Thursday, May 1, 2008

2008 Weekly Mixed Media Project

Spring is definitely here in eastern Massachusetts. The forsythia is in full bloom, and the trees have leaves budding and starting to open. We had a number of very dark grey rainy days recently, that had thick white clouds in contrast to the grey sky. I wanted to recreate it for my eighteenth Weekly Mixed Media piece this year. Above is the front side and below the back.

To begin, I cut a piece of black wool felt fabric, that was about 10" x 10". On top of that, I placed a piece of dryer lint that had various colors of grey, mixed in with other colors, as well as small pieces of a tissue that had shredded in the wash.

On top of the dryer lint, I placed four pieces of a shaggy green and blue yarn. To enhance the small pieces of a tissue, I scattered tiny pieces of cut white yarn and also tiny pieces of what I think had been a dryer sheet, that was included in my gift bag of fiber scraps from the Lowell Fiber Studio, which I blogged about last week. For the forsythia, I used left over cut yellow pieces of yarn and wool felt from last week's mixed media piece and I scattered all of them on the dryer lint, below the white pieces. For the tree leaves, I cut a similar amount of pieces of two shades of green wool felt.

Next, I placed a piece of black bridal netting on top of everything to hold it down. The reason I did this was, last week after posting my forsythia piece, I got an email from a very nice reader of my blog, who told me about a needle felting website that described using netting when felting tiny pieces. The purpose is to stop the pieces from bouncing around, and getting stuck in the needles, as it did last week. It's almost impossible to see the netting in the above picture, but it is there. Believe me.

After I made this "sandwich" of lint/yarn/felt and netting, I needle punched everything in place, from the top down, making many passes over the whole thing to felt it well. In the process, the netting shredded, but that added to the really neat texture that occurred. I like the tiny holes in the felted dryer lint. If this piece was all wool, more mainly wool, I could wash it to remove the tiny holes, but I don't dare wash it with the dryer lint in it, no matter how felted it is.

After the felting was complete, I cut the piece down to 6" square. Then I sewed branches coming in to from the sides, using my sewing machine and black tread, sewing over the "branches" a few times to darken then up.

I apologize for this is a horribly out of focus picture. The needle guard is not in place (for this photo only!), but I wanted to share that by using the netting, only one tiny piece got stuck in the needles, and none jumped off the unfelted piece. Big improvement from last week, when many got stuck or bounced off.

You can see my 2008 weekly mixed media work (so far) on my website, and read about my process/progress here on my blog.