Monday, 28 September 2009

Anglesey Waves

I'm in Anglesey (Wales) for a few days

I'm still working on felt projects

I will visit you all when I get back :)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Autumn Song - Lady Beech

Like Fall, like deciduous doubloons, I watched scarf, blouse, skirt slip quietly from shoulder and limb. Not like rain, not all at once like lightning, but like autumn, like those weeks on stage, the preening of leaf, proud in the blush of sugary death. And I knew, in that moment, I was dead to all I had known before, her breath fluttering the pages of my knowledge to the wind of her southern educated lips.

Written by Tree George at Decadent Tranquility.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Autumn Berry Bag - Tutorial

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions about how I do and make things. Its nice, as I have only been making felt for 3 months, and would not have learned nearly so much if other crafts folk had not kindly and patiently answered my questions or offered advice. Its nice to be part of the creative and learning cycle.

I made this bag, its a simple design, and fun to work with such bright cheery colours. I thought I'd share my method for other felt makers or those who have not yet made felt but want to give it a try. Think of it like a recipe, use the methods you like and remove or substitute the things you do not.

Step 1 - Making the felt

First of all I needle felted red wool into a sheet. I laid the wool out in layers as I were wet felting. I used a large foam block and laid 4-5 layers of wool,first horizontal, then vertical. I used a felting needle to repetitively poke at the wool until the sheet was adequately felted. This took around 4 hours but does not need much concentration, it can be done whilst talking to friends, relaxing in the garden, listening to music or watching TV. So don't worry too much about the time it takes. Just be careful not to get too distracted that you wind up sticking the needle in your fingers :)

I chose to needle felt a sheet of wool to make this bag as I love the soft hairy feel you get on the reverse side when you lift the felted sheet free from the foam. It was difficult to get a picture that shows this effect but if you are familiar with felt you will know what I mean. There is no reason why you cannot wet felt a sheet to use if that is what you prefer.

Step 2 - Creating the Shape

When you have a sheet of felt to work with, double it over, take a dinner plate or something that fits your sheet of felt, and draw a circle around it with a felt pen. Carefully cut the circle out. Try to leave the section where the felt is folded intact so that you have a stronger base for your bag.

When the felt is cut to shape it should look like this. Now stitch the two sides together so that the joined section of felt lies at the bottom and that the circles are sewn around 3/4 of the way round, leaving an open space at the top of the bag.

Step 3 - Making the strap

For the strap I took the longest strands of red wool I had (unfelted merino). I laid the wool length ways and then took second length of wool and wrapped it around the first length of wool. Winding the second length of wool around the first in a corkscrew style spiral. I occasionally jabbed at the wool with the felting needle to secure it in place. I did this until the original length of wool had been completely wrapped in wool. Its okay if the second length of wool runs out. Take some more and continue where the 2nd length left off.

Once the 1st length of wool is completely wrapped with the other lengths of wool and is about as thick as a finger or thumb, begin to jab your felting needle into the strap repeatedly. Do this until you are satisfied that the strap has been felted enough.

Once you are atisfied that the strap has been sufficiently needle felted, take the strap between both of your hands and roll it between your hands until the strap is around 1/3 of the width it was when you finished needle felting it. If you hold a the strap loosely in both of your hands then quickly pull it taut, you should hear that twang sound that you hear when you do the same thing to rope. Your strap is very strong.

The strap of the bag can be any length you choose, but I think it looks best when it is just long enough to go over the shoulder and to tuck the bag neatly under the arm. Offer the strap up agaist the bag until you have the length you prefer. Now sew it to the bag using red embroidery thread.

Step 4 - Finishing Touches

So right now, you have a circular red bag. To complete the berry, you will need to take some green wool and quickly needle felt it into a shape of a berry top and stalk like in the picture above. It is best to do this at this stage of the bag making so that you can see the width and shape that the green stalk needs to be. Make 2 stalks,one for each side of the bag.

When you have the shape that you desire, place a piece of sponge inside the bag, separating the two sides. Jab the needle into the wool securing the stalk to the bag. Do this repetitively until the stalk is secure. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

Now take a piece of green wool and lay it against the inside of the bag and secure it in place with the felting needle. This will give a more finished look to the bag when opening the bag up.

Now that you have completed all of the above 4 steps all that needs to be done is to sew the strap up o each side of the bag until it meets with the green stalk top or until you have a small but practical opening size for the bag. I don't intend to use a zip or fastening button on this bag. Gently tug at the felt until you have the circular shape you desire.

