Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rain, Wind, Felt...

One thing that you can say about Irish weather: it is really conducive to staying in and crafting!  It's Day Three of the rain and wind, although the wind is a bit calmer this morning, and I felted a book cover for my new diary and I will be stitching that.  I have a patchwork project to finish.  I don't know if any of you have a clean dinner table, but mine is always half-covered with projects waiting for time and supplies.  I am determined to have it clear by tomorrow night to start the week off right! 

Felted and dyed using soy wax
 I got one of my UFOs finished this week: a piece that I had felted and resist-dyed with soy wax earlier in the year. The soy wax was great, but it's supposed to wash out with simple soap and water and I had a little trouble getting it out.  I went online and did a bit of research and lo and behold! if you read directions things DO come out better.  Turns out the wax has to be pretty hot when applied (but not smoking, as there is a flash point) or else it doesn't saturate properly.  I ended up using too much wax and so it was harder to get out.  Learning curve!  Essentially it's a batik process.

I couldn't decide what to do with it and I just decided that I was being too precious about it and collaged some fabric onto it.  It turned out great (I think!) and I am going to develop a line of fibre collages as the woolly hats and scarves will not sell well in July and August!  I also stitched a paper and fabric piece that I am happy enough with, so more time for experimenting with that if the weather continues to be dire.

Closeup of the centre flower

I also started felting again after the right arm decided to get cranky and have tendinitis.  Not sure what aggravated it.  This is the answer the doctor gave me: "Yerra, it could be anything really."  Very technical.  So I had a highly unproductive January.  I decided to start small and felt a cover for my diary as it is a really icky green and I couldn't be looking at it anymore.  I love my purple, so I picked out a nice mix of merino and silks that  I had dyed and felted it using foam underlay as a resist.  Design came out well = the diary fit in it, and I want to stitch it a bit, so I will post again tomorrow with the results. 

I have ordered an instructional DVD from Interweave Press in the US and I am dying to receive it and the back issues of Cloth Paper Stitch that are on the way.  I ordered it December 31st and it has not arrived yet.  Needless to say, I will not be ordering anything from them again soon.  I order hair conditioner and soap from a US website and it's at my door in 10 days in total and they don't charge me a fortune in shipping, either.  Interweave has got to get their act together.  Unfortunately, I love, Love, LOVE Cloth Paper Stitch, but I can get it from fairly quickly.  I can't seem to get anyone in Ireland to stock the magazine and I NEED it :)  Their mixed media stuff is always interesting and always makes my brain hum. 

I also have a copy of the book I have been coveting for some time on the way!  I had been *hoping* that Santa might bring it to me, but I guess he had his hands full trying to sort out the Irish government.  One of the many ways we are being made pay for their incompetence.  Jane Dunnewold is supposed to be the surface design guru, so this book has me drooling.  I hope this book lives up to it's reputation as there aren't many textile courses going in West Kerry at the moment, so it's all DIY for me! 

I am taking Karen Flannery's sewing course, which will be good for patterning and finishing clothing.  I more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants seamstress and really I need to be more precise with my work.  Karen has the horrible task of trying to rid me of bad habits.  Has to be done or else no one will buy a nice tunic or jacket from me.  I didn't get the piece I wanted to work with felted, so I worked on a piece of felt I made before Christmas and designed a cuff necklace.  My neck isn't long enough for it, but it isn't necessarily for ME.  Pics of that to follow when I finish the beading touches...

Now, must get off the computer and get some work done! 

Finished product



  1. I LOVE this latest piece Sharon, wonderful work!!!

    Ellen is trying to contact you to send out your latest Clasheen Swap package so if you get a chance please emsil here with your address, stupidly I can't find it anywhere here! Cheers, Nicola

  2. Thanks, Nicola! it Ellen or Frances trying to get ahold me??? I'm matched with Frances. How is the workshop with Horst filling up? I am really interested, but my spring is getting very busy and so money is tight with Holy Communion etc. All balls in the air!!