Sunday, 23 August 2015

Under the Beech Tree - August

I forgot to post this before taking off for a couple of weeks of family fun.. now it's ridiculously late (being as it's nearly September!) so I'll keep it brief :)  

I did remember to take photos at the start of August luckily..

Darker leaves now..

Quite a hazy day when I took this..
August sees so much more rain now than when I was a kid -
 back in the 70's July and August
(in my memory) were full of searing sunshine and endless blue skies
Gemstone - Agate
Flower - Gladiolus

Anglo Saxons' called August Weod Monath - Weed month; how appropriate :)

And as it's so very late in the month I'll leave it there; after all.. in 9 days time I'll be taking the September pics :)

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Moons.. Hares.. and Foxes..

This month (AGAIN) has flown by!  I haven't gotten much felting done, but there's been a definite theme running through what I have done..

The Moon.. and foxes and hares :)  some of my all time favourite subjects!

All brought together in this big picture -
'Moonlight Tryst'
27" x 17"
'Hare by Moonlight'
16" x 13"
'Fox by Moonlight'
15.5" x 13.5"
I've been playing around trying to figure out how to do a time lapse video of a design layout.  Finally figured out that the camera automatically stops recording after a certain amount of time!  This is toward the start of the 'Moonlight Tryst' design.. It's only a short sections, but hopefully I can do better in future :)

Building a hare..
I used freemotion machine embroidery to outline the
design and add detail
Another thing that I really LOVE about outlining with F.M. machine embroidery is the reverse side looks like a pencil drawing..

Back of 'Moonlight Tryst'
Back of 'Hare by Moonlight'
Back of 'Fox by Moonlight'
AND I've made a couple of teacosies too..
Moonlit Hare
Moonlit Tree
Both have silhouette cowslips on the back and silver star beads sewn on 
All are heading to my Etsy shop tomorrow :)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Under the Beech Tree - JULY

Well, June passed in the blink of an eye..  and July arrived in glorious style - beautiful sunshine.  I love long hot summer days!

Lush deep green leaves murmering in a gentle breeze
Perfect blue July sky against the green leaves.. beautiful
Beyond the beech tree..
Wild blue bellflowers line the path from our back gate through the woodland,
I love these they're so pretty and flower for ages
I don't know what this one is called.. can anyone help?
I have tried to find it but no joy so far..
The bindweed is flowering :) 
and foxgloves are still here.. a lovely flash of intense colour
Bindweed always makes me smile and think about the small books Gary brought for Rachael when she was tiny..
Cicely Mary Barker's flower fairies..
Bindweed was my favourite :)
Much as I love to see those big white trumpets, there are many times I've had to rip out armfuls at a time.. when I worked at Oakhouse, where it used to swamp our kitchen garden. I spent lots of hot, drowsy Sunday afternoons working in that kitchen garden!  No sound but buzzing bees..  That's the other lovely thing bindweed reminds me of :)

Gemstone - Tuby
Flower - Larkspur

Anglo-Saxons called this month Hay monath or Mead monath.. because they made Hay and Mead now.

According to weather lore:
'If the first of July be rainy weather
        Twill rain more or less for four weeks together'

This is the first year in the last 15 that I haven't had a child getting excited about 'breaking up' for the summer holidays :)  as my youngest left school recently.  It feels funny to think that my dear cousin, who is about the same age as me, is just beginning the same journey.. her one and only starts nursery school in September this year.

Whatever you have planned.. whether it's holidays or work, kids breaking up from school or no.. I hope that you have a lovely July :)

Friday, 10 July 2015

While thinking of my friend..

A couple of months ago I sketched out a playful new teacosy - inspired by my dear friend Heather, who makes beautiful, happy, colourful felt which reflects her sunny personality. 

I was picturing it in my mind.. all lovely bright colours 

I started felting :)  first off.. a coffee pot cosy.

Gathering my materials.. the green fibre and red prefelt pieces
came from Heather when she came to stay and play last year :) 
Layers of white English fibre.. followed by layers of green merino
with spikes in the corners..
'drawing' the design.. using fibre, prefelt and pencil roving
part way through..
I've used white English wool fibre for the inside (first 4 layers) followed by 2 layers of colourful merino.  I like the way the white creeps through to slightly soften the colours.. just a little..  Worked well so it's thoroughly felted (as always), the English wool fibre when felted has a bouncy texture, great for insulating a pot :)
Finished coffee pot cosy  - fits a 6 cup French Press
(it actually fits my tall slender teapot well too :)
Then I made a matching tea pot cosy..
the spikes are like curly horns on this one :)

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Time out with my family..

