Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Shiva Stick Paints on sale at Dharma Trading

paint stick set
Shiva Paint Sticks are a great way to add color and design to your felt and nuno felted designs.  Heat set with your iron.  (They work well on fabrics too.)  It's a convenient way to add paint and cost effective - you don't have to buy several fabric paints (the good ones are hard to find) and then spend more for the right brushes and applicators.

I use the metallic colors to add highlights to small felted gifts that I make for my market and holiday live craft events.  Great on felted shapes too.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Opulent Fibers 15% off through tomorrow - plus see their workshops list

Already on it!  Since I sold out of all the scarves I took to the Bodega Bay Market yesterday, it's shopping time this AM especially if it's a great price or free shipping (because one usually equals the other).

Last year I ran out of stock so frequently because it's a little hard to nuno felt when you're moving 3 times in only 8 months and 2 of the moves are smack in the middle of high season.

This year I am not letting anything go by me including handpainted and mixed merino rovings.  Even that was a disaster last year when I waited too long to order and nothing was available in my chosen colors palette.

Big colors this year:  Anything BLUE has never sold well and I stopped making anything with a dominant blue years ago.  This year, they're flying out the door.  Expecially popular are the blues paired with dark plum and evergreens.

DARK and CHOCOLATE BROWN are also selling out and it's usually a niche color that takes a long time for me to sell.  It needs to be used with other dark jewel-tones including mulberry, teal, evergreen and dark purple or the lighter terra cotta and medium grey.

Something about deep browns this year feels and looks warm and comforting to me.

From years of experience it is impossible to predict what colors are going to be popular for the Fall and Winter seasons (notwithstanding Pantone).  Being flexible is what matters.  I have to be ready to constantly change my color combos and finished scarves based on what my customers like and buy.
(Lots learned just watching customers pick one over another because of their preference for certain colors and combos.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Experimenting with new fibers and sources

Malabringo Merino
When I look for handpainted merino rovings to include in my plan for the upcoming season there are so few reliable sources for the really good stuff that I just can't get the color combos that I need.

I purchased Malabringo Nube Roving Aquas 19 Micron Merino from hippiechick on Etsy because I needed the teals.  (It is actually much more green than blue, but still works for me.)

Malabringo is wool from Uruguay that is processed, dyed and spun into yarn and a fair trade product.  You may have seen some of their yarns in the high-end yarn boutiques; I've seen plenty of it at Dharma Trading so the brand was familiar.

This roving is a lovely, soft, 19 micron merino but the dye is so dense that it compacted the fiber along almost all of its 4 oz length that it was not possible "to pull wisps off the ends" as all of us do when laying out our fiber designs.

(Note:  the colors made me suspect that there might be a lot of color loss once I added soapy water - but this lovely roving was color-perfect, no bleeding at all!)

The only way to rescue it was to pull the fibers apart "cobweb felt" style and lay it on top of my teal-dyed Paj silk.

I don't always feel like doing this - spending extra time pulling the fibers apart --- but in this case is it was worth it for how it turned out.

cobweb technique on Paj

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fiber Trends - Fall 2015 - Mixed Commercial Merino

loop done with roving shown below
Woolgatherings Mix WONDERFUL!

If you buy handpainted merino or mixed wool rovings (available on Etsy) for your nuno felting projects you may have noticed that the best fiber-dyers/blenders are offering machine-carded mixes of  commercially dyed wool---a new trend for Fall 2015.

I bought my first mix like this at the Wool Festival last May; it had 10 colors including a lovely, glossy bronze bamboo.  Everything I made with it sold immediately and I was crushed to use up the last of it.....

What I realized immediately is that these great mixes can be easily paired with one or up to 3 solid matching roving colors with radically different "color-effects" that got even better when I dyed my base fabrics in complementary colors (and the darker the better).

The versatility of these new mixes is a real delight - never get bored with them.

Kate Sitzman of Woolgatherings dyes the best merino and mixed fiber rovings and her new commercial roving mixes are wonderful too.  She just sent me a new batch since I already went through the vivid blues and purples that were so popular at the Bodega Bay Market that I finished 4oz in no time at all.  Had to order another one!

Here is my latest order and can't wait to get started.

Woolgathering Mix
gorgeous, isn't it?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nuno Felting Fabric Heaven

Thanks to a reminder from DharmaTrading that I had a $60+ credit for silk gauze returned to them in January (it was sub-par quality) I had a field day and ordered some new stuff.

Silk Chiffon - 8mm
I have used this before; it is perfect for the cold weather and makes fab wraps and shawls.  You can also cover it with fibers that have been stretched out "cobweb" because the extra weight of the chiffon lets you go a lot lighter on the fiber layers. (I consider 8mm and above to be "heavy" silks for nuno felting.)
silk chiffon 8mm
Silk Organza - 5mm
This is a silk that I have never used before but is very popular with the most accomplished nuno felters.  Organza is a crisp fabric which will impact on the final "crimp & puckers" but I am anxious to give it a go.  Organza has a lovely, frosty sheen to it which should be an asset to the final design.  (The heavier weight organza is much stiffer than this 5mm.)
silk organza 5mm
Wool Felt - 36" wide - Cream
I've bought this before but have another purpose in mind.  I am nuno felting day and night to get ready for so many holiday shows and all the new stores that carry my scarves.  I've literally run out of the time and energy to make prefelts so I want to dye pieces of this one yard  buy as I need it.  I also have another gift item in mind.....................for those of you who make FLAT FELT you know it takes a lot of practice to get a good, solid, even thickness which is not one of my skills.

