Monday, 22 September 2014

Fiona Duthie Surface Design Workshop

I signed up for Fiona Duthie's online suface design workshop a few weeks and it started last week and I have to say I am loving it! Although many of the techniques we have covered so far are already familiar to me, Fiona has some quirky suggestions for how to use the techniques that I am finding very refreshing and stimulating. It looks like we will be covering 2 or 3 techniques each week and coming to the end of week 2 I am loving combining the different techniques in new ways.

While I don't feel it would be fair to Fiona to share the actual techniques here I think it is ok to show some of the results....

I plan to add some stitching to this piece to highlight the setting sun on the left and make the foreground look more like a beach.

I still need to do quite a lot of needle-felting details onto the turtle's head and legs and I will add more texture to the "rock" with some stitching but am pleased with how this piece is coming along.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Dagmar Binder Workshop and Hawk Conservancy

I have just returned from a wonderful weekend of felting with Dagmar Binder in North Devon. The group of ladies attending this workshop were amazing, so helpful, friendly and great inspiration for bouncing ideas off each other. Here are a selection of the samples we made using Dagmar's technique that relies quite heavily on prefelt and a lot of consideration given to the arrangement of fibres during layout.

We were very fortunate with the weather too, we had sunny days and beautiful sunsets, these pictures were taken near Georgeham, one of many picture-postcard style villages in the area.

We made a stop at the Hawk Conservancy near Andover (just down the road from Stone Henge) on the way home, we weren't really expecting too much (I have an aversion to seeing animals in cages, even when it is in the name of conservation) but we were blown away by the experience. There are lots of opportunities to get up close with the birds and during the displays you can expect your hair to be ruffled by their wing tips as they fly so close. I took hundreds of photos, these are just a few of my favourites.

Mr TB with Delta the Barn Owl
Duck! No, it's a vulture....

Black Kites

We will definitely be going back for another visit... :)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

End of an Era

I'm feeling a little bit lost today, this morning I packed up the last of my City and Guilds pieces and mailed them to my tutor for assessment. I have plenty of ideas to try out and new things I want to make but just can't seem to muster the energy to get started this afternoon. Perhaps I should let myself take a an evening off, relax and find renewed enthusiasm tomorrow. Enough with the wallowing already.... here are couple of new pieces and a WIP.

These clutch bags were part of the C&G course, the pink one has a zip across the front flap to reveal an extra pocket:

 The green one was inspired by the sampler in my last post.

This little bowl was crocheted from the Jacob's fleece I dyed and spun a couple of weeks ago.

And this is my WIP, again it was inspired by the sample in my last post and when it is long enough, I will felt it into and infinity scarf. This is the prefelt that I cut up to make the scarf.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Finishing up C&G work

I've spent most of the last few days working on the last assessment pieces for my C&G work. My biggest problem is I can never make just one piece to demonstrate a skill or technique, I usually have a head crammed full of different ideas to try and it is really hard for me to stop at just one.... I really should exercise some self control but I don't want to! ;)

This is a sample made from different  ways to needle-felt pieces of prefelt. This sampler has already spawned 2 new ideas that are WIPs, the first is a lattice style scarf the second is a bag with lots of texture on the surface. More on those in my next post.

In a similar vein, this piece was made by needle-felting different fabrics onto a prefelt base, I like this as it is but am itching to add some machine embroidery but will have to wait until after it has been assessed before I do that (I have been told by my tutor to refrain from embroidering my felt pieces). This piece is only the size of a postcard so I am already planning a similar piece on a much larger scale...

And a couple of vases, the purple one is Norwegian C1 while the green one is Corriedale. I made the Corriedale one to see if it would produce a firmer / stiffer felt but there isn't a great difference between them, the Corriedale is only marginally firmer than the Norwegian. The yarns wrapped around the bases are the products of my hand-spinning, I like to think my spinning is definitely improving :)

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rainbow Theme Continues....

I have been making a few of these recently, dyeing the prefelt is a lot of fun and I think the finished effect is very striking and the bright colours make me feel happy. This piece reminds me of aliums as they go to seed so have called it "Rainbow Alium".

I also managed to mount my coral piece onto a wooden frame ready to go onto Etsy. I decided the white shows off the folds beautifully so chose not to dye this one. Here is the finished piece.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Weyfest was Brilliant!

I spent last weekend at Weyfest, a small and very friendly music festival about 10 miles from where I live. I have been to a few music festivals over the years but Weyfest is definitely one of the most enjoyable, there's always a broad spectrum of ages and everyone is always in such a good mood (and I don't think it was due to any chemical assistance).

A lot of the bands such as 10cc, Squeeze (Cool for Cats), Chas and Dave, had their hay-days several decades ago and I'm sure that influences the demographic of the crowd, there were a lot of parents and grandparents with children in tow which was lovely to see.

I was there with the West Surrey Spinners Weavers and Dyers and we all had a fantastic time, I'm afraid I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to take photos.

These guys were a troop of rather gothic looking morris dancers, I love their costumes! They seem to be a regular fixture at the festival as I have seen them before.

 photo by Peter Day
The hats I made were a real crowd pleaser, the bright colours and unusual animal themes solicited a lot of interest and 2 of them found new homes. It was a real joy to see their new owners sporting their purchases as I wandered around the festival.

This one was the first to find a new owner, a really lovely man who felt bad about haggling £2 off the price and came back the following morning and left the money with a fellow spinner - how lovely is that?! I still find it rather amusing that he chose to wear the hat back to front but seeing him wearing it, it does look equally good either way round and as he pointed out it does have a Tibetan vibe about it.

The "Firestarter" hat also sold, lots of people loved this hat and quite a few tried it on so I wasn't too surprised that it sold. It was bought by a young lady who said her friend had been coveting it - how nice is that? I saw him wearing it a couple of hours later, it was a real head-turner, definitely a hat to get noticed in!

And finally a nuno shawl found a new home, again, it was bought as a gift by a young lady for her mum I believe.

A weekend spent spinning and chatting in the sun, listening to live music and 3 sales, who could ask for more? :)