Friday, 24 December 2010

This Christmas eve...

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for reading my blog, and for your lovely comments - I always look forward to reading them.

I hope that your Christmas is happy, and 2011 is peaceful & productive for you all...

Have fun folks

Monday, 20 December 2010

Well, I watched my birthday DVD last night - The Expendables. And though it was very entertaining, it wasnt the film I was expecting! I cant believe it, but I managed to mix up the trailers... I thought this was the one with Helen Mirren in - I kept waiting for her to appear! My 13 (nearly 14) year old told me this morning that the film I wanted was RED! Just looked on the internet & yes, thats the one - it looks funny. This mistake explaines why my lovely hubby was so suprised when I expressed a desire to buy this dvd, which isnt really my usual taste! :) Expendables had a couple of amusing lines, but was pretty much all action (very blokey). OH well. Guess I have another dvd to look out for!

Still a winter wonderland here! Took some photos this morning...

All of these were taken from my living room & dining room doors. I really must remember to take the camera over the fields with me... its veeery pretty over there. I love what snow does to the light...

The house over the road has a collection of extremely deadly looking icicles. I havent seen them this big for years. The longest are about 4feet long.

OK fo some reason bloogers has gone a bit mad. If I try and delete or change something its making the change elsewhere in the post... so Im leaving it here. xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Felt, fluff bunnies & snow...

Thanks for the birthday wishes on the last post folks :) they were very much apreciated x
OK, starting with felt that I can share (some of my recent makes must stay secret for now :)

This cobweb scarf & flower pin are a present for a friend who is turning 40 on Christmas day. Blue turquoise for the December baby :) even if its just a splash of the colour rather than gemstones. Hope she likes it...

This yarn is spun on my drop spindle from the left over bits of batts made on my new drumcarder.. the batts I used for my shawls and scarves. I randomly used a bit of this batt, then a bit of another & so on - then plied it with itself to get this totally random & (I think) pretty yarn. I had an email from Paul at Classic Carders a couple of days ago, saying that he is developing a detachable burnishing brush for the Jumbo Carder... needless to say I'm very excited & cant wait to try this out - I think its will help a lot when blending fine fibres.

When cleaning fibre off the drums, I just couldnt bring myself to throw it away, it seemed such a waste. So, I kept putting it to the side till I had a big fluff bunny family looking at me - I knew I'd better do something with them at that point before my lovely hubby threw them away. Out came the drop spindle again & now I have 2 small, slightly shabby looking skeins. I may use these in my felt...or crochet them... I'm sure I'll find a use. Waste not want not hey.. What do you do with your fluff bunnies?

Gary & Matthew spent about 5 hours out digging the snow off the road today. After clearing the road they built a MASSIVE snowman, He's the most primitive snowman imaginable 'cos the snow is just too powdery to hold together well - but he is about 9feet tall!

We have just had a stunning sunset through the snow covered trees - but I have no batteries in my camera to share it with you! We get some amazing sunrise & sunsets around winter solstice.

Amber & Jesse are having a wonderful time playing in the white stuff! Jess lies down & tries to eat it all, Amber charges through like a little snowplough and then makes doggy snowangels :)

I have heard that we are due more snow on Thursday... Maybe a white Christmas this year?

Well, I'm off to do some baking xxx

p.s. spacing is going crazy on this post...sorry

Friday, 17 December 2010

Today is...

.. my birthday!
Its been a nice, quietish, plodding sort of a day so far. The kids are both home for Christmas now, school having finished at lunchtime. We've just eaten a nice lunch together.. Now Im about to felt a flower & crochet a hat... and then I'm hoping to go to the cinema tonight. I'm desperate to see the new Harry Potter film. Only problem is the weather man is predicting very heavy snow to start this afternoon & keep going into tomorow! Hope it doesnt get so bad that it stops us going... or getting back home after.

