Thursday, March 10, 2011

Acrachnid: Candy Long Legs

Here is my first Spider commission. Hopefully my last. I thought taking this project on would be easy enough. I figured black spider, maybe green eyes, maybe some orange and black fuzz on it's head. Easy-Peezy! I was wrong.Sooo Sooo wrong. I started off having to research beyond the black spider with eight legs. (Oh and little Disclaimer: I HATE SPIDERS! I am terrified of them. I have bad dreams about them. I worry they will crawl in my mouth when I am asleep. I worry they will eat my toes if I leave my leg out of the blankets when I am asleep...and so on.Okay, you get the point.) So, looking at all different types of spiders was a really hard thing for me. I could not stop flicking at myself and I had to keep looking away. I had a nightmare one night in which it came to life and started poking me with a felting needle. I even typed in cute spider to ease the pain. Finally settled on a random black furry arachnid which was the less threatening of the bunch.

So I started out with what I thought was a sturdy wire skeleton structure. I made a mistake. I used those super long jumbo pipe cleaners from Michaels. I made the body and then proceded to work my way along by coating all the legs. I thought that this project would take no time at all. I thought it would be three days work since there was no horns, or toes or wings or the rainbow gradation that easily adds several days to each project. Once I coated all the legs and then went back to stiffen them up it was obvious the pipe cleaners even as big as they were, were not going to cut it. I had imagined the legs in the crawling posistion. So I cut off all the leg wool I had spent a day or so felting, while trying not to cry inside. Darn it! I then found thicker wire which I wrapped in a spiral around the pipe cleaner and started my two day battle with re-coating the legs. Broken needles everywhere! Darn it again!

I had pre-dyed about five pounds of wool black with about three pots of Wilton's icing dye. It came out really muddy and grey with patches of jet black. Too much wool at a time. Limited time and patients on my part. I was pretty disappointed at first because I had three black projects lined up and in my mind they all needed to be jet black. But It turned out great. I used the gradation of the black to shade the Labyrinth inspired Fiery I just completed last week. The black on the spider was the darkest of the batch, but at the last moment I thought he looked boring so I added orange "knuckles"...then it escalated to Orange knuckles with purple hair, then orange hair, then black hair. Then I thought I should define the purple with bits of fuchsia. I seriously spent over 40 hours on this spider who was originally commissioned at 6" but turned out by my own goof to be 26" wide and 13" long. Opps! I added the little face dots to give it a softer look. Less like, it's going to eat me look. I had intended on making his whole back with black glittery hair, but I just could not do any more. This project really killed my hands from all the leg twisting and holding into place while painstakingly adding the mixed fibres as hair. 8 harry legs was such a battle. But I think he is being well received all over the place which is a good sign I did something right.

Well my Black Dragon is coated, my Orange Dragon is coated and the Baby Mobile which is also painful because of it's small size is back on the table as of this after noon. Five mini goblins riding five mini dragonflies. Gah!

I'm thinking my on again off again project of the mermaid and water monster needs at least a few hours of my attention this week. They are not a commission! Thank God! So up on the auction block they'll go. Whoot! Something to look forward too. My first real, mermaid girl non creature, well creature but human creature. Okay, you get the point.