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1  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Nuno felt blanket/throw? on: April 06, 2010 11:53:47 PM
Hey everyone!

I've been a bit MIA recently with my crafting, but have recently had an idea.  I'd love to make a nuno felted blanket/throw to cuddle up under on the couch at night now that we are moving into winter (I'm in Australia).  I think it would feel just divine!!  I did a bit of a search here on craftster to see if anyone else had done something like this, but was surprised to find that there was really nothing.  The closest thing I found was this post on turkish rug felting (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=254074.0) by ptarmic wumpus.

Just doing a shout out to see if anyone has actually done this and if they have any advice.  I've done nuno felting before, but just trying to anticipate any problems before I begin!!  My main concern is of felting something of that size - it may take a little practising first!
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Owl Softie on: October 02, 2009 06:44:20 PM

I made this little owl softie for my neice for Christmas.  It's been a great way to use up fabric scraps!

His cute little butt feathers...

Thanks for looking!
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Super-cute pram liner on: October 02, 2009 04:14:23 PM
I'm expecting my first bub in December and have been looking around for a liner to go in our new pram.  I wanted something soft, breathable and washable... but was having difficulty finding it without paying through the nose!

So why not make one?  I googled "pram liner" + tutorial and was amazed to find this fantastic page:


The tutorial is so easy to follow and use - I'm going to be making more!

Here's some pics:

I used bamboo batting (about 4 layers) inside the liner and the outer fabric I got on sale.  It's the same on both sides, as this one was really a trial.  I'm going to make more with different patterns on each side, and some from fleece for winter.

I can't believe how easy this was to make.  I made up a template so I can easily make more in the coming months!
4  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Yet another Yoda Amigurumi - with lightsaber! on: September 08, 2009 03:29:56 AM
Ever since I started doing amigurumi and found the Geek Central Station blog, my man has been pestering me to make a Yoda amigurumi!  With our firstborn on the way, I decided now was the time to make one, as bub's first toy.

I used the human amigurumi pattern available on the Geek Central Station blog (http://www.geekcentralstation.blogspot.com) and then made up the ears as I went along.  They took about 3 gos before I got a shape that worked.

I'm so pleased with how he turned out.  I did try and embroider some of his wonderful wrinkles around the eyes, but it didn't work out and I just pulled it all out again.  So this is how he stays!

I just sewed together a little robe out of felt, and added a lightsaber hanging off his belt.

I'm pretty chuffed with myself and my husband thinks he is unreal.  We'll have to remember to pack him in our hospital bags ready to go!

Comments very welcome!
5  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / Grampians Texture February 2010 on: August 20, 2009 07:27:13 PM
Hey everyone!

I just thought I'd post up a link to Grampians Texture 2010, as the program has just recently been released.  I went this year and was blown away - it was just unreal! 

Basically the organisers get together a range of different textile artists to run two- and four-day workshops on a wide range of different topics, you show up and have a blast staying in the beautiful Grampians in Western Victoria.  Unfortunately I don't think I will make it to this one, as I'll have a two month old bub by then, but seeing as it books out so quickly, I thought I'd let everyone know!

Here's the link:

I highly recommend booking early, as I ended up having to go with about my 6th choice this year - but I did leave my booking until rather late!  Accomodation in the Grampians can range from 5 star to backpackers - something for everyone.

And just a final note:  I'm not an organiser/advertiser/artist or anyone involved in the organisation of this event - I just had such a ball at Grampians Texture 2009, that I wanted to share the love!

I hope this is useful to someone!
6  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Felted goodness! Seaweed scarf, bunting and balls... on: August 09, 2009 12:49:32 AM
I've done a bit of felting over the past month or so, but have been too busy to really get my teeth into anything - until today! 

I got my hands on a new magazine - "Felt" - available in Australia by the same people who do "Yarn", and it had a great project in it for making a seaweed scarf.  I loved the look of it and couldn't wait to give it a try!

Here is the results after just 2 hours of felting...

It's made from gorgeous merino fleece from Fibreworks (I'm lucky enough to live close by!) and is actually a rectangular grid - I had to fold it over in the middle to fit it into the frame for a photo!

But why is it called a seaweed scarf I hear you ask?  Here's an action shot that may be helpful:

I just love the colour!  I'll be near Fibreworks again next weekend so I'll drop in and pick up some more of this beautiful colourway!

I also felt like doing some experimenting a few weeks ago and decided to make a bunting for my new bub, who is due in December.  I'd love to felt heaps of stuff for him/her, but being a summer baby in Australia, felted bits and pieces would probably not be such a good idea until next winter!  With this bunting, I was mucking around with layering different colours together and using bits and pieces of yarn and stuff mixed in with the fleece.  Again, it's pretty much all Fibreworks merino fleece:

I sewed some bias binding across the top so we could tie it up when we get the nursery organised.

And then I'm doing some felting with some of the kids I teach at school and put together some felted balls to show them:

I love that these are so easy to make and the kids love them!  I'm also teaching a Science class how to make them as their teacher saw them and thought they'd be great for the kids to make into solar systems!  How cool is that?  Two nerdy things coming together...

Thanks for looking guys - c & c welcome!!
7  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Felted rope - I know this is probably really easy! on: July 02, 2009 03:18:38 AM
Hi everyone!

I know that this is something that everyone probably knows how to do, but I've done flat felt, I've done felt vessels and I'm about to make some felt beads, but I can't find a tutorial for felted rope!  You know, the felted ropey bits that can be made into handles for bags or cut up and made into beads?

