Friday, October 28, 2011

Balance of quality time with loved ones.

Since years ago I indulged with fabric art/crafts. Crazy about wool felt, eco-print then cross over. The more I interact with bloggers the more fun I find to share. Almost every weekend I bury deep myself in exploration (pretty word is "creation" , haha....~.~). I ask myself if I’ve spent quality time with my mother? I'm a full time working mum. No matter how I’m engaged I will see her in weekend morning either have breakfast or lunch then sometimes followed by a walk along the river bank in her place. She’s very considerate and knows well I’m “busy” with my hobbies and said “Oh, it's not necessary to see me so often, I'm fine and a chat on phone is alright. ”
This day mother and I passed by the Central Park we saw these eucalyptus trees. I told her I use the leaves and barks to make eco prints on fabrics. One day after strong wind we know there may have some branches fallen down. We went together to the park again and found these fresh branches. She helped me picked some from gound. Just like harvest we got a bundle. Then we had a light lunch in a Vietnam restaurant. We find this is a quality time. Another chance to do experiment again.

I laid the leaves on a silk fabric, wrapped it and tied it then steamed for 30-min and left it for some time.

Unwrapped it.

Mogi, my helper also spares his quality time with me, said " Hummmm, very pleasant fragrance, let me check how it looks. Ummmm, not quite good. Not bright or bold. Should try again"

Yes, this is not quite up to my expection, though I intended to unwrap it after 3 days. This sorts of eucalyptus leaves I picked from the park give blurred prints. I'll do some rust with it to have another look.

These bright prints are onion skin and the eucalyptus leaves I bought from florist. It look prettier.

My mother is persistent and very independent. She’s in her 80s and quite healthy to take good care of her routine and household. She’s very neat and tidy. She appreciates nature. Fallen petals or flowers are pity to step on. She picked some and put on the table.

Last year she picked these pine cones and gave me. I hang on the pine tree in my balcony. It's life of nature. Loving it, loving her.

Recently she’s baptized. I gave her my wool felt hanging with 4 sheep (sibling of us) – sheep has special means in Bible. It's hang on the door under the cross. Wish her every day is blessing day. Let's cherish our loved ones around us.

May God bless you ALL.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A bag of pretty memory 九重葛的回憶

Purple, pink and black is the combination I love to do with wool felt. Today I finished this nuno felt bag. Just wanted to take some outside pictures. Coincidentally found the path lined with brushes of bougainvillea - this purple flowers are eye-catching. 一個剛完成的羊毛手袋帶給我多年前希臘之回憶. 九重葛(又名勒杜鵑花) 是島上襯托著小白屋最漂亮的花卉.
Now that we're into fall, leaves are not yet much turned to yellow or fallen instead this sort of flowers are blooming.

Flowers not only lined the path, also in the beach.
This is the bay I usually take pictures with my items. Dusk is romantic.
This pot of bougainvillea just reminded me my days in Greece years ago with hubby. Islands of Greece are mostly rough mountains but this kind of flowers are blooming. Always such a very pretty view with the white houses in Greece.

Our winter is short but quite chilly at times. Forecast we'll have a rather freezing time this year. So I'll make a few more wool felt bags with different style and textures. This one the strap is detachable.

Materials are merino wool, mulberry silk, Wensleydale fleece and my own dyed chiffon scraps for the flowers.

Love the color - outstanding with white. Thought this is good for casual as well for night.

Linking with Creative Princess

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Rust print learnt from error 錯誤中學習的技巧

We're into fall and it's getting cool. Time to make a cape with wool. I used the nuno felt skill with chiffon as a base and the collar with my own made rusted print on silk. However I found wool felt with rusted print silk is not that easy. This is not a perfect cape but good to share what to avoid. I'll show what's wrong with it in the bottom. The cape looks good from front to back at the first sight.
Materials I used were silk, chiffon, mulberry silk, merino wool and fleece. During the making process the smell of "sheep" was wonderful with the raw fleece given by Kim whom I visited this April. She's so kind to have given me lots of these brown & white fleece. They are fastastic and the texture is apparent.

I laid wool over a chiffon and tore a strip of my rusted silk fabric intended to make the collar a special texture.

I did with plant dyed silk felted easily before but this time I made it with rusted fabric I found wool was hard to entangle. I needed quite some energy to rub. It's done but not quite "fixed well". See the pictures comparison above, the upper collar I put wool on both in & out just to let it entangle more. After agitation taken off some wool in the inner color to show the texture. Normally it doen't need to lay on both sides.

I surfed internet about rusted fabric got the Q&A from K Baxter Packwood
"The rust, when oxidizing, is to some extent, creating a layer of metal oxide onto the fabric. If fabric has a tight dense weave this layer of metal oxide is denser as well, making it difficult to needle."

No wonder my collar was not well felted.

Anyway I managed to make a cape with own made ceramic button for myself. (not a perfect one for a giveaway).

One piece looks like a moth.

A handy wrap in autumn.

The light and texture of raw fleece is my favour. Thanks Kim.
Learnt from trial and error, I'll do another wool cape with my eco-printed fabric. Hopefully to do a reversable one with different textures.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ladder of success 煥然一新的梯子

My apartment has just done a big renovation and I've also finished the home interior re-painting. The contractor left us a wooden ladder which they usually dispose it after work. I thought it's worth to redo it and save the earth by upcycling everything to last longer. 家居剛完成大廈工程, 工人留下給我們一張木梯, 通常這類梯子用完便當費料處理, 我覺得可惜及浪費. 於是做一些加工保留再用.

On a cool Sunday, hubby asked "what's up?". He was afraid I may have done some graffiti on the building external wall. I said no panic I just used the leftover paints to paint the ladder. 星期天我在平台開始我的"工程" , 老公生怕我又在外牆上塗鴉, 我說別慌我祗是做自己的事為梯子美化. It's very easy to do it as no need to sand it. I painted twice coating.After blue paint I drew some leaves then decoupaged with birds and betttles. 塗上油漆後, 晝上葉子, 加上雀鳥及甲蟲拚貼, 很簡單完成了.
Mogi is always a Qualiy Controller. He inspected it with thumbs up.
Mogi 驗貨, 我可收工了.

It's a stand to show my eco-print scarf. 就此完成一件可作陳列的架子.

Can't believe I've done some scarves with eco-print & dyeing.

A stand also good for plant hanging. It's my bit to save the earth by remaking whatever I can. 作為花架也不錯吧. 總算為環保出一點力.

Linking with Freestyle Friday

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Monday, October 10, 2011

In a breezy day 隨風搖曳

This chiffon scarf was made of eco dye with eucalyptus leaves. My second trial to use this sort of leaves.這是我的第二次嘗試用桉樹葉做的植物印染.
Just love the effect of this bright and solid red. Can't stop to do more and more. This piece is specially for Amy - my very good classmate since in high school. We cherish each other. Last Tue we catched up and went to Ma Wan for a walk. 很喜愛這鮮艷亮麗的效果, 這是特別送給 Amy 的. Amy 是自我初中時的好同學好朋友, 我們不時聚舊, 談工作, 說家庭瑣事. 上星期我們即興去馬灣溜灘頭吃午飯, 看看今日島上柏麗灣的環境.
Aerial view of Ma Wan with bridges linked to the airport.

Ma Wan (click to read the history) is an island in the southeast of Hong Kong. Before 1995 it was a fishing village with a population of about 800. Now is a private housing estate, villagers are rehoused with developer's compensated package on the island. Only stilt houses with fish raising and a few ruins. There're always controversal topics between conservertory and redevelopment.
在90年中馬灣仍是一個有 800多人口的漁村, 隨著地產商大力發展私人樓宇, 漁民遷入發展商興建劃一的平房, 看來居住有所改善. 現在海邊祗有少數養魚排及島上天后廟原整保存. 舊有村落的保育或私人地產發展項目近年成為爭議性的議題. In the breezy afternoon, we strolled along the sea front then had lunch in a Thai restaurant. 和風下在灘頭的泰國餐廳吃午飯.
Yummy dishes of green curry with garlic bread and fried chicken curry noodle.

We opened the chatter box, talked about work, about family and endless trivial things..... Ah, with our Nuno doll listening to us..... ~.~ .

After the relaxing time, we called it a day and headed to the floral market to buy some plants. I was elated to have found some eucalyptus leaves at a bargain price. I know this sort can make bright color. I told Amy if I'm succeeded I'll do a scarf with this eco-print for her. 離開馬灣我們往花虛買花, 無意中見到這種桉樹葉, 我從網上知道這是有鮮明效果的印染, 當然要買回家. 我說如果成功的話, 我會做一塊絲巾給 Amy.

Can't believe these green leaves can give such amazing bold prints. The leftover is in the corner for decoration.

I also bought some plant and hang it in my balcony now. Amy bought some roses. Thought Amy's roses were blooming. I'm happy to see my plants thriving.

When I back home I immediately done with my "hunt". I first soaked the chiffon in diluted vinegar for a minute then put the eucalyptus leaves over the chiffon, the brown branches were eucalyptus barks I picked from a park weeks ago. I laid the composition like this. 就是這樣把葉排好, 放在預先浸過稀釋醋, 以電鍋蒸30分鐘, 待一晚拆開.

Bundled it and steamed in a cooker for about 30-min. Stayed in the pot overnight.

Unwrapped it and hung it dry in air.

I felted with merino wool on both ends. Here's the pretty scarf. I'm quite satisfied with this soft and bright look.

Nowadays with the mass production, we can get wearables at cheap price. I still like to hand make presents to good friends. I enjoy the moment of making special things with heart and love. I also find it looks like Japanese style prints. Amy, I know you have passion of Japan. Hope you'll love this. 很鮮艷的顏色, 我的鋪排正是想要好像日本花卉的效果. Amy, 我知你鍾情日本, 希望你喜歡我這份親手製作的絲巾.

Comparion of laying, unwrapping and the real prints.
Wondering why the green leaves can do the so bright and bold prints. I've to dig and explore. 很奇妙, 何以青綠的葉子會做出鮮紅的所染 ?! 我要發掘發掘.

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