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51  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Very Last Featured Artist of 2013 on: January 02, 2014 04:35:13 PM
(okay, so it's now 2014, but this was all well and done before the first of january Wink )

This round of Featured Artist, We are featuring P_E_S_T!!  A member since Dec 30 2012, she's won us over with so many of her beautiful creations over the year.

Of course, I asked her a few questions. Here they are
1.Tell me a bit about yourself
Now, never ask a Psychotherapist that - we will go into all sorts of inappropriate depths  Wink - Me. Well, Im a psychotherapist by day alongside being mum to Kayden - 8, Ebbon 6 and a soul mother to Helene (she came to live with us 2 years ago) 20.
I think the way that I craft says a lot about who I am; Firstly, I love to re-cycle - digging deep into things that have a history is not only part of my day time job but also weaves its way into my pieces. When I craft, Im not a perfectionist by any means - I like to let my hands and what ever Im working with, play together and conjur up all sorts of things. I never know what will happen until right at the last minute, then my brain kicks in and I can start to shape the piece. In life, I tend very much to "be in the moment" allowing the days to shape themselves with me carving my own needs into the day when it is possible.
Here's a few fun facts to make you all smile.....
I attend a weaving group but never ever weave - I cannot bear it !
I once got my bosoms stuck to a telephone box
I have sung in 6 musicals
I drove the British Rugby team around in a mini bus
My husband is my hero
My sons first trip to the hospital was to get a felting needle removed from his foot (serious mother guilt for many years)
Last week whilst walking to my studio to work, my skirt fell down around my ankles leaving me groping down with knickered bum up facing my new client !!!!

2. Where do you draw inspiration?
I love texture - you will find me mainly strutting up and down the clothing sections at charity shops (thrift stores) locating jumpers that I can shrink, kids clothes that I can cut apart, jeans that I can upcycle- or my latest whim, old lacey doilies and table cloths that I can felt around.
As I said before, I don't really have a plan before I set to making something - I love pieces that happen all by themselves. My Book hugs for example, who knew that those doilies would pucker up and make almost anemone like shapes ! And the sea glass / felt bowls - who would have known that super glue would create those lovely frosted window frames  Smiley

3. What made you get into felting?
oooooo now there's a question. Both my children go to a waldorf steiner school. And as any waldorf parent will tell you, there's often a need (especially in the early years) to fill ones house with as many felted fae folk as possible ! Being that most pieces are quite expensive, I decided to learn.
The first felting course I went on was a needle felting workshop with a wonderful  lady. Though I learnt a lot, her perfection did not fit with the relaxed side of me. So I sat and played, trusting that I would work a way to do it. I think I now have a "Jolene" trademark, to all my pieces - warm, textured and fairly free flowing.
To be honest, its only in the past three years that I have experimented more with wet felting, - taking the craft away from just making things for the children and into creating usable fabric. Beginning with my waistcoat (which I am currently wearing)
Also 2 years ago, a lovely friend of mine who attends a craft group I attend - welcomed me to her home to have some fleece, can you believe she lives in an actual windmill  Smiley)))) And so I also now get to dye up my own fleece which is perfect for needle felting

4 Do you have a favourite project you posted to Craftster?
Gosh that's such a tricky question because each piece I love for different reasons - our projects are like our children don't you think Huh You create them then send them out into the world all with their unique personalities. hmmmm
So, I love the felted folk I made for FoxyBlue as a private swap - they were my launching into the craftster world. I love my recent dragon, and I think Ratfinks would kill me if I didn't say it was one of my fave pieces.
I also have got a new project Im working on (which Ratfinks got the prototype for) which will be a tutorial for a travelling felting kit - but you will all have to wait a little longer for that.
ooooo and then, there's my sons felted jumper throw in the shape of a windmill. He really was a massive windmill fan for a good 4 years and still cuddles up under this blanket now.

5. Do you have a favourite project posted by another Craftster?
Gosh !!! How on earth do you pick one !!!! Anything polymer related really gets me ticking - I just cannot cannot do anything with polymer or fimo - its just too darn fiddly. I love looking at all the tutorials and recently managed to make a poppet - so thankyou. Oh and then there was the upcycled tie school bag, which I have made sooo many of.
Do you know what, its not the individual projects that get me fired up - its the joy of sitting down and cycling through all the galleries of swaps, seeing people connect and create for each other. What an amazing group of people we are !

