Monday, November 25, 2013

Kiteepee: Lifestyle solutions for your pussycat

Kiteepee. Pronounced Kitty pea.
A fabulous new home decore product for your cat.

Kiteepee in action
I first started making something like this when my aging kittycat decided she would no longer use the garden for her business. Even if she was in the garden, she would run up the stairs to use her litter box. Weird huh?! Anyway this meant that I had to live with a litter box next to the back door (if I put it anywhere else she would still leave her business by the back door - consistent if a little inconvenient).
Litter box by the back door
Two problems arose. The first was that I wasn't thrilled at the site of the litter box. The second was that she was a little shy and if anyone was in the room with her, she'd mooch around the box, but not go until her audience left.
This is a very pretty pink Kiteepee Royale
with hand dyed silk trim.
That was until I made her a kiteepee. She got the privacy she needed when going about her business and I got a much better looking corner.

I had more than one kiteepee and it turned out that when I had them set up in a different room and not on the litter box, especially in winter, she quite liked to curl up inside them for a bit of a nap. This is when I started to make more upmarket ones to go with my decore. Which led to matching cushion covers and so on. I never did like those synthetic, nylon fluffy pet beds and, lets face it, they look pretty awful in the corner of a lovely lounge room. Whereas these can be designed to suit any theme.
Kiteepee Deluxe with matching cushion cover.
If you are interested in a kiteepee for your pussycat, pop over to my new shop on Etsy

Kiteepee: Lifestyle solutions for your pussycat

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Felt Challenges

So I have set quite a few challenges for myself over the last few months. None of them have to do with being more frequent here unfortunately.

The first challenge was a little nuno felt bolero with little ruffles on the front.

The piece incorporates some beautiful silk that I dyed using shibori techniques. The main challenge, apart from designing the pattern of the bolero, was to keep the edges of the silk at the front from felting into the rest of the item. It is these free strips that have created the ruffles.

I was really pleased with the result and entered it into the Queensland Royal Show, known as the Ekka. I was awarded a first prize in felt garments for it.

My second major challenge had been creating a number of felted 2D wall hangings for an art exhibition in Sydney. I had to draw on my long background in painting and combine it with my technical knowledge of felting to make four works (3 here).

I have to say that they looked pretty good up on the walls of the gallery. They were in good company with paintings, sculptures, quilts and tapestries by other wonderful artists.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nuno Felting Kits: Make your own scarf

I have been busy with a few projects of late.

The first has been cleaning up downstairs to make a studio where I can teach felting and fabric dyeing workshops. I'm nearly there, but still need to do a bit more work.

In the meantime I have put together  a great little kit for people who want to try their hand at nuno felting.

The kits include all the fabric wool and embellishments as well as detailed instructions with lots of pictures. You need to get some bubble wrap and painters plastic dropsheets, and a few other easily acquired bits and pieces, and you are on your way.

I have started with kits using cotton gauze as the base fabric. This is a really good fabric for beginners because the weave is very open and this makes it easier to felt into.

The step by step instructions lead you through the process from laying down your bubble wrap, to different ways to lay out your wool and embellish it with silk threads, to rolling and fulling, to rinsing the finished item out and drying it.

There are lots of ways you can choose to decorate your scarf. A few examples here give you some ideas


Wear your creation with pride and when someone asks where you got it, you can say "I made it".

These are available through my etsy shop, BeljaysFeltnArt  or click on the etsy pictures on the right.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Silk Flare Dance Pants

I've been working hard on a number of custom orders for my silk flare belly dance pants. So here are a few pics to show what I mean. If you like them and want to order a custom made pair for yourself go to my etsy store here If you are on Facebook you might like to like my page here


So these are just a few of them and they are going to look gorgeous as a group on stage. They are custom made to fit each lady. Some are very tall and some are very short to you can see the advantage of having them made to measure.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Silk Flare Pants from start to finish

I thought I'd give you in insight into how I make my silk accessories and clothing. It occurred to me that I should after a conversation with the lovely woman who commissioned this set. She kept asking what colors I had and I'd answer what colors do you want. It wasn't until I said that the silk started out white that she realised what I meant. Sooooo
This is a selection of silks that I begin with.
I then dye the fabric a base color. The fabric is allowed to dry before being folded and stitched to create the shibori patterns.
This then goes into more dye pots, the number depending on the desired outcome.
This is what it looks like partially unfolded.
Here is the same piece of silk fully unfolded but still wet.
And here it is dry and ironed. The colors are rich and lustorous with many subtle shades.
I then sew the silk into the item I am making. This is my little sewing corner. It was a very rainy day when I took this photo but the sense of the garden and light is still good.
And here is the finished set. A pair of Silk Flare Pants and a matching Tushi Tie.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Beautiful Bellydance Pants

Well hello! It's 2013 already! I've been steadily working with new ideas and have now combined two of my passions. Shibori dyeing and Bellydancing.
I have launched a range of pants and hip ties which are made to order, so they fit well. Each piece incorporates a hand-dyed design element, so no two items are exactly the same.
So far I have designed and listed lycra pants, with flared silk lower legs. The silk ripples and flows as you move and feels fantastic against your legs. They look great with a matching Tushi Tail hip skirt or under a full ATS/Tribal style skirt.
I also have a range of lycra straight leg pants with a shibori detail up the sides. These are fantastic paired with a lycra Tushi Tail, or with a coin belt. They are really comfortable and would work well for yoga too.
I am currently working a a few styles of tops to go with the pants, which I should have listed by the end of the month. You will find them here So if you are into dance or yoga, and like something a little bit individual, or have problems finding stretch pants that are long enough or short enough, take a look at my offerings :)