Felt Picture

I had an idea over the week to do a piece of felt for my sister to say thanks for helping me at MakeFest. I saw a photo she took and thought that would make a great piece. I haven’t told her or asked her, so I probably shouldn’t post the photo without permission, but I made a simplified version on Photoshop as a guide:

field field picI don’t have a computer downstairs (or working printer) so I didn’t have a photo to work from, but I did draw a guide :)


I marked out the bands on a template and did the first layer, I’m afraid some of the photos aren’t the best, it was dark and I had to use flash at times:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI then started on the second layer:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought it was looking alright until I got to the bright yellow patch near the bottom, it’s a field of bright yellow rapeseed flowers, and I really wanted to capture the almost bubbly look it had. I blended Nylon and silk throwsters and Bamboo, and it looked great, but made the rest look really flat:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, then I had to go over all the areas with more texture. I blended shades, mixed in fibres, fluffed it all up and filled in the rows:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI realise now if I’d taken photos of the blends etc, I could have used this for the 3rd Quarter Challenge :) My favourite part is the bottom, it was a hedge with lots of colour to it, mostly greens, but the new growth had shades of red. I used lots of different shades of nylon staple fibre for this.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI added the details on next: hedges, trees, telegraph poles:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the trees I used black viscose top, I pulled lengths off, fanned out the top, then gave it a twist to make the trunk and branches. Then I added fluffy wisps of blended wool.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFelted and still wet:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few bits of yarn I used for tracks didn’t work, so I removed them. Here it is dry:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe back looks good too:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s completely the wrong shades, the original photo is more ‘acidic’, but I liked how it turned out. I’m not sure it’s my sister’s thing though so it might be back to the drawing board there :)

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Fixed Tea Cozy

If you remember my post about the tea cozy that went wrong, and-then-it-all-went-wrong I have now fixed it. First I had to needle felt the pieces that fell off, back on. I only needled the middles so I would still get the cracked mud effect. The hardest part was placing the pieces in the right places.

needle felted 2 needlfelted peices

This is what the inside looked like.

neddle felted inside

The next step was to tape it all again. I didn’t want the edges to felt down flat.

adding the tape

I did trim the pieces that were touching so they would not felt together again. I rewet the whole thing and started fulling.  Lots of rolling on my washboard to get it well shrunk and stiff enough.

It turned out really well.

finnished finnished 2


And a better angle so you can see the texture.

finnished 4 finnished 3


so disaster averted and all is well. Now I am back to getting ready for the Twist festival this coming  weekend. Twist    If you can make it make sure to drop by and visit me in booths 57 and 58.




Posted in Dyeing, Experiments, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Green Notebook Completed

I finished up my green studies notebook. I didn’t add anything else but leaves but I may add a few thread studies and green photos later.

Glycerin Leaves

I had high hopes for the leaves preserved with glycerine. They looked really good after they came out of the glycerine. I soaked them for a week. All I did was put glycerine in a plastic plate, put the leaves on top, pour a little more glycerine over the top and cover with another plastic plate. I put a little bit of weight on the top plate and just left them. The photo above shows the leaves after a week. They were very dry and brittle and I had to be very careful with them. It was a bit time consuming removing the excess glycerine. But then the moment I applied them with matte medium to the pages, they turned brown. I guess I could have attached them some other way but they would have crumbled into bits if they hadn’t been coated with something.

Green Studies Notebook 7

This is the best leaf I achieved (same leaf as in the middle of the glycerine photo). It turned a bit brown but stayed mostly green. Some of them turned really dark brown. I’m not sure it is worth the effort to use the glycerine as some leaves just seem to take to this process better than others.

Here are some other pages with a variety of leaves, seed pods and mossy bits.

Green Studies Notebook

For the cover, I used a painting technique that I had seen online. It uses eggshells for the texture.

Green Studies Notebook End View

You can see the texture from this angle a bit better . My notebooks always end up looking “fat” as they always have extra stuff on the pages. I really enjoyed making this notebook. Have you done any color studies lately?

If you missed the finish of my second quarter challenge, I posted about it on my personal blog. I haven’t started the third quarter challenge and it’s already the middle of August. I better get a move on!