6.  If you were trapped on a deserted island, and could wish for one thing, (and asking to get off was not allowed) what would you wish for?
Ha - when I first read this, I knew what I wanted immediately but when I voiced it out loud to my dinner table this evening (which was surrounded by 13 hungry people as is a normal Sunday in this house), I was told I should wish for something sensible like food or a boat or a genie.
Nope - for number 1 if I was trapped on a deserted Island it would be because I would want to be there. So It would be a toss up between a computer so I could interact with the world (Im not great on my own for too long) Orrrr a lifetime supply of yarn and I would yarn bomb all the trees until I lived on a rainbow island  Smiley

7. And one more fun question! If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Awww, you know - one doesn't become a psychotherapist because your childhood was all sunshine and roses - and there were times when it was pretty terrible. I had a really good friend Tim, we would sit on the school bench and hold little fingers and he would say "This will all be worth something in the end". - Now if I could tell my younger self something, I would go stand over the two of them (little me and Tim) and I would say "This right here right now - friendship - is the most important thing you will ever have"
Awwwwwww you got me all emotional now  Smiley

Thanks for answering my question, P_E_S_T! 
I hope you all enjoyed reading (and looking at all the pictures).  I leave you with cake. Cake that P_E_S_T made.  Doesn't it look delicious?

You have no idea how difficult it was to narrow it down to just a few pictures. Check out all the images she's posted!
52   / FIBER ARTS / Please do not speak of selling your products on: December 15, 2013 09:19:37 AM
Hey folks,
 As of late there has been a lot of discussion of selling.  Wether it be using terms like commissioned, or straight up saying "I sold this at the market this weekend" or "I went to a craft market and had a really successful day" etc.,  these things are not with in Craftster guidelines.   Even if you do not have a link to an Etsy, or even if you do not have an Etsy or way to sell online.  It encourages that type of discussion, and has a snowball effect, one thing leading to another that might end up with people thinking it's okay to link their shops etc. 
I'm providing a link to the rules (click that lovely blue text!) as a reminder.

53  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Making Mawata on: December 01, 2013 09:14:43 AM
If you are vegan, please click out of here. You are likely to find this rather offensive.

 Or if you are squeamish, or find dead bugs just as or more gross then live ones, don't scroll all the way through, though I will mark the one image as mature, just incase you have your settings set that way you won't see it.
 BAHH! It won't let me edit out that code error! grrr.  That image is not marked as mature yet. Just on't scroll to the very bottom if you don't want to see it!  Thanks for fixing it, Sweets4ever!

This is a photo journal type post of what one could do with silk cocoons

Let it begin!! Hubby had a handy dandy thermometer for me to borrow, so that i could make sure my pot never got above 65'c.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Into the pot! Silk cocoons float, so I grabbed a broken strainer, thinking it would keep them under the water. Apparently they are buoyant enough to lift it....  So I grabbed another small pot and laid it atop to strainer.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

After 40 minutes of cooking these bad boys, I decided they were done.  They say until they become transparent, but they were super soft, so I didn't wait any longer.

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

You cut an end and pull it over the four corners of a frame, which makes the mawata!

The making of silk mawata! by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is the pic you may not appreciate, and I've marked it as mature, but it's an undeniable part of the process. Truth of it is that silk comes from silk worms. More often then not these creatures need to have their lives taken in order to harvest the silk.  It's an unfortunate part of the silk industry. This is what comes out of the cocoons, dead bugs and bug poop. Yes. Poop.  they did just eat so many more times their weight in mulberry leaves, after all.
to change your image viewing settings please click here

And there you have it!  They are drying on the frame as we speak.  I'll be spinning up a sample of them as part of my Master Spinners study. Once that's done, I'll add it to this thread!

FURTHER FUN WITH MAWATA!! The spinning part! (edit added Dec 8th 2013)

Working further with the Mawata (or hankies, as they are also referred to as)
So, the layers peel apart, each cocoon is one layer.  In this shot I have 2 pieces peeled, which each have quite a few cocoons, which in were further separated when I did the next step.

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

The next step I didn't photograph, simply because I do not have a photographer following me around.  Unfortunate, no?  But the next step is to take 1 or 2 layers and stick your hands through the middle and pull outwards.  The fibres then elongate and turn into a roving of sorts, which looks like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I spun up two bobbins worth, both looked like this:

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

I was interrupted by the cat, who'd had enough time alone, and really really really needed my love *right.then.* Notice the bits of silk on her whisker...

Silk mawata progress by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

dump the cat and trudge on, because these things are *not* fun to spin.  At least not as fun as commercial hankies.  It's nearly impossible to get a decently even yarn out of them.  But here it is:

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Silk yarn from homemade mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

And this is the "waste" (in quotes, because it's good for textured funky batts, but not much else... paper making or compost maybe?)

"Waste" from homemade silk mawata by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

So.  I did go and weigh the whole shebang, it was 8 grams. That includes the waste and the yarn and the extra one I had to set aside to turn in for homework. I ended up with a whopping 23 yards of yarn.  So, starting with 48 cocoons, that's what I got. And I think I wasted 6 cocoons completely, but they were so yucky looking(very dark with poo and bug yuck)I didn't want to do more then think of opening them. I'm sure the silk would have been no good anyway.

