Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Herman's New Sweater

Herman has a new plaid sweater that buttons up nice and cozy.

The idea to add little twig buttons (like the ones I made last summer for a rustic jacket with matching woodland bracelet, shown below) to the rubbery caterpillar puppet, named by Stephanie as, Herman! (Rich added the !) came over me as great fun. But when I went to find him to do that he had disappeared. In one of those obsessive moments I kept looking for Herman! where could he go? Paul thought the cats ate him.

When I found him, I felt so glad that I spent some time sprucing him up. To get wooden buttons small enough, I tried slicing tiny dried twigs and toothpicks as dowel, but they each and all split, no matter what tool I used to cut them. I tried using punch tools on thin wood veneer to get little round wooden cookies but they wouldn't stand up to drilling micro button holes with a needle. I tried cutting reed beads in half but while they were a better scale, they didn't read as being buttons. It wouldn't have been clear what was going on. I finally overcame my aversion to plastic and used store bought mini buttons in bone color that I aged with, what else, walnut ink. Works every time.

I also improved the uneven texture transition from Herman!'s woolly felt coat and his shiny latex belly by using colored flocking fibers. He was looking a little rough there so the flocking allowed me to paint a line of glue just where I wanted to neaten up, at his hairline(s), on his back, and dust it with flocking sifted through an old tea strainer. I got into the technique and now his sweater has a plaid pattern. I like to think he's wearing a little cardigan for winter.

I used four of the sliced reed buttons that I had cut as eyes for the two fellas. They really have a comic personality now that I like. Paul named the little one, Catalina, after his pet cat that passed away a while back. He said he missed her, I didn't know. I may add whiskers on that one.

Belated Art Bonus (made last June)
Great linen jacket came with ugly (plastic) buttons. I went to the massive Halfland tree branch supply, where there are branches, well dried out, ready to use, in any size imaginable. I chose the porch support branch diameter and sliced off a bunch of twig buttons, drilled holes. Replaced the jacket buttons and went crazy crafting a matching bracelet accessory with a small hand carved wooden bird bead and antler beads on a base of soft dried vines.

6 comments:

  1. Yes! Whiskers would be so cute! And that bracelet = SO MUCH LOVE. You're a genius.

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  2. Whee, he has a sparkly little sweater! I love Herman even more now! And Catalina is a cutie.

    Great work Shelley!!!

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  3. Wee! Jessica, if you would like that big woodland bangle bracelet--it's YOURS! I'll put it in your pack. And you'll be happy to know, I did put whiskers on that cater, and ears, and a tail. Photos soon.

    YAY! I'm glad you like him, Stephanie. I was afraid to change him as he's your Halfland mascot. But I feel he's better completed now. Thanks!

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  4. It's something new every day here. it's really fantastic Shel. I second the vote for adding whiskers :D

    PS. Herman!

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  5. Whiskers on. R E A L whiskers. Is that wrong?

    Herman!

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  6. Herman! looks wonderful in his new sweater. Can't even begin to imagine how you sewed those buttons... Love the tree twig buttons too, remind me of antler buttons...

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