Poppy Field Felt Painting – Part 1

This is the recent felt painting that I’ve been working on. It’s probably the most complex painting I’ve done, although it doesn’t look like it when the wet felting is done.
The wet felting is only to get my base layer down, and then I add more layers and details with needle felting, also called dry felting.

This is Part 1 of the felting process, and when I finish the needle felting I’ll show that process in Part 2!!

First, the Supplies
For the felting process, you’ll need:

  • Old towel
  • Bamboo mats. Sushi mats or a bamboo window shades can work!
  • Plastic netting. I used a plastic netted onion bag, or you can buy large sheets of dense mesh from felting supply companies.
  • Very hot water and liquid soap.

For the felt you’ll need:
(I’m not very exact with wool amounts. Use what looks good to you! 🙂

  • 2-3 handfuls of various green colors of roving
  • about an oz. of white roving
  • 1 handful of red/salmon colored roving
  • few wisps of light blue
  • few wisps of brownish grey

Here’s the photo I’m working from! It’s a great photo.

Now spread the white wool in vertical, than horizontal layers on the bamboo mats. This is your canvas, so make it the size you would like.
It’s okay if it gets thick, as it will settle down as you felt it.

background

Now for the fun part! Start laying down (painting) the basic colors on your white background.
Use variation in your colors, because that adds depth to the piece.

trees and fields

with poppy field

Now lay your netting down over the painting, (and like I said earlier, a clean onion bag works well.)

The layers by now are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, but don’t worry, they will felt down!
Pour the very hot soapy water over the piece.

water and netting

Gently tap, press, poke and generally agitate the wool with your fingers all over the painting.
The hot water “opens” the fibers, and agitating the piece locks the fibers together and makes it felt. Cold water “closes” the fibers, so you’ll rinse the piece in cold water when you are done felting.
If you need more soap, you can put some on your netting so it will foam all over the piece.

pressing

The more it felts, the harder you can agitate it.
You can be pretty rough with pressing, but be a lot more gentle with rubbing, because rubbing can move pieces out of place.

b tapping

After the piece seems felted enough to stay together well, carefully roll it up in the bamboo mat and rinse and squeeze the piece under cold water. (I do this in the sink)

Let it dry on a towel, and prepare for Part 2!

Here’s what it looks like with the big foreground poppies partially needle felted on.

with fground poppies

There’s more to come! I obviously still have to felt all the poppies in the field and add color to the sky, because I didn’t do it during the wet felting.

Thanks for reading!

God Bless, Rebekah

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Shelter for Breeder Doe Cages

This is the shelter that I’m building for the wire cage I built in the last tutorial. I bought the black metal shelves at our local hardware store that was going out of business.
They were used as shelves for paint at the hardware store, so they are sturdy, and even better, stand by themselves!
I can put pans on the shelf underneath the cage to catch the droppings, while the cage hangs from the shelf above it.

Now we just have to put the roof on, and I can move Chloe into her new space!

Also, I can put another cage underneath for another doe when I need to.

paint shelf with cage

shelf with enclosure

 

Thanks for taking the time to look at this post!
God Bless,
Rebekah

How to Build a Wire Rabbit Cage

Here’s a tutorial I’ve been working on for a while about how to build a wire cage. I’m building a larger cage than the regular size for expecting does and their litters.
This one is 4 ft long and 2 ft deep, custom made to fit the shelves I have. That’s probably the best thing about making your own cages, you can make it any size you want!

Here’s the Supplies:

  • 1 2 x 15 ft roll of 1 x 1 inch wire mesh, for top and sides.
  • 1 4 x 2 ft piece of 1 x .5 inch wire mesh, for the floor
  • A piece of the half inch wire (1 x .5 in.) an inch larger on all sides than your door hole.
  • Tin snips
  • Tape measure
  • Needlenose pliers (not pictured)
  • J-clip pliers
  • J-clips
  • A mallet or hammer is useful, but not totally necessary

Also, an important note:
Never use hardware cloth for the wire mesh! I used hardware cloth for the floor on my first cage, and I ended up having to rip off all the clips and re-cut and clip a new floor out of the 1x.5 in. wire. Hardware cloth is just not sturdy enough, very saggy, and doesn’t have large enough holes to let the droppings through, which means I would always be cleaning it.

wire mesh, wire, rabbit hutch, wire cage, diy metal cage, diy rabbit hutch

Okay, step one is cutting a 7 foot long, 2 ft wide piece of  the 1×1 inch wire.
This makes the top and end pieces of the cage.

tin snips, wire cutters

Step two:
Measure 18 inches from both ends in toward the middle of the 7 ft length of wire and mark it with a Sharpie. Now Bend the 7 ft length of wire up at the 18 inches mark on both ends. Do. Not. Cut. The ceiling and the end pieces are all one piece! You can kneel on a wood 2×4 at the 18 inch mark and bend the wire against that, however a 2×4 is not absolutely necessary. This is where your hammer or mallet comes in handy. You can bend the wire against the 2×4 by tapping it lightly with the hammer until you get a good 90 degree angle. (Sorry, I don’t have pictures of this step. It’ll make more sense in the next few steps.)

