Sunday, March 30, 2008

Things don't always come out as planned

When one of my favorite customers approached me about making a felted hand to keep her rings organized, I was excited and at the same time wondering how I would construct something sturdy enough to maintain stability to hold jewerly, how to connect it to a base for it to stand upright, and how to make sure the shape of the hand would be small enough for the rings.

Where to start? First work up the hand....

I had only made mittens before, never gloves and I was thinking that gloves cover the outside of a hand, not the inside of a ring. So, whatever I chose to do would need to be smaller than any standard pattern, yet at the same time, worked up larger due to shrinkage when felting. I also came up with the great idea of stuffing the "glove" with polyfill before the felting process. So, I proceeded to crochet up a glove, all the time trying to predict what shrinkage would occur.

Well... that definately did not work! Imagine my disappointment when this came out of the washer!

Ok, definately not what was planned. So I took out my double pointed knitting needles and started knitting a simple glove. Well, I have never been one to follow directions very well (just ask my mom, husband and children.. not to mention my boss!) so, I just did what I thought would work. And I it came out ok. Now, the fingers from the first go-round were not quite sturdy enough with polyfill, so I made little log shaped bunches of yarn and inserted them into the fingers and stuffed the rest of the hand with poly.

I was pleased this time when the hand came out of the washer. It just needed a bit of shaping with some pulling and stretching. I then made a cuff to go around the wrist to give it a bit of pizzaz. That was the fun part!

So now, how do I get this hand to stand up on it's own? It would need a base wide enough to prevent tipping when the jewerly was on it. This is where my husband comes in (he is a machinist and can figure out anything). So he made a base out of wood, put a nice rounded edge on it and I painted it an antique white.

I crocheted and felted a patch the same dimentions of the base of the glove. This patch was stapled onto the base and then I sewed the hand to the base with double strand of quilting thread for strength. Once that was done, I glued some soft fleece to the bottom of the base to prevent scratching.

Here is the finished product.... it came out rather well, I think. Sometimes you need to have some failures. I learned so much from the disaster on the first go-round. I truly believe that something good comes out of everything, no matter how disappointing it is!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Felted Jewerly

I had been thinking about making felted jewerly for a long time. The ideas were in my head, but I wasn't sure where to start. Of course, I made a few dozen lopsided uneven bracelets, each one a bit better than the last. I finally came up with a pattern in which they could be formed perfectly and is sized just right for a medium size wrist.
The first ones that came out perfectly are simple, soft in texture and in color. Although they are rather bland, they would be complimentary to a bright flowery outfit for spring.
Once those were perfected, I wanted to add a bit of bling, without going overboard. I tried knitting the bangle with a strand of metalic thread, which although adds sparkle, still remains a bit blah. I also tried adding some beads while knitting the bangle.

I think I am going to knit and felt the bracelets first and then sew on some small beads with my next attempt. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks to see what I come up with ♥

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blue Bird Bowl

This sweet bowl is the result of another custom order. My customer had ordered a bowl with a sparrow for her grandmother and when her mother saw it, she wanted one with a blue bird. I am rather proud of the way this one turned out and it is so happy and springy!

The bowl is first crocheted and felted in the washer. This takes about 3 - 4 cycles in very hot water. After a few days of drying, the design is needle felted in place. Needle felting is a technique that uses sharp barbed needles to stab roving repeatedly into the surface. I have just started learing the needle felting technique and am so amazed at the detail that can be added. I will caution you - it is addicting and somewhat dangerous - those needles are sharp! I have stabbed myself a few times in the learning process.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mark April 5th on your calendar

That is the day that ArtisteCongo has it's grand opening on Hyenia Cart.

I was so excited when I received an invitation to join a group of talented and loving moms on Hyenia. We have been planning and creating wonderful items for our grand opening on April 5. We will have such a diverse shop that you will find jewerly, sweets, bath and body, childrens boutiques and accessories.

So mark your calendar and visit us on

I will be featuring felted children's items, including booties and books as well as some very special pottery pieces.

Custom Orders

I love custom orders! When someone comes to me and asks for something special, my mind just goes in super speed. Custom orders makes you think outside your own ideas and forces you to learn new techniques and only builds your knowledge base.

Here is one custom order that I am extremely proud of