Jul 5, 2016

Ahrr, me Hearties, where's me treasures...!

Chocolate-box full of auction treasure.
So I couldn't felt last year. Not that I felt all the time, mind, but when you get told you can't do something, the itch gets worse. 
While tidying (yes really..) I opened the bottom drawer, which was empty many years ago and thus had become a perfect place to put interesting necklaces and beads into, which had come home because they looked useful. I decided to tip the drawer upside down on the empty table, just to see what had gathered there. And gave myself a fright.
Quite a bit of jewellery. 
So I started cleaning, dismantling and sorting everything. Colours by colours, metals by metals, glass, pearls, semi-precious stones, brooches, I even kept the findings and closures.

Some odd-ball bits as well.
A  course at the local Arts Centre presented itself, how to repair and remake old jewellery.
 Very timely the Universe provided, yet again.
I had a great time and learned a lot.
I won a couple of Auctions from down the hill, just to add really odd and old stuff to the mix.
I can't wait to somehow use those fountain-pen nibs, or that sweet little spoon.

Another auction lot...
And no-one else put a bid on that box with tatty looking rags, bits of fur and an old tin of baking powder, but I had already spotted in that jumble black silk dress pieces; never put together, water taffeta, handmade tatting and very old lace pieces, an old leather wallet with silver corners, sequins and gold lace, braiding and ribbons, and an old foxy stole. Most from the first half of the 1900's judging by the shape of the dress pieces and lace.
A veritable feast for a textile lover.
Now, how to incorporate fur....

It looked like a jumble of scraps, however...
Then I started playing. And combining, and trying stuff out.
Taking away and adding.

Treasure for myself.
This one is for myself.  
Sterling silver, real pearls, moonstone, rose quartz, antique lace, a belt buckle, a tiny key, sparkly bracelet links, vintage porcelain forget-me-nots and a Madonna medallion to represent the Goddess in all her forms.
I love wearing it.

Peony Roses in an old coffeepot.
Oh I wish it were Spring already. But we have only just gone past the shortest day.... 
Luckily photos cheer me up too.

Jun 6, 2016

Feather-weight Wool.

Felted aqua-blue feather wrap.

Wow, I haven't posted since March last year! That's no good, and I've sure been busy, so I have plenty to tell you. Probably too much for this time so I'll give it to you in small bites.

First up is the gorgeous wrap I finished this week, I am very happy with it indeed.
It is made with 2 layers of fine merino wool and layers of delicate silk tissue fabric, with embroidered feathers.
Finishing the felting process.

Nuno-felting details with silk tissue.
It took 2 trestle tables to lay out the wool, and a day to finish laying it. It was felted really well, and I adore the nuno wrinkled effect of the fabric fused into the wool. But I left an edge loose to provide movement with the slightest breath of air.

Hollow bubbles

I also felted air-bubbles into one of the ends of the wrap, again to play with the idea of lightness. It is a technique I have been practising since I went to the Wellington Area Felting retreat in February, where I tried it for the first time. It was wonderful to be able to go there again, now that my right shoulder is so much better. Still a few niggles at times, so I have to remain careful.

Draped in a different way off the shoulder.
You can wear the Wrap or Stole in many different ways, depending on how you drape and fold it.
It will be going up for sale in my "felt-shop" on the web.

This last year has seen me very frustrated with my inability to felt due to the injury, but out of that have come other projects. I was commissioned to produce 4 Hobbit Cloaks for the Wellington Rover tour company my brother works for, and it was a bit of a mission (, quest, thing....) to find the right fabric. It had to fall right, and show the weave. But I think I succeeded. 
Here are my hobbits to show them off. The cloaks were accepted, and tourists will wear them with a special elvish leaf brooch when they have photo shoots at the film locations.
3 of the 4 Hobbit cloaks completed.
In the last 1 and a half year I have also changed jobs, and am now working in a smaller rural school, still with special needs kids, but better hours, less travel time, interesting work and higher pay! Woohoo...! It took some courage though to change, but the more I looked at what, and how many my skills were the better I felt about looking around. And I was snapped up by another school within a day of handing around my C.V.s.
I am very happy there, great supportive team.

And there have also been some super exciting travels with my hubbie! We only just came back 2 weeks ago.
But that's for another time... Nice to be here again.

A Bali turtle dove taking care of the street offerings.