Textile Jewellery Course

On Friday I did a one day textile jewellery course at Morley College…..some of the things covered were similar to those done on the Creative and Experimental Textiles. (But lovely to have access to equipment such as the heat press.)  I spent my time working with Pelmet Vilene to make cuff like bracelets.

The green one was originally intended to be inspired by waves – but the colours that the dye paper we were using meant that it turned out more like a garden.  I added some embroidery to complement this…..

I then made a second one using lace to transfer a pattern onto the vilene once I had dyed it abasic red colour.  I was thinking of it like an actual lace cuff so I put a fake button on it.   Debby also showed us a whole new way to use a soldering iron to burn small holes in the vilene.  I was aiming for it to look like lace.

Finally I sowed some of the actual lace onto the bracelet  The lace print doesn’t show up very well on the photo but the holes made by the soldering iron do….

Goodbye to my Textiles Course…..

Wednesday evenings will not be the same from now on……my Creative and Experimental Textiles course at Morley College finished last Wednesday.  Its been a brilliant course for a textile novice like me.   Now I’m debating what to do next….

Here is a slideshow of work from the course…..

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Feltmaking Party on Sunday

About a month ago I was demonstrating at Lauderdale House Craft Fair when I met Nayeli and her little sister Artemis, who were really interested in watching me making felt

Their mother asked me if we would be interested in doing a session at Nayeli’s eighth birthday party in July and in a mad moment I said yes….mostly because I thought the girls were delightful and loved their enthusiasm!  Which is how the Scotsman and I ended up doing a workshop for 11 eight year olds and one almost 6 year old last Sunday.

Making Prefelt bagAs we only had an hour I made prefelt bags, and some prefelt circles, petals, leaves, sprinkles etc and took lots of wool bits along so that the girls could concentrate on the fun part of making a surface design, and then do the felting and fulling.

We learnt a lot from the workshop ;

a)  Twelve is  really too many for two (inexperienced) people and a domestic  kitchen to handle! – I spent my time dashing from person to person and wasn’t able to help some people as much as I would have liked…and an hour and a half would have been more realisitic timescale as we ran over.

Table set out for a felting partyb)  Felting is a really easy process to understand – everyone ‘got it’ with the minimun of explanation.

c) The girls really seemed to enjoy the chance to  chose a three or four colours and have them carded together into their own special mix- even the most unlikely combinations end up looking really interesting.  They also seemed to be having real fun throwing the felt to full it – and in some cases hitting it with their foam rollers and even jumping up and down on it (in bare feet!)!

d) Without exception the girl’s designs were colourful, imaginative and creative – and all really different too…I’m only sorry that I was so busy at the end rinsing, tidying and attaching the felt ropes handles I had brought along that I didn’t have time to take photos of them…

Instead here is a picture of the samples I made  to take along to give them some ideas.

A red and a purple sample bag

Small sample bags

A big thank you to Patricia for giving us the opportunity  allowing two strangers to invade her kitchen. (Oh and a big thank you to John who was brilliant at flagging up to me where someone needed some support and at clearing up while I was doing the last bit on the bags.)

I always thought I would never really want to teach but it was quite good fun.  I was too busy to be scared and seeing at that youthful creativity was really inspiring!


Cyanotype Printing and Indigo Dying

At my Morley College Textiles course we have been experimenting with Indigo Dying and Cyanotype Printing this term.  I particularly like the Cyanotype printing which uses UV light – either sunlight or the UV bed – and works in a similar way to early photography.  It can be used by putting objects like feathers, leaves etc directly onto the cloth and exposing to the sunlight, but I have been making drawings and using acetates.

Drawing based on lichen with acetate version

Drawing and Acetate

I have been frustrated by the results using sunlight – it doesn’t pick up the delicate lines even when I put it under glass to keep the acetate flat against the material (and to stop it blowing away!!!).  However as long as it is run often enough through the UV bed cycle it gets a beautifully delicate result even showing the marks where stray threads from the fraying edges get onto the cloth by mistake……

Based on a photo of some lichen

The pattern is based on photos of some lichen on rocks…………..

I have incorporated this plus my indigo dying efforts into an appliqued bag (also indigo dyed).  Now I am in the procses of embroidering on top of the applique..

Indigo and Cyanoprint bag

Indigo and Cyanoprint bag

What a bad blogger I am……!

No word for absolutely ages!!  But I am still here – so what have I been doing?

Firstly making Jam and Chutney…..perhaps it is because I am not earning regularly at the moment but it seems to engender in me the desire to fill the freezer and the larder…….

Several pots of homemade jam with homemade labels

Homemade jam and Homemade Labels

I’m particularly pleased with the bramble jelly as I picked the blackberries myself on a walk along Parklands Walk earlier this week.  I have the scratches to prove it.  It seems very early for blackberries – the main crop is still green on the bushes but I managed to get about a pound of berries.  Oh and its delicious!  Hugh Fearnley Whitenstall would be proud of me….

I’ve also been wrestling with the paint application on my computer to draw the illustrations for the labels….drawing with a mouse isn’t the easiest thing in the world but as I don’t have a scanner its one way to get little cartoons…..

Labels for Strawberry Jam with strawberry illlustrationI have made chutney before but this is my first atttempt at jam and my first batch of strawberry, made yesterday, will have to be reboiled.  Despite using jam sugar and orange peel like my mother used to it hasn’t set properly.  I think I got a little bit impatient and stopped boiling it too soon…………………..

Feltwise I have two projects on the go.  I have had some Blue Faced Leicester Humbug wool for a while and I wanted to make some natural colour bags.  Those of you who know my work will know I can’t normally resist strong colours…..but the bags have turned out quite well –  although they lose most of the lovely stripe in the felting.  I made stripey insides to compensate…..

Two Blue Faced Leicester Humbug bags
Blue Faced Leicester Humbug bags showing striped insides





And the other thing I have been doing is making preparations for a feltmaking birthday party I will be doing next weekend….a new venture but one that could be interesting…..the Scotsman is coming along to support me and I think he will be wearing the King of the Shepherds hat….

Hearts and sprinkles in pink prefelt

Felting Party prefelt


So the studio is currently full of prefelt hearts, circles, sprinkles etc as we are decorating prefelt bags.

Most of the girls have opted for a deep purple colour for the base of their bag so there will be lots of pinks, purples, reds, yellows, oranges etc happening in the next week or so…..