December 28, 2011

Etsy Shop Opening Soon!

Well the craziness of Christmas is over and the New Year is almost upon us. I know its time for people to start thinking about their New Years Resolutions for the year.  I dont usually bother with NYR but this year I'm making plans to take 2012 out the back and give it a good kick in the butt.  It's going to be a great year for me.  I'm determined. lol.

I've been busy busy busy trying to get some things finished and other things organised so that everything is ready for the grand opening sale over at my Etsy shop.  When is it you ask? Why its next week.  That's right, this is the announcement I'm sure you've all been dying to hear.  My Etsy shop will be open from Monday the 2nd of January (Australian time so that might be the night before if you're in the US or Canada).  I will be putting another announcement on the FB page by the end of this week with the special coupon code that you will need to take advantage of the 20% store wide discount.  The coupon code wont last so be quick to snaffle if you want to make a saving.  Its all happening people :oD

December 8, 2011

Craft and Symbolism

In the last week I've been crafting at an alarming rate.  I've been weaving more inventory for my Etsy shop opening and I've finished another of my special order feltoonies. 

Firstly, I finally finished my Saori banner that I have been working on.  This turned out to be such a reflective experience and I definitely want to make more.  I've called this particular piece "shadows on the landscape of my soul". 

The full banner. I need to do more
beading before I can call it finished.
Close up of some of the beading.  Small
clusters of silver lined crystal beads represent
bubbles in moving water.

Close up of stitch detail. Obligatory bird
flying off into the sunset?

Before I go onto the other images, I wanted to briefly discuss the different schools of thought about  symbolism in art. I placed the shadow/silhouette and the bird in flight in my weaving on an impulse, and they inspired me to come up with the name for the piece.

Jung considered the shadow (silhouette) to represent the alter ego or the part of the self that is opposite to our conscious self.  According to popular theories the shadow represents some dark part of the self that we do not want to express but its there in our subconscious self.  Sometimes it is a part of our personality that we may not even be aware of.  Here are a couple of links to sites discussing symbolism of shadows.

Birds are thought to be symbolic of the soul.  Also, in dreams, birds can be symbolic of spiritual journeys.  Here are a couple of links about bird symbolism.
Scroll down to the section on Magpies and Crows.
For what its worth, I think that symbols in art or dreams mean whatever we feel they mean.  If you have a strong pull towards a certain meaning, then that's what is right for you.  But generally I believe what is widely held.  For me the shadow does represent some darker part of the self that we more often than not repress. That these dark spots exist does not mean that we are evil or inherently bad people.  They could just be a shadow created by a culmination of all the hurt or tragedy you may have experienced in your life.  They are still powerful enough to colour our perception of the world.  Which is why I think it fits so well into the brightly coloured landscape I've woven.  Some may see it as a blight of some kind but I see it as an acknowledgement of the darker spots in my subconscious, and I think that acknowledging them allows me to set them free.  I'm moving on from the things holding me back :oD

I decided to try some colour-changing yarn in my weaving and came up with a couple of scarves that I think look really good.

The last felt order I received was for two character feltoonies.  A Frankenbunny and a Dracula Bunny.  I finished Frankenbunny about a week and a half ago and I finished Dracula Bunny yesterday.

December 2, 2011

Merging the felts

I'm officially merging my two blogs together in order to make things easier to maintain and to limit myself less.  You can still see the previous blog posts over at the felting blog, but all new felting posts will be made here from now on.  I apologise if this causes any inconvenience to followers of my felting blog but I just need to be more organised in order to allow myself more time to create items to list in my etsy shop.

I've been pretty flat out the last couple of days.  I spent yesterday afternoon washing and pressing a chunk of woven items and I designed a drop tag to be attached to them when they're sold.  I had that printed out on nice shiny cardboard today and it looks kinda like this...

I finished my plush bunny.  I can finally put her to one side to work on other things.

I have started the last of my special orders which is great because once its done I have even more time for making items to list.

Dracula Bunny. Special order.
And finally, I got around to buying backdrop card so I could take some photos of a bunny I made a while back but hadn't had a chance to photograph yet.  Talk about a busy few days.

November 28, 2011

A new identity and a new passion

I've been thinking about stepping away from the Evil McWeevil thing for a while now but hadnt decided what I would change it to.  This last week since I've taken up weaving I've really gone on a journey of self discovery in relation to my crafts.  I decided to have a go at Saori weaving.  This has led me to the new blog name and identity.  I guess there's a story in this...