My lovely husband excelled himself with this years birthday gift, got me just what I wanted (it hadnt occured to me that I might get them for my B'day for some reason!) The Expendables DVD - I havent seen the film yet, but the advertisements look funny. And Matt Cardle's CD (he is the winner of X-Factor 2010) - which is EXCELLENT! Its got 4 brilliant tracks on there - think I've listened to is about 6 times this morning :)
This is my pressie from my son.. he finished making it in woodwork class this morning
What mom wouldnt want a wooden tank for her 37th birthday lol? ;) I love it actually, I think he did a really good job & its on my bookcase.
Next post will be felty or fibrey - I promise. Might even get to do my bit on leather soles over the Christmas holiday... you never know :)
Have a good weekend folks

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Nothing to do with felt today... Im sharing a new find.
I may of mentioned in previous posts that I love LUSH soaps, cremes, shampoos & a hold load of other things that they make/sell. A few years ago I used to make my own natural lotions 'n' potions, but I just dont have the time (or inclination) these days. SO my happy compromise has been buying them from Lush; all the goodies are natural, they're environmentally conscious, blah blah.. you get the picture.
Anyway, the purpose of this post wasnt to bang on about Lush... but to tell you about Old Pitt Potions! Lorraine, the potioneer behind Old Pitt Potions, is a truly LOVELY lady (who is known to wear a certain red felted shawl :) She has developed a range of ALL natural goodies including - perfumes, soaps, creams & lip balms. All blended by her own fair hand, in the North East of England. Old Pit Potions are also natural & environmentally aware AND Im supporting a small business (which is nice).
Last week I received my first order and OH MY GOODNESS - its luuuurvly! Here is some of it..

I have four bottles of perfume / spritzer. Three are for Christmas pressies, but one is mine. Im wearing 'Amazing' - and it really does smell amazing - very fresh and herby. It lasts all day too! The lavender & hemp handcream is wonderful... this felters hands are extremely grateful. The big bar of soap at the front is called Cinnamon Cake.. it smells absolutely delicious - I have it in the downstairs loo & the scent of sweet cinnamon is a real treat, lovely and soft on the hands too. The lip balms are for the kids Christmas stockings, and I brought some other bits for pressies too, which I cant post about at the moment in case I spoil any suprises.

For any of you who, like me, think that NATURAL products are best - check out Lorraines blog & show her some love :)

I have just finished crocheting our nieces Christmas pressies - they both get hats & brooches this year. The girls are both in their early teens; the older is getting a very chic tam & felted flower brooch, the younger a flowered cloche with crochet flower brooch to match. Im developing a distinctly Mrs Weasley-ish tendancy toward crocheted Christmas presents (I can knit but its too slow for me - you know Im impatient) I`m half tempted to send them a box of home made mincepies too (as Mrs W does) knowing my luck a hungry sniffer dog would pick the parcel out & it'd get opened up to look for drugs - or blown up or something :) I've still got quite a bit left to make for other people... but theirs is the only one I need to post, which relieves the pressure a little.

Oh, on a slightly felty note... my December issue of Felt Matters arrived today! This is the International Feltmakers Association quarterly magazine - looks yummy. Im saving it for a couple for a couple of quiet hours where I can curl up somewhere nice 'n' warm (preferably with hot chocolate), so I can really enjoy it

Thursday, 9 December 2010

New shawls, pins & scarves

As promised (Im on a real roll here!) pictures of the scarves & shawls made from my own batts... and the pins I made to go with the shawls. So not much talking today... just pictures :)

The lampwork beads used for the pins are handmade by BlueBoxStudio

I LOVE this one!!! Its a sari silk extravaganza - lots fibres & ribbons. This is now on its way to a lady in the USA. :( sad to see it go, it was really pretty. I shall definately be making something similar for myself in the new year!

This green one is a Christmas pressy for someone who doesnt (to my knowledge!) read my blog...

And of course theres the purple one that I showed you yesterday...

I dont know whats the matter with me lately but I want to keep EVERYthing! Its really bad. I sat there at the fayre looking around at all the pretty colours and textures and I just wanted to take `em all home and put them on the walls or something... maybe Im entering a new stage of this fibre addiction... hoarding my goodies. Ah well, I suppose the answer is make 2 of everything, one to go & one to stay. Unfrtunately Id get bored with that! I find it impossible, to make any 2 things identical - there are just so many possibilities - why do the exact same thing twice?!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Meet my new ...

Drum Carder ...

I wanted a carder that was going to give me BIG BATTS. But here in the UK I could not find anything suitable... everything over here yeilded the same sized batt 8"x22"to23"... now for spinning this would be fine but for felting it just wasnt what I wanted. SO, what followed was an awful lot of research on the internet finding BIG drum carders that are available in the US (they have some beauties!). Then figuring out what they would cost with import tax & delivery etc. Result... as you can guess, waaay too expensive for me!

