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Monday, December 26, 2011

Latest Work

Just thought I would post some pictures of one of my latest pieces. There are before and after pictures so you can see how the pieces look when they are just laid out, wet out and when felted. This piece was made using a shawl sized piece of the canyon scarf kit. This one didn't get any other materials added in other than the ones I put in the scarf kits. I think it came out beautifully! It is done in the "hearts entwined" pattern -- just overlapping circles for the most part. Fun and easy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Felting with Merino Prefelts

I have been using lightweight prefelts to make all sorts of things since I started this business. They are so versatile and really help the beginning felter learn to felt quickly without spending a lot of time laying out fibers. I love the fact that you can cut and shape the pieces so you have an idea of what your finished piece will look like from the start. The surface of the prefelt is not as lustrous as some regular wool when felted, so I think it is a good idea to add wool roving to the surface as a design element and also add other textures -- silk hankie or cotton cheesecloth are good choices as they are both very easy to felt in. Also the silk and bamboo roving that I dye is beautiful and easy to felt in. The prefelts are also wonderful to needle felt into. I even felt velvet into the pieces and it holds up wonderfully!

 I just started making the prefelt scarf kits. I taught a scarf class at the Arboretum of Dallas last weekend using this size prefelt and the participants were delighted! I forgot to take pictures, so sorry. We also added wool yarns and wool locks to our pieces -- the photo above was my sample piece. See how pretty the surface of the finished piece is with the wool roving and some silk added? (I have these in my Etsy shop and provide very detailed instructions if you want to try one!)

Since it is getting cold, look for some shawl sized pieces and ideas coming up soon!  I am getting closer on the kits I spoke of in my last blog entry -- fat quarter sized pieces of my fabrics bundled together with some cheesecloth and velvet. Think I will call those "play packs". These will be perfect to use with a piece of prefelt to make a beautiful scarf or shawl.

I use the prefelts in my everything kits -- when I make something with an everything kit I usually make highly detailed small pieces such as cuffs, a small piece of art or a small purse. These kits can also be used to needle felt -- just look at the pieces Jane LaFazio and her students made at the Houston Quilt Festival last weekend!

Fun! Create on out there!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Inspiration for Today

I woke up full of inspiration today. I have been studying a small piece of felt that I made that reminds me of tidepools and another that is sort of landscape like. I always go into my stash and find the materials that inspire me when I create. Both of these pieces were made on prefelts and have lots of texture from fabric, cheesecloth, silk and bamboo roving, silk hankie etc.

 I struggle with ways to package these things and get them out into the world so you guys can play too. But today I had some new inspiration! So I got out lots and lots of pieces of fabric, cheesecloth, prefelts etc. A color feast at my house!

This final picture is the result of my play for the day. A kit that has some velvet, silk gauze, silk habotai, silk hankie, cheesecloth and some dupioni which I pull apart and use for threads.  You could use a kit like this to make a scarf starting with prefelt and have a gorgeous scarf in no time! Look for more on these soon!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some New Pieces I've Made

I did a show of finished pieces last week -- the best part of doing a show like that is 1) I get to meet some new people and get feedback and 2) I try new things!!! Here are some of the photos  -- look for some new kits on my website so you can make one yourself or contact me if you would like a finished piece!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Whether giving way to someone in traffic or letting someone go ahead of us in line, donating money or sharing our homes in a crisis, we actively create a universe of kindness and giving with every choice we make. The smallest gesture can bring a smile to light the shadow of an unpleasant situation or remove tension from a difficult task, but it’s effects can echo and extend far beyond the moment. We can be sure that we will receive a kindness in return, but giving is its own reward. Kindness expands the light within us and reaches out to touch the light in others as well, giving us all a glimpse of the glow that has the power to enlighten our world. 

Author unknown

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nuno Explorations Class in Asheville

I taught in Asheville last week at the Friends and Fiberwork's Summer Retreat. I taught felting with the sander on Habotai silk (very popular -- no more rolling!) and I also taught a new class where we made an overblouse or vest. The students did amazing work! Here are the photos. Next I want to develop a pattern, that is a big job!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Latest nuno scarf class pictures -- perhaps some inspiration?

Here are some photos of my class last weekend at the Creative Arts Center. I thought there were some really beautiful pieces here! I also thought those of you reading might like to see how we compose on these pieces. We start with a piece of 3.0 mm silk chiffon or gauze (like I sell in my scarf kits). The chiffon is much easier to felt than the habotai and a good choice for beginners. I bring all kinds of other light weight textures to class. There are silk hankies, silk throwster's waste, cheesecloth, silk and bamboo roving, ribbons, wool yarns and some synthetic yarns and ribbons which are very light weight and have holes in them for color. I usually bring Angelina, I forgot it last week.

If any of the textures are heavy or difficult to felt in I try to make sure everyone puts wool under and over those to hold them. The wool on top can be just tiny wisps so it will not cover the things you have put on as decorations.
I sell some of these textured things in my etsy shop -- and you probably have some things like wool yarns and some other really light weight natural fiber things in your stash, right?

