E-Book Giveaway

I haven’t done a Giveaway for a long time, so I thought the festive/holiday season is a good time to do another one! So this week, I’m doing a giveaway of my e-book, The Right Fibre.

It isn’t a project based book – I don’t tell you how I think you should use fibres, it’s an objective look at them. I profile 20 different embellishment fibres, and show lots of photos of how they look after felting in various ways, so it’s easy to compare them with each other and see similarities and differences.

There is also a section detailing various things which affect the way a fibre will felt and look after felting, so by the end you have the information you need to choose the right fibre and give you more control over the outcome.

For more information, have a look at the full blurb on my blog. To win a free copy of The Right Fibre, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you’d like to spread the word through your blog or facebook etc, it would be very much appreciated but it isn’t a requirement. I will randomly draw the winner 8 days from now on Monday 31st Dec 2018, so please check back to see if you’ve won. Good Luck!

EDIT: SORRY! I completely forgot to link to the blurb on my blog! Thanks Ann 🙂

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Ruth’s Holiday Card

It’s holiday time again and we ran a holiday card exchange with members from the Felting and Fiber Studio Forum again this year. People signed up a little over a month ago. I ran the names through a random name generator gave everyone their partners name and by now all the card should be mailed. I got Ruth this year.   I usually just do one card but I hedged my bets and made 2 this year.

Here is how I made it. I started with 2 layers of white prefelt. I added the sky and then the snow.

Then I used some darkish green prefelt to cut out triangles for the background trees. And some light gray to add some shading so the snow wasn’t flat.

Then I added the foreground trees using some blue faced Lester curls fluffed out. The one on the left is the one that ended up as  Ruth’s.

And some silk for the clouds.

This is what they looked like felted but still wet. They are very lightly felted. I had planned on felting them more but I liked them as they were and didn’t want to distort them.

Then I added more curls to fill out the trees and to make them stand out from the background. I tried to make them all a little darker on the right side. Then some snow. The snow did 2 things: first, it added some nice high lights but it also made the branches look like the go side to side and not up and down. I added the locks up and down and it was noticeable.

I decided the silk was too shiny for clouds and covered them in a very thin layer of the light gray wool.

I liked the picture but it was lacking something so I added some French knot sheep. They were tricky to do because the felt was not firm at all. The thread didn’t want to stay where I wanted it but pull over or sink in. If I had been thinking I would have put some stabilizer behind it.

I needed to make it into a card. I chose to do a postcard. I made one up to the right size on my computer following the basic template. I used iron-on facing to glue the card to the back of the felt.

I trimmed it and popped it in an envelope and sent it on its way to Montana. I crossed my fingers it would get there in time. We were having rotating postal strikes in here in Canada. Fortunately, the postal gods were smiling on it and it did make it there in about 2 weeks. I still need to add some sheep or something to the other picture. I do not know what I will do with it. I may just frame it.

 

Posted in Challenges, Design, embroidery, felt art, Needle Felting, Prefelt, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Batik on Paper

My local art group met in December and we created artwork on paper using batik techniques. Batik uses wax to apply the design and then the piece is dyed in multiple layers. Usually this is done on fabric. We were trying an idea we had seen in Cloth, Paper, Scissors to apply the wax to paper with tjanting tools and then paint with ink.

Here is everyone getting started.

And a little closer look. We all did a variety of designs.

This is where Paula was setting up some ink to paint her designs. I didn’t get any photos after that because I got too involved in the process. I was working on some small Christmas designs so I would have some cards to give people. When I was creating them, I decided they would have to be like ugly Christmas sweaters because they were pretty ugly. The tjanting tool I was using was quite large and the wax came out very quickly so the details were lost. And I was pretty messy with the wax. After the wax dries on the paper, the ink is applied. Once the ink dries, the paper is placed between newsprint and ironed to remove the wax. We used soy wax so it melts easily and at a lower temperature than beeswax.

And here are the results after ironing and cropping. I used the type of cards that the design fits into a small frame except for one tree which I didn’t want to trim down. I actually like the ones that look more abstract where the detail was lost. And they weren’t as ugly as I thought they were going to be. I have used them all up and perhaps, I will try this again to make more cards. It was a fairly quick process.

Do you make your own holiday cards? We’d love to see if you do. You can share them over on our free forum.

 

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Christmas Tea Cosy

Christmas tea cosy

There are lots of pretty things you can buy for the kitchen to use at Christmas, but where do you store them for the rest of the year?

So I decided to decorate my felted tea cosy for Christmas in a way that would be temporary, so that as soon as Christmas is over I can remove the embellishments.

I made my felted tea-cosy in 2008 and it’s still in daily use but only one side ever gets seen whether it’s on the tea-pot or hanging on the kitchen wall…

tea cosy in kitchen

…so I decorated the reverse side and that’s the side that will show during the festive season.

After much pencil-end chewing I drew a rough design then, because I find proper drawing difficult, I searched the internet for a free-to-use outline of a deer.

It’s extremely difficult to draw a complicated shape directly onto felt, and freehand cutting a deer out is beyond me.  Luckily there is an easy way using freezer paper.

I reversed the outline then traced it onto the paper side of a piece of freezer paper, then placed it, waxy side down onto a small, thin piece of white fulled felt.  I ironed the freezer paper onto the felt (1-2 minutes with a medium dry iron) then let it cool for half an hour.

freezer paper ironed onto felt

I won’t lie to you – cutting the white felt to the outline of the deer was very fiddly and I nearly lost some of the antler.  Next time I’ll choose something simpler!  Holding my breath, I carefully removed the freezer paper.

