Bergschaf Clutch Bag…..

A beautifully illustrated book showcasing the versatility of felt.

One of my favourite books is 500 Felt Objects by Lark Crafts.  It isn’t a “how to” book…..it’s more of a “wow, just look at this, it’s made of felt” type book.  It’s crammed with inspirational photographs of beautiful work showcasing the versatility of felt.  It’s a must for anyone passionate about this medium.    Page 209 features a fabulous bag created by Irit Dulman using Bergschaf and Norwegian wool.

Irit Dulman bag created from Bergschaf and Norwegian wool

My latest piece is a small grey/green Bergschaf clutch bag inspired by Irit’s bag.

 

Tyvek Leaves in Waltham…..

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

Tyvek leaf with metallic thread and beading.

I’ve just got back from spending a wonderful day with Jacky Hopkin and her group of ladies who meet at Waltham Windmill on the outskirts of Grimsby.  I was invited over to teach them the technique of making a Tyvek Leaf using coloured fabric Tyvek and a wire armature.

Once again we ended up with a variety of different shapes and colours, each one very different to the next, and each leaf will look beautiful when the stitching and beading has been added.  The ladies will finish these off at home and bring them back to their meeting next month for a “show and tell”.

Many thanks to Jackie and the group for inviting me over and thank you to Brenda for providing me with a delicious lunch!  I shall look forward to seeing you all again.

Needle Felted Toadstool….

This morning I travelled down to Pode Hole, in the Lincolnshire Fens, to deliver a needle felted toadstool workshop for the Spalding Embroiderers.  The ladies had expected to be doing a beading class but unfortunately the tutor couldn’t keep the booking and I was asked if I could step in at short notice, which I was only too pleased to do.

 

We began by making the three main components, the stalk, base and top of the toadstool using white Cheviot wool from World of Wool.  Cheviot is a good choice to use as ‘core’ wool as it is inexpensive and needle felts quickly.  Once we had joined together the three elements we covered the top of the toadstool using WoW’s carded Corriedale in sour cherry (Tutti Frutti collection) and Pinwheel (Galaxy range).  The base was covered in a combination of Tadpole and Sombrero, again from WoW’s Galaxy range.

For a lot of the day you could have heard a pin drop….the concentration was so intense!

Detail was added using small skeleton leaves and tapestry wool for grass.

Once again it was a really enjoyable day in the company of a very creative group of ladies.  My thanks to Liz and Mavis for inviting me back and I’m now looking forward to our next workshop!

The Spalding ladies with their toadstools

 

Tyvek Leaf Workshop…..

Tyvek leaf

Last night I was invited to deliver my Tyvek Leaf Workshop to 24 creative ladies from the Louth Textile Group who meet once a month at the Conoco Rooms above Louth Library.   Time was going to be a little tight with 24 participants and less than two hours to make our leaves but all of the ladies rose to the challenge knowing that they would have to complete their project at home.

We began by colouring our Tyvek using our chosen medium, either felt markers, fabric paint, acrylics or watercolours.  While this was drying the ladies made their wire leaf framework.

Every leaf was a different shape and there were some interesting colour schemes taking place………

Tyvek Leaves created by ladies at the Louth Textile Group

Selection of Tyvek Leaves painted and distressed and  ready for embellishing

It was a fun night which went all too quickly…..I wish I had made the time to take more (and better) photos!  With no time at the end for a “show and tell” I’m hoping to receive images of the finished work, complete with stitching and beading, when the group meet again next month.

Many thanks to all the ladies for making feel so welcome.

 

Weekend Workshop with Mandy Nash…..

My little group, Felt Inspired, have just played host to a wonderful wet felting weekend workshop with felt maker Mandy Nash.  The four “Inspired” regulars myself, Rosie, Dreda and Pat were joined by Jane, Enid, Joan, Helen, Sandra and Robyn (Feltybits).  As well as being an inspiring tutor, Mandy, who travelled up from Llantrisant, is Vice Chair, exhibitions officer and a regional co-ordinator of the International Feltmakers Association.

Mandy Nash

The morning began with Mandy showing the ten of us examples of her wonderful wet felted objects, including hats, bags, funky fish and vessels, mainly created using Bergschaf wool.

A small selection of Mandy’s work

Some of the ladies were keen to experiment with the “book” resist technique with five of them making vessels while  Robyn decided she would like to make a fish.

Sandra working with a book resist

Robyn’s fish & bowl, Rosie’s festival hat, Sandra’s coastline inspired vessel (centre) and Pats four-sided vessel (right)

The rest of us chose to make a hat using a flat resist and added embellishment.  In addition Mandy talked us through the various surface design techniques she uses and demonstrated how we could achieve these effects using Bergschaf wool batts.

Rosie working on her festival hat

Joan made a beautiful bowler hat with slash detail

Enid’s 3 sided two-tone grey vessel, Jane’s dark blue & Dreda’s light blue vessel.

Helen and I were both smitten with Mandy’s “fern” hat so chose to make that……


Helen’s “fern” hat

My fern hat

Many thanks to Mandy for an inspiring two days and thanks to all the ladies who participated.  If anyone would like to join our group we meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Belchford Village Hall.  For more information please use the contact form.

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.