7.4.08

It was going to be a Deer...


Reluctant to bore with yet another needle felted animal, I had intended to share a cracking little film I shot this weekend. We were quietly padding through the woods, (Andy several feet ahead of me as per usual) when he stopped and motioned. There, almost invisible, with his coat blending perfectly into the sun dappled tree tunks, was a roe stag, looking right at us. We didn't move. Nor did he. Softly we knelt down, to get out of his view, and watched him through the binoculars for a good five minutes. When we had our fill, we wondered if we could get closer. So, stealthily and silently we crept along the side path, nearer to where he stood, still rock solid. Deer stalking. Really, it amazes me that big as we are, at 6ft 8" and 6ft, we can move through the woods without making a sound - yet somehow we do. And we got so close to him we could see the velvet on his new antlers, and his big eyes, cautiously watching us. He knew we were there, but this young prince was not that bothered. Slowly I raised my camera, with the movie setting on and zooming in, got a cracking little movie of him, with a soundtrack of woodland birds singing their hearts out and our awestruck whispers in the background, as my accent lapsed into a rural Oxfordshire lilt. ''There you are boy, my little darling, hush quietly now..."

My new camera has been playing up and when we got back I was going to upload the film and post it here, for your delectation. But Andy was trying to work out the settings and get it working properly...and in a moment of madness, managed to delete it. So we have no deer. To his credit he was truly remorseful and offered me a pillow with which to smother him. However, that would have been a waste of credit; he owes me big time now, so I have let him live. Although I did scream a bit. (A lot).

So, onto less alive creatures. This chap was found in the wilderness of ebay - I managed to get him for 99p (just under $2). For some reason the seller neglected to show a photo of him - there was just a short description, of a plush toy dog, with music box inside, 1950's or 60's. So when I bought him I had no idea whether he would be in decent condition or falling apart...luckily he was just as I hoped. Despite a piratical and somewhat crazed look in his eye, he is rather sweet and not bad for 99p. He plays 'Hush a Bye Baby' when you wind his box up. He is very homemade and quite knobbly, being made round a stout wire armature with wood straw stuffing - don't think the Health and Safety brigade would approve of him as a baby toy...




And after a total of twenty five hours (yes, I do keep track) of work, I finally turned this wad of pink merino fluff...



...into this jazzy little lady, the kind of girl who gets up to dance to Boney M at wedding discos and shakes her booty, not giving a hoot. I ran out of pink wool and had to order more, she was sucking it in like a black (or pink) hole.




I put the now customary heart on her foot pad - I am going to try to incorporate one into every design from now on. The heart patch first appeared in my self-portrait-as-a-toy 'Celia', a couple of years ago...



...and here it is on Sally's big foot. And another little patch on her leg when she fell over dancing.



Sally looks really pleased to be finished at last, and we both have a big smile on our faces - because no sooner was she making her debut on Etsy, than she was snapped up and will be dancing to her new home tomorrow.



I have entered Sally and Jenny (see below) in separate categories in the 2nd Annual Softies Award, so no doubt I will be begging for your votes when the time comes. There are some stunning entries - they can be seen in the Flickr group, here. Toy Heaven.

I have been a complete numpty and forgotten to boast about two awards kin
dly given me - the first being from Rose Haven Cottage, a lovely sanctuary which I like to visit regularly, thank you so much...



...and this from my friend Ali over at Wool Gathering, the artypico award. Thank you so much!


I always get a bit confused by guidelines, but if I had to pick 5 blogs which I find to be gorgeous and interesting, then I would pick Talitka, who creates extraordinary needlefelt creatures, Bone Head Studios, who makes lovely primitive dolls, Illustrations & co, more needle felt loveliness, Gifling, another marvellous creative, and Erica's Attic, which is a pink haven of delight. I love them all.

25 comments:

Gail said...

Gretel - Sally looks so adorable - I can't wait for her to arrive in her new home ... I feel like a five year old on Christmas eve ;)

eydie said...

Sally is lovely and I am sorry I missed her. She's got my vote. I just wanted to know, was that a typo when you said one of you was 6 ft. 8"? That's rrrrrreeeeeaaaaaalllly tall...........

rbaird said...

Amazing, truly amazing!

Caroline B said...

