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Little Pots for Air Plants

What I’ve been working on!

I have been enjoying making small pots for plants.  I started making them for succulents, but recently switched to air plants — much easier to take to shows with me.

air plants in recycled wool pot Air Plants in Wool pots 3

 

Wool Dryer Balls

Here’s a pretty picture of the dryer balls that I make.
You can order them in my ETSY shop or make arrangements to pick them up.

Dryer Balls from repurposed wool

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Yarn Con – Intro to making with wool sweaters

Sweater Hoarders

Saturday April 2, 2016 2PM to 2:50PM

You’ve been hoarding sweaters for a while and still haven’t started that first felting project.  Let me show you some of the things that I have made, types of sweaters I use, how I make felt and get you started on your stash.

pile of sweaters

See YarnCon for details and to register.

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The Making of a Mannequin – DIY Photo Shoot

Of all the things that I do as a fiber artist and  independent small business owner, the one that has frustrated me most over the years is taking photos of my work.

Mostly I struggle with lighting and the right props.  My studio has poor lighting in general and not much natural light which is best for photos.   I try to take the photos outside but that is easier with smaller objects than scarves.  Learn how to adjust the white balance in your camera settings.  This can improve your photos a lot!

This year I made a flat mannequin out of a cardboard box.  It works fairly well and I love that I recycled something to make it!

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Recently I decided that I wanted to be able to change the color of the mannequin to white or black,  so I purchased some poster board and cut out the same thing but made the body longer, so  that I could use it for longer scarves.    For this shoot I poked a hole in the top of the mannequin so that I could hang it from a ceiling hook in front of a white wall.  I attached the poster board with binder clips, which you can see in the photo.

mannequin set up2

A little editting and here’s the money shot! Not too bad!

Red scarf
You can see some of the results of my lastest photo shoot soon in my Etsy Shop.

 

 

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5 Day Facebook Artist Challenge – Day 1

Flower Pins
Flower Pins

I was nominated to participate in the 5 day art challenge on Facebook, by my friend Luz of Cocomocha Studios

Around 2006 I first started reclaiming sweaters into functional accessories.  I have made many types of flowers over the years here are a few.

 

 

 

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Down the Rabbit Hole….

Day 4 of my self-imposed challenge to do something new/creative each morning.

Pinch Penny Change Purse

I recently lost another change purse, that makes two in  less than a year.  So I decided to work on another change purse for myself but with a different design.

Several years ago I purchased this purse frame at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, so it seemed the right time to give it a whirl.

Sew in Purse Frame

I did a little bit of research to see what purses made this way should look like and thought that Bag’n-telle has some good instructions.

So my plunge down the rabbit hole started with material selection.  My first thought was felt, of course, then I explored suiting, then leather and even briefly considered some of the linen or cotton fabric I recently scored at Zero Landfill Chicago.  

Change Purse

So to make a long story short…

— I didn’t consult the instructions that I found

— I didn’t measure very accurately

— I didn’t measure and line up the leather I appliqued on top of the felt.

 

So after partially sewing in the frame I could see that it wasn’t going to fit.

I don’t usually give up (I did rip out my sewing three times) but do feel like I am headfirst down the rabbit hole and no bottom in sight!  If I decide to keep  plunging down this rabbit hole, I’ll let you know tomorrow.

[fruitful_sep]

Not needing another UFO, I used a magnetic snap to create an envelope top (so the change won’t fall out).  Not so bad.  I hope all the handmade things I lose find someone to love them!

change purse with magnetic snap

 

 

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Day 3: How to make Felt Buttons from #recycledsweaters

Day three of my creative challenge started off a little bit differently with almost two feet of snow to shovel, so I didn’t get to my creative project right away….and almost forgot to do it!

Maggie Joyce Recycled Optical Lens Button

I have an idea for a neckwarmer that I think needs a button.  I immediately thought about using some of these fabulous buttons made from recycled optical lenses and I do think they might work beautifully, but somehow I got to thinking about felt buttons.

Since I have lots of little pieces of felt laying around, I started imagining a thickly felted wool button, with different colored layers that show at the edges.

 

Felt Button Recycled Wool 3

But instead I made a stack of offset circles of felt without button holes.

So this isn’t really a brand new creation for me, because I have made buttons like this before and used them to make wearable pins.  But I had never thought about using them as actual buttons…so that’s the creative challenge for today!

Felt Button Recycled Wool 2

 

 

I think the next time, I might try to add button holes and also try a stack of circles all the same size or adding the blanket stitch on the edges.

 

Can’t wait to show you the completed project!

 

Felted wool button from recycled sweaters

 

 

Here’s how I make a felt button or pin.

Cut three or four pieces of wool into squares bigger than the finished size desired.  I usually start with 4″ squares.  Because I am using scraps I cannot always get them that big, so I will also try with 3″ and 2″ squares.

I stack them in the order I want them and sew them together, down the middle with a sturdy stitch.

Felt them in a washing machine.

Trim them up into circles.

Hand or machine sew them depending on how tightly I would like them to stay together.

Add a button in the center if desired and a pinback.  Or you can sew them directly to your project.

Here are some examples of pins I have made in the past.

Thanks for stopping by!

wool button recycled sweater