Monday, July 13, 2015

Little Toy Dog Brooches

Little Toy Dog Brooches: postcard

I've been busy making lots of new brooches for the Little Toy Dog Company and I've just finished a  new postcard design, which is always exciting! Can't wait to get that back from the printer. I posted a Samoyed off to the US recently and a Scottie dog off to Australia. My doggies are certainly getting around. I'll be showing at the Blackheath Christmas Fair later in the year, along with Brockley Christmas Market too.

In the meantime I'm starting some new illustrations, with the aim of replacing my portfolio and revamping my website, which I've been tidying up on over the last few days. Before I can do that I have to clear up my studio space, which is completely overcrowded. I cannot find anything and I can't move a single pencil without starting an avalanche of books, paper, brushes and bird's nests! I have filled a recycling bin and now have to wait for it to get emptied before I can carry on. Wish me luck and I will post some new work as it appears (and if I like it!).

Samoyed brooch, Little Toy Dog Company

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Make a Pom Pom Blue Tit

Pom Pom Blue Tit

Proportions for wool colours
You will need...
3.5cm and 4.5cm pompom makers
White, black, blue, green and yellow wool
Blue, green, beige and pink felt
Pipecleaner in grey, black or white
25cm fine 3mm ribbon for hanging
25cm 12mm ribbon for the bow
Tiny mini pom pom or a little circle of white felt
Two 'holes' punched out of black card with a hole punch, for the eyes
Glue - UHU craft glue is great, but not the water based one
A bodkin or tapestry needle

Head pom pom
On the 3.5cm pompom maker use the black, white and blue wool and wind it round in the proportions shown in the diagram. When it's really fat and full, snip around the edges with sharp scissors, and tie the pompom off firmly with the blue wool. Leave long strands of the tie-off wool at least 20cm long. These will be used later to attach the head to the body

Head pom pom with body on maker
On the 4.5cm maker, wind the yellow and green wool as shown in the diagram. It's about 45% yellow, 55% green. When full, carefully snip around the edges with small sharp scissors. Tie the pom pom off, but don't take if off the maker just yet...

Body pom pom snipped open
Joining the head to the body
Using the long tail threads on the head, wrap them twice around the body pom pom while it's still on the maker. Tie the threads very tight, making sure that the head is securely tied to the body. Remove the body from the pom pom maker, and trim to shape. You can make it more bird-like if there is enough wool.

Attach head to body while still on maker
Head and body released from maker
Trimmed bird

Add legs and cut out felt pieces
Part the wool at the bottom of the bird and wiggle the pipecleaner through underneath the tie-off wool. Make sure both legs are even in length and then shape them with a few bends. Cut out two wing shapes and a tail from dark blue felt. Cut a beak from beige felt, and a blossom flower in pinks with some green leaves. The eyes can be made using a hole punch, taking two of the small circles and colouring them with felt tip pens.

Glue the felt features in place
Finishing Off
Thread the fine ribbon onto a bodkin or tapestry needs, and post it underneath the tie-off wool of the body, just behind the head at the base of the neck. Tie it off with a small knot and trim the ends in a V or slant. Glue the felt features on with UHU craft glue. Lastly, use the wider ribbon to tie a bow on itself, then glue that at the base of the hanging ribbon on the bird's back.

Add a final bow on the back, and the two eyes
I first posted this as a 'Twitorial' on 9th March, but the instructions required a little more space, so here it is in full. One reason I've not used this blog for a while is that I cannot abide the new Blogger interface. I find it impossible to position pictures easily. My posts contain a lot of images so this has become very frustrating for me. Please excuse the erratic spacing and hopeless layout!