Spalding Embroiderers Tyvek Leaves…..

Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day in the company of a lovely group of ladies, the Spalding Embroiderers, who meet at Pode Hole Village Hall in the Lincolnshire Fens.  The group had booked me to do a workshop for them, giving me free reign to decide what we would be doing.

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I wanted to offer them something completely different and something I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have done before.  I settled on putting together a workshop to make my Tyvek Leaves.  Tyvek is a wonderful product to work with as it has so many possibilities when it comes to colouring, shaping and distressing.

My blue/green handmade leaf stitched with metallic thread and embellished with tiny coloured beads.

Tyvek leaf with metallic thread and beading.

It felt a bit of a risk as it would involve so many different stages and I wasn’t sure how the group would take to shaping wire frames using pliers.  I needn’t have worried, their enthusiasm and positivity was terrific and the hall was filled with conversation and laughter all through the day!  In fact, putting together this workshop has reminded me of how much fun I had designing my first leaves and it’s been great to get back to making more of them.

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The leaves worked out beautifully.  As you can see, everyone got their leaf to the stage of it having been distressed with the heat gun but unfortunately we ran out of time to get the holes embroidered so they will continue with that at home.  I hope to receive photos of some of the finished leaves as and when they get done.

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A big thank you to all the Spalding Embroidery ladies for making me feel so welcome and for being such wonderful, enthusiastic students! I shall look forward to seeing you all at our next workshop.

 

 

 

A quick catch up…..

This is a quick catch up post, just to record a couple of felting projects that were recently finished.  The first is a pair of Bergschaf slipper boots, an early present to myself!  I made them using a scaled up version (and then some!) of the fairy boots I made in the summer.  The two boots are made as one, using a flat resist, and then cut apart before fulling and shaping.  They are the warmest and most comfortable slippers I have ever had.  I can see these lasting for years so I’m intending to embellish them with hand embroidery at some point over Christmas.

Grey Bergschaf wet felted slipper boots

Grey Bergschaf wet felted slipper boots

The second project was a wet felted cushion for my elderly aunt who is nearly 90 yrs young and loves warm colours, particularly orange.  She lives in a small flat, there is nothing she actually needs but she does love anything felted so I thought this Merino cushion would be something she could get some enjoyment from looking at.

Daphne's wet felted floral cushion.

Daphne’s wet felted floral cushion.

Concertina Hat Workshop…..

Back in the Summer I read a post on the Felting & Fibre Studio about a concertina hat workshop being run by Teri Berry.  It sounded really interesting but at that time I couldn’t commit due to holidays and other workshops.  Fortunately Teri’s first workshop was such a huge success that it is being run again this month.   As a result I’ve just finished my first wet felted Merino concertina hat and I’m really happy with how it turned out.  I’m now looking forward to trying out the next design which is Teri’s wacky but wonderful “Snail Hat”…….watch this space!

Side view blue/green hat

Ladies wet felted blue/green hat

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Too rear view of blue/green hat

 

Sculptural Collar…..

This is the finished blue and pink Merino sculptural collar which I started last week at Felt Inspired in Belchford.

Wet felted Sculptural Collar made from Merino wool.

Wet felted Sculptural Collar made from Merino wool.

I used a press stud fastener to hold it in place and added a wet felted floral detail including three leaves, two cords and a ‘rainbow bead‘.  I learnt the rainbow bead technique from the wonderful Dutch felt artist Annemie Koenen.  They take a crazy amount of effort to make but are so beautiful it’s well worth it!

Side view of Sculpted Collar

Marjolein Dallinga Workshop…

Last week I rode down to South Wales to attend a two day Marjolein Dallinga Workshop with the ladies from Region 12 of the IFA, organised by Mandy Nash.  Originally from the Netherlands Marjolein, an internationally renowned Feltmaker, now lives in Canada and I couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered that, not only was she in the UK but that there was a spare place on one of her workshops!

The workshop was held at The Model House Craft & Design Centre in Llantrisant.  positioned at the top of the hill, close to the castle ruins.  The Model House has a gallery and gift shop on the ground floor and then several more floors consisting of more sales areas and craft studios where you can watch the resident artists, including Mandy, at work.

Marjolein’s workshop was different to any other I’ve attended.  The first difference was that she didn’t bring along any of her work as she didn’t want us to be influenced by it.  The second difference was that normally you would know  at the outset that you are making a bowl or a waistcoat or a picture, etc……we knew nothing!  What we were told was that we should allow ourselves the freedom of making something just for the enjoyment of “play”.  The aim was to allow our creativity to come to the fore and experiment with colours and shapes, with no preconceived idea of what the end product should, or would, eventually look like.

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We were asked to use different colour combinations at different stages of our work, some which we particularly liked, some we didn’t like, some warm, some cold. The idea was to get us to use colours we wouldn’t normally work with and to experience the changes in those colours, and in our perception of them, as they blend and merge together.

We made two pieces, the first was based on an egg shape and represented our “inner energy”.  Unfortunately I was so engrossed in what we were doing I forgot to take a photo of mine but you can see the basic shape and size from the one that Mandy has in the centre of her table…..

