May 2010

Rhona with one of her lovely brooch creations!!

On Wednesday night we had what was originally called the Felted hair accessories craft night. As it turned out we had great fun experimenting with lots of different materials not just felt, hence it was renamed above!  We met at Joanna’s and had a lovely evening of friends catching up as well as making craft. Those that came were all Cuidiu committee or ex-committee and long-term book and craft group members.  As requested by Rhona I brought my heat gun and a mixed bag of burned and synthetic fabrics for use. Rhona had a production line and made lots of lovely pieces very quickly by combining felted ropes with fabrics and layering the previously burned fabrics together and stitching. I took my ease and fiddled about with spirals and combining fabrics and tyvek (a fabric paper ideal for burning to produce texture in fiber art pieces). I produced a purple flower with yellow acrylic felt twisty legs!  I also made a fabric bead by melting the fabrics tied onto the skewer as I had done a couple of months ago. Other materials we used were organza, nylon scarves, beads and attached some with brooch pins.  Gay was inspired by a little layered organza flower I had previously made and we encouraged her to make her own, and the result was a stunning textured brooch with bead detail in the centre. Joanna made a beautiful collection of interesting insect inspired ‘curiosities’ from felted needlepunch which would be great as a collection of brooches. We had great fun burning the fabrics and poor Gay was getting no end of instruction from us all how to burn the flower shape that she was more than capable of doing herself! Susie turned up for a gander and ended up constructing a lovely brooch with Rhona’s helpful advice, from curled felted rope and some painted fabric papers for detail.

We discussed the future of the craft group and decided to continue after summer and decided on a few subjects like decoupage and embroidery. We are also going to meet up for a morning experimentation doing dyeing or hat making etc for a few hours once a month or so in the Autumn. Anyone who would like to join in let me know as you’d be more than welcome! I took some photos on my new teenage phone (the best of a bad choice on the vodafone website) and spent yesterday figuring out how to send them to my email! Luckily I have a lovely sister that works as a technical support amongst other things and between us we devised a plan! So here are the photos. Thanks to everyone for coming and especially to Joanna for hosting in her lovely home and providing us with tea and Apfelkaka!!!

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Yesterday, Monday, we had the May drop in session which was how to make a 3d piece using a resist. A resist is normally a piece of plastic or fabric which acts as a barrier to felting and can be placed in between layers of felt to produce bags, bowls, lampshades and other 3d pieces, it can also be used to add pockets and raised design features to a felted piece. More unusual resists have been used by felters and include such things as marbles, seeds, polystyrene balls, buttons coins etc which can be removed after felting.

When Gina arrived yesterday she brought her lovely six month old son with her and as I was already there with Robert, some people that arrived could be forgiven for thinking it was a mother and baby group. The group was a small one this week and only about seven of us made it to the session. Gina began by demonstrating different bags, some I had brought as well and we described how each was made. Some had seperate handles and some had integrated handles. Gina had a little pouch bag which she used to demonstrate how tricky it is to felt a handle and how quick the felt can go beyond the point where it is still possible to attach.  Maria had two lovely bags with her and she had cleverly used a hair bobble as a fastener. Carol brought a lovely yellow sculptural piece which wowed us all with the lovely additions of embroibery and fabrics.

Next Gina did a simple demonstration of how to lay out the wool on the resist and showed us ‘one she had made earlier!’ felted with the resist still inside. She then show us two ways of making the rope handles. One I had not seen before was laying the wool at at a 45 degree angle and then oppposite with the next layer and then opposite again with the third layer and then rolling it in on itself. She showed us how rolling it dry to begin with added control and helped to put a skin on the outside of the felted rope which helped to avoid splits.

Gina was a lovely demostrator and was described by one felter as ‘having a lovely way about her’. Thanks to Gina for coming and giving us loads of tips and explaining the whole process very clearly and cleverly. We all decided that we would now be able to have ‘creative responses’ to any mistakes and use them to our advantage! Thanks to Gwen for organising the area for us!

Here’s a few photos of the day!

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I have yet to finish my nuno felt top. At the moment the idea of starting the layout and the felting is off-putting as I am just about keeping up with the housework etc and I know it will take up most of the kitchen table for at least a week as I get an hour here and there to work on  it! And it’s so warm at the moment, and my back and neck are not good.  I’m having burning pains in my neck and cold feeling in my lower back and now and then there is a bit of numbness. I can’t figure out that while I was pregnant my back was perfect and now its worse than ever!!! I have my suspicions but more investigating is necessary! So with a litany of excuses I am presenting here some bookmarks that I made for Alison’s short story competition prize winners. The bookmarks are made from some prefelt which I laid out for their use and to also use to decorate the elusive nuno felt top! Some photos below of the bookmarks and the preparation for the nuno felt top. I have dyed fabric also in anticipation. Purple and blue seem to be my theme colours for 2010!

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Cristina and Eleanor in their felted wedding dress and flower girl outfits.

Yesterday we made our way to Lucan, the whole gang of us. Never having been there before and only half-trusting the sat nav that was being very peculiar the last time we used it, we kept our eyes open for steeples and found the St Andrew’s church and parish centre fairly quickly. We arrived at 1pm and there was already lots of feltmakers there and lots happening. We dropped off our contributions to the fashion show. It was very well organised with numbers for each creation. We received our instructions for the show and then made our way to the cakes! The kids couldn’t believe they could have free cake and of course chose the chocolate ones first! The Agm began shortly afterwards, with Eleanor Roche giving the chairpersons speech and announcing she was stepping down. I know everyone would agree what a great job she did and what a particularly great ambassador she is for Feltmakers as she encourages creativity and problem solving in design and is so generous with her knowledge. After the Agm we were treated to the fashion show, lots of beautiful and diverse felt. Unfortunately, it was very hard to take photos as the models walked past but I’m sure there will be more on the Feltmakers site and they have also produced a short video as well.

Baby Robert had his modelling debut, his catwalk started asleep and he was a little shocked when he woke up half way to see lots of ladies beaming at him. But I suppose he should get used to that because he is gorgeous after all! He was wearing a small red merino and silk jacket that I made for the Red exhibition at the Feltmakers stand at the Knit and Stitch show a couple of years back , he also had on his little blue booties that I made for him. This is probably why he was asleep during his catwalk as the felt made him so cozy he nodded off straightaway! My Eleanor was smiling ear to ear as she followed Cristina up the catwalk aisle in their wedding dress and flower girl outfits. Cristina made the wedding outfit for the show and both the flower bouquets, and I made the flower girl jacket for Eleanor for my sister in law’s wedding. Thanks a lot to Cristina who was so nice to Eleanor and held her hand and minded her for the show. We were also treated to a collection of jewellery, hats, bags, scarves, jackets, a corset, dresses and tops. Each piece had an extra dimension to it, there was so much creativity displayed, with a scarf that twisted and others that combined synthetic fabrics and sequins, a full dress with sleeves, a laced corset, some sculptural hats and some tailored jackets and a lovely nuno felted tops!  The colours were beautiful especially some lovely creations with pink and turquoise which caught my eye especially. There were a few sellers including The Fabric Gallery and The Yarn Room and Eamonn Murray’s famous hat blocks made an appearance and I couldn’t resist!

The atmosphere was lovely, the cakes delicious and the felt was extraordinary and inspiring!  Thanks to the committee for a lovely day. Armed with tips from Suzanne and Eleanor Roche I am hoping to get going on my own top, which has eluded completion for nearly three weeks now. The next Feltmakers drop in is at the Fabric Gallery is on the 24th May so I’m really looking forward to catching up with everyone again there.

Don’t forget to look at for more details of the AGM and fashion show!

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