felt luminary

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not A Bad Mornings Work

I have been putting off doing the finishing work on more that a few items.  This morning I wouldn't let myself felt until I got most of this done.  My finished projects are whats pictured here. 

I had made this felt collar three months ago, all it needed was a button and a button hole.  I decided to use this black vintage button, and it only took ten minutes!  I am such the procrastinator!

I made a few of these white merino cuffs with Wensleydale locks on the edges, I think they look so pretty, like natures lace.  This one on the right has some pearl buttons and is for my lovely daughter-in-law, Alex.  I made two more that I may put on the Etsy site or I may give them to my Aunt to wear to the Renaissance Fair.

This is a purple cuff that I had nuno felted some silk onto then put it in a dye bath of Brazilwood.  I left it in a little to long and the silk totally disappeared and turned purple.  So, I've tried to salvage it and did some free motion embroidery on it.  Still not sure if it's up to selling standard.  I do like the design though. 

Below is just a pic of some of my favorite embellishment treasures.  I am an avid collector of buttons and tend to like shell and bone ones the best.  If any one knows what the name or the use is for the white pearl circles on the bottom with the two tiny holes at the very top, I would love to find out!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Making of a Pillow

   I've had this idea in my head for a few weeks for a pillow cover and finally got a chunk of time to make it.  The photo on the right is what it looked like dry, before I wetted it out.  I laid down silk on the dark brown base then put these swirls of merino, bamboo, and wool yarn on top.  Part of what I love so much about felting is how different the finished product ends up looking like.  You have to be able to imagine the final outcome.  I almost always learn something new with every project I do.
I laid down four layers of dark brown wool in a cross hatch for the base .  The more layers you put the less it will shrink.  I wanted this to shrink up quite a bit because I love how the silk crinkles up when you get a lot of shrinkage.  The photo here on the right is what it looked out after I wet it out and rolled it once in the bubble wrap.  
 This is just a close up of one of the circles after wetting it out.  The colors compress and take on such a different look.  The picture below are the colors of roving I used to make the swirls.  I blended some of them using hand carders to get my own colors. 
The finished product is the large pic at the bottom.  The colors are actually richer than the picture, I just love the outcome.  It started out being 28 " inches square when dry.  After fulling it, shrinking it,the
 finishes size is 16" square.  I probably could have gotten it smaller but I wanted it to fit on the back of my leather chair and it's the perfect size now. 
My mission today is to find some fabric to back it with, if I don't find anything I may just make a large piece of brown felt for the back. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Felted Glass? Absolutely

  This is my latest fascination with felt...there are so many varied ways to use this amazing wool fiber!  I've been playing around with encasing glass with merino wool and felting it so it's nice and tight around the glass.  Then I cut out shapes on both sides of the glass so that the light can shine through.  A friend of mine said it's kind of like stained glass only you use felt instead of lead....that got my head going!  I have ideas now for designs that are similar to stained glass... soon.  It is a bit tricky, I'll have to say.  There were some failures in the beginning, but that's how you learn, right!  If I cut too much felt away, I ended up with edges that are saggy and want to pull away from the glass allowing the glass to pop right out. I also have to factor in the weight of the glass, like the red one on the right.  It is rather thick glass, about 1/4" inch, so the design is also helping the glass stay put.  I had to also pay a lot of attention to
cutting out the design, it had to be the same on both sides.  I finally figured out that holding it up to the light enabled me to cut more precisely on both sides.
   I love the purple one at the top!  They are large pieces of beach glass so the color is muted, it looks wonderful when the light comes shining through it.  I used a short fiber merino batt and some silk for this one.  The purple and yellow one here on the left is the bottom of a bottle that a friend in Florida found on the beach, she sent me some round ones too, they're next!  She has an Etsy shop called "made for fun" and sells beach glass and loads of other goodies in her shop.  The edges are all bumpy and soft from being ground down by the surf, I really wanted to see those so I cut away the felt to expose them.  Actually, all the glass I use is beach glass mostly found here in Northern California, except for the red one, that came from an old piece of stained glass that had an accident.  Below is a picture of where I hang all my little creations, it's the door to my cabin where I do all of my felting.  Around two o'clock the sun comes shining through and lights them all up,
beautiful.  I really am so lucky to have such a magical place among the redwoods to do this work that I love so much!  I got a card last week that sums it up perfectly:

Do what you
what you do          

And i do!        
This is the perfect time to mention that all of this is possible because of my husband, Jack, who supports me completely in my fascination with felting.  He is my most honest critic, he too is constantly amazed at what can be made with felt.  It is so important to have the support of your family and friends in any endeavor one takes on in life, and I have such a great network of both, thank you all.  Sometimes I marvel at my good fortune!
  When I finish my big "stained glass"  piece, it still needs more mulling over in the brain, I'll post it up here.  If there are any wet felters out there that want to experiment with this and want more info on how to do it and what materials to use just drop me a note and I'll be glad to lay out the steps for you.  You don't need to use beach glass, any glass will do.  If you want to use beach glass though, Etsy is a good source, I've seen some good collections on there.  All of these are wet felted by the way, that's mostly what I do.
  Thanks for stopping by!     Terry