(It ends up being a lot cheaper to create prefelts with this Dharma Wool Felt than to buy prefelts online; plus, I can never make up my mind which colors to buy when they cost what they I can dye them as needed and just enough for each design).

The results of the Great Organza Experiment will be posted here; dyeing it up right now!

DharmaTrading now has silk yardage IN COLORS! FABulous!!!

Dharma Trading Co.
30 eye-watering colors of delicious 100% silk fabric in 3 weaves!
We have added a selection of colors to start with in 8mm Habotai, 8mm Chiffon and 12mm Crepe back Silk Satin. All are about 45" wide and available in full yards or bolts of approximately 55 yards. All at Dharma Trading Co.'s super low silk prices!
That's right, Dharma Trading Co. is branching out! We're trying something new, mixing it up, keeping it fresh, living on the razor's edge!
Why would we do this? Because not every blank canvas has to be white.
Dharma Trading Co.
NOTE: Colored swatches vary from monitor to monitor and may not exactly match actual fabric. Also, there may be slight variations in fabrics from dyelot to dyelot. This is normal. Samples are available.

The prices are pretty darn good!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Update from Nunofeltdesigns August 2015

Cloud Nine Loop
My Mom died after a long illness on Monday morning.  I will be back in a week or two with several new posts on working with the newest fiber trends for the upcoming season.

There is some good news in all of this and I know my Mom would be so excited for me, she was my biggest cheerleader.  Being an accomplished painter, she is the one who passed on her artistic and creative spirit.  As an artisan myself, there is nothing better in the world than that.

The good news?  I just got into the biggest Christmas Show in Sonoma County, one I did last year and sold out on the first day of a 2 day can imagine what it was like the 2nd day! My (new and expanded list of) other Holiday Shows are lining up (approvals pending) and there will be lots of them in November and December.  Details for each will be posted here.  I would love to see each and every one of you at one of these shows.

I will also be at several of the October and November outdoor weekly markets in the richest wine country towns so you can grab something nuno felted for the one you love. 

Be back soon, Nancy

PS:  My Mom read my blog every week and it was the Homepage on her computer.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

TWO BOOKS by Nunofeltdesigns on better techniques including USING A SANDER

Create better, more intricate nuno felt faster!

TOPICS include:
Part 1: How to use the new tools including the Palm Washboard, Edge Tool, Felting Stone & Felting Mat
Part 2: Tumbler Dryer Method & Shelf Liner Shortcuts, Rolling Machines - what they do, where to buy
Part 3: Importance of Color in Nuno Felting including How to Work with White, Using Non-Wool Fibers, Using Cotton Base Fabrics, Prefelts & Batts, & What went wrong - my fibers fell off?!
Part 4: How to make an Infinity Loop, add Ruffles to your designs on the edges and inside, make Felt Lace, the Two Layer Technique, Mosaic Nuno Felt, add how to quickly make and add Prefelt Swirls as a design element
Part 5: List of sources for supplies including fibers, tools and fabric


Kindle COVER
Kindle Digital Edition*:

PRINT Edition on***:
*NOTE: The Kindle digital edition is readable on all Apple and Android devices including tablets and smartphones using free Kindle Reader software.


NFT&T has hundreds of secrets and tips for how to nuno felt better and faster using the newest and latest techniques and tools. It's so popular that it's now available in several bookstores and public libraries in the US and UK. Available in print and digital editions.

Best Silks for nuno felting with a list of types and weights
Cottons for nuno felting
How to dye your own fabrics with RIT and DYLON powdered dyes
Non-wool fibers and nuno felting
Using a microwave
Using a portable electric sander; detailed directions
How to "water" your nuno felt
Soaps for nuno felting
Learn how to make great EDGES and ENDS
Make "ROVING YARN" to create outlines & designs
What to look for when buying custom-dyed/mixed fibers online
Best throwing technique
Using the "ALL COLD WATER" method
Fix a "mistake" with needle felting
plus many, many more!
or you can buy it from my online store at a discounted price


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jean Gauger Interview on FiberArtNow website

Jean Guager
And she lives in Florida!

For me with family in Florida the question has always been how can you possibly be a felter and live in such a hot climate?!?

Jean made several comments during her interview that she concentrates on teaching and does a lot of her workshops in the Northeast which is. without doubt, a more hospitable environment for felt, felters and selling felt.

What I appreciated most is that I found I was on the same spot on the learning curve as she is, as incredible and unattainable her work is to me --- her jackets are a nuno felters' dream!

The other point that I found most valuable is that we, here in the US, are decades behind the astounding work, technique, and artistry of the East European and "downunder" felters who are forever wonderful inspirations.

And Jean has just gotten into LOCKS!!!

I am enchanted!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wool Festival Vally Ford CA (population 162 not including the sheep!)

2nd Annual Wool Festival in Valley Ford CA (about 20 miles northwest of my home, Petaluma.)

The essential message is that the more wool fibers we use for all kinds of projects including nuno felt, the more the sheep farmer's will thrive with small, sustainable farms where everyone thinks, eats, sleeps and dreams wool!

I get tired of all the hipster over-hyped "where does what you wear come from?" because all of us really need to experience these kinds of events to understand the difference it makes in your fiber-choices when you see, visit, talk to and learn to appreciate the people who care so much about their animals, their environment and their communities.

At Valley Ford they are wholely commited to the more unusual breeds of sheep including CORMO and CHURRO which I love to use to make felted bowls and vases as well as bags and pouches.

To think that just a decade ago these were thought of as wool that was too unusual to use for any purpose (and much of it could not be sold but was thrown away!) until people like us starting using all kinds of wool for all kinds of purposes (one good outcome of the "maker movement").

Long live these small farms and their wonderful sheep!