I have been working on my unconventional animal alphabet series again! This week I have completed H for Hyena (Spotted to be exact).. and hot dogs! The hyena has a strangely proportioned body and can be quite scary looking, so it took me a little while to come up with a drawn interpretation that I was pleased with. Hyenas have traits (genetic and behavioral) that are both feline and canine, which is pretty unique! Spotted Hyenas have less glorious manes than the other species of hyena but sometimes they do look like little mohawks.. I felt it was an important detail to add 🙂
I know Christmas has now passed, but I was unable to reveal this creation until it was received and thoroughly enjoyed by the friend I had made it for! I love to make customized Christmas stockings and for the past few years I’ve been honing my skills using quilted cotton and felt for my designs. This year I decided to try a new technique because the concept I came up with was much more intricate that these materials would allow for. The friend who inspired this has wanted to start collecting dollhouses her entire life and I thought what better way to start her off than to create a dollhouse stocking! (This way she wouldn’t have to worry about finding the space to fit a real dollhouse in her house either)
I started off by sketching out an original dollhouse illustration in pencil directly on to butcher’s paper and used that to paint directly on the front stocking piece. Instead of using any additional fabric, I hand painted the blue fills and gold outlines. I wanted a bit more dimension to the artwork so I kept building on that base, adding paint and also using fabric markers to create shadows throughout. On top of that I began to freehand embroider, sometimes to enhance the lines that I had already painted and in some places to add new aspects of pattern, detail, and 3-D quality.
I integrated some seed beads and sequins with the embroidery floss to add a little bling, such as on the “mini” Christmas lights. The wreath, Christmas tree, and drapes were made from tulle and do actually stick out from the stocking instead of laying completely flat. I loved being able to add a bit of texture in that way!
The stocking is actually fairly large, I believe measuring about 17 inches long, so the details aren’t too small to see in person. I think it turned out rather well and my friend was quite excited to receive it 🙂 This project method was similar to my stitched postcard design back in October and I think is a technique that I would really like to explore more!