Saturday, 24 December 2011

This Christmas Eve...

I would like to wish you all
a Happy Christmas
Peaceful New Year

With lots of creative fun for all! :)
I would also like to thank you for stopping by my blog, to those who have commented on my posts a special thank you - it has been a pleasure hearing from you

Love to you all
Deborah xxx

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Lots of felty photos..

I have been 'away' for so long that there are quite a few makes that I havent shared..  time to catch-up a little :)  As you will notice I fixated on a couple of colour combos.. you saw the black & white and purple & petrol big fringed scarves a while back - I loved these so much that I really HAD to make more in those colours..
This shawl/poncho has one of my new Buttonalia buttons :)   Black and grey merino with lots of silk; silk laps & throwsters waste, white flax (linen) fibre and boucle yarn

This plump little black & white beuaty is just right. 
I felted decorative holes which double up as button holes.

I hate modeling hats!

Pin brooch

LOVE these colours!  The mulberry silk looks lovely I think

Note to self.. pull jeans up before having photo taken from behind!
 And especially for you Heather :)  BOOTS

Turquoise blue and red.. in my head I think of these as SuperHero boots - they are the right colour I think!

Pumpkin boots
And I've got a couple of other makes tucked away until after Christmas..


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Finally a finished Dragon Bag :)

I have been a baaaad blogger lately! With the run-up to Christmas I haven’t had time to post or keep up with the blogs I follow.. Its time to catch-up, and the first thing that I want to do is show you the finished Dragon Bag :)

There are 2 integral pockets, just right for keeping track of little bits like a mobile phone and make-up. I put the mustard coloured fibre down as a guide for when I cut the pocket resists out.. I’m glad I did – its a nice splash of colour in a very dark interior!

I used leather inside the bag to strengthen the places where the handle cord passes through the felt, and for the fastner loop.

This took me a while to finish, as I mentioned last time I changed my mind about using the felt & leather button I had made (it really wasn’t very good) – luckily for me the lovely Sharry of Buttonalia is much better at making moons than I am :)  . She has created two big fat full moons for me.. along with quite a few other lovelies, these are the ones I haven’t used yet

I also changed my mind a couple of times about how the handle should be. Firstly the 2 cord ends were joined on top and hidden beneath a leather cuff – after a couple of days I took that apart, thinking to knot it leaving the 2 ends hanging down on one side, and to create a felt dragon to wrap around holding the cords together at the shoulder. When I actually knotted the handle in place I like it as it is.. I think the shoulder dragon would be TOO much.

I’ve used felt, leather and ceramic for this bag.. its nice using different materials, makes it very tactile. I’m very happy with how it turned out, and have plans for a few other bags in the same vein.

I have a few other things to share with you over the next couple of weeks.. some before and some after Christmas. For now I am off to try and figure out how to crochet a newborn baby cardigan. I have been searching and searching for a knit and a crochet pattern for a SIMPLE newborn cardi – round neck and 2 or 3 buttons to fasten.. can I find what I want? NO. So, Im going to try and work out my own crochet pattern today (I’m much more confident with crochet) and tomorrow I shall try my luck at the local library.. see if they have anything in their baby knit books.


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Button Moon

Following on from my last post (Dragon Bag)..  I wanted a button closure but didn't want it to look out of place.  Didn't really take long for a button moon to pop into my head - only problem: I didn't HAVE a button anything like a moon!  So I decided to have a pop a making my own..

Inspiration came from 2 of my blogger friends this time:

Nicola at Clasheen blogged about some gorgeous little brooches she was doing as a mini workshop.. I think these are so cool, she had so cleverly used tiny resists to create texture.. I could picture a moon with tiny craters. 

A while ago Heather blogged about a gorgeous felt & leather button that she had made.. I loved this button.  I decided to have a play and try making my own version... as a full moon.  I certainly ENJOYED myself making them.. and will make other buttons in the future.  As far as my bag goes though THANK GOODNESS for Sharri of Buttonalia; she is making me some moony buttons as I write this :)  I  am so excited to see what she comes up with - and I know its going to be a lot better than my moons lol.

I laid out a piece of 'textural' felt with loads of different silky bits; fabric, hankies, fibres, caps.  Mostly white but with some deep gold (naturally dyed) which is actually UNDER the silk hankies on this pic.. you can just make out a glow

I chickened out at the last minute from doing the tiny resists.. not sure why.  I felted it really hard.  When it was dry I cut circles and using the darning foot on my machine, freemotioned some 'craters' - they all look like grinning halloween skulls to me ...
Button backs - from the left:
* felt back with floss loop - this is the inner piece of felt
* leather back glued on
* leather back sewn on (just machine stitched around the edge through both felt layers plus the leather
* leather back sewn on first to the back felt layer in radiating circles to make it flatter then around the edge through all 3 layers

Pleased with how the loop turned out. 
I cut a hole in the leather disk and threaded the loop through before attaching it.

Glued on - not very happy with this one

Zig-zag stitched through all 3 layers just around the edge. 
This was ok.. but I wondered if attaching it more securely to the back layer of felt would make it stiffer.

bit creepy..
Stitching the leather & felt at intervals did make it feel STURDIER

Glad I played around with this though.. even if I'mnot planning to use them :)  it was interesting and different.  I would do things differently again next time (apart from using interesting and colourful felt.. HAND embroidery and maybe some beads.. I shall try handstitching the leather back on to see how that looks.

Next post will be the finished bag (I hope).. I VERY nearly finished it a few days ago.. then decided to change the way I was doing the handle. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Dragon Bag

After my post on Tuesday.. and having caught up with the blogs I read - and finding inspiration there :)  I got down to experimenting, and playing with my new fibres (all merino in lovely deep wintery colours.. blue/black, blue/purple, deep red, juniper green, rich mustardy gold).

I have a range of Celtic inspired bags in my mind.. they have been there for a while, but I finally started sketching a couple of weeks ago.  Actually visiting Glastonbury got me moving with them..  Well one of the bags is a Dragon Bag, what I couldnt decide with this one is what SHAPE the bag should be.

Reading Heathers blog on Tuesday.. in particular the Green Bag posts it clicked into place.  SO, very much inspired by Heathers beautiful bag, I set to work.  It was a dark, miserable day and I had the light on all day while I was working.. I did take photos and am really pleased that they are OK to post. 

Resists for integral pockets. You can't see it, but the first thing I did was lay whisps of mustard coloured fibre where the pockets would be, so I now where to cut the resists out when its felted.

Mixed colours on the back.  I had a couple of layers of solid blue/black beneeth the colours.. I like the way it mutes the colours and brings them together.

Wetted the fibres on the front before putting the dragon on.  I had cut the body and wing shapes from acid green silk chiffon and laid this down first, then whisps of green merino, finished with pistachio green tussah silk fibre.

Removing the pocket resists part way through

Felted.  You can sort of see the resist behind it.. its shrunk by 1/3
 - which is what I expected as it was laid out pretty thickly

Next day I started pinning and sewing decorative ridges to emphasis the shape of the bag

I used my darning foot to freemotion around the dragon.
I had debated whether to machine or hand stitch around him.. went with the machine because I like the extra dimension it gives felt.  Didn't turn out quite the effect I wanted though..

So I am hand stitching OVER the machine stitching.. the felt is still pulled in by the machine stitch, the hand stitching is hopefully adding a little more definition.

I haven't finished the bag yet, so I'm breaking it down into 3 posts.. next time I'll show you the button I made today :)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Highs and lows

I've had a couple of really productive weeks.. worked on some custom orders, some new designs, some bits n bobs for a Christmas fayre Im doing this weekend...  and then WHAM  today I'm feeling totally lost.  Demotivated.  I really dont know what to do - and I know I can't afford to waste a day.  Grrrrrr

Instead of moaning I'm going to post some pics of a few of my makes :)

These are my custom orders.. all either at their new home or on their way now..

Custom coasters.. part way through (love these colours)

parallel stitch lines border
I had to rush to get the coasters shipped & didn't get chance to photograph them all finished.
Remember these? 
I posted pics of them part way done.. here they are all finished & ready to go

I played with textures on this one.. curly locks, silk caps, nuno silk chiffon (vintage sari), slubby woolen yarn and MASSES of sari silk fibre inside
And new designs..

Black, grey & a little white merino with LOTS of extras.. bleeched flax fibre (linen) silk laps, throwsters waste on one side and curly BFL locks on the other

Big and snuggly

I fancied a substantial fring on these.. so I felted 14 cords, leaving the fibres fluffy at one end & incorporating them in at layout stage
And a bit more colourful & glitzy

I added some strips of synthetic fabrics to this one.. this silver is torn from a vintage (prob 70s) disco type top - not mine :)  Its a very solt & slinky mesh-like fabric.. it felted in well & is much more silvery in real life than on the's still really soft to the touch too (thank goodness).  Lots of multicoloured firestar fibre blended in on this side too.

More felted cord fringing :) 16 this time.  I love the teal with the purples

This is the lighter, plumier side.. nice bright sari-sil ribbons and irridescent synthetic organza (it changes from midnight blue to copper depending on the light)
There you go.. now I'm feeling better :)  And as a bonus my latest fibre order just arrived.. Wingham have a nice range of non-standard merino at the moment and they are LOVELY.

OK, I'm off to play  xxx

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A wild and windy seaside stay..

This week the children have been home from school for half-term.. and we managed to sneak away for a last, late seaside break in Dorset.  We had a great time as a family; it was very wild and windy which of course meant the waves were spectacular.. good job we weren't planning to kayak this time :)   There were a couple of days that I have no photos of - they were all out of focus 'cos the wind was buffeting me SO much, but I do have a few pics for you.. the first lot were taken at Lyme Regis.  We have never been there before, what a quirky and picturesque place.. 

Whenever I see seagulls close up I think of Pyramids by Terry Pratchet (LOVE that book)

I recon that poor chap got soaked
Lyme Regis is on the Jurasic Coast and is well known for finding fossils - Matthew found this one just lying there on the first beach we walked over.. needless to say he is thrilled to bits, Gary and Rachael tried hard to find their own fossils too.. but nothing near as good as this one.

You can clearly see 2 big critters (one on top of the other) plus 1 smaller very white & crystalised one, and what looks like quite a few much smaller ones

hello old friend.. 
on top of Glastonbury Tor
The remains of the chapel built in the 1300s 
We havent been to Glastonbury for far too long.. it is a place that has always pulled me very strongly.  Of everyplace that I have ever been Glastonbury has to be the most welcoming, accepting and inclusive... a day spent here soothes my soul.  We had an even bigger treat than expected this time..  As we were walking up the lane toward to Tor we came across the White Spring Water Temple for the first time.  For many years of visiting the Tor this place had been used for other purposes, but in recent years it has become the most amazing water temple. 

Through the doorway, we stood letting our eyes get used to the dark, down the old stone steps in to a candlelit vaulted stone cavern.. there were puddles and rivulets all over the floor and the sound of running water was SO loud,  burning incense and sweet music in the air.  I must go back and spend longer there, it was such a peaceful place.  After too short a time we had to leave.. we were off up the Tor.

.... When we got to the top there was a man playing hauntingly beautiful music on a flute...  How much do I love it here?  ... I want to go back already..

Now we are home & I made my first piece of felt for just over a week yesterday :)  Today its going to be all about pumpkins!  As a family of Harry Potter fans we have a Halloween feast every year, Rachael is planning to make a special spooky desert this year so we shall be having our feast tonight rather than on Halloween (my girl does everything at a snails pace so she will need lots of time :)


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Beeeautiful Buttons

If you have been reading this for a while.. or know me in person, you have probably picked up on my love of buttons.. I hoard them, my button tins are little treasure chests.  I have always felt that way about button tins actually, I loved my mom & nans button tins when I was a little girl and spent many happy hurs sorting through them.  Even my husband is always on the lookout for buttons for me :) bless him. 

I want to share a seller that I have found.. I have been admiring Buttonalia ceramic buttons on Etsy for about a year now.. they are always such gorgeous colours and look so plump and non-uniform.. each one is unique.  Every now and then I go look and drool and wonder what I would make with each one I fancied.. not really settling on a particular use... I just coveted them :)

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a couple of big beauties and straight away I could picture them on shawls / wraps as a closure instead of one of my usual stick pins.  So I brought them.. Sharry the talented potter behind Buttonalia, is absolutely lovely :) she got my buttons to me the very next day - which was great 'cos I was bursting to get hold of them!  I was so excited to get them I didnt even take a photo of them unattached!

First thing I did was attach one to my own shawl.. the nuno one with the Indian scarf which took forever and a day to felt in..

Perfect size to allow me to use the decorative holes as button holes :)

The button is black and green
The next one was just right for a wrap which which turned out just as I was picturing it (HUGE layout for this one) its more of a cape than a shawl..

SO, if you like buttons go take a look at Sharry's shop..  I can honestly say hers are the nicest ceramic buttons I have seen.. and as lovely as they are to look at they feel even better - you just wanna keep touching them