Friday, 21 June 2013

Summer Solstice

Warm wishes to you all this summer solstice!

It is rather grey and misty here..  good job I made a solstice lantern to brighten things up a bit :)

I started off  by cutting a resist to fit my jar.
I planned to use Shetland fibre in 2 fine layers, not having felted with Shetland for aaages I allowed
the same shrinkage as I would expect from merino
Scattered lots of silk and linen fibres, then drew a simple sun
added some nice yarn
And proceeded to felt it as usual.  Turns out Shetland really doesn't shrink as much as merino..  so I was most fortunate to have a bigger jar handy :)

Once it was fairly snug on the jar I slipped it on
and with soapy hands worked it to fit the shape of the bottom and neck
I lit a tea light candle inside last night to help it dry quicker..
it shone up a treat
This morning I've added a brass wire handle, with jade beads
threaded on.  I think the wire may get hot, but hope that the jade
will remain cooler.. we shall see
 I added a couple of dangles..

brass I ching coin
Glass beads and spirals
This was very quick and simple.. it would be a nice project to work on with kiddies I think.  

I'm planning to give this to a good friend of mine this afternoon.. I just know she will be celebrating at a fire pit somewhere :)  she can take a little lantern along too.

I shall have pools of candlelight tonight as my quiet little solstice celebration :)  


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Flap Bags

I recently decided to play around with flap bags.  I had an anonymous comment on here asking about how to make them and I realised I've never really posted much about flap bags.. and hadn't even felted one for ages!   SO, I've been tinkering around and taking photos as I went :)    

Bag #1 

Resist material.
I like using foam floor underlay for laminate floors
It comes on 10m rolls from places like B&Q
Adding 50% to the size of the resist to allow for shrinkage
I cut the bag resist.  The shape at the top will become the flap.
Cut pocket resists
My main ingredients :)
I used nice leather sew-on bag handles
First thing layed upon the resist will show as the inside of the bag.
I scattered tussah silk fibre and a few merino 'flowers'.   
After laying the pockets on the first side, followed by 2 fibre layers
I flipped it.

Rays Folded over.
I use 6 fibre layers for each side of my bags.  I think it works best to only
use 4 layers on the flap area though.. otherwise the doubled up thickness on the finished
flap can be a bit bulky
Lots of tussah silk scattered over the top layer.
'Flowers' are made from tufts of merino and cut from prefelt
Part way through felting I cut across the top
And removed the resist from the flap, laying it on top of the resist I carried on working it.  
I had reoved the resist from the flap just a little too late for the 2 sides
to felt together easily,  a little stitching to hold it down helps
Felted HARD - I got my 50% shrinkage.
Stuffed full of tea towels and drying on the radiator
After it dried I stitched magnetic snap fastners on
And the handles
A couple of vintage coat buttons sewn outside over  the
snap fastners


Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hobbit Hole #2 finished

I must be a sloooow embroiderer!  This took aaages!  but it's finally done YAY.  Anyway.. here it is, my second Hobbit Hole TEA COSY :)

The text doesn't really show up on the photos very much.. 
but it's there.. in red and gold
And I have a special request for one with a 'party tree' on top to work on over the next couple of weeks :)

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Hobbit Hole #2 progress pics - day 2

Todays' embroidery touches in pictures :)

finished the clematis and added cushions of tiny white flowers
lupins by the front door
 Tomorrow I'll be finished :) 


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Hobbit Hole #2 progress pics

I've done a little more embroidery on my 2nd Hobbit Hole tea cozy today :)  I'm finished with the machine embroidery and adding the flowers with simple hand embroidery.. 

I outlined in machine stitch everywhere that I wanted a feeling of depth.. around all the frames, the planks on the doors and round the outside of the house (apart from the bottom.

On the back I wrote with my sewing machine :) in red and gold thread 'in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit'  - did it in the same way as with the last one; traced on to tissue paper then stitched through the words on tissue using the darning foot on my sewing machine (forgot to take any photos of this.. must of been all the concentrating :)

The start of the hand embroidery.. I just HAD to add a clematis to this one!  I have a gorgeous Montana clematis outside my house.. it's absolutely smothered with flowers right now, but last week it looked so sweet and pretty with more buds than flowers.. that's what I am aiming for.

I've got the Hobbit garden all planned out in my mind.. more pics soon


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Radagast #3

I recently got to make another Radagast hat :)  YAY!  This one was for Kyle in the US.  It was a rather personalized version of the Radagast.. Kyle wanted a green hat band for tucking feathers and leaves into while out rambling.  It needed to be capacious and look distinctly 'worn' and mossy.

In one of our many conversations Kyle mentioned how much he LOVES the colour green.. he said if he was one of the Istari (Middle Earth wizards) he would be 'Kyle the Green' 'cos he wears it so often :)  I really liked that.. and it seemed appropriate to work it into the design somehow.  The layout and felting process were the same as for the last R hat I posted about (expect this one needed to be 1" wider around the crown so I added a couple of inches onto the resist size all round).  Here are a few photos..

Started with a layer of plant dyed beige silk caps, followed by dyed
dark brown merino (23 micron) then natural brown merino
Scattered lots of brown and black tussah silk over the natural
brown merino
Third and final fibre layer, more dyed brown merino with
some dark sage green, silk caps and flax fibre scattered over

I like to shrink these to the max!  I worked and worked this hat.. it took more than 10 hours of solid work to layout and felt this baby!  I was pretty tired by the end of the day, but happy with how it was coming along.

My usual hat block is too small so I used my 24" canvas head-form, wrapping it in cling film
to keep it dry while I worked.  It was perfect for blocking the hat while it dried too.
Unfortunately I forgot to cover the bottom of the head form.. and ended up standing it in a puddle, the water soaked right through the wooden base - it was wet through to half way up by the time I noticed!  While the hat was drying I worked on the hat band.

Starting with a piece of prefelt I needled some green and brown merino and a woollen
yarn  into  it,  followed by some random machine stitching.  Then I felted it HARD..
and left to dry

Once the hat band was dry I machine embroidered onto it.  I traced my text onto tissue paper, pinned it in place, then embroidered through the tissue following the outline of the words (same as I did with the Hobbit Hole tea cozy).

Kyle the Green
It's not right out there for everyone to see, it's on the side of the head 
Just look at the watermark I now have on my head form!!
In my button stash I found a couple of nice, beaten up with age, plastic
buttons in just the right shade of green

It went off in one of my Middle Earth hat boxes :)  And I am very happy to report that Kyle ADORES it!  He has already taken it adventuring in Scotland.. had a raffle drawn from it.. visited his local bar and even got free drinks from a Hobbit fan in it :)  He sent me this lovely photo, taken by a friend in their bar.

I think Kyle the Green looks rather a cheeky wizard :)

It is such a wonderful feeling to of made something for someone which they absolutely love..

I'm currently working on my 2nd Hobbit Hole tea cozy.. and planning a Hobbit-ish bag :)  Will post progress pics of the Hobbit Hole soon