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2012 Review

2012 Review

It’s hard to believe it’s almost a year since we posted about our plans for 2012! Looking back over what I’d hoped to achieve I didn’t expect to have done many of them, as the year panned out a lot differently than I expected. One thing I really wanted to do was learn some stitches by taking part in Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST). I did try my hardest, but I found the instructions really hard to follow and gave up after about 13 weeks. I never got the chance to explore direct dyeing felt any further, which is probably a good thing, since I’d hoped to combine the results with stitches I learned from TAST ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I did dye some fabrics for using in felting, though. And I did actually get around to trying out a Suri Alpaca sample, but I’d hoped to try a few more ‘controlled’ samples so never had enough to make a post about it.

suri alpacaOne thing I was really looking forward to spending time on in 2012 was working more with other felting fibres and fabrics, and writing some tutorials for the studio site. Early in the year I did make quite a few pieces exploring natural fibres with natural wools, which I really enjoyed. Some of the results were quite interesting, like this Suffolk wool and banana fibre piece, a photo of which ended up being used by a Lecturer at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) for a book.

suffolkI did write a few tutorials for the blog this year, but they weren’t about fibres. It seems like I spent a big portion of my time in 2012 on the phone to various government departments and agencies trying to get onto a scheme to become self-employed. I thought I had all the information I needed until it came to writing my business plan and realised I (along with everyone else, it seems) have no idea whether the scheme lasts 6 months or 12, which is quite a problem if you’re trying to forecast things! But hopefully that will all be sorted out in the new year.

I enjoyed taking part in the Studio Challenges this year, I haven’t done a piece for Karen’s weather challenge yet, but I do have some wool and fibres blended and around 40 photos of storm clouds to work from in the next few days ๐Ÿ™‚ Another thing I enjoyed this year was finally learning how to make silk paper. I did intend to try a few more methods, but that was another thing I didn’t get around to, though I did buy a book about it!

silk paperA couple of my favourite things from this past year are the bird pods I made and using the electric sewing machine my mum gave me to make collage notebook and diary covers. I still haven’t mastered the speed pedal on the machine, but I can wind a new bobbin really well ๐Ÿ™‚ The bird pods were great to do, I haven’t had much success previously making 3d felt from flat resists, but they all turned out really well. This is my favourite.

bird pod whiteI’m looking forward to 2013, all the challenges and exciting new things yet to come. I hope you’ve had nice holidays and if you’ve done your own 2012 review, post a link in comments, we’d love to read them ๐Ÿ™‚

Quarterly review

Quarterly review

It’s hard to believe that 4 months have already gone by this year, I’m not sure that I’ve done a quarter of the things I planned to do. I did try out a lot of the fibres that Karen sent me and even made a nice piece of felt from some silk threads that came off the sari silk ribbon.

I haven’t used any of the gorgeous threads that Ruth sent me, hopefully when I’ve learned a good variety of stitches from the TAST challenge I can do them justice. I’ve enjoyed learning new stitches, one I really enjoyed exploring was running stitch. My first thought was ‘running stitch?! what can you do with that?’ A lot as it happens ๐Ÿ™‚

I haven’t had chance to explore dyeing further yet this year, but there’s stillย plenty of time for that. I’ve enjoyed the Studio Challenges so far, not only producing pieces for the challenges, but also exploring the themes in depth, taking photos, altering photos, always looking for things to fit the themes.

Last week after Ruth’s Challenge post, I chose some of my old abstract acrylic paintings to get some inspiration from. I started with a small acrylic in blues, greens and yellows.

And made a small felt piece inspired by it.

I’ve done quite a lot of work on my project for using ‘other’ fibres and fabrics in felting. I still haven’t worked out what format or formats it will be in, but I think that will become clearer as I go along and have a better idea of how all the info would best be presented. I’m working around a loose outline, but as usual there’s always something new to learn with each piece of felt, or a new idea forming wanting to be explored. I’m trying to stick to the outline and write down the other ideas for exploring later, but I don’t want to forget them while they’re fresh, either ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve already been inspired by the great felting and fibre community weโ€™re part of. It’s great to read all the comments we get on the studio site each day and I love logging onto the forum and seeing everyone’s new projects. I really like the way we get inspired to try out new things from each other’s posts, compare our results and share techniques. I think I’m adding to my list of things to do rather than ticking them off, but that’s alright ๐Ÿ™‚ย  How are your lists of things for the year? Are you getting much ticked off or are they growing, like mine?

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