Saori weaving, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is a free-form style of weaving that is essentially an exercise in self expression.  It's very meditative and if you work intuitively, which I think is the whole point, each row of weaving is a journey of self discovery.  I've only been working on my first Saori piece for a couple of days.  Its much slower going than the more traditional style of weaving which is quite static and regimented. But the journey I've taken so far has helped me to consciously realise something that I have always known, but till now, not acknowledged.  All of my craft, everything I create (and I guess this is true for all crafters) is an expression of who I am at my deepest level.  A small piece of me goes into every single thing that I put my hands to.  I craft my soul.  Hence the new blog name.

Now that I've discovered the new blog identity I am considering merging my two blogs together, because, lets face it, its much easier to maintain one than two.  I'm not going to do this quickly, I'll allow people to adjust to the idea and also I'll give people a chance to have an opinion about it over on FB.  Come and let me know if you're for or against :oD

Photos of my Saori progress....

The warp.  I made it about 2 metres long.
The first few tentative rows.

Adding colour and texture,
slowly becoming more adventurous.

Going all out now.  That's un-spun silk hankies going in there.

November 24, 2011

Weaving Jag? Me? Ok...yes.

Since I received my new loom a few days ago I have been weaving like a machine.  I have completed four projects on it since my practice piece and am still having a blast.  The best part is, I'm using up great big chunks of my handspun stash which of course makes room for more so I can now spin some of my fibre stash, once again, making room for more. It's all very cyclical and happy making :oD  

Gratuitous photo shoot....

My first project all finished.  It measures 3m x 17 inches.
Wrap? I don't think so.  Table runner anyone? lol

A short (child sized) scarf made from
merino/milk.  Delicious yarn.

A long scarf (6ft) made from Merino/Seacell
and Angorino

This is just so awesome I cannot describe how
happy it makes me.  This thick and thin yarn is
the reason I bought a loom in the first place.

So yes. As you can see, I'm on a bit of a jag.  The last piece shown (thick and thin) is going to be a cowl.  I have enough of the same yarn left to make a shrug.  If you like any of this stuff, you may want to watch my etsy shop just after the New Year ;o)

November 19, 2011

Because what I really needed was another hobby

Well I managed to resist for two years but I've finally caved in and gone to the really dark side. I've bought a loom. A 50cm (20in) Ashford knitters loom (complete with carry bag - yay!) arrived in the mail yesterday morning and I've already warped it twice and am already planning to buy more shuttles and reeds, plus my mind is leaping several projects ahead. It's fast. Much faster than knitting. Best of all, its great for stash busting so I'm finally using up yarns that I've been sitting on for the whole two years that I've been spinning. I. Love. This.


Fresh out of the box and not even set up yet :oD

My first warp.  Not as tedious as I'd expected.

First few rows and going terribly but having a blast.

My practice piece all finished.  You can see at the right
hand end of the piece where I started getting the beating
tension right...finally.  LOL

Some handspun I made back in my early spinning days
that I've been holding for the perfect project.
Black: Merino/Silk/Angelina (60/45/5)
Blue: Funky Bunny Batt/Merino (50/50)

My second warp.  This is a big one O.o

First few inches of my second weave attempt.  Got the tension
right this time and my edges are actually quite even :oD

I am  having so much fun with this.  Its so good to be finally using these gorgeous yarns that I've been itching to use for so long. There is so much bling in my wrap that its going to shimmer with every movement when I wear it.  I wish the photos did it justice.  Stay tuned people, I'm sure there is going to be lots more weaving in my immediate future :oD

October 22, 2011

Plans brewing in mai cauldron

Last week I spent a whole week at a friends house down on the Central Coast.  They had to go away for a week for work and needed someone to mind their little dog.  It was lovely. The area was so peaceful and pretty and I had such a relaxing time.  I'm home now, but I really want to move down that way. lol.

While I was away I had a visitor.  A lady I know from Sydney came to visit me for a spinning, fibre-y sort of day.  We didn't get any spinning done but we chatted lots and we had a lovely lunch.  She very kindly brought some fleece samples with her to show me how to prepare it for spinning or felting.  Some of this fleece is the most delicious silver angora rabbit fur from her pet angora Zorro.  Gorgeously soft stuff.

Zorro bunny fur.  Destined for something very special.

Also, while I was away, I received a large order for art yarn add ins.  So I've spent the last week working on those and they're half done.  They are miniature zombie bunny heads.  They'll be going into some Halloween themed art yarn as soon as they arrive at their destination.  I have finished 20 green and 20 pink, which have already been posted to the recipient. I still have 40 to get done but, gladly, there's no emergency.  That's not to say that I wont get them done as quickly as I can though, because I have other plans for my felting once this order is finished.

