Pictures of my new fabric and felt neckpiece design

As promised here are some pictures of my new style (loosly based on a Lyda Rump design) fabric and felt neckpiece. 

Printed silver fabric and black felt bead neckpiece

The scarves that I have used in my first two prototypes are a 20% silk 80% linen mix and the beads are wet felted from some of my gorgeously soft short fibred merino.  When I was taking these pictures I thought again how perfect this style would be for anyone who  is allergic to wool.  The felt beads may be moved around the scarf and never touch the skin therefore anyone finding wool itchy would never come in contact with anything irritable.

Detail of printed fabric and felt bead neckpiece

I formed one long felt bead around a wooden dowel and just before I had finished felting cut the piece into five even pieces.  The black beads perfectly compliment the silver printed fabric and I am still deciding if I will add small seed beads to the turquoise neckpiece (pictures on Flickr) or leave it as is, plain and simple.  As mentioned before I sewed the ends of the scarf together and covered the join with a felt bead.  It would of course be an option not to do this but leave the ends open, this way the scarf could be wound around the neck in the normal manner as many times as wanted leaving the ends free to sit to the front or to the back.

I am off now to have a quick snack for lunch and then set in to a long afternoon felting in preparation for Sunday’s craft fair!  Until tomorrow …..

Merino, silk and linen combination, an experiment in nuno felt, fantastic necklace arrives in the post

Well, my package of fibres and fabric was every bit as good as anticipated!  In particular I was delighted with both the dark grey and the zebra striped 16 micron merino as well as the dyed linen (or flax) fibre and the ponge silk.  I have worked with raw linen fibre before and found it very interesting to use as surface decoration if somewhat ‘hairy’ or scratchy.  This dyed fibre however is beautifully soft and the colours are fabulous, I ordered a sort of apple green, dusky pink and a silver, gorgeous. 

Obviously with all these great colours (excluding the grey and zebra I have white, yellow, orange, two depths of turquoise, raspberry, violet, shocking pink, purple, black and two shades of green) I was hot to trot this morning!  I started by making a few felt flowers, some beads and then a necklace before following these up by trying an experiment.  My idea was to make some felt cuffs and try incorporating some artificial fabric, one fabric was a white net with ribbon and sequins, the other was black and shiny overprinted with silver cobwebs and funky spiders!  Both fabrics worked surprisingly well, neither actually became one with the felt as with normal nuno but because I made sure to catch all the edges of the fabric with the wool as I was working both cuffs turned out pretty well.  The black spidery cuff is perfect for Halloween and the turquoise and white cuff would definitely set off a romantic style outfit to perfection, I will be offering this one for sale as soon as Alan gets back and I can upload some photos.

My last project of the morning took a LOT longer to finish than I was allowing  for, about 3 hours instead of the one I had set aside!  This was a nuno felt experiment using a silk/linen mix wide scarf, short fibre merino and a lot of surface decoration on the merino with some of the linen fibre.  Carmen brought a batch of these scarves back from Spain recently and we have been trying different ideas out to see how best to use them with wool.  The weave is quite open but the texture of the scarves is slightly stiff and almost shiny, I am not sure if they have been treated with something but they do felt well after a LOT of rubbing and rolling!  The colour of the fabric was hot orange with a small white design and the wool that I backed it with was a mixture of orange, purple and hot pink.  I overlaid the merino with a lot of apple green and dusky rose linen and the end result is very nice, a hot and spicy coloured wrap with a great crinkly texture.  In actual fact I think that it looks equally good worn with either surface exposed, the wool overlaid with the linen or the bubbly texture of the fabric side upperside, you’ll see what I mean as soon as I have Alan’s computer back and am able to upload the photos.

Look at my fantastic new necklace!!!  For ages I have been a big admirer of Lori aka Tabmade on Etsy and when I discovered recently that she is having a blow out sale I just had to buy this beauty.

Pod necklace by Tabmade

Pod necklace by Tabmade

We have had an online chat as my intention is to order more of this type of bead to incorporate into some of my felt jewellery, what do you think?  For the moment I am in two minds, wear this as it is or (horror of horrors – I hear you gasp!) split the beads and use them as focal points in some new felt pieces.

Felt, ceramic, cookies and frustration!

Yesterday morning I started the day by showing a friend Leonie how to make three dimensional stars using 1.5m strips of coloured paper!  These are great strung as a garland or hung individually from the tree as Christmas ornaments.  We chatted over a cup of coffee and before Leoine left she gave me a lovely present of some home make star cookies (very appropriate!) which her girls had make.  They are all eaten now, thanks Esme and Nessa! 

I  spent a happy afternoon  felting a stripy ‘man’ scarf for a friend’s Christmas present and followed this by stringing some simple necklaces with commissioned ceramic buttons as the centre piece.  Because I wanted the scarf to be very soft and warm I used both merino and a merino and silk mixture which I had carded myself in the stripes.  I laid out the fibres crossways practically the whole length of my big table and proceeded to felt.  Never having made a striped scarf before (amazing that when I think about it!) I possibly should have laid some of the fibres in the opposite direction as well.  Everything felted perfectly but the scarf got longer instead of shorter, much longer in fact!!  Anyway, Martin is tall and the scarf feels wonderful wrapped a couple of times around the neck, I hope that he likes it.

All the naturals necklace

All the naturals necklace

The buttons that I used for the necklaces (initally intended for felt necklaces and bags!) were commissioned from Hillary Jenkinson, a talented maker working from a studio in the Demanse Yard at Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.  It is well worth a trip to Castlecomer to visit this yard, in addition to the craftspeople’s studios and workshops there is a well stocked restaurant, a history of coal museum, beautiful parkland to walk in and a brilliant kid’s playground.  Each of the buttons is a one off and I think that they look great with the crocheted cream cotton beads that I made  ‘a la Sigrid Bannier’ and some simple wooden or glass beads.   You can check them out on my Flickr photostream and the necklace above is actually on sale through my Etsy shop.  This is where the frustration sets in …. I had intended to put loads of felted items and these new necklaces  on my shop this morning but the battery on my camera just limits how many things I can upload in one session.  I had thought that they would make lovely pressies and was pricing everything between E10 and E20 but after 4 hours I have only managed to get 4 items up,  aghhhhhhhh.  Anyway, here is a picture of one of the necklaces and it is priced at $20 which equals E14.16 if anyone is interested!