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Posts tagged ‘Felting’

New crafting video uploaded despite stuff-ups!

Nuno felt eco printed closeup.jpg

Don’t you love it when you’ve promised yourself an early night and have everything nicely uploading to YouTube, for a smooth publish, including subtitles and a nice little hand-made thumbnail – then listening to the newly published video you realise some of the background music is more foreground music?!!

Gawd.  So what do you do?  Stomp around swearing with a-gnashing-of-teeth?

I sure felt like it.  But would be the point of that?  I’d end up with high blood pressure and a few years of enamel ground down off my molars, and I’d still have to re-upload the video.  I mean, I wouldn’t want anyone watching it with headphones to have their eardrums blasted into their amygdalas.

So, deep breath, stoic expression, shuffle around on typing chair and off we go again.

Back into Premiere Pro, fine-tuning the audio gain, re-compressing for YouTube, waiting for half an hour for re-compression only to find the pc’s been waiting for me to answer “do you want to save over your old file?” “YESSSS!!!”. Back to lounge for another half an hour.  Upload and wait for two or so hours, while I re-write the tags, but thankfully only paste the description as at least one part of me had been alert during the process.

So, now it’s all loaded, with subtitles re-edited, and a nice new end template to boot.

YouTube have kindly notified Twitter, who is kindly posting on my Facebook page, so all I have left to do is notify a couple of other felting and eco-printing sites and I’m good to go – to bed that is.

It’s way past my bed time and of course, it coincides with the one day I’ve arranged to start walking with my husband at some crack of dawn hour tomorrow morning!

Having had a proper whinge now though, (and thank you for reading this far, I really appreciate you ‘listening’), I must say, I love the video.  It isn’t long, but I think it’s quite a good tutorial.  I mean, if you like felting and eco-dyeing and want to learn to make a nuno felt scarf that you can eco-dye for extra dimension and colour, it’s definitely the video for you! Check it out here.

Overall

New video tutorial – how to make a wet felt picture

As you know if you’ve been following my blog, I love making felt paintings.  I have to say though, my life has been so busy with other projects for a few months, that I haven’t made any for ages.

felt-finished-with-background

Recently though, I was asked to make a video tutorial, so here it is. The pics don’t really capture the depths of the blues at the top of the painting, but I think you get the idea.

I had immense fun getting all my wool and silk rovings and searching through my yarn box for just the right variegated and also dimensional yarns, and then even more joy as the little painting came together.

I’m getting used to filming the process, and even the editing is taking less time – still a.g.e.s. – but I’m getting the hang of it, and the rendering and Handbraking and uploading to YouTube with the tags and what-have-you, so people who are searching for a felt picture tutorial, actually discover it!

My desire was to make an attractive picture that was easy to demonstrate, and also copy if someone wants to – without too many intricate materials or steps.  I may make a more complex picture later, if I get enough interest.  Or I’ll make another one for the love of it, and may even video it as I make it!

Here are some closeups of the details of the simple little Sea Beach picture:

So what next?

I do have a hankering to make another nuno scarf soon though because I want to do some eco-printing on it.  I have some rose leaves in the freezer from Valentine’s Day, waiting to be put to good use. Or should I say second use – the first being the expression of love. Ahh, soppy. 😉

If you’d like to watch the new video, here is a link.  Do let me know what you think, by writing in the comments. ❤

 

Love Poppies! – Nuno felt scarf!

Here’s a lovely lightweight scarf I have just made.  I couldn’t leave the poppies until I had used the theme on at least one other item.

Changing my style slightly, although still keeping the scarf as fine as possible and using the wool mainly to ‘stick’ silk to silk, I laid one end of the scarf out showing a poppy field, and the other with three large poppy heads.

This will be on display over the weekend as well.

Library Display

This is a quick post to show a couple of pics of a limited variety of my felting that is on display at Beerwah Library for two weeks.

If you aren’t in the area but would like to visit the library, the address is:

Beerwah Library, 25 Peachester Road, Beerwah Qld 4519. Phone for opening hours: 1300 542 727

It is lovely to have the opportunity to display my work locally.  I am a member of the Glasshouse Country Arts Trail and we have several weeks available to display members’ works.  Ilia Starkovsky is also displaying some of his photographic art, and Bronwyn Hill and/or Melanie Gray Augustin will also be bringing showing some of their work this fortnight.

