Friday, 18 December 2009
Above is a photo of the stone wall felt which I have had framed and am going to give to my mother in law for Christmas. I had initially thought it should be in a pale frame with a light coloured mount, but when I tried that at the framers, it looked awful! So, I went to the other extreme and chose a dark frame and mount which I feel highlights the colours much more effectively. It is in a box frame, which though more expensive, holds the glass away from the surface of the felt. Let's hope she likes it!
Friday, 11 December 2009
Above are some photos I took at the Christmas market last weekend. We went on the last day, assuming that if we timed it right, it wouldn't be so busy. Lots of other people had the same idea, so it was much busier than we thought! I particularly liked the lighting effects on the Bishop's Palace wall. We didn't buy a lot, just a few new decorations.
Friday, 4 December 2009
I have finished the orders for embroidered hearts and hearts in shade of red and purple which I was given at the Craft fair. I hope that they are what the customers wanted and that they are happy with the finished pieces. I had bought an air soluble pen to assist with the initials but unfortunately, it was like a ball point pen and did not work on the felt at all. In the end, I had to draw the initials on greaseproof paper and sew through the paper, tearing it away carefully once finished. There must be an easier way! Unfortunately, my sewing machine (clever though it is) can't do the complicated embroidery required for initials - I would probably need a top of the range one, costing around £1,000! Perhaps if I ever win the lottery...
I was happy with the finished items and I have completed them well before Christmas.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Yet again, life has got in the way and I haven't added anything new for a week! In an ideal world, I would add something every day but that just doesn't seem to be working at the moment. Still, having finally got round to it, I am putting a photo of the award I collected on Thursday night for my Final Major Project. It is a rather decorative award and I am very proud of it.
(One of the cats has just climbed up the chair beside me and is purring loudly and willing me to get her some food, so I'd better go and do that.)
Sunday, 22 November 2009
I have just been looking at the website for the First International Day of Felt and some of the work that was made is amazing! (http://www.feltunited.com/) The picture above shows work by a Swedish maker, Maria Holmein Nord. I also like the huge banner pieces made by a maker in Argentina. The theme this year was 'red, orange, yellow'.
I never fail to be amazed at the versatility of felt and the creativity of the makers. It does take a while to download the images from the website as there are lots of them, but it is worth it. I didn't manage to take part this year but maybe next year. The theme will be 'yellow, green, blue' so that gives lots of scope.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Here are the felt squares I have made over the last two days, ready to be transformed into three 'trios of felt hearts'. I really enjoyed blending the colours and experimenting. I'll take some more photos when I've finished the pieces.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Another view of the Feltabulous stall, showing the decorations on the little Christmas tree. I am working on some commissions at the moment and have been making merino felt squares in different shades of reds and pinks. Today I am going to make squares in blues and greens. I shall then turn them into the little hearts, two sets personalised with initials. I do enjoy working with Merino wool because it felts so quickly and easily. I always blend the colours using my hand carders to give a combination of colours to the pieces.
After completing the commissions, I would like to concentrate on some of my landscape ideas, using the roadside verge photos and sky photos I took recently. It should be fun!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Above are photos of the stall I had on Friday at the Craft Fair. It was very successful and people were genuinely interested in my felt work, especially the natural coloured items. The Merino pieces attracted people to the stall and they did like the little hearts in particular. I had lots of really positive feedback so I know I am on the right lines. I was really encouraged!
The Craft Fair on Saturday was also helpful although the weather was not conducive for people coming out. Again, I had loads of really positive comments about my felt and I did manage to sell some pieces.
The Craft Fair on Saturday was also helpful although the weather was not conducive for people coming out. Again, I had loads of really positive comments about my felt and I did manage to sell some pieces.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
I am feeling really guilty because I haven't posted anything for ten days!
I haven't made any new pieces of felt, but I have been working on more stock for the craft fair tomorrow night. I think I have been a bit naive because somehow I expected it all to 'just happen' and there were loads of things I hadn't even thought about. Chris has been busy getting cellophane bags and making labels and bag tops to give a professional look to the items. I was just going to display the pieces in baskets and wrap them if anyone bought them but I have to admit, they look much more effective in the bags.
I have made a little photo album of my larger square landscape pieces with a title and description of the materials used for people to flick through (and hopefully commission something!). I have also been making 'how to care for felt' labels, price labels and 'Made in England' labels too. It's all go!
