Archive for June, 2009

Ruffled Felt Flowers

For the past few days, I’ve been refining a couple of flower variations, whittling down my process with each attempt.

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The first two were mock-ups as I hashed out my working ideas in felt. The stamens were added after the fact and the center layer of the pink flower was sewn in place with a needle and thread. Still, they worked well enough that I knew where to take the next versions. I sewed pin backs on them, satisfied with them as they were.

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The next flower was felted with three layers of merino roving and handpainted silk cap; the stamens were placed in the center early in the process so they felted in position.

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Then I tried a five layer version using merino roving and tussah silk. This took considerably more time, but mostly because I didn’t lay down enough roving with the first layers.

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Each flower ended up a little different as I experimented with varying the amounts of roving for each layer, the amount of silk on the top layer and the formation of the stamens. The possibilities at this point seem almost endless. With every new batch of handpainted roving, there will be another flower shape.

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This set thrills me to no end, mostly because I worked them through from the germ of an idea, tried it out, refined the process and continued to work on it until I had something that was just what I wanted. Perseverance isn’t exactly my middle name, so this feels like a particular triumph.

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This set is destined for the Columbia City Gallery, but they have been so fun to make there will be another crop in my shop shortly.

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Drop Spindle Cases Finished

Phew! I can’t believe six weeks have gone by since I first started working on this consignment. At long last, with plenty of interruptions, working in fits and starts, I’ve finished ten cases.

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Much to my surprise, I learned that I enjoy working in production on the right product. There was enormous satisfaction in laying out yet another square of roving shingles, working the piece of felt until it was firm and then adding to the stack of finished pieces. Then trimming and sewing each of the bags consecutively gave me even deeper satisfaction as each one walked through my machine with little difficulty.

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While I had hoped to make a set of fifteen bags to send to Maia at Tactile Fibers, the reality is that each piece took over two hours to make. I just don’t think there will be much market for a drop-spindle bag with that sort of handmade pricetag. Since I wanted a very durable felt, I chose blue faced leicester roving, a fairly slow felting fiber compared to merino. I worked each piece of flat felt hard on my glass washboard until they were really stiff. These two factors resulted in a piece of felt that took much longer to finish than I initially projected. Still, I’m really happy with the finished project and glad to send them on their way.

Yart Sale & Indie Roundup

What is a Yart Sale? Art + Yard Sale = Yard Sale.

Yart Sale Banner

A great promotion running June 10-14 across Etsy.com. Type the word ‘yart’ into the search fieldĀ  to see the great things on sale. Nothing is sacred and there are no limitations: art, supplies, patterns and vintage are being cleared out.

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I’ve listed scarves from last year and beyond. Time to push the old stuff out to make room for the new. There just isn’t space in my studio for more. Free shipping on all Yart Sale items. Valid through June 14th.

While I’m promoting Etsy, I have to mention four wonderful women I met this weekend at the Indie Banditas Bazaar. There were many familiar faces from the EtsyRain community and a couple of artists I recognized instantly from other indie venues. However, the women at these four booths were my neighbors on the floor. Their businesses were new to me, though I hope to see much more of them in the future.

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Laura makes funky, fun and colorful menstrual pads for Amy’s RagBag using reclaimed cotton, flannel, hemp and silk. She is a sweet, generous woman with a great sense of humor. Just don’t put any SoftSoap in her way. While it may be a scandalous and bold idea, I’m planning to put together loot bags with her pads from my daughter’s tenth birthday, with her full consent of course.

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Shannon of Greenbelts shared my corner of the room on Saturday. She makes cuffs, belts, dog collars and rings with repurposed buttons, belts and other bits of ephemera. Her winning smile charmed an awkward tween boy deliberating over his first leather cuff and mesmerized my daughter.

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Hillary of Island Provisions makes uber cool guitar straps, bags, wallets. I want to learn how to play the guitar just so I have an excuse to wear one of those straps. Maybe I can incorporate one of her straps into a new felted messenger bag. Island Provisions gets a gold star for the best booth set-up: four stools and some hinged boards covered with cloth, plus some firewood and great signs nailed to weathered chunks of 2×4. Love their woodsy aesthetic.

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Last, but not least, Lisa’s gratitude journals and notebooks stole my heart. The perfect pocket sized notebook with a gentle reminder to mark each day with a note about the good things in our lives. Lucille’s should be open for business shortly.

All in all, it was a great show. I met lots of interesting people, talked lots of felt and needlefelted three geodes during the quiet moments. Many thanks to Katie and Rhonda for the work they putting it all together. I look forward to the next show.

Bazaar & Kits

Two quick announcements:

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First, the Felt Flower Kits and the Felt Ball Kits are finally available in my etsy shop.The Flower Kits are also available for purchase as a pdf for the enterprising crafters who may have their own stash of supplies on hand.

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Come see me this weekend on Bainbridge Island at the Eagle Harbor Congregational Church where SpiderFelt will be sitting pretty among a fantastic array of artists at the Indie Banditas Bazaar. In addition to the kits, felt soaps, and jumbo felt rocks, I will be selling last year’s inventory of felt scarves at clearance prices, 30-50% off.

Hours for the bazzar are from 10-4 on Friday and Saturday. Stay late on Saturday for the post show concert, where four artists will be making music. Check out the blog for peeks at the vendors and clips from the musical guests.


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