Will anyone notice if I re-post my plans for 2012? 🙂 I’m hoping to have more spare time for felting this year as the few hours a week I’d normally have for felting were taken up with working on my business plan and futile searches for info about government schemes and how to write business plans 🙂
I’d like to be more organised, so that when plans get disrupted or stalled as they often do, I have a back up plan or alternatives so I can make the most of what little time I do have. I recently got a really nice big old desk, like an old teacher’s desk, so I have more space to work and can leave projects out. I’d like to find the few extra minutes it’d take to lay out and felt some extra small pieces of felt to use in collage pieces. I really enjoyed using my offcuts for that last year, and now I’m running low on spare pieces of felt.
As usual, I’m looking forward to the forum challenges. I followed Lyn‘s example and started to write plans in my diary to help with Ruth’s challenge. I don’t have anything at the moment that I can spend 5 minutes a day working on, but I am taking a few minutes each day to think about fibrey things to try to plan so I can make the most of the time when I get a couple of hours to work on a project.
Doing Karen’s weather challenge reminded me how much I like making felt just for the sake of it, and how abstract felt can make really nice art ‘paintings’ especially when framed. I’d like to find time to make some small pieces with that in mind. As always I’ve really enjoyed our conversations and topics on the forum and really look forward to more of those this year, everyone who comments on the blog and joins in on the forum makes our community a really nice one to belong to 🙂
What plans do you have for 2013, have you joined in with Ruth’s challenge?
I was tidying up after making something else and had a pile of green trimming. With Zed’s felt scraps post still fresh in my mind they looked like branches to me. I think I must be in a tree mood. I used prefelt for the back ground because I didn’t have any scrap black felt and I wanted to get on with making the pictures and not with felt making.
I used the edge of an off cut in very pale blue piece of felt for the snow and a very thin edge piece for the clouds and moon. its hard to see but I layered the snow pieces on 2 of the pictures to see if it would give more depth after felting. i have never had much luck wet felting finished felt to semi felted pieces but after some rubbing and rolling it all went together really well. I am quit pleased with how they turned out.
There is more depth in the layered pieces. It doesn’t show well bit it does make the snow look more dimensional. They still need ironing to straighten up the edges. They are a bit to big to use on cards. I think they might look nice side by side in a long frame.
So now I have answered Zed question what do you do with your scraps. http://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2012/11/10/felt-and-fibre-scraps/
I thought it was time I tidied out my felt and wool scraps as the boxes and bags they were in were getting too full. I know it’s really geeky to categorise scraps but whenever I try to find the right size pieces for a project I seem to spend more time sorting and searching than anything else. I never throw anything felt, fabric or fibre away, everything is good for something. This is from my bag of scraps that aren’t usable for anything else, so I save them for using between layers of texture felt.
Often when I’m laying out a project for felting, I end up with a few wisps of wool or fibres here and there, so I put them in a bag and keep adding until it’s full, then card them together. I get some really nice heathery blends, and they always add a lot of interest to felt with such a variety of colours and fibre blends.
Sorting out my box of big spare pieces was fairly easy, I mostly sorted it into thick, regular and cobwebby pieces. The box of smaller spare pieces took a lot longer. In the end I had about 8 or 9 separate piles: thick, regular and cobwebby pieces, and, as shown in this next photo: long wide strips; medium regular strips; thin strips; regular short strips and really thin and short strips.
I bought some water soluble stabiliser a while ago, so hopefully I’ll find time to use the really short thin strips for making a bowl using Ruth’s tutorial. The longish thin strips are great for making into loop fasteners. I wet them with soapy water and roll between my palms until they’re felted and sew them onto my project. If the piece is long enough I can leave the ends dry, fluff them out and the loop can be felted in with the project.
Once I’d finished sorting all my pieces, I chose some to use for my project-a collage book cover. I’d make a similar one a few years ago using felt pieces and ‘invisible’ thread, but I wanted to use my fancy new machine and zig zag stitch to sew strips and pieces.
What do you do with all your felt and fibrey scraps and offcuts?
The guild I belong to, the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild, had its annual exhibition and sale this last weekend. I had a booth selling scarves and wraps and flowers and cuffs and hats etc. The guild does a display on a theme and has demos and promotes our classes. It’s our big event for the year. The venue is beautiful it is a community center now but used to be a church and has a huge domed center.
Here are some pictures of my booth and me explaining what nuno felt is to a customer.
This is one of the organisers wearing an exquisite shawl she knit using her own hand spun alpaca.
This my friend Judy,http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jumaka.com%2Fspinning%2Fpetfur.html&h=fAQGCIXhy , she not only likes to spin yarn, including dog and cat fur she also likes to spin wood on a lathe to make nostepinne for manually making a center pull ball) and drop spindles in several styles and weights including supported spindles like she is using in the picture. This is her booth, she shares it with another friend who is more camera shy.
The Guild display had the theme around the house and of course we had spinners and weavers demonstrating.
Lastly here are pictures of some of the many booths that where there. We had a good variety with both finished goods and supplies.
