Category Archives: shop talk

Merry Xmas and/or Happy Holidays

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Wishing all my readers and customers and peaceful and happy period over the coming Xmas period.

I will be taking a complete break from selling for the next couple of weeks, and so have just taken down all my listings from both ebay and etsy, and hope I will not be inconveniencing anyone!

I will let you know when the listings go back up again!

 

all the best

julz signature

Make Your Own Silk Paper – The Ironing Method

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DSCF1868Its actually very easy to make paper out of silk, and you can get some beautiful results very quickly if you use the Ironing Method.

I tried out a few variations, and made a few mistakes, and I would suggest that you work on the trial and error method too, and work out what you prefer.

There are various uses for this handmade silk paper, and you can make is as thin or thick as you like.  Thick paper can be used for book covers and even writing paper, and can be painted or embellished and embroidered after its dry, and cut to any size you want.

The thin paper is great to add to any art textile design piece, and is especially dramatic as a window within a greetings card.   You can also make beads by rolling strips of the paper and varnishing them – so I hope this gives you some ideas for xmas gifts!

You will need:

IMG_2605silk cocoon strippings (unwashed and still containing the natural gum, that the silkworms used to make the cocoons, which is what makes this method possible)

and/or

 

throwsters wastesilk throwsters waste (again unwashed – this comes in white or various colours)

 

 

silk hankies

matawa silk hankies (these are unwrapped cocoons spread out into hemmed squares – see my post on silk worms)

other odds and ends to add in when you are making the paper, such as bits of silk carrier rods, cut silk fibres, pieces of silk lap, washed throwsters waste, glitter, small beads or anything else that takes your fancy!

an iron and board or table

non stick greaseproof baking paper – must be non stick otherwise you won’t be able to peel the paper off

small spray bottle filled with ordinary water

A4 pack with everything you need - £9.99

A4 pack with everything you need – £9.99

I have put together a pack with the basics for you…depending of what size you make, it should be enough for 5- 20 pieces.

You can either buy this direct – see here – or you can find the listings for it on etsy – here, and on ebay – here.A6 silk sample pack_Fotor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

DSCF1844Cut two pieces of the baking paper and lay one on your ironing surface, then pull out strands of the silk cocoon strippings and lay in a thin rough circle or square on top of the baking paper.

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF1847Then spray with water and place the other sheet of baking paper on top and iron the sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF1845Lift the top paper and add some more silk strippings, and repeat as above.  You can continue this process until you get the thickness you want – or you can …..

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF1866….. add one thin silk hankie on top of the ironed silk, then another thin layer of the silk strippings, spray and iron.  The silk hankie does not contain gum so you need to add the strippings to fuse them.

 

 

 

 

 

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The idea of using the silk hankie is to give a thin net that will allow you to keep some gaps in the finished paper.  Lift the piece up and see if you want to add some more silk strippings.  The paper will still be wet so work carefully.

 

 

 

 

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Once you are happy with the piece of paper you have made, pull it off the bottom baking sheet and allow to dry.  You will find you have made a very thin sheet of stable paper.  The edges of the hankie will need to be cut off, as they will probably not have been stabilised.

Please note, when experimenting, you need to balance the thicknesses on each side of the hankie, and if you decide to add another one, you can.  Silk hankies can be dyed before you use them and will add some lovely colours to your paper.

 

DSCF1854You don’t need to use the silk hankies – this is another version where I tried adding some white silk throwsters waste, a little washed dyed silk throwsters waste and some coloured glitter.

 

 

 

 

DSCF1860I wasn’t sure I liked it all that much, but its just to give you some ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is the finished dried piece.  Its a lot thicker than the first piece, and you need to fill all the gaps before you dry it!

 

If you would like to share your pictures of the paper you make, I will be happy to put them up on another post so that others can see them and get inspiration!  Please email them to me referencing “the ironing method’.  If you don’t have my email address, please use the CONTACT ME page.

 

To make things a bit clearer, you might like to watch this video I found on U-tube!

