Not Much Done but a Cute Surprise

As the title says I really haven’t done much with fiber this last week. I did start my Free motion embroidery class this week but haven’t had much time to do more than watch the videos read the PDF and fight with the tension on my machine. I have it sorted now and I hope I can do some practising this weekend. Pictures of messed up tension are not very exiting so I wasn’t sure what I would tell you about and then we had a surprise late yesterday, on the coldest day in March. -23c I took these pictures at about 10:00 last night after chasing the 2 calves back in because you know there is not better time to “fall” out of the barnyard but late at night when its freezing out.

This is mom wanting to know what I was doing.

and then letting lamb have a drink. I like this one she looks like she is smiling.

And this is the best shot I got of the two of them. Mom had just stomped at me as she was fed up with me trying to get a decent shot of both of them.  Just as well my iPhone shut down right after that as it was too cold.  My son put a heat lamp in so lamb wouldn’t get to cold. The temperature is on the rise again to day and we will go up to +2c today. This is the first lamb of the season. this is early and not on the schedule. There shouldn’t be any until late April early May. Best laid plans as they say.

Posted in Sheep Farming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Found my Fossil Fish

I made the original fossil fish quite a while ago with the process of paper fabric lamination and a silk screen that I created. It didn’t actually turn out that well so I added free motion machine stitching to enhance the paper fabric lamination process. Then I put the fish away in a pile of stuff and completely forgot about it. I decided that it has been hiding in my studio long enough. I needed to finish it.

Here you can see that the fish design is on the white organza ready to be felted. I have a piece of blue prefelt below it that was a left over from some other project. I don’t even remember what type of fiber is used in the prefelt. Not always the best idea when nuno felting but I just decided to go for it.

I spent quite a bit of time rubbing the surface of the organza so the fibers would migrate through.

This is the piece after felting. Some of the organza isn’t really all that well adhered but since it is going to be a wall piece, it doesn’t really matter.

And here’s a closer view when it is still wet.

Here’s the piece dry and framed. Do you have pieces floating around that need to be finished? It’s always nice to get a UFO (unfinished object) out of the studio and completed.

Posted in Nuno Felting | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Discovering Textures in Crochet

After learning the basic crochet stitches, I have adventured in practicing more  complicated stitches with unique texture.  You know me always looking for texture and dimension.

The first one I tried was the Mini Bean Stitch.  It took a bit of practice to get the tension right. I like the randomness of the the yarn in this stitch.  It is the same on the front and back.

The next one is the Elizabeth stitch named after the creators daughter.  Sorry about the light.  I took the photo in the only room that had some natural light. This also is the same on both sides.

I found the Suzette stitch very interesting.

The Uneven Berry Stitch has different sides.  One side dimensional and the other flatter. They also like to curl up.

The Lemon Peel Stitch is a nice tight stitch and the same on both sides. It’s actually a nice bright yellow color.


It was suggested with the Waist Coat /Center Single Crochet Stitch that variegated yarn be used.  But what I had on hand was a bit too variegated.  I also tried it with a plain color to see the difference.  A lot of Vs in there.

The Slant Stitch was fun.  The recommendation for this stitch was to use a neutral yarn.  But of course, I had to see it in a solid which I think is a bit nicer.

Each stitch has its own personality and texture.  I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite.  Also, each would be practical for different projects.  For example, the Slant Stitch would make an airy scarf.  The Lemon Peel or Waist coat would make a sturdier scarf, hat or pot holder.

Here are two bracelets I crocheted for my granddaughter Lisa in two sizes since I wasn’t sure of her wrist size.  The smaller one fit so now when she grows out of it she has another one. Yellow is her favorite color.

I’m quite fond of the Suzette and Mini Bean stitches just because of the interesting texture and dimension.  What’s your favorite?

Posted in crochet | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Writing a Tutorial

It doesn’t matter how many times I write a tutorial, and many people will understand this, I always massively underestimate how long it will take. Actually, the underestimation probably increases each time as I think it should be easier/quicker having done it so many times! I started a new one recently on how to make one of those soft, wispy, scruffy, colourful pieces of felt everyone seems to love. We make them in about 45 minutes in classes, so I thought I’d just need one day to take all the photos, except my camera battery died after the layout photos. I probably won’t need all 120 photos, but I like to be thorough! This is the photo of the finished layout:

Luckily, it was bright enough the next day to finish off felting and get the rest of the photos done. This is just before it was rolled in a towel and left to dry:

