A Bouquet for Mothers Day

A Bouquet for Mothers Day. (not the same as the one I got a few years ago)

With stay at home, the days seem a bit harder to identify. Is this Wednesday and we have forgotten to put the garbage out or is this Tuesday and I’m panicking early? Can you imagine my surprise and horror to discover Mother’s day is Sunday? Sneaky Calendar!!

I use to get Mother’s day presents even though my kids were shorter and furrier than I had anticipated having when I was younger.  We had two cats and when they were five we got them a dog (they didn’t like their present either.) but that eventually worked out with the cats teaching the large breed dog he was actually just an inferior sort of cat.  If he worked hard enough at it he might upgrade to a full cat. They did do great mother’s day presents, Hackles and Bouquets (stacks) of Cinder blocks were some of the best! The cinder blocks were to rebuild and raise the garden. Kids can be so thoughtful.

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Unfortunately, I am not as good at gifting as my kids were. My Mom is hard to find presents for. She would not have enjoyed cinderblocks or fibre prep equipment. I spent most of my childhood trying to find the perfect frog to gift her with. No matter the size, type or shade of greenness I had no success. (Was that one too green or not green enough?)  I even caught a soft-shelled mud turtle (you do know how hard those are to catch by hand right?) always with the same result. “It’s an outside creature take it outside right now!” Mom is very hard to find the right present for!

So, no Frogs but she does like spring flowers especially tulips.  I only have one tulip up in the garden yesterday but there were tulip leaves and daffodil buds showing. One clump of crocus has just finished and some cilia are starting to flower in and out of the garden. If this year’s tulips are not cooperating, I had best look at previous years in my garden.

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With general tulip-ness in mind, I grabbed a piece of felt that was helpfully sitting on my desk. Unfortunately its 5.75in x 6in. I would like 5 x 7in to fit in the precut mat and frame. This is inexpensive commercial felt but does have a bit of wool content so let’s see if I can persuade it to stretch.

17 17 stretching the felt to make a 5×7 shape.

The stretching worked. I gently tugged on opposite sides then worked on diagonals then back to opposite sides. As you would expect this increase in size was accompanied by a decrease in thickness. So a bit of the batt of alpaca Ann had dropped off was put to use to stabilize the ground felt and start to build up the base colour. I added a non-descript blue-ish sky (it’s been pretty cloudy lately so I was trying to feel optimistic. I checked to make sure I still had the 5x7inch over all shape.

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As you can see, I was using the multi-tool (it’s the fake clover tool) with needles that look like 40t- x3barbs per side.

I pulled out one of my more dangerous looking X-mass presents and loaded some of the needles.

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I found the placement too tight since it was very resistant trying to pierce the felt. To fix that I spread the needles farther apart.

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This dispersement worked much better. The needles are again fine probably a 40t (they came with the handle and were not labelled).

I went digging for greens, blues, yellows oranges and reds. I found that the locks I had been spinning in the garden had some of the leaf colours I wanted but were quite strong in intensity. I had some tiny pompoms from Dollartree (like the Dollarama but cheaper). I considered using them but did not. I did have a variegated cream/orange/red ball of super wash merino that was the exact colour I wanted. There was also some bright yellow Claudia had traded me for a yellow that worked better on the duckling she had been making.

 

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Once I was happy with the tullipy-ness of the flowers, I got out the frame and mat to do a final layout check. Normally I would have checked earlier in the picture but I didn’t want to get the mat dirty.

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The mat is getting thinner than the ones I had purchased before so I will have to keep an eye on that.

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I was curious how heavily felted I had made the piece so peeked on the back. You can see it has some firm attachments but it’s not as heavily felted as the fox painting.

I decided I wanted to break the frame (visually not physically) and add fibre that would extend past the matt’s confinement. As the glass was added quite a bit of the fine detail of shading in the flowers disappears from the photo but was still present in the felt.

