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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, September 21, 2012

A tale of two feltings...

I am intrigued with wet felting and the results which come of such hard work.
And believe me, once you have done it, you will know...
It is hard work!
I found a very good tutorial on rosiepink a fabulous felters blog.
 Just look under her list of tutorials for the
"how to make a felted pod".
I have tried wet felting before without the desired effect I wanted to achieve
and so when I did this tutorial, I was thrilled with the results.
My arms were tired, but like I said, I was thrilled.
It goes something like this...
Begin with a dessert plate sized circle cut from thick, soft
plastic. I used laminate flooring underlay...
Next you take your tufts of roving and lay them like a sunburst,
half on and half off your resist (the plastic)
(put the piece on a large piece of bubble wrap with another piece handy for later)
Next lay your tufts of roving across the centre to fill it in...
Cover with netting and sprinkle warm, soapy water over and then
gently sponge it around (just over the plastic section) without disturbing the roving...
Take your warm, soapy fingers and GENTLY rub all over the piece
in small circular motions for about 5 minutes...
Remove the netting ever so gently and slowly, freeing any trapped fibres.
Put the other piece of bubble wrap on top and give
it a friendly squeeze to make a seal.
Remove the bubble wrap slowly and with wet soapy fingers, turn over
the outside bits of roving into the circle...
As you can see I've used two different colours which will become evident later.
Now you will gently turn it over and repeat this process but lay the inside
bits in the opposite direction than the previous layers.
You will need to do 4 layers on each side.
It will eventually look like the thickness of a fluffy pancake...
Cover again with bubble wrap and take a sushi roller or a piece of a
bamboo blind or a pool noodle and roll the whole thing up...
Roll, roll, roll 30 times and then open it up and turn it a 1/4 turn.
Then roll it again until you've completed 4 turns.
Then you turn it over, roll it up and
roll, roll, roll again....are you getting tired yet?
No? Good because we're not done yet!
Remove from the bubble wrap and carefully cut whatever sized hole you want
WITHOUT cutting into the resist (the circle of plastic) or the other side of it...
Pull out the resist out and pinch the edges with wet soapy fingers.
Then you put it back into the bubble wrap and roll, roll again!!
Next you get your tool of choice, (mine was a small ladle)
and shape the bowl. You see the plastic has given it a hollow centre...
Work it until you`re happy with the shape and then gently rinse
all of the soap out in hot and cold water.
Set it on top of something to dry upside down...vitamin jars work well...
You will be amazed at the beautiful marriage of the fibres!
That is what I love about this technique...
Soap, water, wool and elbow grease have kept
this technique alive for thousands of years.
If I`ve left anything out, check out the link I provided.
Oh, and the second tale of felting is this...
A needle felted barn owl on an antique wooden spool
I made for a friend.
My comfort zone lies here but I am definitely going to make
more of the wet felted pods.
It gives me a buzz to get onto something new.

This moment...

A new bit, inspired by Ciara over at Milkmoon
You can join too...a moment from your week.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Song for Friday...because...

...Because sometimes you just wish you had a boat and a pony.
Have a great weekend all!

To the beach...

The other morning, Regina and I took Griffin and Rosie out to French Beach.
Usually full of tourists and campers all summer, September is much quieter
and since the tide was out early in the day we thought
 to take advantage of this gorgeous fall weather we're having.
Locals know the back way in so you don't have to pay for parking!
I haven't walked this path in nearly a year.
It was last October that I came here with my family to spread some
of Tracy's ashes. It was another beautiful day on the beach.
I brought a big sunflower for her and 4 smaller ones for Steve and the girls
and left them in 'her' spot in an old bottle wedged between the logs...
We walked along the boardwalk and through the woods...
Finally the dogs got their wish and tore off down onto the sand...
Just like us, they love a good open stretch of beach!
This beach has the most lovely, smooth rocks and you are guaranteed to
bring home a pocketful..
Some people leave them here in cairns to mark their visit...
There's always something pretty on the beach...
A walk on the beach, first thing in the morning, with a good friend, dogs
and precious memories...