Sunday, April 22, 2007

Red Wine Cozy

Here is the piece I have been working on for the whiplash challenge. It is a wet felted wine cozy, made from merino wool. I made it for my Dad, as it's his birthday on Tuesday. I always try to make gifts for family and friends, but to be honest, the men are a bit more difficult. Can't do bags or jewellery, then I had the idea of a wine cozy. I ran it past my Mum, who thought it was a good idea. Apparently, when he goes to play cards with my Uncle he warms his red wine up at home, then wraps it in newspaper to transport. My pure wool cozy should insulate better and will look good too. This is my third attempt, as I had a problem with size. The trick, I discovered, is to wrap an empty bottle in a few layers of bubble wrap (bubble side up - to aid felting), then add the layers of wool, this allows for shrinkage. As it starts to felt you can remove the bubble wrap and felt it to fit the bottle snuggly. Once felted and rinsed, leave it on the bottle to dry. The beauty of this wine cozy is that when not in use it makes a wonderful felt vessel / vase.


Friday, April 20, 2007

And the winner is......

Thanks to all those who took part, and took time out to look at my tutorial. I have received some lovely feedback. Congratulations Susan, please e-mail me your address details and choice of colours. I have a huge range of colours in stock so let me know your preference (the kit contains three).

I haven't blogged for a while as my daughter had a really nasty tummy bug. However, I have managed to do a bit of crafting in the evenings. Here's a bag I felted for myself. I have also been working on a piece for whiplash, but it is going to be a gift so I can't share it just yet.

On Monday I went to the British Craft Trade Fair with my Mum and Auntie. There was some amazing stuff there, so many talented people. Felting and recycled jumpers are very popular. I'm hoping to exhibit there when the kids are a bit older, as it's just on my doorstep. I exhibited once, before kids, when I was into silk painting!!! I never silk paint anymore. A classic example of making a hobby into a business and then promptly losing all interest in the former hobby. I remember having an order for 100 hand painted scarves (all the same design), that I was desperate to finish quickly as we were getting married. What a nightmare, don't think I ever painted another scarf again!

We managed to get to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Easter Monday, unfortunately it was a popular choice as the Andy Goldsworthy exhibits had just opened, so it was very, very busy. Only saw some of the work before the kids began to lose interest, the queing didn't help, so we're saving the rest for another day. From the bits we did see, I would highly recommend a visit, I think his work is there until January.
E was a star, she's taken to carrying pens and paper when we go out and about so she can draw things, I'm going to have to get her a proper sketch book and make a little bag for her. She was particularly interested in visiting the sculpture park because she wanted to see where we got married. It was a great setting to tie the knot, quite romantic.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, it's Friday night so I'm off to open a bottle of red and a bag of haribo (I am addicted to their starmix).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Felted Flower Brooch Tutorial and Competition

At last, I've finished the felted flower brooch tutorial. You can see it here on the website. I have also put together some kits to make 3 felted flower brooches, these are available here. To celebrate the fact that I finally got round to writing the tutorial I am giving away one of the kits to a lucky reader, just leave a comment here, or e-mail me through the website. Names will be drawn from a hat on Friday the 20th of April.

Good Luck

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Another Sunny Day!!!!

Didn't manage a post last night, we were all inspired to work on our garden after Harlow Carr, so by the time the kids had gone to bed, all I could manage was a night of lounging on the sofa watching telly. This year, inspired by Rebecca at An Irish Craftworker's Good Life, I am attempting to grow some vegetables. I have tried in the past with pretty poor results, but now the children are a little older, I'm hoping to have a bit more time to devote to gardening. We are lucky enough to have a large garden, so it seems a shame not use some of it for veg.

Here is something I've been working on last week, knitting needle covers, the apple one was my first design, made out of some charity shop curtains. Unfortunately the design led to bulky seams. The spotty design is more streamlined and seems to work much better (recognize the fabric?), I bought 2 metre's so I'm hoping to make a few of these to sell at the woolfest.

The giveaway I mentioned is coming soon. It's to do with the launch of a new product, that I'm still tweaking a little. I'll hopefully have it sorted by Monday.

Have a good weekend everybody, lets hope it stays sunny, we're thinking bar-b-q, the first of the season!!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Did I really need any more Fabric?

(I've had this blog in draft for a while, with the Easter holidays it's been difficult to post, but I have a few things I've been working on to show you as well as a bit of a give away, I'm hoping to post again tonight, right now I'm off to Harlow Carr Gardens whilst the sun is still shining.)

Here are my goodies from 'sewing for pleasure' at the N.E.C. A nice stash of fabrics, the red is destined to be a dress (someday), I have plans for the spotty which I'll share with you later and the fabric in the second photo will be baby booties!!

The rowan wool had been £67.50, but I got it for £29.99, hopefully by autumn it will be transformed into a snuggly, warm jumper. It's a bad photo because I didn't want to take it out of the wrapper, it may be some time before I get to knit this!!

The mixed bag of buttons was a real bargain, it was a lucky dip bag for £3.00, I love the idea of lucky dips, makes the buying experience even more exciting. I think I did well with my lucky dip, there's some real gems in there. It also kept the children entertained for half an hour, they seem to have inherited my need to handle buttons.The beautiful baby blue buttons were £7.50 for 200g, both bags are from the button company

As you can see I have a busy crafting time ahead of me!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Wild West came to Harrogate

At last we had our wild west party!! Saloon doors, wanted posters, a wigwam, cactus, oh, and 11 cowboys and indians!!! 2 hours can seem like a very long time with that many children to entertain. Fortunately my Mum and Dad were there to help. Thanks, we couldn't have done it without you!! E had a great time, but I'm think next year I'll limit her to 5 friends!!

I've been checking out my friends charity shop goodies over on momo mimi mo so shake, love the teapot! I had a bit of a find myself the other day at J's pre-school. They had a book sale, which I was helping with, so I got first look!! Very excited (I know- how sad) to find this book. My Mum had it when I was little (she went through a doll making phase) and I used to spend hours looking at the pictures. For some reason though the only doll I ever made from it was the little felt girl shown below, E want's to make it too, so we're going to get sewing over the holidays.

Talking of sewing, yesterday I went to 'sewing for pleasure' with my Mum. Had a great day out and spent far too much money!! I am going to photograph and post my purchases later, right now I need to get the kids in the garden while the weather is good, we have carrots to sow.