And that's pretty much the end of the story!! Of course one could knit it all up, but not for this wee bit, and not this project.

 Thanks for looking!
54  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday! Nov 29 2013 on: November 29, 2013 01:49:18 PM
Holy fiber friday?!  Say Whaaaaaaaa Shocked

Yup, why not. Please share what you've been up to as well!!

I've not had the time in the past few months on fridays to get around to doing this, so this is more then just this week, but you know.. All.the.YARN!!!  All.the.FIBRE!!!!

First, yarns:

Merino, DK-ish, 6.2oz/320y.

Recent spins nov 2013 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Merino silk blend. I blended this up on my carder myself.  The batt will be further down.

Recent spins nov 2013 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Crazyness. All the things, 10yards.

Recent spins nov 2013 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
Recent spins nov 2013 by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Llace wieght Llama. (see what I did there? HA! So funny, I know.. Wink )

laceweight llama by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Merino, icicle nylon, wool neps

Bulk upload by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Merino silk blend.  It's a much nicer red in person

Bulk upload by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Another merino silk blend.. I have a lot of merino and silk... Blush.

Blush Merino silk by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr
Blush- Merino silk by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

Shetland silk and mohair! Oh hey, a different blend!

Shetland silk mohair by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

So yeah, don't forget to wipe the drool off the keyboard! Wink

p.s. I lost the picture of the batts that grey and orange one came from... Roll Eyes
55  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Doily closure on a needle roll on: November 04, 2013 11:38:02 AM
Inspired by a pin my swap partner had on her pinterest boards, I created this needle roll for her!

Knitting needle roll by SpinHeartSpin, on Flickr

and the inside!

Thanks for looking!
56  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Twisted Mittens on: November 04, 2013 11:34:49 AM
I made these fingerless mittens for .:doll face:. in the Yarnies Scavenger Hunt.  I more or less made the pattern up as I went with the first, taking little notes as to stitch count, row count and how i increased the thumb gusset.  My notes are a mess, and it was a pretty intuitive process.  Both mitts were frogged once due to fit issues, both having different reasons for that problem.  In the end I really liked them, and was happy to send them off! (and I was super lucky to receive a pair of thrummed mittens in return!! )

Thanks for checking them out!
57  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Giver and Needers Round 12- Gallery on: October 21, 2013 12:20:19 PM
We have a sender!!!!!

Link to discussion thread

Sent and received
Contact Organizer please!
Feedback given

arwenjadeMountains and Clouds
MontyRuby Copperhead
58  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Givers and needers swap round 12 (SU: 9/10/13-16/10/13) on: October 09, 2013 06:39:54 AM


Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Belladune
If over 25 participants, I will need a co-organizer

Sign-up date range: 9/10/13 - 16/10/13
Date to send item by: GIVERS 28/10/13
                              NEEDERS - 6/11/13

Limited to a certain number of people?  40
Restricted to people who all live in the same country?: No.

Swap participants must meet all these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully: YES (GIVERS can be first time swappers; NEEDERS must have completed one swap successfully )
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 18 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES/NO
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES/NO

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES/NO


Welcome to the Givers and Needers swap! This is round 11!

Is your stash invading your craft space, over flowing your drawers, and pouring out of the closets? If so, this swap is for you!


Do you need supplies to be able to try new crafts, complete those pinterest projects, or refill your empty craft room? If so, this swap is for you too!


If you have an overabundance of craft supplies and are feeling the need to purge, here are the details you need to read!

Givers will send a box of craft supplies to a needer so they can continue their love for crafting. In return, you will receive a small crafted item as a "thank" made with love from your needer. The giver can choose the size and amount of supplies they send, just make sure to send enough to help the needer without breaking your budget. Send something you'd be happy to receive.

This is a great way to de stash and help a fellow crafter out who may for various reasons need some supply help.


If you have more cobwebs than craft supplies in your closets, here are the details you need to read!

Needers will receive a box of supplies from a very generous giver.  In return, you will send a thank you gift that is the equivalent of a small. The thank you gift does not need to be crafted from the supplies the giver sends. The minimum is a small, but feel free to spoil your giver!

But WAIT - Can I be BOTH?!?!

Done with papercrafts, but want to try your hand at embroidery, keep reading!

If you would like to be both a Giver and a Needer you can! Just be sure to fill out both sections of the questionnaire.