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After I had tucked the felt into its comfy new frame and mat home I added a happy mother’s day card with a photo from my own garden (from a previous year).

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We will drop off the picture before I post this so Mom won’t see what she is getting!! (she phoned the package has arrived but she will wait till tomorrow to open it on mother’s day)
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Oh, I wanted to let you know what inspirational music I was using to felt this. They are called the Hu, pronounced “Who”, a light Metal Mongolian band who plays traditional instruments and does throat singing.  If you are now curious you can listen to some of their songs on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hElhDzFnnCM

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I hope you are having fun felting in two or three-D and with wetness or dryness. Have fun and if we have no more snow flurries we might all be out in our gardens enjoying spring shortly!

 

 

Posted in Needle Felting, Uncategorized | Tagged | 16 Comments

Felt for Needle Books

Not too long ago I saw some nice needle books for sale and thought I would like to make some too. It seemed to be in my and my machine’s sewing ability. They will be fun adding stitching later too.  First I had to make some nice felt for the covers.

I started with two layers of white.

and added some colour and pattern

I found an old piece of prefelt

It wasn’t as thick as I wanted so I added a layer of fibres to one side.

and some other bits that were thicker.

Then, because I must be able to embroider sheep, I made a meadow.

Next, I had to cut them to size. I went looking and couldn’t find anything that looked like a standard size, so I cut them to what I thought would be usable sizes. Some larger and some smaller, depending on the piece of felt and what I thought would work.

I cut some middles. Each piece of felt has a needle and pin piece and a pouch piece. When they are sewn in there will be 2 pouches (front and back) and 2 pin pieces ( in the middle). I am wondering If I should add another needle and pin page or something else. What do you wish your needle case had in it?

 

Posted in Book Making, Design, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Shades of Green – Nuno Felt with Applique

In my Level 3 Stitch class, we are working on applique this session. After creating an applique using silk organza, I decided I wanted to see if I could combine a nuno felted background with silk organza applique. I thought the texture of the nuno would contrast well with the smoothness of the silk organza.

I created the nuno background with some deconstructed screen printed silk and a piece of white prefelt. I stitched the edges of silk that didn’t adhere down completely on to the back of the felt to give a neater edge (right hand photo). I also shaved and removed any large white pieces of wool on the surface of the silk. This piece immediately made me think of the woods, now on to the applique.

I used the background to help figure out the tree shapes and placement. Here is the silk organza trees laid over the background.

I basted the trees in place and stitched with tiny stitches trying to avoid fraying the silk organza as I went. The photo on the left shows the piece partially stitched with the basting lines still in place on the right side. The right photo is when the trees were completely stitched down. I used a stab stitch and machine weight thread.

Here’s a close up of the tiny stitches. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

Next, I started working on the path. I wanted to have a vague path but not something that overpowered the rest of the composition. So I used a variety of green threads with running stitch to create the path. But in the midst of stitching, I kept finding my eye drawn to the black dots over the bottom portion and then in a straight line up into the sky. What to do?

I considered adding stitching to diffuse the black dots but decided in the end to cover them with a paint pen and markers. I have no problem mixing my media, so I used a white paint pen and then covered the white with green marker. I definitely think that helped to take that line of dots away and emphasize the path more. I also added a bit more darkness with black marker so that there wouldn’t be such a straight line of “ground” at the base of the trees.

Next was the decision, leaves or no leaves? I tried a bunch of different types of fabric and ended up using black and green tulle cut into pieces with a layer of green sheer pieces over that. In this photo, the leaves haven’t been stitched down.

Here is the completed piece. It is hard to see the subtleties in a photo but I am pleased with the result. It reminds me of walking in the woods at dusk as the shadows deepen and perhaps you can hear the owls saying good evening.

 

Posted in hand stitching, Mixed Media, Nuno Felting, Stitching | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Learning from Samples

I’ve learnt many things since joining this forum but one of the most useful is the importance of making samples when trying something new. It saves so much time and lets me develop an idea quickly without wasting materials. Sometimes I’m trying to achieve a specific effect and sometimes I just want to see what happens if…..

