Cow hair, scarf closures and important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’

I need to confess, the raw fleece and cow hair iPad cover I felted the other day was not a success, in fact, I could go so far as to say it was a big disaster!!! Cow hair is very slippery and likes to protrude through the layers of wool in any project, I did know this from previous experience and was happy to use it to my advantage in the little vessel pictured.

Back CameraWhat I did for this narrow mouthed vessel was lay the hair against my plastic resist, encase everything in several layers of lamb’s wool then felt them together. The hair worked its way through to the outside during the felting process and ended up as an interesting surface detail, I love this piece. For some lunatic reason however I decided to include cow hair in the iPad cover even though I was able to predict a hairy interior, stupid! I loved the idea of raw fleece and cow hair combined but unfortunately the resultant felt is shedding like crazy both on the outside and the inside of the cover. The soap I used, the felting net, the utility room and my kitchen are covered in loose strands of the hair days later, you know by now how much I HATE cleaning and tidying so you can imagine how thrilled that makes me feel!

Anyway, yesterday I knuckled down to felt 23 flowers with ring backs with a lot more success, these are multi functional acting as colourful scarf closures and are also one of the components of my flower bolo.

IMG_4530The flower bolo has proved to be a best seller since I came up with the design prior to my trip to the wonderful Tin Thimble last September. It may be worn in several different ways and as all my stock of them sold in the run up to Christmas I decided to felt more for both the studio and design shop at Duckett’s Grove when we reopen the first weekend in February. It was really nice to work with bright, cheery colours for the flowers and I’ve continued this theme today while working on some nuno felt, pics tomorrow, weather permitting.

Finally for today, I just wanted to let you all know some important information regarding ‘Nuno Felting by Chrissie Day and Nicola Brown’. Due to circumstances beyond my control I regret that from this point forwards purchasers will no longer be able to get a free set of templates for Chrissie’s designs when they order the book. This was a unilateral descision taken by Chrissie, she is however making them available from her at an additional cost of £2.50 per template.

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Earth Day pics and Deirdre’s beautiful first felt bag

Carmen and I had a wonderful afternoon on Friday for Earth Day!  I had been intending on teaching a simple way of making and assembling a mobile out of felt and recycled items, instead I ended up making a mobile purely from laminated bubble wrap and seed beads as I loved the shine of the light on the plastic, it swirls beautifully in the wind!

Earth Day mobile swirling in the breeze

I actually have a new idea now for a similar shaped one made entirely from felt, I think I might need to stiffen the felt to make sure it is light enough but holds its shape, watch this space.  For the one I made on Friday I placed bubble wrap between a sheet of laminating plastic and then ironed it between two sheets of baking paper, if I hadn’t used the baking paper the iron would have stuck to the plastic.  Once the bubbles started to heat up and melt I was able to run the whole thing through the laminating machine but if I hadn’t had the laminator I could just have continued ironing until everything was bonded together well.  I cut one large disc from the plastic and then cut into it in a circular shape working towards the centre.  I’m not explaining this very well but probably you know what I mean, once the disc was cut into a swirly shape I could hold up the centre and the rest would fall down as in the picture of the completed mobile!  Next I cut out quite a few circles and strung them together using fishing line and little seed beads as spacers.  I had the biggest gap between the smaller discs at the top of the mobile (19 seed beads) and graduated the discs so that the larger ones were at the bottom with the shortest string of beads (9 beads at the bottom).

Amazing skies on our walk down from the summit of Mount Leinster!

In the evening I participated in a wonderful walk up Mount Leinster followed by a great party at friends Cathy and Martin’s house, check out this picture of the amazing skies we encountered, this is EXACTLY what it looked like!!!

Yesterday I felted an iPad cover (it was a commission) while working with Deirdre as she designed and felted her first bag.  Working from charcoal Icelandic wool sandwiched between two layers of black merino Deirdre embellished the flap and inclusion of her bag with sky blue fabric, yarn and fibre.  There is still about an hour or two of fulling and shaping to go but I am sure you can see how wonderful this bag is from the photo, isn’t it GORGEOUS???

Deirdre with her beautiful first bag