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

A variety of my work in the display cabinet at Beerwah Library

Felt making and Arts Trail

This weekend has been very eventful!

Arts Trail – Open Studio

The Glasshouse Country Arts Trail has an open studio few days coinciding with school holidays – from Saturday just gone until Wednesday.

As last time I was fortunate enough to be able to share Sandra Price’s studio which is in her home on the main tourist route from Glasshouse Township to Beerwah.  It was a very pleasant weekend and we actually spent Saturday making conversation more than making art as it has been such a long time since we saw each other.  But it was very rewarding as conversation flowed with cups of tea and a tad too much chocolate…

I managed to complete my rose as a brooch by stitching the clasp onto the back, so it is now more than a pretty felt flower, but can be worn as well.

Sunday was more productive for both of us. Sandra worked on her elephant painting which was a development fascinating to watch as she brought beautiful Mma Tembo to life using a monchrome palette.  I am eager to see it finished.

While Sandy painted, I felted.  Because I was feeling quite tired this weekend, I couldn’t face a large project that would require lots of physical work, so I made two smaller pieces.

Miniature country scene

The first was a little country scene that I was going to use as an insert for one of those pre-made cards that has a frame cut into the front so you can put a painting behind.  I went a bit made with the wool layout though and the whole painting turned out too large for the card.  As luck would have it, Sandy happened to have the perfectly sized embroidery hoop which she suggested as a frame, so I attached the ‘painting’ to some cotton fabric and stretched it into the hoop.  Some of the corners sit just over the edge of the hoop but I rather like the effect.

Country scene 'round' felt painting 15cm

Country scene ’round’ felt painting 15cm

I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how this turned out.  Sandra really liked it too.  I will definitely make more of these.

Blue glass vase cover

The other smallish project I gave myself was covering the second of two tall slender glass vases I bought the other day.  If you read my recent post, you’ll have seen the first one which I covered in cream/orange.

This time I wanted to experiment with a completely different look.  I went for a covering in totally different colours, and laid in such a way that a lot of the glass would show through.

Colour palette of merino wool

Colour palette of merino wool

I chose dark blue, turquoise, lime green and cream as my palette.

I also used blobs of silk noile for details, and some ever gorgeous and lustrous silk tops.

Blue vase silk used

Silk noile and tops

 

The resist for this pattern was the same as for the last vase, as I knew it would give me a perfect fit.

I’ve never made anything 3D that is open weave before, so this was guess work, but I’ve got a couple of pics of the layout front and back, that I’ll show you.

As you can see, I’ve arranged the wool in such a way that it snakes up the vase.  I had no idea if this would work, or if it would end up all crumpled down the bottom of the vase like some old woman’s stocking, but I couldn’t resist giving it a go!

Here are the layouts, front and back:

Blue vase layout - front

Blue vase layout – front

Blue vase layout - back

Blue vase layout – back

As you can see, I made the base fairly solid, and also had a rim at the top, with the rest of the wool winding around the resist.  I varied the pattern using silk noile and silk tops.

As it wasn’t a large piece, it didn’t take a lot of work, but I was glad that it shrank to a size that it perfectly fits the vase.

Here is the finished result:

 

So while I made only two small pieces over the weekend, both were new territory for me, and it’s always good to stretch your creative boundaries!

 

Wet felt glass vase

Glass vaseI was looking round a local shop the other day and found a couple of long thin glass vases which looked perfect for a felting project.

I like the tall, slender shape – 24 x 5cm – and the vase is made with glass thick enough not to break during the felting process.

This is the first attempt at covering a glass vase, so I was careful to work out the correct size for the resist, allowing for shrinkage.  After measuring the height, depth and width of the vase, adding height and depth, and width and depth, then multiplying by 1.2, gave me a resist that was 12 x 34.8cm which I rounded up to 35cm.

So, which colours to choose?

I had a vision of natural cream at the top, with a stronger colour for the base and I wanted to add a pattern.  For the pattern I chose some multicoloured yarn in oranges and green shades, and selected orange for the base colour.

Process

The first phase included laying out the yarn on the resist, as I chose to make the vase inside out.  I cut different lengths and arranged them on the resist hoping they would be so evenly spread out at the end, that it would be difficult to tell this was made on  a flat resist. I then sprinkled a few wisps of mulberry silk tops to give added interest.

