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Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

Samples from the Nuno Paper Lamination Class

I just finished Ruth Lane’s online class.  Since I am also papermaker, I was excited to combine the two passions and see the results.

It was a fun experiment using a variety of papers, dyes, paints and fabrics.  Some worked, some didn’t, but that’s how we learn.

This first one is a paper napkin from one of my Grandson’s birthday party earlier this year on organza.  Since I was experimenting, I used some batts with unknown fibers in two colors, blue and green.

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I decided not to further embellish it since the “characters” were nicely defined.  I suppose I could add some greenery and clouds.  But I wanted to show the results this far.

The next one is also “finished.”  I used a tree stencil on organza with unryu paper which is very fibery.  Again it is on a batt of unknown fiber.

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I embellished around the stencil with silver silk hankies.  It felted very nicely.

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Since these were experiments, I wasn’t concerned about perfect edges and left them organic.

Here’s a closeup of the center.  You can see how those fiber areas look like branches and connect the trees.

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I got great texture as you can see from this side view.

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The one project I completed was a stenciled bird pic.

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I used a couple of paper and fabric types with this stencil, but chose this one to finish even though the colors faded.  It was a dyed paper towel on cotton voile.  You can’t see it in the pics, but the bumps from the towel can be seen in spots. I used it on a merino batt.

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I forgot to cover the edges of the voile, so I used machine stitching to cover the edges.

I decided to hand stitch the rest. There is a lot of dimension in the paper, although it’s not too obvious in these pics.

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I wanted to keep it simple.  I used double rayon thread with threaded backstitches and some satin stitches to embellish it. The green is a variegated thread. I purposely just outlined because I wanted the birds to be the center of attention. Forgive my poor stitching. Here are some closeups.

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Now I have to decide whether to frame it or leave it organic.

Thanks Ruth!  It was a unique class. I need more practice. I’m still working on the final projects.

To Sample or Not to Sample

To Sample or Not to Sample

This isn’t as exotic as sampling Swedish wools, but it was a lesson in the benefits of sampling.

A while ago I had showed you a pile of scarves, blouses and remnants I had purchased to try nuno felting.

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While they all passed the “blow”  test or looked or felt like they would felt well, there were a couple of big surprises.

When I make samples, I usually use prefelt and small samples of each of the fabrics on the same piece.  This way they are all felted the same way in the same amount of time in the same way.

Here is a picture of a couple of them before felting.  The upper left was an open cotton weave, the upper right was a scarf of unknown origin.  The lower left was a remnant that was sparkly with some embroidery and the lower right was part of a silk blouse.

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This isn’t a very clear picture below,  but the second from the left was the one scarf I purchased I thought was perfect for nuno and was looking forward to using it on something special.  To the left of that on top was a scarf that felt like it had some lycra in it below was a piece of lace and sequin on some type of mesh. The third from the left was an organza with sparkle.

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Boy was I mistaken.  After all the others were felted I continued to work on the flower and sparkly pieces, but they wouldn’t felt.  I was really glad I didn’t invest in a big project to use the flower scarf.  I even tried it on another piece of felt. You probably recognize the purple on the left that I used for my jewelry roll.  The scarf on the right also felted nicely.  I even used some wisps of wool on top of the flowers, but they clumped together and there were only a couple of threads on the flower piece that caught.

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Here’s a closeup of the right one.

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The other samples turned out nicely. The blue green and red were silk and the gold a polyester organza.

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The one on the right below was a burnout fabric which surprised me it felted so well. On the left a silver gray polyester organza.

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The blue on the left was a piece of lycra which didn’t do well either, but I wasn’t surprised at that. Above that was a piece of acrylic yarn that felted nicely.

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The blouse felted very nicely and I’m sure I’ll use that for a special project in the future.

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I was also surprised at the sequin and mesh.  I thought that also had a lycra base.  I loved how the mystery blue scarf turned out.  It has a shine and felt like a polyester with something else.  It has a very nice texture.

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My favorite was the brightly colored scarf.  Now, I wish I had yards of it instead only part of a scarf.

20150509_131214I don’t always do samples, but if I want to use something for an important project I’ve learned its best to take the time to do it.

Now I know what to expect when I use these fabrics and which ones not to use for felting. Although a couple of them might work with coarser wools.  But that’s for another time.