Some pictures of Silk Worms making Silk

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silkworm and cocoon

silkworm and cocoon

As you will know, if you follow my blog, I LOVE SILK!  Not just the finished silk fabric, but the raw silk yarns & fibres, and the cheaper bits like cocoon strippings and throwsters waste.  You can find some pictures of these in a previous post – and if you go to my etsy shop or julz craft supplies on ebay, you will find most of these, and other items on sale!

I came across this post about how silk worms make silk, with amazing pictures of the silk worms and their progress – it comes from Dona at Creative Country Life and you can find the original HERE.  Dona has kindly given me permission to copy this for you.

I am planning a series of ‘tutorials’ about using some of these, especially to make your own SILK PAPER but I thought you really must see this post first – it contains an explanation of how silk ‘hankies’ are made.


Raising Silk Worms!

They say that interesting people have interesting friends. I must be pretty interesting, if you go by that!

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Take a look at what one of my friends has been up to!

She’s been raising Silk Worms! I’m so jealous…

Now mind you this is not a large scale adventure. She just wants enough silk to make some Hankies for spinning. A Hankie is the form silk is generally accepted in for Hand Spinning into yarn.

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The problem is, even at a small scale, they go through a tremendous amount of Mulberry Leaves each day.

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Handfuls and handfuls of fresh Mulberry Leaves EVERY day. Naturally it is important to have easy access to a tree. And of course what goes in, must come out… So they need to be cleaned as well.

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The commitment is not a very long one. Only about 5-7 weeks. Before long they will begin to spin. Simple toilet paper tubes or egg cartons provide the perfect, cozy spot for the worms to spin their cocoons.

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One by one at first, then several at a time until everybody is neatly stowed away.

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But seriously. How cool is this??

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Soon there is nothing left but cocoons.

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But then comes D-Day…

The cocoons are… well, roasted in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes. I know, sounds rather harsh after caring for them so carefully. But the thing to remember is that if the moth is allowed to emerge, they are doomed to die shortly after. They do not eat or fly. They simply mate, lay eggs and die. Now that’s harsh!

The next step is to simmer the cocoons in soapy water. This removes all the gummy stuff that holds them together. The carcass must be removed and then the silk is spread out on a frame about the size of a handkerchief (hence the name Hankies).

Then they are ready for spinning or dyeing. I hope to have some photos of that process to share with you soon.

As for me – I need to find a Mulberry Tree!

Christmas Fabrics are now in stock and listed on ebay & etsy

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Harking back to my post of 21 August when I first mentioned the word CHRISTMAS for the first time this year – I have now taken delivery of the first orders of all the Christmas & Seasonal Fabrics I chose with great care – smile!

Christmas is still a good couple of months away, and altho’ thank goodness, the hype hasn’t yet started on the media, as at least some of you will be thinking of making your own personally styled gifts,  this is the time to start planning what you want to make.

I hope what I have chosen suits your tastes as well as mine!

So this is the range – they are all 100% cotton, some are a little wider than the general 45″/110 cm, and they are available by the metre, half metre and fat quarters.  I have also created a special variation to allow you to get a 6″ strip of the full width to use as a matching embellishment for say, christmas stockings, and other small gifts.

You can find them, and the quilting kits below, in the fabrics section of my etsy shop – HERE, and the fabrics section of julzcraftsupplies on ebay – HERE.

Also new in are three designs of these quality quilting kits – buy them to make yourself – or give as gifts!

3 popular quilting kits

3 popular quilting kits

Julz Craft Supplies & julzcraftsupplies & julzweaving – changes to my ebay accounts

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scarfcopysI have been doing a bit of re-organisation during the last month or so, and changing round my ebay listings –

so thought I’d let you know what changes I have made, as they might be a bit confusing for my customers – and I don’t want to lose you!

