Felted Cuff Bracelet


I spent a delightful day yesterday with 8 lovely, creative ladies at BeadFX.  The project was the felted cuff bracelet.  I was flattered to discover that there was actually a wait list for this class.  Clearly, this project resonated with a lot of people.  So we’ve added a second date in April.  But for now, let’s focus on all the magic that happened in this class.


Jane worked with a black base and accented with a royal blue – Stunning!

It’s funny, whenever students choose black wool, they always find it a bit frustrating – it pulls a bit clumpy and it always is more resistant to felting. I always blame it on the dye.  I wonder if the different properties of different dye colours affect the properties of the wool – perhaps the black dye is somewhat more caustic and scours down the surface of the fibre a bit?


I wish I had a close up of Pam’s cuff!  She chose a variegated wool that creates an almost marble effect when felted.  She used some turquoise sari silk threads to create a veining effect – so beautiful!  I love having Pam in class as she is such a wealth of beading information – any technical question regarding beading supplies, technique, etc., Pam always knows the answer!  Thanks Pam!


Jane is soaping up her cuff and felting it onto the brass cuff.


Marija’s colour choices were so brave – her bracelet really popped.  I imagine it with a nice white linen dress or shirt – so pretty!


Diana travelled in all the way from Collingwood!  With the bad weather, I’m just glad she made it safely!  Her colour choices were so warm and rich.  I hope she sends me a photo of the finished product with her bead work.


Nancy is so fun to have in class.  She always brings a piece of clothing or accessory to match her project with – in this case a pair of fabulous shoes!  And, she always finishes her piece in class!  No UFO’s (unfinished objects) in her closest.  Her cuff is gorgeous.  She even figured out a way to invisibly bind her and felt her ends – I love it when my students teach me something!


A whole year speeds by…

Almost a whole year has sped by and I haven’t been blogging at all.  I’ve been busy, just not documenting it.  Tsk, tsk.  Shame on me!  But it’s 2014 and time to turn over a new leaf and get back at this blog.  Part of the issue has been that my DSLR has been on the fritz.  However, I finally got around to dropping it off at the repair shop so, with a little luck, I will be snapping all my creative pursuits soon.

My 2013 felting adventures were full and rewarding.  I taught several classes at BeadFX and I was back at Creativefest in the fall.  I am also the proud new owner of a proper studio space.  We pulled up our basement carpet and put down an awesome heated cork floor.  I appropriated half of the space and built myself a massive felting table.  It’s so nice to have a space where I can leave out my “mess” and store all my stuff within arm’s reach.  I really enjoy working there.  My goal for this year is to figure out a better light system.  The basement is above grade and there are two large windows, but I still need some brighter daylight-type light for those grey days.

I been working on refining my felted garment skills.  I’ve made a couple of lovely fitted vests and am getting ready to try my hand at a coat!


Felted Cuff Bracelet
A new workshop I’m offering for 2014 is my Felted Cuff Bracelet.  The January 25th class at BeadFX is Sold Out!  Yeah!  So we’ve added another date – April 12th.


I’ll be teaching a Felted Boho Bag class at BeadFX on March 22nd.

I’ll also be offering my Felted Vessel Class at a new location – ArteMbassy in Leaside – on February 21st.

And I promise to take photos at these classes.  Stay tuned!

Photos from Recent Workshops

I’ve been very remiss lately – not posting photos from my workshops.  It’s a shame as my students are always amazingly creative and produce pieces that deserve to be shown off!  The problem is my good camera has been a little temperamental, so I’ve just been snapping with my phone.  The phone pics don’t really do anyone or anything  justice.  That being said, I decided I needed to throw a few up here.  Just believe me when I say, these pieces are even more spectacular than they photograph.


In January, I taught a nuno-felt stole workshop.  The ladies went crazy with colour and produced some very wearable pieces. 


I hand-dyed pongee silk lengths in pre-selected colour ranges and the students laid merino roving on top to create a deliciously soft and cozy stole.


Everyone had a lot of fun with the silk and bamboo embellishments!



On Sunday, I worked with 8 lovely women at BeadFX to create felted ball beads.  Once they got the technique down there was no stopping them!  We used both wet-felting and needle felting to produce spherical beads that could be used to make a bracelet, a necklace, or earrings. 


I love this combination of blue and lime!


Stephanie made felted balls to co-ordinate with some lovely beads she picked up a the Tucson Bead Show.


These beads in brown, orange and yellow match perfectly with some semi-precious stones from the shop floor.


I loved this chunky take on felted beads.  This student made a string that can be worn as a bracelet or as a necklace – so innovative!


And finally, back in February I did a felted choker class at BeadFX and Carol was kind enough to send me a photo of her finished piece – so beautiful Carol!


Shibori Sample

I’ve been busy teaching classes over the past few weeks.

I had a wonderful group of women join me at Neilson Park to create Nuno-felt stoles. I pre-dyed the silk lengths in a colour of their choice and they produced some phenomenal pieces. I really need to get my camera issues sorted out and start taking some more photos during these classes!

