etsy mini

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

felts from photographs

Last week I posted some photographs which I took as inspiration for felts. Some were trees at odd angles and I must admit they were a complete disaster! I tried to cut corners by working straight from the photograph and not sketching a simplified version first. They ended up being much too fussy and I had to discard them.
There was also a small landscape with a cottage, fields and a row of trees. I had much more success with that one.

  As you can see I changed the picture quite a lot and only included the elements which were important to me which were the cottage and the line of trees. I changed the fence to a wall and put the sheep in the picture. They were actually in the field but not in the photograph. That is the wonderful thing about being an artist. You have license to move things around to suit your needs!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

yarns and fabrics

Today I thought I would share one of my favourite etsy shops with you. It is yarnsandfabrics run by Karen Platt.
Anyone who uses yarn or thread should check her shop out. There are gorgeous hand dyed yarns as well as natural ones for you to dye yourself. She also sells hand dyed scrim which makes really soft nuno felt.
When she has time Karen makes stunning works of art and for a calorie free treat you can also buy little decorative hearts from her shop.
I have bought from her myself and was Suprised at the fast delivery and impressed by her customer service when I asked for a custom order.
Here is a link to Karen's shop. Go and look at her goodies.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Felt inspitation

When I'm out walking with my dogs I keep seeing interesting trees which would make a good basis for felts. Today I actually remembered to take my camera with me! I took photographs of trees at strange angles and a row of trees next to a cottage. Here are some of them.
Over the next few days I will make simplified sketches of them and see what I come up with.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Give away competition

Just a quickie to let you know that British Emporia have a competition which gives a choice of 19 shops to choose from to receive a money off voucher. Free worldwide delivery.
Here is the link if you want to take part

Thursday, 14 March 2013

stitching on to felt.

Hi every one

I've just spent about 3 hours adding stitching to my latest felt before listing it on etsy and it occurred to me that most people do not realise what a difference it can make. I thought I would show you before and after pictures so you can see the difference.
In the first photograph I have already added stitching to the mountain but nothing else. The felt looks OK but not great.
In the second photograph all of the stitching has been added. The flowers are the most obvious. Instead of looking flat they have more definition and depth. All you need to do if you want to try this is to use a quilting foot on your sewing machine. Any thread will do but I prefer cotton or silk. I would not recommend silk to start with as it tends to break more easily. The felt is quite thick and sewing machines do not like that so can be a bit temperamental.
I first stitched around the outline of the flowers in a dark blue thread and added dark stitching near the centre of each flower to give depth and then I changed to a light blue and added highlights. I have also stitched around the little sheep, the cottage and added depth to the contours in the landscape. The best way to do this is to take a good look at your picture and pick out some places where you have made colour changes. Stitch around these and the scene comes to life.    

Friday, 1 March 2013

How to make progged rag rugs

At last I have found time to show you another rug making technique!
 Today we are looking at progged rugs. Above is shown the tool you will need. It has a spring loaded handle and opens and closes rather like a pair of scissors. The only other tool is a good pair of scissors or a rotary cutter and mat.
Fairly firm fabrics are best for this method. Woollen blankets, tweed skirts and similar. A variety of textures makes for a more interesting rug. Again you will need hessian (burlap) for the back. This type of rug does not need to be worked on a frame and is suitable for doing when sitting down watching the TV if you like to have busy fingers.

Cut pieces of fabric around 3 inches in length and about 1/2 inch wide. In the photographs I am showing you the technique on a scrap piece of hessian. Yours will be a few inches bigger than your rug, Take the progging tool and poke it to the back of the hessian and out again a few threads away then open it up and grab the fabric with it. Then pull the fabric through so that both ends are showing on top of the hessian. At this stage the fabric will look floppy but as you add more pieces they will push against each other and stand up straight. Continue in this way until the rug is complete and then hem the edges as before.
Progged rugs have a lovely thick pile but the designs can not be made as detailed as hooked rugs. I have also included a close up of one of my completed rugs which shows the different textures used and how the pile stands up.