Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Autumn felted and embroidered journal cover...

So as promised, here are some photos of the 'Autumn' themed journal cover.

Here is all the fibre laid out, pre-felting.  You can't see how deep it is from this angle - it's about 4cm!
There's a whole mixture of fibres, including many from a wonderful mixed pack from a recent discovery: Stone Creek Silk. All in all there's merino roving, silk throwsters waste, silk tops, silk noil, flax fibre, bamboo fibre, soy silk, angelina and wool locks.

After the felting I added some couched threads on the front cover side, and some embroidery on the back cover side.

On the back cover I used cast-on stitch to represent falling leaves (in lovely space-dyed threads from Stef Francis)

And on the front cover I couched on silk boucle thread in a classic Japanese 'gust of wind' design.  I also added a wonderful handmade burr wood button (courtesy of  Julie and her husband of Roseland Bags), and again I made two different kumihimo braids as pagemarker and for closure.

I lined the very inside with plain green cotton, and for the cover holders I used another piece of antique kimono fabric from Kyoto.

Here's the front laid out:

...and a detail of the button closure:

All in all I was pleased with how these two journal covers turned out - although they're quite substantial, and not really delicate, I love the colours, and they feel wonderful to hold.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Felted and embroidered journal covers...

Two big projects I was working on in the run up to Christmas were a couple of felted and embroidered journal covers, made to cover Moleskine large note/sketchbooks.  The colour themes were 'Sea' and 'Autumn'.  These were by far the biggest felting projects I have undertaken using my embellisher machine, and it certainly felt the strain of felting mixed fibres over about a 30cm x 20cm area - lots of broken needles!

For 'Sea', I used organza ribbon and fabric, wool locks, merino roving, silk fibre, silk noil, silk throwsters waste, angelina fibre, silk/metal organza fabric, net fabric, silk fabric and bamboo fibre.  I felted this onto cotton batting, and then masked off the journal cover area and added lots of hand embroidery stitches: feather, colonial knot, bullion, seed, whipped spider, cast-on, double cast-on and fly stitches.

I also added a beautiful big carved mother-of-pearl button (it had been lying in wait in my stash for years, waiting for the perfect project!).

To make the lining of the cover, I used pieces of antique Japanese kimono fabric samples - I bought many of these at the most amazing temple book market in Kyoto on our last trip in 2007:

I also made two different kumihimo braids, one for a page-marker and one for closure.  Here's what the inside looks like, with the cover on the journal:

And here's the final journal cover, inside and outside:

...and a closeup of the button, and a texture closeup:

Phew!  That's a lot of photos... !  I think I'll show 'Autumn' in a separate post :D

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Works in progress...

So various presents have all been finished (more details to follow once they have been unwrapped!), which gives me time to get back to my old favourite - more felted, beaded and embroidered jewellery.

Here are the three pieces I'm working on at the moment - at this point I have made the felt, and added the beads and embroidery, and have just added backing felt to the pieces using Vilene with an additional piece of Tyvek for the brooch:

One of my favourite parts is choosing names for my pieces.  Sometimes they are obvious and I know what they are called straight away, and other times it takes longer to learn their names.  For these three, 'Droplet' (top right) was chosen almost before I had decided on the shape, whereas 'Prairie' (top left) and 'Ember' (bottom) were slightly more elusive.

The next stage is choosing what shade of embroidery floss to use to whip-stitch around the edges of the piece - I find this decision one of the hardest parts, as the colour choice can make all the difference.  I often narrow it down to 2 or 3 colours and then sleep on it, and the choice is easier the next day.

'Prairie' and 'Droplet' will become brooches, and 'Ember' will be a necklace - I add the findings last of all, and then comes the Flickr/Etsy photo session (still so hard!).

My favourite shots are always the texture closeups:

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Tastykaeru has passed the 100 sales mark... very exciting!!