As I can’t go to my studio at the moment because of the pandemic lockdown, I’m working small on the dining table at home so samples are a good option.

I’ve been thinking about trees and bark recently, including looking at the different lichens on trees and investigating how to represent them in felt.

I’m an avid charity shop moocher: always on the look out for second-hand yarns and fabrics I may be able to use in felt-making. I bought a charity shop scarf that included some pretty flowery mesh and decided to make a sample to see how it felted (or not) and whether I could use it for lichen.

flower fabric

a rectangle of the flowery mesh fabric

I started with a square of the fabric and felted it onto some white Finnish wool batt.

flower fabric white sample

a square of the fabric when felted

I like how the flowers crowd together and how the mesh disappears so I decide to try another piece on a darker background. This time I cut more random shapes of fabric, leaving space in between.

flower fabric grey sample

Pieces of the fabric felted onto grey

I really like this effect too but, looking at it critically, I realise it looks much more like barnacles than lichen (shells being another of my felting passions). So, off I go on a little diversion to wet felt a mussel shell with barnacles.

Returning to the lichen theme, I absolutely love the tiny worlds that grow on trees.  Here’s an example from a small twig from a pear tree in my garden (about the size of my little finger).

lichen photo close up

Pear tree lichen close-up

How gorgeous is that?!

I’d nuno felted silk when making lichen on the tree stump I showed in my last blog. I decided this time to make a piece of greenish prefelt with Perendale batt and Merino tops to see what effects I could create. I stitched, added small resists and tied in marbles in a random way to the prefelt then felted the sample to see what would happen.

This has some potential but I didn’t work on the finished felt for too long as I think it’s too thick & hairy for the delicate world of lichen.  I can still learn a lot from the shapes and effects. Next time I will start with a thinner merino prefelt and work on organising the composition. Or maybe I’ll make another sample. I love the discs on the lichen so will certainly try using a different resist technique next to work on these.

Finally, I’ve made a couple of samples this week to see how to resolve a problem I’ve created. I wanted to see if I could make a chinese lantern fruit with its beautiful lacy dried husk skeleton. (I don’t have my own photo but if you put chinese lantern plant in your search engine you will see them.) I jumped straight in and made the berry & stem without deciding how I’d make the husk skeleton & how I’d fit the two parts together. Clearly I don’t always take my own sampling advice!

chinese lantern berry

Chinese lantern berry and stem

My first question is ‘what’s the best felting technique for representing the appearance of a dried husk?’ It needs to be very lacy but very firm to hold its shape. I think I will have to use strips of prefelt for the 8 main veins but I’m not sure what to do about all the small ones.

I start with one sample laying out cobweb felt and trying different things on top: a loosely spun 100% wool yarn, some prefelt and some wisps of merino wool.  In the final stages of fulling I cut out a few sections to emphasise the shapes.

I decide to develop the yarn idea and this time lay out the yarn first then some merino and silk batt along the lines of the yarn.

I like the effect in itself but I don’t think it will allow me to make a felt that’s firm enough to hold its shape, which needs to be large and strong. Also, it’s not really delicate enough and I’m doing so much cutting out that I may as well make a solid strong 3D shape, possibly with yarn on top to guide the pattern and create texture, and then cut out rather than trying to follow the lines of yarn. That’s parked for now in the ‘needs more thought’ box!

I hope I’ve shown how useful samples can be, if you need convincing – as I did.

Do you make samples? What do you do use them for?

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Sudden Change of Plans

I have come to the conclusion that until I can acquire the appropriate topcoat for both the Pictish Shepherd and the mysterious creature I am temporarily stuck. (Oh if only I could go shopping!! <note wringing hands and serious whining!!> ) I could keep working on the understructures but the day is grey and raining, and I need to do something that is a bit more productive feeling (I already did the dishes.  That’s why I’m stuck sitting down again).

