Thursday, December 29, 2011

Faeries, fairies gardens and wizards

I was having one of those quiet, post-christmas days. The garden is looking, well, pretty green and lush, especially after a little summer rain. So the cat and I went for a wander through it.
We found some new flowers had blossomed and others had faded. Some tiny little white ones, you would miss if you weren't looking carefully, and the great big hydrangas in their multitude of shades.
And a little ring of mushrooms (shame the photo didn't turn out).

It got me thinking about who has been tending this garden, 'cause I know it hasn't been me. And then it came to me, I must have garden faeires!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nunofelt Collars

Have you ever had trouble working out what to wear with the changable weather as the seasons change. You know, too warm one moment, too cool the next. Do you dress in layers so you can take things off and put them back on as things change. Then there is the problem of what to do with the things you've taken off if it's too warm.
Well this is the problem I had with my big scarves. I'd put one on in the early morning because the morning breeze was a bit chill. But by the time I got to work, the sun was out and I'd be too warm, so off the scarf would come... and now to try to fit it into the handbag without bits trailing out.
So I came up with these new items. Nuno felt collars or scarflettes. They are big enough to keep your neck, decolletage and lower ears warm, but are small enough to roll up and easily fit into the handbag.
They don't need a brooch to secure them because one end threads through the other, making it very quick to put on or take off.
And you can wear each one a number of different ways. Turned up to get as much warmth as possible, turned down to just take the chill of the shoulders. Twist the ends around to make a big flourishy flower or just pull it straight through to make a scarf look.
I am listing these on my etsy store
so please take a look at these or any of the other wonderful winter warmers I have listed. They make great gifts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Felt Art

Anyone who has read my profile or knows me well, is aware that my background is in visual art. For many years I worked in and exhibited my paintings and pottery, but I haven't exhibited my art pieces since discovering feltmaking.
So now I am working on a number of small pieces to exhibit in an online exhibition. They are explorations in the extraordinary beauty and endless possibilities of the felting process. I use the colours and textures of the regional setting in which I live as inspiration, a place to start. Then as the layers, selection and placement of different threads of wool, or silk, or cotton takes shape, the piece takes on its own life.
This is one of my "Threads" series. It is difficult to capture the way mood of the piece changes as shifting light picks out different threads and relects back to the viewer.
The work is small(approximately 12cm high by 19.5cm wide). A number of these images are closeups and details too.

I would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment here or on my FB page
Beljays Felt

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pretty packaging

A lot of people like to have the lovely selections they purchase off Etsy gift wrapped at this time of year. And I think it's a nice idea too. But you don't want to add to their postage costs by making the wrapping bulky or heavy.

So I've designed a new gift card to use as packaging for some of my items this holiday season. Why a card? Well my butterflys, fish and flowers are quite flat. They post nicely inside a card, which gives them a little extra protection on the journey too.
I can print them as I need them. I can make them in different colors if I choose. Add extra decoration to them, like glitter for example. On the front is enough space for someone to write a message, if they are giving it to someone else. Or, if the buyer has asked me to send it directly to someone else, I can print a message to the recipient, if the buyer wants. And it doesn't add to the postage costs at all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Felt Butterfly Brooches

I thought you might be interested in getting a bit of an idea of how I make my felt butterflys.
First have to make the felt. I begin with unspun, dyed merino wool and lay it out with the colors and patterns I want. And then I go through the laborious task of making that into felt.

Here's one I made earlier...
Or if you want more info on felt making, have a look at this earlier blog post for how that happens

I cut the pieces out of the felt. One sheet will give me a few sets of wings.
I might want to use different colors for upper and lower wings so I cut them all out first.
Now I'm ready to play around a bit, finding the right mix of color and texture. Then I sew them together, matching the wings with buttons or silk paper and beads. And...viola! A butterfly!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Beautiful Felt Beret

I've been a bit busy trying new things today. Some have worked and some have not. And some I'm just not sure about.

The first new thing I tried is a new series of small textile artworks. I am happy with the results I'm getting and am now plotting to have an online exhibition on my Beljays Felt site. But that's a little further down the track.

I also started a business page on facebook

I'm not quite sure what I am doing with it yet but if you have any encouraging thoughts, please let me know.

And, in an effort to catch-up on all things connected, I have also started a twitter account!/BeljaysFelt
Still getting that sorted too.

And finally, a new item listed on etsy. A beret with a long tail.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clowning Around with Felt

Every now and then, you have to explore new things. Different techniques. New materials. Alternative methods of construction.

