Working on a new project, the design part

Working on a new project, the design part

Working on a new project, the design part

During my time stuck in bed last month, (literarily, not figuratively), I relented and agreed that my “Smart” phone was rather dim and it was probably time to upgrade to something that could at least text as well as make phone calls.  I am still of the opinion that if you are holding a cell phone and you want to communicate with me, why text the dyslexic when you could just phone? Ann mentioned there was a Motorola for sale at Costco and maybe my hubby should investigate it. I was mostly out of it so didn’t get to have much impute but getting the same brand as what I have had should make the transition easier…… that thot went not quite as I expected.

When I was able to get out of the house and into the car (as a passenger), Glenn took me to the phone store and we got them to set up the new phone. He offered to transfer data and apps, but when he looked at my old phone, he laughed and said I only had about 10 contacts and no apps so he suggested it would be good practice to enter them myself. He also said there are many YouTube videos that would explain apps to me. (I still feel mostly in the dark but may get this figured out. in the meantime, I can sometimes make phone calls!)

My old phone was 3×5.5” and fit nicely in a handwoven pouch. The new one is much longer and has more buttons on the side, which I keep accidentally pushing when I pick it up! (Ok this learning curve keeps getting steeper, I am not a total Luddite really!!!) With a new phone, I will need a new case and glass cover. Since I had No luck at the phone store, I went online to find the accessories to protect the new phone.

 1) New phone, Old Phone, and iPod 1) New phone, Old Phone, and IPod  comparing size. the new phone is about an inch taller than the old phone.comparing size.

I found the phone covers online and accidentally started to notice small interesting purses (presumably to put your phone in?). A few of which I would be interested in trying to make in felt. (See I did have a felt topic hidden in all this phone upgrade chatting). I happily browsed through a shark and a whale, then found dinosaurs!!! There was a triceratops, a Tyrannosaurus or Allosaurus (hard to tell which) and finally a stegosaurus but without the tail spikes. none are anatomically accurate but all were very cute. They seem a bit small and all are made from fake leather and some have mettle studs for decoration.

Of the water life, I think I would do a manta ray with an opening at the mouth. It would be safer than trying to stick my hand in a shark’s mouth to retrieve a phone.  My other option would be a blue whale since they have such a large mouth. They both eat krill so my fingers would be safe, which would make it easier to find the phone.

2) Manta and blue whale (clip art for reference)2) Manta and blue whale

I have a couple of the metal hardware for coin peruses that are too small or the wrong shape for this use, but the concept may work.

3) The 5 Kiss clasp clutch or purse hardware I already have. large half rectangle, 3 L shapes and a small half cercile3) The 5 Kiss clasp clutch or purse hardware I already have.

 Let me check online and see if I can find a couple of shapes that might work. And they are ordered, Arrival is expected in early July.  Kiss clasps come in lots of shapes. You will notice that the metal arms have small holes along their length. These are to sew in the fabric (in our case Felt) that will make the opening of the bag.

4) Some of the shapes and sizes of kiss clasps avalible on line 4) Some of the shapes and sizes of kiss clasps

They seem to be called kiss clasps and vary in size from one suited to a small coin purse to about 20.5cm. They come in various shapes, half circles, various arches (sort of flattened half circles), half squares and half rectangles and even L shapes (which I have 3 but won’t suit for this project).

I was also intrigued by the dinosaur bags (some are too small to fit a cell phone and maybe meant as a kid’s change purse so watch the sizes if you want to order one.)

5-6) fake Leather Dinosaur bags; Stegosaurus, Triceratops, and close ups of the bags T-Rex bag and close ups of the bags5-6) fake Leather Dinosaur bags; Stegosaurus, Triceratops, T-rex

Plotting and Planning

To create a phone-holding device, (purse), I have the option of working in either dry or wet felting or using some of each technique.

First thought: I am most comfortable with dry felting and could create a purse using needle felting techniques and a bit of sewing to add the cavity closures, but it would likely take even longer than working on the Mer’s. (I think I need something a bit quicker to finish).

