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Umbrella Tree Completed

Umbrella Tree Completed

I finished the umbrella tree and finally got some halfway decent photos taken. I will be submitting this to the “Shelter” Exhibition being held in October. I still have to write up my entry and figure out an artist’s statement to go with the piece. But I’m sure I can manage that by the middle of August when the entry is due. I thought you might like to take a look at the tree. The photos are from several different angles as well as some closeups.

Growing Roots and a Bit of Ground

Growing Roots and a Bit of Ground

I have been continuing to work on my exhibition piece and it is getting closer to being finished. I started with felting a bunch of rocks, then ground to cover the base and last I made roots. Now I just have to put them all together, sew on the nuno felt to the umbrella and finish up the details.

Felted RocksThe rocks went pretty quickly, I used a variety of grays, black, browns, tans and greenish/browns. Even a little bit of red. The rocks in Montana are a variety of colors.

Lay out under treeNext up, I laid out the wool around the base. I wanted to felt it right around the trunk so it there would be no seam. I’m sure I could have done a piece of pre-felt but decided just to felt it right in place.

Wetting it down


Here it is being wet down. I had the felted rocks on top of the wool but decided they would have to come off or everything wouldn’t felt properly.

All Felted


Here it is drying in the sun after it was completely felted. I did have a bit of shifting of the surface “earth colored” wool but that will most be covered up by rocks, roots and other finishing details.

Soft rootsNext up was making some spikes for roots. Here they are after dry felting and rolling on the “Turbo Felting Board”. This board really works great for making cords. You can use stair tread that they sell at hardware stores as a substitute.

Felted rootsHere are the roots after felting down. I didn’t harden them up because they need to be shaped once they get attached to the tree.

Around the trunkHere’s the entire tree with the roots just laid down. It almost looks finished now!

Needle FeltingNext up was a little needle felting to shape the roots and attach them to the trunk.

More like a rootAh… that looks more root like.

Partially FinishedI got two roots started on the needle felting process. I am still going to add some padding underneath the “earth” and glue it down so it won’t be shifting around if someone touches it. So it is getting there. I am happy with how it is turning out.

I also thought you might like to see part of my inspiration for this piece. A poem by Karen Shragg:

Think Like a Tree

Soak up the sun
Affirm life’s magic
Be graceful in the wind
Stand tall after a storm
Feel refreshed after it rains
Grow strong without notice
Be prepared for each season
Provide shelter to strangers
Hang tough through a cold spell
Emerge renewed at the first sign of spring
Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky
Be still long enough to hear your own leaves rustling









Progress on My Shelter Exhibition Piece

Progress on My Shelter Exhibition Piece

I made some progress on my exhibition piece with the theme of Shelter. If you don’t follow  my Permutations in Fiber blog, you might have missed the post about felting the umbrella. Take a quick look at that post first and this one will make more sense. I showed you the green nuno felt that I made for Ann’s challenge and it got put to good use.

Pattern for Cutting

This was the scary part, cutting up the two pieces of nuno felt that I made. I was unsure if I really had enough fabric. I needed four triangles all together. The red pattern piece is the original fabric from the umbrella. I decided to let the bottom edges be uneven to make my tree less uniform.

Cutting Green Nuno FeltHere is the first piece cut into four sections. They were definitely not all the same size but I decided not to stress about perfection as it wouldn’t be that noticeable later. I also cut up the second piece of nuno felt into four triangles.

Umbrella Tree

Then I sewed all eight pieces together.  And put it on my felted umbrella frame. It is not stitched down to the frame yet because I still need to felt the base of the tree and make roots for it. I will save the stitching down of the “leaves” until last.

Umbrella Tree Closer ViewHere’s a little closer view. I really like the different textures and colors of green.

Underneath the ShelterBut this is actually my favorite view. I love seeing the light come through the thinner parts of the nuno felt, the felted branches and being under the “shelter”. Next part to work on is roots and covering the base.

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