Enjoy making and using your bag :)

Needle Felting Tool

Paul made this for me today :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

CJ Stitching & Blooms

The very generous Judy of CJ Stitching and Blooms had a 3rd blogoversary giveaway and I was a winner. This is a week of smiles for me :)

The prize is a polymer clay face and a dragonfly pendant. What a thoughtful giveaway, something that can be used to make something else. A creative prompt. Thank you Judy x

If I could have chosen which of the 3 giveaways I would most like to receive, this would have been the one I would choose. This win also coincides with my first Etsy purchase. I bought one of Sara Lechner's tutorials "Watercoloring" on felt. For those of you who are no familiar with Sara Lechner's work all I can say is that she is a creative genius. Her work is kind to the eyes and leaves you wanting to see so much more. Sara Lechner creates the most beautiful textile art which often tells a tale and has figures stitched onto it with the most mesmorising faces. I hope to learn some techniques from the tutorial which I can then in turn use to incorporate Judy's beautiful polymer clay face into a piece of felt art. Wish me luck!

If you are interested in seeing more of Judy's wonderful creations please visit her at CJ Stitching & Blooms'.

If you would like to see Sara Lechner's work please visit 'The Fabric of Meditation', 'Whatiffing Around' and her most current blog 'Tales from beyond the glimpse'.

Thank you Judy xx

Monday, 14 September 2009

Many Smiles and Blessings :)

Today I feel very blessed indeed.
I received some wonderful gifts from a beautiful friend who intended to make me smile.
I'm grinning from ear to ear.

Ruthie your thoughtfulness, your tender gestures and beautiful presentation are so touching. I know that no matter what life deals us, there is always magic, wonder, and surprise.
There is no better way to begin a week!

Thank you x x x

Please visit Ruthie's wonderful blogs 'A fairytale of Inspiration' and '5 precious things'.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Autumn Trove

Autumn is in the air
The magical scent of Pines
The flowery beauty of the Beech husks crunching under foot
The gentle breezes complimenting the magnificent autumn sun

Holly looking her finest
Magical berries of Yew, Hawthorn, Elder
The Blackberry, Blueberry, Plum and Sloe
Acorns, Hazels, Horse Chestnuts, Sweet Chestnuts

A time for stocking up
A time for letting go
A time of new horizons
An eagerness to learn

Changing colours from green, to red, to gold
The Scattering of leaves
A great time to teach the wisdom of the trees
Of identification, recognition

Playful squirrels, fox cubs, migrating birds
The bustling season
Excitement all around

My favourite time of year

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Peppercorn Mala Beads

My mam is Buddhist and lives in a Dharma. This year, she has asked for a string of 108 mala beads for her birthday to help her pray. Its not her birthday until November, but I wanted to make her beads right away as a thank you present.

My mam has given me the biggest gift anyone could ever give. She has helped me both practically and emotionally through some terrible times. Thank you mam, I love you xxxx

P.S. These beads were made and strung on 09/09/09. Numerology teaches us that 9 is the number of compassion.

Ianthe - Walter Savage Landor

From you, Ianthe, little troubles pass
Like little ripples down a sunny river;
Your pleasures spring like daisies in the grass,
Cut down, and up again as blithe as ever.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


I just heard...
A girl...

So many preparations


too many times...

Broken heart.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


This is a draft necklace that I have been thinking about making for some time. A while ago, Sharon of Wildflower House gave me a circle of friends award. I chose not to pass the award on in the traditional sense but instead I would dedicate posts to my sources of creative inspiration. My biggest felting inspiration has to be Yvette of Felting Your Soul. Her work is beautiful and her creative advice has been invaluable. I made this necklace with Yvette in mind. Thank you Yvette :)

The theme is magical accessories. Amulets, shamanic head dresses, wands and staffs. I'm playing with the idea of jewelry fit for a priestess, a hedge witch, a muse... The oak symbolises natural magic, fae, protection and good health. The berries represent juniper. Folklore tells that
"if you carry three juniper berries in your pocket you can travel the forest without fear, drink from the springs without harm, and ride the wind." The idea of tusks was borrowed from shamanic witch doctor necklaces. Felt tusks are kinder than the real deal! I incorporated the tusks to represent the horn of plenty. I used three to symbolise Awen, inspiration.

I am still developing this idea and will felt more on this theme. How do you imagine the jewelry of a pagan hedge witch, a druid priestess, a muse?