That dog is simply fantastic - so nice he's found a home where he's appreciated! I love Sally, with her cleverly wrinkled knees and her little heart patch - not surprised she found a home straight away.

Alison said...

Wow how lucky was you to get so close to those deer:-)
The dog reminds me of one I had many years ago but sadly long since gone.
Sally...what a gal.
Take care,
Alison x

Joanna said...

Sally is lovely I love her knees, and very pleased she is dancing to her new home so quickly well i'm not surprised.

natural attrill said...

I love the wrinkly knees as well.
P.x

PG said...

Thank you everyone! and yes Eydie, that WAS 6ft 8 and he is very tall indeed!

kate smudges said...

Long tall Sally is another wonderful creation - I like the heart idea.

Too bad about the deer video - maybe you can make a bid for extra choco?

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Hi, PG, Sally looks like big fun, awesome felt creation. I borrowed your color palette to show to my High School color class, thanks for that. I'm 6" too! Lucky you for finding such a tall man!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Oh Long Tall Sally is gorgeous...no wonder she was snapped up so quickly.

...and I'm glad you let Andy live.

(())

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have missed the deer but Long Tall Sally and the little lost dog really do make up for it!
Congrats on yet another sale and all those awards.
Carolyn
http://willowhouse.typepad.com

ellen said...

Oh, Sally..what a darling you are. She does have the loveliest legs. You captured the spirit of those saggy elephant ankles and knees.
(I am still reeling over 6'8"! Well, when one is only 5'2", it's understandable.)
I am glad that little pup is in a loving home.

Erica-Jane said...

Dear Aunty Gretel,

Firstly, WOW, what an elephant! It's just amazing how you manage to keep the essence of your drawings in the creatures you needle felt!
And secondly, I'm all a blushing that you mentioned my little blog.Thank-you, and I'm chuffed to bits that you enjoy my (dusky) pink paradise :0)
Shame about the deer video...perhaps the mystery and magic of it all remains untouched this way? Thank-you for sharing the moment :0)

Erica
xoxo

Sweetwater Designs said...

I apparently had an old link for a time and was disappointed when I would poke my head in and see the same post.I thought maybe you went on holiday...so I was very happy to find the new link and see that you're alive and well, creating wonderful creatures and stalking the wildlife in your back yard! How exciting is that?!

~Deborah

natural attrill said...

I really like the elephant!
Toby.

tlc illustration said...

So you are 6 foot as well? (I'm surprised at how many 6' female illustrators I know... It's getting rather uncanny... It makes me feel very short).

Gretel - these darlings are so lovely, and leave so quickly! that I hope you arranging some central portfolio type of page to display them all together so that they can continue to be admired even after they leave home...?

Jess said...

Gretel I've just listed you as one of my Art Y Pico awardees and noticed just now you already have one! Well have it doubled -you deserve it! :)

Rima said...

Wow.. Gretel, I LOVE these latest two. You're brilliant!
And hehe.. oh dear, no deer! What a shame!
Congratulations on making such snappable uppable toys.
And as a piece of useless trivia... my art teacher at school married one of the original Long Tall Sally designers, who was the art assistant for a while.. they're both painters, he's well over 6' and she's, well, MUCH taller!
Hehe.. happy weekend to you both xxx R

Jess said...

Hi Gretel - I'm back again! That elephant is adorable, you're definitely on a roll with this aren't you? You made me laugh about the pillow! :D

Frances said...

Hello from New York, and many good wishes to you on the continued success of this menagerie that you are creating.

(In the past week I left my usual NYC concrete to attend a series of meetings held in a conference center/hotel set in the midst of what was before a woodland.
On the last morning there, I got up, drew back the curtains to the room, and saw emerging from a misty bunch of spindly trees, three deer, who gracefully approached their intended breakfast buffet, the carefully tended spring bulbs just coming into bloom.

Like other commenters before me, I am amazed at the height of the two folks who dwell in your cottage!

Continued success! xo

zquilts said...

OMG - what glorious creatures ! Truly amazing !

Eric Orchard said...

I just noticed how much your three dimensional stuff looks like your paintings. But different at the same time.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Love your work!
Cathy

ingermaaike said...

you told me about the pink elephant and now I see it here, she is so very lovely!