Friday 30 October 2009

New Accolade

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

A New Bag!

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

One of my favourite books

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

Framed 'Landscape Triptych'

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

Thought for the day

"The most wasted day of all is one in which we have not laughed."

I don't know who said it, but I totally agree! We need more laughter and joy in life...

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Buttons Galore!

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

Amazing sunset colours

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

Roadside verge

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

More heart trios

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

Trios of hearts

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

Feltabulous labels

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...

Under Glass....

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

Morning skies

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...