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New Notebook Cover

New Notebook Cover

I thought I’d make myself a felt cover for a ring binder notebook I’ve started using for notes about batts, fibre packs and etsy listings. I made a piece of felt a few weeks ago from merino and embellishment fibre blends. I used lots of different fibres: Milk Protein fibre, Hemp, Flax, Ramie, Banana, Bamboo top and fibre; Viscose top and fibre, Trilobal nylon, Acrylic laps, Plastic fibre and Egyptian cotton. This is the whole piece after felting:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently made another notebook and made the straps to go through the Delrin clips from felt, and it looked really nice, so I thought I’d do the same for this one. This is the front:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took hours to sew (at least 9 episodes of Hawaii Five – 0!) because I machine stitched the straps into place on the back (with my hand operated Singer), and then hand sewed everything else and finished off the edges with blanket stitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI left the natural felt edge for the front inside flap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI cut the back flap to size and used the offcuts for the straps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t often spend so much time on something for myself, but I’m glad I did, I really like it 🙂

Surface Texture Challenge – Mouldy Cheese

Surface Texture Challenge – Mouldy Cheese

A couple of weeks ago I joked that I’d found inspiration for Ruth’s Texture Challenge in my fridge. I wasn’t really joking 🙂 I’ve always liked the look of mould, but there was a really nice looking piece of mouldy cheese that I thought would be perfect for the Challenge. I didn’t get to photograph it straight away, and the mould had grown a little more than I liked by the time I did, but it still looked good. I discovered that photographing mould is as ‘easy’ as photographing felt, so it’s not a great photo, sorry.

Mouldy Cheese

 I started with a couple of layers of merino to get the shape, then I blended different amounts of greens and mustardy merino shades with some plastic fibre for the main mouldy parts and used white prefelt and wool nepps for the white parts, then I wet felted it. I didn’t get the colours quite right, but I like the way it looks and it was fun to do. Now I’m wondering where I should look next for inspiration? 🙂

Surface Texture Challenge

Surface Texture Challenge

I’ve been thinking about Ruth’s Studio challenge and taking lots of photos of anything with an interesting texture.

It was really frosty here earlier in the week, so I got lots of nice photos from the garden and nearby park. After looking round the garden and seeing lots of frosty moss, I started working on my first piece. Of course, when I downloaded the photos, this was one that didn’t come out. I blended some different shades of green merino tops, then layed out a couple of layers in an ‘organic’ shape. I then blended some shades of green merino with different amounts of plastic fibre and layed this on top. After it was felted, instead of rolling as I’d usually do, I scrunched the felt as I rinsed the soap out and after squeezing the water out, scrunched it again to give it its shape.

Frosty Moss
Frosty Moss Texture

 I’m really enjoying this challenge. If you’d like to join in, and show us what you’ve made, post a comment to any of the 2012 First quarter challenge posts and link us to what you’ve made, or join our flickr group and add your photos there. Don’t forget to tag them with “surface texture challenge”.

Plastic Fibre twists

Plastic Fibre twists

Plastic fibre twists

This is my finished twisted plastic piece for the Studio Challenge. I’d originally planned to make a smaller piece, but once I started making the twists, I really liked the look of them so I made more to make a larger piece. I blended merino wool and recycled plastic bottle fibre with hand carders, then separated small amounts and rolled into twists.  The base is 3 layers of merino tops, and the merino and plastic fibre twists were layed on top. I layed the twists so that the wispy ends met in the centre and went over the edge of the base by about an inch.

Plastic Fibre Twists Close Up

I’d used the plastic fibre a few times before and expected this to be more ‘spongy’ than it was, it does have a nice look and feel to it, it feels nice and thick, but lightweight. We’d love to see your work with twists, twirls or spirals 🙂

Studio Challenge

Studio Challenge

A few months ago I revisited an idea I’d had a few years ago for using wool twists to add texture to felt. This led to developing the theme we’ve used for this quarter’s studio challenge: Twists, twirls and spirals. This could be anything from including coiled or twisted wool in felt or a mixed media piece, using or spinning yarns, creating a 3D object such as a twisty hat or vessel, or using a spiral design on a flat needle-felted piece. There’s no size limit and the piece can be in any medium.

I’m still working on my piece, but here’s a sneak preview of some of the merino and plastic fibre blends I’ll be using.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge, there’s a couple of ways you can do this. Firstly, we have a flickr group, if you have a flickr account, click to ‘Join This Group’ then add your photos. Don’t forget to tag them “Felting and Fiber Studio” and also “Twists, Twirls and Spirals” (using quotations around the tags keeps the words separate). The second way you can join in is by commenting on any of our Challenge posts and linking to your blog, website or photo hosting site so we can see your photo.

These challenges are just for fun, to make us think and try out new things, or even revisit old ideas with fresh eyes or different fibres. We look forward to seeing what you make 🙂

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