Monday, September 22, 2008


Now this is an early sunrise at the Jetty in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. I took these photos in winter and it's about 6 am and freezing. But the sunrises at the beach are absolutely magnificent. Love the orange colour, I have tried to reproduce this in pastels without much success. But I was thinking of hand dyeing a piece of chiffon using the colours, or making a piece of silk fusion. I think that might just work.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wow! Time has flown

It's been ages since I have posted. I didn't realise how long. Life has been busy as I am sure fellow crafters and artistes understand. I have been working in the real world more than usual after realising I really can't afford to make a living from craft. I haven't completely given up. I tried markets, made a little bit of money. But I did not like the pressure of having to make certain things and trying to work at the same time. At the moment I am finishing things and resting a "golfer's elbow". Do take care of yourself when creating, an injury is very frustrating.
This is a knitted shawl I designed. It is made from all my scraps and left over yarns that I couldn't bear to throw out. It is quite large and very dramatic. It was also the last thing I made before I went into convalescence mode. It's a bit gorgeous. I am itching to get back to creating.
I have also made 2 more of these shawls, one was creams and browns, the other was greens and blues with a bit of burgundy.
They both sold but were hard work as they do become quite heavy when knitting. But it was great to get rid of all the small amounts of yarn I had stashed.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I felt there was no time

Morning, as you can see didn't keep up again. I was going to post a photo of the completed laminated scarf, but I sold the thing, and then, Whoops! I'd forgotten the final photo. But I have made numerous others since then. I am now making them longer and wider, as it is getting cooler and the women that seem to buy them are voluptuous goddesses and they like to wrap them right around and half over again. So I have finally taken some photos, of other shawls I have laminated. They are all merino laminated on to silk chiffon, the blue one has silk tussah to add a bit of sheen. Difficult to see on the photos. The black, yellow and red is a remembrance of Australia's apology to the stolen generation.

The below material is some silk chiffon that I rainbow dyed using the electric frypan and just sprinkling the different coloured dyes over. It turned out beautifully and I was going to keep it for myself but someone really liked it and after it was laminated I sold it.

The other type of felting I like to do is needlefelting. This is a great way to make 3 dimensional sculptures. The needles are barbed and mesh the wool together. This is one of series of mermaids I am making. I needlefelted her using corriedale wool for the body, silk chiffon for the tail, and gold seed beads for embellishing. She also has glass eyes. The tail which is difficult to see is like a Japanese fighting fish. Her name is Ebony. Now that's original isn't it?
The next mermaid is gorgeous, she is similar, made out of the same materials, oh, and the hair is mohair curls. They are fantastic for hair. She sold very quickly at my market stall. Not the greatest photography. Sorry. These mermaids were inspired by a series of books my daughter (11 years) was reading. They were written by Helen Dunmore and the first one is Ingo, the second is The Deep and the third is The Tide Knot, she really enjoyed them and so did I. I have also made a beautiful dark purple mermaid with silver metallic thread hand embroidered up the sides of her body. Will post a picture soon.

This below is a wet felted seamless bag, it is great for A4 size documents and art books. I have a bright pink one that I carry all my drawing materials around in. They are so sturdy and make great conversation pieces. ALL THESE ITEMS ARE FOR SALE. JUST EMAIL FOR PRICES AND POSTAGE ETC. I accept paypal.

This one below is "soap in a coat", I have wrapped the soap in merino wool and needlefelted the flower. It is supposed to be a frangipani flower as the soap is frangipani. This one sold quickly too. Even though none of the other soaps have. People don't seem to know what to do with them. Doh!!! Wash!!! I have made others, one a lemon myrtle fragrance has a lemon needlefelted on it and another is mango scented. Yes, you guessed it. It has a mango needlefelted on the front.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Still trying to catch up, but one thing I promised myself was a tutorial demonstrating laminated felting (also known as Nuno felting). This is a technique created by Polly Stirling for a type of felt that can be made and worn in warmer climes, such as Northern New South Wales, Australia. I love it, so lightweight, so different and practical. It is also such a surprise when it dries and you can see what has happened.
Firstly, gather supplies, silk chiffon, merino wool roving, plastic bag, plastic container of warm water with soap dissolved in it, (I use olive oil soap and an old plastic milk carton), large old towel, bamboo blind, bubble wrap, old nylon curtaining, 2 large elastic bands and masking tape.
Work outside or in a wet area, as this can get messy. Lay the old towel on a table, then lay out the bamboo blind, and on top of this the bubble wrap. The towel helps reduce the mess, the bamboo blind and the bubble wrap provide the friction to help the felting process. The bubble wrap also helps contain the warm water and keeps the felt damp. Lay the silk chiffon on the bubble wrap, use masking tape on the corners to keep chiffon flat. Remember to remove the masking tape before wetting the wool and chiffon.

Then take the merino roving and separate roving into long, narrow pieces. Hold your hands fairly wide apart to draft merino into pieces, this makes it easier to separate. Lay the merino onto the chiffon in a pattern, as you wish. I used prefelts ( next tutorial will be prefelts) to make

gumnut blossoms. Take care to make sure the prefelts are different colours to the background or they will disappear into the background. Cover the entire project with the nylon material, being careful not to disturb the merino wool on the chiffon material. Then take the bottle of warm, soapy water and pour carefully all over the nylon material, in a grid pattern. Taking the plastic bag, put your hand inside and press firmly in the centre of the nylon. Then move your hand in small, firm everwidening circles, smoothing and wetting the entire project surface. This meshes the wool, and removes any air bubbles as well as helping to make the wool permeable to the water.

Continue meshing the wool using the plastic bag firmly, until all the material through to the bubble wrap is wet, not dripping, just wet. Add more soapy water as necessary.
Carefully lift the nylon to check the felting progress. Gently pinch up the merino wool if the fibres come loose then more felting is required. When felting is complete no fibres will come loose.
Once this happens then it is time for the next stage. Roll up the bamboo blind, without the towel, place elastic bands around the each end of the roll to hold it together. Then put both hands firmly on the roll and roll back and forward 400 times. Unroll the blind then roll from the opposite end and roll another 400 times.

Check the felting process, carefully unroll the blind, gently lift the nylon material with one hand and hold down the felt with the other hand, it may need separating from the nylon. If it is felted then the fibres will not be lifted when the material is pinched up. Look at the underneath of the chiffon some of the wool fibres should have migrated through to the underneath of the chiffon. If this hasn't happened then continue rolling and checking regularly, until it does. See the above photo of my felted gumnut. The prefelt has felted nicely to the background. Once you have finished felting the project needs to be "fulled". Carefully remove the felt material from the blind and nylon, fold it into a square pad. Put this in a plastic bag and tie closed. Then "throw" this on the bench, table or sink, approximately 50 times. This forces the fibres firmly into each other and strengthens the felt, it also closes the fibres around each other and the felt will shrink. It generally shrinks about a third. Then rinse the scarf in cool water and a tablespoon of white vinegar, to neutralise the soap. Once the soap is rinsed out, dry flat in the shade, do not wring or put in a washing machine. Gently reshape the scarf, pulling into shape.

There you are I think that is ok, I am too tired to proof read at this time. Mum, you read it and tell me what you think, if it needs fixing. I will post a photo soon of my completed scarf, it is just drying at the moment.