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Wet Felting for Valentine’s Day!! Day 1

Wet Felting for Valentine’s Day!! Day 1

Oh NO! I got distracted! I will get back to work shortly but I was so inspired by Alex’s Ladybug or Bird and was wondering if a hedgehog would work with a bar of soap? There was also a suggestion of a heart of soap for valentine’s day…… hmmmm. I wonder if I can combine that?

Bad Brain!!! Stop thinking and wondering where the soap stockpile is stored! No! It’s wet felting! It involves getting wet!! NOOOOOO! Remember brain we like needle felting partly for its DRYNESS! Even if there is occasionally a bit of blood, it’s not as wet as wet felting! ….hmmmm.

I think Glenn would like a hedgehog soap for Valentine’s day, it will last longer than chocolate or flowers!, (the flowers without roots that is.)  Oh well, I guess it must be done, I will get wet! Step one, I will need to clean the bathroom sink (yes there is almost no counter space in the bathroom so it was messier before I neatened it up a bit).

Let me think, what will I need? Fibre, soap bar, a container to work in (the drain is problematic so let’s use a plastic box to work in), I need to find some bubble wrap and maybe a zip lock bag would help contain the wetness? I blended up a bit of white and beige for the nose and over felting fibre.

I discovered that the soap hoard is woefully low at least of my glycerin soap (remember to add that to the shopping list). Luckily, Glenn’s giant package of smelly soap from Costco was only half gone! He probably won’t notice one is missing until after Valentine’s Day right? (he didn’t)

Day One:

I quickly noticed that the sink is not a comfortable work high. I wonder if I flip over the storage box and use that as a table surface. Yep, much more comfortable. Remembering the instructions from Alex and his Mom, the fibre must encompass the soap. Then the fibre and soap are secured by putting it all in a nylon and felted. I don’t have nylon. I also want to have more fibre on the back than the belly as well as having a nose and face at one end.

Layout

I alternated thin layers making a shape that would wrap around the soap and then added more in the middle and towards one end.

 

A bit more in in the butt I think then wrap and a bit of needling to hold everything together.

 

He needs a nose; a bit more poking will fix that. Better check photo reference! I watched (listened to) a few YouTube videos as I continued to needle felt until the general shape was achieved.

I found a small piece of bubble wrap (I spotted the larger piece after I was done) and an extra-large sandwich bags.

10 ready for his bath!

Now the hard part, I have to get the wool wet so that soap (Liquid Lavender and cucumber you can see in the photos) and agitation can do their work. Hedgehogs’ first bath!

I got a flash of a brilliant idea! If I put the wet soapy hedgehog and the bubble wrap in the extra-large sandwich baggie I could sit and watch the impeachment of the neighbour’s ex-president. Rather depressing, but it will keep my mind off the possibility of impending wetness. (I will work in the plastic bin in case that happens).  The seal was stressed but as much as the soapy bubbles tried, only a few escaped.

I started softly, gently, caressing the fibres. Slowly increasing my pressure until I was massaging with some enthusiasm (I have a license for that!). Unlike work, I used bubble-wrap on this patient, focusing on the nose and the general body shape. I built up so much soapy lather that it became hard to see the hedgehog! After a few impeachment presentations, I felt I had achieved Felt!! I also had not sprung a leak and got wet!

Time to rinse out the suds and make sure the felting worked! (really I can’t see much in all this soap!)

I brought the Hedgehog back to the office so he could dry and finish watching YouTube, maybe I will have to give him eyes so he can better see what is happening. In the meantime, he is practicing some form of Yoga nose stand. I wonder what that pose is called. (Balanced nose drying?)

While I know watching a naked, eyeless, hedgehog dry is absolutely fascinating, and is worthy of hundreds of photos, at every stage of wet to dampness to ultimately dryness. I can see that you may have other things to do so I will resume once he has accomplished his mission to dry. So I will pause today and resume to see if I can add spines and other important parts.

To be continued on Day 2!

 

Bits and Bobs.

Bits and Bobs.

I got my dryer balls and my soap done and it is now up at the museum store. the dryer balls have information on how to use them on the back and the tag explains them as well.