Posted in Sketch Book | Tagged | 22 Comments

More WOW Samples

I tried more samples of the fibers Cathy and I had ordered from World of Wool back in February.

I chose six of the fibers to try.  Three dark, three light. I used two layers in each of them.

2015-05-15 14.05.03Its not obvious from the fiber layout, but there were some big differences in the feel of each.

From the top left to right:

Black Welsh                            White South American with Rose Fiber embellishment

Light Gray Swaldale               White Faced Woodland

Gray Massam                            White South Down Top

The Black Welsh was coarse to the touch. White South American  was very soft with a longer staple. The Swaledale was soft and variegated.   The White Faced Woodland was soft. The Grey Massam was soft as roving.  The White South Down top was soft and had some black fibers running through it.

After felting to a prefelt stage:

2015-05-17 15.58.04

The Black Welsh was softer  and lighter than expected.  The White South American was soft, and more compacted than the others.  It felt more like merino. The Rose fiber melted right into it.

The Swaledale was bristly to the touch, but light and only slightly spongy. It wasn’t as variegated once felted. The Woodland was the thickest of the samples slightly coarse and very spongy.

The Massam was flatter and firmer than all of the samples and coarse but had soft finish, very hairy. The South Down Top  was spongy and not as soft as the White South American. This was the only one to show any shrinkage during the process.

Grey Massam

Grey Massam

South American with Rose Fiber

South American with Rose Fiber

Grey Swaldale

Grey Swaledale

Black Welsh

Black Welsh

I haven’t used any of these fibers in a project yet, but am curious if any of you have and what for.  I purposely made prefelt so I could use it later and not waste the fiber.

I’m currently traveling, so if I don’t respond immediately please be patient.


Posted in Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

MakeFest Again!

This past weekend was the MakeFest event I’ve been going on and on about for weeks :) I really had no idea what to expect or even what my space would be like until I got there to set up on the Friday. I knew I’d have 3 tables, but for some reason I imagined them much smaller, so I was panicking that I wouldn’t have enough room to even spread the wool out and would have to leave it in a large tub. You might remember my ‘granny trolley‘ from when I did a little craft fair a few years ago, well this is my main mode of ‘transport’ for pretty much everything, and the bag slides off so you can just use the frame (I even used it to get my new bike home, in its box). So, I spent Friday day sorting out all the wools and fibres to put in a large box, got the towels, absorbent cloths, bubble-wrap, mats, templates, tubs, soap, sponges, hand carders and demo felt packed into a smaller tub and a couple of bags, then loaded my trolley and shoulders and set off. I was really pleased when I got there and saw where I’d be, just to the right inside the main door of the Textiles Gallery, and how much space I’d have, and there was a demonstration table in the corner I was able to use for my fibres. So, here’s what my workshop area looked like after getting everything out on the Friday:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had a pile of netting and templates at the back wall, and a tub of cloths and towels to the side of the wool table. I left the wool and fibres in their bags overnight, I was a bit worried about them blowing away if the air con came on! On Saturday morning I took all the wool out of the packets. You can see my sign at the back telling people to touch the felt, and I asked World of Wool for some cards to hand out to anyone who was interested (everyone!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe demo table was perfect for the fibres:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt probably stayed neat and tidy for about an hour! I didn’t manage to get any photos on the first day, it was really hectic. To be honest, I felt like going home after a few hours. I’d initially thought that doing 3 x 1.5 hour workshops with 6 people each day would probably work best, but having been a frequent visitor to MOSI over the last 20 years, I know people have more of a tendency to mill about and want to try things as they get to them, so I was also open to being more flexible and doing one on one sessions – or two at a time – however it seemed to work best. No one even came into the Textiles Gallery for about half an hour after opening, then it seemed like everyone descended upon us at once (my sister helped me out). Some people wanting to make felt, some wanting to know about felt, and the wool and the fibres, some people wanting to know when to come back (how can you guess when no-one’s tried it yet?!) It was a nightmare! I honestly had no idea it would be so popular. Most people were really nice, especially the ones who had a go, but there were a few who thought they were entitled to be fitted in at their convenience no matter what. Luckily they never did come back, I don’t know how I’d have kept my cool and been polite. We had a nice student (Hi Lucette!) just before we stopped for dinner (lunch) who was really nice and friendly, and polite and calm, which really helped at that point. After dinner we were a bit more structured and tried to limit how many people had a go at once and had a better idea of how long it would take. My sister cancelled her plans for Sunday and said she’d come and help out again, which made me so relieved, I don’t think I could have managed at all on my own!

