Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Festive Felt!

Way back in November I was considering posting an item everyday through Advent, however it soon became apparent that was going to be tricky, increasing the blog writing at the busiest time of year..so here's a bumper blog bundle of festive feltiness!

the thick slices of felt became these snowy trees, with sparkly angelina fibres and silky bits

 some were double sided:

with sari silk spatterings

Festive felty cheer:

 The red wool was left over from Tracey's felted bag...

There are two types of Robin flying around the country!


 and 3d

did you guess that's what the brown spheres were going to become?!
Every one is totally different  - the last one is an alpaca version.
All finished off with some wonderfully red teeswater curls.
My technique varied as I made them. Some had small splits or flaps - most of which were felted in however I took advantage of this one and made it into a design feature!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!!
Hope you all have a peaceful and happy Christmas

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Snail Mail Holiday Swap

I've been really excited about the Snail Mail Holiday Swap hosted by Tracey and Emma - the planning, cyber-meeting, making, posting, waiting and receiving! 
My partner is  Jay and I am amazed how she is able to make such fantastic goodies, participate in festive events and meet her essay deadlines!
This week 2 almost identical squidgy packages arrived, they were nearly the same but one jingled when shaken!

Inside such temptingly squashy parcels....

 Perfect mini festive stockings..in my team's home colours!
Mr Hedgehog...complete with cuddly red scarf. We captured on video a wandering hedgehog meandering across our frozen lawn last winter leaving a spiky trail...so now we have a much softer and warmer reminder!

Mr Penguin - the source of the jingling on his lovely looooooong striped headwear!

This little girl reminds me of my younger days - her hat is fab - its so long I'm sure she could sit on it! I had knitted hats as a child too - but not of this magnificence!
Jay has obviously spent lots of time with her yarn and needles creating such cute and intricate Christmas goodies.
Whilst not wishing to detract from the swap... our tree (chosen brilliantly by RW Jnr) has  these cool candle like protuberances on the top branches - we think they're quite effective!

I'd like to say a big thank you to Tracey and Emma for the swap hosting and admin, and a huge, hot chocolate flavoured, cup cake sweetened, woolly warming thank you to Jay for your e-mails, inspiring ideas and wonderful woolly creations!
I have several ideas to try in the new year thanks to Jay!
Swapping has been really fun!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Being Creative - Vintage

I knew this post would be slightly late...but I didn't realise how delayed it would be!
We have only just got the big bulging box of decorations from the shelf, I was looking forward to exploring and reaquainting myself with the happy memories of Christmas past...already planning which ornaments would adorn this post:

Grandma's swan and bell - blue was her favourite colour!
Both still have some genuinely ancient wiring!

one of many retro designs from my childhood tree...
...and another

I remember helping to make these....there was one that had a purple velvet band with pearly sequins and some of mum's tatting;  a large one with  strings and a (made by mum) basket attached -  in which Santa perched in his hot air balloon, given to Grandad; and Grandma had a ...blue one covered in tatting and sparkles. 
The sparkles came from a small flat screw top jar full of jewels of all colours shapes and sizes which I think is still in operation in mum's craft collection.

Right at the bottom of the large decoration storage box lays a box that is unopened each year..I thought it contained Grandad's tree lights, which are no longer viable. I intended to photograph the lights as they were so quirky - a smiling Father Christmas face, a green parrot, a pink chinese lantern...
however I found these instead....

ornaments from his shiny Christmas tree that stood on a blue patterned plinth, they are wrapped in THE most soft toilet paper!!

I also found these:

I had to warn RW Junior that if you poked the tempting indented ones they break easily....I remember that well!!
The bottom row third from the left is a nutmeg shape!
I'm not sure where the lights are but I am soooo pleased these saw the light of day.

We have many decorations on our tree - old and new...each has its own well loved story and I hope we will pass on those tales to the next generation.....and beyond.

My favourite vintage decoration is from my Grandad's tree and hangs on mum and dad's tree now..my brother and I love it - and I'm sure it will appear in a post over Christmas......
in the meantime Happy Advent to you all. xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


As the season to be jolly fast approaches I have been beavering away making exciting festive felt - hence the silent nights on the blog front! 
There are lots of things still to be finished and as many of my makes are presents I can only reveal small snippets!

The eagle eyed will be able to spot the very useful rainbow pins from Becky's givewaway.
(I have also been putting the rainbow embroidery cotton to very good use, although not for stitching!)

 Can you guess what these shetland merino mixed spheres will transform into?

I love the thickness of these wet felted sheets, which were designed to be double sided
It took me a while to build up the courage to slice them but what an unexpected treat when I did! 
I'd like to say it was part of the design to have a striped side.....but it was just a happy accident which I will be repeating!!
You may just be able to spot the angelina fibres in the top ones and the sari silk in the ones below.

There has been lots of experimenting with how to hang some of my felt pictures, this is the newest idea...glad its on the back as my sewing isn't as neat as I'd like it to be!

Over the last few weeks I have had great pleasure and fun making and wrapping items for my swap partner Jay as part of the snail mail holiday swap.
My parcel is ready for the post....

I'm also really excited to say that when all the festive creativity is over I will have something to start the crafty New Year...a commission!! I'll be sharing lots of ideas with you about this piece as I know it will involve some new skills that I am keen to try!

In the meantime - Happy Advent to you all hope you enjoy the preparations for Christmas! x

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Birthday Flowers

There have been two close family birthdays this week. I have given you a sneak preview of their presents:

Here they are in their full glory:

A felty Fuschia  - all wetfelted with mainly shetland, the odd whisp of silk, sari silk and some hand spun and dyed Teeswater yarn from Highside Farm.


a wet and needlefelted poppy...
inspired by this summer photo

I am always learning as I try out new things. 
The poppy started out with four distinct shetland top petals, and I added water to the completely laid out pattern,

however when it dried I wasn't  happy with it as a poppy shape so I placed more blended tops and made it a bit more random!

...and finished it off with a needlefelted middle!

Happy Birthday to two special people!

PS I've had a play with some of my settings so I could display larger images ...feedback as always much appreciated!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Backs to front!

I've been experimenting this week with lots of ideas for presents, Christmas and birthdays..
I have invested in a bamboo mat, used some 'tutu' net...and re-read some helpful tutorials.
I have also tried to find the optimum winter photo taking position, especially as we have had a few dull grey days.

So.... I have been able to create some more regular shaped 'backs'
  instead of this....

I have learned how to make this..
can't show you the front yet...its a secret..but you might be able to spot a hint of  pink?!
I do have to say though that I like both types of back, the first being a bit more organic..at least I can choose the effect I would like now!

I have made some flat pieces for decorations - these will be double sided so you can see the fronts

and the backs...

I just have to learn to let go now and cut into them!!