I am also going to display some unwrapped hearts and stars on a little Christmas tree to give an idea of how they would look and to give the opportunity for them to be touched, as to me, that is an important part of the buying process.
I shall take photos of the stall and post some after it is all over and once I've recovered... I'll also mention whether I sold anything!
Friday, 30 October 2009
I am posting this on Ellie's behalf because I am proud to say, that my lovely wife has just been awarded 'Best Final Major Project' from her former art college. We have to go to an award ceremony in November, where she will be presented with her prize.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
I was in a charity shop the other day, looking at their selection of bags. I needed a new bag for carrying my lunch and other necessities to work, but the lockers at work are quite small. I looked for a while and then it hit me! Why not make your own bag? Earlier in the year, I had treated myself to a simple but fabulous Janome sewing machine which spends a lot of time sitting about doing nothing, so here was a great opportunity!
From the mountain of material we have secreted away in the loft, I chose this rather fetching vintage floral number that was originally either upholstery or curtain fabric. I used a simple pattern from the book, "Yeah, I made it myself" which I adapted. It was relatively simple to do but probably wouldn't stand up to really close scrutiny as my measurements were not that accurate. Still, for a first attempt at a lined bag, I am really proud of it and no-one will have one the same! I added a velcro strip to close it for security and can't wait to use it. The other good thing is that because the lining is calico, the bag is washable. I'm not the world's best at sewing or using a sewing machine, but it took me about four hours or so to do, and saved me from spending any precious pennies!
Monday, 19 October 2009
The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift is one of my all time favourite books. I first heard it recommended on Gardeners' Question Time last Christmas and it sounded so fantastic from the reviews that I treated myself to it. I am so glad I did! It is written like a Medieval Book of Hours with each chapter corresponding to an hour of the day. It is a 'how I made this garden' book but it is far more than that. The author describes her garden through the year and how she created it but also includes social and family history, geology, geography, astronomy, astrology, architecture, country folklore and history to name but a few. Her writing is beautiful and her descriptions are wonderfully evocative. I have read the book twice so far and it is a joy to re-read. It is one of the most beautiful and unusual books I have ever come across and I cannot praise it too highly.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
This is not a terribly good photo of the framed 'Landscape Triptych' because I found the lighting really difficult to get right. The framing works very well and I was delighted with the finished result. We chose a box frame which held the glass away from the felt pieces. If it doesn't sell, I'll be quite happy to hang it up at home!
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
We had bought these buttons from eBay to use on my felt hearts and for some projects that Chris has in mind for the future. I love looking through button boxes - it used to be one of my favourite occupations when I was little. Of course, button boxes were familiar then as everyone recycled material, clothes and fastenings from clothes. I hope that button boxes are making a comeback in this age of recession, recycling, reducing and reusing. I like giving things a new lease of life and always wonder about the story of the item. 'Make do and mend' lives on!
Monday, 12 October 2009
While travelling back from a visit to Mum and Dad yesterday, I saw this incredible sunset. The colours were so vivid, it looked as though there was a fire somewhere! I haven't managed to take photos of many sunsets before as I never seem to be in the right place at the right time. However, the fates were smiling on me and I managed to get these photos, taken through the car window which is why the hedges are blurred. I was really pleased with the pictures and would like to add them to the 'transfer into felt' list which is becoming rather long! I did make some felt today, but the pieces were based on ones I had made before. I also tried to photograph the framed work which I collected on Saturday, but need to find the right lighting to avoid reflections of me, or my hands, or the ceiling light. I shall think about that and have another go.
Friday, 9 October 2009
On one of our trips round Lincolnshire, I saw this roadside verge and had to take a photo of it. I think that all the different textures would transfer well into felt and I could add embroidery to emphasise some of the individual plants. I don't think I could attempt to recreate the whole image, but a section of it would work well. Now, if I can just get on with it...!!
