Here’s the Mom Rabbit getting the last bits of her beautiful fur coat. And she still needs her mouth line and whiskers. I didn’t give her a white star on her forehead like her daughter has. Whether or not to do that will be one of my last decisions after the clothes are all made.
I’m planning a new section for my Etsy shop with my needle-felted and costumed animal dolls. Whenever I make one I get very involved with it. In fact, I have to keep reminding myself that these animals are not real. But I can’t resist posing them and pretending that they’re talking with each other.
It will be hard to part with these little animals. But I’ll put a high price on them and if they sell I can feel good about donating the money to animal charities. And in the meantime, I’ll keep them in a display cabinet and enjoy them.
It was a rabbit lurking in that last photo – a rabbit child! In that photo she was armature, core wool, ears, and eyes. Here she is getting the last bits of her over-coat. And in the picture below she’s getting whisker surgery! (It only hurts a little…)
She looks a bit skinny, but that’s so the clothes will fit her nicely. Next, I’m going to make her mama.
I’ve been making these small rabbits for my Etsy shop. The first one I listed – the one at the right in the top picture – sold pretty much as soon as I listed her. They’re really a joy to make, althoughtthey’re not so simple as they may look.
Even though they’re small – 3″ to the top of the head – I’ve built them over an armature. I did that for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted them to be posable, although the posing options are quite a bit less than for my large gray needle felted rabbit. But also, the armature guides me as I sculpt. So if I start out with a good armature I’m likely to get the shape I’m aiming for, and it’s repeatable.
The jury’s still out on the whiskers. Mostly I used 4lb weight Fireline which is a nylon beading thread. The stiffness is just right, but it’s a little thin. So for the Dutch rabbit and the brown rabbit below, I switched to a #1 Tuff Cord that I got at http://www.beadshop.com
. I’m thinking it might be a bit thick, but I like the feel of it.
Then it was on to a rabbit! Once again, I began with an armature made from an image of the skeleton. But this time it was even more difficult because the skeleton indicates much more going on with a rabbit body than what we actually see – which is basically a ball of fluff with feet sticking out. But I wanted the rabbit posable, so had to proceed this way.
There was an awful lot of filling space with wool, and I often worried about how much wool I was using. It’s not just the expense, but also that it seems a shame to “bury” perfectly good wool deep inside the body where it will never be seen. I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of an alternative. I’ve come up with a few but have rejected them. One was wrapping with strips of old felted wool sweaters. But those aren’t either easy or cheap to come by – at least not here in California where they’re not worn regularly.
So I persevered and here’s the result. For once, I found feet actually fun to make! I’d like to make many more rabbits. There are so many different breeds and colorings – an artist’s playground!