It is fun to compose this way! The scarves come out beautifully!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Wonderful Perspective on Felting

I received a wonderful email this morning from Ann Pangborn, telling me that she had blogged about using my silk. I was most touched and find that she and I feel very much the same about creativity being healing, and especially felting -- combing all of the fun fibers and colors is so delightful to the senses.

I taught a wonderful group this weekend at the Arboretum -- so sorry I forgot my camera -- but I left feeling so filled up. We all shared the creative process and had such a good time.

Here is the link to Ann's blog -- she has many wonderful posts and some amazing work, so I encourage you to take a minute and read some!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Teaching Mosaic Style Felting at the Arboretum

I will be teaching next Saturday, April 9 at the Arboretum in Dallas. Come and play!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Felting using Water Soluble Stabilizer

As promised, here is some info about using water soluble stabilizer in your work. What is the stuff you might ask? Well it sort of looks like interfacing. Here is a link to one choice at JoAnn's -- there are even some handy instructions here: (and even some new ideas -- I've never heard of dissolving the stuff first the painting it on your piece -- but who knows?) You can usually buy the stabilizer at any quilt store as well.

Anyway, this is how I've used it. I cut out two identical pieces in the shape of the intended final product. The pictures are of a cuff in progress and a finished piece which is a jacket facing or part of a lapel. I love just making these little pieces of wonderful texture to work into a larger collage as well.

I then separate the two pieces of stabilizer and start to cover one of the pieces with different textures. Since you are going to stitch these things in place to form a fabric, you can add anything that your sewing machine needle will go thru. I like to add all kinds of textures -- lots of different silks, some velvet, some metallic fabrics, etc. I love to drizzle a wonderful yarn on top of the piece. I might use the yarn later as a guide for adding beads. I cut my pieces fairly small, but I have seen some beautiful pieces where the fabrics were larger.

If you are going to felt the piece, allow some space between the pieces for the wool to felt in later. Try to keep the overall piece lightweight.

When you are happy with the colors and textures you have added, add the remaining piece of stabilizer on top and pin securely. You don't want to lose anything on the way to the sewing machine! Then sew on top of the piece in all different directions. I usually use a contrasting or metallic thread. Your sewing lines are what bind the fabrics together. (Note -- I tried doing this by hand and it didn't work very well, but I think it was because I didn't add enough lines of stitches. Since the sewing lines are what create the fabric, it is a good idea to add lots of stitching to the piece. The sewn picture above is hand done but needs lots more stitching.) You can also free motion stitch on top of the piece if you are experienced at that.

OK, then you go to the sink and dissolve the stabilizer in hot water. It takes about 1 minute. Allow the fabric to dry and there you are! I later use a piece of prefelt which can also be cut to shape to felt into the piece. You won't get very much shrinkage as the stabilized fabric is pretty heavy, but you get a fun and funky textured piece of fabric.

Feel free to email me with any questions! We will be experimenting with this technique in my class at the John Campbell Center in May of this year. Here is a link to that class:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pictures from Asheville

I am slow to get these posted -- had an incredible trip to Asheville -- if you ever get the chance to go, do it -- it is just the greatest place! I didn't get many pics, but here are a few of the brave felting souls from my classes! (and one of Lisa being silly!) There are many pictures of the retreat on the Friends and Fiberworks site. Lisa and Tracey put on a great event -- there is going to be another one in July 2011!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Asheville next week -- can't wait!

I didn't rest for long -- this time I am preparing for a trip to Asheville, NC and the Winter Retreat, sponsored by Lisa Mackey and Friends and Fiberworks.

I am teaching four classes and it is not too late to sign up! I am dyeing some beautiful fabric for the "Romantic Wraps" class -- we will make a small shawl that you can wrap yourself up in to brace against those winter winds (It is supposed to be 9 degrees when I arrive!).
I am also teaching a cuff class using water soluble stabilizer -- you gets loads of texture with this technique and can felt in things that wouldn't ordinarily felt.
Also teaching the iPhone purse class -- learn to felt in velvets, felt around a resist and make a rope for a handle. We will start by needle felting then wet felt.

And yeah -- I got a scarf made to wear -- did I mention it was going to be 9 degrees?

That's my habotai I call "ocean".

Cheers you guys! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reflections on Taking Risks

Well, I've been through some interesting months. The "too much going on" led to some much needed down time, then some reflection on why I do what I do. Seems that I work harder and make less than I used to (by several fold!).

The outcome of the reflection is: I will journey on! I am comforted by so many of you who share the self employment struggle -- (it is harder than working for someone else in case you were wondering!). I am also touched by so many of you who love what I do. Thank you all!

The final clarity came today when I was looking through my beloved books and came upon an old favorite called "The Joy Diet" by Martha Beck. (Find her monthly column in the O Magazine). I opened the book right to the chapter about taking risks. Seems that taking risks is task #5 of 10 tasks she prescribes to live a joyful life.

Martha says "The criterion by which you should decide which dangers to face, and which to avoid, is not your chance of succeeding but the depth of your desire. If you pursue only risks that are interwoven with your heartstrings, your life will be what it should be, no matter what the outcome of a given situation."

Wow, those are powerful words. Seems like I have taken way too many risks the past several years, but I am doing what I love. My heart says continue.

Bless you all for being there! Happy New Year!