My Head Is Exploding

My head is exploding this week.  I have been working with bronze metal clay and making bigger pieces and hollow forms. unfiredBronzeClayBead I am going to have to rethink my firing methods and schedules.  The folks on the Metal Clay Now Facebook group have given me lots of great advice.  Stay tuned on this one.

I went to Baltimore last week to play with  friends and to go to a sale at Maja, one of the most incredible bead stores I have ever encountered.  I treated myself to an incredible sterling bead decorated with dragonflies.  (When I manage to take a decent photo, I will post it. ) The next day, we went to the stores in the Village of Cross Keys and I saw the most incredible fiber jewelry in The Store LTD,  the very same store that Betty Cooke owns and from which she sells her marvelous modernist jewelry.

I was so inspired that when I came home, I got out the fabric stash and began dyeing and cutting silk that I’ve recycled from thrift shop finds I bought on a former fabric frenzy.

Then I got out the drop spindle  and started to make knittable fiber (could I even call it yarn?) from  strips of fabric sewn together.

Fabric of spun yarn

My aim is to ply this fiber with ribbon or cord and make something from it.  Stay tuned on this one too.

Yarn Bombing in Mendocino

It’s been a long month this week but I will spare you the details.  Suffice it to say that at times like these, color and travel memories are nice escapes. This week’s post has both: from a town-wide installation called the Mendocino  Crayon Box.

7_new 5_new 6_new 4_new 1_new 2_new Read more about it here and here and here.

The Language of Flowers in Felt

I went on a felted flower frenzy before the holidays and gave away most of the ones I made. There are lots of tutorials on the web. I liked this tutorial on Make It and Love It although I always add my own tweaks. Here’s another one from The I don’t like to use hot glue; I sew everything. If you’re going to take the time to make something, why not make it to last?

For most of the flowers, I started with sweaters I fulled into felt . I used felt beads I’d already made for the center of the flowers.(Tip – you can cut a felt bead in half with a single edged razor blade and you have two flower centers!). I shaded the petals with some needle felting and with Sharpie Fabric Markers which don’t have to be heat set. I shaped some petals by “blocking” and sewing. I also did some beading embellishment.

As for different techniques, there are tutorials on pom-pom flowers, box folded flowers, felted roses and layered felt flowers. And don’t forget YouTube.

You don’t have to limit yourself to felt either. Tipnut has links to tutorials for 30 different fabric flowers.

Want to see more pictures from South Jersey Clayathon? Press here

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