All in all it was a good show with not as many people as usual but the ones that came were buying. I hope everyone’s upcoming sales are good.
I have a show coming up soon and I am almost out of felted soap. They are always popular at Christmas time.
first a wrap a thin strip of wool around the edge of the soap then roll it up in a wider strip of roving. Next I pic a complementary or contrasting colour to wrap around the soap. I usually do a spiral from one side to the other.
I use small pieces of nylon stocking to put the wool in for felting. It’s the only thing I use nylons for these days. The reason I put the soap and wool bundle in a stocking is to keep it under control. the first thing that happens when you wet the wool is it gets bigger and its hard to keep it all in place.
That’ s the way I do it. If you have any questions or tales of soap making tell us about it.
We’ve actually had such a long cold wet winter here in oz that the site of some sunshine is so lovely and with the weather finally starting to warm up I found myself at the beach briefly the other day just taking in the ocean and some warmth, so I thought for this challenge we could felt a piece depicting our own weather no matter where in the world we live, and be it the ocean and sunshine or freezing temperatures with your lovely snow topped mountains, its your seasons.
And just a couple of lovely pictures of our Island in the sun !!
This is a place called the Nobbies were all the little fairy penguins live
Just a gorgeous sunset on the Island, would make a gorgeous felt piece
Looking forward to seeing everyone’s weather challenge to see the difference in our temps right now. Happy Felting and we’d love to see you in our interactive forum where we all love to share some great information or just have a chat, so come along and join in the fun http://www.feltandfiberstudio.com/
I belong to the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild. Every year we do demos at various fairs and events. This last week end we where at the Carp fair, http://carpfair.ca/ It is a typical fair with rides and concerts but it is in the country so there are horse shows, both western and english, as well as competitions for cattle, pigs and sheep. There are the quilt competitions and other domestic arts and the best corn, squash and forage contests. After you’ve seen all of that and you make it to the back on the fair there is the antique section with old cars and farm machinery on display and being demonstrated. That’s where we are, in a tent with the antiques. We don’t mind, the men who run the machinery are a great bunch. The only other woman we see demonstrating is the blacksmith.
Here are our display tables. You can see tractors through the windows.
Here I am demonstrating how to make a needle felted sheep. That’s my coffee in the foreground with its wool felt cozy. You will notice I am wearing long sleeves, my felt vest, my wool cape and some fingerless gloves. When we set up in the morning it was about 10 degrees celsius, or 50 fahrenheit. Once the sun came around to shine on me I started to warm up and shed layers. You can just see the tip on my drop spindle on the table. That’s the other thing I demonstrate.
Here are the ladies spinning.
Jan is out guild librarian and she handles the demo loom and is spinning on a road bug spinning wheel. It is designed to fit on the floor in the front of a van so you can spin while your driver whisks you down the highway.
Here is Linda first carding and then spinning from the rolags she made. She has a Louet copy she bought second hand.
Last but not least is Bernadette who has a very pretty wheel but I don’t know what type it is.
We had a great day together. We met lots of new people , we handed out lots of bookmarks about the guilds up coming exhibition and sale. We answered lots of questions and got a few people interested in joining the guild and learning more about fiber arts. Do any of you belong to a guild or go our demonstrating to promote fiber? I think next year we should yarn bomb a tractor what do you think?
Dyeing some waste. Throwsters waste that is and I suppose it must have been trash at some point or they wouldn’t call it that. Throwing is was they call reeling silk for thread and this is the left over little bits. I have a batch of white and needed some colours for a project. The pictures of wet silk an bags did not turn out but I have some nice pictures of the end.
I dyed small amounts in plastic sandwich bags. First I placed each blob of waste in a bag and added some soapy water to get it wet. I let it sit to soak while I got the dye ready. I used MX dye as it would be the fastest and easiest. I poured of the extra water out then poured in the dye, just enough to get it all wet. I squished it around in the bag to make sure it all got dye. No worries about felting the silk, a nice change from dyeing wool. I did the same for all the colours and let them sit for 10 min. I added a solution of PH up and water. Buying the pool chemical is the cheapest way to buy Sodium Carbonate, especially at the end of the season.
I made a solution and poured in enough to cover the silk. I let it sit for about half an hour then drained and rinsed the silk. Here is what it looks like drying on my front porch.
Not so great looking. I had squeezed all the extra water out of them. However after they were dry I fluffed them up and they look like this.
As you can see fluffed up they barely fit on the same drying rack in 2 batches. My project didn’t work out, the waste I used on the surface sank into the courser wool I was using and disappeared so I have nothing to show you right now. I am planing to use some more on hats so I will do a post with them later.
Just a quit little post to show you the sheep I have been working on for my Christmas sales. They do stand up so you can use them as a decoration but they will all have a pin on one side so you can wear them.
They are made with a combination of wet felting and needle felting. The ears are cut from a wet felted piece of fabric and I wet felt the snakes I cut for the legs. The body and head are needle felted. The ears, eyes and all the curls are added with needle felting. I hand dyed the curls. They are Border Leicester or Blue Faced Leicester I can’t remember.