Wreath

I make no excuses, there’s lots of photos on this post as I really want to show you all the different components of this wreath. I made several seasonal wreaths for my Christmas wreath workshop and felt I should also make one which could be used year round.

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It looks lovely on our front door and you can see that I created it with this position in mind, even using blue greens on the wreath.

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I’ve used a polystyrene ring and covered it with a blend of carded Merino in various greens (Light Olive, Light Grass, Spearmint, Sea Green and a tiny amount of Dark Leaf). I then wrapped the boucle yarn round before wet felting it all to the ring.

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The key is to keep your wool tight when wrapping so it doesn’t shift and expose the polystyrene and also so it takes less time to felt down. It’s worth making the ring look good as it can be seen from the side unless you make a very full ring.

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I wet felted the lillies and stamens before attaching them with hot glue to the wreath. It’s a blend of Watermelon, Pale Pink and Natural from Adelaide Walker. On the tip of the stamens I’ve used Old Gold.

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Couldn’t resist showing them a second time 🙂  The spiky leaves are the leftover from when I cut out other leaf shapes. After pulling them around and stretching to points I stitched the bits together before glueing them on.

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Fo the leaves I began by making a sheet of felt in various greens, using up any scraps I had. This allowed me to play with different shapes. The lily type leaf above was cut from the felt and then the detail added by needle felting. If you make your sheet of felt with different shades on each side it gives you twice the green options for the same amount of work.

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The hydrangea flowers were also cut from a sheet of felt made from Pale Pink and Pale Purple Merino. They’re attached to the wreath by the metallic head pins which are are shiny and add an extra dimension to the flower. A local man made the wooden button from a tree branch and it’s great to be able to see the rings.  The leaves are triangles cut from the felt sheet, the short end pinched together and held with a stitch before they were glued on. Simple but very effective.

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These flowers were actually on a previous project which I was never happy with so I cut them off. It’s a combination of Wensleydale and dyed English wool with sead beads as embellishments.

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Having different textures and shapes is important. The leaves here are the remainder of the project I didn’t like. After cutting them out with pinking shears I added the veins through needle felting.

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Vintage buttons from what was my Grandma’s button stash but which now belongs to me. They’re attached with the metallic headed pins again. Driftwood collected on my holiday is fastened together with silver coloured jewellery wire and the whole thing stuck on with hot glue.

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So pleased with this. there’s a birthday in the house this week so I think it should be on the door now in celebration.

Back on the flower trail – 2

In my first post I showed you the basic flower shapes made up ready and waiting for stamens. I’d now like to show you my three favourites, one from each of the colour ranges.

pink flower

It’s not just the shape I like in the pink one it’s the starkly contrasting stamens.

purple flower

I think the purples really show off the lovely Ramie fibres.

turquoise flower

What can I say, I was bound to like this, turquoise is a strong favourite of mine.

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They look lovely together don’t they. My next job was to select a piece of wood from offcuts in the garage and to give it a wash and a sand down.

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It definitely looked a bit grubby before the wash. Those of you who read my blog last year may already have realised where I’m going with this idea. Next job is with the glue gun and here are the results.

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It’s so nice I couldn’t resist showing you more than one photo.

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I’ve tried to glue the flowers on in such a way that it could be hung from either end or horizontally.

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I was so pleased with this and so loath to discard the flowers I made during demonstrations at another show, that I’ve mounted those too.

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Cuffs

I made collars earlier in the year and made two pairs of cuffs last weekend. Unfortunately I’m unable to wear wool against my skin for more than a minute or two even if it’s nuno felt, so I’ve been playing around with plant fibres to see if they would be better at preventing itchiness.

The fibre used is Merino with decoration of red tussah silk and finished with a cream button. On the inside of the cuff I’ve added a deep layer of soya bean fibres.

It’s warm and comfortable to wear, the soya bean has given the inside a wonderful lustre and it’s certainly cut down the irritation of the wool.

Two fine layers of Merino with wool nepps for decoration and a pair of fabulous Swarovski crystal buttons for fastening. The inside is smothered with bamboo fibre, silky, soft and lustrous.

My preferred cuffs are these black and white ones but I have to admit I’m  more inclined to use a longer fingerless mitten so I guess that’s what I’ll be making next.

What a view!

Just two of the pictures created at Saturday’s felt workshop. Lindisfarne by Ruth and the icy mountain picture by Ruth  (2). It was a very creative day so much so, that I won’t be showing all the pictures created as there were too many and I had a technical failure with the camera meaning some pictures were too blurred to be used (what do you mean ‘user error’ ?)