I layered three layers of merino wool at right angles to each other, wetted it with soapy water, rubbed through a small piece of net curtain that I laid on top of it and when it held together fairly well, I removed the net and flipped the whole thing. First of all I turned in the overhanging tops that I had laid about 2cm over the edges.  This would create part of the invisible seam of the finished vase.

The flip side was a repeat of the first.

Turning over again, I repeated the process two more times with two more layers of rovings finely laid at right angles, but without needing to overlap these.

On the final layer I added a variegated orange/brown tops mix instead of orange so if anyone wants to peer down to the bottom of the vase, they can see ‘matching’ inside.

Rubbed, rolled, rubbed and rolled.

Cut off the top edge and removed resist.

Heated, threw, heated, mashed.

Began shaping, first over the end of a pool noodle, then as it shrank, over the actual vase.

Eventually it shrank to a size I was very happy with and fitted nice and snugly over the glass.

Rinse, second rinse in water with splash of vinegar.  Spin dry.  Reshape over vase.

Photograph.

Remove glass and hang out on the line to dry.

Finished vase

For a first at a covered vase, I am very happy with the effect.

What next?

Now I’m toying with making a similar felt covering only using blues and aquas to match a similar thread in a different colour range.

But perhaps I could stretch my creative boundaries and make a vase covering that allows more of the glass itself to show through.

More on that next time.

Aside

Updated Felt Gallery

To view a lot of my felt work in one ‘hit’, check out the Gallery – Felt which I have just updated with more recent pieces.

New wall hanging – with bobbly bits!

I’ve been waiting for some wool nepps to arrive.

Wool nepps - 'bobbly bits'!

Wool nepps – ‘bobbly bits’!

Nepps are round, bobbly bits of wool that can be used in felting.  Gawd knows which part of the sheep they come from, but since I saw some on a website I’ve been itching to get my hands on some.

They arrived yesterday.

As I’d had a while to let my imagination run riot while I was waiting for Canadian and Australia Posts to talk to each other, I came upon a variation on a theme.  Another beach, only this time, instead of turning it into a realistic painting, I wanted to make it more impressionistic.

What was I going to do with my bobbly bits?

When I saw a photo of nepps, they reminded me of the smooth small pebbles I’d enjoyed sitting on when I was at Monaco another lifetime ago.

In the felt painting I envisaged, these little nepps would make great closeup grains of sand.

I’ve made this one a long, thin wall hanging 27 x 50 cm approximately.  It has lovely bright colours that flow from deep blue sky, to turquoise ocean, to yellow sandy beach, to white dunes with sand and some impressions of grass and rock/shell details.

Nepps layout

Nepps layout

The nepps were a little harder to felt than regular wool tops, but I persevered and most of them felted in.  I rather like the effect.

Ocean Sparkle

While I was ordering the nepps, I also ordered three little bags of different coloured Angelina Fibre.  This is great stuff and extremely reflective.  Less is more with this stuff unless you’re going for a disco look.

I added a few strands on top of the white silk tops that highlighted the waves rolling onto the beach. At different angles the light catches the fibre, and it looks like ocean spray sparkling in the sun.

Tiny threads of angelina fibre on top of the silk tops, to create 'ocean spray' effect.

Tiny threads of angelina fibre on top of the silk tops, to create ‘ocean spray’ effect.

The finished wall hanging

So, here it is, and I’m very happy with the result.  I like the longer thinner shape of this one.

Beach wall hanging, drying

Beach wall hanging, drying

I think the colours work well, and there’s enough detail to make it interesting without overdoing it… keeping it simple.

It is a style I will use again.

What next?

I have another piece of felt batt that I used as my ‘canvas’, so I want to make another wall hanging in a similar impressionistic style.

Not sure yet whether to do another beach scene, so I have a diptych, or a different theme altogether.

‘Roses on Black’ nuno felt scarf

Just finished this for a customer.

It is made with black tissue silk that has black and red merino wool, red silk tops and dimensional wool felted to it.

I have to say it wasn’t the easiest scarf in the world to do.

Not because I couldn’t lay the wool fine enough, or dye the tops the right colour, or make the ‘roses’.  This time, and for the first time ever (which was bit of a blow to my ego that likes to get things right immediately), I had difficulty translating what the lady wanted and making it reality.

This is actually version two of the scarf – the first one is shown in a previous post.

