots many of you have been longing for at proper size :) lucky doll!

 

 

 

 

I have been enjoying creating these pieces, making them fit to each other.

It  has been a long journey, that I hope was worth it. Thank you M!

 

 

Tayloring for mr. Hare.

 

 

needle felting HELP!

I realise people are usually misled on what is needle felting! (for 3 dimensional objects)

I happen to see so many pins on Pinterest particularly, from good willing fellow artists too, confusing a cloth or stuffed doll with a needle felted work.

(Cloth dolls can also be made out of felt if it is the piece of material sewed or placed on a clay mold)

I thought a little explanation on what is the technic and what it  implicates could help.

 

As you can see on my picture ,(yes these are the tools I use and nothing else), a special needle is required.

They come with several size of thickness (I use the finest gauge possible), and are fixed on that wood handle for comfort only. More needles can also be fixed on such handle, for big projects.

If you observe well, the needle is not rounded like a sewing needle, and it has cuts along the sides, either downward or upward (it will make a different effect).

Now, when you poke the loose fiber (you can see a piece of white merino on my pic.), the needle gets in the material and brings back a bit of fiber through those cuts each time you pull out.

 

The structure of the wool fiber itself is such that is has tiny hooks.This causes the fibers to mix up tightly as much as the kneedle goes in and out. After some time, you technically speaking get a big knot, that is, it takes the texture of what we call FELT. As simple as that.

 

 

You can easily understand that no sewing technics , no stuffing for volume, nor painting or glueing (yack!) , no water, no soap is needed in order to obtain a shape.The piece is built on itself, adding more raw wool, and poking it over and over.

The process is long, and much closer to sculpting than anything else actually!

...and you cannot use molds or patterns either actually :) thus it is real one of a kind, non reproducable piece you get (which is certainly not the case for the most praised porcelain dolls actually!)

 

 

 

Keep in mind, there is as much difference between a needle felted item and a cloth or stuff animal or doll, than between a cloth doll and a porcelain doll, in term of technics.

And it would come to NOBODY's mind to confuse and put them in the same category , the works are totally different in nature!

 

I find it most important to be precise, as the implicated work and skill is largely under estimated and under valuated for my fellow needle felters, and so are the market prices.

However, it is probably more difficult to achieve fine details, and mostly a very big time consuming task! I know fellow felters who do also paper clay as well who can relate to what I am saying :)

 

Please, why is it that needle felting shoud remain a subcategory in craft making, doll making and such? Why should the range of price remain low and thus reflecting a hobby rather than real art piece?

 

If you are further interested, you can consultate these links, including my illustration of a work I made,  and also appreciate the works of these artists I most admire doing needle felting for ART DOLLS.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felt

http://www.wizpick.com/about_needlefelting.htm

needle felting by feltoohlala, RED doll.

google pics. of needle felted art dolls! -even there, some dolls have nothing to do in that needle felted category, are you able to tell which now? :)

 

And so on! Spread the word!

 

(Wow, this was long, thank you for such attention span :) )

 

 

 

 

 

Feltoohlala makes toys too !

Please, check on FELTOOHLALA'S website, they are great! Or directly here.

shoes for men too !

 

 

...that is for a rabbit male!

A doll's vanity

 

 

Inside

 

 

 

 

(beloved doll on the right bottom is "Neora" by Karly Perez)

FLICKR

JUST OPENED A FLICKR ACCOUNT!

You will find all FELTOOHLALA's pictures there: http://www.flickr.com/photos/feltoohlala/

But of course, you can also see them on the site  as well :)

Happy screening!

CUSTOM ORDERS communication

 

I decided I will concentrate on taller dolls in priority (45 cm, 17.5 inch dolls), for a while .

... So if you would still like a doll like my Alice for exemple, you will have to custom order in my etsy shop!

 

You can always have a custom order for any doll any time anyway, just there won't be new ready choice of the 11 inch doll before long, before I can run the project of exhibition I would like to.

You should check also on the site available dolls, as I do not list all my dolls on etsy, and e-mail me at FELTOOHLALA -contact me on the site if you are seriously interested in one of them.

 

My tall dolls take me a full month of steady work to complete and you will understand that I thus have  limited time and amount to be produced a year   :)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Je voudrais me concentrer sur mes plus grandes poupées dans le but d'oraganiser a terme une exposition.

 

Si vous souhaitez malgré tout une poupée dans le genre de Alice (voir image ) par exemple, il faudra aller cliquer sur ce logo dans ma boutique etsy, ou me e-mailer  dans contacts sur ce site. C'est la maniere de procéder pour n'importe quelle custom doll en fait, qu'elle soit grande ou petite.

 

Mais comprenez bien que je ne listerai plus de nouvelles poupées de 28 cm pretes a etre envoyées pendant quelques temps.

Une grande poupée me prend environ un mois de travail ininterrompu, cela signifie un nombre restreint de poupées et de temps dans l'année, d'oú mon choix présent.

 

Merci de votre compréhension!

 

textured

 

 

Histoire de mains

 

rois 2013

 

 

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