Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wet Felted Runner

Truth be told, I have been staring in amazement at all things felted as of late. Not sure where or why this fascination started, but it has become my mission to figure it out. I've learned that you can create felted items through various techniques: needle felting, wet felting, knitting the item and then distressing it with hot water and you can even take old wool sweaters, distress them in the washing machine (haven't we all done that accidentally?) and then cutting and sewing them. 

Since knitting and I are just getting acquainted, I've had my eyes peeled for a wet felting class and I got lucky, The Spinning Room had one this past Saturday. It was tons of fun and I learned a lot. Not knowing how the process really went, I went with the flow and decided to make a runner. A runner seemed to be a standard item to make for beginners. 

The first step was picking out the color roving you wish to work with. I chose a natural, die free roving as my base with a few spring colors for the details. The roving comes in big balls that need to be pulled into pieces. From there you place bubble wrap and netting or tulle on the boot tray and then the layers of roving. Four layers of roving was needed - layered in opposite directions. It looks like a big fluffy pile of lint. 

Then the details are added using other roving. From here on out, I wasn't able to any pictures until the very end. It's one big, wet mess, which to me was like being a kid playing. The netting is placed on top of your future piece and sprayed with very warm water and some dish soap. This is done repeatedly while gently patting the roving down so all the layers adhere to one another. When the top is wet, it's flipped and the process is repeated. It's then rolled up into the bubble wrap and netting and rolled repeatedly, again to help the adhering process. This wet part of the process takes a good hour, plus. The piece then needs to be rinsed in a bucket of hot water and then cold to shock it and remove all the dish soap. Its rolled in a towel to absorb excess water and then it air dries until its ready for display. 

One of the consistently fun parts of a class, is finishing up and taking a look at all the different ways the creativity flows through each of us. Each one different. Each one beautiful. 

There are some great videos on YouTube that demonstrate the wet messing part of this process if you're interested in taking a crack at it. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Flowers

Oh, spring. You are so close, yet so far away. This mild winter has me thinking spring will be here any day now. I'm getting antsy for nicer weather even though we've been so fortunate to have some decent weather lately. While dreaming of spring, I decided to make some felt winter flowers to adorn coats, hats, gifts and whatever else I can attach them to. 

Using round cookies cutters as a template, I cut out a bunch of different sized round pieces of felt. After layering them, I found a bunch of fun buttons in the button jar. A quick stitch through the back with embroidery thread keeps all the layers of fabric and button securely in place. With another couple of quick stitches on the back for the pin backs, these lovelies are ready to brighten up the rest of my winter. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Black and White and Pink All Over

All I want this Valentine's Day is to be home with my guy. To make our day special, I've turned our library nook into a heart filled cafe using black, white and pink decor. Instead of dining under the stars, we'll be dining under hearts on string.

Black, white, pink and brown card stock paper hearts hang in the windows and from the light fixtures overhead. There are 125 hearts glued to 12 pieces of string. Its a sight to see [although my back still isn't too happy with me from all the cutting, bending and gluing, it was still with it]. 

Simple white linens provide a clean backdrop for pink felt hearts as our centerpiece. 

And, what's a cafe without a champagne table?! Two candles and an old refurbished Altoid tin were all the decorations needed. 

Happy Valentine's Day my lovely blog readers. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Treats

Looking for a  little something special for your Valentine instead of the standard box of chocolates? These peanut butter blossom cookies with a little red food coloring and zebra striped Hershey Kisses are going over pretty well in our house and at work. The only change to the recipe on the back of the peanut butter jar I made was to add a half a dozen drops of food coloring and mixing it with the mixer [it was nearly impossible to do this by hand]. 

If you're looking for something a little fancier with a slightly healthy twist, try this sugar cookie tart inspired by the Pioneer Woman. I altered the recipe by using a sugar cookie mix from the store. Once the dough is mixed, split it in half  and baked in two heart shaped pans [you may want to have someone in mind to give the second tart to]. For the creme topping I used one jar of Fluff and a half a container of cream cheese substitute, blended together. Top each heart shaped cookie with just enough cream topping to hold the fruit in place. Top with your favorite fruit and you're good to go. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Why not wear your heart on your sleeve this Valentine's Day? With a few simple supplies and 10 minutes, you can have elbow patches on that old wool sweater that needs a makeover. 

- Wool Sweater
- Foam Block 
- Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter 
- Wool Roving 
- Felting Needle 
- Masking Tape 
- Iron 

Start by marking where your elbows are on the sleeves of the sweater with masking tape. Place the foam block in the arm of the sleeve. And get your cookie cutter in place. 

Fill the cookie cutter with roving wool and start stabbing the wool down into the fabric with the felting needle. Be careful of those fingers (I say this from experience - it hurts). 

 Once majority of the wool has been woven into the fabric, remove the cookie cutter and clean up the edges by stabbing the wool. 

 Repeat process on the other arm. Once complete, warm up the iron on the wool setting. Spritz each elbow pad with water and iron.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fortune 'Cookies'

Who doesn't like a fortune cookie?! Truth be told, I enjoy the fortune more than the cookie. With Valentine's Day around the corner, I decided to make a no-calorie treat that will adorn the dinner table [now don't go feeling sorry for my Valentine, there will be yummy treats on the table too]. 

Cut out 3.5'' circles using thick double sided craft paper. 

Fold in half, but do not crease the center. 

Push the center of the half circle in so the sides flare out. 

Hand write fortunes and insert into the 'cookie.' 

A thin strip of hot glue of the fold will hold these pretties together nicely, while still being able to pull out the fortune. 

Ta-da! They are ready go! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another New Space

Yep, my studio has moved once again. Across the hall this time. I've learned the hard way, that sharing a space [with one's spouse], is a challenging thing to do. I was optimistic that it would work, but it simply was not ideal for either of us. Trying to meditate, create, think and just be in a mess that wasn't mine, was not working. With little to no house guests these days, we emptied the guest bedroom and turned it into a studio that I can call all mine. Take a look.