Saturday, 20 February 2010

Another Silly Goose

:o) Hiya, hope you`re having a nice weekend! This is just a quick one to say YAY Ive finished my 2nd Silly Goose bag! I dont think I shall be making anymore of these for a while, I LOVE them - but they take AGES.

Although - I have a `Silly Goose - Moma Goose` design in mind too :o) It`ll be done at some point. I like variety, I dont like to keep doing the same or similar things one after another... I might felt a cape next week?! We shall see...I do have quite a bit of work on, plus my MOT and a possible teacher training day (I know...dreadfull mother not being sure of the dates :o)


Lined with Kaffe Fasset - Roman Glass

Did you spot my fimo goose foot button?
Well Im gonna love & leave you! We are going out to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday tonight (shhh dont tell her I told you, but shes turning 40 & moderately traumatized by the fact) My wicked husband & I did conser a cake full of candles at the restaurant, or balloons & banners outside the house when she got home from work... but have curbed our naughtyness. Maybe being as we are 36 & 38 our 40th birthdays are coming up and believe me, she WOULD bide her time :o) No truth be told we love her to bits & really dont want to play her up when she is feeling delicate about it. Oooh - exciting tidbit... our pressie to her is a wonderfull custom made necklace by Keiara... once she has it I can post a piccy :o)
Take care - have a good weekend

Monday, 15 February 2010

Experimental projects

Hope you all had a lovely Valentines weekend ;o)

My kids are off school for half term this week, so probably not much felting going on...I really enjoy getting to spend extra time together in the holidays - always have; Im really lucky too cos I dont work during school holidays...GREAT. I have quite a few sessions at work the following week and probably wont start any new felting projects until the week after that. I miss my felting time but on the positive side at least I shall be finishing off a few UFOs... I certainly have enough of them!

I HAVE dyed the yarn that I mentioned last week :o) I used Pure Tinctoria natural dyes, they were really easy to use & gave off a lovely liquorishy smell as they were simmering away. I actually tried to rainbow dye them using 3 shades on didnt really work. I`ve rainbow dyed using chemical dyes in the microwave successfully, but I had less luck with the stove top method (my fault, not the dyes) they pretty much all blended together. Must of been a happy accident though cos I love the result, there are subtle variations in the colours they are absolutely beautifull. They dont really show up too well on the photos; the reds are very rich & though the other skein looks greyish in the photo it is really a wonderfull varigated mossy green.

Looking lighter than in the flesh; they are varigated rich reds & mossy green

I shall certainly be using the Tictoria dyes again... Im thinking of felting a jacket in undyed fibres, merino, silks, locks etc and then dyeing in with the red mix. The only thing that made it a slower process was the need to mordant the yarn before I dyed it (I used alum & cream of tartar) but I think its worth it when I look at the results. Alison at Pure Tinctoria is very knowledgable & helpful, she says that they can be painted onto felt too...I shall be trying that out later in the year.

I finished of my experimental Tudor style flat-cap & Im pretty pleased with it. This was an experiment & my resists were cut from bubblewrap & a bin liner bag, which are not my ideal. Im planning to cut better resists this week, tweeking the size & shape a little and shall be making #2 soon, though I will have to buy more fibre first. I shall probably dye the next cap with my Tinctoria dyes. I`ll wear the original for work... Tudor women wore white woolen caps, men wore coloured ones. You never know, maybe the boss will want to custom order some for the museum :o) to go with the new costumes that Clare is making (save her poor hands from hours n hours of knitting)

Why am I posting so many BAD phtos of myself? :o)

I`m being real strict with myself trying to get my stock listed on my shops... I have quite a bit unlisted at the moment & listing is so time consuming that I kept putting it off. I managed to list about 5 items in each of my shops last week :o) which made me ridiculously happy. AND its payed off already - I made my first sale on Folksy :o). A lady in the UK brought one of my Feelin Sheepish purses (below) Its my customers first purchase on Folksy too, so I feel quite honoured that she liked one of my items enough to buy there for the first time - Im a happy bunny!

Got lots of my homespun yarns in this one
I really like Folksy, its quicker to list on than Etsy...and I think because its smaller items are more visible. Its nice to be working in £s too...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Sharing my goodies

Just a quicky, just got back from work & ate my lunch (only about 4hrs late) drunk a much needed cup of tea... and want to share my pretties with you :o)

Firstly, do you remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you about my friend
Keiaras Charity Auction? Well I was lucky enough to be one of the winning bidders; a double helping of happiness - gave money went to a very worthy cause & I gained one of Keiaras gorgeous cupcake pendants.

From the Purple Princess range

Keiara has also donated some of her work to be auctioned off to raise funds for Haiti, this auction features work from many artists - if you would like to know more please follow this link to Keiaras blog post :o)

I also want to show you this beautifull ceramic pendant, handmade by Sarah of Dottery Pottery on Folksy. Sarah has really lovely, quirky ceramic pendants on her Folksy shop. I spotted this one yesterday - fell in love & brought it straight away... voila it was here waiting for me today when I got home from work :o) I love purple & green & this little birdie is just SO cute! Thanks Sarah.

Queen of the exotic birds pendant

Mmm both luuurvly; both are purple & wearing crowns... am I obsessing? I might be, I made myself a new felted watch strap yesterday ... in PURPLE :o) ha


Monday, 8 February 2010

Felting Fun

Well Ive certainly had some felting fun today!
I decided to have a go at felting a Tudor style flat cap, like the one in my previous post. The previous one had been knitted by my friend Clare and then passed to me for fulling by hand... I gave it a jolly good trouncing & it turned out really nice. It was lovely to work with a friend on a joint project, and we`re both happy with the finished product... BUT it took the two of us hours and hours (just under 15 in the end). I couldnt help wondering how a felted one would work out...
So this morning I drew my pattern & cut my resists (I used two) and got to it.
I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing that I was quite suprised to find I was soaking wet! Didnt realise but I was using a not very absorbant towel, and I`d used more water than usual... I must of been leaning against the kitchen surface as I worked - my tummy was soaking wet and the water had run down my right leg & filled my slipper! Yuk! I`ve never made that much mess before, cant believe I didnt notice it.
I think I made the pattern a little bit too big, it took an awful lot to felt it down to head sized (was the size of a bin lid at one point :o) Glad I tried it though, it took 3 hours & I think it looks ok...dont want to mess with it too much though till its dry incase I stretch it.
Im hoping to use my Pure Tinctoria natural dyes tomorow on some yarn that I have mordanted, ready and waiting in a bucket of water in the garage. Think Im going to rainbow dye it, that way I can try out all the colours I have.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Back to work

Well, this week has been my first week back to work since Christmas (proper payed work anyway :O) I work for our local museum service, doing living history with visiting school parties. All of our buildings are closed through January hence the looong Christmas break. So Tuesday I was Lizzie the Tudor serving wench at our gorgeous black & white timber framed Tudor yeomans house. I was working with my friend Clare, who also does living history. She has rather patiently knitted a Tudor flat cap (find out more on Clares blog). They were knitted then fulled, so I brought it home with me to full it by hand. Now I have to confess Im rather an impatient person - I have to do things NOW. I hate waiting. So I started as soon as the kids were home from school & fed`n`watered. Took very nearly 2 hours of VERY vigorous work, but its worked out really well. According to the info we have it would of been fulled, then brushed once dry to raise the napp, then fulled again, then brushed again - and then SHAVED :o) Think we are sticking with the one fulling & a good brushing... see what you think

I shall have to get a photo of somebody suitably attired wearing it :o) I really enjoyed working with Clare making this though, its interesting to try new things and old skills.

Oak House - West Bromwich

And yes Lizzie is both in character AND in costume... heres one of the many unflattering photos taken of me at Oak House, though my costume has changed a little since this was taken...I think it ended up on a Christmas card or something a couple of years back (wouldnt want it on my mantlepiece :o)

HOW many years has the photo added on? Not good!

Today I observed a Homefront session for the first time, I shall be doing that soon too (cant wait). I`ll post more about this later on.

Ah hubbys just got home from work - must run, lovely man to kiss

Monday, 1 February 2010

Buttons & things

Hi there - hope you`ve had a good weekend! We have had a lovely one, it was my husbands birthday on Saturday, I`ll tell you more about that later :o)

Firstly, heres the promised picture of my fimo buttons! The funny little skull was actually a tiny piece of white fimo left over when I`d finished. I didnt want to put it back in with the packet incase it had been polluted with any traces of colour, or dried out too much so I made a silly skull - I`ll probably give this to Rachael (my 11 year old) to sew onto something... I just dont like waste

Some of them have rhinestones pressed in well, the cupcake sprinkles are glass seed beads pushed well in before baking.

For his birthday Gary played 18 holes of golf in the morning, as he does most Saturdays. One of the men he plays with brought a `Bob the Builder` foil balloon & tied it to his golf trolley while he was inside the clubhouse paying for his round - I would of loved to see him going roung the golf course with his balloon bobbing along behind him :o)

This meant I could spend the morning finishing off his birthday pressy. We have an agreement not to buy expensive presents for each other anyway, have done for years. But I love making presents, its awkard for men though & especially with my hubby cos he doesnt wear hats or scarves. Well I managed to really suprise him this year! I crocheted a little red devil for him. For the last few months we have been smiling over the Virgin media mascot we keep seeing on TV; a really cute little red devil. I decided to have a bash a making one, didnt have a pattern (of course) & in the short time I had I couldnt think how to do his head to allow me to give him an open mouth... of course about an hour after I had finished him I had a eureka moment & figured it out - typical :o) I handed him over as soon as he was finished though so didnt get chance to redo anything... still Gary loves him & thats all that matters, it was just a bit of fun.

Well here he is, sitting on the head of our bed

I cooked Garys favourite meal in the evening; steak, mushrooms, onion rings, tomatoes & chips... with sherry trifle for desert. The steak was delicious - best we have ever had anywhere, I brought it from our freerange butcher about 7 miles down the road - if anybody reading this lives around here & likes freerange meat this butcher is well worth a visit - the service & meats are excellent and the prices much better than freerange at a supermarket! Theres also a great farm shop & plant centre there, they are just outside Kidderminster, on the Stourbridge side - more info on their website here. Ooo yes theres animals too! They have a small herd of alpaca, a couple of sheep & goats plus lots of chickens (some are liberated battery hens) & ducks & some pheasants & peacocks, with a nice picnic area next to the animals. We have spent many a pleasant hour sitting out there in the sun with an icelolly in the summer.

Oh well, time to start working... have a good week :o)