A great picture by Chris who’s new to felting, you wouldn’t believe it would you?  All the pictures were created using Merino wool fibre and a variety of techniques for laying out.

This careful study is by Barbara who has a love of birch trees. I thought you might like to see what was used for inspiration so have included the source material on this one.

This pretty, dynamic flower is by Sandra and was a favourite with my daughter. It’s amazing how a camera transforms them from pieces of wet felt into pictures.

A second picture by Barbara and created in a very different manner to the first. Had I had any available I’m sure Barbara would have created the first picture using tweezers but this was done in a looser more fluid manner and a shorter time but is no less lovely.

This evocative scene is by Ruth. The detailed tree gives structure but the background and leaves are in an impressionistic style.

This was Mich’s second picture but is the one I choose to show as it’s so very different in style to the others. It’s interesting to see how Mich interpreted the postcard and just how successful it’s been.

Everyone created beautiful work and my sincere apologies to Pauline as due to my blurred photos I haven’t been able to show any of her work. My thanks to Chris for her assistance in tidying and sorting the wool in her free moments. Thank you all ladies, I’m inspired to go and have a play!

Little stripey book

This is the handmade item that I included in my op swap. I really like reusing and recycling items so I began this by collecting al the little odds and ends of purple, grey and black fibres that were too small or slightly felted to be used in other projects.

After hand carding they made the perfect background.

I used grey, black and plum for the main background then laid on strips of purple fibres to create a striped effect. On top of this I added stripes of single crochet.

To this I added wobbly lines of running stitch using a purple and multi  coloured metallic thread and three recycled buttons.

I love the hint of sparkle from the thread which I’ve also used to blanket stitch the edge. The crochet has felted in well and I like the  little touch of blue that it adds.

I’m not usually a stripe fan but this little book has found a place in my affections. Strange how that happens.

 

Friday felt

A small select group met at my house on Friday for a smidgen of felt making.
We’d not met before but we had a great day together, I know I had a ball and felt energised by the session.

Claire had never made flet before , lovely colours on here, inspired by pebbles.

Simple but very effective felt from Kirsten.

Ang loves driftwood and tree bark.

A lovely landscape from Claire.

A wonderful textured tree bark from Ang, can’t wait to see what she creates at home
so remember to send me a pic Ang.

A painstakingly created hellebore from Pippa. the colours are wonderful,
the stamens stand out from the centre and although it’s not quite finished in the picture the
edges of the petals will also curl upwards.

Great landscape  from Kirsten, have you spotted the castle?
Come back soon ladies, I’m ready for another session when you are!

A very floral week

It’s just so happened that I’ve taught felt flower making twice this week and thoroughly enjoyed both sessions. The first was to a textile group over near Ripon, they hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks so there was lots of catching up, teasing, laughter and of course, flower making. There are so many flowers that I’ve had to pick the best photos to show you. No refelction on the actual flowers, just on my photography.

The second group, today, was one of my monthly workshops across at Bradley near Skipton. We’ve had a really good day, not as much laughter as earlier in the week as most had never met before and they were a most studious and prolific group!  To see the progression in one day from complete novice/first time flower maker to creating specific flower shapes and understanding the subtleties of colour in felt making has been amazing.

We had tea/coffee delivered to the tables,absolutely no chance to slack and there was a kind of possessed frenzy after lunch as people succumbed to the felting bug. There’s no hope for them now but at least it’s fun.

Reminds me of rust

I love rust, the colours and the textures. Fishing boats with mixtures of peeling paint and rust are my absolute favourites and it was this I had in mind when I was laying out the fibres for this little notebook.

The reds, oranges and browns are also quite autumnal so I used a leaf design on the front in nuno felted organza.Th process began by stitching into the fabric before it was laid on the fibres. At the pre-felt stage I stopped and added some extra stitching and then added more once felting was complete.

Extra texture is supplied by hand dyed Teeswater curls in turquoise, yellow and brown. There’s also space dyed roving and some silk fibres on a merino base.  Using organza in nuno felting gives scrummy textures, much bigger than using natural fabrics.

Not sure I’m going to be able to convince myself to sell this one. If you’d like to make your own I’m running a workshop on Saturday 22nd October in which you’ll make an A5 sized cover.It’s one of my favourite workshops and the notebooks make great presents which can be used year after year.

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.

Commission fulfilled

I was recently requested to make a flower brooch on commission in one of my favourite fibres, natural grey merino.  It’s a lovely soft grey with natural mottling and it felts really well.

I thought whilst I was making one I might as well make two!

The shiny bit in the centre is throwsters silk waste, my favourite silk fibre. All I’ve got to do now is go and finish off everything else that’s waiting – sigh!