Monday, 11 July 2016

Couple of cushions

 My husband wanted a cushion for a new leather and tweed armchair. I didn't want it to be too feminine, so I chose a large plaid design, to echo the plaid tweed  on the back of the chair. I simply but some pale grey and green shading on the surface of the cream wool, and them lay on some strands of mohair wool to create the lines, before wet felting.


I had made a piece if experimental felt, using circular resists with holes in the middle, between the brown layers  of wool and the top pale yellow shade. Snipping around the outer line of the circles created fluted raised flower like shapes, revealing the brown layer underneath. I needle felted some circles of dark reddish wool into the centres to create the look. 
The piece wasn't really big enough for a cushion, so I stitched it onto some dark red faux suede fabric. 


Friday, 8 July 2016

A new toy...

I cannot resist gadgets. I have treated myself to an embellisher machine. (It's the Janome 725.) For those who haven't a clue what this is, it is a machine which looks a bit like a sewing machine, but uses no thread. It punches the fabrics that you put under it with barbed needles, and meshes the fibres together. You can use felt, and lots of other fabrics and threads.
Now I have to learn how to use it!


First I played around needling some coloured wool onto a white prefelt background. Also bits of silk, and organza, and scrim. 


Some interesting effects, but it is hard to control exactly where the fabric you are adding goes, as the machine tends to pull it in tight as you needle it. I need to practice. 

Then I had a go using shapes cut from leftover scraps of felt I had made. 


This was easier, as the felt pieces already have an integrity and can hold their own under the needles. 


It does give a slightly different effect to wet felting, and you can build a design up bit by bit, layer by layer. 

The gadget queen is happy! 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Tea cosies and pods

My daughter asked for a tea cosy for her new kitchen in her new flat. She likes polka dots, and a bit of glitter, She wants it finishing with a felt bobble on the top, which I still have to do. 



And I thought I'd make another one for some friends we visited for the weekend. They thought it looked a bit like planets on the night sky. 


I like to finish them with a cotton lining. Felt has fantastic insulating properties, and keeps a pot of tea piping hot for ages. 


I had some fun making these pods.


What are the for? you may ask. Isn't it obvious? Suspend them from the ceiling, and they make perfect little homes for air plants! 




Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A few felted cards


I like sending hand made cards to friends when I can. It seems more personal, and is almost like sending a mini present. Here are a few quick ones I made recently. 


I little bit of burlap tucked between the sky and the green foreground adds texture and interest. A wisp or two of silk highlights the sky, and I finished with a few french knots. 



The sky is laid horizontally, and the grasses roughly vertically. Merino and a little silk for accents. 


In each case I laid the wool onto a large Clover needle felting mat, and needle felted sufficiently to hold it together, before gently wet felting. I find if I cover the mat, after shrinkage this makes a reasonable size and proportion for an A6 blank card. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Another seat cover

I felted another seat pad for the second dining chair I had painted (see  previous post). I used mohair wool to draw the lines, then filled some spaces in with bright colours. A bit Mondrian style. 


Here it is with the first one I did. 




Thursday, 15 October 2015

Experimenting with colour and texture


I made this piece as a possible wall hanging. I kept the colours pale, with whites and neutrals, and added hints of pastel tones above and below the resist strips, which show where the layers are slashed open. 

The texture on the top is created with wool nepps, pieces of white scrim, curly locks, and silk hankies. 
I like the restrained touches or colour in this, so that the texture is predominant. 

This is similar to a piece I made a while ago. I might add some embroidery and beading in the slashes, in which case I'll post another picture.

Slow sloe gin

The edge of our garden is a wild hedge row, and this year there are lots of sloes on the blackthorn bushes. And there is really only one thing to do with sloes, as they are toe-curlingly bitter in their raw state. 

Apparently a superstition says the berries must be pricked with a silver needle before use. Well I used a wooden cocktail stick! 

Here they are with the addition of sugar and gin, in sterilised jars. The recipe I used calls for 450gm sloes, 225gm caster sugar, and 1ltr of gin. 

We should shake the bottles every couple of days for a fortnight, then every week. By Christmas it should be ready, and we can strain the liquid through muslin into bottles. The longer you keep it the better it gets. 
I'll post a picture of the finished product!