Total Art Soul - for artists

" I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you "
Tags >> Autumn

It's that time again :)

Posted by: gringrimaceandsqueak

Tagged in: wire , mens , masquerade , mask , handmade , Cat , beaded , Autumn


Much to our deep joy and happiness, Autumn is coming to Cornwall. The leaves are turning, the air is cooling and best of all, hallowe'en is just over the horizon! This means our attention has turned from summery blues and greens to deeper, more dramatic winter tones. Coppery colours are definitely in at the minute, often teamed with classic black or more subtle browns but as we get further into the season, that's going to change again in favour of bolder combinations.

It's also party season and we're gearing up for our busiest time of year- stocking up on the basics with lots of traditional eye masks in the classic goth colours - red, black and purple being the big ones of course :) Hallowe'en is also the time men are most likely to let their hair down for  a change and dress up to go out so we've made sure we have an assortment of more masculine pieces to keep the boys happy.

While we're waiting for our best excuse to don full gothic battle dress and surprise the heck out of our neighbours, we are having a lot of fun building on our existing collection with a new range of more sculpted masks. The first to go on sale is this cat mask- we'd done animal and bird pieces before but always shaped around the human face, which only allows you to go so far.

To make something really different, we've been changing our patterns and pushing ourselves by looking first at the form we want to create, then working backwards to create a supporting structure that fits comfortably. The cat was fairly simple, once we had the proportions right (thanks to Louie from next door who has become a regular visitor) it was mostly about bridging the nose and cheeks to create a more catlike expression. We added some hair thin whiskers to give a cheeky pre-pounce look - et voila!
Next up are a raven mask with a foot long beak (don't ask how many beads that's taking) and a mask with woven wire horns - wish us luck :)
Karen and Rich


How to make needlefelted acorns

Posted by: viltalakim

Tagged in: wool , tutorial , needle felting , how- to- do , Autumn , acorns


Today I felt like sharing the needle felt technique as I love to do so during autumn. So here we start. Needle felting is different from wet felting. With wetfelting you use water and soap, with needle felting not. It is sometimes also called dry felting.  This is everything you need:

  • some wool fleece , (if you have roving it will be taking longer to get such a nice and even result. but it is usable too )
  • feltingneedle (this needle has barbs , which get a fiber down and another one up)
  • a sponge or styrpohor
  • glue, can also be a hotglue machine
  • acorncaps
making acorns

things you need to make needle felted acorns

Step 1:

Divide your woolfleece into long pieces of  approximately  10 cm  (3.9 inch) or longer or lesser if you want thicker or thinner balls.

make it smaller to get the desired thickness of the acorn

I made them like this

a 3cm (1.2inch) wide "lock" is perfect

Step 2:

Start rolling it up from one side to the other. It makes it easier if you do this on a table as you should try to get it as tight as possible, saves you time later:)

start rolling it up tightly

This is how it looked like when I finished rolling

ready to get to the next stage

Step 3

Now place this fluffy ball of wool on the sponge and get your feltingneedle. I mostly use two:  one to stab into the wool  and one which holds the wool on the sponge. I can also hold it with my fingers but it is quite painfull when you stab into your fingers. So the second needle prevents me from doing so as my fingers are higher:) You can also use  a little stick or  fork for this.

stabbing time! be carefull with your fingers

I stab it from all sides, I mostly start at the side my wool ended. Stabbing from the tops makes it get more round instead of longwise.

stabbing from all sides

Step 4

You are ready when your ball feels hard and no woolfibres come out anymore. Now it is time to search for a nice acorn cap which would fit perfectly.

searching for the perfect cap

Step 5

When you have a cap; fill it with glue, make sure to add enough at the sides and stick your ball to the cap.

use enoug glue as the wool and cap will absorb some

after adding it into the cap hold it tight for a few seconds

Step  6

You are now finished, start making a new one or find a nice place to present it. Enjoy!!!

a nice spot in my house:)

Enjoy trying this out!!
If you have any questions please contact me!!

PS1 , I have enoug of this wool and will upload it to my supply shop: if you want some:)

Autumn Fires

Posted by: thornwoodstudio

Tagged in: Stories , Fires , Autumn


I sat with the fire this evening until it died, I felt like I owed the blaze that much at least, especially as I had called it to perform. Each fire is special, just as people are; they have a character of their own and eachs burn very differently.

Tonight the fire in question is the one I made just before sundown. It was composed of all the summers’ flotsam and jetsam  from the garden and various successful and unsuccessful projects. Never the less all the materials were combustible and ready to await their turn in what I call my autumn fires. These fires are a convenient way of disposing of the year’s contribution to the combustible waste which has been consigned to the disposal pile. In keeping with my strictest green agenda I assembled all the various candidates in a final line-up and put the match to the kindling. One by one I offer the flames the sacrificial martyrs and sit back to enjoy this years autumn blaze.

In Africa it is said that within each fire, be it cooking or recreational, a story is born. There is something very magical about staring into the heart of the fire and the heat of the coals. Somehow the dancing flames help to interpret ones thoughts and if spoken out immediately, a new story unfolds. Tonight is no different and although my location is urban, my thoughts are rural. Fortunately there is a light wind tonight and the passing of the breeze through the branches of the trees on my property masks the sound of traffic, barking dogs and car alarms. Tonight I could be on an African farm listening to the call of the Night Jar and the merry chirp of  crickets as they announce the arrival of the night.

As I said, fires are special things and tonight, as I watch the flames lick the wood, twigs and logs, I am reminded of the history of each component on the pyre. There is the branch from the tree which my little girls swing hung from, the legs from the pine frame beds which my wife and I had purchased almost twenty-four years ago, beds which provided comfort and rest for family, friends and strangers, such an important part of the hospitality in our home. Theres rose cuttings from this seasons amazing growth and part of the boundary fence which blew down last winter in a storm.

The last volunteer to embrace the flames was the most recent branch from the Lilac tree. This is the old friend who, apart from presenting an obstacle during the mowing of the lawn,  provided wonderful shade during many previous summers for the various birthdays, anniversaries and seasonal parties we have hosted in the back yard of our home. This year however it succumbed to a terminal disease and I could not save it.. As I throw this branch on the hot fire I have a premonition, its of a fire still to come where its remaining comrades will form the majority of the fuel and most of the kindling.

Nope, there is no life support left for this fire, no more fuel and no reprieve, no more contributors to the final performance only the fading glimmer of coals drawing their last deep breaths from the cool night air.  I will wait for the last breath and the glow of life  to fade from its orange eyes before I pronounce the last rights; then I’ll head inside to where there is the buzz of family voices and the warmth of new reports from today’s adventures. I will quietly slip inside and join those who were not witness to the stories which were told by tonight’s autumn fire.




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