Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!

Tender ones.
Tender little ones.

Visions are evolving things.  As we journey through life we are drawn to things that interest us.  I have often wondered about my vision in life because my view of anything in the future, other than children, has always been Continue reading “Bringing a Vision to Life — PARADISE!”

Hosted a Felting Workshop Today!

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I hosted a one on one workshop with a great artistic lady named Elly from Corvallis.  She made one very fluffy colorful scarf plus a smaller neck warmer scarf.  Here are photos of the large scarf as it is drying on the rack.  I taught Elly my method of felting which is much faster than the rolling on the noodle method.  MUCH faster!

We had fun and she says she will probably come to another workshop and make more felted items.

If my readers are interested in learning to felt, or just want a place to felt where there is instruction and lots of supplies (merino wool in all colors, silk fiber, wool locks, and more) for your project, please call me at 407-766-2588 or email me at micheleballantynedesigns@gmail.com and we will schedule a workshop for you.  I can have up to four participants at my workshops.  Workshops are 6 hours for $100, or 3 hours for $50.  In a 6 hour workshop a more complicated item can be made, like the scarf in the photo Elly made using locks of wool as a fringe and decoration, and possibly a second simpler item like a smaller neck warmer scarf.  In a 3 hour workshop a less complicated scarf or other item can be made.  You may notice that each side of the larger scarf Elly made is different.  The scarves you make at my workshops can be made to be reversible.

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The flip side of the scarf.
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After the wet felting, Elly applies a little needle felting on some stubborn fibers!

Nature Inspired Scarf

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Here is one view of the finished scarf based on colors from the bark of a tree trunk (see next image).
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This is the image that grabbed my artistic eye. I love the color and texture of tree bark and this tree bark is stunning!

While watching nature documentaries with my son I saw this tree the bobcat is climbing up with his catch.  I felt my heart flip when I saw the magnificent combination of colors.  I got a screen shot of the tree on my computer and used it as a model for the scarf.  Also, notice the bobcat’s amazing camouflage against this tree!

Below, you can see the layout of the fibers before felting:

 

And here, below, you can see images of the finished scarf in different positions.  I made a couple slits on one end to allow the other end of the scarf to be pulled through.  Or, for a more traditional look, a button looking pin can be used as a brooch.

Below is a close up of the finished scarf.

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This will be heading to the art store in The Art Center in Corvallis soon.  This scarf is made with “against the skin” soft merino wool, silk, and baby alpaca; the flip side is lined with super soft baby yak, silk, and merino wool in creamy white with slight hints of color showing through.  This art scarf will be priced at $100.

Below you can see how the “dread lock” fringe is created.  First cuts are made on the edge of the scarf to the desired length, then each flat strip of fringe is rolled between the hands to create the rounded dread lock look.

Late Night Creativity and Weight Loss

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Felting the “dread lock” fringe on the scarf I made last night.

Late night creativity and weight loss go very well together, YES, YES, YES!

Making things is one of my favorite activities!  I totally bliss out while I’m creating something new, especially if my creation has color and texture involved.

I had been wanting to make a scarf like this for probably a month or more.  So last night, instead of spinning wool and watching TV, I plunged into this little scarf project I had been wanting to do.  I was engrossed for at least three hours, blissing out over matching the colors with what I had in mind, felting the piece, and creating the fringe.  After rinsing the felted scarf, it was time for bed.

I felt tired.  I had taken my sleepy medicine early and it had kicked in.  I went to bed and did not eat again.  This morning when I weighed myself, I had lost half a pound.

I know, at least for me, I eat out of boredom.  Finding something you crave so much that there is no room for boredom will breathe life into your world, and allow you to not only lose weight but accomplish something that brings you immense joy at the same time!

I would love to hear from you about this idea, or if anyone would like to try this, tell me how it went for you.

My next post will detail the scarf I made and how I did it.

My first craft fair!

Today I was In a beautiful greenhouse gift nursery at  4845 SW. Third, Corvallis Oregon, selling my scarves and workshops and other pretty things.  I will be there again tomorrow from 10 AM till 4 PM. Please come have a look!

 

My sister Krista was there, sharing a table with me, selling her ceramics. She makes sculptures and wallhangings and pendants.    Her fiancé  Kevin was there helping for the day.

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For our first time having a display at a craft fair we had a good experience. I sold a workshop  certificate and a few items.  Krista sold several items as well.  Yay us!

Lampwork Beads

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Above lampwork bead by friskeybeads at etsy.com.  Hand spun felted yarn necklace by me.

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Above lampwork beads by friskeybeads on ebay.  Necklace by me.

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Above is a wet felted tube bead flanked by lampwork beads with frit decoration and then etched for a matte finish.  Above lampwork beads by dancingfrogjewels of Etsy.  Necklace and felted tube bead by me.

Felted dress by me.

I love finding amazing beads then designing necklaces to match the colors of the beads.

Nuno felting is kinda awesome.

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I have been swimming in ideas for felting for the past few months but have been soooo busy working on my barn that I have not allowed myself time away from that project to make fiber art.  Consequently, when I have rainy days I go a bit crazy having fun with making beautiful textile things.

I warmed up my skills on Wednesday with a couple simple scarves.  One a neutral blend of creamy whites and earth tones, fancied up just a touch with a short fringe of natural wool locks.  The other a bold combination of bright red, grey, and black, with a touch of white tencil running through the grey.  I made the fringe uneven for a more interesting effect.

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On Thursday I wanted to try making a larger piece, a shawl, and incorporating some elements other than wool and silk fibers.  I used a vintage piece of lace table cloth that was not usable as it was with a stain and a hole, and I also found some silk material in my stash of silks that has a crinkle cloth texture to it which turned out very well and felted easily to the wool.

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Lastly, I finally dug out some of the sari’s I bought last year when I went on a sari buying spree for nuno felting, then got too busy to do anything with.  I have learned that not all sari’s are going to be good for felting because many are made of stiffer silk fabric, and have less texture for the tiny wool barbs to hook onto.  I did have several sari’s that would be good for felting, however, and I looked at the possibilities.  I chose a sari that was soft and lightweight and had a texture I thought would work, and had beautiful colors.  I felt like I was in total experiment mode, but I love the results.  Sometimes I don’t think it’s possible to ruin felting, though I can’t really say that, I’ve done it before!!

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One big mistake I made was microwaving the sari as I was in the process of felting it with the wool.  There is gold thread in the weave that was fine when it was very wet, but once the felting piece started to dry out, it burned a few little holes in the material, which I had to felt over to cover and hold together.

John showed up last night, a day early (he likes to surprise us) and we have been working on the barn all day today.  I was burned out on felting after two straight days of it anyway, so working outside in the fresh air is a good shift of energy.