I've seen some that have been made up of different coloured layers so when you cut them you get to see all the circles of different colours... pretty...

Can anyone give me a quick overview of how to make these things?  Or direct me to where I might be able to read about it?  I can't seem to find anything on craftster at the moment, which I find very surprising!

Thanks guys!
8  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / Possible charities to craft for? on: June 04, 2009 04:00:49 AM
Hey everyone!

I'm a Textiles teacher in country Vic and my Yr 11 students are doing a unit on Collaborative Design next semester.  I want them to create a range of something (clothing?, toys?, soft furnishings? etc.) for a charity as the practical part of this study, but am at a bit of a loss as to a charity for them to sew for. I'd like it to be something local if possible (thought about making toys to go to kids in local hospital, but thought there may be some issues with that), but have thought about getting them to make some clothing for underprivilidged kids overseas as well.

Does anyone have any ideas of charities to approach, or know of charities that have crafty programs already set up that we could just tap into?  Can anyone recommend a charity program that they have had a good experience with?  I'd like to go to the kids with a few different ideas so they can pick which one they can focus on.

Cheers guys!
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Making beads from rose petals! Tutorial included! on: December 30, 2008 02:17:23 PM
I stumbled across this website one day as I was trawling the internet and bookmarked it as something I wanted to try sometime.


I'm not sure if that link will work or not now.  It worked every time I needed to reference it when working on the beads, but today it won't go to the right page.  Meh, I don't know what's going on.

Anyway, I signed up for the Make Love Not War swap and decided to make the beads as an environmentally friendly way of creating jewellery. 

A Problem:  Where I live we are in severe drought and there was no way my garden of dry roses was going to deliver the amount of rose petals needed to create these sweet smelling trinkets.

The Solution:  Visit the local botanical gardens and covertly pilfer petals from the sweetest smelling roses there.   

Here is my bounty:

I then had to chop them up into tiny pieces.  There was such a beautiful scent coming from the petals as I was doing this!

The chopped petals then had to be simmered for an hour.  I bought a special pot for this and I'm glad I did.  Don't, under any circumstances, use a good cooking pot.  The petals aren't poisonous or anything, but your pot may never be the same again.

I can't remember how much water I put in with them (and that darned website won't work!), but I would suggest covering them with water and then adding an extra 2 cups.  Err on the side of having too much water rather than too little.  The petals needed to be simmered for an hour a day for about  5-6 days.  Until the mix seems a bit like clay. Here's some pics showing how the mix changes from day to day.

When the mix is ready, you need to squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as possible.  Don't let it go down the sink though!  You need it later.  Pop it into a container and keep it in the fridge.  It smells divine!

Shape your beads.  The mix is quite unstable, so you need to be careful and work delicately (not something I am used to!).  Or perhaps I should have let it simmer a little more.  They shrink significantly as they dry, so make them at least twice as big as you want them to be when finished. 

Use a needle or skewer to create a hole for your beading wire/thread.  This pic shows me using a needle, but I changed to using a metal skewer when I realised that the hole as well would get much smaller as the bead dried.  I would recommend a skewer over a needle.

Leave the beads to dry.  Check them everyday and roll around a bit to make sure they don't get a flat side from being in the one position all the time.  I put mine outside during the day with some tulle over the top of the container (so the birds couldn't get at them) so they dried out a bit quicker.  Here's how they shrank:

When they are completely dry, get out the reserved rose liquid and rub it all over each of the beads.  Do this over a couple of days, as apparently the liquid helps to cure the beads.  It also helps them to smell wonderful.

Then, you are done!  The website believed that perhaps this was the way beads were made for catholic rosaries way back when (hence their name).  It also mentioned a lady who had a rose bead necklace from her grandmother that was about 50 years old (the necklace that is, was 50 years old) and it still smelled deliciously of roses.

This is the bracelet I made with the beads for my swap partner:

I had a ball doing this - it was so interesting and the scent was magnificent!  I'd love to hear if anyone gives it a go for themselves!
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Anarchist's Tartan Sandwich Bag on: December 30, 2008 01:03:05 PM
I made this bag in the Make Love Not War swap for my partner, TwistMySister.  She is an anarchistic punk and mentioned in her questionnaire that she made sandwiches and handed them out to the homeless people in her city.  So I thought I'd make her a sandwich bag to help her spread this love.  And it had to be made from tartan.  But which tartan?  What sort of tartan would a punk like?

Aha!  Anarchist's tartan!

I bought some black fabric that had just a thin white stripes across it.  Then I attacked it with bleach.  Yarrrr!  There are some very faint bleached stripes left on my concrete...

I measured up a piece of bread to work out how big the bottom should be to ensure sandwiches can easily sit in it without getting all bunched up and worked from there.  A nice long handle, some buckles to keep all the bulging sandwiches in there and voila!  it was done!

For the lining, I found some skull print fabric, with TwistMySister's fabourite colour, fluro green.  So cool!  And for the front pocket, I lined it with strawberry print fabric, another of her favourites.

Unfortunately my local craft shop was out of black strapping for the buckles and couldn't commit to a time when it would be coming in, so I had to go with white strapping.  That's the only thing I'm not happy with.  I made it from my own pattern, using my own Crumpler bag for guidance with the buckles and strapping.

Let me know what you think... improvements to be made... things you like... I'd really appreciate your feedback, as I enjoyed making it and would like to do more!

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