New Diary Cover

New Diary Cover

Before the black Merino and multi fibre notebook cover I made recently, I’d started to make a greeny blue one for a diary. The first batt I was happy with on my drum carder was blues and greens so I used this for the top layer. As well as Merino, I added some texturey Icelandic wool, and locks of Bluefaced Leicester and Wensleydale that I dyed a few years. I added lots of surface embellishments: silk fabric, cotton gauze, organza, silk top, silk throwster’s waste, some synthetic curly fibres and some more of the dyed texturey, curly wools.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was too large to get a decent clear ‘after felting’ photo, but this is almost all of it:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis notebook took even longer than the black one as it was the first one I’d made like this, using felt off cuts for the straps and hand sewing all around the edges:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI machine stitched the smaller strip onto the wide closure strip

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd I machine stitched the two pieces onto the back

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut I finished all the edges with blanket stitch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI kept the natural edge of the felt for the inside front flap, I like the little detail of pink and yellow on the silk at the top.

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Coppery Bronze Felt

Coppery Bronze Felt

I hadn’t handmade any new felt for a few months until this week. I knew I’d have a spare couple of days for doing layouts and felting, so I went through my supplies and got a few things together. I wanted to make a texturey piece in coppers bronzes and metallic tones, so I chose some commercial art yarns, ribbon, silk tops and silk throwster’s waste in those shades:

metallic suppliesI also looked through my organza and found a few different gold shades:

organzaI mainly used a shade of Merino from World of Wool called ‘Rust’, but used a few other shades and blends aswell so it wasn’t too ‘flat’. I really like the way it turned out.

metallic feltI can’t resist a couple of Supermacro close ups of the texture 🙂

textureThis is one of the organza pieces.

organza textureAnother piece I felted yesterday was a nuno felted piece for Ann’s challenge. I found a quite gaudy vintage pink synthetic headscarf in my supplies and thought I’d make a piece using that. The weather was great yesterday: storm clouds, lightning, thunder, hailstone, but it kept going too dark to take good photos so here’s a sneaky peek at some close ups and I’ll post the whole piece soon. Ripples:

ripplesRuffles:

rufflesHas anyone else made anything for Ann’s challenge yet?

Giveaway—Beyond Nuno PDF e-book

Giveaway—Beyond Nuno PDF e-book

coverAs a big Thank You for all the support I’ve had since I started felting and blogging, I’m giving away a copy of my new PDF e-book called Beyond Nuno. It’s all about using different fabrics in wet felting, why and how they felt the way they do, how different effects are achieved etc. I hope to show that there’s more to nuno felting than just ruffled silk scarves and that it is possible to control the outcome of nuno felting. For more details you can read the full blurb on Craftsy or my blog.

You don’t need to do anything special to enter, just 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 4th March 2013, so please check back to see if you’ve won and leave a comment on the announcement post so I can contact you with the download information.

compilation of pagesGood Luck!  🙂

This Giveaway is now closed, to see the winner, please click here.

Giveaway-Bits and Pieces

Giveaway-Bits and Pieces

I thought it was time I did another Giveaway 🙂  I’ve gone through my stash of embellishment fabrics, fibres and scraps and put together a package that should give you plenty of choices for adding extras to your felt creations. These are some gorgeous metallic novelty yarns/fancy fibres. There are 5 different ones each about 3 metres long.

There are also some shorter lengths of novelty yarns in all different colours and types.

These gorgeous crinkly fibres are from another novelty yarn that I unravelled. I used a lot of them in this piece here.


There are some pieces and scraps of silk:

Organza

Gratuitous supermacro of organza 🙂

and synthetic fabrics

There is also some Cotton Noil

And some natural fibres and top, Top L-R Egyptian Cotton fibre, Crimped Viscose fibre, Bamboo Fibre. Bottom L-R: Flax, Ramie, Banana top.


If you’d like to win this fabric and fibre giveaway, simply comment on this post. I’ll announce the winner Next Sunday, 21st October. Please can the winner comment on the announcement post within 2 days so I can contact you for your postal address, thanks a lot 🙂

FORUM
Most of our readers know about our Forum, but if you don’t, it’s a community of felting and fibre artists from around the world who get together to chat and ask each other questions about anything felt, fabric or fibre related…or chat about the usual things like the weather 🙂  We love reading the comments here on the blog and visiting the blogs of anyone who posts and has a link to theirs, and it’d be nice to be able to keep in touch more and build more community links. We’re all interested in the fibre arts, so if your interests are felting, mixed media, spinning, weaving, freeform crochet or something else we need to know about, come and join us, share photos of what you’re working on, ask for advice, give help to fellow fibre artists, meet friends and have fun!

Supermacro

Supermacro

My camera started to die a few weeks ago, I could hear the focusing mechanism straining and the majority of photos were blurred, even more than I usually get trying to focus on soft fibres 🙂  So, a lot of my time has been taken up with a photography backlog, taking photos, retaking them as I work out my new camera settings, checking and editing photos, and getting distracted a lot with the Supermacro setting! It is so cool, it can see things I can’t see with the naked eye, tiny fibres on fingerprints, tiny cobwebs in the holes of volcanic rock, eyelash roots…. Oh, and the weave of fabrics or a dark guard hair on a piece of white felt, even tiny strands of fibre on the individual threads of a fabric 🙂

I thought I’d share a few of the fabric and fibre photos I’ve taken recently, I’ll upload them to flickr aswell in case you’d like to click on the full size images to see in even more detail. This first photo is cotton gauze and a chiffon scarf felted with merino prefelt.

This is a photo of just the cotton gauze and blue chiffon.

This is part of a pattern on printed cotton, it is about 55mm wide.

This is a synthetic fabric nuno felted, and some organza at the bottom of the photo.

This is one small piece of organza, aproximately 25 mm top to bottom.

 This is one piece of silk paper aproximately 25mm wide. It is taken from this piece of felt, I’ve added a note to show which square it is.

This is nuno felted silk.

This is Bamboo and Teeswater.

This last piece is blue nuno felted fabric.

I hope you enjoyed the photos, I love seeing the detail and texture of fibres, so I’d love to see your photos if you have any to share.

Giveaway Winner and some Texture photos

Giveaway Winner and some Texture photos

The winner of the notebook giveaway is….. Mattie! 🙂 

Thanks to everyone who joined in and left nice comments.

Textures

I’ve been working on a project about using ‘other’ fibres in felting and noticed that ‘texture’ has been a common theme lately. I thought I’d post some photos showing different textures from wet felted pieces I’ve made. This first piece is green organza which was used as a base:

This is the top, strips of organza over blocks of coloured Merino:

This is another organza base, a slightly stiffer gold:

This is a piece of cerise organza:

This is a close up of silk in textured nuno felting:

This is a blue-green piece of textured felt, made with lots of layers and inclusions and felted mostly in the washing machine:
 
And lastly, this is a piece of texture felt using reds, pinks, oranges and yellow shades:
 

Do you have any photos of textural felt? How do you like to create it? Do you like to add to your felt to create texture with stitch or other fabrics and fibres? I’d love to see photos of your work 🙂

Not quite what I’d imagined

Not quite what I’d imagined

I mentioned the other day that I’ve been working on Ann’s Abstract Challenge. I had a folder full of ideas and photos that I’d worked on, but couldn’t quite see how they’d translate into felt or maybe fabric. After looking at the photos with me, my girlfriend suggested looking at something more simple and bold, like maybe a cup. So I started looking at different photos, found some with simpler shapes and lines, bolder features. One that I really liked was a simple photo of a shell. It was almost colourless so I gave it a blue tint.

I then played around with it until I was happy with an abstract design.

This seemed like a perfect picture to try with my idea of layering organza. So I worked out how many layers I’d need and what shapes those layers would need to be. I wanted a black background, so I thought it’d be a good idea to have a base layer of white felt the same shape as the first organza layer.

I then made the shapes into outlines, so I could print them out and trace the shapes onto the pieces of organza for cutting out.

I chose the colours of organza I liked and layered them together to see if they would work.

I then traced all the outlines onto the organza pieces and cut them out. It was then that I started to realise this wouldn’t be quite as simple as I’d first thought. Some of the organza was very thin and distorted while I traced, so I had to re-do a couple of pieces.

Layering the shapes together wasn’t easy either, they just wanted to slide about, so I started with sewing the first couple of layers together. That seemed to go alright. It wasn’t looking as tidy as I’d hoped-the organza was fraying, but the abstract design had outlines around the sections/layers, so I hoped these would hide the edges. When I started to add the 3rd and 4th layers, my sewing machine (hand cranked ancient Singer 🙂 ) started to make weird noises. When I looked at the back of the piece, it was a mess, all the thread from the spool had looped up underneath. I don’t know if there was a tension problem, but I decided to abandon it as a failure.

I left it on my work table and tried to think of other ways I could interpret the design with the supplies I’ve got, but all I could think of was using 5 shades of blue cotton fabric, which I don’t have. Looking at it in daylight this morning, it didn’t look quite as bad as it did yesterday, so I decided to put a bit of effort into finishing it. I had to patch up the second layer, as it had frayed so much it wasn’t attached at the edges. I also had to recut the top layer as when I was sewing it on by hand, the thread caught on it and tore it. It didn’t really turn out how I’d expected and hoped it would, (maybe some fabric stiffener and a bigger scale would help?) but it wasn’t the complete disaster I thought it was yesterday 🙂

How would you have interpreted the abstract shell picture differently? Would you have used different fabrics, or maybe wet felted or needlefelted the design? If you’d like to use the design, please feel free to do so. I’d love to see what you come up with.

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