For me – how wonderful!

Our Daughter is a little (actually not that little as she’s now 1/4 inch taller than me) gem. I was extremely lucky to receive these hand made gifts from her this Christmas.

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The camel Christmas decoration is a really unusual idea. Charlotte bought the camel, painted it and made all the wonderful weaving that you see adorning it.

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Earlier in the year I had a cull of beach glass and decided to get rid of these bottle bottoms. Charlotte snaffl;ed them with an intention of making something although she didn’t know what. By Christmas, she’d found this idea and made me my own recycled beach glass tree. This and the camel will be making an appearance every year.

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Not content with the tree she also made me these beach glass earings. I’ve worn them almost every day since receiving them, they’re my go to earrings. 🙂

I’m not the only person to have benefited from her creativity, her Dad received printed handkerchiefs (potatoe prints) and her friends were the lucky recipients of: a crocheted blanket, crocheted cushion cover and a number of mug cosies. Not forgetting of course that we and her Uncle received the annual calendar created using photos taken by Charlotte. I’m very proud, can you tell?

Poppy Bag 2

I shared with you previously one of my samples for tomorrows workshop and thought you may like to see more. When we think of poppies we usually think of bright red ones but as the following photos show you can work in other colours too.

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These were put together very quickly and I do think they can be improved upon but they also show that other colours can be successful. This is the bag we’ll be focussing on tomorrow. This first photo shows it during the laying out process.

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It’s important to use different size flowers to give perspective to your work. The larger flowers near the front are also the ones which will be given the most detail. I love the way this bag has worked out from the actual flowers, to the happy find of a perfectly sized red button in my stash to the design of the handle.

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I find the back as interesting as the front and the handle gives me great pleasure. It opens up many possibilities not to have the handle felted in.

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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.

Name it!

I snook in a second nuno scarf! Mind you, I have made an error on it thanks to trying to do too much multitasking, forgetting where I’d got up to and finishing felting before I’d finished laying out!

I’d already wet it before I remembered to take a photo. Same process as the last scarf using Merino wool and recycled sari silk fibres and rovings onto hand dyed silk chiffon.

This ended up brighter than I’d originally intended but pale colours just didn’t make it sing in the same way as brights do.

I love the ends. Again, I didn’t want a straight edge and the flowers both break the straight line and add some weight to the scarf.

Problem is, I don’t have a name for this one. Suggestions anyone?

Sea Foam

I’ve managed to squeeze in a quick nuno felted scarf this week. It’s hand dyed silk chiffon in turquoise and I decided on a circle theme.

I laid Merino/Silk blend fibres along the edge and along the length of the scarf in collections of circles, some within others.

I wanted to continue off the end of the fabric so that it didn’t finish with a straight edge. Continuing with the circle theme I laid it out then put a second layer of bubble wrap over the top then flipped it over so I could add more circles on the reverse. Once the fibres were through the fabric I heated it all up and began throwing until I achieved this.

It’s very summery. The original idea was to do this in red, white and blue so it’d be ‘Jubilee’ colours without being a flag. This didn’t work for me and I have to say I’m very pleased with the colours used.

My daughter thinks it looks like sea foam especially along the edge. Do you agree? What would you name it?

 

Sssh – it’s a present

I think I’m safe to share this here with you as the intended recipients aren”t known to be  great surfers. As many of you may be aware Ian and Margaret have decided to retire from Adelaide Walker next month and I wanted to give them a small present to mark the occasion. Obviously it needs to include fibres so I began with Blue Faced Leicester. Not having any oatmeal colour at home I blended some myself using black/brown and white.

This is now made up into a pre-felt but I still need to put a picture onto it and this is what I’ve chosen to do.

I have a plan for putting the sheep onto the felt, I just hope it works and will show you how it comes along in the next post.

Stitched in felt workshop

It was one of my favourite workshops yesterday as we combined felt making with a few simple stitches. We began by stitching into the fabric before we then laid out the fibres.

It’s always interesting to see what colours people use. In addition to fabrics, silk and crab fibres, rovings, yarn and neps were added for more interest and texture. Then began the rubbing and rolling.

We stopped at the pre-felt stage and added more stitches and then again at the end.

You could hear a pin drop at this stage as everyone is concentrating so hard. Not that the stitching is difficult, you don’t need to know a lot of stitches, one of the most effective is a simple running stitch. First book cover up is Liz’s.

This isn’t a set of colours that I’d normally use but I just love the subtlety. We used muslin, silk chiffon, silk and crystal organza fabrics.

Fabulous striking purples, blues and pinks by Jeni with textured chain stitch in a metallic thread.

Jackie chose to keep it as a hanging and achieved some great textures adding lace and a chopped up metallic scarf to the mix.

Wonderful colours from Julia. Those of you who know my love of the sea and rust will understand why I’m loving this. What they all have in common is lots of colour, movement and texture. Stitches put into the fabric before we began felting completely disappear into the background and become part of the overall pattern. Stitching at the pre-felt stage has softened off and stitching done at the end stays proud so that they all contribute to the whole but at different levels.

Garment making part 4

Well the finished garment was finally unveiled yesterday at Yarnival. Am I pleased with it? Hmmm, I confess that overall it didn’t turn out quite as well as I’d hoped but I’ve never designed for a tree before and I didn’t even see the tree until the unveiling.

I think a little shorter might have been better. The colour is pleasing and quite eye catching and the detail below is my favourite shot.

For those who’d like to see how it was attached to the tree, here it is from the back.

It’s now dried and packed away whilst I ponder what the next opportunity for it to be used will be. More of Yarnival tomorrow.

Are you celebrating?

This is the question I was asked this morning by a neighbour. I think perhaps it has something to do with taking this photo.

Finally, I have finished my last piece of bunting. You may remember some heart bunting made from Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) fibre. Well, this was made at the same time and has then sat quietly in the cupboard waiting for another finishing off session. As it’s Yarnival tomorrow I knew I had to make the effort to finish so I could take it with me.

There are five strings in total, each 2.5m with 10 flags along each length. The flags are made from Manx, Jacob, BFL, Cheviot and Shetland so another all British offering.

British brooches

I’ve sold quite a few brooches recently so I needed to make more and couldn’t wait to use the new Manx, black Jacob and grey Shetland fibres from Adelaide Walker.  They don’t look very inspiring laid out and they’re usually a little different to expected when finished.

Top is black Jacob with some BFLxJacob fleese with lovely caramel coloured tips. The second black Jacob has throwsters silk waste added (not finished this brooch yet) and the Manx has Wensleydale fleece decoration.

To the black Jacob and BFL I’ve added toffee coloured beads. The Manx brooch has cream beads with bronze flashes on them and the grey Shetland has hand spun yarn (yes, it was spun by me!!!) and pearl beads in the centre. Of course, I couldn’t work only in naturals, the turquoise is hand dyed BFL with silver threads, hand dyed yarn and crab fibre decoration.

All four of these are BFL with yarn, silk and bead decorations. Yesterday it seemed quite bright so I managed to snap these few photos for you. As you can see, it wasn’t really bright enough but the worst was the wind, you wouldn’t believe how many times it blew the brooches off the bench. When I can get better photos I’ll load them up to my flickr account for anyone who is interested.