Thursday, July 5, 2012

Moy Mackay Wet Felted piece recovered!


Well, no TAST news yet!  Everything is blooming and the air is sweet and clean and fresh and wonderful!  And my eyes are blurry and burning and itchy even though I take allergy meds!  YUCK!  So not too much stitching for me!

I've been in the gardens alot and its hard to imagine but we've had gorgeous summer weather, sunny and hot and with humidex around 30C + and it gave me energy to do all sorts of things around the house.  Like clean windows and finish planting my pots on the verandah's, and weed and weed!  I've got tons of gardens and trees that I've planted over the 12 years I've been in this house that have grown to create a forest.  I will take photos of it all, weeded and not weeded, and post them soon.

Right now, it is almost 8 pm Atlantic Time and we've had badly needed rain showers off an on all day.  I wish I could share with you the lovely "just rained" fresh air coming in the windows!

Somewhere in between all the kerfuffle, I decided that I needed to work on that Moy Mackay wet felting tutorial that I tried to do last week.  It failed, not because of the excellent instructions given by Moy in her book that I followed, but because I did not use Merino wool for the entire project, as instructed. 

I needed a few days to think of how I was going to approach fixing up my mistakes and mess.  I decided to take a sheet of pre-felted wool that I bought from Belfast Mills on the island.  It is the 5th photo down on a page where I talked about pre-felted wool. I used a coloured piece since it would be felting over top of it and the various colours would not show through.

The wool base is sitting on a TV tray, so that will give you a rough idea of the size of it. 

The next photo is the back of the piece I tried to wet felt last week and what a mess I was faced with.  This blue and lavender stuff was the wool that was NOT Merino wool that would not wet felt.. 

 As you can see, it was one huge mess!   I pulled out the large bulky chunks or tried to pry them apart to create a more even backing.

This is what the front looked like, but I forgot to take a photo of the front before I did anything to it.  I carefully peeled off the sheep and just put them on top so that I could rearange the wool on the bottom half.
So the top was pretty much another mess, from the photo above, but not as bad as the back.  You could see parts of the lavender underneath portion, and very little of the wool was holding together as very little of it was Merino wool.  That teal/turquoise blue colour that shows up in the grassy area isn't really that blue in real life.  There is something with the camera flash that is turning it that colour. 

With the sheep and the moon removed, I began laying additional layers of wool, both Merino and otherwise, on top of the dried wet felted wool.  I just kept adding wool fibres until I was happy with what I saw.  The beauty of wool felting is that you can felt the whole piece and if you don't like anything, you can usually carefully peal it off or just add more felt, even when you think you are done!

This is with more wool added, before needle felting.  This is a photo without the camera flash.

This is the same photo with camera flash.

The photo without the flash is probably more real to life.

I kept adding wool and this is what I ended up with.

 The sponge is 2 inches and the wool is about 2 inches thick.You can see that the part I tried to wet felt is a good inch or more thick. 

And I do not have a felting machine, an embellisher, so these were the tools I used to felt the whole thing together. I had to press somewhat firmly to get through all the layers.
The pink thing is a 3 pronged needle felter that I bought at London-Wul and I love it.  It's a tiny bit bigger than a regular sized pen. (This is the most fabulous store ever and a must see if you are nearby!)  The two dark/light green things are Clover needlefelters.  One contains course needles and the other is more of a finer felter.  And if you look behind the right hand Clover felter, you will see a single felting needle.  I would felt with one hand and then switch when I was tired.  I spent probably a few hours felting the entire base. 

When I had the scene complete, I added the sheep and the moon.  As you can see from this next photo, a fair amount of wool was added at times.  I decided I wanted the sheep to be quite fuzzy.
If you look at the sheep to the right of the one I am felting in the above photo, you will see that I slightly felted in the little white nobs into the back of the sheep to give them texture.  After adding the little balls, I took skinny strands of wool and sort of needle felted a tiny portion in between the balls and then looped the wool and felted again, and then looped and so on, to give the sheep some more texture.  You will be able to see it more clearly in the bottom of this post.

I wanted to show you how easy felting was though. 
I thought I would make Moy Mackay's tutorial my own work by adding a barn in the distance, which is NOT in her tutorial.  And this is what it looked like all felted into place.
I hated it.  It really took away from the sheep and the whole scene.  So, I carefully picked at a corner of the barn and peeled it off.
My next issue was putting eyes on the sheep.  I laughed and laughed when I first put the eyes on them.   The sheep looked so evil or they looked as if they were caught in the head lights of a car!
Aren't the two on the left down right scary???!!   What I did was, I took the tiniest piece of black wool and needle felted it across the eyes, so the eyes are visible but no longer the main focus of the piece.  The eyes are a bit more visible in person than below in the photo.

And finally the piece was finished.  It is called "Three Sheep in the Moonlight".

This is the completed piece without a flash.   You see in this photo that the sheep have been made quite fluffy and almost 3 dimensional. And yes, the sheep really do have eyes! 

I didn't want to use a flash so took the piece to a window and tried some natural light.  This is what I ended up with below.

In the tutorial, Moy takes her wet felted piece, which surprisingly looks much better than my piece above, lol, and when dry, she adds quite a bit of sewing machine stitching to it, to define the sheep and make more branches on the trees, etc.  My piece is too thick to try to get it under the sewing machine foot without disturbing the felt.  I might add a bit of hand stitching to it but otherwise, I consider it finished!   Almost.  I still need to iron it to get the needle marks out of the scene.  When pressed, the wool with meld together better and it will become flatter and more natural looking.

Here is a photo taken of our wonderfully loveable member of the family, Skyler, out in the yard.  I probably took this during one of the many times I sat on the front verandah waiting for the hummingbirds to feed at the honey suckle blooming on the post.
And I'm embarrassed to say how much time I spent sitting on the verandah waiting for the hummingbird and it always fed on the side opposite to me!!   This is the best photo I was able to get!

Yes, that fuzzy thing in the middle of the photo is the hummingbird!!

If you have time, you must drop by Pintangle, where Sharon had a great article on Managing Large Projects.  I found the article excellent and very helpful.  I am a great starter of projects but I am easily distracted with new things and have trouble finishing projects.   I have OCD so bad that I spell is CDO as the letters HAVE to be in alphabetical order!  But Sharon has a most wonderful website.  She has a wonderful dictionary of stitches with great photos and diagrams, and her TAST project, (Take A Stitch Tuesday) and now there is something for Wednesday.  No shortage of information available on her site, so take a look!

And Judy Cooper from Newfoundland is travelling and sharing her travels with us.

And the Sunshine Deli is always good for a smile!

Happy stitching!

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