Finishing the Tree

I worked on the umbrella tree for the last two days and it’s about finished. I need to decide if it needs a few more details such as moss and what I’m doing on the very top of the umbrella. I got the poem stitched to the trunk and the nuno felt is stitched down to the umbrella ribs. 

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI placed the poem on the trunk and pinned it in place. Then I stitched it on by hand. This took a while. 

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHere you can see it stitched down. It definitely adds some texture and looks vaguely like writing but I don’t think most people would see that unless you told them.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThese photos are not very good but I think you can see what the trunk looks like with the stitching on it. 

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here is the umbrella covering stitched on. Can you see at the very top of the photo that there is a little silver umbrella top? I am trying to decide if I want to have that on the top of the tree or not. It reminds you that it is an umbrella. But I can’t decide. What do you think? I am going to work on the last few details and then get some decent photos taken. I need good photos to send in for the judging process of the exhibition. But I’ll post a good photo here so you can see how it turns out.







A Little More Groundwork

I have been continuing to work on my Shelter exhibition umbrella tree. I finished the ground and the roots. Most of the ground was fairly flat so I wanted to add a bit more dimension. I thought about using raw wool to pad underneath but I was being stingy and didn’t want to use it all up. So instead, I used some really soft wool sweaters that I had originally gotten at the thrift store to make wool flower pins. They were too soft for that but would be perfect to pad underneath the ground felt.

tree paddingIn this photo, you can see the rolled up pieces of sweater on the bottom of the felt. I just rolled it up and needle felted a little to hold the shape. Then I needled the ground felt down to the sweater pieces.

gopher hole paddingHere you can see a little round bump I made. Can you guess what it’s for?

padded rockHere you can see how the surface now has more lumps and bumps to represent rocks etc. I then glued the ground felt down to hold it in place on the wood base.

gopher holeThe round bump turned into a critter hole. There was already a hole in the felt so I decided that the ground critters might need a little shelter too!

ground and roots completedHere, you can see what the ground looks like from above. I worked more on the roots as well, tacking them down and adding some texture with the felting needle.

close up rocks and rootsI really love how the roots came out. They look quite realistic in with the rocks and ground felt. I haven’t decided if I should add more details such as moss or just leave it. I don’t want to overwork it or make it “cutesy”. So there won’t be an animal popping its head out of the hole.

stitched poem on soluble fabric

Next, I wanted to add more texture to the tree trunk and I wanted to incorporate the tree poem inspiration into the piece. You can read the poem on my recent post at the Felting and Fiber Studio.  I used soluble fabric, put it into a hoop and stitched the poem in dark brown thread. I only messed up one word but as you’ll see in a minute, it didn’t really matter.

poem lines before dissolvingNext I cut all the lines of the poem apart and soaked them in water.

stitched poem dryingAnd this is the result. Stitching that vaguely looks like writing but you can’t really read it. Perfect for adding texture to my tree trunk. Now I just have to attach the lines of poetry. I will most likely stitch them on but I haven’t tried it yet. I could always glue them but I thought stitching would hold better.

Dennis and I did get started building the yurt frame. There will be a post tomorrow on the Felting and Fiber Studio if you’d like to see how the yurt is progressing. I’m off to LaConner, Washington next week for Level 1 Color Studies class at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts. I’m looking forward to it, I love being able to spend 5 full days immersed in creativity.