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:

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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

Wensleydale Cobweb Felt

I found two of these lampshade kits at the local thrift store about a year ago (or maybe longer). I thought it would work well with cobweb felt so since they were only $7.00 each I bought them. Then they sat around for a year. I had them on my list of things to do but never seemed to get anything done with them.

Thrift Store Find

Finally, last week I decided I would make the felt to cover the lampshade. The pattern assumes that you use commercial fabric and has you cut pieces from yardage. I decided I would make each side of the lampshade as a separate piece of felt. I have wanted to make a piece of cobweb felt with Wensleydale wool for a while now so I thought this project would be perfect for it.

Pattern

This is a very bad photo of the original pattern. I just doubled the size of the original middle section of the pattern as I thought that the cobweb felt would shrink at least 50% or more.

Enlarged Pattern

I marked the enlarged pattern on a piece of plastic and then laid out the Wensleydale wool. I got this wool when I first started felting so I think I’ve had it for about 10 years now. I have used some of it over the years but I still have quite a bit left.

Beginning Layout

I laid the Wensleydale out in a random manner starting with the edges. I used only one thin layer.

Layout Complete

Here’s the wool after I finished laying it out. I did have to patch a few places so next time I will make it slightly thicker.

Wet Down of Wool Complete

I then wet it out and started felting. I rolled a little but then mainly just finished by rubbing.

Completed Felt on Original Pattern

After fulling and shrinkage, you can see that it did shrink 50%. The lampshade needs a total of four of these. One down…

Wensleydale Cobweb Felt

I really like the texture that the Wensleydale gives.

Texture of Cobweb Felt

You can see it better with the light behind it.

Cobweb Texture

I think this will be really pretty on the lamp with the light shining through. I may use a lining fabric in a darker color but I haven’t decided yet. Of course, I still have three more of these to make. I hope it won’t take another year to complete :)

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , | 23 Comments

From Batts to a Handbag

After my four days of dyeing experiment, I carded a bunch of batts with the different fibers I had dyed.  I decided I wanted to do something a little challenging using the batts. So, after doodling around with a few ideas I settled on a handbag using a couple of the techniques I learned in Fiona Duthie’s Surface Design Class.

I didn’t have a pattern. So, I used the general shape of the purse I carry now and added 30% for shrinkage and made a template. It took a lot more planning than I had anticipated so I got very engrossed in making sure I had everything organized and followed each step in the right order. Unfortunately, I worked intuitively and forgot to write down the procedure and take pictures at each step.

I wanted to use fiber for the shoulder strap, but I also wanted it to be strong and not stretch.  I made the shoulder strap first using a tightly woven scrim cut with the grain between layers of wool.  I left long ends unfelted and wrapped plastic at the ends to try to protect it from the water, not that it helped. This would be the part I would felt to the bottom and sides of the handbag so it would be all one piece.  Then I  used a dowel to roll the strap until it was partially felted.

handle end rolling handles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is one side of the purse with scrim lining between the wool layers, resist and a resist for one of the inner pockets. I wet one side then proceeded to lay out the other side working backwards from inside out. Laying out more pocket resists, the back and back pocket. I know that sounds strange, it was a little mind boggling.

layout

The decoration for the flap had to be done first before attaching it to the bundle to felt. The middle was felted by hand and the circle of fiber around it was left unfelted in order to add additional  fibers to felt into the bundle.

decoration

The handles were laid out on the bottom and the sides then worked on the sides first to ensure they held together during the felting process.

It was quite a thick bundle and once it was felted enough, I cut out the resists and continued to full and shape it until it sat up by itself.  When dry, it had that “thud” of being completely fulled.

hangingcloseup front Three inside pockets.

insideOne back pocket.

top view

backI wonder if I could duplicate this again?  Maybe if I do I’ll write a tutorial.  The one thing I would do differently is to put the shoulder straps on the inside of the bottom and sides rather than outside.  That would be another challenge. What do you think?

 

Posted in Felt bags, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments