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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

Monday, January 28, 2013

Project for a rainy day...

My friend Norene (mosaic artist extraordinaire) and I are getting together
tomorrow for some wet felting. We are going to attempt to make some slippers.
In the meantime I've been dying to make something else and have all of this gorgeous wool
so today since it was very miserable out, I made a simple pair of cuffs.
These can be worn as an accent on a nice long sleeve sweater or shirt or  if
it's warm enough, with a t-shirt, maybe even around your ankles at a dance or yoga class.
I first layered the black merino which will lie against your skin...
Merino is the softest of wool and will not be itchy at all.
Next I started to layer the colours that would be on the outside, the design...
It looks thick but believe me, the wool shrinks down quite a bit.
This is about 8 layers of feathery bits of roving, criss crossed in different directions
after each layer. This gets the roving to mat together better than just laying
big clumps of it on top of each other.
I learned all of this from my young felter friend Boo when we were making gauntlets.
You can read about that here.
Then I started to add some finishing touches...
 You never know how this is all going to look until it's done so it's fun to try different things.
I used some dark Romney locks and some beautiful red, gold and greyish silk bits...
That's the easy bit.
Now you start the felting or 'fulling' process.
This means you get lots of warm soapy water and gently soak your project...
I use my finger tapping talents on this job...
When the roving is very wet and soapy, you get your bamboo mat and roll it up
in bubble wrap and a towel and roll roll roll roll roll roll...
 This agitates the fibres, matting them ever so close together so that they form the strongest of bonds..
This takes the longest out of all of the steps and you can see how much one has shrunk more
than the other after I've been working on it for a bit...
When you're happy with the shape and size of your cuffs you can rinse them in cold water
with a bit of vinegar. This will set the colours so they don't run.
Then there you have it, a lovely pair of cuffs to wear out to dinner over your cute black sweater!
 I love to see how all of the different fibres and colours blend together...
 buttonholes were cut in half way through.
I'll find some pretty ones to go on these later from the button store...
 See the deck in the background? Very grey and wet today.
A fun project for a rainy day!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meanwhile back in Toronto...

No, I'm not back in Toronto but I still have a few tales and photos to share.
Here in Canada we have a political, cultural satirist by the name of Rick Mercer.
Each week on CBC television he has a half hour show where he
showcases strange and beautiful things about our country.
He also has a bit in the middle of the show called "The Rant".
And yes, you guessed it, he rants about a current affair.
For this segment he strolls through the alleyways around Queen St West
which are covered in fantastic graffiti. Is it still called graffiti?
I suppose it could be called Urban Wall art or something but whatever
the case may be it's amazing.
So here's a few shots of some of the strolls Tom and I took through these alleys
and this one near our daughters house which I couldn't resist...
 Queen St West area...
 My favorite!...
 Couldn't resist having my photo snapped at this subway station...yup, Queen for a day!