Step 3

Now, cut two 4 ft long, 18 in wide panels out of the same 1×1 inch wire.
You cut the width of this panel the same height as the end pieces you just bent.
You bent the end pieces up 18 inches, therefore you cut the width of the side panels 18 inches too.

On one of the panels cut an opening for the door, but make sure that you have enough wire to make the door for it!
You can make the door whatever size you want (see? is custom made not great?), just don’t take so much wire out that the cage isn’t sturdy.

front cut out panel

Now, I’ll introduce you to my favorite tool, the J-clip pliers!
Seriously, this is a fun little tool. I bought both my pliers and my j-clips on Amazon and I really like them.
I’ve also tried the kind Tractor Supply stores carry, but I dislike them. The pliers make lopsided clips, and the clips themselves are really hard to to clip.
The brand I got on Amazon is Pet Lodge Miller Manufacturing.

j clip
j clip, pliers, j clip pliers, pet lodge, miller manufacturing, cage pliers

Okay, now place the clip in the pliers, with the curved end of the clip in the wide end of the pliers.

put in pliers

Now just line up the wire pieces you want to clip in the curved end of the clip and squeeze the pliers.
Easy!

wire mesh, welded wire

pliers closed

 Now you can use the pliers to put together your cage!

Step 4

Clip the side panels to the top and end piece. If you bent the end wall the same height as the side panels they should line up!
This is what your cage will look like with one side panel clipped on.

metal cage, metal hutch, rabbit cage

See how the top and end walls are all one piece? That’s what I mean by bending the end walls up.

Here’s the cage with both sides on and the door but no floor.
(and the the big bunny that likes to play in the cage 🙂 )

caleb  in cage

You can put the door on with J-clips as hinges. On my past cages I have put the door on the outside of the cage, swinging out, but with this one I tried putting the door on the inside of the cage swinging up into the cage. If you do it this way you’ll have to put the door on before you clip the side panel to the rest of the cage.

Step 5

Now the floor! Almost done! Cut a piece of the 1 x .5 inch wire 2 ft wide and 4 ft long.

Now, your wire probably came in a roll. And that means that your wire will want to curve the direction it was wrapped on the roll. So before you put the floor on, you’ll want to flatten the wire some, but leave a little curve in it. When you put the floor on, make sure that the curve bows up, into the cage, and this will help prevent sagging! If you accidentally put the floor on with the curve facing down, than your floor will already start to sag.

attaching the floor

Step 6

Aaannd…. You have finished construction on you very own, custom made, all metal cage!!
Now for the finishing touches. You will want a latch for your door, and maybe you want to install a feeder!
One nice thing to have is door guards to put over the raw edges on the door frame, and you can get those door guards (and door latches, and everything else rabbit related!) at this link:  http://www.bunnyrabbit.com/price/cagequip.htm.
For door latches, you can use dog leash or key ring clips, or make your own like I did with wire and j-clips.

This latch is pretty self explanatory, and it works quite well! I’ve used this style on my first cage that I made almost a year ago, and my bunny has never escaped from it.

wire latch, diy, diy latch, closure, cage latch, cage closure

Here’s the finished cage! (except the door latches)

finished cage

finished 2

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. If you enjoy these posts, click the “follow” button on the right and you will receive an email  when I’ve posted something new.

God bless

Homemade Rabbit Treats

 Hello all! Here’s a new tutorial for you, how to make homemade bunny treats! I came across this idea recently and had to try it. (taa daa)  My bunnies love these.

The Ingredients: (This recipe is easily halved or doubled)
-2 ripe bananas
-1 apple or 1 c applesauce
-2-3 carrots
-4 TB honey
-1/2 c oats
-1/2 c rabbit pellets
-1 c whole wheat flour

(If you are going to use an oven, preheat it to 300-325 F while you prepare the treats.)

_MG_8478

Next, shove ’em all in the blender…

blmender ingredients

and blitz until a fairly smooth paste

edited blendingNow lay a sheet of parchment paper (don’t use wax paper or it will stick) on your dehydrator sheet or cookie sheet

dehydrator sheetPut the dough on the parchment paper

doughNow, flatten the lump of dough a little bit, and lay another sheet of parchment over the dough.
Than roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin.

rolling out the dough

rolled doughNow just bake or dehydrate your treats until they are a tad darker in color, and dried but still slightly pliable.
In my dehydrator, that took almost 5 hours, it will vary depending on your dehydrator or oven, and how moist your dough is.
(if you are using the oven, heat it to 300-325 F. If you are using a dehydrator, use the meat or jerky setting)
Keep checking on it until it looks right!
Now just cut the treats, and you’re done!

I keep a handful out with my feed supplies and keep the rest in the freezer.

Go feed these to your bunnies! 🙂
finished treats