Monday, September 28, 2015

Felting Crafts

Thursday evening of last week, they had open studio night in both the yarn studio and the ceramics studio. Jeff put the kids to bed so I could go to the open night at the yarn studio -hoping that there was enough visual examples for me to understand what was going on in the instructions even when I couldn't understand the words of explanation. It was a really fun time.

Not sure what I will use this piece for...perhaps I will hang it up somewhere. The two pearls were fun to make also -I am hoping I can make some more while we are here so I can make a bracelet out of them. The instructor was impressed with how well I made them, and even showed one of the students as an example. It was quite an interesting processes. We started out with 10g of sheep's wool and then carefully pulled it apart and laid about half of it in a square about 30cm across.
Then we laid the other half a 90-degree turn across, making a cross-hatched layer. This would form the base of the project. I didn't do mine quite right, I don't think, so in some spots it was quite thin. I had to be careful later on to make sure I didn't get holes in it.

Next, we chose wool in other colours to create a pattern. I think we were maybe supposed to make a face, but I couldn't completely understand the directions so I made a design instead.

At this point, it is still about 30cm on each side, but will get smaller as the wool gets pulled together in the next process. We cover it with warm water with soap in it, and then put a piece of plastic over the top and rolled it over a piece of foam or large dowel, and just rolled it back and forth, pressing hard on it, for about 5 minutes. Every once in a while, we were to unwrap it and roll it again at a 90-degree turn. We made sure to have warm water and soap on it, to help the fibers bind together. Once we had it in a solid-enough form to pick it up in one piece, we placed it in a pot of hot soapy water and then picked it up and threw it on the table many times. This process of throwing it on the table and picking it up and wadding it together, adding more soap and warm water, and doing it all over again helps to bind the fibers together. It was really quite a cool process.

Then when it was fully formed, we rinsed out all the soap and then dipped it in vinegar to set the colours, and laid it out to dry. Pretty cool. For the pearls, I made a small ball of wool by wrapping it around itself, then dipped it in the pot of hot soapy water to saturate it, and then carefully rolled it in my hands to form a ball. When it was sort of solid, I moved it over to a rubber mat and rolled it again by pressing very hard to get the wool to form a solid ball. It started out almost the size of a golf ball, and ended up the size of a marble. So, the wool definitely condenses together during this process!

The kids had four birthday parties at school this past week -the middle of September is a busy time for birthdays! For two of them, they went to the house of the kids for lunch. This was fun for them, and they got to play with the kids' toys, and play outside in the yard for a while too. On Friday, the other set of twins turned 3 so they had a birthday party at the school for them.

It hasn't been raining as much as I expected -I suppose that's still coming since it's early fall still- but it has rained enough that there are lots of rainbows. Often, there is a double rainbow. It's sort of visible in this picture, though the lower one is much clearer. They are always very bright and you can easily see all of the colours.

It's amazing to me how fast Svea is growing up. Here she is eating choco-rice cereal with a big-kid spoon, and looks like a big kid, not a baby anymore.
 This sky here just fascinates me. In this photo, which is pretty typical of what we see often, there are black clouds, grey clouds, white clouds, and blue sky. About a minute and a half later it started pouring on us, on our walk to the school to get the boys. By the time we picked them up, it was back to sunny blue skies again, with no rain in sight.
 This is the church closest to where we are living. It's so pretty how the sun reflects off the white stone, almost making it glow.

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