My mistakes

I made two mistakes:

1. Not listening to my intuition that told me it was going to be tricky when my customer wanted me to mix two different styles of felting (this fine nuno-felt style with cobweb style).

2. Getting caught up in trying to adhere to my customer’s specific and detailed wishes and not putting in certain things – rather than listening to my intuition when I was making it, that told me to make it a certain way (which is basically how this second scarf turned out) in the first place.

Both of these mistakes feature my intuition and lack of listening to it.

When will I ever learn?

Hopefully.

On the plus side…

So, two scarves later, I now have one satisfied customer and one extra scarf to sell to another owner.

That’s the beauty of making accessories and artwork, I make something and one day the person it’s made for turns up, falls in love and takes it home.  It’s so satisfying!

The original scarf by the way, is also nice. It is more subtle with more black and less red, and with slightly more felt coverage to the tissue silk. The roses are small and have little green leaves. Here’s a photo for comparison.

black nuno scarf

I’m thinking of making a massive big, bright red felt flower and attaching it to one end.

What do you think?

I had to shave my piece of felt … and eat toast!

I know, that sounds a bit bizarre, but let me explain.

With the upcoming art exhibition to be held in Beerwah in October, the pressure’s on to make more felt wall hangings to exhibit.  I already have Mt. Coonowrin, which I have documented previously on this blog, but one’s just not enough.

Today was the day to make another one.  I’ve been researching my subject, collected my materials and all I needed was a free weekend and when I woke up to the clear bright day this morning I couldn’t wait to go home and get stuck in.  When I say ‘go home’, I’m not a party animal who woke up in a strange house this morning after a drunken rave the night before.  I have recently taken on another part time job dog-walking and pet/house sitting.  It’s great because it is a rewarding job and I can fit it in around my other life commitments.  I’m house sitting at the moment, thus ‘go home’ meant leave the doggie for the day and do my felting at home.  Not to mention spend some brief, welcome time with hubby and son.

The toast incident

Arriving bright eyed and bushy tailed, I breezed in only to meet my teenage son in his pj’s yawning a “Morning Mum” with half-closed eyes.  This was followed by the sound of an electric toothbrush buzzing in the bathroom – hubby was making himself personable!  While I waited for him to finish his ablutions (don’t you love that word?) I hovered in front of my computer noticing a yellow stick it note in the middle of the screen.

“Your dinner for tonight’s in the fridge so you don’t have to eat toast, you touchy thing! … Luv U”

Aw, what a sweetie, he remembered my melt down last week when, stressed at juggling an extra job, trying to organize myself, emotionally detach from hubby, son and my own dog, bring in the washing and get to my next assignment before sun down so I could feed a farmyard of chooks (Australian for ‘chickens’) and ducks, I forgot to take dinner with me and had to revert to toast.  I’m a bit of a foodie, so toast was just not the same as dinner.

The next afternoon while pretty much repeating the previous day’s schedule, I managed to throw a guilt trip at my son who was taking for everrrrrrrr to get some chore done that is his job anyway but which I wanted him to do before I left for the evening.  I had good reason for that at the time, but can’t for the life of me think what it could have been now.  That’s how important it was in the overall scheme of things.

“Oh for goodness sake, hurry up!!!  It’s because I was rushing yesterday getting your uniform ready, that I left my dinner in the fridge and had to survive on toast!”

At which point hubby stuck up for son from his vantage point in the office around the corner…

“Don’t pick on him just because you weren’t organized!”

I was feeling so bereft by that time, because oddly enough, despite loving going on holiday and always wishing to be living in some other, more exotic place – which my assignment was – I was feeling desperately homesick and wanting to hug son, hubby and dog all at the same time and tell them I loved them.  I’d so looked forward to coming home that afternoon, so I could spend some warm and fuzzy time to make up for my transition into Agent Aannsha Dog Sitter.

Only instead of Happy Families, I’d managed to create a minor drama where my son was crotchety for me guilt-tripping him and hubby was rightly taking his side.  A silent tear escaped the corner of my eye and I opened the fridge to take last night’s dinner for tonight with me and escape before I began sobbing.

Too late, I choked one back as I opened the fridge door.

“What’s the matter?” Baz stood behind me quicker than I could take my things and run.