This past weekend I taught the felted choker at BeadFX. I’m always inspired by the colour choices and combinations my students put together. They created some really beautiful wearable chokers. Well done ladies!

In an effort to lift myself out of my creative doldrums (I always find that I have no creative mojo in January and February – I wonder why that is?), I did a sample shibori felt piece on the weekend. I wasn’t ready to take on a big project just yet. But I did want to experiment with a technique that I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my art.


I started with a small square of undyed pongee silk.


After laying two thin layers of undyed merino and beginning the felting process, I borrowed some of my daughter’s marbles and used some cotton twine to tie them into place.  I faced the silk side upwards.


Into the dye bath they went…


…and came out a lovely variegated limey green.

At this point I popped them into the dryer with a couple of old towels and let them rattle around a bit.

IMG_6650 IMG_6649

And here is the lovely bubbles I ended up with.  I carefully cut away the twine and removed the marbles and the bubbles had felted quite securely into place.  I have some ideas for where I can take this technique – specifically with the wall hanging I’m going to be producing, in my felted jewelry.  I want to come up with some new workshop offerings for the fall, and success with this new technique has stimulated my imagination – stay tuned!



Bad Blogger, Bad!

felted ball braceletI’ve been very bad at keeping my blog up-to-date!  I can’t believe I haven’t added anything since November!  I was busy with my stall at the Arts Market and then Christmas was upon us… And what’s my excuse been since then?  Well, it’s January and it’s cold! Isn’t that excuse enough for almost anything and everything? 

In an effort to get back on track, I’ve updated my workshop page with the workshops I currently have scheduled for the winter and spring.  There are a couple of new offerings.  A felted ball bead Bracelet and a Cellini Spiral Beaded Necklace (not a a felting project, but a fun project just the same! 

I closed down my stall at the Arts Market jut before Christmas. It just wasn’t the right space for my work.  I need a place that can function both as a retail and studio space. So the search continues. 

I have a new project blossoming at the moment.  We recently installed a light fixture in our dining room and the hanging of it shifted everything off centre in the room.  The print we had on the wall just doesn’t work anymore so I’ve decided that that wall needs a large scale felt tapestry.  I’ve been mulling over the design for a couple of weeks and think I know what I want.  Now I just need to get seized by creative energy and get it started.  Stay tuned!


I survived Creativfest and I’m pooped!  

On Wednesday I had my TV appearance on Rogers Daytime Toronto, promoting the festival and doing a felting demo.  It was fun to get back into a TV studio again.  It’s been a few years!  But my latent skills made a reappearance and I think I did a pretty good job.  I’ve made arrangements to get a DVD copy and will post the segment here once I get my hands on it.

On Thursday I taught a day-long workshop on how to make felted vessels.  I had a roomful of creative and talented women from across Ontario and a few visiting from the US as well.  It was so exciting to watch their vessels take shape and enjoy the creative buzz in the room while they felted away.  My only regret is that I don’t have any photos to share.  My good camera is on the fritz (grrrr) and I kept meaning to snap a few with my phone but the light was not optimal so I probably would not have done their work justice.   One of my talented students has a blog of her own and posted pictures of her creation here.  Jo-Ann Woolverton is a very talented bead artist.  Her bead creations are stunning so I can’t wait to see how she bead-embellishes her vessel!  With a little luck some of the other students from the class will send me some photos of their finished vessels and I will post them for all to admire!

I really appreciated that several of the women took the time to compliment my teaching.  It means a lot to me to hear that people like my teaching style and feel at ease in my classroom.   It’s doubtful that I’ll ever head back into a highschool classroom in any formal way, but I really enjoy teaching, and especially enjoy teaching crafts and arts.  The students in my classes are as much of an inspiration to me as I am to them.  So thank you for your kind words and encouragement!

On Friday I ventured down to the exhibit hall with my mother and eldest sister.  Between the three of us, we kept the vendors mighty busy!  Just because I really need new projects and crafts (you know, I just have soooo much time on my hands for new pursuits ;-), I dove in and purchased a couple! 

I’m going to try my had at creating a scarf with thread on soluble paper.  The idea is that you stitch a grid to stabilize, then do a free form pattern, then soak the project and the paper dissolves away.  You’re left with a beautiful airy scarf.   

I also splurged and purchased a knitting kit from HPKY (Hand Painted Knitting Yarns).  It will be a beautiful fringed cape in variegated blues and greens.  It’s been ages since I did any serious knitting, but I managed to get the pattern started over the weekend and will try to make it my evening tv project as it is pretty basic knitting – just a lot of it!

On Saturday night I was off to the 25th anniversary Gala.  I had a piece in the Designer Style Challenge.  I was one of the finalists in the Fibre Arts and Surface Design category.  I wasn’t the winner in my category, but it was so wonderful to have my work recognized on a national scale.  I was so proud to see my scarflette modelled on the runway.  Again, no photos as I couldn’t get a good one from my seat.  But I was so honoured to be recognized alongside such incredible talent!