I should start thinking about what I want to do next as a picture. There were two shots that I looked at recently that caught my eye. One was a yak, but he has an odd feeling compositionally. On the other hand, the fur is so shaggy and has some interesting colouring to it that it would be fun to work on.

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I could crop the shot.  I really do like that shaggy fringe. Let’s check out the 5×7 ratio and see what I can get.

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It’s ok but doesn’t grab me as much as I thought it would. (It’s likely the rain) the other option is to just pick him up and move him to the left it would also get rid of that annoying tree in the centre of his head. That would likely work better as it would let me play with more shagginess. If I work from the original composition, I think I would like to erase some of the background trees, especially the one growing out of his head (as you can tell it’s really bugging me).  Let’s see if Photo pad, (that’s a free photo editing program) can do for a bit of deforestation.

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I like the diagonals now and the weight of the composition feels better. I think it was the tree on the top of his head that was really bothering me but this looks much more comfortable and I added a bit of blue to the sky (we could use some of that blue sky here today.)

 

Oh No, as I was getting the second shot for you I just spotted another I had found earlier that could be cropped to be really fun too.

6 6 the original.

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To get the composition I’m seeing in my head I have lost the 5×7 ratio. That would mean having a special mat cut which has gotten very expensive and isn’t easily available at the moment. (It’s much more frugal to work to a ratio that will fit in a mat and frame I already have so it’s 8×10 or 5×7 or one 4×6.) If you have an image, you can scale it up or down with a photocopier or use your computer and printer. With framing so expensive, if you can arrange to fit into a standard size it will help your costs if you are planning to sell your pictures. (I have not finished Xmass presents so I’m not selling yet! – it’s almost the end of APRIL!! I had better get working on those!)

8 8 this is 5×7 it’s not quite as intense but it still is very piercing. Yes, this would be fun.

Now let’s look at the other picture I was thinking about.

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One of her relatives is a local resident. I’m not sure which neighbour has her as a non-paying renter that I have smelt but not seen yet this year. I particularly like this image but not, the cat food. So let’s see if I can get rid of that first.

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not a great job but the offending cat food is gone. Yes, that’s better. Should it be a tighter focus?  That usually appeals to me. Better check.

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I think I’m losing some of the small, fragile, youthfulness of the face when I get too close to her. It works compositionally but I don’t think it captures the hesitation and age of the upper one.

Now, which one should I choose? Let’s print out 5×7 versions of each and see what they look like. Which would you choose?

Have fun and keep felting!

Posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged | 8 Comments

How to Make a Wrapped and Felted Bangle,

The other day I made a bangle. I have made them before but it has been a while. So long ago, I can’t find the pictures. I know I have seen them recently while looking for something else.  I was not as good at labelling things then as I am now so searching didn’t help much. Anyway, for this one, I wanted to use some of my handspun. I have many little balls of yarn as I never make much of any one thing.

To start you need a piece of cord or yarn.  Make it the size you want your finished bangle. It will not shrink in size. I used a scrap of yarn.

You need some wool and some yarn. I am using some very dark purple merino but you won’t see any of it when I am done.  The yarns are some of my mostly wool handspun.

Wrap the roving around the string. Wrapping down through the hole and back around until its all covered.

At first, I thought I would wrap the 2 yarns side by side. The larger ball was too hard to poke through the hole all the time. I forgot to take a picture of wrapping the pattern I did but you can see here how snug I did it. It is compressing the roving but not a lot.

This is the wrapped and wet bangle.

At this point, I  just wrapped my fingers around it and squshed it like making a playdough bracelet. Move the bangle around and around so it was all getting squished. I did that for a few minutes, not very long as I am impatient. I rolled it up in a rolling mat. It’s a piece of the foamy, rubbery shelf liner.  I rolled maybe 10 times and then unrolled rotated and flipped it. I did that maybe 4 or 5 times. I wasn’t thinking about it as a tutorial at that point, so I wasn’t keeping track. When I was done it was flat.

Don’t panic, just pick it up and put one hand into the hole and one on the outside and roll it back and forth in the hands like making a playdough snake. Do that all around the bangle until it is round again and feels firm. You could just squeeze it for longer and then roll it in your hands if you don’t want to roll it in a mat.

It really works, it is round and the yarn has given it texture, as well as colour. The longest part of making the bangle is wrapping the yarn.  If you were not as neat as I was, you could do it much faster and would have a more textured bangle.

 

Here it is dry.

You can see it’s a little fuzzy. I wanted more texture and more sparkle. Both Yarns have silk and some Angelina in them.  So I got out my trusty dollar store disposable razor and gave it a heavy shave.

There is a lot more texture and you can see some of the minor colours and some shiny and sparkly bits. I had a really hard time trying to capture the sparkle. Most of the little pink dots are sparkle and the orange Bits are silk.

It is too large for me really It would fall off if I would it loose on my wrist. I push it up to my forearm. On a less Rubenesque person or my much younger self, the upper arm would work well. It was fun to do and I should have thought of it for the first quarter challenge.

Posted in Demo, Spinning, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Wet Felting, Wool | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Nuno Felted Landscape – Flathead Lake

After doing lots of machine stitching on the last landscape that I showed you, I decided to try a more minimalist approach.

This is the starting point after nuno felting.

I then machine stitched the distant mountains as well as the lines on the water. I considered stitching heavily again to get the variety of colors in the mountains but thought, why not use paint? I hadn’t tried much painting on nuno felt but I decided to just go for it. I used Dye-Na-Flow paint that I already had. I watered it down a bit as it turns kind of plastic looking when dry used straight out of the bottle.

Here is it after painting. I had to be careful applying the paint as it had a tendency to spread so I carefully brushed it on and didn’t get very close to the edges of the stitching. Now it looks more like mountains and a lake. What to put in the foreground? I searched online for photos of Flathead Lake at sunset and found some that I liked and the photos helped with the foreground choice. Add trees, now why didn’t I think of that?

So I stitched in the outlines of the trees.

Then added the paint. I am still deciding if it is finished. I might add some hand stitching to the trees to give a bit more texture and variation in color. What do you think? Does it need more?

 

 

Posted in free motion embroidery, Free Motion Stitching, Nuno Felting, Wet Felting | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Jewellery Challenge

It was great to see that “Jewellery” was the subject for the 2020 first quarter challenge. I love making felted jewellery, whether that’s pendants, bangles or brooches.

This choker style necklace is wet felted Superfine Merino.  It came about because I’d got some small offcuts of a very thin felt left over from a collar.  Rather than throw them out (perish the thought!) I had the idea of sewing each one down the long edge, to form tubes, and then use them as “beads”, threading them onto a felted cord.  To keep everything in place and avoid them slipping on the cord I attached small beads, sewing right through front to back.

The only problem is that when I try to wear it the cord slips around and ends up with the fastener at the front…..obviously the heaviest part finding its way to the lowest position!  Fortunately the cord is long enough for me to correct this so I’m going to have to cut the fastener off, slide another “bead” on and join the cord under it.

Another drawback with wet felted Necklace cords (or at least with mine!) is that, no matter how hard I full them, they do tend to go fluffy quite quickly.  To get around this I’ve started wrapping my cords with a machine zigzag stitch.  I’m finding that this makes them much more durable and also the stitching gives another dimension to the pendant/necklace.

This challenge also came at the same time as I was working on some ideas for quick and easy mixed media jewellery.  These next three pieces are a great way of using up small scraps of paper and fabrics plus any embellishments you might have lurking in the back of a drawer!

The rectangular pendant was made from heat distressed Tyvek which I’d first painted with metallic acrylics.  I’ve embellished it with pink, purple and mustard colonial knots and a few bronze seed beads and strung it onto a rubber cord.

The next pendant was made from tiny scraps of polyester velour fabric, backed with Bondaweb and ironed onto a painted, pelmet vilene background.  I’ve added beads, metal washers and a couple of “danglies” from a broken necklace.  The cords are two lengths of knitting wool which have been machine wrapped using the zigzag stitch.

This larger pendant is my favourite.  I’ve kept it very simple using a dark grey cotton velvet furnishing fabric on a pelmet vilene background. I’ve sewn on brown craft paper, scrunched and painted with black acrylic to give it a leathery look, and added a metal trim, wooden bead and two smaller metal beads.  The back is also covered in the leathery craft paper.  Again the cords are simply wrapped knitting yarn but these are much longer than they look in the photo so the pendant hangs below the bust line.

Although we are living in strange times with social distancing and having to isolate, as long as we can maintain our motivation and continue to feed our creativity we will be doing ok!  Stay safe and have fun!

Posted in 3D, Guest Writer, Mixed Media, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

A Pictish shepherd for my little blue sheep

Alright, I have put aside the strange creature Glenn can’t identify to provide my last little sheep with a proper supervisor. (we are presently cat-less so it must be a shepherd)

1 1  I am sure all my felting friends will immediately recognize what I am making! <Grin> (the merino I have will not work for the topcoat so I have to hope to find something more appropriate in my stash or wait until the Co-op is excepting shoppers again!)

 

So change of gears and on to the shepherd. I looked at the height of the sheep then went for the 20 gauge floral wire I found when I started to clean my desk. ( I probably should finish cleaning it and see what else I’ve lost there). I double wound the wire leaving loops for hands, feet and head. I used the very spongy Rideau Arcott again for the first layer of the understructure. I then remeasured him against the sheep….. drat, he seems taller than I had anticipated. That will make for a very diminutive breed of sheep.

 

22  My shepherd somehow grew too much, starting shepherd #2.

 

Many years ago, long before any thoughts of felting flitted into my brain, I had purchased antique floral wire from the local Salvation Army thrift store (aka the Sally Ann). It was quite stiff and covered in fine cotton yarn. One piece had migrated from the bookshelf in the living room where it had come to reside on the desk in the office by the computer. I was considering making a dragon with it but hadn’t come to a final idea. It was just about the right length for the head, torso and legs for a shorter shepherd. I used the 20 gauge doubled for the arms.

3 3  Two different wires to create the armature.

 

I am again using the foam (like a pool noodle) kneeling pad and a combination of the 36 triangle and the unspecified “3 sizes” needles from Amazon. You can also see the 3 needle holder with the blue handle I got from one of the amazon resellers. It is not quite as sturdy as I had hoped but works if you keep your fingers holding the darker blue part. If they slide foreword the front cap/guard comes off. I did take it apart and with a bit of a struggle, I got it back together. It seems to have a few design weaknesses but does work. I think it will be more useful with picture felting or larger 3D projects.

 

44 Three needle holder from amazon reseller.

As I started adding wool to the second shorter shepherd I found I was breaking needles. Particularly just superior to the patella above the coccixs and the inferior aspect of the bracial plexis. (ok anatomy sticks in the brain even when felting) I am wanting a very firm understructure. Then plan to overlay in pasty pale northern skin tones then add the Pictish woad blue. I will have to take a quick peek and see if I can find the roman description of their Pictish opponents. I have no idea where I put my university history notes so I will do a bit of a search and see if I can find an English translation of the Roman text I remember.

From Tacitus’s Agricola – “the inhabitants of Caledonia,  their red-gold hair and massive limbs proclaim  German origin”. I am embarrassed to admit fell asleep while re-reading the Agricola. That was not the passage I was thinking of so maybe it was a quote from Bede I was thinking of that was a bit more descriptive?

I found that Pict derived from a Roman word meaning to paint.  So I am still unsure if it was blue overall or patterns of blue. I found some illustrations I remember seeing before but are much later from the 1500’s. (I will have to figure out how to show that without being too educational.)