Well, I blurted it all out in a blubbery blobby mess that caused a puzzled look to crease hubby’s face.  He didn’t understand me.  He never does when I melt down.  To me it is perfectly natural and totally understandable that inner tumult can result from a few changes in routine and everything that comes with it.  But to Baz, I had turned into an alien and he couldn’t fix a problem he didn’t have any reference for.  God love him.  I do.

He hugged me warily and I tried to get it together and explain logically what was going on for me.  I couldn’t, so I wiped my salty face on his jumper and pulled away still watery. But I had no time to wallow in self-pity, I had animals to feed.  I left via my son’s room where I sincerely apologised to him for being mean. He is such a forgiving fellow and hugged me with the force of ten men. Then with a lot still hanging mid-sentence, confused and a tiny bit raw between Baz and me, I got in the car and drove off.

Later that night, I texted Baz only to find that Baz – a man whose longest text to me yet had been “ok” – had texted me:

“Still lu ya, U touchy bugger”.

The most adorable thing a bloke could tell his missus.  I melted and in an instant the whole drama dissipated.

…So, the message on my pc was in reference to the toast drama.

What about having to shave my felt?

After Baz came out of the bathroom all squeaky clean, I asked him if that meant I had dinner for tonight.

“You do, it’s chilli con carne.”

“You’re a dream, thank you.”

Big hug.

Half an hour later, Baz off scuba diving, Luke chilling in his room, I set to making my felt painting.

Why I had to shave my felt

The subject of today’s felting is of an entry way north, along Moffat Beach – one of the beaches in Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, near where I live.

Pic of Moffat Beach thanks to Caloundra Tourism website

The ocean is blue, the sand gleams white in the sunshine, and there are sandy walkways to the beach through sea-grass lined with wooden railings and shaded by trees that are very pleasing to the eye.

At this point, I would like to acknowledge Gusha Visual Media who have inspired my latest work with some of their photos of the Sunshine Coast. In particular, Moffat Beach, which is so beautiful, I wanted to try and capture the scene in felt.

I beganMoffat Beach sky sea layout with a piece of cream pre-felt 60cm x 60cm as the base.  Starting with the sky, I laid several shades of blue, and thin white clouds, then laid the water in deeper turquoises.

Moffatt Beach full layout less treeThen I laid the white strip of beach and followed with the brown-sandy colour of the path, which I underlaid with brown alpaca to add depth.  After that I added the greens of the grasses. Next came the wooden railing and the shading.

Moffat Beach full layout less yarnHappy with the overall background, I put in the tree using black mixed with white and ochre, and short whispy pieces of yarn for the leaves.

Moffat Beach full layoutTo finish the work at this stage, I added the silks and yarns to give interesting detail and lustre to the overall painting.

As my feet were very sore – that’s a story for another day – I laid the work on a 60x60cm canvas on the lounge coffee table so I could sit for the couple of hours it took to do the layout.  I wasn’t sure how much wool would float away as I carried the piece over to the kitchen bench for felting, but I walked slowly and it all remained intact.  Once the canvas was removed it sat on the bubble wrap, on a towel to catch the excess water.

After soaping, rubbing, rubbing, squeezing, heating, rubbing, heating and rubbing some more, the picture was finally felted to my liking.  I rinsed the soap out, final rinsed with a bit of vinegar and spun it in the washing machine.

As I ironed it flat, I noticed that where the brown alpaca had been laid down, it had migrated through the other colours and the long fuzzy wool filaments covered the bottom half of the painting obscuring the other colours and details!  I forgot to take a photo at this point, because I was concentrating on fixing the furry mess!  After trying to snip it away with scissors and realising that would take all afternoon, I got a fresh disposable razor from my hubby’s stash and proceeded to shave the wool off the painting!

Despite being worried about losing the underlying detail, and messing up the finish of the felt that was left, I knew I couldn’t leave it furry, so shaved away.  I removed a very large handful of alpaca and was happy to see the rest of the painting was intact!

Re-ironed, I was satisfied that the painting was pretty good and after hanging it out to dry overnight, I’m looking forward to adding the finer details with needle felting and embroidery tomorrow.

However – Note To Self – only use alpaca in a felt painting if the painting is of a teddy bear or something else that requires a fuzzy finish!

That’s definitely a tip I’m going to put in a Felting Book when I get round to writing one!

Anyway, here’s the felted wall hanging of Moffat Beach, awaiting embroidery and needle felting.  Felted size is approximately 50cm x 50xm.

Moffat Beach felted

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