Tuesday, 29 September 2015

September makes...

Inspiration struck this month, making me want to make CRITTERS!  So that's what I've spent my felting time doing all through September..  

I've made hedgehogs and reindeer for the first time in more than 2 years :)

The animals went in two by two...
Just drying out here.
Sewing prickles onto the first hedgehog - HARRIS the big one.
I used a nice Harris tweed fulled in the washing machine for this one
Harris and the Hoglets :)

The Hoglets aren't Harris Tweed, their prickles are vintage wool tweed remnants - again fulled in the washer,  Their names are Remy the Light and Remy the Dark.  They all have rice packs and leather bottoms.. can be used for doorstops or the little ones can be bookends.  

This is the darker coloured reindeer with more 'grass' showing through the snow
Lighter coloured reindeer up close n personal :)

Both reindeer are teacosies..

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Catching up a little more..

I also got a jump on Halloween in August!  This was nothing to do with me being organised (I'm sure you will not be surprised to hear that lol) but rather because I was contacted through my Etsy shop, by a lady who wanted to feature my witchy hats in a magazine this Autumn.  It would be absolutely LOVELY if they do make it into a mag, but on the back of my photography they may not.. we shall see.

Anyway, I spent a week playing around making tiny witches hats - the ones I already had are in a bricks n mortar shop at the moment and I wanted some to put in my Etsy shop incase the feature does happen.

This is one of the pictures I took - quite pleased considering I not only managed to get my hair the way I wanted it :) but took the photos all by myself too.  Using a timed delay - what fun that was dashing back and forth and trying to look relaxed and natural for the snap! :)

This is my own witchy topper made a while back
but the size of the new ones are similar and they're same size.

I did start out with the intention of recording the felting process and adding it as a time-lapse video.. didn't quite work as expected though.  I was quite puzzled to find it had stopped recording part way through.  So I tried again with the next hat, taking up where the first ended.. only for the same thing to happen again!  For some reason it seams that my camera will only record 20 odd minute chunks. 

Laying out the fibre

It looks like my hands are just vibrating on this video but I was actually rolling back and forth, faster movements are lost in the the time-lapse.  I did 75 back and forth rolls each time between turns.


I just watched and noticed that I was holding it off camera part of the time while I 
was rolling the brim!  And a lot of smaller movements don't show up due to the time-lapse.. :(

I finished up with a nice little collection..

Gathered black lace veil / train

Gathered iridescent organza -
cut edges sealed over a candle then heat distorted and tattered.

I LOVE how you get flashes of colour change with both of the organza fabrics, they pick up the colours in the witches hats nicely.  Wonder if I could/should do a full sized hat with veil (or is it a train being as it's at the back?)...?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Catching up...

I really have been a bad blogger lately!  I've felt a bit like I'm running through mud over the last few months.  This year hasn't been an easy one.. my moms dementia got a lot worse at the start of the year and since then I've been doing what I can to help look after her.  Watching mom, whats happening.. and coping with my dad coming to terms with this - not easy.  Trying to do this, whilst looking after my own family as much as I want to and working..  well I got a bit depressed there for a while.  I have to say my lovely husband has kept me sane through all this, I am so lucky to have him!  I've spent a couple of months hiding out in books whenever I could (losing myself in a book stopped me thinking about things).  But I do feel like I'm getting a grip now, I'm hoping so anyway.  

Things must be improving because I've actually been feeling creative again.. feeling inspired to felt and sew.  Since it's been ages since I blogged about anything but our beech tree :)  I'm going to save my latest stuff - the stuff I felt really 'inspired' to do - for a future post.  

I'm starting with what I did in August..  there were masses of gorgeous summer flowers everywhere I looked, so decided to make a couple of bags with a floral theme..  Both sides of both bags have flowers.

Silk fibre, curly locks and prefelt for the floral design

This was to be  a deep tote
a wide bottom :)  

The width at the bottom makes it roomier 
and allows it to stand unsupported.

This one was white Falkland inside and dyed merino outside, see how the white has crept through

I lined the handle area with a pretty Kaffe Fasset print cotton fabric
adding a piping edge to the pockets in the same.

Finished with a magnetic popper closure (the stitch on sort)
The second bag is a base of natural brown British wools (mostly from fleeces I've cleaned and carded).

Black Shetland lamb, Black Welsh and the darkest brown parts of a Jacobs
again with silk fibre, curly locks and prefelt for the design
This one has tabs at the top for attaching the handle
The handle is a strong felted cord - with a metal ring felted into either end.
The metal rings were then threaded onto the tabs which are turned over and
stitched securely down.  
This style lends itself to sewing a zip across the top :)
Close-up showing texture.
All the different fibre used - different shrinkage rates etc. have
given a really lovely deeply pebbled texture.

This bag has a very vintage shabby chic character I think (it actually reminds me of a Victorian table covering in the Housekeepers room of the Victorian House I used to work in)

AND they both made it onto my Etsy shop too :)  can't be bad.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Under the Beech Tree - September

A typical September morning.. starting off misty.
The sun broke through maybe half hour later and became a
lovely, hot, sunny day

No sign of leaves turning in the big trees..
many of the smaller ones though (like my maples) have
There's a definite feel of autumn in the air.. brisk misty mornings and cooler evenings.  The pigeons and crows are gathering too.. I LOVE hearing the crows call - though it always reminds me of Hagrid's hut in the Harry Potter movies since watching them :)

Gemstone - Sapphire
Flower - Aster

Alpine Aster from Culpeppers Herbal 1812
Image Shrewsbury Museum Service

Anglo Saxons called September Haefest Monath - Harvest Month

I don't really have much trivia or folklore to bore you with :) for September.. This is the month when all educational establishments (here in the UK at least) go back after their summer breaks.  This is the first year in the last 15 where I don't have a child returning to full time school - though they are both still going to part time college, it feels very different.  No mad dash getting uniforms and equipment brought and ready.. no gloom from kids because of the impending return to school :)  I felt quite liberated while shopping seeing all the moms and kids scurrying round buying the necessities (moms with the usual harried look of 'Back to School' shopping trips).. knowing I didn't have to do that this year.

I love watching the year roll round and the seasons turn.  We usually go watch the farmer harvest the wheat field next to our house in August.. when the kids were small he would wave at them every time the combine harvester thundered past (we were well back) he's very late this year though,  hope he comes soon or it'll be no good.

Well, I'll leave you with a little Keats - I love the first line.. so perfectly descriptive.

From John Keats' poem, To Autumn, 1820:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.