Friday, 30 July 2010

Free time...

 As of this week my Thursdays are now free, meaning I have more time available to develop some ideas that have been brewing... .

I recently bought some absolutely beautiful hand-dyed viscose felt from the ever wonderful Myfanwy of Sassalynne (her Etsy shop is here).  As usual I have been 'sitting' on it for a wee while waiting for inspiration to strike - which it inevitably does, sooner or later, when one is lucky enough to have a store of such lovely supplies...  .  Here is the first stage of my idea - 9 versions to be precise - more to follow at a later date:
The colours and the texture of the felt are irresistible!

Another project I got to finish today is another 'bib'-style necklace - I've slightly tweaked the design with this one, and changed the parts that connect to the ribbon to a more 'pointed' rather than 'rounded' shape.
This one is called 'nightgarden'.
The felt piece is made of silk hankie fibre, cotton scrim, cotton nepps, and silk tops, embellished with many glass and antique metal beads, and colonial knot, seed, bullion knot, detached chain and woven spider's wheel hand embroidery stitches.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


My second 'bib'-style necklace prototype is called 'Verdure'
She is smaller than 'Flare', and measures 13.5cm x 5cm at her widest and longest parts.

To make her, first I made a piece of felt with my embellisher, using silk hankie fibre, cotton scrim, cotton nepps, silk throwsters waste and silk thread. Once I've drawn up and decided on the necklace shape, I mask off the area with paper so I know where to work:
Next, I added couched silk boucle thread, and lots of glass beads in shades of green, yellow and gold:
and then seed, bullion knot, detached fly and colonial knot hand embroidery stitches in silk ribbon, cotton, rayon and silk threads:
Usually by this time I have decided on a name for the piece - although as you can see I changed my mind with this one!

Once the beading and embroidery is finished, I carefully cut out the felt shape and then whip-stitch around the edges:

Then I added hand-dyed variegated silk ribbon, joined to the felt piece with bronze jump rings and tiny stitches:
I decided to go with ribbon rather than chain to make sure the necklace would be adjustable to the right length for any wearer.  

And finally, to give a (rough!) idea of what the necklace looks like in situ:
I've really enjoyed making these necklaces - it's been a real treat to have a larger 'canvas' to work on and I love the amount of detail and texture it allows me to add.  Although I've decided to keep 'Flare' for myself, I'll be adding 'Verdure' to my Etsy shop later today.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


I have finished the project that I have been working on: my first 'bib'-style necklace, called 'Flare':
The surface is felt I made from merino roving, silk hankie fibre, silk throwsters waste, silk fibre, silk carrier rod fibre, cotton scrim, silk/metal organza and silk velvet.  Onto the surface I have added many beads, couched gimp thread and gilt purl goldwork wire, and detached chain, colonial knot, woven spider's wheel, bullion knot and seed hand embroidery stitches.  

She ties with hand-dyed silk ribbon:

and looks like this in situ:

This one is really quite a statement...!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

In progress...

Well now the show is over I have some time to work on a few other projects and to start developing new ideas. I had a very enjoyable and relaxed felting session this afternoon with my embellisher... I am definitely beginning to feel more confident with colour and am feeling more able to experiment with combining colours within pieces. This week I have had a major clearout and 'streamline' (!) of my craft stash, and during the process I came across lots of wee bits and pieces of work that let me see how things have developed since I first set off down this path just over two years ago.  It's all been trial and error really - I'm still not very good at detailed planning, I tend much more to go with my 'instinct' (whatever that is!) - but it's interesting to see a thread of continuity between pieces that I have made along the way.  Anyway, here is what I've been working on today:
The larger pieces are for attempts at a new jewellery idea.  More about that soon!

Also this week I've been able to finish another project I wrote about recently - here's the back of it:
can you tell what it is yet? :P 
Right now the finished piece is stretching its legs on the wall in our living room - more photos to follow!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Mission accomplished!

Well, I have survived another craft fair and lived to tell the tale...
Actually it was a much better experience all round this time, with some of my lovely friends helping me set up or popping along to offer moral support (and buying things too - thanks guys!).

Particular thanks go to my 11-year old friend, photographer, organiser, arranger, de-linter and financial adviser Hannah (she took the photos), who helped me man the table for most of the day.   Thanks Hannah!

(her being chief photographer unfortunately meant I didn't get any photos of Hannah in action...) instead here I am instead looking a bit cheeky for no reason...

...and a bigger view of the table.

Generally the fair was a lot busier than my last one, and again the time went very quickly.  Lots of interest in my kumihimo braiding on the marudai, some very nice compliments, and excitingly, some sales!  I met my target, which is great, and also actually had a good time.  Yay!

My Etsy shop is now up-and-running again after a month-long break, with lots of new items to be listed over the next few days.