• It's been awhile...

    It has been a productive and rewarding year for me; however, I have neglected my blog. Here is what has been going on since my last post and what is forthcoming from Andrea LeBeau Designs. First, I have been traveling... A LOT. Doing the art show circuit has been rewarding and exhausting. But the most exciting part has been seeing my customers in person. I have attended shows in Cincinnati, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, Memphis, and several closer to home in Illinois. During this time, I also received several honors, including best fiber artist at two shows. This recognition is a great honor, especially since there are so many talented artists in attendance. I have also found time to explore the possibility of new product lines. One product I have taken great pleasure in developing are dresses made Read More
  • Different Varieties of Wools

    Do you own anything made of wool? Perhaps you have a sweater, or maybe a throw? And do you know the difference among various types of wool – sheep wool, merino, angora and alpaca wools? What qualities does every sort of wool have and why prices are different? Read further and find out more about different wools! Wool is the fiber that grows on the body of a certain animal – sheep, goat, camel, rabbit etc. It replenishes itself each time the animal is sheared and continues to grow throughout its lifetime. It is also the word we usually use when we talk about fabrics that are made out of fleece of these animals. Each type of fleece is different and therefore every wool fabric has its own properties. Types of wool (most popular) Sheep’s Wool - It is traditional wool Read More
  • How to Make Wet Felted Round Balls

    Follow these easy steps to make wet felted round balls. Start with a narrow wisp of fleece about 10 cm long. Wrap it around your finger tip as if winding a ball of yarn with your fingers, changing direction as you go along, adding more layers until approx 2cm across (you can add more layers for bigger balls). Make sure that the end fibers are spread evenly around the outside of the ball. Roll softly between the palms of your hands before dipping the ball into warm soapy water to wet the fibers through. Roll very softly in your hands at first, gradually adding more pressure until you can feel that it has hardened. Your finished balls should bounce! Fun with Felting Needles Felting needles – what are they? Felting needles were first used in the textile industry to Read More
  • Handmade Scarves for the Holidays

    As November begins, we anticipate Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays. This year, shopping can take on new meaning when you know the dollars spent go directly back into our America. What better gift than a handmade scarf for the holiday? What better gift, period? Understanding artists need a centralized location to sell their work, Andrea could easily move to another country where design and labor costs are a fraction of what they are here BUT, she will never do that no matter how large her company grows. The artist features handmade scarves and shopping initiative online as a way to introduce the garments and their fibers. Her scarves and garments include items at many price points and in most cases even cheaper than many other luxury brands and unparalleled quality. Andrea has done a lot of traveling which Read More
  • Wearable Art - Dreams of Swirls and Roses

    Inspired by Stevie Nicks this shawl was created for a competition Andrea entered through talenthouse.com Although she did not win, it was an honor to be judged in this competition where so many fantastic artists were also entered. The shawl is made of black silk chiffon, merino wool and silk mixed with Tibetan Yak, which is the finest wool. Below is a picture of the yak that this wool was taken from. It was a pleasure to be able to meet the animal such a fine medium came from! The name of this shawl comes from Andrea's favorite Stevie Nicks song, Dreams. This shawl above next to the yak is called Angeles Sunset Shaw and these photos were taken in Budapest. The sights were breathtaking and the feeling of Europe is in each of these pieces and captured Read More
  • What is Wet Felting?

    Felt is a textile that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres together. Felt can be made of natural fibres such as wool or synthetic fibres such as acrylic. There are many different types of felts for industrial, technical, designer and craft applications. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can vary in terms of fibre content, colour, size, thickness, density and more factors depending on the use of the felt. Many cultures have legends as to the origins of feltmaking. Sumerian legend claims that the secret of feltmaking was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash. The story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that while fleeing from persecution, the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement Read More
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