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.