This week I travelled back up to East Keswick for day two of my Yellow Poppies Workshop at Simply Stitch.
In the morning we concentrated on our designs and needle felting the key elements onto the backgrounds. By the afternoon all of the ladies were free machine stitching the detail into their work, including four ladies who had never done free machine work before but who are now hooked!
I’m encouraging participants to use their own design and colour scheme on this workshop so I’m thinking I may need to change the title …….”Yellow Poppies aren’t the only Flower”……..maybe not, I’ll work on it!
By the end of the day we still had some finishing off to do but the ladies had produced a beautiful collection of work, each with their own distinct style……
Thanks to Nicola and all the ladies for a lovely two days and I’m looking forward to working with you all again when I come back up in November.
This evening I held a needle felting workshop for a group of members from the Skendelby Ladies Guild. Not one of the group had tried needle felting before but, by the end of the hour and a half session, everyone had achieved a piece of work to take home with them.
Skendelby Ladies Guild members
Most of the ladies chose to make a brooch and used cookie cutters to form the basic shapes.
Thanks to Sandy for inviting me along this evening, it was a pleasure to spend time with the group and I hope to see you all again sometime.
I have recently had fun exploring colour and texture with another abstract wet felted project created with Merino wool. This piece was started in one of Robyn’s workshops but as always I ran out of time so it was finished off and embellished at home. Once it had dried I decided to decorate it using machine stitching to define the orange areas. Once this was done, I randomly added a few old beads (from broken jewellery) and some hand embroidered stitching. At this stage I thought the orange areas looked like land masses and the piece started to resemble a mythical ‘map’ with strange symbols which might indicate buried treasure or long lost civilisations. I quite liked this idea so I played on this theme, adding more beads and hand stitching.
Some of the beads I used were quite large so once it was finished the picture needed a deep frame. Ikea sell RIBA ‘deep’ frames in 2 sizes (or maybe more?) which are perfect for displaying 3 dimensional work. They are not expensive, available in black or white and come complete with a mount and fixings for hanging on the wall. I particularly like the black as these seem to create a more dramatic effect.
I can’t believe its been 2 months since my last post…holidays and family commitments have kept me away from the PC for a while but things are getting back to normal now so its time to catch up on what’s been happening ‘craft’ wise.
At the end of April (the day before we were due to fly out to Greece for a 2 week flotilla holiday) Robyn was due to hold another felting workshop. Although I knew I really ought to stay at home and do the packing I managed to somehow escape to Robyn’s studio for the day and had a great time (as always) with the other ladies as we all got creative with bits of fluff!
I wanted to do something different and create an abstract picture in this session but wasn’t sure how to approach it. Robyn suggested a great method which began with creating small piles of ‘carded’ Merino, combining different colours/shades. When I had sufficient piles of wool these were laid out and used to create a large sheet of multicoloured ‘pre-felt‘.
The pre-felt has been cut up and rearranged.
The next stage was to cut the pre-felt into squares and rearrange it, in a different order, onto a plain background, adding bits of scrim, nepps and silks and completing the felting process. There was so much pre-felt I ended up making two pictures, one square and one rectangular. I enjoyed the process and was really pleased with how the pictures turned out.
Close up of the first picture showing the embellishment
Once we got back from holiday I picked up the pieces again and added some sari silks, a few seed beads and some machine embroidery. I feel like the pictures have taken on a bit of a ‘sea-side’ feel and, with having the two week holiday sandwiched between starting and finishing them, they now remind me of happy times island hopping in the Ionian.
First of two abstract, wet felted pictures created with the guidance of Robyn at Feltybits.
Second of the abstract pictures made at Robyn’s workshop
I have been meaning to post these photos for several days but where does the time go? Last Saturday I met up with a group of other ladies at the Thomas Garrett Rooms in Heighington to take part in the ‘Fairy Shoes’ felting workshop run by Robyn Smith of Feltybits. Once again it was a great workshop with Robyn offering lots of encouragement and advice regarding wet felting, working with a resist and embellishing. The tiny shoes were created using Merino wool tops and decorated with seed beads. The finished items all turned out different in colour and style and looked particularly cute when lined up for the photos!