Second thought: I could create a resist to wet felt over, making the main body and cavity for the phone holder. That would be quicker but adding appendages and spines might get tricky only using wet felting. I would still have to sew on the clasp or other closing method.

Stray thots that flit through while I am trying to concentrate on this wet Vs dry dilemma:  If I try a manta phone-holder I will want to have it hang curved ageist my hip or side. This may suggest a wire armature in the wings or at least the leading edge of the wings. I will also need a mouth opening large enough to stick my hand in to find the phone. If I go with the stegasorous I will want it to stand up on its own solid firm legs. I would also want the neck and tail (with spikes) to be bendable so I can again curve it as it hangs beside me. I would also want to make a more anatomically correct dinosaur or Sea creature. (Not pink! ok, we don’t know for sure they weren’t pink but I am extremely hopeful pink was not a common body colour for dinosaurs)

I could insert a stiff single wire like I did to augment Mr Mer’s lower back problem (the firmness of the felting overpowering the wire gauge I had originally used. So I augmented it by inserting arthroscopically Harrington rods of 10ga aluminium with sharpened tips.) The con to that option is that when the distance to be strengthened is lengthened then the likelihood of getting a straight insertion is much more challenging. I wonder if I could baste on the wire, then needle felt over top to cover the inclusion?

If I am going to think about wet felting I will need a few pieces of resist (floor underlayment). I don’t think I have any resist hanging around the house but I can find some at our local hardware store! So I was off to the local home depo. Oh, it only comes in BIG roles I guess I can now make a few options or one very big purse!

7) Flooring Underlayment, in back of my car with my walker. it comes in a large role, 2mm thick and 200sq feet.7) Flooring Underlayment comes in a large role, 2mm thick and 200sq feet.

The next thing to consider is the size and shape the resist should be to make the phone-holding opening. If I go with a manta, the actual resist can be much smaller than the wings and tail. I would also have to make an inset to the mouth to attach the kiss clasp too. My other option would be a zipper but it would put more strain on the mouth area so it would need to be very firmly felted. I could add a bit more strength if I used a bit of silk or gauze.

For a stegosaurus, I would need to add a belly between the legs. I think adding supplemental resists for the legs, which I could then backfill with firm felt should work. I want it to stand up if it was sitting on a flat surface. I would also have to add plates along either side of the spine and then spikes for the tail.

There are also the horrors of Math!  Estimating the shrinkage then expanding to make the template…. Math…. Ick.

Well, I may have circumvented part of the horrors of math by finding this site! it may be helpful to other math challenged felters.  Look about halfway down the page for “Wet Felting Wool Shrinkage Calculator”

My next step will be to make a mock-up of the potential resist shape, but while I await the arrival of the clasps I have a couple of other things to work on.  Bernadette had some locks that may work for Mrs. Mer’s hair and I guess that will also give me time to get a bit more work done in the garden. We had a break in the smoke and had a moment of sunshine this afternoon! (a wonderful change from the smoke and odd smells of the last few days so I wanted to share the sunshine with you.)

8) shots from my front garden, Chives& Taragon, Columbine, Alum, Black Iris, Snow peas with mint and basal, the front of the garden looking back towords the benches.8) shots from my front garden

10 thoughts on “Working on a new project, the design part

  1. Great post Jan (I must admit that as soon as I see your name under the title I mutter “Oh good”)
    Thanks for that link to AB Crafty, they have some very useful stuff on there. I’m looking forward to seeing Mrs Mer’s hairstyle, and how you get on with your phone purse.
    I don’t have a smart phone at all, just an old fashioned one which does do text as well as real talking and that’s enough for me. Actually I suppose I do have a smartphone – it’s a Blackberry which a friend gave me and I use it only as a portable audio book player – it doesn’t have a sim card in it so doesn’t cost me any air time.
    I do hope that the wildfires over there aren’t near enough to trouble you – apart from the smoke that is. It must be really frightening for the people near the flames. Luckily so far we haven’t had so much trouble over here (UK) except that idiots will keep lighting bonfires or BBQs in nature reserves and starting fires that way.
    Keep safe