Mandy working on her two experimental pieces

Mandy working on her two experimental pieces

Our second piece represented our “outer energy”…..

My "outer energy" piece with resist removed

My “outer energy” piece with resist removed

Pleats are sewn into the prefelt before completing the felting & fulling.

Pleats are sewn into the prefelt before completing the felting & fulling.

My finished "Outer Energy" sculpture. It makes me think of a fossilised ballet shoe!

My finished “Outer Energy” sculpture, it makes me think of a fossilised ballet shoe!

.....and other side.

…..and the other side.

My finished "Inner Energy" sculpture

My finished “Inner Energy” sculpture

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…..and the other side.

My two finished pieces are completely different, both having been pleated, fulled and cut away.  Once again I learnt such a lot, met some lovely people and came away inspired!  It was a privilege to spend time with Marjolein.  Not only is she incredibly talented but she has a very calm and warm personality and you really couldn’t wish to meet a nicer person,  Here’s hoping she comes back to the UK very soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masterclass with Dagmar Binder….

I have just got back from a fabulous week in North Yorkshire with Region 10 of the IFA.  I rode up (yes “rode” up, with my motorcycle stacked high with supplies!) to take part in a residential Masterclass with Dagmar Binder and 9 other students at The Old Mill in Skeeby.  I am a huge admirer of Dagmars work and was thrilled to be taking part in her workshop.

Day one, making a start on our samples

Day one, making a start on our samples

My sample piece

My sample piece

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Over the three days we learnt such a lot about making a successful felt garment.  On day one we started with pattern making and then after lunch we made a small set of samples to explore the use of pre felt and how the direction of the fibres affect the finished piece.  Completing the sample would help us to get to get to grips with our “collars”.  Although only small this piece took quite some time to make and the majority of us ended up back in the studio after dinner in order to get it finished.

Laying fibres for my waistcoat

Laying fibres for my waistcoat

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Dagmar talks us through the fulling stage

Louise is the first to finish!

Louise is the first to finish!

Lamona proudly shows off her work

Lamona proudly shows off her work

Niki added some beautiful texture to her design

Niki added some beautiful texture to her design

It was an intense workshop with the majority of us working late into the evening, every evening, but it was so worth it!  I had intended to create several more collars on my waistcoat but soon realised that the work involved, for me, was too much to fit into the time scale we had.  My finished waistcoat isn’t perfect but I am confident that I now have the skill to know where and how I can improve when I make my next one.

My finished waistcoat

My finished waistcoat

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A big thank you to Dagmar, Iris and everyone I met in Skeeby for making this such an enjoyable experience.

Felted brooch…..

Floral brooch made with Merino wool and silk organza

Wet felted brooch

I’ve just got back from attending two “play days” with the IFA Region 8 ladies at Arnesby Village Hall.   There were mini workshops happening on both days and, having seen the lovely felted brooch that Sandra Jenkins was making, I decided to join in with that one.

Preparing the individual components

Making a circular background from Merino and painting silk organza for the flowers

These pretty little brooches are a great way of using up your left over tiny scraps of fabric and felt from previous projects.

Combining the silk and felt to make the tiny flowers

Combining the silk and felt to make the tiny flowers

Wet felted brooch with tiny felt and organza flowers

My finished brooch

On day two I began laying out Bergschaf and Merino wool to make a fish.  I didn’t make very good progress, mainly due to spending a lot of time chatting, looking at other people’s work and perusing copies of “Felt Matters” magazines.   I’m continuing with it at home but it’s taken on a new life and will be a sort of fantasy sea creature……..watch this space!

Speaking of fantasy creatures, these felted Monster Bags were made by Sylvia Winn, aren’t they great?

Monster Bags

Monster Bags

I get the impression that Sylvia is a big fan of novelty bags……this is the “fishy” bag she was working on yesterday, complete with zip closure and fishing line shoulder strap!

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Wet Felted Fairy Shoes…..

Two of my boxed sets of wet felted fairy shoes have recently gone to new homes so this weekend I set to and made some more.  These shoes were demonstrated by Robyn Smith at one of the first felting workshops I attended back in 2014.  Trimmed with beads and mounted in a box frame they make a lovely gift for a little girls bedroom…….or maybe even for big girl’s like me who still believe in fairies!

Fairy boots made from red Merino wool tops, embellished with beads

Red Merino Fairy Shoes

Fairy Boots made with blue Merino wool tops embellished with tiny beads

Blue Merino Fairy Shoes

Fairy Boots made from green Merino wool tops and embellished with tiny enamelled flowers

Green Merino Fairy Shoes

 

Merino Necklace and Cuff…..

Back in May, inspired by the work of Lisa Klakulak, I designed and made a Merino necklace and cuff.

Necklace and cuff set made from grey Merino

My first Merino necklace and cuff

Last week I was spotted wearing them and commissioned by a lovely lady called Katie to make a similar set as a birthday gift.  Katie called by to collect the jewellery today and I’m pleased to say that she was absolutely thrilled with it!  I hope the recipient will be equally happy and will enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Necklace and Cuff set made from grey Merino

Commissioned Merino Necklace and Cuff