I did say I would

I did say I felt inspired to make a wreath for work and work commenced quite quickly.

Initially I was going to make felt for the flowers but then decided I should use whatever was in my stash. Simon wanted traditional and fortunately I did have some felt in shades of red.

Next year it may have to be one with more colour and exuberance although this has worked out very well. What is it about wreaths that fascinates me? I wish I knew, all I know is that I want to make more.

Last workshop of the year

Fittingly, it was a felt wreath workshop, a busy but very productive and successful day. The hall was trimmed for the festive season which added to the ambience.

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The misteltoe wreath below is by Zoe and the addition of the robin with the red breast enabled her to use a red ribbon for hanging. That little flash of red amongst all the green and white works very well.

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Next up is from Suzi. This wreath is very calm with it’s colour choice and yet the spirals give it such energy. Try as hard as she might, the  wreath resisted all attempts to have any extra bits added so all the shop bought lovelies, with the exception of one small bark bird, stayed in their bags! Perhaps they’ll make it onto the next one. The hanging mechanism is a handmade cord made from handpsun yarn.

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On first sight I wasn’t won over by the face on the little brd brought in by Claire but Oh the tail!!  You have to love it for the tail. Roses in bright red, maroon with red sparkle angelina and old gold Merino.

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Mandy worked in a similar colour palette but added white roses to the mix which worked very well. I also like the way the spirals have been arranged into a fan creating a real strong focal point.

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Lynne (I hope I’ve spelt this correctly, please forgive me if I haven’t) wanted a wreath that was quite simple and unfussy so although there’s a lot of items on here their placement has achieved the look she was after. Again, the one flash of red lifts it and allowed her to use a red hanging ribbon.

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I asked what colours people wanted to work in on the wreath as I needed to card the fibre in advance and did wonder what a purple wreath would look like. Well, I think it’s stunning. Rachel did a fantastic job with her colour combinations and despite or maybe because of  her angst over colours, placement of items and how much to put on, it all worked very well.

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Francesca also surprised me with her colour choice by asking for teal but went on to add that she would put red and orange roses with it which I knew would be a stunning colour combination. Turning up with a large bag full of baubles  enabled her to choose a good mix of colours and there were plenty of the appropriate size for the wreath. This wreath is glorious fun!

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Mainly, people need to be encouraged to put more on a wreath, everyone remembers the adage less is more but sometimes more is more. You don’t need to cover the whole wreath but where you do place items they need to look abundant. There’s something about wreaths, I definitely need to make one for our shop and am now planning another workshop in my head.

Thanks ladies for a brilliant day and thanks very much for help with tidying away, have a great Christmas.

Christmas decorations

My favourite part of Christmas is the tree and my favourite family tradition is the expedition to a local farm to choose it. For some reason it’s always wet on these expeditions. Down a steep road we go to the farm, don our wellies and squelch our way into the fields.

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Charlotte loves to do the harvesting now she’s older, with a little help from her Dad who keeps the branches out of the way. My job is to help choose the tree and stand there getting wet and taking pictures of the mud.

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It rained the whole time! Once we have the trees secure in buckets of water and stones it’s on with the lights and the baubles.

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I adore the baubles all of which have been collected from many places over the last 35 years. A few of the baubles are older than me and were bought, by my parents, for my older brother’s first Christmas. I’ve grown up with these baubles and could never bear to let them go.

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Our rose bush provided the branches for this cute little bauble tree. Strangely, I got other decorations out this year and have put them away again as it made the house feel too cluttered. Perhaps it’s because the house was overrun by work stuff for the last month that I need some space now. Our door sports the wreath which I made at least three years ago and the only other thing I intend to do is make an arrangement for the mantelpiece this Saturday.

Felt for Christmas

I don’t know about you but I like a bit of handmade felt at Christmas and with angelina fibre making it sparkle who could resist? Mind you, I’ll be finding the sparkle for weeks, it seems to be on all my felting equipment.

I knew this year that I wanted to make small Christmas trees, what do you think of them?

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They’re very simple shapes to make but I wanted simple and understated with a calm green and white theme. After trying several ways to make these trees stand, including; drilling into wood (too solid), putting the branches in corks (too light) and moulding clay around them (too messy), I had the idea of using vintage glasses and went on a tour of the charity shops for suitable candidates.

No luck on the glass front but I did find a set of six white ???, not quite sure what they were designed for or what to call them so will say they are pots. They were originally from Ikea and a bargain price of £1.50 for 6. To keep the trunks upright and stop the pots falling over I used white stone chippings for ballast in two of them and in the third I used some green and white beach glass. I always said I’d find a use for it someday. I’m so so pleased with how they look although I did stress for a bit that they should have some kind of tree topper but now I like them quite plain.

Here’s a few more photos of felt that I use at Christmas, enjoy.

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Plus you can also see  here the stunning wreaths that were made in a workshop last Christmas. What have you been inspired to make this year?

