Two years on

Two years ago I made a spiral in felt with beach glass inclusions and blogged about it here. Picture reminder below.

Lovely rich blue colours. The intention was to place this outside, which I duly did and now it’s time to show you how it’s aged.

So much of the colour has been lost.

It gets a lot of rain and wind but has survived remarkably well and there’s no attack by moths or any other insects.Β  I was never in love with this and perhaps it’s time for me to take it down but I have to confess I’m curious to see how long it will survive and what other changes it will go through. Perhaps I’ll just move it toΒ  somewhere less visible.

Showing off

Where, eludes my memory but somewhere last year I read an article that said we should stop hoarding things in cupboards and either, put them on display or perhaps de-clutter. I liked the idea of displaying some of the things hidden in cupboards and did actually get around to hanging a few more bits of felt on the walls.

One thing which I hoard and which I never have enough uses for is beach glass. The whole family is trained to support my addiction of bringing back bits of glass and we’re inordinately excited if we manage to find some in an unusual colour like red for instance. Some pieces are used and the rest are hidden in margarine cartons under the stairs – what a shame, until now.

I still need yet more jars for the glass but keep trying to find something more unusual in the charity shops. I don’t want all the jars the same. The square glass vase at the back was earmarked for the charity shop (really not keen on the shape) but earned a reprieve as a cone container. Two have shells in, one has green beach glass and the snallest has a small collection of beach pottery (good intentions to include in mosaics – hey! I could include some in a driftwood heart). The clear beach glass will need a considerably larger container πŸ™‚

This colourful assortment of felt balls has been living in my work cupboard and the contents are regularly spilled acros the floor as I drag other items out from the back. The eagle eyed amongst you may have worked out that this is a glass jelly mould. I did try buttons in it but that didn’t work for me.

Remember this?

In May I showed you this little blue pot

I’d been playing around with the shape and couldn’t decide what to do. Some of you were kind enough to respond with suggestions and Kate suggested putting beach glass in the holes. It’s taken me a while to find the time but here it is.

I decided to put the beach glass on the outside rather than in the holes and I like the finished piece. The brown beach glass looks good and I’m so pleased to have found a use for some of it as I seem incapable of not collecting it.

I was chuffed to find a thread that matched and it does look good on the gravel. Thanks Kate.

Two of my favourite things

Rust and beach glass are two of my favourite things and I’ve wanted to do something with them for ages but it’s been the usual procrastination and claiming I don’t have time. Although, to be fair, I have attempted a piece of art with the nails previously but, it didn’t work out as I wanted.

I began by collecting my materials – rusty nails left behind by the builders, beach glass and florists wire.

Wired the nails into a circle.

Wired on the beach glass and just kept going until it looked right. I did try a few beads as well but they weren’t sufficiently translucent to sit happily alongside the glass.

Now I’ll keep spraying daily with water until the florists wire has rusted to match the nails. It’s not love but I do quite like the finished item and at least perhaps it’ll spur me on to try more.

Garden Art

Increasingly I’m moving to using and exhibiting my felt outdoors. It just seems a natural progression to festoon the garden with as much felt work as the house has received! This will inevitably lead to loss of colour in dyed wools but actually I don’t mind this idea. I’m excited by the thought that my felt will change over time by: becoming paler, stretching or shrinking, gathering moss, changing shade when it gets wet, perhaps even getting a little moth eaten. To watch it change (or not) across the seasons will be interesting.

So when I found some blue tatty rope on the beach I just knew it had to go outdoors. There’s a little spot at the back of the house which is long and narrow and for which I wanted to make a felt hanging. The best part about the rope was the loop at the top, a ready made hanging mechanism. Beach, blue rope, the hanging just had to be blue too.

I also like rust so I added a layer of tan merino to begin and allowed it to show at the edges slightly. I covered the rope with three shades of turquoise and blue merino, allowing it to break out and sit on top of the fibres in places. On top I used a few wips of tan and rust merino, ramie,silk and bamboo fibres in tiny quantites for a little sheen and a teal crystal organza to create more texture and give a hint of shine. It’s not a great picture of the hanging but I thought you’d like to see where it will sit. It is south facing so if I leave it there I’m expecting to see colour fading quite quickly.

Although I was very pleased with the hanging it just felt like it needed something more. I wondered what I could add and remembered my ever growing stash of beach glass. Excited I pulled out lots of lovely white (it was once clear) glass and sprinkled them on the felt. It didn’t work, but when I replaced it with brown glass I knew I’d hit upon the right thing. It was also lucky to find amongst my threads one in turquoise which was quite twisted. I’ve used some scrappy looking knots to fasten the glass on and positioned it near the rope. This has had the effect of making it look like it became trapped there naturally.

On a separate beach trip I’d found a lead weight from a fishing net and that’s what you can see tied to the bottom of the felt. I can’t decide whether to leave this on or not. It helps to weight the felt and stop it blowing about too much but I’m not sure about how it looks or if it will stretch the felt. It’s tied on using the rope which is embedded into the felt.

What do you think I should do about the weight, leave it on or remove it? This is a style of felt art that I’d like to do more of and be able to sell. What do people think, would you buy it? It’s not like a sculpture for the garden. It will be quite long lived but it’s condition will contsantly change. Will it sell?

Beach glass spiral

I’ve had various projects in mind for quite a while now, one of which was to use up some of the many pieces of beach glass that I’ve collected on my trips to the seaside. So it was obvious really that I’d be inspired by the colours of the sea and by what else you might find there. In an earlier post I showed you seaquest, an item inspired by the sea and recycling a ceramic ball from my garden. Below you’ll see the spiral.


I don’t know if you can see but some of the glass is ridged, coloured or has other patterns in it. Because glass can’t be rolled up (it’d pierce the felt) the whole piece was created just by rubbing. I laid out four layers of white fibres, put in the glass then laid 2 layers of white over the top plus the final carded layer you see above. It’s a substantial piece which I intend to hang outdoors.

These are just two of the finished pieces, I’m now working on a third one inspired by rusty pieces of metal that I also collected from the beach. I wonder what I’ll be inspired to do with the cones, feathers and shells awaiting my attention?