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I take photos for tutorials, I jabber on to myself in my head, giving a running commentary on what I’m doing. I suppose I’m talking to ‘the reader’, so I can make sure all the steps are covered and I don’t miss anything out. This was going really well while I was doing the layout, I’m usually over-cautious (as the 120 photos would suggest) and end up with loads of photos unused. Let’s face it, even a complete beginner doesn’t need to see every step of the wool tops being laid out 🙂 But when I downloaded the photos and looked through, all the photos of adding the embellishments were missing! Where were they? Did I forget to download them and then delete them off the camera? No, because I didn’t download/delete anything until the 2nd day. So where were they?  I must have zoned out as some point, wandered off to get a drink or put music on, then got too engrossed in adding all the yarns and shiny fibres because there were no photos between finishing the top layer of wool, and that finished top photo above. Luckily that was all I’d forgotten. Or so I thought! I wanted to show the versatility of the felt pieces and how they can be made into other things, such as the concertina pieces I’ve made into danglie decorative pieces:

So, while I was ‘on a roll’ with the felting, I took photos of the process of how to do that. Here it is all bundled up:

And then how it doesn’t have to become a concertina piece, but a more 3D ‘sculpural’ piece:

But that meant, not only did I not have any photos of adding embellishments, I also didn’t have photos of the finished dried piece! Luckily, I’m used to myself and how gormless and forgetful I am 🙂 And when you don’t have to take 120 photos of the process, doing a layout is really quick and easy, so it wasn’t too time consuming to re-create the piece and take photos of the missing stages.

Posted in Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Felted Birdhouse Class

Hi everyone I am a day or two behind so please forgive the late post. On Sunday I had 3 ladies for a Felt Birdhouse class. There should have been 4 but one lady was sick. I hope she is feeling better now.

Here is the start, 2 gourd shapes and a circle.

Locks where very popular this class. Carlene ( blue ) brought lots her own and some threads as well. This is side one

side two after wetting

Healing the cut after making the hole to get the resist out and let the bird in.

And all finished. We used Corriedale wool and you can see the shrinkage, about 1.3. The brown took more work to shrink for some reason. I hadn’t had the colour make any difference before.

They got sent home with instructions to blow up a balloon or some scrunched up plastic bags inside to get it to dry in a nice round shape. Carlene posted some pictures of her birdhouse on facebook when it was dry.

You will notice there is a red lock missing at 4:00. So she has added one with some felting needles.  I think it turned out great.

Have you done any felting in preparation for springs arrival? We just had 15 cm of snow dropped on us and it is still snowing so thoughts of spring are all we have.


Posted in Classes, resists, Teaching, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

I recently visited Philadelphia, PA for a hand crafted wholesale market to find new artists for my shop/gallery. One afternoon after we were finished at the market, we decided to walk to South Street since it was a beautiful 70 degree, sunny day. In February, 70 degrees? It was amazing! I have been to Philadelphia many times but had never been in this area of the city. We stumbled upon Philadelphia’s Magic Garden which was created by artist Isaiah Zagar.

There is a really good article (with more good photos) on the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation site if you’d like more information about the renaissance of this blighted area of Philadelphia. We weren’t able to tour the gardens as we hadn’t bought a ticket in advance and the tickets were all sold out. But there were amazing mosaics up and down the street and there is a map on their site where you can see more than 200 of Zagar’s public artworks. If you click on the little dots and blue stripes, you can see photos of those murals. There is a link to the full size photo at the bottom of the box that pops up. Here’s a couple of good ones from the Magic Gardens: photo from above, photo from the front.

There were lots of people out and about but it is really hard to describe the scope of these artworks.


They are beautiful and really eye catching.

Can you imagine being up at the top of this building working on this mosaic? And they were in really good condition. No damage or grafitti that I saw.

I took tons of photos to show my friend Deb Stika who does mosaics. (You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them and see the details a bit better.) I also put in a request to have her mosaic the front of my store. She said she would for a “small fee”.

So if you are in Philadelphia, this is a really great place to spend an afternoon, strolling down South Street and looking at all the art on display. Make sure to get your tickets in advance if you want to see the Magic Garden.

Don’t forget that it’s your last chance to sign up for the Free Motion Machine Stitching on Felt online class that starts March 17th. You don’t need any free motion stitching experience, the class begins with the basics. The registration closes tomorrow. Come join the fun!


Posted in Mixed Media | Tagged | 6 Comments

The Wild Yarns Experiment Framed

Last month I showed you my yarn experiment.  I had woven some yarns then felted them. Many of them were synthetic. If you hadn’t seen the post, here it is:

20170205_135832Ruth suggested I put eyes in it. Which I did try.  I needle felted some marbles into the piece.



Then I mounted it on a canvas frame. Her it’s laying on the counter.


But when I hung it on the wall, it creeped me out. So, I removed the marbles and needlefelting.  Sorry about the dark pic, it’s been raining and snowing here all day.



What do you think?

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