Thursday, December 31, 2009

Felted "box" purses

Boxs became bags and where easy to sew and only took a few hours . I like the way the seams look but I suppose they are a bit over the top in sensory overload....color,texture,shape . I still need to tweek the handles a bit but not sure about how yet . Perhaps just stay with a plan leather or suede handle .

Above is another link with some lessons for those who want to learn wet felting . I think their supply prices for mixed bags of fine Merino are also a good place to start if your interested in trying some wet felting .

I am starting the new year exhausted and may take a week sabbatical from felting to tie up some of the lose ends around the apartment...pesky things like cleaning, sorting paper work piles, writing up training sheets for work and organizing felted items . .........that is, unless my new fiber from Alaska arrives, then all bets are off .

Another New Years Eve passes without my spending it throwing up, slurring, or falling down and that brings the total to almost 20 years of celebrate with me in ringing in the new year with some good friends and a movie or a good book and fuzzy cat or a plate of sushi and a computer .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No such thing as a bad experiment in felt

Posts, like days, are best started with a cat . This is a very rare picture, my cat not in motion . Cats see "spirits'" and I always wonder who is there when I see a cat go into the trance stare .
Remember when you made your first snowflake ? Took a piece of paper and folded it into several smaller squares and then cut out little notches . It was always a surprise when you opened it up . Well, that is what I tried with this bit of green prefelt . It wasn't Quite as easy as a nice flat piece of paper as the prefelt is quit fluffy when it's folded but it did give an interesting pattern when opened . I just looked it up....isn't the internet wonderful! I have to leave for work but am leaving a link for you and me to peruse tomorrow......

This is my first attempt to make some very thick boxs of felt . Basic box shape but I didn't have the patience to make a template and this will certainly be a very free form box .
This is the inside of the box and I plan on sewing the edges together to for the box shape but may try some needle felting before I sew it to strengthen and then hope to embellish the sewn edges with some fur, leather and beads .
I just pinned it quickly to get an idea of the final look .
These particular boxs are very thick with about 5 layers of thin roving and they would fit CD/DVD's , random treasure or be a good catch all when emptying your pockets at the end of the day .

Above and below are the back and front of a lap top sleeve . Again, the shape is far from uniform and I plan on leaving the edges as is and just sewing straight sides up the sides . I haven't really decided what to sew with though I would really like to use some interesting hand spun yarn and then reinforce with thicker carpet thread . Why sew when you can just use an insert and have the edges felted ? Mostly because I'm still afraid to try a resist, but I also think the wavey edges look kind of cool .

Although I know some people find all my crazy colors abit "too interesting" , I really like how you can create scarves with two different colored sides and decide which color you want on the out side that day .
I think it appeals to the cheap-skate (what is the origin of cheap skate?) in me...two scarves for the price of one .
Happy felting in the new year !

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Still trying to learn to felt miniatures

The above little.....uhm, rodent? was made for my BF for his kindly driving me to and from work the past few days of blizzardy weather . He is meant to be friends with his dragon and currently remains, that's good and keeping with the Holiday season .
I still have much to learn about making how to do it in less then 6 hours . Hard to believe something this small would take so long but it's only because I have to keep repairing "mistakes" and poke vary slowly to avoid bloody fingers and one wrong poke can ruin the whole thing . The dog/bear on the right, still needs arms and legs which I hope to finish tonight .
The above will be sewn into a bag . I haven't actually decided on the finished look but plan on sewing side seams that will include a handle . Also, the basic shape gave me an idea of making a turtle clutch with is impossible for me to describe. (I am mentioning it here so I don't forget that I wanted to try it . I always think of things I want to do and then forget when I get the needle in my hand and just end up making another ball while an idea comes to me .
This is another vaguely butterfly cape with patterened silk Chiffon and merino, Tencel and silk . It wraps comfortably around my shoulders but could also be worn to keep your head warm . I'm already working on some items for Shepherds Harvest on Mothers Day Weekend and hoping it is as cool as it was last year so people will consider some of my scarfs .

I did try something new, for me, and that is using some small pieces of torn prefelt on top of the loose wool roving . At first it didn't want to felt and pilled up but a bit more water helped and it certainly does open up detailing options which I hope to explore tonight in a "landscape" bag or scarf .
I hope everyone had a great time visiting with friends and family this Holiday season and are now relaxing full and content (with not to great a credit card debt) .

Happy Holidays and Merry felting .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sea monster and wolf detailing

(Click on pictures for more detail)...I spent most of the last day and night finishing up the detailing and tightening the felt to make it more durable . I doubt the visual effect would be obvious to the casual observer but I really want to make sure that my critters don't fall apart and end up in some land fill....(truely, my biggest fear in selling them) .
I like the eye lashes and they only take about 30 min to add, so I will probably go back and add them to several of my older sculptures before I list them .
...but this fuzzy tailed wolf is already spoken for and I think will be well cared for by her new friend Eva .
Sea dragon touch up was also finished around 4am last night . My BF has been dropping hints like...("can I have him for Christmas") so I guess he wont make it into my store either but at least will have another appreciative owner .

I think the teeth turned out well and weren't to difficult to sew in . They have a nice translucent and shiny effect that can't be achieved with felting . I have a small bag full of these, so will have fun playing around with future dragons and other scary beasts .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Howling wolf and sea monster...and a bit more wet felting

This little wolf was a collaborative effort with my boyfriend's son, Max . He has been asking me to show him how to needle felt and we finally had some time . I'm afraid I began the body to long and once Max had felted it very solid...realized the wolf was in need of some major surgery . I once thought you couldn't "take away" from felt but after cutting my first felted spirals from felted log...found that felt can be carved . That was a lesson worth learning .

