Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A lunchbox from leftover felt.

I am not sure how many years ago it was that I went to a workshop by Luckystone Felt - Robin Blakney Carlson's studio at Lake George and Polly Stirling was there. We made blankets but I used silk organza and it took forever to felt and my three panels never turned out so I threw them in the dryer to harden them up but when they came out they were small and very very hard. I took two of the pieces and made an overnight bag, but the third piece remained for years languishing away in a box.

Well my lunch box zipper broke!  And I saved the plastic insert, thinking I could use it for something but I have not bought a new lunchbox. So I remembered last night that I needed a lunchbox and thought about that piece of hardened felt sitting in a box, so I rummaged through my unpacked boxes and found it!
Then I made a paper pattern and cut out the pieces I needed. I had enough plus a few pieces left over.

These are the leftover bits.

 I sewed it together from my pattern around the plastic bin. Added rings on the side and repurposed an old strap I found that had clips on the end.

I added twill tape on the inside of the lid and put an elastic that I had through it. I have this pinned in right now. I need to play with the length of that. The lid did not stay down the way I wanted so I am putting a button on the front, cut a slit in the twill tape and tied a piece of repurposed leather to the elastic. The leather allows me to pull the elastic down over the button. 

My almost finished lunchbox.  I need to sew the button on permanently, and need to put my label on it. I am not sure about additional embellishments but am considering it. I plan to take it for a test drive when I go into the office and bring my lunch.  Wool is a very good insulator so I think this should work well.  I may slide some thin foam down the sides and on the bottom to improve the insulation if I find I need it. I am quite pleased with the results. The elastic pulls the lid tight around the sides with the button holding it in place. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's been while.... Lightweight silk and wool scarf

Since moving to New York, I have been able to set up a studio in what would be a dining room in the house I am renting. I love walking through the room with a piece on the giant table and just stopping to look and add to it. Every morning after the dog and I do our routine, I will work for ten or twenty minutes on whatever I have on the table. I am trying to build an inventory. I have a few pieces in a gallery in Horsham, PA, but I really want to get some in local galleries here in New York.

The table is almost 8 foot with the leaves in. I still need to raise it up a few more inches so I don't keep killing my back but it works for now.

I started with long piece of silk that was almost 8 foot long, added merino edge around the side then merino wool branches. At this point I decided to fill in the silk with white merino wool in a very thin layer.
I added prefelt green leaves, and silk paper flowers that I had made. a few blue silk paper dots and strands of merino.This picture is a panorama that is a bit distorted in the middle.

When I make silk paper I lay it out on parchment paper and spray it with starch, then cover it with another piece of parchment paper and iron it. let it dry and then cut it into the shapes I want. For felting this works well.

I sprayed it with water and olive oil soap and covered it in plastic then rolled it. then opened it up and rubbed it, then rolled, etc.
The finished piece about 3/4 the length of the table. I am letting it dry and will check it in the morning to see if it needs more work. I was pleased with the results.