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Just for a change from felt, I couldn't resist adding this photo of a gorgeous plant in my garden even though I took the photo in August! It is Hibiscus syriacus 'Oiseau Bleu' (Blue bird) and has to be one of my favourite shrubs. It is late putting out new leaves and so is a late flowerer too. I love the colour of the flowers and the fact that although it looks so exotic, it is really tough.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
I have continued to work on the heart trios, using more vibrant ranges of colours which I hope will appeal to customers. Chris suggested I should perhaps look into creating decorative dolls or some other quirky items but I feel I need to do more research first. I also need to continue working in my design book, which may help to inspire other ideas. A crafter's work is never done...
I haven't quite managed to make felt daily, as I said I would (in fact, I haven't made any more at all this week so far...maybe next week!)
The photo above looks a little blurry but if you click and enlarge it, it is fine.
Monday, 5 October 2009
I have started making the half-size hearts to group together in threes and I think they look really sweet. I am grouping them in the natural colours or in complementary merino colours. They are about 5cm in width and just a little more in height - about 5.4cm. Chris has been busy on my behalf again and has ordered some cellophane bags to put them in. It's great to have all this support! I'm going to continue and make more of the trios in pinks, reds, yellows etc. I just hope the craft fairs go ahead after putting all this work in!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
I nearly forgot.... Chris had a great idea today regarding my labels. I was concerned that people wouldn't be able to feel the felt if it was behind glass and suggested sticking a piece to the back of each frame, but he suggested sticking the sample to the back of the label as this would hopefully encourage the purchaser to keep the tie-on label and show that to friends, thereby promoting the Feltabulous name. Time will tell...
I've just spent an hour at our local picture framers with my eyes glazing over trying to choose frames and mounts suitable for some of my felt creations. They certainly know how to charge for their services. This will however, give me some framed samples to show at an up and coming craft fair. Chris has said that he will try to make me some box frames at work (If he gets the time!) We picked up a few vintage buttons and knick-knacks at a bric-a-brac shop on the way home. I shall use these to embellish my felt hearts.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
When I got up this morning, I noticed the interesting cloud patterns and took these photos from the back garden. I am collecting quite a few images now and all I need to do is start making them into felt! I have been using up felt pieces to make hearts and stars, so next week I hope to make felt daily in order to replenish supplies and create some new pieces. I'll post some photos of my work - watch this space...
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
I have been steadily working on items for the (hopefully) forthcoming craft fairs and Chris has been really supportive in lots of ways, from making a felting platform to his latest - getting a 'Feltabulous' stamp made to enable me to have my own tags and labels. I was really surprised when he gave it to me and delighted when I tried it out! It is very exciting...
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
I took this photo while at Barnsdale Gardens, near Oakham, Rutland (http://www.barnsdalegardens.co.uk/). The weather was gorgeous and the contrast of colour against the brilliant blue sky was fantastic. Barnsdale is one of my favourite places as there is always something to see and it feels familiar as it was Geoff Hamilton's garden and featured on BBC TV's 'Gardeners World' for many years. It has become a real de-stress place for me, as well as providing inspiration for my own garden and the opportunity to buy loads of interesting plants. In fact, it is most unusual for me to come away empty handed!
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
This is a recreation of the sunset I had done as part of 'the big project'. It shows that although I can create a similar image, it will never be 100% the same. I like this about felt though, as it ensures no two pieces are identical and so I can honestly say each piece is a one-off. I made two more pieces of felt yesterday in blends of yellows and oranges so that I can continue heart and star making today and tomorrow and the next day...
Saturday, 19 September 2009
I have been experimenting with wool from my sister's sheep (Black welsh) and interpreting some of my landscape ideas into these neutral shades. The wool felts well although it takes much longer than merino to full. The mottled colours are interesting and I shall continue to use these shades, which also look effective made into hearts and stars. I have been looking at other types of wool to use and I think Shetland is my favourite at the moment, purely on the colours. That could be a future project...
Friday, 18 September 2009
Following a comment that I received about the felt stars photo, where the blue china plate was felt to be too distracting, I said I would post a photo of them on a plain background. Here it is! I have made a few more stars and the plain background certainly concentrates the eye on the stars.
I am enjoying making the stars and hearts - hopefully I shall sell some at the craft fairs and once I have enough, I shall put them on folksy (http://www.folksy.co.uk/) to sell them there too!
Thursday, 17 September 2009
I have been continuing to make new pieces as well as the hearts and stars. I made this piece as I was inspired by the amazing colours in a sunset. The blended colours are quite bold but sometimes this can give a really good effect. Adding yellow and white silk fibres to the top layer of merino gave an extra lustre to those areas. I was pleased with the end result, although the felt itself is very thick, even though I used less layers than I do usually. I have come to the conclusion that the layers themselves must have been thicker than usual.
