Sunday, 11 October 2009

Works in progress - October....

I've been finishing up a lot of bits and pieces recently, and last weekend I had a chance to start some new projects too... .

One of the things I've been working on is the swap package for my Clasheen Crafty Swap autumn swap (Organized by the wonderful Nicola). This is my second crafty swap - the idea is you are paired up with a fellow crafter, given a general theme, and then you swap away with all sorts of handmade goodies and little extras.  This time I've been paired with the very talented Julie, (all the way over in Arizona!) so I'm very excited to receive my package!  I'll post some photos when both of our packages have safely arrived :D.  

Oh ok then, here's a wee preview of one of the pieces I made for Julie:

I finally got around to listing some kumihimo rings and earrings on my Etsy shop - the rings look lovely when worn, but it's a bit difficult to describe the sizing as the nature of the braid makes them very flexible:

Seashore ring:

'Rust' ring - showing the way I have made the braid into a ring:

Here are a pair of the kumihimo earrings - these ones made with my 'Hibiscus' braid:

I was able to get my embellisher out last weekend and have a play, making some felted pieces as the precursor to several different projects.  My Grandma has sent me some great patterns for felted mitts, so I'm going to give them a go.  I was trying to explain to her how the embellisher works, but it's a bit difficult to grasp if you've never seen one, so I thought I could try illustrating it with some photos:

So first of all I prepare my fibres - I always use a real mixture.  In this pile is merino roving, silk fabric, silk fibre and throwsters waste, silk noil and wool locks.  It's not normally necessary, but I like to use some sort of backing material to felt onto because I usually need the finished felt to be very stiff.

Next, I zoom all over the fibres with the embellisher, to felt them together.  The embellisher machine looks like a sewing machine, but instead of one eyed needle, mine has seven barbed felting needles (with no eyes) - so you don't use any thread.  Instead the needles move up and down (just as in a sewing machine) and this action agitates the fibres and felts them together.  It's a lot of fun, and the results are always slightly unpredictable which adds an interesting element of surprise!

So after all that, you end up with a piece of 'material' like this:

Depending on how much texture/flatness you want, you can spend less or more time with it under the embellisher needles.  I'm going to use this particular piece for making an iPhone pouch for a friend.

Apart from that, I'm working on another brooch prototype idea:

...and I finally got around to sorting out my embroidery threads:


October giveaway to follow soon...~!


fibrefrolics said...

Love your new leaf brooches. Gorgeous colours! And I envy you your tidy thread box! Mine never stays that way. They always look so yummy when they are in colour order. Must tidy up mine now!

Eva said...

Interesting! I didn't know what the embelisher looks like either.

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