Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hat for Brains

I did a demonstration at a felt exhibition before Christmas, using some red wool from one of those "lucky dip" bags. I have no idea what the wool is but it created a really unexpected result.

Several people commented on how much it looked like a brain.... well I had to do it didn't I? My sense of humour wouldn't let me walk away..... I had to make a hat to look like a brain out of what was left of the red wool. :)

Laying out the mysterious red wool:

I used some of my rainbow-dyed merino for the inner layer:

Laying out the merino:

It's nearly finished but I need your advice please, do you prefer option 1, 2, 3 or 4?

Option 1: brim folded up

Option 2: brim folded up and then the uneven edge folded back in on itself
Option 3: to cut the uneven edge to straighten it up

Option 4: to fold the brim under so you only get "brain" and no brim
What do you think?

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Finished "Leopard Print" Dress

As promised, here are some photos of me sporting the finished dress. I wore it to my Spinners Weavers and Dyers Guild AGM and it was a real hit!

With a little "help" from Pickle 

This photo was taken while doing the final shaping, I think it is really interesting how the colour of the silk changes when wet (pieces at the top of the picture).

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I  have been quite busy this week, finishing the cape with hundreds of felted tassels, I enjoyed making it but it really did take hours and hours to hand felt all those tassels! I just need to edge the neckline and add a button.

This weekend I started working on a textured wall hanging that has been festering in the back of my mind since I saw a photo of icicles hanging from a roof back in November.

This is the sketch I made at the time, as you can see it really was just a seed of an idea at the time...

I raided my goody bag looking for some interesting textures and found some silk noil and different grades of wool nepps along with some hand dyed mulberry silks that I think will make a lovely, colourful addition to the icicles. You know how ice has a sparkly quality when the light hits it just right? I thought some angelina might replicate that effect quite nicely.

Laying out the base (it's about 3ft x 4 ft)

Starting to lay out the "icicles" with some flashes of colour provided by the mulberry silk.

More on the Icicles hanging next time...

I also managed to finish my "leopard print" dress this week too, I was surprised at how long this one took, I can usually make a dress in 2 days but this took all day Sunday and then every evening last week, I finally finished it on Saturday morning! This is the front:

And the back:

I hope to get a photo of me wearing it next week.... watch this space :)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year New Goals

I can't believe we are already 3 days into 2015.... so I am already late setting my new goals; not the most auspicious start! :)

My first 2 goals are essentially carried over from last year but they really worked for me so I will carry on with those with just some small edits.
  1. Post to my blog at least once per week and to Facebook twice per week
  2. Maintain at least 90 listings on Etsy
  3. Attend at least 2 workshops with other feltmakers to further develop my felting repertoire
  4. Start teaching felt making
Number 2 is an interesting one for me, as we approached Thanksgiving last year I set myself a target of having 90 items listed in my Etsy shop and I noticed a significant increase in sales soon after (not difficult to achieve, you might think, given that I had only sold 8 pieces in the 13 months prior). Initially I put the sales spurt down to a Christmas rush but I have had 5 more sales since Christmas (I'm still bouncing round the house with joy that other people like my work! :) ) so it can't just be people buying Crimbo presents.

Number 3 is a bit of a cheat since I have already signed up for a hat making class with Judit Pocs (I am so excited I can barely sit still) and I already have an idea of what I would like to do for the second one (more on that once it has been confirmed). But I do think it is important to keep learning from each other and expanding our horizons.

Number 4 is still just a handful of seeds in my mind, a few people have suggested I write a tutorial and I have ideas for at least 3 but the new EU VAT rules that came into force on January 1st put a spanner in those plans for a while but after much reading and networking I think there may be a work-around if I email the tutorials (it still isn't clear if ALL the EU countries will agree this is acceptable). I also like the idea of doing some face-to-face teaching although it scares the hell out of me! There is a studio near me that runs a variety of workshops but as far as I can see felting is not on their menu, so I have plans to go and have a chat with the owner.... watch this space :)

I hope you have been taking a few days from your day job and have found time to be creative over the last week or so?  I have been having a whale of a time, here are a few images of the things I have been working on:

A pair of fingerless gloves to match my felt jacket:

Another pair of fingerless gloves with silk hankies for decoration:

A couple of nuno felt scarves:

A black-widow spider inspired cape - in this photo it looks more like a dangerous creature from the deep :)

Rolling the tassels for the fringes took forever, I am so glad it is now finished and busy drying!

A new nuno felt top for me :)

layout of the silk over a resist

layout of wool over the silk

I plan to wear this next week - will try to get a photo of it on, seeing it laid flat on a table under artificial lights really doesn't do it any justice...

What have you been up to over Christmas? Have you made any resolutions or set goals for 2015? I hope your start to 2015 had been great and reflects how the rest of 2015 will pan out.

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday