Friday, December 26, 2008

Joy of Feltmaking, playing with turquoise

This is one of my felt samples . It is made just for the pure pleasure of feltmaking and sometimes to see how things and colors will come together. The color I was playing around with is turquoise. While I like how it blends with many colors, my eyes especially enjoy the blending of turquoise and purple. This wonderful color happens when the two of them are blended together on a felt that I find both stimulating and very peaceful.

I know not one thing about color theory and am ashamed of that when I am talking with other fiber artist and they begin talking color theory. They'll ask "Where did you study color theory" and with usual deer in the headlights response, I just shrug and say "I didn't,... yet". So much for calm and peaceful, the "anxiety-ometer " reaches new heights and I feel like a glowing idiot. Recently though, I've come to realize that the term "earth tones" is very different to each person. Each time, I am secretly amazed and amused at the term all together. What color is it exactly that we don't have on earth? Are not all of the colors that we see EARTH COLORS and TONES? Because I've practiced asking people what they mean by earth tones, I am getting a better sense of it , but the term does make me a little jittery. (OK, the secret is out) And as I look out over this vast and spectacular creation, I am amazed at the colors and shapes that God took the time to make for us. I love that kind of generosity

It's a small piece. It may becomes something some day but for now, it is just a piece of felt with many colors.

Update on this entry: This piece did find it's rightful home. It went to my friend Irene, who has a lovely wine decanter sitting atop of it and lovely bottles of wonderful wine all around it. Cool huh?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wool Felt Hats

It's been a very busy week of felt making and the line about "miles to go before I sleep" is running through my mind like crazy. I also managed to get a wool felt vessel done and a couple of other hats too. These are the only photos that I have to share right now.

The purple felt hat with is a favorite design over a flat resist. Love the top dreds coming off of the top. Makes it very playful.
The dark purple hat was done using the needle felt form, with three layers of merino wool, then silk fabric, metallic fabric and a silk hankie applied over the crown. Photo does not show how really pretty this hat is.

The final hat is again over flat resist, with designs cut into the final felt for exposure of the under belly, as it were.

Now for a little Christmastime with my beloved family. I hope that yours is wonderful too.
Blessings to all,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Needle Felt, and New Life for an Old Sweater

I love, love, love wandering second hand and re-sale shops. I especially enjoy finding items with the tags still on from the original store or owner of the item. Such was the case of this "boiled wool" button up sweater. I had originally planned on purchasing it and then dyeing it to my color preferences, but then I got to thinking about some of the other sweaters that I've needle felted onto and decided to do the same to this one. Now, while not a complicated procedure or technique, getting the fiber to stick and stay can be a bit touchy. I often buy 100% wool sweaters that are several sizes larger than I wear so that after I've needle felted then with rovings, I can very gently full them in the washer or buy hand, knowing that there will be some shrinkage that occurs. I usually use cold water for this and have enjoyed the results very much. I'll try to show the progress of this sweater as it takes it's path down a new road of colors and textures. This project is very portable. I put the sweater on one of my purse forms (which just happens to be perfect for this) and grab a bag of roving, place and needle felt. The inside of the sweater has a water color effect. Almost makes me think I should be putting the wool on the inside and have the watercolr effect on the outside. Hmmmmmmmmmm, now that's another idea to share and play with!

One of the very first sweaters I did this with was in Spin-Off after the Denver Convergence, was that like 6 years ago now???? Anyway, it remains a favorite. I take it with me when I teach and often ask students to add to the sweater. It is all student work and therefore, very special to me.

Did you see the moon last night? By Friday, it is going to be SPECTACULAR and setting very far in the north. It's worth the effort to see it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Felt Bracelet, Felt Cuff

Ok, did the book markers and then felt guilty about not doing the bracelet, so here one is. I used gold colored prefelt wool, then added the metallic fabrics and silk pieces, then added an overlay of silk from a hand dyed silk hankie, then felted the piece. I'm sewing the snaps into place right after I add this entry.
I think I'll be doing more of these as well as showing my Best Buddy Dawn the technique on Friday.
Friday is my birthday and Dawn and I always spend a good portion of that day together, felting and laughing and felting some more. She is just the BEST!

Felt bracelet and felt bookmakers

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time talking on the phone with Suzanne Morgan (her website is listed on my sidebar) who I've met several times at different shows, once at the Midwest Felting Symposium and once at SAFF in North Carolina. She is an incredible artist, working with silk, wool and beads. Her best work is in the designs of her felt bangles or cuffs as she calls them. They are so pretty, so fem, and so easy to make. She has them all packaged up in these neat little kits, guaranteed to succeed in felt making. Suzanne is a delightful person, soft and strong kind of quiet person. I'll encourage all of you to take a peek at her website and her works. Her silks are simply stunning and lovely to work with in the felting process.

I decided to try to make one of the bracelets, then found I really liked the idea of felt bookmakers instead. I am thinking that these are a great way to use some of my silk hankies, prefelts and a few others things that have taken up every nook and cranny around here. Anyway, that's the newest thing that I've done. They are made of wool, then silk fabric squares laid on top of the wool then a silk hankie overlay then felted as usual. Very nice effect and a nice small gift to give to my friends who are avid readers. Cool, huh?