Thursday, August 30, 2007

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

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

Prehistoric times

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

Another Tale of Felt

Another story is about a pilgrim, traipsing along a hard, dusty road on his pilgrimage. His feet are sore and tired. He sees bits of wool from the sheep being shepherded near the road. "Cool," says he, and picks some up to put in his sandals. His feet instantly feel better (of course), and when he arrives at his destination, he has felt.
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

Felt History, what a story

We have all seen felt, or think we have. The commercial felt that can be bought in the shops, nice,flat, all even thickness and in any color you like. Not very exciting, but useful for lots of different projects. Well, that is the end of that felting discussion. Lets get on with discussing real felting.
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.