And sometimes when you do all these things, what you end up with is a bit of a surprise.
This ensemble was designed for a craft show using the circus as the theme. But in doing so, I created some little challenges for myself.
Drafting a pattern for the puffy sleeves from segments of a circle. Multiple layers of shibori dyeing to create the striped silk. And the button holes are constucted from silk paper. I've never made this before so it was fun to research and learn a completely new technique.

I'm kind of happy with the outcome. The added bonus is that I have some new skills to use with the other things I make.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nuno Felt Ruffle Scarves

It may be hot in the northern hemisphere at the moment, but down here on the southern side it's pretty cold. So I've been working on these lovely, long ruffle scarves.I've used a nuno felt technique with either hand-dyed silk or hand-dyed cotton as the base fabric. It makes a soft, flowing textile and I like the contrast between wool and the fabric.These are lovely, long scarves that can be worn in a number of different ways depending on how you feel.I have some of these listed on my Beljays Felt online store But if you happen to be on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month, you'll probably find me at Peregian Markets.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Felt River Walk

I've been meaning to put this up for some time, but as usual, time escapes me. This is one of the pieces I entered in the Sydney Royal Show 2011. I started the designs in January, when the Brisbane river flooded. Every day on TV or when I logged onto my homepage, I'd see this meandering line. The Brisbane River. So it became the centre of the composition. It forms the line between the blue and brown elements, cutting diagonally top right to bottom left. I also experimented with making pre-felt sheets, then dyeing them. I have cut these and relaid them into the composition to get these lovely subtle shade changes. I have tried to give the impression of an orderly landscape being broken-up, shattered, by the rising and them receding waters. I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Handmade Felt Baby Booties

I might have to rename this blog to ‘how time flies’, given the time between posts. It’s not that I haven’t got anything to show you. It’s just that I have been so busy, it’s hard to find time to take photos, make them look nice and then post them with a few words of explanation. Last weekend, for instance, I made a few lengths of nuno felt on silk and constructed a kaftan. It looks quite nice but I think a bit more work is needed. I’ll show you that when I’m happier with it. I also made some felt booties for little bubs. There are two styles so far. The little Mary Janes with a tiny strap. And the wrap over ones. I think they are kind of cute. From time to time I make a sheet of felt to cut up and use for a project and have pieces left over. For a while I just left them to sit, until I could see what they might be. And last weekend it came to me. These pieces would make lovely little booties. Now that it is getting a little colder here where I am, these make a lovely, soft, colourful way to keep little toesies warm. So far I have made them in a size suitable for 3-6 month olds. I’ll see what kind of response I get at the markets and take it from there. Tell me what you think of them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My time flies...

Wow! Where did that time go. One moment it's the first few days of the new year and the next breath I seem to be in the second quarter (well nearly). I have been busy though. It's coming up to entry deadline for a number of textile events and I am frantically trying to get my pieces finished. A vest here. A table runner there. And a madly wild, or is it wildly mad, waerable art piece. And on top of that, I've been developing a few new ideas for my Etsy store. I love big earrings, but I am finding that more and more the weight is dragging down on my ear lobes. So I have started making felt ball earrings. I start by making felt balls using a wet-felt technique. Then I decorate them and attach the findings to make them into beautiful earrings. The lovely thing about these is I can embroider designs or sew on sparkly beads (why not both) to make all kinds of beautiful balls. And they weigh almost nothing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Rich Red Valentine

I had a lovely civilised new year's eve with neighbors this year. So as a result I woke up early on new years day, with no hangover. I felt I should get the year off to a productive start, so I sat and made some wonderful red scarves and flower pins. A few people had asked for some rich red pieces and as I love the colour, it seemed an easy request. After a day of making things, I was still enthused and so photographed a couple and listed them in my etsy store. And of course, with Valentines day ahead it seemed right to tag them appropriately. I know, it seems to soon to be thinking about Valentines day, but really... You have to give people time to think about whether it is the right item to buy that special person and if it is, time to mail it. I was so surprised whn not long after lisitng, someone had found my scarf, folded into a heart-ish shape, and put it into this luscious treasury.

'All Red For Valentine' by SilverNGold


Valentine's Day...
Plum Rose Cabochon ...
heart brooch red sa...
NEW Lovely Bag in C...
Swarovski crystaliz...
Woodland Outdoor Ru...
Hydrangea, You melt...
Felt Scarf Ruby Red...
Red satin cupped lo...
Red Rope Chain Brac...
Red Ikat Cottom Pil...
Year End Sale 10% o...
Iodine Love Uranium...
Red Scarf Cowl- Ex...

Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

So just goes to show, it's never too early in the year to set the pace.