Sunday, 28 February 2010

Brooches in progress...

This weekend I'm working on some new Paisley-shaped brooches.  I particularly enjoy these as they're a bit bigger than my rings or necklaces so I have a larger area of felt to play with.  Again their colours have been inspired by my new supply of felt hankie fibre - and I'm trying to be a bit more adventurous with my bead colour choice, mixing colours together rather than sticking to shade variations of one colour.

This brooch will be called 'Chartreuse' - I'm really loving these delicate spring green shades at the moment:
I generally play around with bead placing for a while before I make the final decision (although sometimes it evolves as I go along).  It's pretty much impossible to keep the un-sewn-on beads on the felt as I sew, so these wee beauties come in very useful:
These are some of a set of tiny wee ceramic dishes made for me by Karen of hodgepodgearts - they are handy for so many crafty purposes, but I particularly use them for holding my beads as I work.  They are works of art in themselves (Karen made me a beautiful set of 8, each a different size and colour) and I just love to use them.

I've also been working on 'Iroiro' this weekend:
Still loving the rainbow colour combination, and I can't resist adding in a touch of gold with the beads.

I generally seem to do the beading first before the embroidery - I feel somehow that the beads give structure in a way that embroidery doesn't, so I tend to fit the embroidery stitches in around the felt textures and beads.  Embroidery for Iroiro and Chartreuse will hopefully be happening this evening!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Earrings in progress...

One of my favourite parts of the earring making process is when all the stitching is finished, and the felt pieces have spent a while under a pile of books getting nice and securely fixed on to their metal tags.  I carefully take them out and delicately check them over, front back and edges - it's like a little surprise to see them again and to remember it was me who made them!
This is my latest collection - Turmeric (orange), Levant (burgundy), Lupin (multicolour) and Carduus (purple).

Choosing names for my pieces is another favourite part of the process.  I love my thesaurus, and the internet (particularly Google images) is also an invaluable resource.  Sometimes I go for simpler, or more complicated, colour names (it gets more and more difficult... finding new names for purple shades these days is giving me a big challenge!), and other times something more abstract or that sums up what the piece reminds me of.  I also use quite a few Elvish names for the more nature-like pieces - I find Tolkien's invented language to be beautiful, and there are such evocative descriptions of nature in his writings.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Silk hankies and general fibre goodness...

The penultimate item of my recent fibre order extravaganza arrived this week - beautiful silk hankie fibres from EndlessInspiration

 Did I mention how much I'm loving working with silk hankie/bell cap fibre at the moment?  Although it's a bit tricky to manipulate with my dry winter hands, it's just so light and beautiful, and a little goes such a long way!  

This wonderful  rainbow mix of colours inspired me to have a go at making a start on a project prototype.  It's an idea I've been thinking about trying for a while, which then became more defined through discussion with my sister when I was visiting with her recently.

I won't say any more just yet, but here is a sneak peek at the initial stages - I made a start on 2 different versions today:

Last of all, I've been really enjoying working on more rings - here they all are:
...rather fiddly (even by my standards!) but very satisfying :)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

A rainy afternoon...

There's not much I like better than getting down to some embellisher action on a dreary, misty, moisty Saturday afternoon... .

I had quite a busy December and January in my shop, which has meant I've been able to splash out on some gorgeous new fibres.  I'm particularly loving silk bell caps/hankies at the moment - a little goes such a long way, and with wonderful dyers out there like fibercottage and knotmydayjob providing such beautiful colour inspiration, I've been having fun this afternoon!

So, here's what I came up with.  I'm particularly excited as more ring blanks have arrived from Olay, so I'll be getting to work on more felted, embroidered and beaded rings this evening.

These will become rings, earrings, necklaces and brooches sometime soon :D