I dont really know what made me do it, but instead of just plumping for a standard sized carder I phoned one of our UK makers;
Classic Carders run by Paul & Mandy Brittan - a husband & wife team in Shropshire, UK. I wanted to ask them whether they would be able to make a bigger carder. AMAZINGLY, Paul had just the day before finished his prototype Jumbo Carder. I ordered one on the spot & Paul made me a beautiful carder from solid Ash. I was able to collect it in person as Mandy & Paul are just a 50 minute drive away.

This is the 1st Jumbo Carder that they have sold & Im putting it through its paces :) Its a learning curve for me... as you know Ive never had a drum carder before. I reeeally enjoy using it! Ive read & watched loads of tutorials on the internet which has helped loads.

So far I am only blending merino & other fine fibres. Though the drum is the standard 8" width, when the batts come off the are about 10" wide, by 33" long. With the fine fibres Im getting batts of approx 50g to 60g. I dont think that I can squash them on anymore... but Im going to have a try. Mandy says the batts should be 100g+... Im not sure if thats because she was using heavier wool, think it was an English fleece.

SO, time for some eyecandy :)

Im playing with lots of pretty colours...

Silk fibres & firestar...

And things like mohair curls... I havent had chance to do LOADS of batts yet; but I have made 3 shawls, a big wrap/scarf & 4 smaller scarves with them. Plus a shawl sized piece which didnt quite work out, but will be re-purposed another day. As usual Ive been adding in 'bits n pieces' for surface decoration; sari silk fibres & ribbons, linen fibres, 100% silk velvet as in this scarf...

e finito...

Showing the 2 ends together (just realised you cant tell theres 2 pieces, I dont want you thinking its so hefty as it would be if was that wide lol :)

Tomorow I shall post some photos of the others scarves, shawls & pins
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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Getting back on track

Oh my, I have seriously neglected this poor little blog lately! Good news is I`ll have time to give it some tlc now that my Christmas craft fayre is over & most of my Christmas shopping is now done (phew).
Unfortunately the weather was pretty rubbish at the weekend, Saturday the local radio was advising people to stay off the roads! So the fayre was really rather quiet... That said I actually did quite well! And I met some lovely people, both crafters & customers, which is something that I LOVE about craft fayres.

This was the first time Ive had a stall all to myself... I have always shared with a friend. It was nice to be able to spread out! Gary made me a double hanging rail for my shawls & bags which worked really well too. Took a couple of pics.. but only one of them was in focus. My only explanation is that it was bloomin` freezing, must of been shivering!

The fayre was in the great hall of Hartlebury Castle (the Bishop of Worcesters home). I wish I'd taken a photo of the beamed ceiling - its absolutely gorgeous! The hall also has a fabulous flagg stone floor... after spending 2 days on which, I now have the worst case of chillblanes I've ever had - despite the fact that I had my sheepskin Ugg boots on! :(

You cant see them very well in the photo, but 3 of those shawls are made from my batts done on my new drum carder... I PROMISE to post about the carder & what I've done with it really really soon.

Stay well & warm

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Photos from last weeks workshop

Hiya, just a quick post to share the photos of Dawns gorgeous slippers and vessel from our workshop last week.

I love this colour combo! I shall be making some in these colours soon. Dawn wrapped green throwsters waste silk around the outside, it shines out beautifully echoing the green inners.

Time was running away from us so Dawn took this one home to finish - its turned out beautifully! WAAAAAY better than my first vessel I can tell you!.. And it was a slightly awkward first one really; we started off by putting down a hand dyed silk cap & some eyelash yarn, then the merino. So we felted it inside out. The nice thing with this is the anticipation & suprise when you finally cut it open and see what you have got.

Dawn did another vessel a couple of days later (which is beautiful!) go take a peek over on her blog... Dawn Liu-Smyth.

I have collected my carder :D which I am very much enjoying playing with... when I get chance - I honestly need a good 6 extra hours per day at the moment. I have felted 2 shawls from my own batts though folks ... havent taken any photos yet though. Yesterday I did my last living history session until February, so that shall free up a little bit more time.

Anyway, thats it for now... be back soon


Saturday, 20 November 2010

More slipper talk

Its that time of year when the weeks start to whip by! On Wednesday I was joined by a lovely lady for a slipper workshop.

