Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Don't you find this time of the year you have made all these plans to do this and that for Xmas and you are fast running out of time? Yeh, me too. Normally I have finished the Xmas shopping by now, nowhere near. Not to mention all the lovely hand made presents I was going to create. My lounge room floor and desk is littered with magazines full of Xmassy ideas that I was going to use. Going nowhere fast at the moment.
This top photo is an unusual felted gemstone. I didn't like the colour
of the stones so I felted them. I quite like them.
And I have made some needlefelted Xmas decorations, they
turned out quite well and are a bit cute. I enjoy needlefelting it is very tactile and it amazes me how firm they become. I don't use a foam shape for the centre. The entire article is made from hand dyed corriedale which is the best wool for needlefelting. Merino is too slippery. As you can see I did some beading as well
Monday, November 19, 2007
Haven't posted much lately. Life gets in the way. Here is a little picture I have drawn, I am going to use this as my business logo. I think he is a
bit cute. I am going to make a 3 dimensional needlefelted version.
And I have ordered a rubber stamp, so I can stamp him on bags and
I have also been making some padfolios, thanks to Sue B. from Fibre & Stitch. She has the best ideas. The outer layer is a made using a technique that I changed. It is originally for making silk fusion fabric, but instead of using silk, I used merino, and added a lot more inclusions. It worked out really well and came up fantastically with some machine embroidery.
I will have my e-store up and running on the 28th November.
I will be stocking all felting requirements, needlefelting kits, and
kits to make this merino fabric paper, including the instructions.
I have also made a polymer clay tool that is fantastic for helping
to full felting. It fits nicely in your hand and has a point at one end for getting into all those fiddly corners on hats and three dimensional sculptures. It also has ridges on one side for extra friction. This will also be available on the e-store.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This is the head of a mermaid I am needle sculpting. I started this sculpture by measuring my 9 year old daughter. I measured her head diameter, her arms, and the distance from her shoulders to her waist etc.
To make the head I stuffed a pair of woollen tights ( with the legs cut off) with scraps of jumpers and pieces of left over felt. Whilst I was doing this I had a piece of dowel pushed into the head through the bottom to make a space to attach the head to the body.
I then covered the rounded creation with corriedale rolags ( best for needlefelting) and began needlefelting. The lips are a bit much and the eyebrows are extreme. I am not too unhappy with the rest. The hair is temporary until I find something more suitable. As you can see she is still a work in progress. For her body I constructed a wire frame and wrapped that with left over quilt wadding. I always use 100% cotton so that was not an issue.
Wool likes to be felted into natural fibres.
Then, as with the head I wrapped the whole thing with corriedale
wool. The boobs are made from the feet of the same woollen stockings
I used for the head and then stuffed with wool. One is larger than the
other. I will have to fix that, but I suppose it's normal, but a little bit
obvious. She will not have hands as such, I think that will be just a bit too hard. I will put something in her hands so you can't see them. She may be made into a bridal mermaid yet, I am not sure. I am planning on getting a little more extreme, beading, embroidery, etc. Especially the tail.
If anyone has a great idea for a name it would be much appreciated.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I have added some better photos as the first one is not very good.
This one is 2 pink galahs and 3 jabirus ( a type of Australian stork).
Oh, the pattern also includes an Aussie version of the song, 12 days of Christmas. The applique templates were great. Not difficult at all. I hadn't done much hand applique when I started this, of course by the time I had finished I never wanted to do anymore. Joking... ....I think.
This quilt has all the most recognisable iconic Australian animals, and some that will not be easily identified by overseas friends.
I love the kookaburras they seriously sit around like this in real life.
They are up in the branches, laughing away, looking for all
the world like they are having a chat and a joke. They like to eat snakes amongst other things.
I once went out to breakfast with some friends on the deck of a resort. We had the amusing company of a large kookaburra, that we all duly admired, whilst he sat on the back of a vacant chair at our table. Let me tell you that up close and personal those beaks are quite intimidating.