A few weeks ago a friend at the guild was selling off left over yarn he bought to do a project that was now finished. I bought these. They are all singles form Brigs and Little. Some are solid and some are heathered.

I decided to use the yellow to make the design on a dark purple hat. I had to partially felt the hat before wrapping the yarn around it. it would have been to difficult to do it sooner.

I am quite happy with how it turned out. the sides dip a bit but I think it looks ok anyway.

More Bits

More Bits

This week I did a few things. I put hang tags and price stickers on all the dryer balls, bags, soap and ruffle neck scarves that go to the Log Farm for sale. At shows I usually just use signs when I have groups of things that are all the same price. I delivered those and almost immediately got a call from the Museum store saying they needed more soap and dryer balls.  Yesterday I made up the dryer balls and popped them into the washer today.

I would show you what they look like done but my dryer died. Thats a job for tomorrow now.

I did however get some soap felted.

The other thing I got started on Friday(I think) was some slippers for samples for a class I have on Dec 1. I didn’t have a sample of the ear template style.

I only got as far as laying out.

They will also be a sample of Finnish wool. We use Corriedale for the class. Its a good felter without being to fine like merino and it comes in lots of colours. People seem to want colour. This will show them what another kind of wool felts up like.

That was my week. I hope you managed some felting done too.

 

Organza and Soap

Organza and Soap

I have a ‘thing’ for organza. I know, I have a ‘thing’ for all fabrics, but there’s something about organza I just can’t resist. Maybe it’s the two-tone colours of some, and also how they can be very different to each other while being similar. So, I thought I’d make a very textured nuno with various organzas. Like the other pieces I’ve made recently, I used 4 very fine layers of Merino. This is the whole piece:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking at the back, you can see how textured this is too:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking on an angle shows the many different textures:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s interesting how differently the various types rippled, probably due to how much Merino and how it was laid as well as the different finishes of the fabrics. The yellow piece, folded in columns:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Purple on the right edge (and the red/yellow next to it) had more of a scrunched texture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this photo you can see the migration, and the way these organzas had a crumpled texture:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made some felted soaps last week. They’re not perfect, but I’m getting better at it! I find natural wools on handmade soap works better for me, but people do love the bright, colourful ones!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Felting soap and a Hat Class

Felting soap and a Hat Class

With the arrival of fall I don’t seem to have much time to felt. Today I have to make some felted Soap for the museum store. I thought I would show you how I do it. I do it  little differently then Leonor Calaca  showed you in September. felting-soap Please remember there is no one right way so you will probably find other ways to do it on line too.  They are all good.  

Here everything is ready to start. these are my bins of small amounts.

soap-and-wool

I wrap wool around the sides and then around the whole thing. The green was a small piece of a batt I had and the red is combed top.

wrap-one-way wrap-the-other-waywrap-the-other-way-2

Than I wrap either a thin piece of wool top or a piece of silk hanky

wrap-the-other-way wrap-some-thin-roving wrap-some-thin-roving-2

Then into a piece on nylon to hold it all together. I make up a bunch and then take them to the living room so I can watch TV while doing the felting.

place-in-nylon soap-pile

 

Once its felted I put it on a cake drying wrack to dry. I am afraid I only gat as far as the pile above and then my grandchildren showed up for an unexpected visit. So here is a picture of some I did another time, drying.

felted soap

The other thing I wanted to do was remind everyone , especially the people that missed the last one that Terry Berry is doing another Concertina hat class on November 4. Everyone in the last class had a great time. Here is the link to the class. Felted-concertina-hat-with-teri-berry and her is the link to some of the hats people made in class. felted-concertina-hat-gallery

Felted Concertina Hat by Teri Berry

 

Little Steps

Little Steps

Between recuperating and traveling, I haven’t done much heavy felting lately.

I have been doing  some small projects to try to stay in touch with fibers.

The one felt project I did do was to make some felted rocks for my son Matt in Florida.  Last time he visited us, he was intrigued by the felted rocks I keep in the guest bathroom in a crystal dish that was my mother in laws.  Since I had made his wife, Lia, a clutch purse, I thought I would do something for him.

20151130_133447 20151201_155954I used different wools, silk throwsters waste, silk roving and yarns to embellish them.

