Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's just about the end of my daughters first half term holiday, she only started school in September. My DH took the week off as well, so we've been quite busy, not much crafting done. I did well at the jumble sale last Saturday though....
  • Seven jumpers, six of which fulled (felted) beautifully
  • A few shirts with shell buttons and nice fabric for bag linings
  • A linen dress with floral embroidery - destined to be a bag
  • Three horrible bags with very nice wooden and bamboo bag handles
  • A nice top which I intend to wear
  • and some books for the children
I think that's it. I meant to take some photographs but I've already started cutting things up. I was surprised at how excited I was before I went and then I got quite a buzz hunting out bargains from the huge pile of clothes. I think I may have stumbled on a new hobby.

We went to stay with my parents this weekend and while we were there we drove up to Flamborough Head. My daughter has been learning about lighthouses at school so we braved the windy East Coast. She was a bit disappointed that you couldn't go inside but loved the beach. We went rock pooling and Papa found a few crabs and a very small shrimp! No hermit crabs this time. I got carried away taking photographs of the rocks. There were some beautiful patterns where the limpets had been. I fancy printing some of the photos onto fabric.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Eco Craft

I came across the term 'eco crafts' today on the internet and I guess that's what I do. I source a lot of my materials from charity shops and jumble sales. I like to combine these materials with wet felting and more recently needle felting. An example of this is the owl I've been working on. Last night I made him into a bag using fulled woolly jumpers.
This afternoon I made this brooch, again from materials bought in charity shops. I have just listed this on Etsy.
I love the design process involved in making things from recycled material. It's impossible to go out and buy materials for a project. So I browse around charity shops, buying woolly jumpers that are suitable for fulling and garments with interesting fabric or buttons. Then when washed and prepared I lay them out on the table, choose which materials would go well together, then start creating. I don't like to draw my designs out first, I let the materials guide me and just go with the flow.

There is a huge jumble sale at my daughters school on Saturday, can't wait to go rummaging. My Mum's coming over to join in. We're on a mission to find 'hand wash only' jumpers and interesting buttons. I volunteered to collect jumble in our street, and spent this morning sorting it. Unfortunately nothing exciting was unearthed.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Whiplash Entry ...... Hand Felted Cuffs

This is my entry for October's Whiplash competition, the theme is accessories. These are hand felted vintage style cuff's (wrist warmers). Great for keeping the autumn chill out. The lace has been hand felted into the wool, so it becomes part of the fabric. I have used merino wool, which is very soft and cosy, and hand dyed tussah silk (the pink fibres on the surface). The cuffs have been finished off with some pretty fabric and delicate roses.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Autumn's here...

The summer seems to have gone on for ages, not that I'm complaining, but I never know what clothes to put my children in on a morning. We seem to start off all bundled up, then gradually lose layers through out the day, but, the evenings are getting darker and I have had call to use the log burning stove a few nights. I love this time of year, it's so cosy!! Last week was my daughters first Harvest Festival, our whole house has been singing "The Big Red Combine Harvester" for quite a while now.

I added a bit more to my owl, not sure if he looks a bit scary now. I fancy making him into a bag.

Inspired by a walk in the woods near our house, I made my daughter an autumn fairy. She's really into fairies at the moment. She loved it, it's been to school already and slept with her a few nights so it looks a bit squished. Here she is gathering brambles and flowers at the bottom of the garden. Oh, and by the way, her name is Rosie

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All inspired...

I went to the Fashion and Embroidery Show on Saturday. It's just down the road from me at Harrogate Yorkshire Showground. It was really good value for money, only £3.50 to get in, and there is so much to see and inspire. Here are all my purchases....
The scarf is from Bombay Stores ( just my colour) . The wooden buttons were a bargain, 3 for £1. They were from button-it. I want to use them on my bags, I am trying to make a range to go in my new etsy shop. The red, wooden thing is for holding 4 felting needles at once. My best buy was the flower stamp for printing wax onto fabric. I bought a wax pot a few years ago, and have been wanting a stamp for a while. Now I'll have to get my wax pot out of the loft and give it a bit of a dust!!

I spent Sunday afternoon in the garage felting. I have a range of un-dyed fleeces that I had carded, ready to use in a wall hanging. However, I just couldn't resist using some colour, so I made these two wall hangings using a combination of dyed merino wool and un-dyed fleece. I think the tree needs to be smaller in comparison to the sky, so I am going to felt another. The owl isn't finished yet, I am going to needle felt and add some embroidery so he stands out a bit more.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Felting Workshops

I am now starting to do felt making workshops. These will be held in Harrogate, N. Yorkshire. The first one is Saturday the 4th of November 10 to 3. This is for beginners, it will cover all the basics of wet felting, and students will make a small wall hanging and a simple purse. The second is Saturday the 2nd of December 10 to 3. This will cover resist felting and students will make a seamless bag. Both workshops are £25.00 each. This includes all materials, instruction sheets and drinks. Please contact me for more information at

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Here's the hat...
Here is the hat that I made at Vivienne Morpeth's workshop. There was some photographs of me modelling it, but I wasn't brave enough to post them. The workshop was great, really inspiring, and I'm hoping to make a hat for my daughter some time soon. Since taking this photograph I have chopped off the spikey bits, they looked great, but I'm not the sort of person who likes to attract attention and I would just feel to self conscious wearing it. I should really have taken that into consideration when I designed it!! I am going to tweak it a bit then I'll post the finished results.
I wanted to post this series of photographs as an example of how a disaster in felting will often lead you in a new, exciting direction. Never think of those mistakes as a waste of time and effort. The small felted bowls above were meant to be purses. I felted around a small ball, then slit them open to take the ball out and felted them some more. They were just the right size for loose change but I was too impatient for them to dry, so I stuck them in the dryer for a bit. Unfortunately I forgot about them and when they came out they were very, very small. Not wanting to waste all the time and effort I put into making them I gave them a trim and displayed them on my mantle piece as miniature (and a little impractical) bowls. I loved the shape and as I sat trying to watch telly I was drawn to them and couldn't resist getting the scissors out again. This time I cut one of the bowls into a flower shape, and ended up making the necklace shown below.

It's a bit rough looking, the bowl was really a bit too thick but, I really like the shape, so I'm hoping to make some more. In the mean time I've been making some flower necklaces with re-cycled jumpers, as shown below. I'm going to be listing them in my new etsy shop which has just opened. At the moment I only have the pink flower bag listed, but I am working on a bit of a collection, vintage style bags, cuffs and accessories.