Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My first fair

On sunday the 7th of October I will participate in a fair for the first time. Together with two friends I will share a stall and we will be showing and selling all kinds of felt, jewelry and jams and chutneys.

Over the past few weeks I have been preparing for this event. Buying displays for my necklaces, designing new business cards, searching for the price tags I must have, somewhere.

Anyway, if you are in the neighborhood, you can find us at the Pompoenenmarkt in Zeist (Netherlands) from 12.00-16.30 hrs.

Let's just hope the weather will be with us!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chain necklace - tutorial

A while ago I promised you a tutorial on the big chain necklace I made.
Last week I made another one, not as chunky as the first one, and this time I took pictures.

I prepared by pulling pieces of roving about 20cms in length and splitting them length wise.
By folding a piece of roving into a circle, you make the first link. Put the part where the two ends meet together on a piece of foam or whatever you use for needle felting and felt them together.
Be sure this part ends up about as thick as the rest of wool to get an even link.

Repeat this until you have the length you want and at that point close the necklace with one last link, pulling the two end together.

As my closing link I used three 20cm pieces of thin pencil roving intertwined to one link.

As a finishing touch a laid out some silk roving in matching colours on only a few links of the chain and needle felted them lightly, just to make sure they will not float away when getting wet.

After that you can start felting the necklace link by link. I only wet a few links at a time.
The water doesn't have to be really warm at this point because it is more about rolling the links one by one between your hand and you fingers, and not yet about the fulling.

Be sure your hands aren't too slick and soapy at this stage because the wool needs some resistance to roll round. Otherwise your will be felting a flat piece of wool. (You will know what I mean when the moment occurs.)

After I finish prefelting the whole necklace I put it in the dryer for a few minutes, on COLD (!), to roll some more. When I think the links are nice and round, it goes in the dryer for a second cycle, but this time using the HOT air to start fulling.
Be sure the whole piece is still quite wet when putting it in the dryer, otherwise it will come out all frizzy and fluffy.

And here is the end result of your work:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Felted mini backpack

Sometimes you walk around with an idea for weeks before it comes to life. I have a big notebook at hand in which I write down some features I want to work on in a piece, but most of the process happens in my head by visualising.

This mini backpack has been growing in my head over the past few weeks.

You can see the outline of the (white) inside pockets through the black wool, but somehow this adds to the square theme...

I used resists for the inside pockets. The first time I used extra resists, and it worked fine.

I went to the department store for thin black leather belts to use as straps, but in the end I came home with these braces. The belts were all too big, but these braces add a quirky detail to the backpack.

You cannot see this in the pictures but before fulling I have sewn the outlines by hand to make the outlines more distinguished and help with pressing the side and bottom folds.

All in all I am happy with the result!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some of my latest projects

Like I told you last time, I am completely addicted to felting at the moment.
I have been trying all kinds of, for me, new techniques like shibori felting and dyeing, cobweb felting, mixing colours and hand dyeing. And most of it turned out quite like I imagined.

I am completely in love with this one!

As you may have guessed by now, I am into chunky jewelry. Being 6.1" that is not really a problem ;-)
Next time I am going to make a chain necklace like this, I will take and post some pictures of the whole process so you can see step by step how I did it.

All kinds of blues and purples


I dyed this necklace after making the noodles. I first poured different shades of blue over them while already being stringed. After that I sprayed them with a "fun pump" spray in a purple shade.
In between the steps I fixated the dye in the microwave and found out that the nylon string I used could not withstand the heat so all the noodles ended up in a heap. I finally stringed them randomly on three thin rubber cords and this is what came of it.

Triangle set

Shibori felted

Partly cobweb felted, sprayed, stamped and splatted with dye

Shibori felted, partly shibori dyed and sprayed
I will gradually add most of these to my Etsy shop, with more detailed pictures, so I hope you will pay me a visit some time.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Felt, felt, felt

I have been neglecting my blog terribly for the last few week. In part because I have been ill, but for the most part because I have been felting. A lot!
I have done some felting over the years, but suddenly it has me completely hooked and I am trying all kinds of techniques. I am even going to attend a masterclass in September.

I will show off some of my experiments now.


And I added these to my Etsy shop as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Felted pebble pouffe

Last Sunday I attended a workshop to make a pebble pouffe from felted wool. I have done some felting, but this was a whole new adventure. And a lot of work!
I will show you the pictures I took from the subsequent steps in the process. I will also tell you what could be done better next time round :-)

In short:
  • you felt a really large bag (felt it just enough to make the fabric feel a bit firmer, the fulling happens later in the process, when the pebbles are all in place!) 
  • make an opening on one side (about 10cms/4")
  • put in bricks made of foam rubber which are wrapped in a thin layer of wool; the wool being fixed lightly on the foam with a felting needle
  • tie the bricks from the outside of the bag with rope or rubber band
  • if you want, put some extra foam rubber in to make the pouffe a bit rounder in shape
  • close the bag (I used the you-and-me stitch so you can hardly see where the bag was closed)
  • throw the pouffe in the dryer for a period of time to really start the fulling process (mine was in for about 45 minutes)
  • rinse to get the soap out and use vinegar with the last rinse to eliminate any soap residue
  • squeeze out as much water as possible and leave the pouffe on a drying rack to drip out and dry up completely
  • be proud of the result!
Any further comments I will put with the corresponding picture.

I didn't measure the size of the bag, but it was approx 100x150cms (40x60"). Here you see the start, with one side of the bag laid out.

This is the "finished" bag with some of the bricks, ready to be put in.

The first bricks have been tied in the bag. I later on found out I left too much space between the bricks so next time I will do my best to tie them as close together as possible.

This is where I stopped for the day and started heading home. I continued the next day.

Throwing the pouffe around to start the fulling process.
By now you can see how much space there is between the pebbles, so, at that point, I decided to pull out the extra stuffing, hoping the pebbles would come closer together during the fulling process in the dryer.
Which they did!

In this picture you can see the ropes used to tie the bricks into pebbles.
You remove them at this stage.
The result after a hard day's work (or two...)

I did not intend to write a complete tutorial, this is just a description of the steps it took to make this felted pebble pouffe. For real tutorials on, for instance, how to felt a bag, you can always search the internet.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Eclectic collection

You work in graphics and arts publishing, this is how you live.

Arch and Jane MacDonnell of the Auckland graphics studio Inhouse give a house tour through their farmstead in the back of Birkenhead (AU).
A big part of their collection of fine arts and books are souvenirs from record projects, collaborations and from friends.

                                                                                                                                                                 Source: Habitus