This is the first time Ive taught someone how to make slippers (especially `my way`) so it was a bit nerve wracking... Dawn is such a sweetie I needn`t of worried, we had a good laugh and got lots of work done too... we had a great day! Unfortunately I didnt take any photos though... by the time I remembered it was dark outside & indoor photos with artifical light never look good.

Dawn went home with a gorgeous pair of slippers in my favourite lime green & teal - they are lovely. And a vessel which was about 3/4 done... just needed a bit more fulling and shaping. Im hoping Dawn sends me photos & then I shall post them.

I really do enjoy teaching felting... Did I mention that Ive been asked to go into our local Primary school again next term? The topic is space... and Im already making plans. I have to go take down the sea creatires exhibition this week & deliver it to school.
What else did I do this week? Well I felted a pair of custom boots, finished them this morning..

These have been specially made for a very nice lady in Ireland... I decided to use the thickest part of my leather hide for the soles on this pair... as they are bound for being worn in a very cold studio. OMG it was tough to sew on... took just over 2 hours to sew them on even AFTER they had been soaked and the sewing holes already made! I couldnt sew for the rest of the day, my poor fingers were too sore - which is why they were just finished this morning.
Ive found it such a learning experience sewing leather soles on that Im planning to post `tips for handsewing leather soles` just gotta find time to write it now :D lol
Tomorow I get to collect my drum carder YAY...
Anyhoo, have a good weekend folks whatever you are upto xxx

Saturday, 13 November 2010

In a nutshell

WOW its been a while! Ive really neglected my poor little bloggy the past few weeks...

OK whistle stop tour of whats been going on round here...

I got Heathers lovely wallhanging hung! Its in my living room & I LOVE it. I handstitched a calico `tube` to the back so I could thread the pole through to hang it. Shame the light hasnt been so good the last few days... the photo is a little dark

I have felted a few more pairs of slippers. I did much debating and deliberation over the pumpkin orange boots... I wanted to keep them for myself, but the red & blue ones I`d listed in my shop were getting a nice amount of attention & I really felt I should put another pair up. The answer (of course) make another pair & keep the originals :)

The green boots are my prototype new design `FrankinBoots` (as in Frankinstein cos of the side stitching). I changed my mind about where I wanted the opening to be on these... Id cut it diagonally at the side, and then decided they should go straight up the front. SO, with nothing to lose I witchstiched the side cuts shut & worked the felt some more until it was sealed. Turns out to of been a happy accident, I like the way it looks. Although the next pair shant have real cuts beneath the stitch detail.. lol. Doesnt matter with these though as they are part of Rachaels Christmas pressie (so Im having to keep them hidden!) I have sewn gussets into the front opening, and stitched jumprings to the front for the felted laces to go through. Im not sure about the name though... FrankinBoots. I personally like it & think it suits how quirky they are, but is that just my slightly weird sence of humor? What do you think? Will it put people off if I like them to Frankinstein :) ?

I felted another shawl from CorgiHillFarm Batts...

Im creating hammered wire pins to go with all of my shawls at the moment... Im really enjoying myself with them. I have a sweet simple white shawl in my shop that Ive made a pin for today... I love this one. It has a handmade lampwork bead from BlueBoxStudio , I brought 3 sets of gorgeous lampwork beads from Sue this week, and this is from one of them... they are all gorgeous & each bead is individual (& you know how much I like that)

Ooo and Im getting a drum carder!!! I AM SO EXCITED!! Its being made for me as we speak & will deserve its very own post when I receive it :)

Anyway, there you go, the past couple of weeks in a nutshell. Im off now to bake a plum cake for my nans birthday :) Might have to do 2 to keep the kids off nans cake...

Have a good weekend xx

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sunshine & photos

In total contrast to yesterday, today has been an absolutely gorgeous autumn day! The children spent the morning playing golf, while I sat enjoying the sunshine, birdsong & a good book - a rare treat.

As soon as the sun was up I took photos of my goodies before dashing off out for the day.

This is just a teaser of my lovely gift from Heather... I`ll post again when its hanging on my wall & you can see it in all its glory. I love the colours and the retro design - it reminds me of the `oh so 70s` wallpaper we had when I was a kid :
Now my new batts...
You cant tell from this photo but they are really sparkly, they have firestar in them. They are very appropriately named Bonfire Shimmer.... soon to be a bonfire shimmer shawl.