I didn’t find the right dish before I brought them down there, but will look on our next trip.

While I was doing a little felting, I decided to try felting some soaps.  I had never done it before and had bought several bars of Yardley soaps. (Purple and Blue on top.)

20151201_155931

One was English lavender and the other aloe.  Both were very fragrant to the point I had to put them in another room to dry. Too perfumy for my taste.

I have a small pillow I use to sit on at my vanity.  I had some matching old sheets and decided to make two covers for them. Yes, I could have felted a cover, but I wasn’t ready.  Besides I feel guilty about my Pfaff sewing machine sitting idle. So, I cut out two cases, stitched them and added a design just for fun.

20151127_202837 20151127_202845

What projects have you been working on since the New Year started?

 

A busy week

A busy week

I have a show coming up this weekend (fiberfest) so I have been busy getting ready or trying to get ready. I have managed to get the soap felted. I have very clean  and wrinkly hands as I type this. 🙂

felted soap

I could list what I don’t have dome better than anything. I do not have these hats finished. I am hoping to do that today.  The red one needs the strings cut an then some buttons put on to hold the folds. The green one needs the feathers outlined and the veins sewn in. the orange one need reshaping.

hat collage

I have spindles made but they need painting and then the kits put together.

spindles waiting for paint

I have 2 scarflets, 2 sets of fingerless mitts and a pill box hat that are half felted. I don’t think they will be get those finished. No picture of those, sorry

To add to the chaos I got a part time job. I drive a van taking children to school. So I spent the week end working out the timing for the trips and this week doing them. Going back to school time is organised chaos. Excited and nervous children and parents, school busses and vans and we all want to be at the front door of the school at the same time.

Now back to the salt minds.

Carding some Wool and Making some Felted Soap

Carding some Wool and Making some Felted Soap

After I dyed my wool last week I had to recard it into batts. I have to do this because it became slightly felted during the rinsing process after dying. I have to rinse a lot more than some people because I have hard water. It doesn’t matter if I use a little dye for soft muted colour or lots of dye for strong bright colours.  To recard the fiber, I strip it down into thin ropes. I feed the ropes into the carder. I have a large electric carder but you can do this with a small hand operated drum carder too. I have in the past. I am sorry to say that yesterday I took a nice long video of the carder working but it has disappeared from my phone.  All I have are a few still shots.

Carder This is the carder and infeed table. They are in my nice new studio space. It is all by itself at the moment until I can get the rest of my stuff sorted and my husband can finish the electrical work.

wool in strips carder batt end

Here are the strips on the infeed table and the batt coming off onto the storage drum. I do feed the wool through twice as the first time it is still a bit stripy in density . I separate the batt into thin layers and feed it in again.  I end up with very nice batts.

finnished batts These are all a little less than 100grams/3.5ounses. I used them to make some felted soaps. I tear off a piece of batt and wrap it around the soap. I add a wool stripe or a piece of silk hanky and then pop them into the toe of a nylon. When I have a bunch ready I sit with an audio book and wet felt them all.

soap felted 2

Here they are all ready to go in their nice bright spring/Easter colours.

I am starting to feel like spring with the longer day light hours we are getting. it puts me more in a mood to be felting.  I would feel more  like spring if there wasn’t  still a couple of feet of snow on my lawn. I am however thankful I do not live in the Prince Edward Island on the east coast of Canada . They have had 16 feet of snow in the last two months the last being just a few days ago. I am sure they feel like spring will never come. Are you feeling like spring? Or perhaps you are in the southern hemisphere and are starting to feel like winter is coming?

This week on the farm

This week on the farm

Sorry for the late post everyone, It will probably show up as tomorrow for those in the UK. I have been busy with more mitts and getting ready for a sale tomorrow.

The other thing I made this week was some felted soap. This the soap all wrapped up in nylons ready to go. I sit in front of the TV with a bucket to do these.

soap before

soap finished and packedand this is them all packed and ready to go

This week we had some surprises. First the snow flurries seems more like a dump. This is the entrance to the building my studio is in.

