A Bit of Midwest Fall and Land Art

With our Halloween holiday coming up this week, I decided to make a couple of pumpkins using the pod method.  I used merino and Icelandic fibers.  Fortunately, while working the pods I left the vertical creases to simulate a pumpkin skin.  In order to get the right sized top with stem, I made a rectangle of the same layers. Separately I needle felted a stem.  Then I wet felt the stem slightly, added some of the pumpkin fiber   When I was ready to felt the rectangle, I added the stem and over lapped some more fibers around it to anchor it then proceeded to rub around it until I was certain it was secure enough to continue felting and fulling it.

stem2014-10-12 14.48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I carefully measured each hole in the pumpkins then cut them out of the rectangles and worked the edges to heal them.

When the tops were dry I needle felted a vine and leaf to each top.

Since the landscaping and trees were in full color I decided to put them in several places as Land Art with some felted rocks on a bed of maple leaves.  Which one do you like?

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I made a bigger pumpkin with the intention of making a Jack O Lantern, but I wasn’t happy with the shape. I had planned to have a small hole on the bottom  for a candle, but it didn’t work out that way.

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The little pumpkins were filled with candy and are making their way to my grandsons for Halloween.  Have you done any felting for autumn or Halloween?

 

 

 

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Recent Work

I mentioned recently that I’m doing a Craft Fair soon. It’s this coming Sunday at Victoria Baths on Hathersage Road in Manchester. They also do guided tours that day, so if you’re interested, have a look at their website.
In my post last time, I showed a faintly plaid felt piece which I’d started to make into a diary cover. Here is the finished cover:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also mentioned a piece of silk I got for £3 a metre. I did manage to use it on a felt piece, but I haven’t made it into a cover yet. It looked a bit nicer and brighter just before the final fulling, but I wanted to make sure it would stand up to years of handling:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know if you remember a couple of pictures I posted as part of the Jackson Pollock challenge from a bag I was working on, well, I never did get around to finishing the bag, and when I saw it recently, I thought I could cut it up and turn it into a nice sturdy diary cover. So, I did :)  This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, this is the back:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI always forget just how long it takes to do these covers! Also, because I didn’t have any coloured threads which I thought would be just right, I ‘blended’ my own. I took a strand each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet embroidery floss and made a 6 strand rainbow. I had to do that for each part I stitched, and I was starting to regret it by the end :)

One of the things I wondered after the last fair was whether it was obvious that my stuff was actually handmade felt made from real wool. A lot of my stuff is well felted or nuno felt, so to anyone who doesn’t know felt, it could just be commercial fabric I’ve bought. So I thought I would make some obviously wool natural pieces for book covers. They are made from lots of different breeds of wool and embellished with locks, some mohair boucle from Marilyn, some silk noil, and viscose and bamboo. This one has the most added embellishments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI did actually use the same size template for these pieces, but with all the different wools and embellishments there was different shrinkage. For this piece, I tried to stick to wools which were more similar: Merino, Bluefaced Leicester, Finn and Corriedale, and there are less embellishments:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf I get chance before the fair, I’ll upload the finished covers to ipernity or the forum.

Posted in Fairs and Shows, natural wools, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

One Week to the Show

With one week to my guild show (October 31, November 1 and 2) it must be  time to get ready. Time to put things together and make a few more hats. Last weekend my daughter painted spindles and here they are waiting to get put into kits.

spindles

The kits should be done already but when I started I discovered I was out of white wool. I have no idea how that happened. I had to order some quick. I put my wool order in with my friend Maureen at  Dreamspin Fibres. She got my order out asap and it arrived yesterday.

wool box wool box inside

The white wool is the bottom half but you can’t just order white. Now I can put the kits together. she also sent me a colour cards for her wool. this is great because every computer shows the colours differently.

wool samples

I was working on a hat as well. I will finish it today. I put decoration on the inside and outside. I will show you the finished hat next time.

hat inside layout hat outside decoration

 

Posted in Design, Felted Hats, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Give Away Winner and Update on Caricatures

Last week, I posted a review and give away for the book Felt So Good by Tone Rørseth. I randomly drew from the comments posted and the winner is: Kim

Kim, I will send you an e-mail to get your mailing address. Thanks for all your comments and if you’re still interested in winning a copy of the book, there are more blogs that are giving it away. You can find the list on the initial give away post.

Becky Sue

Back in September, I wrote a post about caricatures in stitch that I’ve been creating. I had only gotten as far as one of “the girls” at that point.

All the Girls Cut Out

Since then, I’ve gotten all the pieces backed with fusible and cut out for all four of them.

Pieces Cut Out for Mary Jane and Becky Sue

Here are Becky Sue and Mary Jane.

Pieces Cut Out Anna Belle and Sally Jo

And this is Anna Belle and Sally Jo.