When I started this blog several years ago, it was actually called Julz Spinning and Weaving Club, and was really just a place for my customers to find out a bit more about what I stocked.  The blog changed radically from January of this year, when I did the online blogging101 course and I learnt how to use the range of possibilities that blogging can give you!  The background used to be a tiled version of the pink woven scarf I made ages ago – smile – but a lot of people on the course thought it was a bit fussy as a background, so I changed to the current look!

You might not have noticed, that I have just subtly changed the header – it used to say Julz Crafts and was a bit clunky!

So from now on, its Julz Craft Supplies – a name I have always used for my etsy account – this is the banner I am using for my shop on etsy – if you click on the banner it will take you there.

new etsy banner

I had a long standing business account on ebay (called 85solway), but hadn’t used it for a while, so I opened a new account last year, which I called  julzweaving – a bit more relevant for what I intended to sell!

Things have gone really well on julzweaving – but there was a problem – it was a private account – which meant that I had 20 free listings a month – great! – but at the same time – it was treated as a new account and I was only allowed to list  a set amount of items a month!

This has been getting more and more of a nuisance, and you might have noticed that I have had to constantly add or subtract the number of say, cones of warping yarns I have to sell, when I actually have 20, I’ve only been able to list 4!  They gave me the maximum amount of items allowed on a private account – BUT  I have been juggling with it for months now!

I was just about to change julzweaving into a business account, so I could list more items, when I found out that it was easy to change the name of my old account – 85solway – to julzcraftsupplies!  It literally took me 2 minutes – I’ve had that account since 2004 and I’d never realised I could change the name!

SO – I AM SLOWLY MOVING THE LISTINGS

FROM JULZWEAVING TO JULZCRAFTSUPPLIES!

(Clicking on the names of the accounts will take you to them)

As the listings expire on julzweaving, I will be moving them over to julzcraftsupplies – which allows me to list as many items as I want and the full amount of stock I have of each!  (Many of these are also available in the etsy shop)

I will not be closing the julzweaving account, and I’m sure I’ll be using my free listings there – maybe for auction listings so you can get a bargain – maybe for just personal items I want to sell – but just at the moment, both sites are stocking my craft supplies – and I’m sorry if I am confusing my buyers – but unless I mention it on the actual listings – there is no way on ebay itself, to let you know that they have moved!

COMING SOON – CHRISTMAS FABRICS FOR YOU TO

MAKE XMAS STOCKINGS, GIFTS ETC – AND …..

On julzcraftsupplies – I have re-stocked with both standard and mini hand carders for spinners and also got a new lot of carding cloth in for those of you who would like to make your own BLENDING BOARD.  Instructions are given on the listing – and this time I have not only 13″ lengths, but also 18″ lengths, which give you more scope for producing interesting rolags.

stainless steel carding cloth

stainless steel carding cloth

pair of standard hand carders - 72 pt

pair of standard hand carders – 72 pt

pair of mini hand carders

pair of mini hand carders

my new “around the world” archive page

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I have just added a new page – have a look!

all the relevant posts that have been published are listed in date order

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An Archive of Posts from Around the World

I have readers all over the world – how do I know? – because WordPress has a very good stats system and I can see where you all come from!  It always amazes me how you find me!

In addition, when its working, the ClustrMap widget gives me even more information – for example in the period from 31 March – 20 July there were 968 US visitors and only 659 visitors from the UK!

Other visitors came from almost every country around the world – including, in no particular order-  Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Kuwait, Thailand, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Russia, China, Japan and every country in Europe.

If you want to check this, the widget is at the very end of the “blog roll” on the right hand side of this page.  Just click on it!

You can also get for your own blog – just follow the instructions given on their site.

I occasionally post articles I find about crafting subjects from countries around the world and thought it might be useful to create a special archive page to collect them together for you.

NB;  I SELL AROUND THE WORLD TOO!  You can find me on these sites – julz craft supplies on etsy –julzcraftsupplies on ebay and julzweaving on ebay.  You are also welcome to BUY DIRECT – PLEASE CONTACT ME through this blog by clicking on the red links in this paragraph!