a life of fibre

Archive for December, 2016

Eco dyeing – free guide

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

A great opportunity for a free resource

 

An old textile

Friday, December 30th, 2016

It’s impossible to say when exactly I bought this batik but it is at least 24 years old. I bought it  stretched over a frame and it’s moved around various houses with me ending up on our stair wall. When we decorated in the summer we took it down and thgouth we’d have to dispose of it so badly faded as it was.

It had been so vibrant and yet some sections were just so faint. I did consider cutting it down and preserving at least a small portion and began to remove it from the frame. It was more fragile than expected, edges ripped easily and in a few places it had ripped along the edge of the frame but the best surprise was that when I turned it over the reverse looked as fresh as the day I bought it 🙂 🙂

It’s back on the frame and hanging in pride of place on our dining room wall. I repaired the rips and you can’t see any damage but whilst writing this post I’ve wondered why I didn’t put it on a carrier cloth to preserve it longer?  It’s too late now, a second reframing would definitely create more damage and I couldn’t bear that.

Christmas wrapping

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

If I have the time I like to make presents look really nice and this year decided I’d print up some paper to use on family presents. Charlotte loves black and white photos so I took monochrome as my theme.

I love printing onto brown paper and I did a whole roll! Some sections are white, some black, some black and white and some grey. Most of the stamps used came free with magazines donkeys years ago and the paint was leftover from previous art projects. The acrylic white was so ‘left over’ that I had to thin it and remove the lumps before I could use it!

We also have a tadition of being a bit silly with the presents, joke presents, ones you can’t open and this year the largest tag I could find on the smallest present I had to wrap.

What have you been up to?

 

Paper stars

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

If, like me, you’ve been keeping up with a shed load of Christmassy things to make from Hawthorn then you may have seen the delightful origami stars.  I just knew it would be one for me and our daughter Charlotte to do together so I saved the activity pending her return from uni.

We began by making a few in 3 different sizes but then Charlotte got carried away and didn’t stop until all the old sheets of music were used up. As you can see, we are now over supplied with stars !

That’s not all the stars you know, there were even more that didn’t make it into the photo.

I bought this garland very cheaply at least ten years ago, each year it comes out and I dress it differently. The paper stars and white lights are just perfect.

There were plenty left over so some made it onto the tree.

Still more made it onto this jug full of twigs in the hall. Last used for an easter tree I just sprayed it with snow (can be brushed off later if required) and hung the stars on along with a few silver mini baubles. I love the hall this year.

Yet more have been stuck onto the hall mirrors which I know I took photos of but can’t find them anywhere :-(. You’d think that would have exhausted them but it hasn’t, the remainder have been put away for next year and I’ll send them to Charlotte’s student digs and they can be used there, they’re much too nice to waste.

 

In progress

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

I’ve had this on the go for about 4 weeks but so far have had very little time to spend on it.

The paler green in the shot is mulberry silk which will be on the inside of the skirt and is followed by a fine layer of forest green Merino.

Then came an ultra fine layer of carded greens with dyed mulberry silk noil and some hand dyed Teeswater locks on the bottom.

The laying out took a whole day and then I felted it to the pre-felt stage

The original intention was to have a wrap around skirt but as it goes along I’m not sure about that, we’ll just have to see. I’m hoping to have more time to spend on it over the Christmas break.

 

I did say I would

Friday, December 16th, 2016

I did say I felt inspired to make a wreath for work and work commenced quite quickly.

Initially I was going to make felt for the flowers but then decided I should use whatever was in my stash. Simon wanted traditional and fortunately I did have some felt in shades of red.

Next year it may have to be one with more colour and exuberance although this has worked out very well. What is it about wreaths that fascinates me? I wish I knew, all I know is that I want to make more.

Last workshop of the year

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Fittingly, it was a felt wreath workshop, a busy but very productive and successful day. The hall was trimmed for the festive season which added to the ambience.

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The misteltoe wreath below is by Zoe and the addition of the robin with the red breast enabled her to use a red ribbon for hanging. That little flash of red amongst all the green and white works very well.

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Next up is from Suzi. This wreath is very calm with it’s colour choice and yet the spirals give it such energy. Try as hard as she might, the  wreath resisted all attempts to have any extra bits added so all the shop bought lovelies, with the exception of one small bark bird, stayed in their bags! Perhaps they’ll make it onto the next one. The hanging mechanism is a handmade cord made from handpsun yarn.

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On first sight I wasn’t won over by the face on the little brd brought in by Claire but Oh the tail!!  You have to love it for the tail. Roses in bright red, maroon with red sparkle angelina and old gold Merino.

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Mandy worked in a similar colour palette but added white roses to the mix which worked very well. I also like the way the spirals have been arranged into a fan creating a real strong focal point.

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Lynne (I hope I’ve spelt this correctly, please forgive me if I haven’t) wanted a wreath that was quite simple and unfussy so although there’s a lot of items on here their placement has achieved the look she was after. Again, the one flash of red lifts it and allowed her to use a red hanging ribbon.

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I asked what colours people wanted to work in on the wreath as I needed to card the fibre in advance and did wonder what a purple wreath would look like. Well, I think it’s stunning. Rachel did a fantastic job with her colour combinations and despite or maybe because of  her angst over colours, placement of items and how much to put on, it all worked very well.

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Francesca also surprised me with her colour choice by asking for teal but went on to add that she would put red and orange roses with it which I knew would be a stunning colour combination. Turning up with a large bag full of baubles  enabled her to choose a good mix of colours and there were plenty of the appropriate size for the wreath. This wreath is glorious fun!

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Mainly, people need to be encouraged to put more on a wreath, everyone remembers the adage less is more but sometimes more is more. You don’t need to cover the whole wreath but where you do place items they need to look abundant. There’s something about wreaths, I definitely need to make one for our shop and am now planning another workshop in my head.

Thanks ladies for a brilliant day and thanks very much for help with tidying away, have a great Christmas.

Haworth Steampunk Weekend

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

The other weekend we toddled over to Haworth Steampunk Weekend, it was a late decision as I came across it on the internet only the day before. Haworth is near and we visit regularly because it’s such a nice place to go. Steampunk style is one of those things where you know it when you see it and I really fancied seeing lots of it.

We weren’t disappointed, people put so much effort into their outfits!

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Isn’t the steampunk campervan a delight ?

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It’s kind of a cross where Victoriana meets fantasy, meets engineering, meets explorer all kind of mixed together and goggles are de rigeur my dear. Above all, it’s fun and that’s rather appealing.

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Not a great photo below as the gent was moving at speed away from me but I wanted you to see what is on his back – a converted tennis racket – ingenious!

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These ladies are part of the Four Hundres Roses dance troupe. I thought they looked fantastic.

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Notice the man on the right below – he’s half armoured!

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I’m not one for fancy dress but some of this quite appealed to me. The huge dress I could do without but explorer style, now you’re talking.