And now a day to re-group and rest, and try to get the house in order as I ignored it all last week!

Felted Flowers and my 20 minutes of Fame

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  I was busy, busy, busy – seems to be a theme for me lately. 

On Saturday I taught another great workshop at BeadFX in Scarborough.  5 lovely ladies joined me to create Felted Flower Brooches.  We had lots of fun choosing colours and playing with wool. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera (I’d forget my own head these days…), but I asked everyone to send me a photo of their finished product as I would love to see how they embellished them and post them here to show them off. 

It’s Creativefest week. So exciting!  I’m doing a TV spot tomorrow on Rogers Daytime at 10am (Wednesday the 10th) so tune in and watch my felting demo.  It’s been awhile since I was in front of the camera so here’s hoping I do okay 🙂

On Thursday I’ll be teaching my Felted Vessel Course.  There are still a couple of spaces left, so if you were thinking about taking a workshop at Creativefest, come and join us.  I have a tonne of great wool colours and we’re going to have a full day of felting fun!

Look for my felted scarflette, Azalea, on display at Creativefest as it is a semi-finalist in the Canada-wide Designer Style Challenge.  They will be collecting votes as part of the People’s Choice awards so make sure you fill out a ballot in my favour.  Awards will be given on Saturday at the Gala.  Keep your fingers crossed and I’ll report back as soon as I know the results! 



Open For Business


My space at the Arts Market in Leslieville is officially open!  I’m pleased with the way it came together.  The photo isn’t too hot as I quickly snapped it with my phone when I was dog-tired and ready to leave, but hopefully you’ll all go in and take a look in person sometime soon!  It’s a great retail concept – so many talented artists in there, and a great place to start your Christmas shopping!

I have another great workshop happening tomorrow at BeadFX in Scarborough – we’ll be creating felted flower brooches – another great idea for a handmade Christmas gift.  I think there are still one or two spaces available if you’re interested!


Grand Opening

Things have been so crazy busy!  Between organizing the Etobicoke Rugcrafters Gathering this past week, getting organized for up-coming classes and Creativefest, I also found out that a space opened up for me at the Arts Market in Leslieville.  That’s right, as of Thursday Heartfelt will be officially open for business.  So I’ve also been running around picking up paint and furniture with which to dress my space.  I’ll be there Wednesday afternoon painting and setting up and Thursday afternoon, merchandising and greeting.  If you’re in the area on either day, please pop in and say “hi.”  And pop in to check it out too – there are tonne of great artists represented in there and some great shopping to be had!

Ohio Workshop with Horst

I took the opportunity to off-load the kids on Nanny and Poppa and drive to Peninsula, Ohio for two days of felting with felt couture artist, Horst.  Horst produces colourful and distinctive felt garments that have won him international acclaim.  You can see his work on his website.  I was most interested in learning about his processes.  He is well-known for using a finishing sander to speed the felting process.  I also wanted to learn about how he designs his templates and how he uses acid dyes to achieve such incredible variegated colours.  I signed up for two workshops – the felted bag and the felted vest.

After sitting in line at the border for two hours, I finally made it to my hotel in Hudson, Ohio, nestled in between Cleveland and Akron.  The   upside of the location was its close proximity to lots of shopping.  I spent Sunday evening perusing some of my favourite American retailers… Loft, Kohl’s, Justice…

Day 1 was learning how to felt a Horst-style bag.  He is known for his flame and petal embellishments that adorn the exterior of the bags.

some of Horst’s bags lined up as examples

My bag freshly flipped and ready for side 2.

My pre-felt purse going into the dye pot…

Because the facility we were working at didn’t have a washer and dryer, we had to bring our pieces home to finish them off in our own washer and dryer.  My finished bag is a bit bigger than I would ideally like.  I think it’s because I have a front-loader without an agitator.  I’m going to try putting it through the process once more with some cut-up sections of pool noodle so that the bag has something to agitate against.  I haven’t photographed it yet as it is still a work in progress, but I promise to post a photo as soon as I get it where I want it to be.

Day 2 was the felted vest.  I was particularly interested in this workshop as I have never used a template to create a garment and it is a method I want to develop.

Some of Horst’s garments on display in the gallery.

The real work involved in felting a fitted garment is in the measuring and development of the template.  Horst shared some of his tried and true methods and I’m looking forward to applying them to the templates I create.  I think I might experiment with some kid-size vests to begin with until I have the method down.

Host helps out.

My vest design layed out smoothly.  Again, I chose to keep it simple and not embellish with flames or petals, just a simple flat-tie closure.  I decided to be a bit more brave with dye colour on day two and chose “Deep Orchid”  I was really pleased with the lovely violets and fushias it produced.

Again, I had to bring the vest home to finish in the washer and dryer.  This time I was quite pleased with the final result.  It shrunk the anticipated amount and fits perfectly.  It is definitely something I will wear!

My finished vest!