Textured vessel workshop

I always look forward to workshops, to seeing what people make but, on the day, some workshops seem to have a really good feel about them that makes them stick in your mind as a good one. This workshop was one of those, great atmosphere and I just loved what people made. It’s a fab feeling to think I helped them to achieve such brilliant results, especially as two were new to felt making.


Unusually, I took a couple of shots during the laying out process and the one below is my absolute favourite, so pretty.


In the flesh it looked like a most delicious cake! The monotone below also caught my attention., I was drawn to it’s curly exuberance.


I just had to show you this one again, finished, with the lace on the bottom which reminded me of a potters’ mark.


And a full frontal of it!


The next two were made by new felt makers and, for me, the red one has a romantic feel, love the vibe.


What can I say, purple and orange are one of my favourite colour combinations, I was always going to love this.


It’s hard to believe at times that every one of these pots came off the same shape resist. It’s about where you cut and how you shape. This next one really did have the feel of an underwater scene so scalloping the opening was perfect.


The ‘cake’ somehow became less cake and more vintage as it was felted and the plain white second opening really helps to set it off.



Sadly people weren’t willing to leave their creations with me πŸ™ I guess I’ll have to make my own.

Pleated bags workshop

This is the first chance I’ve had to show you what was made. Not every bag has been photographed as a couple of people left early and I forgot to do it before they left. We worked mainly in Blue Faced Leicester with Merino and silks as decoration.


The trick is not to make your pleats too small or they disappear during felting. The work in progress above is by Sue and was destined to be a tote bag.


A great tote bag by Jeni using tussah silk for decoration which will shine more once dry. I think this is one of the felt items she’s been most pleased with.


This beauty was by Wendi and was the only one made with a full width flap. The embellishments is sari silk.


I loved the shape of this small bag and the contrast handle and button set off the oatmeal BFL very well.


I thought you might appreciate a closer view of the structure of these pleats.


This messenger bag with diagonal pleats worked out very well. The partial flap was a later addition and I love the way it echoes the line of the pleats. All in all a very successful day I’d say.


This workshop was held at Gisburn Festival Hall which as you can see is lovely and light with lots of space. Think I may have to book some more there.


Felted soaps

A short three hours workshop on Saturday making felt covered soaps. So much lather! but look at what was made.



As you can see all shapes and sizes were worked on.


I love the drama from these red and black soaps by Jeni and Chantelle worked very hard on producing a stags head which worked out brilliantly.


Someone suggested that a soap I was using to demonstrate looked like a rabbit so I just had to turn it into one.


I really do need to get out more!

Teaching the teachers

On Wednesday afternoon I found myself at Holy Trinity Primary School in Ossett teaching the teachers how to make felt. One teacher had made a piece some 4 years previous but other than that they were all novices.



As usual, it’s amazing the variety of work that people come up with from the one set of resources.



The school is aiming to have every one of their 400+ pupils make a piece of felt by half term and the theme will be poppies for Remembrance Day.



I did try to take a photo of all the finished poppies, there were quite a few, but sadly that photo was too blurred to use. To my great delight, I do believe at least 1 and possibly 2 teachers will be pursuing the fascinating craft of felt making in their own time πŸ™‚

Poppy handbag workshop

It’s a shame that the bags don’t look their best whilst still wet because people worked very hard on Saturday and produced some lovely work. It’s also a shame that I made a mistake in the pocket instructions and everyone had to start over! Sorry everyone.


This isn’t all the bags but you can see how stunning they look on mass.


Sue chose to do a clutch bag with a 3D poppy and it worked out very well. There’s a bumble bee on the back of the bag and I’m kicking myself as I forgot to photograph it.


This large poppy on the front of lesley’s bag is very striking and a real feature.


Gill produced a bag with a double flap. The interior is plain so provides a great contrast to the front.


The back is a picture on it’s own. Gill likes to have her creations on show and is considering filling it with lavender and hanging it in the bedroom, which I think is a great idea.


Couldn’t resist this final picture of a front and a back, they’re stunning.Β  Sadly I’m unable to identify whose work it is but it’s very good. Roll on the picture workshop next month, there’s spaces if you fancy having a go.

Oh, and before I forget, thank you to whoever washed the pots for me, all help is always gratefully received.

Poppy bag workshop

Just for a change, the delay in showing you these photos hasn’t been down to me. My Daughter took the card from the camera for a school project, took it to school and left it there! All’s well that ends well though and I thought I’d begin by showing you the bags during the laying out process.




Each bag has an internal pocket and a separate handle. After laying out the base layers of green we carded greens to give extra interest to the background and then laid out areas to create dark and light. After that it was onto the laying out of the poppies using different sizes to give perspective to the work. The larger poppies then had extra detailing added and I think you’ll agree that the finished bags are stunners.


These are the backs of the bags and from left to right were created by; Jane, Sue and Susan.


