Sunday, May 17, 2015

Beautiful Bea

Bea, my friend and fitness instructor so stunningly models my felted wearables.  She is as beautiful on the inside as the out.  
Felted shawl with resist techniques

Felted scarf with various types of silk, merino wool, holes, cords, nuno inclusions

Long scarf with various types of silk including a metal/silk blend.  Cords, nuno inclusions, craters and more.

Shibori techniques on felt

Felted scarf and purse with cracked mud techniques,felted craters with beads, cords and more

The back of the purse has an outside pocket, a hanging bead and a felted tag inside with words printed on the silk

Felted scarf with metallic silk

Reversible seamless felted vest.  This side was eco printed with eucalyptus leaves.  It closes with cords and two unique buttons

Eco printed reversible felted vest.  Button and cord closures

The other side of the reversible vest with printed silks and cord closures.  The collar is felted with a metal silk blend 

The seamless vest has craters, nuno inclusions, and more

Beautiful Bea, thank you Bea for all that you do.
The End

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No Roll Felting - Dryer Method

Just ask any felter what their least favorite part of the process is and most will say the rolling.  And yes I concur with this consensus; it is in fact my least favorite part.  On the other hand, I have to say it's a pretty good work out and I've developed some fairly decent upper arms from it.  Sometimes I even throw in a few squats at the same time as part of my multi-tasking mentality. Although I've heard lately that they say it's impossible to multi-task...really now. 

And to help pass the time, I usually put my iPad on the table and turn on some mindless show or some interesting TED talks. Once in a while, I'll bring my roll into the other room, put it on the floor and use my feet to roll while I watch TV on the big screen. So given all of this, I try to make the best out of rolling. 

But a recent Facebook post by Patricia Spark referencing the dryer method for felting, which is a popular substitute for rolling, got me thinking that I should try it again.  I had in fact tried it some time ago but I had not been very pleased.  I think it had to do with what I was making at the time which was a big garment with a resist. 
 But this time I was working on a simple 30"x30" square that is going to be used as either a table accessory, pillow cover, quilt piece or something similar, and thought I'd take another crack at this dryer method for felting.

First off, I created the piece in my usual method by laying out my roving on a large piece of bubble wrap with bubbles up.  I wetted out the piece with the ball browser which I definitely prefer to the garden sprayer.  I then covered the work with with another large piece of bubble wrap (bubbles down)and then wet the bubble wrap so that my hands glide to compress it for several minutes.  At this point, I would normally start my rolling.

But this time, I did the following for the no roll dryer method:

1.  I folded over the bubble wrap to make a small package.  My 30"x30" square was still in tack.

2.  I used a wet towel and rolled it up like a sausage roll.  I put that at the edge of my bubble wrap.

3.  I rolled up the sausage towel inside the bubble wrap.

4.  I put a fresh towel under the package and rolled everything up inside it.

5.  I secured the towel with three panty hose ties.

6.  Into the dryer it went for 10 minutes.  Set it for no heat or just damp dry.  It's the thumping agitation, not the heat, that will "no roll" felt the piece for you.  And while it's doing it's thing, you have time to get other stuff done...or not!

7.  After the 10 minutes, take it out, open it up and re-roll it with the wet sausage towel at the other end.  Re-roll it with the outside towel, secure it with the ties and pop it back into the dryer for anther 10 minutes.  Again relax or do your thing.

8.  Remove the outer towel, the sausage towel, and open it up.  Assure it is secure.

 Proceed as your normally would to full the piece:  roll it on itself, slam it, rub it.

 And just like that, it's a beautiful felted piece.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Winds and Dragons

This is my newest nuno felted vest which I'm calling "Winds and Dragons" in honor of mah jongg, another one of my passions. I learned mah jongg from my mother who played the game once a week from her mid 20's to almost until she passed away at 85.  My Aunt Bernice is still playing at 90.  Looks like I'm on the same path and I love it.  Mah jongg keeps your mind active and is an amazing game of skill with some luck certainly thrown in too. 

 This vest has two vintage mah jongg tiles used as buttons and closed with felted cords. The maj tile in the photo to the left is a One Bam and the tile in the photo above is a Red Dragon.

Shibori balls embellish both the front and back of the vest.

  I play mah jongg at least once a week and sometimes more.  I have taught several friends to play over the years and they in turn have taught others.  Some are so good that they have even entered tournaments.  When I was on a cruise in South American last December, I went up to the game room to get in on the maj game.  All of a sudden, I hear "Is that Beth Marx?" Can you believe it, it was a maj player whom I had played with a few times at home.  How fun it that and how cool that you can get a game going anywhere.  For more of my mah jongg posts, click here:  



 Work in Progress

 The collar is made from an beautiful silk/metal fabric and looks amazing.

 Of course this vest is reversible and can also be worn upside down as a shrug/shawl.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Nuno Felted Vest Workshop in Southern California - March 2015

An incredible group of twelve inspiring, positive women attended my March 2015 nuno felting seamless vest workshop in Southern California

Day 1 of 4 involved taking the Metro Blue Line from Long Beach to Los Angeles for fabric shopping in downtown LA followed by lunch at the upscale Bottega Louie. Some of the students said that this alone was worth the price of admission!

On the morning of Day 2, I taught the group how to make and size up a pattern to account for the shrinkage.  Then it was on to creativity and hard work as the women exerted lots of energy, but certainly lots of fun and camaraderie too, creating their own unique seamless nuno felted vest. 

On the afternoon of the last day, each student beautifully and proudly modeled her creation for our photo shoot.

Enjoy the video which really captures the essence and spirit of our time together.  Still smiling!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Kiss Me Kate

Kate is such a doll and is a naturally gorgeous modeling my nuno felted high collar shawl.  Kate works at Scratch Bakery which is a local Long Beach favorite American Patisserie where everything is made, as the namesake states, from scratch.  Our weekly Sunday routine is to walk there with the three dogs and enjoy a patisserie and coffee before heading to the lagoon or beach where the dogs can run and play off leash.  Besides the human confections, Scratch makes homemade doggie treats.  So our dogs love the place as much as we do.  

This reversible nuno felted poncho was made on a resist with no seams and no sewing.  I sandwiched one layer of roving between two layers of silk.  The fist layer of silk was one piece of animal print silk.  I then added a few embellishments and then then mainly black roving but burgundy in a few places.  More silk fabric was added on top of the roving.  
Work in progress.

Kate wears it so well and this poncho is perfect for the transition from winter to spring.  Great for the cool mornings and evenings.  Dress it up or down and wear it as shown or with the animal print on the outside.  Fun, fun, fun and cozy and comfy too.

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