Studio door tuesday

And on the same day we had unexpected triplets. Here is the coldest one getting warmed up by my daughter.

cold lamb getting warm

And to top it off Mom had no milk so in came her brothers.

triplets

It was snowing hard today again. But we do not want to be all doom and gloom it makes for some very pretty scenes. This is out my front door tonight.

outside tonight

If you where here yesterday there where no pictures because of a snow storm making for a bad internet connecting.  This morning it has stopped snowing for a while in favour of freezing rain but it does mean a better internet connection so I guess that’s the silver lining in the clouds. Wish me luck as I drive to my show this morning.

Preparing to Teach

Preparing to Teach

If you teach classes, you already know how much work it is to prepare for a class. But for those of you who haven’t tried your hand at teaching, I thought you might be interested in the preparations that go on before a single student is taught a thing. My friend Paula and I are going to teach a couple of classes at our local community college, FVCC in early June. Today we spent all day preparing. That doesn’t count the time we have already spent planning on what to teach, filling out forms for the college and making a Power Point presentation.

Power Point Presentation

I worked up the Power Point presentation over a month ago and it would have been fairly straight forward if I remembered how to use the program. But I hadn’t used Power Point in a number of years so it slowed me down a bit. I spent at least three hours putting it together and then I had to have someone else upgrade it to Power Point 2010. The equipment at the college seems to be a bit ahead of my Power Point 2003. I never see the point in upgrading software if it still works.

Readying Class SuppliesWe headed down to Camas Creek Yarn as Paula works there and has an in for getting our supplies for the classes. The supplies are included in the cost of the class as that’s the way the college wanted it. In my prior classes, supplies were purchased in advance and just a supply list was given. So we spent several hours getting all the supplies together to put in bags so each student will have a “supply kit”.

Paula Measuring Pre-YarnHere’s Paula measuring out different colors of pre-yarn for the kits.

Confusing Ourselves

We were picking different colors to go with a variety of colors of roving. We needed 4 yards per pack but somehow got confused and started doubling the amount of pre-yarn we needed. Who knew counting was so difficult?

Picking Out Silk Roving

Next we added in some silk roving and silk hankies. So downstairs we went to figure out what colors would go with our color combinations we already had.

Silk HankiesHere are the colors of silk hankies that we chose. Paula dyed these.

Assembly LineThen we set up an assembly line to make our packs. Each pack contains Imperial wool roving, silk hankies, hemp fiber, silk noil, pelsul locks, silk roving, merino roving, pre-felt and pre-yarn. We are going to be doing three projects in the class and there are probably enough embellishments to do 20 projects. But we thought the students would appreciate extra embellishments for later use at home.

Ready to be BaggedThese are all the supplies in one kit.

All Bagged Up

Here’s our pile of bagged kits. I am making a supply list that will be stapled to the bag. But I need to make up some business cards to go in them as well. I’m not sure why I don’t have any of those yet?? (I guess I don’t listen to my own advice after writing all those Marketplace Monday posts.)

Felt Trivet Sample

Then Paula and I spent the rest of the day making samples for the class. We’re starting with a flat piece of felt with embellishments. This one is mine with a silk hankie, hemp, pre-yarn and pelsul locks.

Felt Trivet Sample

This one is Paula’s. She always adds more embellishments than I do. She used pre-felt, silk roving, silk hankie, pre-yarn, flax, silk noil and pelsul locks I think.

Finished SoapsThen we made felted soap. Mine’s orange and Paula’s is green.

Felted RocksAnd the last samples are felted rocks. Paula’s is on the left and mine is the hairy one on the right. All in all, we’ve spent around 12 hours preparing for a 6 hour class. This doesn’t include the time we’ll spend gathering up all the equipment needs, packing up the car and the preparations of setting up the day of the class. I like to be prepared, so I’m not complaining, just letting you know that the time a teacher spends is not just in the classroom. Hopefully, we’ll get enough students signed up for the class to run. Right now, we still have openings so if you’re in northwest Montana, we’d love to have you join us. Just click on the link in the first paragraph to sign up. 

Are you teaching classes? What are your thoughts about class preparation? Any tips for other teachers? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you take classes? Do you have suggestions for how teachers could be better prepared or suggestions for better teaching methods? We’d love to hear those too.

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