Thursday, April 17, 2014

How Does My Garden Grow?

Just as a change from the shoes that Jo gave us to play with I thought I would do something with her felt flowers.  Now I can honestly say that I was not moved by felt flowers.  I would look at them and think what gorgeous colours and then pass them by not really knowing what I would do with them.  However it seems that when a project is due and I am least expecting it creativity strikes and I find myself getting excited about felt flowers.  So I had this vision of a torso rising up from a field of flowers and the project shown below is that vision realised.  How did I do? 

Firstly I layered up the felt flowers.  Once I was happy with the way they looked I glued them together.  I then covered them with fabric stiffener (white glue and water would work as well) and moulded them into shape.  Once they were dry I threaded thin plastic up through the center, added a bead and then threaded the plastic down the other side.  I used very fine strips of plastic because I wanted the illusion of movement when I had the finished project together.  I made lots of flowers because I really wanted to fill the base with them and give the impression of a vibrant garden.


So here is the process for the torso.  Firstly I made a small torso out of a toilet roll and covered it with newspaper.

Using white glue watered down with water I glued a serviette onto a piece of baby muslin.  While it was still wet I draped it around the torso.
I glued several bamboo skewers together and glued them inside the torso to give me a way to stand the torso.  I had some butterfly wings die cut (Spellbinder "Wings" Die) from an old calendar that I was going to attach to the torso, but I just felt that it needed something more, so I used fabric stiffener on a crochet doily and moulded them to make wings which I glued to the torso.  I then glued the die cut butterfly wings in front of the doily. Once the wings were attached I then decorated the torso using Imagine If flowers, leaves, insect buttons and Imagine If/Fix Design butterflies and a gecko.
For the base I used a recycled condensed milk tin.  I undercoated it with metal primer then when it was dry I painted the whole tin with white gesso. While the gesso was wet I put white tissue into the paint and then covered the whole thing again with white gesso.  This gives the tin a great texture.  Once this layer had dried I used gel medium to attach Imagine If/Fix Design felt stencil flowers.  Once the gel medium had dried I covered the whole thing again with white gesso.
I also added a few hexagons that were the offcuts from a Cheery Lynn chicken wire die.
After the paint dried I painted the whole thing with blue acrylic paint.  While the paint was still wet I wiped most of it off with a damp cloth.
To steady the tin and stop it from tipping I put in a couple of layers of glass marbles into the bottom of the tim.  I then put in three layers of polystyrene which I painted brown.  I then began to build up the piece by sticking the torso into the polystyrene and began adding the flowers and the butterfly.  To finish it all off I painted two metal dragonflies with black paint, wiped most of it off then glued them to the front of the tin. I added a row of jewels around the bust and waistline to define the torso.   Once again here is the finished project.
I really enjoyed making this project and I am a convert to the felt flowers.  Thanks for looking please remember to leave comments or questions and I will reply as quickly as possible.  Also go and check out the fabulous flowers on offer at Imagine If/Fix Design NZ and start creating your own gardens.  I will also be posting this project on my own blog.  I hope you will pop over and check out this and my other projects.
Materials used in this project.
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Felt Flower Packs Shape paces 2-6
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Felt Stencil Flowers
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ  Butterflies
Imagine If/Fix Design NZ Geckos
Insect buttons
Silk Leaves
Small white and pink beads
Recycled tin
Tissue paper
Metal dragonflies
Glass marbles
Recycled polystyrene
Toilet paper roll
Baby muslin
White glue/Fabric stiffener/Gel medium
White gesso
Blue and brown acrylic paint
Crochet doily
Spellbinders Wings Die
Bamboo skewers
Plastic for flower stems


  1. Wow I love what you have done with the flowers, and thanks for taking the time to tell us how you made your master piece Ngaere :) I LOVE it

  2. Thank you Carol you always make my day with your lovely comments

  3. Thanks for this. Was wondering what to do if I won the felt flowers on this weeks blog hop. I'm amazed at how you think of all these things. Pleased that you give good explanations. Well done.