Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scrappy Scarves

I have built up quite a scrap pile with my felting and  I am running out of space for them. A couple of days ago I decided to use some of them in scarves made completely of left over materials.

 I laid out chiffon pieces that were different sizes, first sewing them together as best I could. The trick was to have no plan, to stay completely random. I am very good at random. Next I put down just one layer of red roving on the silk chiffon. The color was going to come from all my pieces. Then the fun began. All of the trimmings from felted garments that have felt on them are pre-felts, and mine have all kinds of sparkely ribbons and yarns in them. I also had some pieces of great silks that were too small to use in garments.

 I began by trying to be artistic, and quickly threw that idea out. I needed to just play. So I added pieces wherever they seemed to want to go. When the pieces were all on, I went through the whole process I do for Nuno felting. Then I threw it in the dryer. I had lots of length, so I didn't care if it shrunk. I wanted to see what it would look like. When it came out, I liked it, but I wanted still more.
I needle felted more texture and color into the scarf.

I ended up making 3 scarves, and they were just what I was in the mood for. They used up some of my scraps-just what I wanted. They are random and whimsical and lots of fun.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Metallic Silk Purse

When last I talked about my experiments with my new material, metallic silk, I was making wall hangings. Now I have made 4 purses. The felting process was the same as for the wall hangings except the purses should have a little bit more felt on them.

 Once the felting process was completed I chose a fabric that was complimentary in color to the wool fibers that I had used. This one shown was for my purple purse. I put the fabric on the wrong side of the purse and then turned it over and sewed many strips of colored yarn up and down both sides of the purse. I used the yarn to pull the felt in so that it wouldn't be so inclined to catch on things. The felting still has quite a bit of texture and can possibly catch on things, so the purse will not hold up to rough treatment. The piece of fabric that is used to hold the yarn is not the purses interior as it becomes quite messy with all that sewing. However, I wanted fabric with the metallic silk to support the yarn and the inside of the purse. (I hope that this all makes sense.)

The next step was to cut another layer of the fabric, sew the pockets into it, and sew it into the inside of the purse. You, of course, do this inside out and then flip the purse.

The most difficult step so far is figuring out what kind of a handle to use. I went to a fabric shop and got expensive handles and some metal rings to slip through the handles-I thought. I got home and couldn't get the rings apart with two of my husbands pliers using all my might, and I am pretty strong. Who would have thought? So now I have opened two of the packages thinking that maybe the less shiny ones were made of weaker metal. Where did that reasoning come from? Duh... I ended up attaching the handle you see here with some nuno felt that is quite strong and in the right colors. I could have saved myself a bit of change. Oh well, live and learn, right? I have had a great time with this so no complaints. Any questions, just ask.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beautiful Granddaughter, Biased Grandmother

Yesterday my granddaughter, Rachael, friend, Kathy, and I got together for a photo shoot. How Hollywood does that sound? Rachael was modeling my nuno garments so that we could take pictures to show at the Harvest Faire I will be attending as a vendor. The idea, of course, is that when women see someone as darling and beautiful as Rachael in a garment looking splendid, they will want to buy it. That is the idea anyway. I guess we will see if, in fact, this bears out. I have picked out a few of the pictures to show my blogger buddies.

She looked so good in my clothes that after photographing her I might even decide to lose some weight so that I can at least look a little thinner in my own garments. She certainly gives me something to think about. The youth I can't go back to, nor do I want to.

After looking at these pictures again I have concluded that I am not biased, she is beautiful. She starts college soon, a whole new adventure in her young life. I am so proud of her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playing With Metallic Silk

I have found a new material to play with. It is a metallic silk product that I purchased from a local business called, "Loose Ends." It comes in rolls and is a lot like a fabric. The folks at Loose Ends purchased it from a company in Indonesia. There were many applications for this shown in the store, the interesting thing about it being that when it gets wet the silk shrinks and the metal doesn't, causing it to wrinkle in interesting ways. I decided to try felting it. I lay it out just like I do when doing nuno felting and I add lots of fun pieces of silk, pre-felts, and yarns that will stick easily. I am making wall hangings, or whatever else I can think up.

The tricky part is to add the water and get the fibers to go through the metallic silk while keeping the corners from curling up. It can take more hands than I have. The result has been mysterious and fun. I have finished about five of these now, each very different, but all very alive and vibrant. I just wish that my pictures showed what they really looked like.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"And The Winner Is..."

A big thank you to my blogger friends who entered my lace dress drawing. This morning my husband drew a name from a bowl, and that name was Barbara Strobel Lardon who has the post, Barbara Strobel Lardon, Quilt and Fiber Artist. She will be able to choose between a black or white lace dress. Those who entered the drawing will receive some lace. All I will need is an address to send it to. Again thanks, this has been fun, and sharing is always a joy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Continued Quandary

This weekend my sister came to visit. She lives in L.A. and I only get to see her about twice a year. When she comes we gather at my parents home and stay in one of our old childhood bedrooms. Right before I left for my visit with her, my lace dresses arrived on  the doorstep. I put them in the car and headed off.

When I bid on these dresses in an online auction, I got them for a very good price, and I purchased them for the lace that is in them. I thought that they would be pretty torn and stained, and I knew that they would not be in my size. I was amazed when I took them out of the box to find that they are in great shape. I can't find tears in them, and there is just a little staining on some of the collars, not very  much.

My sister and sister in law were just the right size for most of the dresses and agreed to model them for me. My sister in law came in from riding her bike and had her red top on under the dresses. My sister had a great time showing the dresses. Both of my models were very good sports about it and I thank them. And now I continue to be left in a real quandary as to what to do with the dresses. Should I be brutal and just rip them up for the lace, or save them for the great garments they are? Ugh!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fun Fastenings

A friend of mine suggested this patten and it has turned out to be another fun one. It is an easy pattern to make, and most fun part is making up the different ways to fasten the two pieces together at the top to form the garment. Adding a bit of extra silk or lace, either into the felt, or after the felting also adds excitement to the project. With this one I just played a lot. When I was younger, I used to worry about what other
people thought about what I did. Now I add what I like to my work and if I think that it looks okay it does. This piece looked like it needed a little something extra, so I added some purple silk and white lace. The contrasts in color and texture added an interesting touch. I am getting ready to go to an art fair in Sisters, Oregon. This will be a first for me. I am really powering on getting things made so that I some variety.

It is difficult to see in the pictures what I have done here. I made some extra fringe on my black silk chiffon, felted it as usual, then I cut it in a pattern that made a good fastener at the top of my garment. I sewed 4 of these on, one on each side of the shoulder, and then tied the fringes together. The tails of the fringes flop over the shoulders, and the sleeves are open, giving the garment a very fun look. (In the picture, my green t-shirt doesn't do much for the look.) I know that my explanation needs work, so if you want more just ask.

On my final garment I am showing, I used my beautiful Prism Galaxy ribbon. This is a favorite of mine. I probably use it too much. On this piece I used covered buttons and ribbons as fasteners, but I also sewed the shoulders and used the decorations mainly as just that. Again, I left the sleeve open. 
I have a few more of these in the works, each one with its own character. They allow for a lot of creativity. Any questions, just ask.