This felted wall hanging lacks a proper name…

After making several of these felted mats with integral bowls (I can’t come up with a name that isn’t just a description), I was inspired to make a similar design as a wall hanging. Although I meant for the bowl to be more of a pocket, it is tilted upwards just enough to be able to hold moss and an air plant. The piece is secured to the wall using simple thumbtacks that are covered with leftover felt. I will keep making these and playing with the bowl shape and angle. I envision a whole grid of them on a wall in varying natural alpaca colors.

Back to the name dilemma. What would you call this piece? Maybe just a real name, like Susan? Or a made up name like cars models – The AVRA. Anyway, I will consider any and all suggestions. In the meantime, this item is for sale on Etsy

When one idea leads to another…

This morning I wove a small placemat from fused plastic bags. But I did not originally set out to make a woven mat. That is the beauty of being open during the creative process. I recently saw some giant pinwheels in a store. As I often do, I thought Hmmm, I bet I could make some of those. My plan was to create a large plastic sheet by fusing grocery bags. But the particular plastic I was using proved to be very difficult to fuse evenly. And the final sheet was not large enough to make a splendidly giant pinwheel. So I trimmed the uneven edges and considered what else I could make with a long rectangle plastic sheet. The trimmings were lined up on the counter and suddenly I had a flash of inspiration. I cut the rectangle into strips, wove all the pieces together, and ironed (fused) the final composition. I love it when mistakes or failed attempts become successes.

My first experiment in wet felting inclusions…

This is a one-piece bowl and mat centerpiece. I experimented with wet-felting an inclusion into a flat square layout of alpaca wool roving. I wrapped a plastic egg in dark gray roving and then placed it on my layout of cream roving, then covered everything with a few more layers of cream. After the felting process was complete, I carefully cut a hole and extracted the plastic egg. The result is a bowl with a dark interior that is integrated into a cream mat. Three edges are trimmed and the fourth is left raw like the top of the bowl. I absolutely love this piece. Yes, I will be making more.

A cardboard light box…

I have been brainstorming ways to use what I already have to create an interesting display of products from BypPauline for the upcoming ARTist Saturday at Armature. Supplemental lighting is encouraged, so I decided to make my own ambiance floor lamps. Using heavy duty cardboard (yes, I’m still making use of moving boxes) I created a “Golden Section” rectangular light box. Tracing a few glasses of various sizes as templates, I cut a few holes on each side and even across one corner. I’ve never wired a lamp from scratch before, but the plug and inline switch were super easy to install onto the cord using the instructions. The actual lamp holder was more of a challenge to wire because it didn’t come with instructions. But thanks to YouTube, I safely attached the hot and ground wires and turned on my light box with giddy excitement.

Paper polyhedron for an air plant…

Continuing my play with geometry and paper tubes, I created a Himmeli-inspired polyhedron. You can find varieties of Himmeli all over the Internet. Traditionally a Finnish craft, these geometric shapes were made using straw and combined into mobiles to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Contemporary versions are often made using metal tubing or straws. I really like these made from colorful magazine paper tubes. Using floral wire, I tied four three inch paper tubes into a square. Then I threaded wire through one side of the square and into four six inch paper tubes to create a pyramid shape on top. Adding another pyramid below completed the Himmeli shape. This geometric sculpture hangs from the ceiling with string and is adorned with two air plants.

Constructing with magazines…

The possibilities of magazine paper. I have often used magazines for various art and craft projects. Paper beads, collage, origami, paper mâché. For this project, I scoured old magazines for full color pages and rolled them tightly along the diagonal around a bamboo skewer, gluing the edge to create a tube. I then cut them with scissors to measured lengths, and used floral wire to construct open pyramid structures. Elsewhere on the Internet, I’ve seen these geometric structures made of metal tubes and have wanted to make them myself. But I didn’t want to have to buy any new materials (My craft bins are overloaded anyway.) I really like my version of the pyramid and how I was able to play with color in making these out of magazine paper.

Succulents for a tiny felt pot…

I created this tiny wool wet felted pot a long time ago. A couple days ago, I decided to complete it with some succulent pups cut from an Aeonium suffering a slow death in my front yard. The inside of the felt pot is painted with a bright yellow rubber coating that you can find at hardware stores for dipping tools, so it is waterproof. Wool felt is dirt and water resistant by itself, but I wanted to make sure the little pot didn’t decompose from constant contact with the moist potting soil. In restrospect, I prefer to keep the wool raw and natural rather than add the rubber coating. But of course I would not know that if I didn’t experiment in the first place.

Wet felting with Pre-K…

I worked with my daughter’s PreK class on a wet felted project for the upcoming school auction. We are creating a felted wall hanging. Each child made a “pebble” using natural alpaca roving decorated with wool yarn and scrap silk pieces. The background was a collaboration using a darker blend of alpaca roving with the same yarn and silk pieces placed in a random linear pattern. The background is as beautiful as each of the pebbles. Most of the pebbles are hand stitched onto the background with a wool/bamboo blend yarn. Three pebbles are suspended from the bottom of the wall hanging by needle felting pieces of colorful wool yarn onto the background and the pebbles.

Handmade crystal ornaments…

Handmade ornaments are my traditional yearly Christmas gift to family. This year I made ornaments inspired by ones that I made for my daughter’s school auction decor. I used gold ribbon, recycled event “Save the Date” cards, gold glitter cardstock, and acrylic crystals to create a simple dangle ornament. First, I threaded about 6″ of ribbon through the acrylic crystal, pulled the ends even, and tied a simple overhand knot at the ends. Using a 1″ diameter hole punch, I cut a bunch of circles out of the event cards and glitter cardstock. I folded each circle in half and then glued them together to create a sphere shape, alternating the glitter cardstock and the event cards. Before gluing the last folded circles together, I wrapped the sphere around the ribbon and then added extra glue to fix the sphere in place.