I've had a couple of lovely weeks with Gary & Rachael at home and Matt was off last week too, we managed to get a way for a few days of fun and sun at the seaside :)  

A few of my favourite photos..

I honestly thought he was going to end up with a chicken on his head!
That would of been sooo funny :)
I'll probably get told off for posting Gary's 'topless' photo
 but I like it, it's a nice happy family moment :)
Caught in mid-bound heading for her
'true love' Gary (she is a shameless Daddy's girl!) 
We scattered Jesse's ashes on our favourite walk while we were there..  our first time back without her, I missed my matie.. little sis took up Jesse's old position staying with me much more than she used to which was nice - I'm nearly always left behind, can't walk so fast as the long legged ones :)

Now we're home and the sun is STILL shining.. I love it!  Everyone is back to work now though, apart from Rachael who is enjoying her post school/pre apprenticeship break.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

New Hat :)

I'd been picturing this hat in my mind a lot over the last couple of weeks.. it's basically a top hat, but with a turned down brim that's longer at the back than the front, and with 3 pretty flowers sewn on.  

I felted it in merino.. which is softer than the fibres I usually use for hats, but have used fibre 4 layers and worked it HARD to get it nice and sturdy.

I sandwiched deep purple in between the layers of red and gold
Adding fibre to the 'flange' on top..
And pieces of thick red silk fabric like a hat band..
Blocked and drying..
I made a sheet of nuno felt with the thick red silk and same
fibres then stitched some simple flowers
Will post pics of it on a head soon. 

I'm not sure what to call this style of hat.. any suggestions?  I think I'm going to make one in blue and green next :)

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Pixie Vest - Final Post

 Photos of the pixie vest :)

This will be listed in my Etsy shop at the end of June 
I love the little details on this one :) ... the textures and colour contrasts..

Silk circles from dyed cocoons (from OliverTwists .. lovely)
Vintage silk chiffon sari fabric.. and gorgeous enamelled copper buttons (WildCraft)
Gorgeous dyed mawata silk (also from OliverTwists)
Nuno spiral and dyed locks on the back
(locks from Sara's Texture Crafts)

Buttons for my Pixie Vest..

I found the PERFECT buttons for my pixie vest!  'Specially made by Karen at Wildcraft  ... just look at these beauties!  I'll definitely be going back for more :)

Torch enamelled copper buttons in red and blue, the backs are a really pretty green
too (not that they'll be visible.. it's nice that they're pretty though)

and sewn on to the vest..
they're fixed on a diagonal line following the edge
I think this one needs to be seen on really..  must get some pics taken and posted soon :)

Monday, 8 June 2015

May's makes...

The biggest project I worked on through May was a pixie hooded vest!  I made a really sweet blue one a while ago, but had an idea for getting 'proper' shoulders in there by working the vest and hood separately up to prefelt stage, then stitching the hood in place and felting..  

Easy enough in theory :)

The brim is going to be folded back.. like a cuff,
so decoration and locks go down first so they're on the outside once it's
finished and folded back
2 fibre layers on the hood so it's softer, finer felt than the body..
Loads of silk, locks and yarn embellishments :)
Laid the body out in the same way..
except I used 3 fibre layers for a sturdy felt
I really love the teal curly Teeswater locks!  All brought back from Wonderwool 2014..
they were hand dyed by Sara's Texture Crafts  she does lovely variegated colours!
A nice nuno spiral.. vintage silk chiffon sari fabric (one of my favourites)
More gorgeous silks.. mawata squares and dyed cocoons from Oliver Twists
(also brought back from Wonderwool 2014)  I love love LOVE their silks!
stitching the hood to the neck hole
This is where it got awkward.. rolling!  The torso flattened in one direction
while the hood flattened the opposite way.. Once I got so far I was glad to start throwing!
It was a rather fiddly once the hood and body were joined.. but I must admit to being very pleased with the result.  And I have commissioned some really special buttons to go on it.. can't wait to receive them.. (really hope they suit it!)

It was still a little damp here..
notice Sally in her cling-film wrap? :)