Friday, July 19, 2013

Re-purposing & Recycling Part 1

Today we are recycling and re-purposing old clutches and journal covers into wall art.Sounds like fun. 
The greatest part about using wool in a base for needle felting is as any holes that are present from snaps, stitches etc. easily close back up with a gentle scratch-n-tug to the fabric. 
Today I have chosen three clutches  and one journal cover to turn into wall art. 

First, I had to take out all the side stitches. sounds easy , but as I got going I remembered I did multiple rounds of stitching with the machine, before  adding in the hand stitching. I finally got the clutches undone, and the snaps removed. Yeah! 
You can't even see where the holes were. that was the goal. 
Removing the blanket stitching was done with just a snip and tug with  each vertical stitch, the machine stitching I cut the stitches in a couple of places then pulled the layers apart. I wasn't worried about stretching out their base shape of the wool as this will all add to the wall art when I am done.

   This one will be a little harder as I want to keep the decorative stitching around the edges. when I took it apart I left the bottom  hand stitching and will re-stitch the side and top. Plus on the reverse side , though not shown is black wool with metallic orange thread free stitches in a vertical pattern, so keeping the layering is important to this piece.

This piece like the one above, is unique too. This one was made using recycled threads from furniture fabrics plus fun embellishment yarn fibers. Its like one large nest with five little wool blue birds hidden in its mass. On this one I don't want to keep the straight edges, so I will be following the edges of the fibers to dictate where I cut. making it a more abstract form.

As for the other two pieces, the black/green and the rectangle yellow I haven't yet decided what to do with them. 
Stay tuned for the next blog as we begin getting the items together to make them into wall art. 
If you have made fiber wall art I welcome your suggestions and comments for making frames and stitching them in place. I am thinking of using pieces of old grapevine as it has awesome texture and color. 

Look for more pictures and notes as we recycle  and re-purpose  in part 2 of this entry.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Blackberry Jam

We tried to pick blackberries yesterday. Our briers are burning up faster then we can get our fruit picked. But I was able to get about half a gallon, making about 10 half pints of jam. My mother-in-law had picked about 2 gallons a week ago. she was able to make a cobbler and nine half pints of jelly and still have some for general eating.  I waited too long.(sigh)
In this picture you can see that there is still loads of fruit, red and trying to ripen. what black ones we didn't pick were hard and drying out. Bitter in flavor. They say blackberries need sunlight and water to make the sweetest berries. We find this to be true. I would like to pick one more time, but without any rain our crop is bound for the birds.

Another berry patch picture
Jam all made a setting up.
My jelly if you look closely had a lot of foam in it, even after I skimmed it off. I don't think this will effect the taste,it just looks cloudy at the top of jars, however it is a bright red, and tasted good. so I suppose that's all that really matters. The hardest part is waiting as it firms up . The last time I made jam it made syrup instead. We ate it on pancakes as it drizzled like honey.
Happy berry picking if you have briers like us. Maybe it will rain some more and I'll get another picking.

New Clutch and other news

I finally finished the 'Storm clutch' . I had made this piece several weeks ago and kinda knew what I wanted to do with it, but didn't really have the time or ambition to do it until today.

This is the piece before I made it into a clutch.Loads of movement and if you use your imagination you may see why I titled it 'STORM'.

This is actually the back side of it, I wasn't paying attention when I shot the photo or the front of the clutch would be facing out. It is beaded. It is the perfect size for your phone, small wallet, keys and what ever other necessities you may need; for having such a small opening , I can easily put my hand inside to retrieve what ever I may need out of it.

The next shot is of the front. It is really a small handbag. It opens with a 4" flex frame, and had a 17"chain handle that can be tucked inside to use the bag as a clutch.The beading is purely decorative and didn't have a single thing to do with storms in general, except I liked the color and flash it added to the clutch.

As for the other news, the little crafty consignment  shop "A Jones of all Trades' that I had my purses at decided after 2 1/2 months to close up  shop, not due to not having any business, things were really booming or so I was told. The owner had even signed on several new vendors in just the last week. They decided to move back to Oklahoma.. It was all quite sudden like. Life goes on. You never know where a new adventure will happen. So I wished them luck and will place my items back in my Etsy shop.
That's really all for today.