Sunday was miles better! We decided to have set times, limit students to 2 or 3 at a time for 45 minutes and have a 10 minute break in between. We were booked up for all 6 sessions by about 11.30am! And people were much nicer about missing out. I didn’t expect the huge crowds we got gathering around to watch though! The first couple of people were ‘makers’ from one of the other stands, codebug I think (and apologies to everyone because I’m terrible at remembering names and didn’t bring the time sheet home), they were really eager and keen and really nice and friendly. I even got some photos! Here they are doing their layout:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince we didn’t have easy access to water, I thought it’d work better to have one table as a laying out table and one for felting. It actually worked really well that way. Wetting down their pieces:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe had lots of nice kids who had a go at felting, some made designs, some just picked their favourite colours, Annabelle (I hope I remembered that correctly) made a beach picture. She picked some kapok fibre to make the foam on the waves, some plastic fibre to make fluffy clouds and trilobal nylon to make a sparkly sun:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe was only about 6 or 7, this was her piece after rinsing and squeezing before we neatened it out a bit, but it turned out really well:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really underestimated how easily people would find pulling off wool tops, it seemed like the hardest thing ever to many, like it took a really special skill! And a lot of people were so eager to get stuck in, technical accuracy wasn’t really anything they cared about, but I did learn that no matter how badly you lay out wool tops, how thick the clumps are, you still end up with a pretty nice piece of felt in the end! Thanks to everyone who joined in, asked questions, came and watched and said really nice things. And a massive thank you to my sister who’d never felted before but gave advice and answered questions about fibres she’d never even seen until a few hours earlier, and also to the many volunteers who had to lug a massive metal bucket of water up and down two storeys for us! I’ll be sleeping for the next week now :)

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A Little Farm Life

I almost forgot to post today. We have had a busy week on the farm. Sundays are farmers Market for us.

bread at marketMy husband bakes bread and we have meat pies and lamb sausages in the freezer off to the left(off screen)  and pickled eggs in the fridge to the right.

It has been a busy week. I set up to do some dying but never go to it.

det up fpr dyeing I di manage to get some carding done for the Twist Festival this month. http://www.festivaltwist.org/en/home/

batts for twist 2 batts for twist

After market today we separated the rams. We do not want lambs born at Christmas time. Tex on the left and Burt on the right.

Tex Burt

This is the future Ram. Poor guy has no name. Do you know a good name for him?

new ram

This week we also got a new old tractor. Ford Super Major 5000.

new old tractor

The early apple tree is almost ready for picking. It looks like a good crop this year. Maybe I will get some cider.


That’s a few of the things that have happened on the farm this week. I will try not to forget (almost) to post when it’s my turn next. Have a great week every one.




Posted in Sheep Farming | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments

The Whitefish Fashion Collection

I have written several posts about my interpretations in fabric of The Whitefish Fashion Collection that was originated from sketches by Nanci Williams. The exciting news is that is has all come together. We have the book!

Book Cover

If you’re interested, you can purchase a copy on Amazon. The opening of the exhibit was on August 6th and the show will be up for the entire month of August at The Purple Pomegranate in Whitefish, Montana. So if you happen to be in the area, please stop in!

Nanci Williams

This is Nanci, the consummate people watcher and creator of the delightful sketches on which this book is based.

WF Fashion Collection - 1st Sketch by Nanci Williams

This is the very first sketch that Nanci drew and the collection has grown from there. I ended up making a total eight pieces for the show and the wonderful news is that I already sold one of my pieces.

If you’d like to see more of the sketches and more about the book, you can visit The Whitefish Fashion Collection blog. I am going to try and get video of the opening and will post that there soon.

Posted in Announcements | Tagged | 16 Comments