Khalil Gibran Felt Journal Page

Photo by Trevor Wilson on Unsplash

Photo by Trevor Wilson on Unsplash

I've been wanting to do something with that quote, which I've loved from time immemorial. I planned it, literally wrote it in my planner as an idea.

And then this happened:

That's my daughter, doing what she loves best. Running. Bare feet kissing the Earth, and wind playing with her hair. And that's when I knew it was right.

Funny how things often happen at the right moment right when you need them. That seems to have been the case with me and my art journals... I'll have an idea I'm working out in my head, and then universe then presents itself in a way that makes it click. It has to work that way for me, otherwise I'm not feeling it. 

These felt journal pages are more than just something pretty or fun or working out a technique, but it's hard to put into words exactly what they are. An extension of my soul?

There is something I was testing with this page, and that was if I could do a felt page entirely on my felting machine (well, the background anyway). Until now I've used either purchased felt or wet felted by me. I was pretty sure the answer would be yes - after all that's how commercial felt is made these days. But on a little felting machine with a 5 needle punch? 

I first started by laying out my background on my blending board. This, by far, has been one of my favorite ways to do it now, because I feel I have more control over the layout, and the blending brush helps to smush it all together so I could easily peel the layer off and transfer it to my felting machine. 

blending board layout

I wasn't too concerned about making sure the layers were all criss-crossing, as I've noticed that is not as important with the felting machine as it is with wet felting. Well, that, and the fact that I use batting. Batting is wonderful! I kept it fairly thin though, two layers tops, and lots of very very very fine wisps of colors to get the right blend. I was pretty sure that, unlike wet felting, you won't be getting the background colors blending through the top unless you were to flip it over and felt from the other side. So I did that. 

using felting machine to make felt

Overall the process went well, and very quickly at that. No needle breakages either, despite the fact that I was going full speed once I got all the fluff punched down. I did wider paths in the beginning to make sure it was all tied together, and then went back over it a few times, including flipping it over to get it from the back.

rolling the edges

The blending board method doesn't exactly give you nice, clean edges, so I didn't punch all the way to the edge. Once I was done with the main bit, I took the edges, rolled them under and went over those. That gave me more of a finished edge much like you'd get with a wet felted piece.

completed background

And here it is, the finished piece. So one thing you don't worry about as much with using the felting machine method is shrinkage. I know it looks smaller than the board, but don't forget I rolled the edges under to give it a clean finish. That is not from shrinkage itself, more like cropping. Now, time to plan the actual image. Since my daughter is a living example of Khalil Gibran's quote, I wanted to use her image in my felt page. I decided I would do a silhouette. To make it easier, I thought I'd try to plan it out in Photoshop first (though this step is completely unnecessary - if you have it might as well try it). The added benefit of using this method is I got the chance to play around with the placement and size of the silhouette (and decide if I wanted to add other elements, like flying birds).

felt journal page layout idea

I couldn't decide between the dark teal or purple for the silhouettes, so I blended a few colors together (two shades of purple, the dark teal and a touch of blue) to get the color I wanted. Also, I kept going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to add the quote. And, who knows, maybe someday I'll revisit it if inspiration strikes, but for now I'm quite happy with how it turned out. It definitely gives me the same feeling of happiness in my soul the way the quote does. 

khalil gibran felt page

Felt journal prompt: Is there a quote dear to your heart? What's your spin on it? How does it make you feel?