Saturday, 16 April 2016

More Nuno

If you liked the painted landscapes and the Start2 tutorial from my last post, you'll probably love the post Ruth did on the Felting and Fiber Studio site this week. She wrote a great tutorial for how to add detail to the landscapes to finish them off.

You might remember I had some unusual pieces of fabric in the nuno samples I also showed in that blog post. In the small piece, I had a strip from a scarf which pretty much looks like lengths of fine shiny threads held together loosely. This is what the scarf it came from looks like:

On the bigger nuno sample, I tried a piece of a loosely woven and ruffled scarf, this is what that scarf looks like:

Another unusual scarf I sampled was also loosely woven, it had different sections:

The part I used on the previous nuno piece had lots of loose fibres trapped between the layers which I didn't know until I cut it:

They looked like soy top, but fell out so didn't get felted with the sample. I don't think I showed a close up of that piece, here it is:

This is the full piece of the recent nuno sample I made:

This is a closer look at the left end. The top and third piece are both sections of the pink scarf, cut from the different ends:

This is a close up of the other pink piece:

This is the middle section. The bottom piece is a strip of Sari silk. I've had mixed results with sari silk scraps I've had before so thought I'd try it out:

It was difficult getting a photo of the right end of the sample, the colours were so bright. I had to ignore the beige crepey strip at the bottom, it didn't attach very well anyway:

I managed to squeeze a couple of other strips on at the end, another piece of sari silk. I also put a little piece of a linen scarf I've tried before at the bottom:

Monday, 28 March 2016

Landscapes and Nuno

Ruth did a post on The Felting and Fiber Studio just over a week ago about a landscape tutorial on the Start2 website. I hadn't come across that tutorial before and thought Ruth's paintings were brilliant, so having been stuck in a recliner for a week and half with flu, I was itching to do something creative so gave it a go. I had some thick but cheap sketchbook paper and also a variety of printer paper samples to try it on. This first one is the sktechbook paper:

And this is the textured printer paper sample:

They need flattening and cropping. I was disappointed they weren't as nice as Ruth's, but if I'd seen them before Ruth's I'm sure I'd have been more impressed :) I wish I had the artistic skills to add to them to improve them. I'm at least going to look for a white gel pen. I don't think I've mentioned Start2 here before. It's a creative well-being site which is great for activities which get your mind working and your creativity flowing in ways you might not have tried before. I did a post about it on the Studio site just before Christmas:

In my last post I mentioned I hadn't had time to felt my demo piece when we did landscapes at the well-being centre. As well as the general layout, I was showing ways of using some different fibres, like cotton, nylon, plastic and even mohair for effects in the sky, and how to tease apart and fluff up texturey wools or dyed nylon for adding depth and texture. I didn't really give much thought to how it would look, just showed them all and piled them on. All I can say is, the locks look nice :)  The patch of wool and nylon on the bottom right looks like some green bodied, red headed creature looking over its own shoulder!

I took some fabric strips with me the week after for some experimenting. This is the piece I made:

I thought I'd make a bigger sample trying out more of the fabrics. Before going back to the other well being centre, I wanted to get a better idea of which fabrics attach securely and will hold up to being handled a lot, which might need some stitching to secure and which will be better for more decorative pieces. This is the whole piece:

And here are some angled photos to show better how they attached and their texture (or not in some cases), left side:

Middle pieces:

Right hand side:

I still have a few more strips I want to try, hopefully I'll get a chance later this week.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Wet Felting for Well Being

I've mentioned previously that last year I got involved with a well being centre doing wet felting (I'm still very grateful for all the wonderful donations I received!). The organisers started to get another well being centre up and running in the New Year, and a couple of weeks ago we started the wet felting classes there. We're planning to alternate between each centre for 6 week courses and have them more structured and with themes like nuno or resists etc. For now we have a loose plan for 6 weeks of taster sessions, depending on whether we get the same people each week or new. The first week we made nuno flowers, and the second week we made soft, layered, decorative felt. We had an extra table the 2nd week which was good:

If you look near the top right of the photo above you can just see the bowl Jo (one of the organisers) made at the other centre a few weeks ago when we used resists. We were making these pieces as an exercise in laying the wool out thinly, building up layers, and using yarns and embellishments to create soft decorative felt. I've noticed in recent years that a lot of people learn to make one specific thing when they start felting and have fixed ideas about how it should be or what 'works', so I wanted to avoid that and encourage more experimenting and discovery about why things turn out the way they do. Here are some of the pieces being made:

The piece above is one Linda was working on, when it was finished and dry she embellished it beads, buttons and ribbons:

And this is my finished piece:

Close up of commercial loop yarn pulled apart, what I think is mohair yarn from Lyn, some different nylons and silk throwster's waste:

This is what it looks like when light comes through it:

Last week, week 3, there were loads of us, the loose 'theme' was landscape/garden. I got a photo of the table and as Leonor from Felt Buddiespointed out in her blog post recently, you can tell it's the UK from the mugs of tea :)

I can't remember the name of who was laying out this piece, she was new last week, tilt your head to the right a bit:

I know this was Linda's (tilt to the left a bit!):

And I know I shouldn't have favourites, but I just loved this one by Pearline who was also new (both Pearline and her friend whose name I've forgotten were a bit late and missed the laying out demo, so just watched others and picked it up) she'd almost finished felting it here:

We had so many people that there wasn't space for me to felt my demo layout piece and I just haven't managed to do it yet, but it should be interesting as I showed a few techniques for clouds and streaky skies with plastic, nylon, cotton and blends, so it might look like I went over the top a bit :)

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Vessel and Pod

I don't think I've ever used a flat resist for a vessel like this before. The idea was to make it as an example of using resists to take to the felting class at the well-being centre, but before I'd even finished the layout, I knew it'd be too much for us to do in a couple of hours. I used lots of the Gotland locks from Zara, and decided to work inside out, so I laid these on the resist first. I used a couple of layers of Gotland fleece, then some cheaper 'Scottish Grey' I'd bought from wollknoll.  Between the Gotland and Scottish fleece I added some more Gotland locks around the top. There is a bit of a ridge inside, but I thought it turned out really well:

The other side:

Here's a couple of close ups of the locks around the top:

I used lots of different ones:

A closer look at the bottom, the locks felted in really nicely but still kept lots of character:

When we did use resists at the well being centre, they didn't quite turn out as planned. Because I had 'vessels' in mind and got out all the natural wools, I wasn't thinking properly, so cut a resist for a glasses case based on using Merino like I usually do, so when thick layers of English 56s, Finnish and Corriedale were used, it barely shrunk and turned into a small sturdy bag! I was running out of time, so only did 3 layers on my bird pod, so it ended up shrinking a lot more widthways and became very tall and narrow! One of the members in the group liked it though so hopefully the blue tits in her garden do, too :)

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Flower Shaped Vessel from a Flat Resist.

I didn't realise it has been a month since my last blog post! I always feel bad when I leave it so long, but I try to post on the same days I post on The Felting and Fiber Studio site, and sometimes I'm so tired and my eyes ache so much after that I just don't have the energy or the will. If it wasn't such a faff to sign in and out of different gmail accounts to do it too, I'd be more inclined. And, I'm fairly certain there's only one person (Hi Ali! ) who ever reads it who doesn't read the studio site blogs.

Anyway! ... In case you missed it, Ruth posted the First Quarter Challenge on the Felting and Fiber Studio Site about flat resists, I've used flat resists before, mostly for surface design, simple cases, and a few bags. I have made a few 3D items with flat resists: some bird pods, a few hats, and even a supposed seed pod which looked like the rib cage of a dead animal, but I think I've only tried a vessel once and it was a bit flimsy. So, I thought I'd try a vessel again. I decided on a flower shape, I can't find the actual resist, but it was basically a flower shape:

I used some 27 mic coloured Merino batt I bought from wollknoll and used some silk hankies over the top. This is how it looked from above:

How the underneath looks:

And a kind of side view:

This is where the silk hankie was fine:

And this is where the silk hankie was thicker:

And this is a close up of the batt texture:

If I did it again, I would make the shape more curvy, where the petal shapes met, it was a sharp V shape and the vessel is too thin there, and in some places little holes. This is looking through the vessel opening at a thin patch:

In case you missed it on the studio site, I gave a heads up for my 4th Quarter Challenge which I'll post about around October. Basically, all the challenges this year are on felting techniques, and the theme of mine is 'threads and yarns', so start collecting (all those things you probably never throw away if you're like 95% of fibre artists!) the little snippings of sewing thread:

The annoying frayings and unravellings you get after tearing fabric, like these organza threads:

Any odd or short bits of yarn, handmade, bought or even unpicked knitting:

Plus embroidery thread, string, twine, tassels off the end of scarves and any other bits of thread or yarn you have left over after constructing or deconstructing anything fibre related :)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Finished Purses

Happy New Year!

In my last blog post, I was stitching together some felt purses and finished almost all of them. The first two were made from a piece of woven nuno felt I made earlier last year:

This is the first purse, Front:

And the back with the flap opened:

This is the front of the second purse:

And the back of it:

You might remember a sunflower nuno piece I made a while ago:

This became a coin purse too. This is the front:

This is how the back looks when the flap is opened:

And if there's not much sunlight, you can always open it up and look inside ;)

The flowery purse I was sewing from a piece of fabric I made for Beyone Nuno got finished:



But the bluey/white/turquoise one didn't. I did find the perfect button for it though! This is one of my favourite pieces from last year, inspired by plaid:

If you need some inspiration to get you back into felting, Ruth has posted the first quarterly challenge on the felting and Fiber Studio today: