Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Lately, I’ve tried to step out of my comfort zone with color and fiber and try some new things.

While this first example doesn’t look like it’s outside of my usual color palette, I did use some silk for nuno on this clutch and some coarser fibers like Corriedale that I made for my daughter in law.  The nuno is not as noticeable as I’d like, but I think it still adds a nice texture to it.

2015-04-13 11.21.45 2015-04-13 11.22.27 2015-04-13 11.22.42

Revisiting pods, I decided to really jump out of my comfort zone and use bold primaries on a black background. (It is a bit like some of Pollack style pictures I did for last year’s challenge.)

2015-04-14 16.28.52 2015-04-15 12.33.13 2015-04-15 12.33.19






Another project I’ve worked on was  hand dyed silk I made a while back.  I decided I didn’t want a long scarf so I cut the piece in half.  I used very little wool wisps on one side.  The joke was on me when I was finished felting.  It could be a scarf for a doll!  It had been a while since I did nuno and evidently forgot about the big shrinkage rate for silk gauze.  I do like it though.  I think I could wear it as a collar if not a scarf.

2015-05-11 15.36.46 2015-05-11 15.37.52








Most recently, I decided to play with some neutrals and coarser wools.  Cathy (Luvswool) was nice enough to give me some of the Domestic 56  wool she had dyed in Arkansas with plants. I really liked the colors. I made a batt with cream and brown Corriedale and another with some of the  hand dyed Domestic 56 for added color. I used a resist open at the top and bottom. The cream and brown became my inner layer.

2015-05-09 14.21.55 2015-05-09 14.11.55








I really liked the subtle colors against the neutrals.  The coarser fibers also added to the texture for a natural open look.

2015-05-13 15.27 2015-05-13 15.28








Having progressed through these projects, I have a whole new outlook on textures and colors that I hope to incorporate into my future art.

What have you done outside your comfort zone lately?



18 thoughts on “Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

  1. Your recent felting shows how rewarding it can be to step outside your comfort zone! You made great use of the naturally-dyed plant fibers, producing beautiful blends and amazing texture with the coarser wool. Nice side seams on the clutch, too!

    1. Thanks Cathy! It certainly was rewarding to step out of my comfort zone.

  2. Good to see you’re making things, Marilyn! I hope you felt happy with your progress, even though not everything came out as you expected. I like the tiny scarf, though 🙂

    How thick is the clutch? I tried making a small purse for myself and it was a disaster, it looked at least twice as thick as yours…

    I’d love to see more of the pod, the neutral background looks really good with the blues!

  3. Thanks Leonor! I am very happy with the results of my new projects. Even the scarf, I love the texture and colors.

    The clutch was thicker than the first one I made for her mother. I used two layers of prefelt with a layer of Corriedale on the first one. On this one I used three layers, but the batts were mixed with merino, Corriedale, and Romney. It was perhaps 3/8″ or 9.5 mm thick. I would have liked it thinner but it still looked nice.

    Do mean the vase in neutrals? I can post more pics on the forum if you like.

  4. They all turned out nice, Marilyn 🙂
    It’s amazing how much shrinkage you get when you use so little wool isn’t it? I ended up wearing one of my nuno sample pieces as a collar over Winter when it wasn’t cold enough for a big scarf, it was so nice and convenient.

    1. Thanks Zed! Yes, it is amazing how much shrinkage you get with Nuno. I’m glad I’m not the only one wearing a collar scarf. 🙂

  5. Yes, its difficult to change your colour head isn’t it. My head has certain colours in it that always push to the front and these are generally warm colours but recently I’ve made a scrumble in blues and to my amazement I like it. lol

    1. Thanks Briony! The blue-green family is my favorite. So, now I’ll have to come to the warm side after going the neutral route. 🙂

  6. Great pieces Marilyn. It is always good to try something a bit different. I think you learn a lot more that way. And you discover color schemes that you thought you might not like but end up appreciating much more.

  7. Thanks Ruth! Since I don’t sell my work, I tend to make things in the colors I like or that are in the house. Stepping out was very freeing.

    1. Thanks Karen! Making batts is fun. I just have to remember to keep a “recipe” book if I want to try to duplicate it. :-). I made something before the vase that had much better colors and I tried to duplicate it from memory. Big mistake. Although it turned out nice the first batt was much more colorful.

    1. Thanks Ann! I love to experiment and challenge myself. Perhaps I should make a pin for the scarf to keep it in place.

  8. I love the Pollack inspired pod yet I know I wouldn’t have thought of that colour combo because it’s outside of my comfort zone. Well done!

  9. Leaving our comfort zone always lead to new learnings and is so much fun !! Your projects are beatiful ! especially with the neutrals tones

    1. Thanks Aphee! The neutrals really surprised me with how much I liked them. 🙂

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.