Handmade Christmas

Some years we manage to do more hand made goods than others. I’ve managed some this year but my Daughter has excelled herself.

One stocking for herself and one each for me and her Dad. They’re beautifully executed and will now be hung every year which is great to look forward to.

The cushion was made for Grandma and is her first attempt at a larger item made using cross stitch. The wrapping paper she hand drew to wrap a present for her Dad.

Flavoured olive oil for Dad. Charlotte put 3 cloves of garlic in, it’s very pungent we’ll have to see if the taste matches the smell.

Charlotte also made six calendars for family members using photographs which she’s taken herself and choosing carefully which image would be appropriate for each month. I’m showing you February and December.

The only card we saw in the shops this year that I liked for our daughter cost £4 which seemed a ridiculous price so I decided to make one instead and I’m so pleased I did. The lettering was cut from a newspaper magazine and what’s on guide and the owl was made from leftover felt. Charlotte thought it was cool but wondered why I hadn’t given it a beak so a hasty update was required!

Other than the fingerless mittens in my last blog, I forgot to take photos of  my handmade presents to others but i did take a photo of one wrapped with the hand spun yarn for ribbon and handmade hearts adorning it. Shame I can’t actually find the photos now. I’d wondered what to do with my first handspun very slubby yarn and was delighted to come up with the ribbon replacement idea. I wonder if anyone worked out what it was?

We’re not lovers of Christmas pudding in this house so Charlotte baked an orange and marshmallow cake. Yummy.

Friendship, food and creativity

It’s time again to create some garden provided decorations for the house. This year daughter Charlotte invited her friend Daisy and mother Lorraine along. We shared a lunch of crusty bread soup, cheese and ham followed by brownies and mince pies (yes, both deserts for my daughter!) delicious. And yet we still found time for some of this.

Not only are these hearts by Lorraine and Daisy fabulous but the top one has cranberries on to feed the birds and the bottom one has holly berries for them. Great idea, I may have to try this next year.

My wreath made from copper beech, glitter clad cinnamon sticks and orange slices. First time Hubby has gone wow at one of these offerings, must be doing something right.

Beech, partially sprayed hydrangea and sprayed silver veronica for this simple arrangement for the porch.

 

Above – For the living room,

Fantastic offerings from my daughter, she never knows what she’s going to make until she’s already doing it.

Wonderfully bright and colourful for the hall – also by Charlotte. two more creative itmes from Charlotte, a wonderful stick reindeer

and some meticulously created snowflakes which were quite labour intensive but so worth it.

 

Handmade for me

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are rested from the break. Usually I show items which I’ve handmade but today’s offerings are items which have been handmade for me.

This fabulous paper garland was made for me by my daughter who has individually designed and coloured all the patterns too. So much effort has gone into this simple garland but it’s not wasted for I shall carefully preserve it for future years.

This is just unbelievable – a wire sheep made entirely from imagination and  was carefully worked out (and re-worked where necessary). My daughter knows I love rusted wire and this wire will rust but will definitely be remaining in the house where I can see it each day – possibly in my studio. I’m so lucky.

I was also lucky enough to receive one of these hand crocheted bags from good friend Kate. I’m sure she won’t mind me pinching her picture as it’s much better than the one I managed. Thank you Kate for the bag and the photo 🙂  I hope you all received some great things too.

At Home

Last night I held my annual ‘At Home’ event where people can call in and buy direct from me. It was a lovely night with a great chatty atmosphere even though there was nore tea than wine being drunk – weren’t we good. This year I had one or two new items on offer. These are felted soaps based on pebbles / rock.

I so enjoyed making these that I went on and made more using handmade soaps with essential oils.

Below are a few needlecases.

I’ve always put sparkly thread on the seams of hearts before but decided upon red this year. They’ve found a little spot in my heart.

Food on the brain!

These birds are so much fun. I love them and had to keep some for myself.

I only made one reindeer which I’ve kept for myself but I then had the thought that there was something of a llama about the body shape, now that’s all I can see!

Felt for Christmas

It’s been a little busy this week so I have posts backing up in my head. On Wednesday I held my Felt for Christmas workshop where we focused on creating felt with sparkle. Some has sparkly fabrics in it, some has metallic and glittery threads, some has angelina fibres and some had it all!

Lots of this felt is destined to be cut up into decorations for trees, garlands, gift boxes and the popular wreath from last week.We also made cords and covered balls to create hanging decorations but for some inexplicable reason I have no photos of those.

Thursday continued very busy and I made another trip to Sheffield to see Mum. Mum’s been in hospital for over six weeks and has now been in a nursing home for rehab care for two weeks. I thought Mum would would like me to pay a surprise visit. It was me that got the surprise as when I arrived she’d signed a disclaimer minutes before and taken herself off out for a visit to her flat. I searched in vain for an hour covering both possible routes and then gave up and came home again.

It caused havoc at the flats as she wasn’t expected and they thought she’d come home for good. I sorted that misunderstanding then finally discovered why I’d been unable to track her down –
she’d got lost!!