Grapes of Memories Past

When I first started dyeing roving, I had a few “oops” results.  However, since I’ve acquired a drum carder, I’ve learned I can revive the partially felted roving with careful carding and patience.

I’ve had this purple roving sitting around for a couple of years.  I really enjoy making three dimensional objects so it seemed natural to make some grapes with my previously felted roving.  Not only did I feel good about being able to use the roving, but it brought back happy memories of my childhood when we had grape vines in our yard.

It was a tradition to pick the grapes, then my mother would make jelly and grape juice.

The roving already had various shades of purple so after running the partially felted roving through the carder,  I added some other shades of purple merino.  The addition of unfelted roving give it a shiner and softer appearance and texture.

roving

Since grape leaves are very textured, I decided to make a prefelt with a silk top for the leaves. It gave it some texture and sheen.

nuno prefelt

For the vines, I used roving rolled into a cord, then wrapped it around a small dowel to dry then cut it to the length I wanted.

vines

Then I spent a few hours rolling little grapes.  I wasn’t sure how many I needed so I piled them up and added more grapes until I was satisfied it resembled a bunch of grapes.

grapes

With a sharp needle and some purple sock weight yarn I built my bunch of grapes, then attached the leaves and vines. It now hangs on a narrow wall between the kitchen and family room where we occasionally enjoy a glass of wine and I reminisce about picking grapes and my mother’s fabulous jelly.

finished

What projects have you worked on lately that recall fond memories?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Needle Felting and Milk Protein

I mentioned in my last post that I’d wet felted 3 pieces for making needle felted pictures inspired by Marilyn’s Monet Challenge. The second one I made was based on a photo I took a few years ago along the River Alt on the Sefton coast. I posted more about it on my feltbyzed blog a few days ago if you want to see more, but here is the finished needle felt piece:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe last piece I made was based on a photo I took at Sefton Park in Aigburth, Liverpool. It’s such a great park and has a really famous Palm House, and a gorgeous lake. I simplified the photo:

Sefton postcard 3 smallI wet felted a simple piece for the background:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used a mixture of texturey and curly wools like Icelandic, Devon, Bluefaced Leicester, mixed with softer wool and animal fibres like Merino, Alpaca and Angora rabbit, to get the different textures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the forum recently Judy was asking about Milk Protein Fibre. I’d recently made a felted piece with Milk protein fibre and also Ingeo, so I thought I’d share a few photos of the milk part. The wool I used is a dark grey Icelandic, I laid a strip of milk top across the wool.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI like using milk it responds well to the characteristics of the wool it’s used with and looks good whether it is used with a soft wool or a more coarser one:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a close up of one of the thicker areas:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve been updating the 2014 Challenge Gallery, if you’d like a look at all the contributions. If you made a piece for any of the challenges and you’d like yours added to the gallery, let one of us know. You can use the Contact Us form if you like.

Posted in Needle Felting, Other Fibers, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Busy Making Felting Kits

I have not done much felting lately. Instead I have been working on a Nuno Felt Bracelet Kit. Sounds simple enough. I wrote up the instructions over a few days, going back over everything and adding in more and more detail, making thing more clear. That was the easy part. Next I had to take pictures. I don’t have any way of taking pictures of myself felting by myself so I enlisted my son to do the picture taking. He was very patient as I made a bracelet and took notes on my instructions of things I needed to change and add. It this point I am thinking well that was not so bad.

blurry writting

Next was picking out and  editing the pictures. I do not know how people do photo editing for a living. It takes for ever and it is booooring. I did eventually get that all done so it was time to send it off to the spelling and grammar police. Now normally I am not a big fan of the spelling and grammar police as I am on of the top ten worst spellers in the world. However when you want to sell something to the public it really should be spelled correctly so you don’t look too bad. Than another friend locked my instructions and took all the meta data off my pictures. I had no idea how to do that. Thank heavens for friends.

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Next I think I would like to get the instructions printed. I nearly fainted when I saw the price of colour copies. It was decided that a CD would work very well and cost much less. So next was learning how to burn CDs. It’s not hard but it was time consuming. Good thing there was some good TV to watch while I did that.

CDs

 

Yesterday I spent the day assembling kits. That took way longer than I thought. I will never do well in a sweatshop, I am much to slow.  In the end I have lots of kits ready for my next show (Twist http://www.festivaltwist.org/en/ ) I am sure I will not sell them all as I made up 50 but they will be ready for other shows later in the year.

Here is what the finished kit looks like:

kit front kit back

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Design, Marketing, Nuno Felting, organising, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

And Then There Were Four

I had hoped to have a completed lampshade to show you today. But the frame is still in pieces and I haven’t figured out exactly how the cobweb felt is going on to the frame.

Wensleydale Lampshade Covers

But I do have four pieces of cobweb felt to go over the frame. One piece is a bit thicker than the others but I don’t think most people would notice.

close up Wensleydale cobweb felt

The textures from the Wensleydale are wonderful.

