Just for Sue

Sue T has requested I publish my recipe for gingerbread but before I begin I wanted to share with you this picture of Sue’s bag. It looks great now it has the toggle attached and is fully functioning. Well done Sue and thanks for the photo.


Gingerbread Recipe

350g plain flour
1tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate ofย  soda
100g butter
175g dark muscovado sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

Mix it any way you like, I’ve tried several ways e.g. melting butter, melting butter and sugar and no matter what I do the result is fairly consistent. If you do melt butter and sugar or syrup it tends to make the mixture a bit too warm and sticky so you need to wait for it to cool down. I’ve also made it by rubbing the butter in. So don’t worry, just do what you normally do.

Although the recipe calls for only 1tsp ginger we like the ginger quite strong so I use 1.5 tsp ginger. It makes 18 large hearts and bakes in our fan oven at 180ยฐ for 10-12 minutes.





A late ta-dah and brotherly love

Not drastically late. On saturday I began a bag as I find it the best way to help people learn is to demonstrate, but in a workshop situation I don’t have time to finish it off. I finished it on Sunday (very quick for me) , it was dry on Tuesday ready for me to show. Until that is, I took a good look at it and discovered that not all the soap was out. So another wash and dry later, here it is.

My apologies that these aren’t great photos but the sky is dark with sleet so it took me 4 attempts and over exposing it to get this far.

It’s a black Blue Faced Leicester base with some throwsters silk waste decoration. The flap is covered with Teeswater fleece which I put on it’s raw state and let it do what it wanted, I wanted some loose curls but not the whole lot.

The handle and closure is felted in.Instead of a button I decided to make a catch from wooden beads salvaged from a broken necklace. Contrasting textures make me very happy.

I’m going to finish today with a picture of brotherly love.

It must be love as they’re sharing one of the best seats in the house. Not only can they watch the bird table from there but it’s right above a nice warm radiator. Midi (short for Midnight, the darker cat) and Pan are our two youngest cats.

First workshop of the year

Every time I run a workshop it’s fun and today was no exception. Good company, lots of laughs and some quite fabulous pieces of felt. So far this winter we’ve had very little snow, so why oh why did it have to snow today? Here’s a lovely winter scene from the village hall.

Isn’t it adorable. It’s not quite as out of focus as you think, it had started to snow. But enough of the weather, here’s a few of those bags you were all waiting to see – I did say it was a bag workshop did I?

This lovely bag was made by Jeni and has a pocket on the inside. I changed the workshop slightly today and brought Blue Faced Leicester fibres for people to use in oatmeal and black. It’s a brilliant British fibre and well worth trying for yourself.

In order, we have loveliness from Lindsay, Angela and Elaine. All handles and catches are felted in, the flashes of colour are provided by Merino fibres and Elaine’s bag also has vegetable bags included. A nice bit of recycling.

The top bag is by Cera with an all over spot decoration and internal pocket. The bottom bag is by Pauline and has Merino fibres and Wensleydale curls.

Top bag by Pauline, her first ever piece of felt, pretty good it is too, lovely solid felt. Bottom left is by Karen another first time felter who did a great job, you’d never have guessed it was her first piece. Bottom right is understated gorgeousness by Sue and it has 2 internal pockets. We tried really hard to finish early but what is this, a lone felter?

Yes, I’m sorry to say Lesley was naughty and had to stay behind. No, not really, this is what you call dedication and perseverance when all around you have left.

It was worth the work though wasn’t it and when the Wensleydale curls dry they’ll look even fluffier, what a fab bag. Thank you ladies for a great day and I hope everyone got home okay. Do please send photos when they’re dry and you’ve added buttons.

Unique lovelies

Yesterday was the bag workshop day where our small, select and very happy group made some fab bags.

An ambitious first handbag by Sue with double handles and double flaps. The shaping of the flaps is a nice touch and the marbling effect is achieved by a combination of carded fibres and recycled sari silk fibres.

This beautiful little tote bag in fun colours is by Belinda. This side has a pattern of spots applied with the use of pre-felts and the reverse has a heart pattern.

Wendy’s bag is so much fun with it’s pattern inspired by starburst flowers. It’s a delicate mix of pinks with a contrasting white interior, double flap and a twisted cord for a fastener. You’d never guess that it’s Wendy’s first piece of felt would you?

An oval shaped bag produced by Judy. It has two internal pockets, double flap and a handle which spilts in two in the centre. I think the poppy picture design is quite delightful too.

Sue worked so hard on this bag. It has two internal pockets and two external pockets plus integral strap and contrasting interior. The photo really doesn’t do it justice.

The workshop was calm, good fun, interesting conversation and with a view of lambs in the field opposite. What more could we ask.

Wakefield Felting

This is my first chance to show you some of the stunning bags that were made at Wakefield last week.

Aren’t they wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me that everyone starts with the same basic materials but ends with such unique work. It was a large group of very friendly women and only two of them had ever made felt before, astonishing.

The day was organised by Sue, to whom many thanks are due. I received excellent directions from her husband, the venue was lovely and the lunch was superb. Everyone (except me) brought food along and it was shared by all. It’s the best lunch I’ve eaten for a very long time – thank you ladies. So if you fancy getting a group of friends together for a felting day and we can agree a date, I’d be delighted to travel to you.

Fab bags

Yesterday’s workshop was great fun with a really lovely bunch of people. As it was the first bag for everyone we kept it simple with basic shapes and integral handles.

I think the next step will be to run an advanced bag making day where we can explore internal and external pockets and different shapes. I’m sure I’d enjoy it too and thank you very much for helping to tidy away ladies.

Bags of bags

It was a lovely group of people last week and some fabulous bags as I’m sure you’ll agree.

One of the people who attended was Christine who was kind enough to say “Thanks. I meant to say how much I enjoyed the workshop on Thursday. I never knew felt could be so exciting.” That made my day ๐Ÿ™‚