Ive made a collage of my most recent felted goodies...

There are 3 scarves that I was playin & experimenting with... 1 commision cobweb scarf & bracelet, plus 1 halloween/gothic cuff. The scarf at the top left has pieces of pure silk devore fabric felted in... Im really pleased with how it turned out.

Im desperately trying to sew leather soles onto slippers... but things keep on distracting me! My mission is to get them sewn & listed this week - must be strict with myself.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Christmas came early...

My `table runner` from Heather arrived today! It is SOOOooo GORGEOUS! Its going on the wall not the table! I LOVE it.... thank you SO much Heather :) xx
Its such a dull, rainy day today its too dark for taking photos, unfortunately.
I received new batts from CorgiHillFarm this morning too - which are awesome, I cant wait to felt them... that shall have to wait till next week though cos the kids are off school this week ... half term already! The rest of the week is going to be spent with kids golf school, visiting rellies, walks, pumpkin carving & baking... normal autumnal family fun :) Talking about walks, we have made some unusual friends on ours... there are a couple of shire horses & a belted galloway cow & calf who have been in the same fields along the bridal path where we walk for a few months now... I think theyve gotten used to us, they have started coming over to get their heads scratched everytime we walk by - its so cute!
Im hoping for some daylight soon so I can take pics to share with you all...
Have a good week

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

What a lovely suprise

I had a wonderful suprise when I checked my blog comments... I`ve won a wonderful prize!
Heather at Woollove-Functional Fiber Art is celebrating her blogs 1st B`day (`B` for blog as opposed to birth :) and very kindly held a give away of a fabulous table runner.... and I WON!!! I cant wait to receive it & will post pics when I do... you can see pics of it as it was being made over on Heathers blog - it looks gorgeous! Thank you so much Heather xx
What else have I been upto? Well yesterday I as playing dressups at OakHouse (I work as a `Tudor` servant for a museum) no felting :( BUT I was quite productive on my other days :) I made a bracelet to go with my turquoise necklace...
... and made another set very similar to go on my etsy shop.

Took photos of the first pair of boots with their fastings sewn on...
... Im really pleased with them. Got to do the other pair now & sew leather soles on, then they can be listed! Seriously I need some extra hours per day! lol
Today I have felted 2 scarves...which are drying on my radiator. Tomorow I may do more slippers... or will it be more scarves? Friday I am meeting the primary school children that I did the felting workshop with a few weeks ago. We are going to `visit` their felt at the museum & meet up with a photographer from the local paper :D which is rather exciting for all of us.
More soon xxx

Saturday, 16 October 2010

New felted goodies

YAY the weekend... where did the week go though?!

This week I felted a lovely deep red shawl from the CorgiHillFarm batts... This is merino and bluefaced leicester - wonderfully soft! I added some silk fibres and some of my 100% pure silk velvet fabric strips.
Created a hammered copper wire pin to go with this one too :)

I worked on some new jewellery designs... this next one is mine. For years Ive wanted some nice turquoise jewellery (Im a December baby & turquoise is my birthstone) just never found anything I liked enough... Im really really happy with this. Flat felted beads with embroidery, & coiled sterling silver wire in celtic inspired spirals, with turquoise beads, swarovski crystals & sterling silver findings...

I tried out about 3 different methods of closure for the felted boots I made last week (felted another pair too :) pics of these next time...
I emailed my submission for the FeltUnited exhibition (hope I got it right!) any of you planning to do the same DO IT NOW! The deadline is the 17th Oct... TOMOROW.
Ive had a very nice, productive week... despite a couple of very odd `spanners in the works` - like my son losing his retainer down the loo (being sick - KIDS) and having 2 emergency dental appointments squeezed in to sort him out. I have a few exciting new pots on the boil (Im being mysterious & saying no more for now :)
Hope you all have a fanstastic weekend

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Twilight shawl

Hiya, just a quicky.. I wanted to show you the shawl I felted this week. I brought some batts from CorgiHillFarm on etsy... They arrived on Thursday this week & OMG they are so gorgeous! Look at all of this loveliness...
Within 20 minutes of them arriving I was felting them :) I really love the shawl that Ive made with the top batts (the reds are for next week).

This morning I made a hammered a copper wire pin to go with it...

Have a great weekend xx