Sunday, 13 September 2009
I've been getting back ache whilst making & rolling my felt. My kitchen table is a little too low and it is causing me to bend too far forward... But wait! What is this that I see before me? My lovely husband (No, not him!) has made me a mini padded table to sit on top of the kitchen table, and it is just the right height, so no more bending. Ahhh bliss......
I've just finished making a few handmade felt stars for sale at a Christmas craft fair and also just realised that I have booked a table at another craft fair the following evening! This means that I will now have to devote more time to building up my stock. These stars have a satin ribbon hanger and are hand embroidered with tiny stars in complementary colours. The handmade felt gives these items an added interest as the different layers of coloured wool can be seen at the edges.
Thursday, 10 September 2009
This photo shows a lovely sky I saw while staying at Mum and Dad's. I particularly like the mixture of cloud colours and I am going to turn this into a piece of felt in due course. I also saw a lovely pink sunrise at 6:00 am one morning, but by the time I'd got my camera, it had dulled down and was not so inspiring. I really enjoy translating sky effects into felt because the end result is always interesting, even if it doesn't necessarily look the way I envisaged it originally.
I have just applied for membership of the International Feltmakers Association (www.feltmakers.com) so am looking forward to finding out about other felt makers or workshops in my area as well as textile exhibitions and other information about the wonderful world of felt and felt making!
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
The pictures featured in this post were taken at Saltfleetby on the Lincolnshire coast. This is a huge expanse of sand near to the Donna Nook bombing range. However, to get to the sand, you have to cross a large area of tidal mud flats. This journey caused us much hilarity as we lost our flip flops several times and got ourselves covered in mud! Once we reached the beach it was wonderful, as we were virtually the only people there. I may use elements of these photos to create a piece of felt. I particularly like the purple of the sea lavender.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
I always take my camera with me whenever we visit anywhere. I am fascinated by the way that the skies over Lincolnshire are constantly changing and the pictures that I take provide a great inspiration for my felt making. My husband (Chris) and I are both interested in old buildings, especially ruins, and found a perfect example recently at Tupholme Abbey just outside Bardney in Lincolnshire. http://www.lincsheritage.org/ We found this place by accident when we decided to take a different route to Horncastle. It helped that it was a sunny day and apart from a few ramblers we had the place to ourselves. I love taking photos through doorways, windows, gates etc because there is a sense of mystery as to where the path leads or what is beyond the frame. The shuttered window in the picture above is from the derelict Georgian farmhouse attached to the Abbey wall (obviously no planning permission needed then!).
Sunday, 6 September 2009
My lovely, kind, generous, thoughtful husband (he's dictating this) paid for this Merino wool and a large bag of mixed threads as a gift for me. I can't begin to tell you how much I love him (he told me to say that as well). I have started to make some felt hearts during the last week, in both the coloured wool and some of the natural wool that my sister gave me. I will post a picture of the finished articles so far. I've booked a table at a Christmas fair so I have got to have plenty of things to fill the space.
Saturday, 5 September 2009
I haven't been able to post anything recently as I have been staying at my parents' house looking after my father. While there, my sister and I worked on a preliminary website which has more information regarding my work. However, it is still a work in progress and won't be available for viewing until Google decides to recognise it, which could be a few weeks yet!
Until then, I will post a few more pictures. This was my interpretation of part of a dry stone wall which we often pass when driving through Ancaster. Each stone shape is outlined with hand embroidery which took an eternity to complete. However, after finishing this piece I received two commissions to recreate it!
This was the final result of much hard work; felting, sewing, machine and hand embroidery and printing. I used silk fibres, various textured yarns and experimented with Nuno Felting. Four of these pieces sold before the exhibition had opened. I was very pleased with the end results and the favourable comments. All very encouraging.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
This was again based on the bulb fields but I decided to add the details using embroidery and applique, after felting. I had made a piece with shades of yellow, which I cut up and sewed into the foreground to represent the individual flowers. I added French Knots in silk thread and satin thread to give a feeling of flowers in the distance. I felt that the added texture gave more interest to the surface.