… is all that matters here!

Posts tagged ‘Green’

Dyeing to show you Tee and Scarf

After about a year of drought in the creative department, I am happy to say I feel a sense of surge of passion for dyeing and felting again!  Here is a sneak peek of two eco-dyeing projects from yesterday. They’re still drying and will be washed and re-dryed to make sure there’s no mordant left before wearing, but I wanted to show you the results.

I used saved onion skins and various eucalyptus leaves from my garden.

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

This one is the silk scarf, still wet and just unbundled. The reds of the onion skins are showing well!

Tee shirt onion and euc

This one is a close up of the tee shirt – showing how well the eucalyptus leaves and onion skins have developed. I also love how there are dark patches with white lines, from the string I tied the bundle with!

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Latest results from eco-dyeing

Where did those days go?  I’ve a few photos of results from the last couple of eco-dyeing batches, which I’ll list below.

Results of experiments dyeing calico and silk with brown onion skins in various mordants

Onion skin swatches of various mordants/material

Onion skin swatches of various mordants/material

Eco-printing alum mordanted calico with rusty nails, paprika, turmuric and fennel seeds

Paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, rusty iron nails

Paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, rusty iron nails

Results

Paprika, turmuric, fennel seeds in iron bath

Paprika, turmuric, fennel seeds in iron bath

Eco-printing calico with fresh eucalyptus leaves

Fresh eucalyptus leaf print, green

Fresh eucalyptus leaf print, green

Experimenting with capsicum leaf – turned yellow/green and rosemary – turned pink

Capsicum leaf (yellow), rosemary leaves (pink)

Capsicum leaf (yellow), rosemary leaves (pink)

 

 

 

New hemmed silk poppy scarf

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

Hemmed soft, drapable nuno felted silk scarf with poppies at either end.

I was fortunate enough to meet a textile artist the other day who told me where to source hemmed silk scarves in Australia.

I liked that idea because during our summer months the heat and humidity does make the wool on the edging of even my summer scarves a tad warm.  Using hemmed scarves means I can still felt beautiful details and pictures onto the silk, but without ‘hemming’ with wool along the edges to prevent fraying, as I have done up until now.

Of course, I still love my tissue silk and will continue to purchase that as well, because the effect you can get on this lightweight material is gossamer fine.  The hemmed silk scarves I have just obtained are slightly less open weave than the tissue silk, but when I opened the pack, I blew through one and knew that with a tad more rubbing, I could still felt it.

These scarves are gorgeous, with such a sheer lustre to them, I couldn’t wait to felt onto one.

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

Hemmed silk scarf with nuno felted poppies

This morning I set about another poppy scarf as I loved the effect of the original one I made recently.  This one is a slightly different design but still uses fine merino wool as well as silk hankies and tops along with a little Angelina fibre to get that glow that brings light-catching properties to the matt of the wool.

Gawd, I love textile art!

Hemmed silk scarf showeing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing 3 poppies nuno felted at one end

I figured wispy merino would probably migrate more through the netting during felting than onto the scarf, so I used prefelt pieces ‘stuck’ down with merino rovings, and with the wool and silk details applied on top.

I was right about needing to work it harder, but I reckon the finished effect is well worth the effort. During the felting, some of the red dye from the hand-dyed wool transferred to the white silk scarf, giving it a delicate hint of palest red, which works very well with the bold reds, black and green of the poppies.

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

Hemmed silk scarf so sheer you can see my hand through it!

The finished scarf is gorgeous! It’s lightweight, sheer, lustrous and has a lovely tailored look with the hand hemmed edges and the felted poppies at each end have a painted effect that I love.  I will definitely be felting the others in a similar way.

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

Hemmed silk scarf showing nuno felted single poppy at one end

I reckon this will make someone a delightful Christmas present.  It is one of a kind, and art in textile as well as sumptuous materials, sheer for Australian summer yet warm for winter – that’s the beauty of silk.

New network scarves

As Christmas is around the corner with only three markets before then, I’m making more treasures for my stall.

The latest two little beauties are network scarves – one in reds and oranges, the other in blues and turquoise.

Each have inlays of silk chiffon, silk hankies and silk tops all of which I hand dyed first.  The silk ensures a fabulous lustre to the scarves.  That, plus dimensional yarn snaking along the length of each one, gives each scarf a rich, interesting finish that is enhanced by the complimenting, striking colours.

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

New felty things – but not scarves!

Here’s a quick catch up on my latest felt creations.

Green orange bowl I finished the little green/maroon bowl by adding the circle I’d cut out to make the hole of the bowl. I needle felted a piece of wine coloured chiffon with some silk rovings and finished it off with a few red and orange coral beads. The photo doesn’t do the colours justice really – the silk that looks blue in the photo is really a greeny grey and blends with the bowl’s colours.

After struggling to like the tall green vase, my son upturned it and stuck it on his head.