Lamp Shade Frame Parts

Here’s the frame. Hmmm… place part A on part B and attach with screw Q…

Trying out cobweb felt over a lamp

But I thought a preview was in order. Here is one of the pieces of felt over an existing lamp.

Cobweb Felt Lit

And a little closer view. I think it might do :)

Next time (hopefully), the finished lamp shade!

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , | 20 Comments

The Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, August 1-3, 2014

by Guest Artist/Author Cathy Wycliff (Luvswool)

We, Marilyn (Pandagirl) and I (Luvswool),  had never attended a “fiber fair,” so there were expectations and then the reality of the Fair.  We had planned for many months to attend the annual Fair and met there early Friday morning with great anticipation. The advance program showed photos of sheep, fiber, workshops, art exhibits, bags of fleece, etc., and the Fair delivered all of that except for the sheep. One of the organizers explained to me that August is too hot for sheep, and I guess that makes sense. So, the only live animals were a lonely llama and a couple of angora rabbits. Still, it was an enjoyable experience.

The Fair has been held for 8 years in Grayslake, IL, a far northwestern town in the extended Chicago metro area, and it’s a Fair that celebrates the work of many hands. We saw spinners, felters, and knitters demonstrating their crafts, and there were many workshops offered during the 3-day fair. There were a couple of folk singers and a few food vendors outdoors, but everything else was contained in an air-conditioned building. The majority of the indoor vendors were geared towards knitters, with many beautiful displays of hand-dyed, hand-spun yarns and goods. Neither Marilyn nor I are knitters, so we headed first for a walk around to scope out the lot.

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First stop was the Art Exhibit, which displayed fine fiber art–among them, my own display of five fiber wall-hangings. There were other fiber wall hangings, sculptures and “vintage” handbags (crafted from vintage patterns but otherwise entirely new).

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Cathy Wycliff’s Exhibit

(Cathy had a very prominent display!  It was the first thing to see on our way in.  Very exciting! — Marilyn)

Next up were the vendors, which included some crazy rag rugs, lots of beautiful yarn and bags of alpaca fleece. There were also felted hats  and you’ll notice I didn’t snap pics of the roving, since I was busy buying it. Marilyn and I purchased some fibers we have not previously felted with–including Navajo churro, 100% Organic Polwarth, white Falkland and I bought some black Blue Faced Leicester with silk. Since there was so much yarn, I did pick up some white wool boucle for embellishment, as well as silk hankies, which I have never used.

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As we neared the end, we were able to view the judging of alpaca and llama fleece. Two judges followed a quality control checklist and had to concur on all points.

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Then it was goodbye to Princess Athena, the lonely llama,  and our day at the Fair came to an end. We would love to attend another fair, but next time would like to see sheep–sheep-shearing, sheep-judging, sheep fleeces, border collies herding sheep, etc.  Maybe there’s a trip to New Zealand in our future!

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Bye! Thanks for stopping by.

Posted in Fairs and Shows, Guest Artists, Guest Writer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Teeswater and Needle Felting

I know the last post I did about natural wools and fibres featured Viscose as well, but after Ruth’s post about Wensleydale, I thought I’d show a piece that I’d made using ‘curly’ wool too, though this is Teeswater. I do have some raw Teeswater locks that I bought from Sara’s Texture Crafts, but for this I just used commercial Teeswater tops. Tops can be quite deceiving as it isn’t always obvious what the characteristics of the wool are, and they often all look quite similar. Until they’re felted that is. You don’t get quite the same results as using washed and combed or carded wool, but a lot of the features do ‘come back’ once the wool has been wet. By hand,  I blended some black viscose in with the Teeswater tops for the top layer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhere the wool and fibre are blended well it has a greyish look to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd some parts are a bit more defined.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the back of the piece, I just love the look of felt like this :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoing a needlefelted piece for Marilyn’s Monet Challenge got me in the mood for doing some more. So far I’ve wet felted the backgrounds for 3 pieces, and finished one of them. I played around with a photo I took a few years ago at the beach in Crosby, not far from Liverpool:

Then I needle felted a piece based on it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in natural wools, Needle Felting, Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Felt Pictures Ready

My felt pictures that will go on display next week are framed and mounted now. They look so much better Framed.  I had them proficiently done.  he covered the back in paper, put the hangers on and even little clear feet on the bottom corners so they will hang strait.  You will have to excuse the quality of the pictures. My husband had to hold them up for me to take the pictures.

This is the biggest one. I used wide extra strong Velcro along the top and small Velcro squares on the bottom corners and half way along the sides and bottom.

cityscape

 

The two smaller ones that are much lighter and brighter I gave the mottles silver and gold frames that look much nicer in person. They match the summery feel of the 2 pictures. I used Velcro the same way for these pictures as well. They end up looking like they are hovering just in front of the canvas.

summer fun beach hotel

I will get better pictures when they are hung at the gallery.

 

Posted in Design, Fairs and Shows, Finishing/Framing, Needle Felting, Prefelt, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments