Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween To All!!

Has anyone else figured out this trick?

...just buy Halloween candy that you really don't like...Almond Joy for you nut- or coconut-haters, Smarties for the educationally averse...(boo, hiss!)

...and you're safe!!

That is, until your little goblins bring in their bags of goodies...and make the mistake of going to sleep!!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

If At First You Don't Succeed...

This is a story of persistence.

I wanted to make a large piece of felt for a shawl (my first), but I didn't want to make it too colorful and thus limit its use. I made it from some dull-ish taupe/grey roving, but added some burgundy pencil roving in random swirls for a little 'lift'.

I fitted it to my youngest daughter and made two button-holes, found some cool leather buttons that I thrifted from an old sweater, and sewed them on.

When I took a look at it and tried it on, I really hated it.

It didn't 'work' at all...not the fit...not the size.

SIGHHHHHHH...what to do?

I decided to make a purse from it, using a pattern that I drew on interfacing.

I pieced the strap and sewed a wide piece of twilltape inside of it for strength, and added one of the buttons as a closure. I then lined it with grey commercial felt.

After it was sewn together, it appears that the pencil roving was actually
designed to flow like that, from the flap to the body of the bag, and back again.

Happy accident, indeed! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Can't Resist!




Using a resist is difficult.

Remember my other hideous bowl?

This is even worse.

I cut a piece of thin craft foam into a 'U' shape and covered it with wool roving on both sides, then again on each side with the fiber running in a perpendicular direction to my first application.

I must have gotten it too thick at the bowl bottom, though, since no amount of vigorous rubbing could even out the bowl walls.

I also tried to include cut-work leaves for decoration, but I covered them with too much fiber (to hold them in place) and the end result was merely leaf-shaped 'bumps'.

...and what is that orange thing in the bottom of the bowl? No, not a goldfish, but a dyed curly lock. Ummmmm....better in theory than in practice!

My 'fixes' for this project were to needle-felt leaf designs onto the finished and dried bowl...very so-so.

What did I learn? Well...I need a lot more practice using a resist, and next time, I need to be a little more careful with the amount of fiber I use when going around the edges (esp. bottom!) of my resist.

...remember-Less is More!! :)
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lattice Scarf Part Deux

Full disclosure: I had help with this scarf.

My youngest daughters helped me to make some stylized 'posies' in different colors...all with yellow centers.

I first made the white lattice, then needle-felted the flowers in ways that they could be anchored in at least two spots.

It's pretty large, so it was a little awkward to do (I had to do half at a time on my foam needle-felting pad), but it really looks pretty.

...and it's a lot softer and less bulky than my previous attempt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lattice Scarf

I wanted to try a lattice scarf, but I was a little afraid., I needle-felted the three layers of fiber together prior to wet-felting it.

...but this made it a little thick and not as flexible as I'd like.

..but the colors are fun, and it will make a warm wrap on a cool night.
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Nuno felting

This scarf is another try at nuno felting.

As you can see in the two photos that were taken while it was hanging to dry, the wool has not fully migrated through the silk and it doesn't really look finished.

After I popped it into a zippered pillow-case cover and machine washed and dried it, it looks much more felted.

I used pencil roving for the fringe. I really like it when it is long and wiggly like that!

Field Trip (Part 2 of 2)

I don't want to neglect the animals who make all of this fun crafting possible.

There were loads of bunnies at this festival, and I have never in my life seen such mellow rabbits!

These are clearly bunnies who are loved and handled a lot from birth, because some of them were just chillin' in baskets or on little carts, completely unfettered... enjoying being petted by strangers.

One of the most charming and unusual sights of the festival was a woman spinner who held her rabbit on her lap as she pulled off its angora wool for spinning.

I also really love the angora goats with the long locks of mohair! My girls said that their expressions were so 'chill', like, "Yeah? So what?"

I did buy some wonderful acid green mohair, and I'm hoping to channel some of that 'cool' attitude into my finished felt piece!! :)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Field Trip (Part 1 of 2)





We spent a wonderful Saturday at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in Berryville, VA.

It was a funny day weather-wise, but that didn't stop us from eating an entire bagfull of kettle corn popcorn, noshing on fresh apples and apple cider, and buying bags and bags of heavenly fiber.

I met some lovely vendors, several of whom were kind enough to allow me to photograph them with their wares.

I just love the colors and textures at these events!! It could be billed as an Extreme sensory experience!! :)

I bought some fun colors of Angelina for adding a little bling to my batts, some neon-dyed curly locks, bagsfull of multi-colored roving and 'coveted' much, much more.

The braided rug class that they offered looked really interesting, as well. The quick how-to: you braid roving and then 'full' the long braid in the washing machine and dryer...then sew it into a traditional rug shape. Very cool! be continued.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

It's a Girl!!

She's here!

Baby Cardatrice (because she cards in a 'trice'!) arrived at 1:37pm yesterday in the arms of a handsome UPS man.

...but I only had eyes for her!

I unpacked and set her up easily--look at the way she fits perfectly at the end of my chest of drawers!
For a minute there, I was afraid I'd have to lose some of my precious storage (the horror!).

We made some beautiful, fluffy batts together last evening, and I'm going to keep her humming today, as well.

Welcome, Little Baby (with a nod to children's author Aliki)!
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Room Formerly Known As 'Dining'



There is something so satisfying about being around wool...the colors, the texture, the curly locks and variegated blends, the smell; then there's bamboo and silk and the other crazy fibers...sighhhh...

It makes it impossible for me to leave a sheep and wool festival without bags and bags of new 'stash'.

I've never understood women who believe that "she who dies with the most fabric, wins". I don't want to amass wool and other fibers, I want to make things out of every scrap of fiber that I own.

...and then I want to buy some more!!

This is my first nuno (laminated felt) scarf. I used green silk and covered it with yellow and orange wool roving. Because it was not hemmed, and because I am not about to do a rolled hem on silk for love or money, I made sure to put lots of wool on the raw edges.

I just love how the silk 'pooches out' between the fiber-covered areas!

The room? It's chaos. I know.

...and actually, I've since moved most of it to my sewing/craft room. Of course, in the meantime, I've also had to buy 3 more large plastic containers to hold my newest acquisitions!!
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R's Purse

My purse pieces were finally dry and I could assemble them.

I first sewed the labels inside the inner portion of the bag, then sewed up the side
and back, then the side and front.

I found a big snap in my drawer of assorted notions and sewed it to the flap back and the purse front.

I just love thrift stores for cards of old buttons and hook-and-eyes and silk blanket-edge bias tape, etc!'s finished. I hope she likes it.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Field Trip: Lace in Translation

My friend D and I spent a glorious Fall day in Philadelphia today at the Design Center at Philadelphia University.

It's a small, but lovely collection of lace-inspired work by two Dutch designers (Tord Boontje of 'Target' fame being the most well-known), and a female Canadian artist who was an industrial welder prior to going to art school.

We had perfect weather and the trees really cooperated in showing off their stunning Fall colors.

A 'two glasses of wine' lunch at Le Bus topped off the perfect day! :)

It is free and runs through April 3, 2010, so check it out!