5-15 illustrations c1585, by John White. Woad stained Pict warriors (with careful smudge added to keep from shocking the kids)

I will continue to look at some of the Pictish patterns and make a final decision later. I spotted an unfinished standing stone that had blacksmithing tools at the bottom of it.  I wish I remembered my university history class more clearly. Oh, maybe there is a reason university seems a little foggy is because it was over 30 years ago! EEK!

I got distracted when I started to work on him. I was listening to an audiobook by Kalayna Price.  It was the second one of her books I’ve listened to.  This one was called Grave Dance. As you can see, I made reasonable progress while listening to it.

 

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6-9 Progress while listening to book 2 in the Alex Craft series

I am particularly pleased with the patella, glutes and gastrocs. The thorax is progressing but needs more work. I’m thinking washboard abs may be added. Still have more work to do. Yes, I noticed the hands and forearms are missing too. But for now, it’s past time to stop and make dinner (and I have to buy the next book in the series before I get back to felting). I will try harder to stop and take pictures.

I have been working on the feet fussing with the arch and malleoli. I have the right one close to what I want but the left still needs work.  I used the embroidery snips to remove a bit of the hairiness from the felt and the ankle suddenly looked better.

10-16 progress on the right foot

I am having fun with him and am still debating how anatomically correct I should make him. If I make him check or plaid pants (trues/Breeks) or a grate cloak or maybe a tunic no one will know what is under his clothes! (if you don’t peek). Have fun and keep your hands in lots of warm soapy water felting!! (not dishes)

 

1717 Humm, maybe a bit more lateral glute on the right side?

Posted in 3D, Needle Felting, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Pot Inside a Pot 2

It was 2 days later that I got back to my pot. After some preliminary rolling in the dryer, I rolled it by hand.

It shrank quite a lot. it is very tight around the resist.  It is time to do some cutting. I cut in the spaces between the fins.

You can see how much the hole grows as you work the edge. The little blob on the left is the piece I cut out.

I didn’t want to pull the resist out through the hole. It is bulkier and less flexible than usual with the duct tape holding on the fins. I cut an X in the bottom of the outside pot. If I had thought about it I would have done it in the bottom of the inside pot so no one would ever have seen it.

This is how much it has shrunk so far.

Next was a vigorous rub down with a rubbing tool. This is one Jan found in the pet section of our Dollar store. It’s for washing your very dirty dog. I covered the pot with some plastic before rubbing. It is too grabby to use directly on the felt.

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It shrank a little more but now it is al flat and smooth.

Before doing any more I needed to rinse out the soap. It always takes much longer to get all the soap out than I think it should.

I start with hot water and finish with cold. I also want to get more shrinkage during this prosses so I am quite aggressive in getting the water through felt to get the soap out.

This is how much more it shrank. You can see the black lines of where it was before rinsing.

I stuck the yellow inside the red one. It wasn’t too hard because the how where they are joined is not very small.  What was harder was getting the ball in so I could blow it up. I wanted to use a ball because I didn’t think a balloon would be strong enough. I did get this one I but ended up taking it out and switching to a smaller 8-inch ball. the ball is a Linsom ball, they are nonslip, sort of sticky on the outside. They are great balls because they come with a removable plug. I took a vessel class with  Sharon Costello where we used them. I suppose it helped the first layer of wool to stick.  The layout on a ball is very difficult. It was a great class, a lot of fun and we learned a lot but not one I like to use.

and in the dark

I think it turned out fairly well. If I were to do it again I think I would make the inside pot bigger so it would open up the fins. I may, depending on how ambitious I am, wet it down, blow up a ball inside and them stuff plastic bags in to make the outer pot bigger. I may cut the fins off and then so some stretching so you can see more of the inside pot. I am still thinking. What would you do?

Posted in Design, Experiments, Nuno Felting, resists, Uncategorized, vessels | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments