Beautiful felt jewellery created

I had a lovely time at the Ennis Creative Arts Centre on Saturday, eight fun ladies met to join me for a full day jewellery making workshop. Over the course of a morning and an afternoon we concentrated on getting to grips with felting four different jewellery components, flowers, spikes, balls and cords (laid out and felted a different way than the spikes!).

The techniques learnt may be applied to all sorts of different felting projects, with jewellery they form the basis for unlimited experimentation and I'm hoping that the participants will have fun creating some more lovely pieces with the fibre they went home with! Here are a few pictures from the workshop for you all to enjoy.

I'm sure you'll see from the smiles that it was a really nice and fun group of ladies, just to assure you, our photographer was smiling too!

 

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Felt jewellery workshop at Ennis Creative Arts Centre on Saturday

I've hit the ground running since driving home from Canada late on Monday evening, yesterday I had a full day training to attend on pricing work, taxation etc. (it was excellent, thanks Marian) and today I've been trying to unpack my various bags at the same time as trying to prepare for a full day felt jewellery workshop on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to facilitating this workshop at the Ennis Creative Arts Centre, you may remember that Liga and I spent a great weekend there in the summer attending a two day polymer clay workshop with Ronna Sarvas Weltman, this time it's my turn to teach! The techniques that I'll be sharing include……..

Cords and balls – both may be used as they are or cut to expose the different coloured layers inside as with this ball. If cut these pieces make really interesting embellishments, buttons, beads, jewellery components and the basis for some funky hanging Christmas decorations!
Here's an experimental brooch which comprises of two balls and a cord felted together.
Close up of a ball cut in half……
….. and uncut balls combined with polymer clay in a necklace.
A fun felt flower, these make brilliant decorations and brooches, they're fantastic to add to hats, coats, napkin rings etc. and include in strings of Christmas lights, loads of uses!
Finally for today here's a flower with an integrated ring back, this is a combination of the cord and the flower technique. As of this morning there were just two places left for this class, please email Shirley ASAP if you think that you'd like to join us!

 

Some pictures of beautiful felt bags from the north but few words today!

I had a fabulous time in Northern Ireland at the end of last week, staying with good friend Liz and facilitating a complex felt bag workshop in Hillsborough with a wonderful group of ladies! Here are a couple of pictures that I took, I'm hoping that the participants will email me pictures of their finished bags because I just didn't have any more time myself to keep snapping!!! Interestingly, the iPad cover that was such a hit in the states was also a popular choice with the group. Thanks so much to all the Northern Feltmakers for making me feel so welcome, Fiona and Ann for the organisation, Liz for being such a great helper and Dorothy for organising my lunches, I really enjoyed our evening out too and the meal was delicious!

 
 

 

Fabulous time felting in Portugal!

I'm having a fabulous time facilitating my second felting residential holiday in Portugal, it's been wonderful meeting up with returning participants and welcoming new faces to join in the fun! We're a very international bunch, three Americans, one Swedish participant via Cuba, two English participants via Spain, one English participant via the UK, one Portuguese participant and one participant all the way from Hong Kong!!! Karin, owner of our beautiful venue Domino Vale do Mondego also joined us to felt today as did local girls Vanessa and Carla.

I've managed to felt a couple of pieces myself too and at the moment they're bundled with eucalyptus and oak, bubbling away on the cooker ready to be removed in a couple of hours time. For now though I've got my feet up and am just waiting for the call to dinner, the food and drink is divine as always, pics of the felt completed to date tomorrow, I promise!!!

 

All set for nuno felting tomorrow!

Jan and I spent a very active, happy and tiring day trawling Lexington for printed silk then headed over to Masterson Station Park so that I could check out the workshop space for the weekend and say hi to Roo Kline and Elizabeth Taylor. To say that I was excited to get first dibs on their AMAZING fibre would be an understatement, if you've signed up for either of my workshops this weekend you're in for a BIG treat!!! Everything with the exception of some naturally coloured black cloud like fibre is hand dyed in a beautiful range of contrasting and complimentary colours. For the weekend I selected luscious alpaca locks, bamboo tops, silk hankies and Firestar, the colour range is glorious! Roo and Elizabeth are also going to offer all my students a discount on any fibre they purchase from them during the festival and I've already bought a massive bag of goodies to use myself when I get home. Anita, who's minding my studio while I'm away, is also going to get a lovely slice of heaven! Pictures tomorrow, until then adieu.

A few pictures from day one felting in Plainwell!

I'm too tired and relaxed to write anything tonight but some stunning projects were well underway and Jan's beautiful silk, merino and banana fibre nuno felt scarf was finished at the end of day one of our Plainwell felting workshop. Here are a few pictures taken as the day progressed, enjoy!

 

 

Variations on a felt slipper (another tutorial) and announcing felting workshop for Mullingar!

Ok, I actually have water again since last night so this morning I was able to complete another felt slipper project and this time incorporate some wet felting to finish!  The pictures really are self explainatory but it’s important to note that the rectangle of felt I started with was NOT fulled well (an early experiment using batts) and this is how I was able to wet felt hard to finish the slippers.  

Cutting in thirds and one third in half

This time I cut the rectange into three and then divided one third in two again, doing this ensured that I would never have ‘two right feet’ again! 

Adjusting the length

I sliced a bit off the back of the slippers as when I tried them on before stitching the back I realised that they were going to be VERY long!

I dunked the slippers (one at a time) into really hot water and soaked them before adding plenty of nice unscented soap.  Working them in my hands for a minute or two I paid particular attention to the cut edges.  Next I rolled them in my bamboo blind before working them on a washboard to shrink and set the shape.

One stitched, one half way through felting

It’s easy to see from this image that the cut edges really needed to be worked well to seal the felt.

Once I was happy that the slippers had shrunk almost to size I rinsed the soap out and and spun them in my washing machine.  To finish the shape nicely I put my feet in plastic bags (didn’t want to have to take of my tights, STILL no heat!!) and worked them for a minute or two more on the washboard and banged the edges with a wooden spoon to full them properly. 

Finished felt slip ons

Voila, my finished felt slip ons!  I am actually very happy with these as although I didn’t want to scrap one of my earliest flat felt experiments I had no idea what to do with the piece and it was languishing in my cupboard.  Now I can keep my feet warm and wear the felt with pride!  NB Check how the wool that I used to stitch the seams has also felted during the process, more pictures of the process on Flickr.

I am delighted to be invited by Anna Browne to facilitate a BEGINNERS and IMPROVERS FELTING WORKSHOP in Mullingar on Sunday 31st Janurary at the Educate Together National School in Mullingar.  If you live in the midlands and would like to attend this fun day please book directly with Anna through her blog by clicking here!  You can also see what Anna and her boys have been up to with some of my spare felt, gorgeous gifts and inventive ideas abound on her blog Anna Paints.