Back in November I mentioned the needle felting workshop I held at the Joseph Banks Centre where we looked at the basics of creating a needle felted picture. Since then Sheila has gone on to finish her ‘Autumn Leaf’ picture and this week I received a photo from another of the ladies showing her finished ‘Flower Meadow’. Eileen chose to mount her work to make a greetings card and the finished effect is beautiful. Watch out for Eileen’s next picture as she rises to the challenge and try’s her hand at wet felting – the background is done and looking fab so can’t wait to see it finished!
Work in progress….time is running out so this will be continued at home.
The finished picture looks great mounted as a greetings card.
Away with the Fairies…
It seems ages since my last post but its been a busy time craft-wise so now I’ve made the time to sit still I have plenty to ramble about!
I attended another of Eve Marshall’s fabulous felting workshops just before Christmas and this one, following on from the Elf on a Toadstool with Robyn, was perfectly timed to feed on my reawakened childhood love of all things magical/mystical. The basic process for making the body of the wet felted Fairy was very similar to that of making a flower i.e. laying the tufts of fibres overlapping in a ‘starburst’ formation. One thing to remember before commencing the felting is that the centre of the ‘flower’ will become the Fairies head and therefore the fibre laid here should be your chosen ‘flesh’ colour.
Laying the fibres for the ‘Spring time’ fairy
The head is simply a felted ball, but getting the size right was a bit hit and miss to begin with! The ball is positioned in the centre on the wrong side of the skirt. The skirt is then pulled tight over the ball and tied in place with thread. I have discovered that the best thing to use for this is dental floss as its very strong and can be pulled tight without fear of breaking. At the same time I attached a second length of floss through the top of the head which can be used, if required, to suspend the Fairy. The figures are not given a face, these are left blank in the Waldorf tradition.
The head is formed and thread attached for suspending.
My first attempt at a wet felted Fairy.
Although I was pleased with my first attempt, she now looks pretty crude compared with the ones I made over Christmas! The black hair on this first Fairy was made from wool top and attached by needle felting….I prefer the hair on the more recent examples which I made using a textured knitting wool and decorated with a headband of tiny beads.
Each Flower Fairy is decorated with a beaded headband and carries a posy.
The delicate, translucent wings are formed using ‘Blaze’ heat bondable Angelina Fibres – I hadn’t heard of these of these before but I can see them being useful for all sorts of future projects! To make the wings the Angelina Fibres are simply laid between two sheets of paper and ironed using a medium heat setting for a couple of seconds.
Gothic Flower Fairy
When I made the ‘Gothic’ Fairy I couldn’t find a suitable wool for her hair so I simply used a permanent marker on the orange wool and the result looked fab! This one is my favourite so far…she worked out smaller than the others and looks so cute….which is your favourite?
More exciting news on the felting front….my brooches and key rings are going on sale at the Sir Joseph Banks Centre in Horncastle from tomorrow. There will be a mixture of large wet felted brooches and smaller dry felted gifts to choose from. The Sir Joseph Banks Centre is the home of the Sir Joseph Banks Society where visitors will find information on the life and the amazing work of one of our most famous and respected explorers. The Society is very proud to have Sir David Attenborough as its president and the building it occupies houses a growing reference library and is working towards establishing a research centre.
The building also boasts a thriving gift shop, run by volunteers, and crammed with all sorts of beautiful gifts. There are a mixture of “bought in” and hand crafted items, with a lot of the stock being created on the doorstep by talented, local artists/crafters. From pictures, jewelry, ornaments, clothing, accessories, etc., you name it and they probably have it! So if you are in the Horncastle area and looking for unique gift ideas be sure to give this shop visit!
A selection of my handmade wet and dry felted brooches and keyrings.
Beautiful gifts for the home on sale at the Joseph Banks shop.
The shop is crammed with great gift ideas for Christmas!
Last Saturday I attended a 3D needle felting workshop in Heighington run by Robyn Smith of Feltybits. Robyn began by showing us various peices of her fabulous 3D work and she explained the different techniques of producing the shapes. We were then asked to chose what we would like to work on and Robyn supplied us with the Merino wool and all the help and advice we needed. One of the peices we were shown was a tiny toadstool which immediately took me right back to my childhood and the many hours I spent drawing toadstools and elves! The workshop lasted four hours and it took me all that time to do the basic toadstool and elves body but I loved every minute of it. Sunday afternoon I was in my element – adding the details including the tiny flowers and the ladybird and putting features and clothes onto the elf. I was so pleased with the result….I am now even more hooked on felting, if that’s possible.!!
3D Toadstool and Elf created using Merino wool.