The stars that I was working on in the first post are knit up, felted and dyed. They look ok but not great. I was too cautious with the dye and rather than looking variegated and cool, they look insipid and blotchy. Plus, I plunked them in the washer with a blanket for friction and didn't realize it was a dog blanket, so now they are also embellished with dog hair that has been felted into the surface. Lovely. I couldn't get the stars out of my system and decided to work with a different medium. Originally, I had in mind something crisp and colorful, with mirrors and embroidery. I drafted a pattern for a piece that is sewn wool felt and I am very pleased with how it looks.
I was planning to make a mobile with a bunch of little stars, but ended up with this bigger, say 6 inch, star with tassels. I cut out five diamond shapes and blanket stitched them together. I stuffed the points firmly with wool and then sewed on the mirror surrounds. After making a few flower fairies a while ago, I am a blanket-stitching fool and will work it in anywhere I can. I like the felt tassels and plan to use them again soon for another project. For the foil top, I cut a foil to-go container into bits. Learn from me, don't use your "good" scissors for this kind of work. Those little bead looking things are little bells that I found at the bead store. They are sweet, and I like the belly-dancing, Middle Eastern flavor they bring to the piece, but don't actually add a lot of noise. For the mirrors, I was going to do shisha stitching, but besides the fact that it looks like it would take forever, I really like the extra depth an additional layer of felt adds (plus, more blanket stitching!!).
In bigger, more fun news, Laura has an awesome batch of felt ready to list on our Etsy site.
It is premium, 100% wool felt that she carefully dyed with (from the top) Madder Root, Onion Skin, Osage Orange, Osage Orange exhaust, Black Walnut and a double-dip of Madder and Black Walnut. The colors are so rich and "go" together in an awesome way. Since she has been dying fibers naturally for more than 10 years, she has such a wealth of knowledge I am not even interested in trying to keep up with her in that arena, I just like to admire the outcomes and make stuff with the pieces she dyes. We will be selling collections of 6 complementary colors, and I think they will have seasonal names. This certainly looks like "Autumn" to me. Here is a snap of one each of the 6.5"x9" pieces, bundled up and ready to be mailed off to other friendly crafters.
I have been fiddling in Photoshop to get the colors to look just right and this is as close as I could get. We have more felt on the way and are going to get an Indigo vat fired up, so look out for cool shades next. We have been long-hoping to start selling some of our designs and wares, and are both hoping for a warm reception on the web. I am an accomplished blog lurker, and feel like I know some of the cool women already on the online crafting scene. However, I am such a virtual wall-flower, promoting out stuff is going to be tricky. We are hoping that people will be drawn to the authentic, lovely colors, as we are, and I want to make an effort to get involved in the buzzing conversations out there. We'll see.
Anyway, I am using some of these colors to make an ornamental piece to hang from the rear-view mirror in my car. For a starting point, I am using a tulip motif that is a part of a larger paisley print. To me, it looks both Indian and Pennsylvania Dutch. I am working on the final embroidery, and it looks pretty good. Here's a peek of the first step.
It's going to also be blanket stitched and stuffed. You think that if I stuff the whole dang thing with lavender it will combat the smells of old happy meals and banana peels that persist in my car? Nah, I don't think so either, but it will look pretty slammin' and I am hoping it will bring some of the nice aesthetic of my home and art to my hell-hole of a car. More soon.