Thursday, 30 June 2011

Being Creative - Ocean

This months Being Creative gave me the opportunity to dive in and so something I've wanted to do for ages!
Since the beginning of June I have wet felted 3 drops of ocean.....

This is a close up of the first..... as I was too excited to wait until the end of June to post about it, you can read all about it here and here

Here is the second one....before.....

with some silk and wensleydale curl waves.....
and after....

...and today I used some of the bits from here

to make this....

Its still drying so the colours are re-appearing can just about see the silk shining on the fish....

I'm hoping for some better photos in sunlight!

I have loved the whole wet felting process....selecting the colours, wool and extras; hand blending and the amazing whispy colour combinations; laying out the design in all its fluffiness; watching it transform after peeling away the soapy wet bubble wrap; eagerly awaiting the colour changes as it dries; and gazing at the finished piece.
Above all I have found it extremely liberating as you never quite know how it will turn out..
..and it's so far always exceeded my expectations!
Thank you again Julia for your inspiring idea initiators!!
There will be more wet felting from Random Wooliness!!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Fish out of water...


Some needlefelted Shetland and silk fish ready to dive into......

.....a box of hand blended dry shetland sea....

......just add water soap and bubble wrap!

Big fish, little fish...........

...cardboard box??

Well an terrific tin, which was only a few days ago, full of scrummy M&S jam sandwich biscuits!


Pretty pinks  - shetland and  merino awaiting last minute silk addition.....hand blended (yes....have you guessed?  I really love the creating colour fluff process!!) ..... for a change of direction!

I'm having lots of fun preparing......although my camera and blogger keep portraiting my landscapes....and to a spatially challenged person it's time consuming to put the right way ruond! 
(Think I'll keep that typo in...what more can I say?!!)
Night Night!!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Promising plans and preparations!...

Where has the last week gone? In fact the whole of June seems to have skittered by in a midsummer muddle!
I have had a week of  brain buzzing....lots of procrastinating plans....lots of sketchbook scribbles and lots of potential projects....
my brain feels like it resembles our over bursting blooming lavender..which (in the sun) is covered in bees!!

I'm trying to break things down into managable chunks ( that can be done with one eye on Wimbledon and packed away quickly at school home time!)
I did receive an exciting and colourful mainly shetland wool order from Wheeldale Woolcrafts but forgot to photograph it before I squirrelled it away into my woolly hamper.
I have made another piece of flat felt...but the grey skies and very damp garden have prevented picture taking!
So instead I'll show you the wonderfully smooth soft and springy alpaca top that my creative friend and neighbour brought back from The Aplaca Park on her recent holiday in Cornwall...
The rich tones are lovely and there's lots of stripeyness going on......

I already have plans for it!!
So I'd beter get on and initiate some of these promised projects!!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Inspired by.......

Thanks for all your great comments on my last post...I'm hoping Jan will pop over too and see all your praise!

This is another arty post inspired by a couple of things this week!

I have been inspired by Kate over at Starfish studio who has been zentangling....
she has had some of her designs printed and  they look amazing!
I have had a go at my own style and found it really therapeutic....its my permission to doodle time!!
I have made four cards this week.....and posted three without photographing them!
However this one will give you a good idea of what they looked like!

The card...a 'Fathering Sunday' one..will be saying what an inspiration my dad is!!

Random Wooliness Junior has also been doing a module at school on Art....
last year he brought home this Georgia O'Keeffe inspired chalk drawing:

His dad and I both fell in love with the colours, style and form instantly and framed it with a frame to our specifications from the internet. Its in our hall along with 'The Hidden Gem at Tyseley' from the last post.

This year we heard a lot about RW Jnr's Andy Warhol inspired piece. He really enjoyed  sketching and deciding on the image he was going to use - inspired by Mario mushrooms. He described how he had measured out each individual item so each part looked equal, and he enthused about the colours he was using. 
Then it all went quiet.......and when asked about his painting he became quite disgruntled....he had by accident dropped a HUGE splodge of blue paint onto a pale area, and as that colour was no longer available, he couldn't rectify his mistake......  he even recounted how the whole table of children had gasped and run to his aid with cloths and other possible solutions.

Yesterday the Andy Warhol/ Mario inspired piece came home,
with a quick bit of tlc on the splodge 
we proudly framed it, replacing a rather tired print in the kitchen

We think it looks fantastic.....just the right colours to cheer up the room and I don't think you'd be able to spot the tiny accident.....I find myself gazing at it everytime I go in!
So... Random Wooliness are an inspiration we are very proud of your creations.

Looking forward to hearing where your inspiration has come from this week!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

This is Birmingham

Another of my click to see the hidden pictures posts!!

Just over a year ago we met Jan Bowman a talented travelled artist currently living in colourful Brum, when we bought a copy of her book This is Birmingham in a pop-up art and craft shop. 
The book is fantastic - I loved spotting all the familiar sights of Brum and reading up on the not so well known places, people and history. The language and word choice are great. The illustrations are thought provoking, vibrant and full of interesting, quirky details. Above all it makes me proud to live in such a historic, colourful, diverse, forward thinking and friendly city!
The book is being reprinted and theres a brill trailer video to view in the meantime!

We have one of Jan's prints adorning our wall too - its entitled Hidden Gem at Tyseley and is of our local 'Energy Recovery Facility' ie the tip - rather glamourously living up to its title!

Jan also illustrated the cover of one of my favouite books What Was Lost  by Catherine O'Flynn.

Thank you Jan for showing how vibrant Birmingham is... amongst many other things!!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A drop of ocean!

Here's my eagerly awaited drop of ocean......

Can you see the angelina sparkling in the sun?

Hope it was worth the wait...

I know you'll be able to sea  more soon!!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

I'm soooooo excited!

Yesterday I did something I have been itching to do for a long time!
I've had a kit to make a small wet felted panel for a while, but was worried about it not turning out like the picture on the front 
(often my stalling point  - I'm disappointed if what's in my head doesn't match the finished result...and I end up not trying at all!)
so I used the excellent laminated instructions, white merino and the soap flakes from the pack....
and the perfect opportunity to experiment  -  June's Being Creative topic of Ocean...

 I searched through all my bright and colourful stash for blue hues

fluffed and mixed them up a bit and threw in a handful of angelina
laid them out on a bed of white merino and added a few whisps of mohair short ends (thanks Tracey!)
sprinkled on soap solution...

...and rolled!!

I am sooo pleased with the results - 
I love the way you create a dry pattern and during the felting process it completely transforms and develops in a freely random way - extremely liberating for the part of my being that craves control is still drying and the colours are changing often as it does so revealing hidden wooliness!!
I will be making  more of this wait-and-see-when-you-unroll-the-bubble-wrap excitement...
and when its dry I'll show you too!!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Birthday Cup Cake!

 As I was creating my cup cake I knew who would be receiving it...

it was my dad's birthday this week so he had two cakes - this famous fluffy one

...and this squidgy yummy one.....

a joint creation for dad/grandad.

The photo does not really show how 3 dimensional it was ..nor how smoothly the delicious icing was applied by Random Wooliness Junior!

Its amazing how it only really looked like Gromit when he perfectly placed the chocolate teacake nose!