Every year for my daughters birthday, we try and include an activity as part of her birthday celebration. The girls are getting older, and it is a delight to see them work together. Last year, as part of the UN declaring 2015 the year of the Soil, we planted tomatoes (see our blog post here), I have heard some managed to even keep the plants going all season and enjoyed the ‘fruits of their labour’. This year, we decided to do upcycle old clothes and silk test samples from the studio into hair accessories, they were all very pleased with the results, so am I. To learn how to make fabric covered button parts, you can read my post from 2009 here. The details about adding pony tails is also included. My daughter who is now 10, is in full production mode to make a series that she can give as gifts, and maybe even sell 😉
An interesting day at Hellviktangen’s farmers market this weekend. A lot less people came, likely due to the rain, but the ones who were there were very keen on hearing details about the products that I had available. One item that brought about great interest was my seasoned salt. Such a simple ingredient to have on hand and it can be used on so many ways. Throughout the growing season, while everything is fresh and abundant, I do my best to preserve what I can. One of the methods I use is dehydration. My pantry is full of mason jars with a huge variety of dried goodness in them. My trusty mandoline which has been well used for over a decade makes quick work of the task, and once thinly sliced, I place everything in the dehydrator and let it go to work over night. I dehydrate at no more than 40C (104F) in order to maintain the optimum nutritional value. While I do not adhere to the Raw Diet, I choose to use this process for dehydration …
Over the holidays, the studio welcomed its newest tool, a plotter (cutter). There are many on the market, each having their own pros and cons, but after having done some research, I found the one for me. I have always had a love for words.. quotes and sayings… and being a font addict with a reasonable handle on graphic design and a love for Adobe Illustrator, the possibilities with this machine are endless! It cuts so much more than vinyl… cardstock, fabric, stencils for glass etching and fabric stenciling, heat transfer for clothing.. and I have even sourced reflective heat transfer for clothing. That may sound crazy to most of the world, but living in Norway, the dark season makes wearing reflects mandatory. My son has decided he wants to start a business selling his own reflects designs.. and he is only 8! Time to make space in the studio. Yesterday I made my first wall piece from vinyl. Well beyond the standard size of the plotter (the wording is just over a meter high), …
A while back, I blogged about the raw wool felted laptop bag (see post) that I created for myself, and I thought I would show how the handles were made. Store bought handles of all shapes, sizes and colours are available in most craft stores (or online), but in my opinion, nothing beats a good quality, handmade, adjustable thick leather strap with solid brass fittings. I have not used a pattern for doing this.. I simply gauge the size based on the bag and what feels comfortable. The only factor to consider is the width of your buckle. I cut five pieces of leather, one for the strap, and two shorter pieces that are doubled over and secured to the felt itself using chicago screws (leather bond optional), and two narrower pieces that are looped to keep the strap from flailing about. The side pieces are very simple.. an oval hole in the middle for the buckle to pivot, and in this case two holes matched up on each side. Punch matched holes in your …
Enamel – a fantastic way to bring some colour into what can often become a world of black and white when working with silver. This week, I have been testing a set of colours from Thompson Enamels – transparent/lead free for use on silver/copper/gold. Enamel is powdered glass which, when heated melts, flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal. Enameling can also be done on glass or porcelain, but requires enamels with a different COE (Coefficient Of Expansion) – expansion rates must be suited to the base surface material. Prior to using enamels, they need to be washed to remove the “fines” – (extra fine particles which can cause your enamel to be cloudy). This can either be done: wet: by rinsing in water multiple times until the water runs clear or dry: by using a series of sifting pans to separate the particle sizes (60, 80, 100 mesh etc.) Regardless of which technique you plan on using to apply the enamel, the silver must be properly prepared, polished and cleaned to …
Take a moment to read the article about FeltUnited in HandEye magazine 🙂
Lately I have had been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding shibori, the japanese art of creating texture and colour on cloth. There are an incredible variety of styles and techniques that are encompassed in the Shibori classification. Here are some photos (and a quick tutorial) of a piece I made using the bomaki shibori technique.
I opened my email this morning, to find out that Epla – Norways handmade marketplace will have a page in Henne magazine (april issue in stores on the 9th). They have chosen a collection of items to feature, and my ‘de Beauvoir’ pendant is one of them (happy happy!).
…when you work with fleece right off the sheep, full of grease and bits and bobs, trust me you get dirty and well the smell of all that stuff warmed up with hot water.. well.. I think you know what I am getting at!
It has been a while since I have “played” in the studio… sometimes life gets too busy. Today, after a good talk with a friend far away, I feel that my head is starting to clear and the time to play is approaching… that … and spring is in the air!
When I work with text or drawings (either hand-drawn or computer generated), I need to go through a variety of steps to move them from the 2 dimensional world on my computer or piece of paper, to a 3 dimensional format that I can use to create the mold the the jewelry I create. One of these techniques is using photopolymers.
The vast majority of us have things laying around the studio that we no longer need or use, and an ever growing list of things we want. Whether you are learning a new craft, or are just tired of storing the supplies from a hobby you no longer enjoy, this could be a great opportunity.
This weekend is the big design fair here in Oslo, and I am nowhere near as prepared as I should be… swine flu hit our house in a bad way, and I have either been ill myself or nursing sick children all month (the last one heads back to school on Monday). Such is life and family comes first. Having the children home, and their watching me make and make and make etc.. They have been asking for something for themselves of course! So we took a little time off and made santa hats for each of them. (post continues after the photo) Once the show is over on Sunday, I am looking forward to taking some time and making purely for giving. It is such a great feeling. I am really hoping the children will enjoy it. Well.. back to work.. Cyn
Felters who make handmade felt all have felt lying around that was either a sample test, a project that just was not right or simply bits left over from larger projects. There is nothing like handmade wool felt, and event the smallest pieces never get thrown away, after all.. each piece was lovingly made by hand! For those of you who are not felters, follow these directions using just about any fabric.
I took at look at my stats today, and just wanted to say thanks for reading. When I started my blog this summer, I had no idea that it would be read by so many people. I would love to hear what you would like to see more of (take this anonymous poll – choose 2 options) : by the way, if you want to subscribe use the RSS feeder links on the top right then bookmark it.