    1. Thanks Ann, i too hope the UK can avoid the wild fires we were lucky with wind direction since we did not get the worst of the bad smells and orange air.

      the cases and protective film for the new phone just arived. one case out of 3 fits and i am still trying to work out the bubbles on the screen protector! i am in the steem emeneting from ears thinking mode. i had a chat with Ann on Monday and will do plan 1 fist. (3d mockup and then flatten it to see what shape the resist sould be). i can then scale up to the size for the resist. She suggested plan 2 could just be sewing in the center gusset after feltin or partly felting then adding the gusset. lots of ways to get to the same finished itum!

      Ann got my fone a bit smarter for me on Monday and now it randumly buzes or makes strange noises. i am still not sure if i should consider it smart yet.

      i am glad you are enjoying the posts, i am always a bit worryed my posts are a bit odd. Thankyou for reading them!

  2. We do so enjoy your posts Jan! Are you sure you have enough resist material 🙂

    Thanks for the link to AB Crafty – there are so many varied projects to try on there.

    The resist is going to take some working out – looking forward to seeing it.

    1. Thank you both! yes i think i can make that coat i wanted to now too! (if i have any left from the purse… well it wont be as big as Ann’s purs and it wount be life size so i should have some leftover!!…. life size …… i could cary a lot on or in a life size stegosaurus!!! it would have to be self-mobile i would not want to have to carry it at life size.)

      math and i are about a fendly as Spelling and i so that wet felting resist calculator looked vary exciting. dry felting is so much easyer, just add more wool or if its too big keep poking or find the sizors!

      i will make a 3D mock up and squish it to see what the resit shape might be. if that dosnt work there are alternate options i can try!

  3. I’m no stranger to seeing a yellow ash in the air due to fires. It’s so upsetting. I hope the fires aren’t too near you, Jan…

    I’m looking forward to seeing your new phone purse! One suggestion: you might want to line it with fabric because bits of fibre rubbing off might get into the phone (the charging hole is a major receptacle of such fluff) and wreak havoc!

    1. I had wondered about a lineing or using silk as an underlayer (nuno felt like). i dont want to clog my fones orifeces with lint!!!

      the closet fire was about 50 minits dirve west of Ottawa. we had a closer wildfier a few years ago but the smoke this time was worse. the glowing orange full moon was intersting but i would rather have the trees alive and leaffy.

      the air is so much better i am looking forword to getting the last of the plants planted so i will have my studio table clear and ready to felt on in the side yard!

  4. Great post Jan, the voice to text is really quite good now. And it will read you text if you want it to.
    I would love to see one of L shaped clasps in person. If you wouldn’t mind bringing one on Monday? those are really fun purses. I want a stegosaurus. I wonder if it would work as a show purse not that I have time for shows anymore.
    You could of asked me for some floor underlay. Now you have a big role, you will have to make that coat I keep hearing about. We have get organized to do some big projects.
    I really appreciate the clean fresh air after those really smoky days.

    1. Thanks Ann!
      I will bring in the kiss clasps i have and the new ones as they come in. i am sure we could make a show purse for you! i will try to have a mock up ready for next weeks soical.
      oh well we have lots of underlay between us now!
      yes i am looking forword to getting the last of the plants planted and off my work table so i can felt in the side yard again.

  5. Looks like a fun project Jan! I am looking forward to seeing what resist shape you use. And the minute you posted about buying floor underlayment, I thought, Ann would have given you some 😉

    I’m also looking forward to Mrs. Mer’s new hair!

    1. Thanks Ruth, i should have thot Ann might have some she could spair!
      i was going to add Mrs Mer’s Hair to the project bag but found she was canudleing with her hubby so didnt intrupt them. i am shure she will be vary excited shortly whith her new hair.

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