Monday, 24 August 2015

Revamp for an old chair

A couple of these rather unpreposessing chairs seem to have been knocking around our house for ever, always on the verge of being thrown out, but kept "just in case" for times when we needed extra seating. As 1940s utility furniture, they are still sturdy, and had been revarnished multiple times by my mother-in-law. 

I gave them a coat of Annie Sloane chalk paint in Duck Egg Blue, softened with a bit of Old White. Then, after a touch of distressing, finished with a coat of clear wax and a good polish.  

I made a piece of thickish felt decorated with bright spots to cover the seat pad. 

And here it is, brightening a darkish corner under the stairs. A reprieve, and a reincarnation! 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A twiggy lampshade

I found an old children's lamp on a fleamarket in France a while ago, and after removing the original embroidered cotton shade, was left with a simple box shaped frame. I decided to make 4 panels of felt to cover it, rather than a long piece to wrap round, as I was concerned about keeping it straight. 

The panels are made of just two fairly thin layers of natural cream merino, to keep it translucent. Between the 2 layers I sandwiched some thin birch twigs from the garden. I added a few natural wool curly locks as a final decoration. I felted this gently, with just a little fulling, until the panels were firm and strong enough. 

After drying, I stitched the panels onto the frame using invisible nylon thread. Much the worst part - I hate sewing with this stuff as it constantly slips out of the needle! 

I like the delicate natural, translucent quality of the shade, and it looks particularly good when lit up. 

Sometimes I think that the best felt is in natural colours, with natural found objects incorporated. A memory perhaps of when it was on the back of a sheep, with twigs caught in it! 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Bird Box card

 I like making my own cards, and find simple naif designs with scraps of fabric and free motion stitching quite satisfying to make. My daugter has just moved into a new flat, and this is what I've made. 

I used some blackout curtain lining fabric as the background as it is solid enough to stitch on without a hoop. I'm not very good at controlling the stitching, but I say that the imperfections just add to the charm! 
I use a Pilot Frixion pen to draw on the designs, then just use a warm iron to remove the marks. I know there is some debate about whether the marks really disappear, but it is quick and fine for a project like this. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Bowls of colour

I am making a few small objects to sell for charity at our village fete next month. Here are 3 felt bowls. Useful for holding bits and bobs, and I love the way they hold their pod like shape, yet are so light. I made them with different bright colours on the inside, and a mid grey wool on the outside, Again, I followed the great tutorial from Rosiepink.

I like the way the bright colour fibres have worked through the grey and give a haze of the inner colour on the outside. I did incorporate circular resists in them all, but this only really worked on the yellow bowl. On the others they ended up in the wrong places, so I did not cut them out - that's their little secret! 

I added some simple running stitch.

Talking of colour, just look at these amazing irises that we saw at Helmingham Hall today!  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I am back last

It has been a very long time since I posted anything. We have moved from Belgium to England, to Suffolk, and spent a year working on our old barn. This has included building an extension, and in the roof space of this I have a beautiful room to use as a studio! What a lucky girl I am.

All this space is so intimidating! I have not done much yet - just a  few little pieces of felt, machine embroidered with seedheads, to make into cards. 

What I really need now is a course to follow, to give me some development, techniques, challenges and discipline. If anyone knows of anything in the Suffolk area, or even on-line, please let me know, 

Friday, 11 October 2013

I am still here...

Apologies to everyone (anyone??) who has been waiting with baited breath for a new post from me! Well, life has rather overtaken felting during the last months. We are in the slow process of moving from Belgium back to the UK after a very long time away - we first arrived in Brussels in 1981! We packed up our home here in May, and are leading a nomadic existence while we renovate a 400 year old barn in Suffolk.
And maybe - just maybe - the renovations will include a studio for me where I can make felt to my hearts content!

Meanwhile, my wool is all packed up in boxes.

So here are a few pictures of an exhibition in Cahors, (SW France) this summer by the artist Odon. Huge cobweb structures made from intricately plaited and woven paper, which is first hand made and dyed.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Egg-Bag (part 1)

I haven't done any felting for ages! And it was hard to decide what to make to break the felting fast. How about an egg?
I have been wanting to try a one piece handbag with an integrated handle, so here goes.
I used 3 layers of merino wool around an egg shaped resist with a slightly flattened bottom.
To make the felt very strong, I incorporated a layer of cotton scrim between the top 2 layers of wool. I'm not sure if this has made very much difference, but I had some purple dyed scrim.
I carefully felted and fulled the piece using a bamboo blind and cool water with savon de marseille.  In this picture it is lying on the resist, so you can see how much it has shrunk.
I also added small pieces of silk in a random way as surface decoration, but they have all but disappeared into the felt.
It is still damp, and I have cut a curved line to remove the resist and form the handle and flap.
And the same on the other side.
Here it is stuffed with plastic bags and drying. I am feeling very pleased with the shape. 
I am planning to put some thick cord into the handle, and stitch the edges together, so that it holds its shape even with some weight in the bag. 
How should I decorate it to finish it off? - any ideas welcome!