We were having a lovely breakfast of eggs, sausages, bacon etc. When the kookaburra must have decided the sausages looked a lot like worms or snakes. He did a little hop into the air and landed square in the middle of my friend's breakfast, expertly speared a sausage and flew off. Needless to say drinks, condiments and plates went everywhere. The moral of this story is don't eat breakfast with kookaburras.
Below are platypuses
(or platypi, whatever takes your fancy)
Very unusual Australian creatures.
The poem is by Australian legend,
This really describes what they are like.
OLD MAN PLATYPUS
Far from the trouble and toil of town,
Where the reed beds sweep and shiver,
Look at a fragment of velvet brown --
Old Man Platypus drifting down,
Drifting along the river.
And he plays and dives in the river bends
In a style that is most elusive;
With few relations and fewer friends,
For Old Man Platypus descends
From a family most exclusive.
He shares his burrow beneath the bank
With his wife and his son and daughter
At the roots of the reeds and the grasses rank;
And the bubbles show where our hero sank
To its entrance under water.
Safe in their burrow below the falls
They live in a world of wonder,
Where no one visits and no one calls,
They sleep like little brown billiard balls
With their beaks tucked neatly under.
And he talks in a deep unfriendly growl
As he goes on his journey lonely;
For he's no relation to fish nor fowl,
Nor to bird nor beast, nor to horned owl;
In fact, he's the one and only!
Monday, October 15, 2007
It will be great for adding to my felting or embellishing on to other creations.
An excerpt from "Another Time (a pastoral)"
A walking wheel was stored in the dry room
under the stairs behind the kitchen stove,
the drive wheel had spokes and a bronze bushing
That rotated smoothly on a steel shaft,
a multiplying wheel turned the spindle
at high speed as grandmother pushed the spokes
She stood by the chaise, back to the window,
twisting and spinning the heavy coarse wool
into finely wrought yarn for mitts and socks
Over her shoulder green water glittered
but I was held by the whir of spindle
and eyes that glowed behind the spinning wheel
Red ochre was replaced with rich teak oil
Yet, the old wheel yearns for soft hands to toil.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
After having so much making the first folder I had to make another one. This one will have an Asian style cover. I think it might take a while as it is turning out quite intricate, didn't mean for that to happen. Never mind.
I bonded some lovely gold satin to an iron on vilene, similar to peltex. Then I printed a line drawing on to some paper backed organza, called "Extravorganza" (sic). Peeled off the paper and vslieofixed it to the satin. Be careful with the iron, as you can see I scorched it slightly down the bottom. Never mind, I will hide that with embroidery or paint or something.
Then started machine embroidery in gold and red threads. Will continue with the machine embroidery until it becomes too intricate, then will have to hand embroider, or something else. See how adventurous I am becoming.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I am really enjoying the new Fibre & Stitch group. The second challenge was to use a fabric that had been altered using a technique from the first e-zine. I chose to paint some calico I had laying around. First, I bonded it to some stiff vilene, then I painted it using some acrylic paints I had. I love gold and a bit of glitz, so I used gold, purple and blue paints. Then sprinkled it with gold powder, while it was still wet. When it dried I added some silk fusion squares, ( thankyou, for that technique too Sue B.) I machine embroidered the material using purple, blue and gold rayon threads, using various machine patterns. I am still checking out all the patterns my machine has, so that was great fun. Then a bit of raised hand embroidery using some heavy silk thread and a raised cup stitch, and another stitch using a gold thread. I sort of made that stitch up, because what I wanted to do didn't work. Then finished the sewing using the free pattern from Fibre & Stitch, made a large padfolio. It looked pretty good. For the inside I used some curtain material I have had left over from years ago. The best thing about some of these projects is you can use the little left over pieces of various other projects. Then I satin stitched around
the outside as directed in the pattern. I think the next one will have a theme. I am thinking Asian, maybe Chinese, or Australian.
Then maybe a music themed one, as a present for the children's
fabulous piano teacher. You could go on forever. I am looking forward to seeing what the other group members create.
This last photo is a close up of the silk fusion, I added mohair curls when I made this piece of silk fusion. I also rubbed some places with a gold shiva stik. When I completed the book I painted the entire outside surface with a diluted solution of textile medium, just to make sure the mohair didn't lift, and that the gold shiva stayed in place. I love the colours in this piece. But the next one will be golds and browns.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Made an interesting nuno shawl the other day. Most of the time I use silk chiffon, cotton gauze or other natural type fabrics to make nuno shawls, because it is easier to felt. I found this interesting fabric, it is net with solid fabric spots. It is soft, not like tulle and has a loose weave. I figured the wool should be able to move through the net and mesh together.
I made a grid pattern with the white merino on the net and felted for quite a while. It worked quite well. It is an unusual shawl.
Another request. I was asked if I could make a belly dancer's skirt!! Goodness gracious!!. A bit of a challenge. Anyway these belly dancer girls want me to teach them how to make the skirts. So I went home and thought for a while. Once I had an idea in my head of how to proceed, I thought this will be ok. I can do this. So I measured up my waist and laid out the wool accordingly.I prefelted six ties to add at either end, so it would do up at the side. Then I add strips of silk chiffon, for the skirt, and laid more wool over the chiffon, as in nuno felting.
It worked out quite well, the only problem was it shrunk a bit more than I expected.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Don't know about the rest of the creative world, but I am having a hard time separating myself from the computer lately. If anyone has any ideas on how to avoid getting caught at the computer for hours at a time, please feel free to let me know. I love reading other's crafty blogs. People have the most brilliant ideas.
Check this cute little bird, it's some type of South American parrot, with health issues, she is called Tinkerbell. Every time her owner put her on her hand for a photo, she quickly ran straight back up her arm and nibbled her ear. She was so tame and cute.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Well, I have spent all week making felted things. Which sounds very productive, but isn't really as it takes a bit of time and a lot of physical effort to make felt. I have been mainly wet felting. I made a gorgeous fuschia coloured scarf with rainbow coloured silk flowers, from a silk cap I had. I have put up some photos that show how I laid it out and added the flowers. I love it, but will anyone else? Felt is such a tactile material. People always have to touch when I am at markets, not me, the felt.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Having achieved a small goal, I seem to have fallen behind in other efforts, such as blogging. I have recently managed to get a permanent stall at a new market in Coffs Harbour, ( Australia). This market is only for local produce and local handcraft, no commercial imports. I am very excited about this, it is as close to a craft shop as I will ever get! This market is being held every week, which as you can imagine is a big commitment. Lots of creating every week and I have a real job and family. So I have been madly felting and trying to come up with quick and easy felty things to make.
I have also made up some needlefelt kits for beginners to make a pincushion heart, if anyone is interested they are $15.00 plus postage. They contain a dense, foam block, 2 felting needles, corriedale wool and free instructions.
Only 2 colours are included, the others are just to show other colours available. Oh, and the completed heart isn't included either.
Monday, September 10, 2007
After an email from another blogger and crafty person, Gail. I thought I should put down some thoughts while they were still fresh. Gail, ( check her blog in my links, expression studio) mentioned that she has a thing about vertical lines, and I realised that I have a thing about circles and roundness. I always remember something I read I don't know who wrote it, "there are no straight lines in nature." When I felt, a lot of the designs I put in contain circles, curving swirls and other rounded elements. For a while I thought I should try more straight lines, but they always wanted circles in them. I have done some research on circles on Google, (oxymoron, I know, but) so this theme may continue for a while. Oh, and I don't think I will bother trying to put in straight lines, because I think I should. "Stick to the roundness," I say.
The photo above instantly recognisable to most of us, I am sure. Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plains. Sacred circles, most religions have them, mandalas, Chinese I Ching, medicine wheels, the circle of life, bagua, pagan circles, and lots more.
Why does the snowflake melt?
To enliven spring flowers.
Why does summer sun blaze?
To ripen the garden.
Why does the leaf fall?
To bring forth beautiful snow…
Why do the seasons dance so?
To embrace us in the sacred circle.
- Sacred Circle, "Mystical Poetry," Deborah Morrison
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Belonging to the new online fibre & stitch group has been a huge motivation and inspiration. Or it will be if I can ever get away from the computer and looking at all the fantastic blogs. Blogging has become very cool, everyone is doing it. But I have done the lutrador and lace challenge. This is gold RainbowSpun, I bonded vliesofix to it and then fussy cut the lace and ironed it to the surface of the RainbowSpun, I rubbed a little bit of gold shiva stik on to lace. And that was it, done. I have made another one using solvy, lace and RainbowSpun. Not quite finished yet.
If anyone has any ideas on how to use this sample please feel free to let me know. I have added RainbowSpun to my Etsy shop, if anyone is having trouble locating any and would like to have some. See my links, for the Etsy address
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Had a great day yesterday, my idea of heaven is not to leave the house, and spend the day crafting. Doing well with that goal, had a few of those days. Love it.
Spent yesterday following the free project instructions from Fibre & Stitch on how to make silk fusion. I changed the process slightly, as I am a felter, and I used a silk cap, which I have had for ages and have wondered what to do with it. Fantastic colours, difficult to separate the fibre and lay out finely. Check out the photo, let me know what you think.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I have created an online shop, called Feltique. Above is a photo of by budding shop assistant, dear daughter, and the woman who taught me everything I know, dear Mum. We had a trading table at the Coffs Harbour Doll and Bear show. It was fantastic fun.
See the list of items for sale on the left. For retail prices check my Etsy shop. At the moment it is still a work in progress, we all know about those don't we.
I would also like to add my congratulations to the girls at Fibre & Stitch, what a fabulous e-zine. Who would have thought that technology would go so far. Now we can talk worldwide about our crazy crafty world and thoroughly enjoy the mag and the challenges.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I hope the creative creatures amongst us keep a notebook handy at all times to note down the lightning flashes of creative brilliance that occur, at the most inopportune moments. I find at night I will wake up with the best ideas, (according to myself, of course) by morning they have gone. I now try and remember to keep an ideas book handy.
I thought today I will try and make myself an interesting one. Like one of those altered art books, in the hope it will help me to remember and to enjoy writing in it.
Yesterday ran my first felting workshop, we made felted, seamless bags, it went very well. I think it helped the first students were friends and acquaintances. We had a great day and they loved the bags they went home with. The photo is of one of the students, Margaret. One thing I did wrong was miscalculate the time it would take for the class. I must have been insane thinking it would only take 3 hours, DOH! try 5-6 hours.
Off to get everyone out of the house so I can make this little ideas journal.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Possibly felting was discovered in prehistoric times, when man sat with his sweaty feet on a piece of fur in his dark, damp cave. Over time the fur became felt.
I am sure there are other stories to explain the discovery of felt.
There are also different types of felt.
Commercial felt, which is type we buy in shops. It is made by large machines that have thousands of barbed needles in them. The fibre is fed into these machines and meshed together by the needles and at the end commercial felt comes out.
Some clever person has realised that if you take some of those barbed needles you can use them individually. Needlefelting is a fabulous technique for meshing wool together using one or a few felting needles. This technique is great for making three dimensional sculptures, and for placing fibre exactly as you want it before wet felting.
I love needlefelting. I like to take my children's little figurines and recreate them in felt. I have made, Nemo, SpongeBob, a koala and a panda. Oh, and mermaids. Love mermaids.
Corriedale is the best wool for needlefelting. It is slightly coarser than merino and meshes together faster. You must watch, carefully, what you are doing as it can be quite unpleasant to stab yourself with those barbed needles.
If anyone wants to try needlefelting, I have all the supplies, please check my Etsy shop,
Friday, August 24, 2007
I tried this, I put bits of wool in the bottom of my kids shoes before they went to school. They weren't hugely impressed. But when they came home they had small, foot shaped pieces of flat felt. It was a bit smelly. But I put it in the washing machine, and now I have a couple of labour free, prefelts.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
There are a few stories I have researched that discuss how felt was initially invented (discovered). The first I found was about Noah and the Ark.When Noah put all those animals in the hold of the Ark, bits of their wool, fleece, hair etc, shed. Of course, there was no cleaning out the pens at the time. So the animals just kept stomping on and weeing on the fibres, it also would have been pretty warm down there. When the Ark finally came to rest, and the animals disembarked, there was a large layer of smelly felt in the bottom of their pens.