Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Felt Food You Can Wear!

My friend Jenny at Eclectics - an artists' cooperative in Kansas City (where I sell my stuff) saw my felt food and said, "I think some people would love to wear these. Why don't you make some smaller bananas for pins??" Of course, she makes a lot of cool woolen things to wear, like flower brooches made from old, felted wool sweaters or other fibers, like this heart.


However, I dutifully tried it while staying out of my studio to protect my poor fractured arm - hand sewing shouldn't be considered a high-impact activity, right? Today I placed some of my results into my gallery inventory for all to see.

Actually the banana was easy - it was the strawberries that were tricky. A single felt strawberry is easily made from a semi-circle of red felt.
  • Fold in half and seam up the radius edges. Knot.
  • Add running stitch around the top (the round edge), draw tight and knot.
  • Stuff with fiber and stitch closed.
  • Cut a 3 or 4 lobed green leaf piece.
  • Stitch leaves over the hole and whip stitch around all leaves.
  • Add tiny yellow embroidery stitches to simulate seeds.
Voila!  A strawberry! Sounds simple, right? Well, it is - IF you are making a whole strawberry.

If you want to make a half a strawberry, which is flat on one side (for the pin-back to be attached, which is what I did) it's a bit more complicated. The above photo is a whole strawberry. This is two half strawberries....look the same right?

Nope - the back is flat. And it doesn't even show! Wonder if anyone really will want to wear one of these???

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Annual February Ice Storm Hits Missouri

Well, Old Man Winter must like the Show-Me State - he's sure hanging around this year. Since moving to the KC area nearly 4 years ago, I've been under-whelmed by the winters....until 2010. We have truly had winter weather this year - not just once, but repeatedly. Today is no exception - freezing rain, ice coating the blades of grass, the dogwood tree buds, the willows and the fences.
I didn't sleep well last night - waiting to hear the crashing of broken ice-laden branches which are often the result of winter ice storms. But so far, the streets have stayed wet and the trees have held up under the ice. That could change tonight, with colder air, wind and continue wet stuff falling!
So I am officially ready for this winter weather to be finished and spent yesterday in my studio, making jewelry with GREEN polymer beads.

And copper wire, of course. Since my fractured arm still hurts, and I'm not supposed to hammer metal, I used my torch to ball up the ends of copper wire and made jewelry with tangled wire beads.

Its fascinating how a little torch fire can melt the ends of wire into little balls or tear drops, often leaving them a great rosy red color. These wire tangles go great with other colors too. All-in-all a productive day, today I'm giving my arm a little rest.