I apologize for the image heavy post – and remember I’m a complete rookie at this, so I’m sure there are lots of things I could have done better – but here we go!
I got my colours together (obvious, right?) a foam felting board and all my needles.
I rolled up the roving very tightly, folding in the sides as I went to make a ball. Every little while I’d stop and felt the ball for a while, to get it nice and stuck before rolling more. I made the body first.
I made a smaller ball using the same method for the head, and felted the two together by poking the largest gauge needle at the neck joint.
Then I grabbed a chunk of roving, and spread it out nice and fluffy. I positioned this over the body and started felting it over top, to smooth and strengthen the join between head and body.
I used smaller strips of brown felting over the body to start adding detail. Felting is so intuitive – I just kept adding it wherever I thought I needed more until I had a brown back and a little heart-shaped face.
I cut off two small pieces of roving and felted it against the foam board into the shape of wings. I had to flip them once in a while to make sure they didn’t stick to the board. I misted them occasionally – just to help the roving hold it’s shape until it was felted into place. I didn’t get too picky about their shape at this stage.
Then I felted the wings onto the sides – sticking straight out like a penguin because I thought it was funny ;) I could easily have felted them down to the side as well. I kept at them until they were nice and dense, occasionally holding them against the felting board to provide support. When I liked the shape I did the final clean up by trimming off the excess.
To make eyes I made two little black balls by rolling the roving in my hand like play doh, then I felted them on. Then I used the same method, but with white balls and I positioned them a bit lower, to make eyebrows. I made the beak the same way I made the wings – on the felting board first, then adding finer detail once it was on her face and trimming away the excess.
This is how Cleo gets that intelligent expression ;)
A little tuft of roving was cut out and felted, just at the base, to give her a little ‘faux hawk’.
To polish off the eyes I rolled a little cylinder of roving (again, think play doh) and felted it into a circle around each eye, allowing the excess to stick out to the sides like bushy little eyebrows.
Voila! One ugly, yet endearing little barn owl :)