November 30, 2010

Homemade Soap with Wool Felted Over

These are called several things - like even "wash cloth covered soap".

I make homemade soap every year (I need to make more soon) for our bath/shower/hand washing needs. I even make a shampoo bar soap too. I've not bought soap in years, nor shampoo. I could use it for laundry too, but don't. (I even make my own face lotion.)

I used older leftover soap for these felted soap bars. I knit circular washcloths (most people use them as doilies)(I need to take a picture of them) and chose colors of wool that would coordinate. I wrapped wool tightly around the soap, dipped it into a basin of hot water I'd put Dawn dish soap in. I had a sandwich plastic bag for initially rubbing the wool covered soap in - it sticks to the hands too much until it starts felting. I have a handmade bar of goat soap at the sink and would add it to my hands for further felting of the bars, adding more hot water to my hands. Using the sandwich bag for rubbing all around the soap works great!

November 18, 2010


Emery and Bea awaiting Mom's return home!
I've been getting pics emailed me from my kids of their kids and wanting to get them off my desktop and posted.

A year ago on my old blog, Karey's Contemplations, I'd written of being often in Wisconsin as Monte's Father Emery was in the hospital. As Em was leaving this world a baby was born and our son Travis, and Sarah, named him Emery. So now Emery is approaching his first Christmas and birthday.

Also on my old blog I posted lots about Heather and her eHarmony found husband Bill, and on to their son Will. I posted about Bill being deployed for his fourth time (he's now a major and hopefully retiring with no more deployments!). So I was there for the birth of my first grandchild. Then Heather and Will came and spent most of that year living with us. So go to my old blog for more pics and stories.

Will wearing a shirt I dyed for him
They'll all be here for Christmas.

November 12, 2010

Luminescence - Shiva Paintsticks; & Needle-felted Ornaments

My November's color/design class challenge was luminescence.

I've been buying shirts and jackets at Goodwill with the plan to over-dye them, creating whole new creations (I've done this since high school, on into having babies, and now for whole family). One shirt was bright yellow with stripes, so I thought it might be good for this project. I originally did a lot of basting along all the centers of each stripe strip, pulling the stitching tight. Well the over-dyeing didn't turn out as I was wanting - should have used a waxed string for a better resist. I over-dyed it some some more.

I've been wanting to use the Shiva paint sticks ... I have some pieces of textured wallpaper I saved. That was the under texture for rubbing a black Shiva stick over. Then I used another flowered texture made for using with the paint sticks rubbing an iridescent gold over - that created the luminescence! I used the paint sticks stenciling leaf designs on the back yoke and down the button placket.

I'd also gone to Hobby Lobby looking specifically for luminescent possibilities. I wanted to make Christmas ornaments using styrofoam balls and needle-felting wool on. I came home with ribbons, embroidery floss and sequins.

I'm going to make more, trying different sizes. These are the largest I'd make. Monte wouldn't mind a tree full of these!

November 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Tree & Needle-Felting

This day at MOPS was "Share Your Wares" with tables set up around the room perimeter for anyone wanting to display/sell whatever it is they do. So I set up a table with all the variety of felting I do - from my sculpted people, landscape pictures, purses, hats, slippers, etc ... along with selling my cookbook.

I also did the Devotional for the day, showing one of my Thanksgiving Tree posters from a past Thanksgiving, and talking about it -

I often get frustrated at the Thanksgiving table when I ask what people are thankful for. Usually someone says something silly and then everyone else does. So now on a large piece of paper I draw a tree, with lots of branches and no leaves, to hang on the wall. I cut a variety of leaves from colored construction paper and leave them sit on a counter with a pen and glue stick. If this is done a week or so before Thanksgiving everyone who comes to our house can write something they're thankful for on a leaf and glue it on the tree. Then by Thanksgiving, we've had time to think beyond tangibles like food, family, God, friends, pets etc to intangibles like Truth, Love, integrity and then beyond to firemen, police, doctors ...

The rest of the time I sat felting wool flowers to go in a vase I made from 'material' I made with my needle-felting machine. The vase's foundation is craft felt with dyed cheesecloth needled on - the design is created by needling from the back and the front. Needling from the back forces the black felt color to the front or whatever colored felt piece I put on the back. I added beanbag pellets in the vase as a weight. At home I'd wet felted green wool around pipe-cleaners, then I could just needle the flowers to them.

I'd put together some needle-felting kits to sell too. The purses I was selling used fleece material as their foundation material I used their design as the guide for machine felting yarn on for more textile interest, creating a whole new fabric. Some had purse handles made from braiding fleece strips and yarn together, sewn on. Some smaller purses had zipper closures.
Fleece/Yarn machine felted purse (holding my knitting)

Machine needle-felted material from yarn on craft felt - made into zippered purse

One of the fleece foundational designs with yarns to embed by machine felting
One of the finished fleece machine felted purses
Needle-felted flower added to a wet-felt hat with crocheted edging

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