I started a cute little halloween themed project of my own just before I got this felting order and have sadly put it aside for now but I wanted to show you progress pics anyway.  I'm calling her 'The Bear Witch Project' and she has cute little accessories including a little cauldron that I've sculpted from polymer clay.  She is not even close to finished but I have big plans for her costume and other little bits and bobs that will be added to her as I go along.  I have to order some glass eyes for her but that will have to wait till next week now.

Bear Witch in pieces

People soup; accessory for the bear witch project
As many of you know, I have been playing with needle felting for a little while now and I've been making cute little cartoon-like critters that I plan to sell.  I stumbled across a website just a week ago showing some amazing work by another needle felt artist and have been inspired to make some larger pieces.  Not the same style of work, in fact, totally different.  But still, the inspiration is there.  Please go check out this award winning artists work by visiting her site.

An even larger part of my inspiration for my next step comes from a lady who sculpts realistic human forms from fabric.  Talk about your ultimate cloth doll making.  She has a book out detailing her technique which is about to go on my wish list with a vengeance. I know I fell off my chair when I first saw  her work, so you may want to wear a seat belt when you check out her mind boggling work here.  Amazing...right?

I've also been doing a little bit of knitting.  Not much mind you as my time has been dedicated to stabbing my fingertips O.o  I had some yarn custom dyed a little while back and have been knitting some awesome socks from it.  The yarn looked amazing when I received it and I was totally in love.  I had NO idea how it was going to look when I knitted it up but I can assure you I never would have considered the gorgeous results I've got here.

Treasure Island colourway dyed by
Charly from Ixchelbunny

Amazing colour pooling.
Both sides of one sock. 
Treasure Island colourway.

I have another colourway that I havent started knitting yet but I have already planned the contrasting toe and heel yarn for it, which coincidentally I dyed last night along with two other colours that are also planned for socks.

Mickey Mouse colourway dyed by
Charly from Ixchelbunny

Left: Galah Pink (toe and heel contrast for mickey mouse)
Centre and right: Opal (toe and heel contrast) and purple - next pair of socks

Now, for the fibre and yarn fans out there.  I have also been madly adding to my stash of yarn and fibre, even though I obviously dont have much time to knit right now.  You can never have too much yarn, or fibre...apparently.  I've also received my first installment of my spindle club.

Whorled Domination
Spindle club spindle
Rosewood Lacquered Shaft
with 40mm Red Howlite Whorl - 36g
Spindle club fibre:
100g Angorino from
Ixchelbunny - colourway Jewels

Ixchelbunny Sock it to me Sock Yarn Club
50/50 Merino/Silk 4ply

Ixchelbunny Fibre Club #3
GaGa Bunny x 200g
Mermaid Song

Ixchelbunny 50/50 Merino/Silk 4ply
Purple Haze

Ixchelbunny BFL/Cashmere
Loch Ness

Ixchelbunny BFL/Cashmere
Spin Diva
Rabbitworks Fibre Studio
Lace weight Merino

A sample of EGMTKs newest Beastie Blend
Merino/Glitz.  Northern Lights.  LOVE this!
Sadly, photo does not do it justice.

Yes, yes.  I've been buying up a storm :oP  There is much more on the way.  I love clubs. :oD

Hopefully I'll get this felting order finished fairly quickly because I'm super keen to get started on developing my ideas for larger sculptures.  Watch this space ;o)

October 4, 2011

Trindle adventures

I'm entering a competition over on Ravelry where the requirement is to make a spindle from found, re-purposed or recycled materials.  I have been looking around the web at different types of spindles for a while and have been lusting after a trindle from trindleman on etsy for ages.  So I decided that I would try to make one myself.

I gathered up my materials.  A bamboo chopstick for the shaft, a paper clip for the hook, an old knitting needle and some beads for the arms, some nail polish from my days as a nail tech and some polymer clay that I'd bought nearly a year ago for sculpting.

First I sanded the chopstick till it was more or less round.  Then I cut the paperclip to size and drilled a small hole in the top of the shaft, glued it in place and re-bent it into the correct shape.

I then painted the shaft with black nail polish and gave it a good thick coat of glass gloss top coat to give it a nice finish.

Then I took my old 1.5mm knitting needle that I never use and cut it into equal lengths, gluing beads and silver charms from my huge stitch marker making stash to the ends to act as weights.

The next step was building the centre of the whorl.  I formed a basic disc from polymer clay for this trindle because its pretty much a prototype and to be honest, I was feeling a bit lazy.  If I make another trindle I think I'll try and use something that has a bit more weight to it for the centre piece.  I had to do a bit of math to find the exact centre for drilling a hole for the shaft and the arm spaces.

Part of the competition is that I have to submit a small sample skein of yarn that has been spun on the spindle so that was my next step after all the glue dried.

And here is my result.  A home made 20g trindle that actually works :oD  I'm calling this a success.