AMAZING package all the way from New Zealand, I am in love!

This afternoon as I am trying to recover from the last few weeks frantic activity and sort out paperwork and loose ends (always have piles of them hanging around!) the most amazing package arrived in the post all the way from New Zealand!  I can’t emphasise how excited I was as each item was revealed from this colour swap via Ravelry, my swap partner Jayne went to HUGE trouble and expense putting together a parcel that was me to a T.  I am still in shock at how gorgeous all the items were!!! 

Incredibly beautiful Midnight Orchid batts and a stunning hand made button!

 

These Midnight Orchid batts are made by a lady local to Jayne and the stunning glass button is made by an Australian lady living in Sydney, how lucky am I?????

Ishbel from behind

 

Stunning hand dyed and knitted lace wrap, how beautiful it looks in the Irish landscape!

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Fun and simple tutorials from two of the blogs that I follow!

Currently the number of blogs that I regularly follow is 178 and rising.  While the majority are felting orientated I also have some fibre, art, craft, food and garden related blogs that I like to keep an eye on weekly, daily would be fantastic if I could ever get the time!  Here are links to a couple of my favourite online tutorials, check out the other posts by Tiffany and Gail, both blogs are fabulous.

Bottle Cap Magnets

Yesterday Tiffany Teske had a gorgeous simple project on her ‘Art, Food and Motherhood’ blog to celebrate Earth Day.  If like me you have a pile of bottle caps and magnets just crying out to be used, check out these funky magnets and head on over to follow her step by step instructions.

Woven Tree

The second project that I really love is a little weaving project which uses wool roving, this time from Gail, writer of ‘That Artist Woman’ blog.

To see what I usually do with my roving or wool batts head on over to Clasheen anwhere I am just about to post about my latest felt hat in progress!

‘Beachcomber’ wallhanging

Yesterday morning I facilitated an experimental nuno felting workshop at Clasheen but due to lack of water yet again have decided to put my own felting on hold until after the plumbers visit next Tuesday morning.  It is a big pain (although I am grateful for the facility!) to carry all my water up the hill from my neighbour’s house so at the moment I am keeping consumption to a minimum.  As blogged about at Clasheen my felting preparation at the moment is plotting and planning the shape of my first large felt sculpture of 2010.  This left me free to warp my Ashford Knitters Loom again and have a bit of fun weaving a soft and tactile wallhanging. 

'Beachcomber'

I warped the loom with a soft but strong natural cotton twine and then used cotton, thick and thin cotton yarn, undyed fleece, leather and found objects from the beach for the weft.  It was great to be able to use some of my felting stash in a different way.  The natural undyed fleece had been sitting in my studio for almost a year and a half just waiting for the right project but because there was not actually much of any one individual colour I had been procrastinating about what to felt with it.  Warping only every second slot and hole allowed me to use these natural batts in the weft so now I am plotting and planning two bedside rugs, one in naturals and one in some of the gorgeous bright coloured Icelandic wool that I stock in my Etsy shop.  Probably for the rugs I will use wool in the warp because I reckon that if I washed a fleece and cotton rug the wool might shrink and the cotton not and obviously for a bedside rug it would be nice to have the option of cleaning it in the future. 

Detail of the fishing net

Anyway, back to the wallhanging.  Initially I wanted to include some found fishing net in the weaving but discovered that it was too difficult to push it into position so decidided to leave it out.  Once I had finished weaving the hanging was shorter than I had hoped (my planning is not very good yet!) and I suddenly had the brainwave to insert the net through the space at the beginning of the work where I had placed some folded paper above the first few lines of weaving.  Usually you remove this paper at the end of your project and the first few lines of weft from the bottom are then undone or cut off before tying or plaiting the warp ends to finish the piece.  I decided to insert the net in the space and not to remove the bottom few lines of weaving, immediately the wallhanging became longer and the overall effect to my eyes looked a lot more balanced!  I like the natural and organic feel of the hanging, no perfect tension and straight lines here.  ‘Creative Weaving’ by Sarah Howard and Elizabeth Kendrick is an excellent book if anyone would like to see how I included the dried sea weed ends and the pieces of driftwood into the weaving as I went along.  There are a couple more photos over on Flickr, now I just need to weave in a couple of the ends and drill some fittings to the back of the driftwood and my first woven wallhanging will be finished and ready to hang in my bathroom.