Please put G&N 12 in all PM subjects.
Please mark all PM's with Approval, Sent, Received
I reserve the right to refuse ANYONE based on late sending, history of incomplete packages, etc, etc.  
Should your needs be something that no givers are offering, you may be contacted about changing your questionnaire.
Should you be offering something that no needers need, you will contacted to change your questionnaire.
You must have swapped at least once before to join this swap as a needer.  
Please be sure to take pictures and post items that you receive. If you do not have a camera, please PM your partner and ask them to take pics for you!
DC# are needed for ALL packages! If you are sending from or to someone outside of the USA please keep your receipt. I will need a copy of it once you send!
Please go through your stash or your needs well before filling out the questionnaire, this way, you know exactly what you have to give and what it is you need, itll be a great help when partnering time comes.
No one likes to be flaked on, so please only sign up if you can complete this swap.
Communication is important! You must communicate once a week.

Name of swap: Givers and Needers Round 11
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name and mailing address including the country:

Are you at least 18 years old?
Are you willing to ship outside of your country?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you have any allergens in your home?

How many packages would you like to send (this isn't guaranteed, please put the maximum number you are able to send):
What types of supplies do you have to give? Please be as specific as possible!
1. Fabric/sewing supplies (including patterns, trim, stuffing, buttons):
2. Beads/Jewelry supplies:
3. Crochet/knit supplies (books, yarn, hooks, needles, etc):
4. Art supplies(paint brushes, etc):
5. Pottery/clay supplies:
6. Paper/scrapbook supplies:
7. Needlework (embroidery, cross stitch, etc):
8. Soap/Candle supplies:
9. Image reproduction supplies (silk screening kit, stamp carving materials, etc):
10. Other (please describe):

Please list any Pinterest or wists you may have to help your partner to design an awesome thank you gift:

Anything else youd like your partner to know?

What types of supplies would you like to receive? Please be as specific as possible!
1. Fabric/sewing supplies (including patterns, trim, stuffing, buttons):
2. Beads/Jewelry supplies:
3. Crochet/knit supplies (books, yarn, hooks, needles, etc):
4. Art supplies(paint brushes, etc):
5. Pottery/clay supplies:
6. Paper/scrapbook supplies:
7. Needlework (embroidery, cross stitch, etc):
8. Soap/Candle supplies:
9. Image reproduction supplies (silk screening kit, stamp carving materials, etc):
10.  Other (please describe):

Anything else youd like your partner to know?

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

*Copied and pasted from round 11!! With the appropriate edits made Smiley*

 LeapFeetFirst - Fabric/sewing box or Yarn box or Paper stuffs box.
 tendstowardschaos - Fabric/sewing box or beads/jewellery box or knitting box
 lovesclutter - mostly fabric, but will see what else she can toss in that box, based on her partners needs Cheesy
 Monty - Well, suffice to say, she's got all the things.
 lmseeley - Nuetral fabrics
 Averia - red heart yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fabric/sewing box
 arwenjade - patterns and scrap fabric, paper supplies
 Craftsunderground - embroidery supplies, some leather

 margiej - fabric thread, beads, yarn bits for accent, polymer clay, embroidery hoops, blocks....
 coconutbells - fabric, yarn and needles and hooks, embroidery kits with instructions, sculpey, beads and wire.....
 missmopet - pug sized doggy clothes patterns, yarns, safety eyes,
 lilyla19 - wire, yarns, knit/ crochet stuff, poly clay kit
 Mountains and Clouds - fabric, small buttons/snaps, beads, paints, paper
 bookstorebabe - Beads findings etc, paint glue art supplies
 Ruby Copperhead - yarn, hoops and floss, LED supplies
 Lo[ve] - leather scraps, serger thread, cotton yarn, Tunisian crochet hook, embroidery supplies, soap/candle supplies and silk screening kit.
 Craftsunderground - Steam punk stuff: washers, cogs, bedsprings, steampunky fabric etc...

arwenjadeMountains and Clouds
MontyRuby Copperhead
59  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Givers and needers swap round 12?? on: October 07, 2013 10:24:46 AM
Is anyone interested in another round of the givers and needers swap?

Last round : https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=418590.0#axzz2h3JoJwZ7

Basically, do you have to much of something and want to give it away? Then you are a giver.  In return you will receive a small gift from your needer!  And you can be both if you want to be, you'll just have to be willing to send a box to someone and a gift to someone else!

Also, if This is usually organized by someone, let me know!  I can organize or co organize if there's generally an organizer.
60  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Some embellished shirts for little ones on: October 02, 2013 08:59:21 AM
I know a few people who had babies recently, and just by chance I found some packages of onesies in the back of my daugthers drawer that were labeled 18 months.  None of my kids are that small anymore! I took advantage of this in the form of baby gifts! There was also a package of small kids t shirts, so I whipped up a matching shirt for the older Bro of one of the babes, too.

4 Shirts done in gnomes.

And one tetris shirt!

I put some light heat and bond on the one side of the felt, cut my pieces out, ironed them on and stitched them down so they were secure!  Easy peasy Smiley
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