We were trying to get this guy done in less then my usual 16 hours, so I think I was rushing my own process, which I don't like . However, Ma gave me an extension and I got to take my time finishing some of the detailing after he made the main section . The whole thing ways a bit less then a pound and is very solidly felted except for the tail which I rooted hair into a needle felt rope to keep it fluffy...but this also makes it more brushing !

I still would like to add some eye lashes and paw pads but this guy is almost done and on the way to Max's girlfriend . Hope she likes him as I have become rather attached .
Ariel view of my friendly sea monster . His wings and part of his tail are my first attempts to add wet felting to my sculptures and I think the process will be helpful in making thinner appendages on my sculptures . Ears, fins, wings have always been a challenge for me to needle felt .
The above picture is me learning something new to do in Picasso..(I love Picasso and it's free !)
Evidently, you can easily add text to your photos....(why am I always the last person to know this stuff ) .
This has been a several day process and I still have to add details to the feet and am playing around with different ideas for the teeth . I have some white glass beads that are teeth like and if that doesn't's back to needle felting but I will definitely be making some white wet felted material to use for teeth in the near future . I think this is the first sculpture I have tried with an open mouth and I want to play around with this a bit more .
This bright bit of wet felting is a base of Merino and Tencel with splashes of silk noils(?)
and mohair . I have to say, I'm not having a lot of success in getting either of these additions to completely felt inspite of all my rolling . Not sure what I will use this for but I did begin wet felting to make clothing for my dolls, so think this might be the perfect skirt for some lucky fairy.
This isn't a very clear close-up of my next wet felting but I really like how the texture looks like an aerial view of some land scape . The texture seems to be enhanced by adding some finely spread silk bells over the merino . I made a mess trying to work with the silk bells but love the effect .
This top scarf,( laying on top of the back side of the bright blue piece (which is purple and blue on the reverse side) ...was actually a failure that I like better then some of my intentional pieces . I began it by laying thin and thick roving onto a Paj Silk scarf . I was trying to make something for a friend who doesn't like the texture of chiffon which is the only thing I have used for nuno felting so far . I knew it would be more of a challenge because the weave is tighter but after an hour of rolling, there was hardly any wool fibers migrating through so I peeled it off and continued felting . The result is a very translucent piece with a few small holes . I think it looks really organic but is probably to fragile for daily wear . Another technique to experiment with .

Happy winter solstice to all and to all a good night .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

needle felt pup and wet felted fabric

My very sleepy Baloo .
This reminds me a bit of a dog version of the Sphinx in Egypt ......(except sillier and fuzzier .)

Below is some more thick wet felted fabric that I'm not sure what I will do with . It's made as one piece but I was considering cutting it up to make neck warmers, wrist cuffs or bags . It's a really soft blend of alpaca, merino, tencel and silk caps and noils .
The small silk "beads" did not all felt because I didn't spread them out thin enough to allow fiber to trap them and resulted in my removing several only partially felted ones .
I do really like the way the silk bells added extra color tones on top of the merino/tencel . The silk has blue and gold tones .
This is very thick and intended purely as bags or other decorative items as the cream colored colonial (a merino blend that is not as soft as merino), is not soft enough for skin wear in my opinion . This also has alpaca and merino as accents laid on top and bottom, sandwiching the
Colonial wool .
I can't say that these are my particular color pallet but I am trying to make things that "other eyes" might enjoy, so went with softer colors . If I do get around to make this into bags, I will probably add some needle felt accents of some sort .

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A few tips for needle felters and "Eye See Ewe" jewelry

Above is my new felting kit . I've been carrying all my needles in a plastic container which is sprouting holes and in danger of breaking my needles . I bought this vintage mens' traveling grooming container several years ago with no idea what I would do with it.....just thought it looked cool . So now it has a function and I have a safer traveling kit for my needles .

Above is my solution to felting fingers...(mine look like fleshy pin cushions) . Why someone with visual spatial skill problems and poor digital dexterity would chose such a dangerous hobby is just one of those mysteries of the universe . You can also find some rubber "tiny light bulb" covers in auto-part store that work pretty good but I'm always losing mine .
At the bottom of this post you can find a link to the place(Beadbury) I plan on bringing these bracelets and a few other of my felted items . A co-member of the HandmadeMN team works there a is letting other team members place their items there for Holiday sales from Dec 7-16th.
This will be the first time I have tried to sell any felt since Shepherds Harvest...(which I am returning to this year . ) I do still plan on listing items on Etsy....someday, but doubt I will make it for the Christmas season .
All of these are needle felted instead of wet felted because I really prefer the texture to wet felting when it comes to sensitive areas like the neck and wrist . I doubt it would bother most people but I do seem to have some hyper sensitivities in those areas . I find the wet and nuno felted scarves to be really comfortable but the wet felted rope irritates my skin .
Most of these are silk and merino with soe touches of alpaca . I'm finding that I really like the silk mixed with merino for needle felting . It seems to tame some of the wools fuzziness and has a nice firmness to it .

This is my line of ...."Eye See Ewe" jewelry . I used a bit of fabric stiffner to make the eye lashes on this pin . Something very spooky about floating eyes but it's the good kind of spooky to me .
I haven't added lashes to the bracelet yet and also hope to make some Egyptian Eye necklace pieces tonight .

As mentioned...the link below is the store that is so generously letting MN crafters bring in some of their items for the Holidays . For a 30% commission on sales, they will deal with the hard part of being in public and I only need drop my items off . I think doing commission sales might be the best solution for my listing/photo/mailing problems but I haven't totally given up on Etsy ....There is always next Christmas...(at least until 2012) .


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