Background Painted

I had a piece of dyed background fabric but it seemed way too busy. So I decided to paint a piece instead. I used Dye-Na-Flow paints and added a bit of salt after painting to get some texture.

All the Girls Ironed Down

Then I placed all of the pieces and ironed them down.

Mary Jane and Becky Sue

I added stripes to Becky Sue’s shirt with a permanent marker. I decided to go with the red marker as it gave the best contrast.

Anna Belle and Sally Jo

Putting the pieces in place is a bit painstaking as everything has to be in the right position and then kept in place while ironing. I covered them with a piece of parchment paper to iron. Now on to the fun part – stitching them. I am in the process of choosing thread colors and I always like to do a little practice free motion stitching before I start. I did buy some stretcher bars for this piece so I will wrap the background fabric around the stretcher bars to finish it. I’ll keep you posted about the stitching.

Posted in Stitching, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 15 Comments

The Base Makes a Difference

In my Monet Challenge blog post this past quarter, I pointed out I had used a Domestic 56 base without pre-felting it. The domestic fiber is coarser than merino, approximately a 29.5 micron compared to a 19 of the merino. I had a lot of hairiness migrate through the merino and had to shave the piece a couple of times.  I wanted to try a pre-felted base with the same fiber. So, I set out to do another Monet.

I chose Monet’s Water Lillies 3.  Water lillys conjur wonderful memories for me from my childhood summers at my Grandmother’s cottage on a channel off a lake.

Water-Lilies13

Using two layers for the base, I wet felted it and let it dry. I was surprised at the shrinkage even though I did light rolling in all directions before drying. A rectangle turned into a square.

I laid out my design.  I wasn’t terribly happy with it.  I did some needle felting to give the lilly pads more definition.  Here it is before wet felting.

monet 2 before

After wet felting it, I still wasn’t enamored  with it.  I did some more needle felting and it seemed to take on a better life.

Monet 2 layout

The one thing I did learn was that using a pre-felted base of the Domestic 56 made it less hairy.  I didn’t need to shave it at all.  Even though I fulled it the same way I did the first Monet, it wasn’t as stiff.  Both methods had advantages. So, I will continue to experiment depending on the results I want to achieve.

What is your experience with using a pre-felted base of a coarser fiber?

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 22 Comments

Sewing and Bargains

I’m doing another Craft Fair at the beginning of November so I wanted to make a few diary covers. This usually involves my desk getting covered with embroidery threads, and the only exception this time was that I decided to tidy them up too. I made cardboard ‘bobbins’ for some of them and spent ages untangling and winding and then putting duplicate spares in a bag. Then a couple of days later I decided to clear some more drawers and spread the threads out a bit, make them even tidier and easy to choose. These are all the drawers:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the pieces I’m using for a book cover is a piece I made years ago. I wanted to see if I could make a subtle plaid design by laying out bold stripes of colours on my two layers, it was more subtle than I thought, but I like it. I’ve cut to size and sewn the inside pocket edges so far:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou might remember this next piece from when I tried some commercial pre-felt from Heidi Feathers. The silk hadn’t attached in a couple of places so I added blanket stitch, then decided to add some more simple stitching in the blocks of colour. I’m still working on this, and have added a bit more since I took the photo:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI went in to the city centre this week, which I don’t often do, so made the most of it looking for bargains. I found a couple of elasticated summer dresses for £1 each so got them because I liked the pattern, they were only tiny though, so once I cut the top off, the bottom was a bit bigger than a pillow case, but well worth £1!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the same shop I treated myself to a ‘scarf’ because I liked the pattern, it’s actually the size of a door!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI saw this scarf in a bargain shop and thought I’d see if it nuno felts well:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, I couldn’t go to town without a trip to Abakhan fabric shop, where I got some more braiding (I took a photo of the back for you, Ann!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd probably the best bargain of the day, I found a roll of silk fabric, down from £10 a metre to £3, so I had to get some :)

silk 2

Posted in Prefelt, Scarves, Stitching | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Christmas Balls

This last week I bought some empty Christmas ball to fill for an upcoming sale. I am always looking for something a bit different. They are plastic. They are very clear. I had planed on getting glass but theses where so clear  I though it would eliminate the breakage problem.  I was going to get a different shape as well but for some reason a flat circle cost twice as much.

pink 1

First you pop of the top and then add what every you like.

pink 2

You can add anything that fits through the hole. This is silk throwsters waist fluffed up.

pink 3

When it’s full you pop the top back one and your  done.

pink 4 pink 5

I used Blue Faced Leister Curls, some mohair curls, silk hankies fluffed up and some throwsters waste. in a few I added some sparkly angelina.

balls

 

Posted in Mixed Media, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments