Saturday, 22 December 2012

Wishing you..

Wishing you all
a wonderful Christmas &
a peaceful, prosperous and healthy 2013!

Origami star
I found a tutorial for this origami star over on Pinterest and couldn't resist making one.  It was easy.. up to the point where your fit all the pieces together... that is definitely the tricky part!  I couldn't close mine up any more than this so cheated by filling the hole with coloured paper ;)  This link should take you to the tutorial and you can see how the stars are supposed to look.  The tutorial is written in Norwegian translated by google, but the pictures speak for themselves..

I also found a tutorial for some really cute paper roses for gift-wrapping.. I made two and they were wonderfully easy and looked lovely - but I totally forgot to take a photo of mine, here is the tutorial link..  this one is all in pictures - go take a peek they are lovely and sooo easy.

That's it from me 'till after the Big Day  xx

Friday, 21 December 2012

This week

I can't really share that much about my latest felt.. too many pieces will be given as Christmas pressies and I don't want to spoil any surprises.  Something I can tell you about though..

I recently had some of small pieces of felt in our local museum shop :) it's the first time I've done this and I was quite excited to be honest.  Most of the bits I sent were things I had made for a Christmas fair last year which turned out to be a total waste of time..  I haven't done a fair this year so I took my bits 'n' pieces to Haden Hill instead.   The top three shelves have my stuff on and the jewellery at the bottom was made by my lovely sister-in-law.  

First time I used my new display materials..
Gary made me a lovely, sturdy pin board to hang my brooches and keyrings from.  I'd planned to paint it but changed my mind at the last minute.  Deciding instead to cover it with pages from Gary's first dictionary - the poor book got quite badly damaged when we moved house but I just love it.. it is SOooo 70's, the pages are discoloured with age.. and it belonged to my man when he was just a little boy, which is quite endearing to me.   I pasted pages onto the hard board completely covering every surface apart from the pegs, then painted PVA glue all over to give it a nice soft sheen.

My old camera didn't focus very well in poor light
I made some new information boards too and covered them with the dictionary pages.. I mounted the info in the centre and you can see the vintage paper around it.  The info boards were a last minute quick fix 'cos I couldn't find my old one.. I just used cardboard from a strong box, and even though they are just card, now that they are covered with the paper and PVA'd they are as strong as if I had made them from hardboard.. I was quite surprised at that.  The museum closes from Christmas to March so I went to collect our stuff yesterday and we have both made quite a few sales - yay!

I had lots of lovely birthday wishes from readers, on the comments here and as convos from my Etsy shop - thank you all!  It meant a lot that you took the time to get in touch :)

My birthday was lovely.. it didn't go quite as planned, Rachael has been ill all week with a really nasty cold (she is feeling better today) it would of been silly to drag her out to the cinema so we shall go another day.  I did manage to catch up with my friend Clare who treated me to a lovely homemade soup lunch - thank you Clare :)   And Gary brought me a very smart new camera for my birthday.. it has WIFI!  I can send pictures straight from the camera to my computer from wherever I am.. I think.  I just need to work out how to use it lol.  I am hoping that it will be useful for a couple ideas I have for the new year.

OK.. now I have to go finish writing Christmas cards..

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Not quite enough to pull Santa's slay..

I've been felting seamless Reindeers.. I made 4 teacosies and had a request for a bigger one turned into a doorstopper.  At one point I looked up from my work and saw this line up..
Only one has his face embroidered on..
Which really made me smile.. I just needed a felted slay behind them and they could of been my Christmas card picture :)  Here's a quick glimpse at how I made them:

The first things that I made were the antlers and tail.. to keep the fluffy ends dry while I was felting them I tightly wrapped them in cling film / plastic wrap.  I rooted them in between the fourth and fifth fibre layers.

After cutting out a reindeer shaped resist from foam floor underlay I covered it with several layers of white Norwegian wool fibre
The first 2 layers.
Who would guess that under this big fluffly mound 
of white fibre is a reindeer shape :)
The fifth and sixth layers are coloured merino.. browns to draw the reindeer shape.. fifth layer was green around the bottom.

On the sixth layer I covered the green with white merino and scattered some linen fibres

adding the antlers

Part way through.  This is pretty much felted, you can see the white fibres have crept though the colour & the green has crept through the white (reminds me of grass peeking through snow).  I use my ridged rolling stick to really harden the felt.

After drying him stuffed with tea towels to keep his shape, I stuff the head with wool fibre - and seal the inner neck to stop the stuffing falling out :) then embroider the face on

Now they all have their faces :)
The one in the middle is a tea cosy, the others are door stoppers.  I only needed to make one door stop, but the first (on the right) didn't quite turn out as I wanted - I used all merino fibre and the white didn't creep through to make the reindeer heathery so I made the second one to be sure it had the finish that my customer liked.  

The doorstops have weighted packs with leather bases sewn into the bottom

An update on my slippers TV appearance..  I did manage to find the report on the internet but unfortunately they hadn't used that footage  :(  The lovely lady with the Faerie slippers had been interviewed for an hour or so on different aspects of internet shopping and they used the bit that fit their story.. never mind.  The main thing is how happy that my lady is to of mentioned them in the first place! 

It's my birthday tomorrow and I'm meeting a friend for lunch, then going to the cinema (to see the Hobbit) and having dinner with Gary and the kids.. should be a lovely day.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Reduce.. Reuse.. Recycle..

Something I am constantly trying to do!  One thing that I do is recycle old boxes for packaging my slippers and boots (and hats).  I don't just reuse them though.. I make them strong and beautiful in the hopes that the people who receive them will use them as storage boxes, rather than throw them away.

I have been collecting shoe and boot boxes (and anything else which can be adapted) for a while now.. thank you for saving them folks :)  And I certainly know that Kelly was interested in just what I do with them.    I have been rather rubbish at keeping up with my bog lately, but I did take lots of photos after my last big box busting session..  I use old books, magazines, even ordinance survey maps - some belonged to my kids others were being thrown out by a local library most of the time they are damaged or scribbed in..  I would feel guilty ripping up books that were in good condition.. the ones I use are usually a bit nackered in one way or another.

Bad light when I took these so the colours aren't great
 The red square box with a picture of scissors holds the Halloween cauldron I felted a couple of months ago.. the paper is from a really weird kids picture book of modern fables, I just loved the quirky art in it, and it was perfect for a Halloween box :)  The square box at the top left holds my mum-in-laws Christmas hat, she was born and raised in Cornwall.. the paper I covered it with is from old magazines and all relates to Cornwall in Victorian times.

The next box was a lovely size for a pair of tall boots.. I covered it with pages from an old nature encyclopaedia (from the 60s/70s)

 It 'flapped over' to close.. as I wanted it to stay shut I tied it with sari yarn..  I just loved this box!  

Its on its way to Tasmania now - first time I have sent anything there :)    This is what was inside the box

I always send care information, a short explanation of how I made the felt with a tuft of the fibre used, a personal handwritten note & business card (how I adore my mini moo cards).

All tied up with sari yarn
 Just after I had covered all these boxes, I sold my Faerie slippers to a lovely lady in Canada.. and I didn't have a fairy-ish box to send them in..  I had a spare evening and decided to spend it 'playing'.

Took these at night so the lighting is not good

I didn't have any fairy tale books to use.. but I did have a very beaten up Enid Blyton story book.  It is far to damaged to pass on to anyone, but even though it's only black and white the illustrations are gentle and charming.

Tea staining the pages to 'age' them
Glued on they look rather smart I think.
I coated the box with PVA glue to seal it nicely.

Ready to go
The lady who brought these has emailed to say how much she loves them, which always makes me so happy to hear.  A few days later she emailed to tell me that they are gonna be on Canadian TV!  She was interviewed by her local TV station about online shopping.. she showed them the faerie slippers and their box and they filmed her putting them under the Christmas tree - How cool is that?!  I'm going to try to view it online, but for anybody who is interested and receives the channel it is going to air on Tue 11th Dec - on CTV Edmonton Local news in the consumer watch section.  I am quite excited to be honest.. hope I can find it online.

Anyhoo.. things to do.  Hope you are all enjoying the run up to Christmas