I put a felting mat inside the tea cosy then I used a felting needle to ‘tack’ the white deer in place.  I should mention that my tea cosy is a chunky thing – it’s thick and therefore easy to work on.  I didn’t go too near the edges of the silhouette for fear of splitting the white felt – even so the antler still went a bit wonky – so although tacking the deer shape in place would be ok for art work it wouldn’t survive long on a working tea cosy!

tacking with felting needle

The snowflakes are just wisps of white merino wool fibres loosely needle felted in.

snowflakes

The snowy ‘ground’ is fancy yarn. I used white thread to hold it in place – a small stitch every inch.

fancy yarn looks like snowflakes

I liked all the blue and white but a small colour accent was needed so I cut a piece of Christmas ribbon to make a collar and attached it to the white felt with fabric glue.

When I’d finished I could see that I just had to make a new hanging hook the same colour as the tea cosy, so I knitted an i-cord from some sparkly crochet cotton.

i-cord

All the embellishments are easily removable after Christmas.  The deer can be peeled off, the snowflakes popped out, the yarn unstitched and the forgiving felt will smooth itself out with a bit of gentle rubbing.

But I’ll keep the sparkly hanging hook – it looks good with the other side of the tea cosy!

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Felted Case

This week, I made a case for my best friend’s birthday. I made it all in one piece using a resist. I laid out a piece of silk on the resist first so that the back inside had a nice pattern, I also thought this would help strengthen the flap so it doesn’t stretch if it’s opened often. This is the front with the flap open:

And the back with the flap open:

This is how it looked with the flap closed:

I used some dyed silk throwster’s waste and dyed soy staple for the embellishments:

The silk has a paisley design on it, which can still be seen, but close up you can’t tell with the texture:

I always have trouble choosing buttons for cases/purses etc. I’m sure I said this last time, but I really need to make some more buttons out of polymer clay. I bought a bag of green buttons at a hobby fair about a year ago, I thought this one was quite nice, but a bit small:

I liked this ‘fancy’ button, but it’s a bit big and too thick:

This was my favourite and what I ended up using:

I blanket stitched around the button hole and around the opening/flap, but didn’t get chance to photograph it finished. My friend loves it and he’s already using it 🙂

Posted in resists, Wet Felting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Finished Slippers and Something New

I had planed to do a post about The Holiday Card I sent to Ruth  but it hasn’t arrived at her house yet so I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Instead plan B. As promised  some pictures of the finished slippers. I made these for a sample for my slipper class a few weeks ago.

I left the one on the right flat so people could see how it was cut. I will steam or wet it and put it into the correct shape.  The one on the left is how is should look . I plan to make a leather sole for them.

The other thing I did for the class was leave one as it was when the felting was finished to show how the wool migrates through the decoration.

And the other one I shaved with a regular disposable razor to show how you can bring it back up.

And now for my something new. It is something I have  been talking about and thinking about for a while. Can you guess what it is.

How about now

or now

I am sure you know now

A new camera! It was on sale so now was the time. I had to use my phone to take the pictures because it is so new the battery is still charging. Now I need to figure out some good background and lighting I can use for pictures in my windowless studio. I am thinking some sort of shear on a frame to defuse the harsh light and some wight card for bouncing the light. Maybe a big light gray and or white felt sheet for background.

 

Posted in Classes, Design, resists, Uncategorized, Wet Felting | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Snowflake Holiday Cards

Every year we have a card exchange on the Felting and Fiber Studio forum. Whoever wants to participate signs up, we choose partners and those partners exchange a hand made card. This year I had two partners as we had an odd number of people, so I made two cards. I like to do more of a winter card rather than a specific holiday card. So this year’s card was all about snow and snowflakes.

 

I started with a piece of felt that I had stamped with the spiral stamp shown above and then drawn on with thickened dye. I attempted to over dye the felt but it wouldn’t take any more dye. The photo on the left shows the back side of this piece of felt. (I forgot to take a photo before I fused the sheer fabric on the front.) I decided that I would stitch snowflakes over the stamped spirals with the lines in between stitched to look like frost or jagged ice. But the color wasn’t too good so I looked in my stash and found some sheer fabric in blues and purples that already had fusible on the back.

So I fused the sheer fabric down. I have started the free motion machine stitching in the photo above. I found the easiest way to stitch the snowflakes  was to get the 6 or 12 radiating lines down first and then add the rest of the structure. You can see that the one on the left that didn’t have the radiating lines turned out really wonky. But this didn’t really matter as it will be covered in the next step. This piece of felt is big enough for two cards so it will be cut down to size in a later step.

Here’s the piece after I stitched all the snowflakes. I was a little sad to cover these up. They do show through but not really giving you the full scope of the stitching.

Then I found some more small bits of sheer fabric that I added over the stitching to give more color.

This is hard to see but there is a very sheer, shiny “fabric” that I stamped with acrylic paint. I am not sure what this fabric is, it looks a little like Lutradur but is more shiny and more open “weave” than the other Lutradur I have. I can’t remember where I got it. That is why I need to use stuff up. It’s bad when you have no idea what the stuff is, where you got it or what it’s original use was. So use stuff up!

I then fused the top layer over the variety of colored sheers and then cut the cards down to size. I machine stitched around the printed snowflake for the top layer and then zig zag stitched around the edges of the card.

I only had brown card blanks and I didn’t like the look of the snowflakes against the brown background. So I used two of my numerous colored papers that worked with the colors in the pieces. I glued the fabric card down to the paper and then fused the paper to the card blanks. I mailed these two cards off to Ann and Diane. Hopefully, they will like them. Unfortunately, there is a postal strike in Canada and it may be a while before the cards arrive.

Do you make your own cards? We’d love to hear about it over on the forum if you do!

 

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