I’ve never taught a bag class like this before. Usually, everyone has made a bag but with completely individual colours and patterns. There was still opportunity for people to choose their own poppy layout and addition of other colours for highlighting but otherwise, it was as instructed. It’s worked out very well and I think I may repeat this in the spring. Anne didn’t make it on the day due to a family accident but she was in our thoughts and I hope everything is now well.

Felt pictures

Not mine you understand, the work of a small group of students this week. The day began with me thinking it would be a very small group, just me and Tanya in fact but then, Anthea and Ros turned up and the day got quite lively. It’s a shame Delia was unable to join us as I do think she’d have had fun. We set the world to rights, squealed with laughter at things discussed at the school gates, drank tea, ate biscuits and held a group discussion about a Chattel house.

Oh, I suppose you want to see what people made. Well first up is this calm blue offering from Ros who was attracted to the repeated arch theme.


It was Ros’s first ever piece of felt and she managed very well, it’s not always easy working in a single colour but this works for me. Below, is the first piece by Tanya who was attracted by the shape of the leaf and has every intention of using this as a base for embroidery. Tanya was the first to use a resist and you can see the inner part of the leaf stands proud from the background.


Ros’s second piece is another piece of felt destined to be embellished.


It’s in bright, happy colours, not that Ros knows where it will go as she doesn’t have these colours in any rooms at home but the colours just called to her. I think it was TanyaΒ  who suggested it would make a lovely table mat.

Tanya’s second felt is based on a flower and again features 3D work. It’s a real shame I can’t show it to you finished because I’m sure it’s going to be spectacular. After making felt rolls to be added when the work is dry, Tanya made more felt rolls which were attached during wet felting.


The curly bits are Teeswater curls and the orange just sings our against the blue. I do hope Tanya remembers to send a photo when it’s finished. Anthea came with a theme in mind, a Chattel house. After making pre-felt in pink (house), grey (roof) and green (shutters) we held a group discussion about the building.


I know you can’t see it. Anthea was very unhappy about how it looked, it would have needed some later embellishment to help seat it in the picture and knowing herself well enough that it would never be finished, the house was, with group consensus, removed. However. her addition of a figure on the shore was inspired.

Drawing further inspiration from Tanya’s leaf, resists were used under two of the palm tree leaves to allow them to hang free of the background. You can just see coconuts underneath one of the leaves. I should have taken a picture of the stripey pre-felt Anthea intended to use for the house shutters as she swears she’s going to make it into a courgette!



Bag workshop

The photos for this blog are courtesy of Lesley and Stephanie. I know you’re all now thinking that I forgot my camera yet again but honest I didn’t. This time it was the SD card which wouldn’t work. When I got home Hubby temporarily sorted it with the addition of some sellotape but I fear I need a new card. So, without more ado, the reveal.


This time we were working in Jacob fibres for the main body of the bag with any colour being supplied by Merino or other embellishments. Above you can see that Denise has added coloured wool nepps and curly kid Mohair. Below, Sylvia, has added Mohair, merino and some soyabean I think.


Pam has added coloured wool nepps, curly kid mohair and soyabean fibres. The nepps and the mohair were very popular that day and they do make attractive decorations. The grey and the black Jacob fibres really show off the additions well and make these bags to use with any outfit.


Next up is a tote style bag from Jean. The wiggly lines are yarn, pink spots are Merino, blue spots are dyed Ramie noil and yes, some coloured wool nepps as well. The wiggly yarn really gives the bag life.


Lesley went for full on impact and achieved it brilliantly through the addition of bright purple Merino and dyed Teeswater curls. The flap was stretched to exaggerate it’s width and make a feature of it.


Stephanie chose to go for a round bag and came prepared with some angelina fibres which have added a little sparkle to the bag with the remainder of the colour provided by Merino and dyed Teeswater curls. I know she’s now gone on to subtly stitch right across the surface of the bag which has just added to its charms


That concludes another great workshop. Where are my manners?Β  Thank you for all your help setting up and clearing away ladies, many hands do indeed make light work.


Warm, comfy slippers

I ran a slipper making workshop last week and forgot to take my camera along so these pictures come courtesy of Lesley.


India was accompanied by her daughters so help with the final shaping was very forthcoming.


We used a variety of wools that day including BFL, Shetland and Norwegian and the results are brilliant although I’m sorry to say we haven’t captured all of them. One day maybe I won’t forget things.



The layering and pleating workshop went well but unfortunately I can’t show you any of the pleated items. We made them in single colours and by the end of the day it was too dark and wet for me to get good photos. The pictures below are of on method of layering to create colour / textural effects.


The darker shade behind and providing a narrow border worked very well for Mich and is destined to become a cushion.


The lovely cutwork in this by Liz is very effective in showing off the multiple colours behind.


This was an interesting effect from Pauline where the cut felt was laid back rather than removed, the intention being to do more and create a flower effect.


Edna went for diagonal areas across her felt where she cut random shapes reminiscent of markings on giraffes. This was made with a friend in mind and is the first felt Edna has ever created – didn’t she do well!