Saturday, 27 February 2010

My Magic Carpet Ride (Part 2)

I have been really busy this week making accessories, brooches, hair slides, earrings, scarfs, and experimenting with new ideas and fibres. The necklace you can see to the top left is a nuno felted bohemian shabby vintage style, if that style exists. It fastens with antique mother of pearl buttons dated from the 1930's, glass seed beads and swarovski crystals. The scarfette to the bottom right was nuno felted with linen noil, bamboo, angora, cashmere, vicuna, possum, merino and tussah silk. I wanted to try out all of the new fibres on one piece so that i could test how they work with nuno felting. It is a lovely scarfette. I will take better pictures in the morning and list the items in the Bazaar.

The rest of my One World One Heart prizes arrived. The felted cushion (which is much more beautiful than the photo shows) was made by Gabriella of Threadheads Anonymous. The cushion was Gabriella's first felt project and she has done a wonderful job. The art cards were a gift from Barbara at Barbs Garden, and the mushroom guide, heart brooch and paper doll were a gift from Emily of the Edge Gallery. Thank you all, I will be popping all of my thank you cards in the post tomorrow :)

My daughter really loved the doll and the brooch and has spent all week end making her own (with a little assistance from her grown up helpers).

I would like to quickly introduce you to some of the other wonderful blogs I that have encountered on my carpet ride. Click on the images to visit the blogs.

Shayna Prentice of Needle Woven Studio

Cheryl Dolby of Healing Woman

Julie Mitchell of When the Spirit Moves Me

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Slow Cloth and Long Cloth

Today, I received a gift from friend Susan Sanford of Artspark Theatre. The little Prince long cloth that you see in the first picture was hand stitched and embroidered by Susan. Isn't gorgeous!

Susan was inspired to make this piece after reading the article 'undone' on Spirit Cloth. Jude's work is very inspiring. My own response to the slow cloths and hand stitching impetus kindled by Jude and other textile artists has been making these felt brooches. It has been a lovely project really, and very addictive. The felt is so tactile.

The natural coloured brooches that you can see are felt made from silk noil, merino, alpaca and silk. I only wish you could touch the felt, it is the softest I have ever made, pictures really don't do it any justice.

Thank you Susan. I am feeling so fortunate this week xxx

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Bluebell Woods

This picture of nuno felted bluebell woods is my February submission for 'The Festival of The Trees'. For those of you that are unfamiliar with 'The Festival of the Trees', the festival is a monthly wordpress magazine celebrating trees. I find the festival very educational and inspirational. Each month there are articles written by aborealists, ecologists, botanists, professional photographer's, artists, poets and creative writers. Sometimes there is a theme underneath the broader canopy of trees, but mostly, anything tree like is accepted.

This months deadline is 26/2/10 and March edition of the festival will be released on the 1st March. Why not join in the fun?

I am also submitting this picture to 'Ideas of Inspiration' which is a collaboration of artists who respond to a theme prompt twice a month. Right now, the theme is 'B'.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

My Magic Carpet Ride (part 1)

Today I posted off the felt necklaces to my two One World One Heart give away winners. I have been very lucky on this magic carpet ride. I have had some wins, but most importantly I have discovered some inspirational blogs and made new friends. Too many to list here in one post so I have decided to do a sequence of posts introducing different types of blogs that I have met, such as textiles, fibre art, fine art, art dolls, jewelry, lamp work and more.

The beautiful Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise (my favourite stones) earrings that you can see in the picture above are a gift from Fiona of Tizduster whom you can see dressed as a pantomime baddie in the form of Beatrix the Sorceress in this stage picture. Click on the image to visit Fiona's blog.

I have also won one of the most desirable necklaces that I have seen in a very long time from Jackie of Silvelodge Gems (click on the picture to visit Jackie's blog).

Isn't it stunning! It is made from pink opal, onyx and a fossil pendant. Jackie's jewelry is so beautiful and she is also having a gigantic sale in her Internet shop right now so if you have any birthdays or anniversary presents to pick up Silverlodge Gems may be a good place to look.

I have also won a mystery prize that travel writer Carol of 'Where will you Journey to?', will buy for me on her next trip to Cambodia, I am so excited. When I was in Thailand I desperately wanted to cross the borders and visit Anka Wat but just did not have the time.

You can imagine how lucky I am feeling right now! I won some other delightful gifts too so I started to feel a little guilty for having all of this good fortune and not sharing it. I asked some of the blogs how they would feel about donating the items to Made4Aid? A couple of blogs agreed to this, aren't they wonderful!