“It’s a hat.”

I reluctantly had to agree it is a hat.  I so wanted it to be a vase.

Donning the thing on my head, I had to admit it does look Dr Seussy, and pretty damn funtastic!

So hat it is.

Raspberry lavender nuno silk scarf

First, the scarf

Silk and pc covered

Silk on bubble wrap, some of the materials to be used and my pc covered up

It’s now 5.36pm and following up on my previous post from about 2pm, here are some photos of my finished nuno silk scarf and a rough ‘tutorial’ for anyone interested in the finer points of making a nuno scarf.

As it’s mother’s day coming up, I wanted to create a scarf with a floral accent.

I used tissue silk which I’d hand dyed a raspberry shade.  The colours of the merino wool included hand dyed raspberry and dark lavender, plus a blend of lime and blue/green to give a variegated leaf colour, plus tiny amounts of lilac and pink.

I also used hand-dyed silk rovings as well as textured wool.

Everything went well and it took about three hours to complete this project.

As usual, I pushed my boundaries, this time seeing how little wool I could lay onto the silk that would give a good effect while leaving the finished scarf as light and delicate as possible.  In the final photo, you can see a closeup of the scarf showing some of the detail and also how see-through it is, with my fingers showing through the material.

This is also the first time I’ve used this specific colour combination and I like the effect.  When laying out the edging along the silk, which prevents fraying and effectively hems the scarf without sewing, I began one end all raspberry and by the time I laid out the wool towards the other end, had gradually changed the colour to the dark lavender.  When I laid out the two end ‘roses’, I also alternated the petal colouring accordingly.

All in all, I’m very happy with this scarf.  I’d love your feedback too.

5:2 Fasting update

On the fasting note (from this morning’s post), I found the afternoon went quickly without feeling starving.  I think being busy helped as well as drinking water, black coffee and roibus tea. I’m looking forward to more soup this evening and if calories allow (I think they do), a small amount of chicken breast as well.  Yum!

Felting Scarf photo gallery

My lounge is a mess, but I’ve made some great jewellery!

Lounge and studio

As you can see, my lounge has been transformed – no not trashed – into my crafting studio today.

I’ve had a great afternoon making more felt jewellery.  I really liked the turquoise wearable art set that I talked about yesterday, so I got all my bits and pieces out of the crafty kind and set about making some more wearable art sets.

I began with the green felt cuff and designed a necklace and set of earrings to match.  I’m new at making jewellery and am still taking my time to bend the wire carefully so the earrings match each other. This means the project is taking longer than I’d like, because I’ve got a craft market tomorrow and really want more pieces than I have left.  However, I was so pleased with how the green set turned out, I am glad I took my time.

Rushing something so I can see the finished result and start the next thing is a tendency of mine, but felting and creating generally is a great teacher of working methodically.  Especially if you’re making two of a kind like earrings, you can’t rush the job because you might well end up with two mis-matched earrings and that would be frustrating.

So, I was very patient and acted my age instead of my shoe size, taking my time and not forcing the birth of my new felt babies.

Here’s the green set, which I think goes very nicely with the green cuff/bracelet.

Green felt wearable art set

 

 

I then turned to the maroon cuff with a view to making a set with that.  The turquoise and green necklaces were made using pre-bought ribbon and thread pre-strung onto clasps.  I had to undo the clasps and thread the felt and beading onto them.  Easier said than done I’ll tell ya.  The felt roll was okay because it had a big central hole, as were the two large glass beads on either side.  But threading the smaller glass onto the green thread proved to be tricky.  Each time I tried to thread a tiny glass bead onto the thread, it frayed.

To fix this, I got some sticky tape and wound it round the end so some stuck out over the end, which I  cut into a point.  That pointy end acted like a needle and made it easier to thread the glass seed beads onto.

Then I just had to re-attached the clasp and hey presto!  One more necklace.

However, when it came to making the maroon necklace, I didn’t have a coloured ribbon/thread necklace as a base.  I used some tiger tail instead and threaded the whole thing on there.  However, I couldn’t leave the tiger tail exposed, so I threaded tiny glass seed beads all the way up to the clasp, which I added and fixed with crimps.

Considering this is a new creative avenue for me, I’m surprised at how easily I managed to put it together.  I’m hoping it’s not beginner’s luck.

Anyhow, here’s a pic of the finished maroon necklace.

Maroon felt necklace

When it came to making the maroon earrings, I wanted to try something a little different.  So I added a little dangly red bead at the bottom – a new technique which gave a cool finish – and I think looks lovely.  The addition of freshwater pearls to the necklace and earrings give a nice richness to them, and ties them in with the handmade button on the bracelet.

While the photos don’t really do the work justice, (it’s raining here and inside’s a bit dark) I think you can see them clearly enough.  Here are a few more photos, showing the maroon earrings and a few extra angles.

 

OMG I love making stuff!

In Search of Happiness II

In Search of Happiness II – second in watercolour series

Since I made a commitment to myself recently to get more creative, I’ve been making at least one little thing each day.

Often at night I would just zone out in front of the TV, too tired to do anything but not quite ready to go to bed to sleep to wake up and do the treadmill all over again.

However as I said, I recently decided not to compromise myself any more.  Instead of slogging my guts out trying to make more money so I can relax and get more creative I had a bit of a Eureka moment where I realised I was doing life cart-before-the-horseish.

So for the last few days (yeah it was a very recent aha moment), I have been focusing on creativity first and trusting the moolah will roll in along the way anyway.  Sure, I’m still doing my regular part-time job.  I’m not stupid and not about to unrealistically step way out of my comfort zone to become a starving artist.

Instead, I’m opting for a daily dose of creativity.  Arting for art’s sake.  Because really, that’s much more aligned with my core self.  I’ve done the responsible thing for years at the expense of my own inner happiness and sometimes health.  Not any more.  Opening my eyes a bit more widely as I come through my mid-life transition is showing me very clearly that my soul – my creative essence – will create or I will suffer the consequences.

As they say, you can’t follow two masters.

So I’m balancing my life differently.  I guess on the outside people who know me wouldn’t think I was doing anything differently except being more productive in the creative department.  But I know.  Deep down, I know that I’m valuing myself more.  I’m prioritising my values better.  I’m listening to my inner ‘master’ – the one who knows me best.  My core self.  I’ve ignored it’s heart-yearning for too long and now I’m just going to follow my passion.

“Do what you love and the money will follow”

I so get that saying now.   Certainly in the “do what you love” sense.

I was starting to feel deep down to my core that my life was becoming a tad on the meaningless side.  Too many shades of grey were seeping across my multi-coloured inner texture.  How long can a soul suspend their true identity before they lose themselves?  I guess it depends on the soul.

All I know is that I reached a turning point recently.  One of those make your mind up moments of the make or break kind.

I realised I wanted to spend another fifty plus years having a more fulfilled and fun life than in my first fifty odd years.  But I had to make some real changes.

And so I have.

Now I get to play each day.  I play with colour.  I play with texture.  I create for the fun of it.  And I share it with you, here.

Now I have three cuffs – Green, Maroon, Blue. Blue, green and maroon cuff bracelets

To make each, I cut 4cm strips from pieces of felt I had made previously. The felt pieces are all made of Australian merino wool with silk rovings.  Then I hand embroidered them with glass beads and finished with hand-made buttons.  I made the maroon one last night.

Two of the buttons are of mother-of-pearl with glass beads added as I sewed them on. The red button was made by gluing red glass beads and a freshwater pearl to a larger button. Button holes and edging are blanket stitched in embroider’s cotton.

Maroon cuff stripHere’s the other side of the maroon cuff showing a lovely cushioned patch of black wool that I made by twisting a thick piece of roving into a closed circle and adding before felting. The red heart-shaped bead was sewn on when dry.

Wall hanging on CoonowrinHere’s my wall hanging in my consultation room. This morning I decided that I’d rather see it hanging up than lying on a bench gathering dust, or in a box having its ‘dharma’ (or reason of being) wasted.  I found a nice straight stick in my garden that I think adds to the rustic feel of the painting and threaded it through the tabs on the backing fabric.

Then I hung it from a hook using green dimensional wool.

I took the photos at night, so the colours aren’t accurate; the lime green wall looks more like avocado in this pic!

 

Time to be creative!

After I did that, I re-organised my felt pieces and realise how little I’ve got left after last market.  I’ve certainly got a lot of creating to do before the next market.  What a good thing I’ve decided to create something each day!

Wall hanging in my consultation room

Off the cuff – another bracelet!

After I tweaked my blue cuff/bracelet yesterday, by making a button hole and removing the press stud I felt happy that it would be more secure on the wrist.

I loved the blue Ocean cuff, and went through my felt pieces, finding a lovely rich green piece with silk tops and some dimensional wool in the fabric.  The section I cut for the cuff had some leaf-shapes already removed and it all reminded me of a rainforest.

Using some multi-shaded green cotton I blanket-stitched around the holes and the button hole, and added some little french knots in groups of three.  It still needed something, so I added little green glass beads, also in threes and a tad more blanket stitch around some of the edge to give definition to the shape. Finally I was pleased!

The button I used is a mother of pearl base with a multi-green oval glass bead on top.  Coooool!

Here are a couple of pics of the finished Rainforest cuff, including the revamped Ocean cuff.

Tip:  If you cut out a piece of felt and don’t like the rough raw edge, but don’t want to wet-felt the edge and dry it, you can always needle-felt the edge from the right side, and eventually, it felts together giving a nicer, more finished look and feel.

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