Thursday, September 23, 2010

Experimenting with needle felt sculptured pins and upcycled beaded chiffon scarves

I have officially run out of room for my needle felted animals and have moved to finding uses for my newly dyed fiber . The above is the result . They are tiny abstract sculptures that I will add pin backs to so they can decorate purses, jackets or closures for my wool scarves . I am going with my assumption that not everyone wants a felted flower so these are reserved for more "artsy" types....(you know who you are you java swilling, sandlewood wearing, clove smoking weirdos.......This will look awesome on your all black clothing) . <-----I can say that because I used to do all that stuff . I personally like all that texture and color . Although simple. they actually take a couple hours each but are more relaxing then the animals because there is no preconception of "should have a nose here and eyes there" . I just shape the different areas of color and add a bit more here and there . Highly recommended for relaxation and a great way to play with color .

(Double click on pictures for better idea of texture and detail .)This was an experiment in deconsturction and repurposing of a beaded chiffon dress . I have no idea how long I've had this always "planned" on using the fabric for something....(nope, I do not wear such fancy clothes myself as I would feel out of place in it at Target or thriftstore....though the latter is where I am sure I bought it ). It took most of the night to rip out the seams of this dress and then I cut out three beaded sections to nuno felt and plan on making small "bags" out of the sleeves ,(seen above ) .
This is one scarf held up to the window so you can see how light the end nuno felting turned out .
One interesting thing that happened is that I made two scarves side by side and one felted much tighter then then the other . I rotated to keep the felting even but the only difference was in the fiber used and how I placed it . Both had merino a small amount of mohair(pink and purple), on the bottom . I then laid on the beaded chiffon fabric and then added a thin layer of merino with more thinned bits of mohair curls <---adds really nice shine and such fine bits that didn't make the fabric to itchy for me . The only difference was the one that felted tighter (beads are really tight together), was all merino on top except for the area that had the bead which only had merino on the bottom to migrate up through the chiffon . On the second scarf, I put very thin wisps of fiber over the beading so it would just peek through in areas . The fiber of this second, also had a medium coarse fiber, (Shetland,) mixed with the merino but actually feels softer ? That's counter intuitive but I think because the it didn't felt as tightly and has kind of a fluffy feel .
I think I like the back , sans beading but with more mohair better then the beaded side because I used more colors on it .

The cat is modeling some small dog collars I have been working on . The are light weight but certainly give a lot of band per ounce . Actually they are just my bracelets made a few inches larger then usual and would be great for those of us with thicker arms or higher up on the arm for the thinner crowd .....but I think they would also look great on a mini-pincher . These still need beading and I can add a ring for snapping a leash onto . They slip right over my cats head but not intended for big headed dogs .
The weird object to the right of the bracelets is a new "invention" for folks who wear their hair in an up-do . I just twisted a bracelet into a figure eight and added roving in the middle which I felted in . They can be bent around a bun, braid, dreads and have a stick put through to hold in place . I have some vintage plastic "fake ivory" chopsticks that I plan to cut to size for these . (They also remind me of the figure eight...infinity symbol with rainbow colors...that I have seen some aspies sporting to represent the that annoying puzzle piece .)
I call these "flutterbyes" . Uhmmm. hope that's not copyrighted because I really can't afford a copyright law suit . I made some of these for my cat and he loves them but I think they are good kids(and aspie?) toys because they look so cool when you throw them across the room or straight up in the air....(and no one gets an eye poked out...yea!) . I re-purposed some old silk shirts I had been collecting to make a quilt...(before I admitted to myself that I really hate to sew....why are we always the last to know these things) . I take a 4 strips about 8-12 inches and over lap them then layer between some roving to make a tiny sandwich and poke. poke, poke , then continue to wrap and poke with more roving until it's about large golf ball sized . Just make sure that they are firmly poked with roving so they don't pull out and remember that silk is actually a very hard fabric and can break your needle if you don't keep needle at 90 degree angle . Would probably be nice with some fleece strips though wouldn't catch the light or flutter as well as the silk .
These were two more experiments with roving dying with food dye above . I dyed them in a rice cooker which I think actually will work well when I figure out my dye strengths . The food coloring actually worked better then I thought it would in the first aque bath with a mohair blend medium coarse fiber but I think I watered it down to much in the second batch with merino and ended up with a bland blue and pink that will work for my animal paw pads or I could over dye it . Neither felted at all so that was good . I did receive my dyes from Dharma and will try and do a blog on that in the next few days . I think I am a bit enamored with them at the moment....(dare I call it love ?) I would recommend anyone interested in crafts should order a catalog from them . DO it now ! Seriously, they have so many cool crafty things and having the catalog in your hands is easier then trying to figure out what they have, what you want by looking only on-line . They also now carry some nice roving and descent prices on mesh and chiffon silk for nuno felting .

Here is the link to order a free catalog from them .....

Last and least, I have also been needle felting beads and balls, former for jewelry, latter for cat toys . Not exciting but relaxing if you don't mind bleeding a little .I needle felt them very firm and then wet them and throw in dryer to harden them firmer . I did make the mistake of throwing this batch into a dryer with a very linty towels ...ooops, and now will spend a few hours picking lint of them . Another lesson learned the hard way, so I am sure I will remember it .

Happy felting !

1 comment:

  1. Creative and impressive fe3lt work. Like your blog!



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