Beth of Three trees Art makes lovely jewelry with words of affirmation and positive sentiments. She has agreed to donate this felt jewelry pouch that she made to made4aid. I am a huge fan of the Silver Birch, and I don't need to tell you my feelings for felt :) This wonderful pouch (or one like it) will be up for auction at Made4Aid in the next few weeks. I love it! Thank you Beth x

Amanda of Maygreen Fairies has also agreed to send her give away item to Made4Aid. It is a gorgeous Vintage Shabby Scented Sachet to line a lingerie draw. Such Luxury! I love the whimsical feel of the Victorian lady on the trapeze swing. This item will also be listed for auction at Made4Aid in the next couple of weeks.

It has been lovely getting to know Amanda over the past few days. I feel like I have met a kindred spirit. Amanda's art is full of magic that leaves you with a light heart. Amanda volunteers in her local Oxfam shop and organised a craft fair at her Oxfam shop with donated arts and crafts to raise money for Haiti.

One of the blogs that I have discovered on the carpet ride is the very inspiring Annette of 'The Hare Preservation Trust' in Scotland and 'Dragon House of Yuen'. Annette is very creative and her passion for wildlife and domestic animals shines through her art making it sparkle.

Another new friend that I am so glad to have met is Jules of 'Adventures in Thread'. Jules shares a love for the great outdoors, textiles and TREES. Jule's nature photography is wonderful and her knit work and embroidery is beautiful. Look at her hare below, isn't it stunning!

To finish this post I want to introduce you to a friend that I met before the OWOH carpet ride. Elizabeth Rimmer has a passion for poetry and the environment. Elizabeth has set up a new project called 'Luchair' where she hopes to bring artists, poets, and photographers together to celebrate nature and discuss how they each tackle environmental issues in their daily lives and in their creativity.

Elizabeth first noticed that the human race was living beyond its ecological means back in the Energy Crisis of the seventies and learned how not to handle the situation. Today, the mission of Luchair is to to find a new way of tackling the environmental issues we face, that won't involve playing off jobs against environment, the human against the wild, the rich against the poor. She hopes to find joy, community, insight as she goes and hopes that others will too.

Please visit Elizabeth at her Luchair Website, blog or at Burned Thumb. If you think you have something to contribute, please email Elizabeth. She will be happy to hear from you. You can find a link to Luchair on my sidebar.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Theme Thursday - Bell

Swifts turn in the heights of the air;
higher still turn the invisible stars.
When day withdraws to the ends of the earth
their fires shine on a dark expanse of sand.
We live in a world of motion and distance.
The heart flies from tree to bird,
from bird to distant star,
from star to love; and love grows
in the quiet house, turning and working,
servant of thought, a lamp held in one hand.
~ Philippe Jaccottet ~

This week Theme Thursday's Theme is Bells.  I am a little early, c'est la vie!

I have always been an environmetalist at heart but not necessarily very good at it.  I am conscientious about what I do not buy, and try to recycle as much as I can.  Making the switch over from plastic bags at shops to canvas bags really made me notice how one action by one household can make such a difference.  The recent Indian Winter series of documentaries on the BBC  which focused on the slums of Mumbai and how entire families will work a whole day on the recycling dumps for the rest of the world, for a single meal  has driven it home to me that recycling really is not enough.   Most of these places do not have any sanitation or running water and infections are high.  The families working in these conditions would probably be better off in a sweat shop where at least they would take home a wage and have use of a bathroom. I am opposed to sweat shops and a supporter of 'worker behind the label'.

The connection to Bells is that my favourite objects to upcycle right now are whiskey boxes.  They have the best size and shape although I have been upcycling anything I can get my hands on from  cocoa tins to pringle tubes.  Often, I do these projects in front of the telly when I am too tired to make felt or read a book. I like to write poetry on some of these tubes.  Above you will see one of the tubes has been inscribed with the mesmorising verses of Philippe Jaccottet.  All in all, I don't worry too much about these projects being a piece of art.  Aesthetic is good enough for me.  I find the verse, colour and patterns that evolve  meditatitive.

To see other interpretations of this theme please visit my friends at Theme Thursday.

Monday, 15 February 2010

The One Love Challenge



I took  some pictures of my collage responses to Susan's Valentine Challenge today.  I live inbetween two parks.  In one direction I can walk to Warely Woods which joins with Bearwood Park and these woods are patroned by Julie Walters.  I have gone there since I was a little girl . 

