Now that it is July, I am done with my teaching job and have officially opened my own store!
The idea of the store began with the fact that Spain does not have as many fiber related craft stores as I would like it to. So seeing this as an opportunity I thought about what I would do or make to fill this gap. I thought about dyeing wool and making batts to sell to the future spinners of Spain. And while I am learning the ways of the dye pot and I hope to sell hand dyed fiber soon, I was really excited about an idea that came to me one day in February.
One of my, not so secret, passions is needle felting. One of my favorite ways to needle felt is by "painting" with the fiber on a flat surface. When I first started needle felting I really liked the idea of a fiber painting for my wall. A piece of art that showcases both my skill and my love of wool. I am a completely self-taught needle-felter so when I first started painting with fiber I did not really know what I was doing. I found out that the flat technique takes less wool than sculpting with wool does, and it is easy to move and change position and thickness of the wool, i.e. it is hard to make mistakes that are not easily fixed. One day (May 2010) it occurred to me that I could felt with yarn too. From there it was only a matter of time before I thought of using black yarn between brilliant patches of brightly colored felt and making something that seemed like stained glass or a mosaic.
I made this:
Fast forward to February 2013 where I am thinking what products to sell in my future shop. What would people want? Maybe there is a kit that I could offer that no one else has?
I got out a Sharpie and some colored pencils and I set to work making three designs:
I pulled out my drumcarder and set to work creating the colors. All of the colors include lowlight, a highlight and, maybe, an unexpected complementary to really make the colors glow. I needed to capture the glowing/streaked look of stained glass.
I did the first test piece to make sure that the colors complemented each other, and the whole design really came through.
Maybe you had noticed from the color pencil mock-up of the Poinsettia above that the original colors I chose for the "frame" did not work. It is the dark blue-brown that I chose for the frame here that really makes the red of the flower "pop".
Next came the instruction booklet. I wrote it up and sent it to some lovely testers, some of whom had never needle felted before. I had great feedback. The instructions have been tested, tech edited and is also available in Spanish!
|Robin on a Branch|
The next part was sourcing my materials for the kit. All of the materials for the painting are 100% wool. The background felt I was even able to source here in Madrid. The creation of the kit took some time and creativity. The hardest part was figuring how to stencil my design on the background! Also black non-superwash wool is surprisingly hard to find in Europe.
Finally my boxes arrived and the kits are ready to go.
One of my testers had a ton of ideas for more designs, and I recently finished two more based on her suggestions.
If you want to, you can follow my new store on Facebook where I share my process as well as other needle felting tips I find.
I have not forgotten about more pictures form Ávila, those will come soon.