In the other direction, the park is in a very deprived area.  The park itself, is better for children, more slides and climbing frames., but I feel very unsafe there.  I don't know why as I do not feel unsafe in the streets around it, and I do the majority of my shopping in this end of town , however there is a very threatening and oppressive feeling here that I always feel everytime I step foot inside this park. 

Today, I decided to visit this park instead of the prettier, safe park.  I thought if I was going to decorate a tree with valentine love and spread goodwill, this park needs it the most.

To visit other responses to the valentine challenge please visit Susan at Artspark Theatre.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine and the One World One Heart Give Away Winners

Susan, of Artspark Theatre has been encouraging folk to share a little valentine love within our communities and plant surprise displays of magical love across the neighourhood.  I'm a little late with mine as I hot footed it down to London to give a little valentine love to my fairy goddaughter, whom I met for the first time yesterday.

Now I am back at home again, I have been glueing and arranging in the best way I know how to in this land of 'One Love' and SKA roots.  Tomorrow I will decorate a tree with these love vibe hangings near the childrens playground to spread the magic of  oneness and love to children, parents and dog walkers alike.  To see other community love offerings, please visit Artspark Theartre.

Now, its time to announce the winners of the One World One Heart give away:

Sandra of Inanna Shamaya


Lisa Atchison of Touch of Glass Designs

I am delighted that Sandra and Lisa have won as both of them have wonderful blogs.  If you have time, please pop over and visit them.

Sandra & Lisa, I will need you to contact me with your postal details.  There is the pictured necklace or a similar necklace that I have been working on in a bright sun kissed colour.  The first  to contact me can choose.

Thank you to all that entered the give away.  I have enjoyed reading all of your comments and visiting your blogs x

Friday, 12 February 2010


 Recently I treated myself to one of Lynne Hoppe's muslin 'Nearly There Books'.   The picture below shows one of the leafs before anything is added.  I began to draw a mandala, not really knowing what I had in mind.  The book is so pretty to begin with. 

I felt the need to work with bright colour with an emphasis on orange, which I have always considered a healing colour.  Next came oak leaves, making the core of this mandala healing and a provider of strength. I have really enjoyed working on this mandala.

 This morning, my book order arrived.  Lots of poetry for inspiration but also, 'The Secret Life of Trees' by Colin Tudge.  I have been wanting to read this book ever since I read Elizabeth's review of it at Luchair  .

It was a real pleasure to finish off the mandala this morning in Lynnes book while considering which book to read first.  To top it all off, my silk order  also arrived along with some angora and cashmere.   

An energising start to the day xJ

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bazaar Talk



This morning, the sun graced us with her presence long enough for me to take some reasonable pictures of my latest felted pieces.   These scarves are now listed for sale in Natures Whispers Bazaar.  To see more pictures of the blue scarf, please see the post below. 

The Magic Mirror

I made this nuno felt scarf in response to Theme Thursday's prompt of Mirror.  The scarf is made from Merino, Alpaca and silk.  The centre of the scarf is a grassy knoll with a tree on it.  Initially, the tree was to be reflected in a lake which would act as the mirror but as the piece evolved  it became night and day, making the mirror a magical one that transports you from the everyday world to the magical moonlit sky to step out beneath an enchanted tree.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Pictoral Consequence by Caio Fernandes

A few days ago my copy of Caio's new book arrived.  I love it.  The printing is high quality,  I can still smell the ink it is that fresh off the press.  It arrived quickly and is beautifully bound.  And the art inside?  That speaks for itself.  Caio Fernandes is a wonderful  and talented artist that needs no introductions here, most of you know him already and are familiar with Mein Welt.

Today, I received two paintings from Caio.  One for me, and one for the person that  I will be gifting this book to.  I had no idea that I would receive such generous gifts from dear Caio.  I knew he was going to send a dedication to insert inside the book, but not paintings fit to frame and take pride of place on the wall.  You have made me very happy Caio, I feel blessed.  Thank you!

Click on either of the pictures to visit the Blurb shop and preview Caio's book.  To see it is to want a copy.  Irresistable.


Now for a little of what I have been up to today.  Below is a nuno felted scarf inspired by the warm glow of the sun and its heartening rays.  Right now, that is something I can only see in my memories of bygone summers.  we have had hail today...

I will be listing this scarf in my new shop as soon as I get enough good natural light to take some pictures. 

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Wearable Eco Art and a Bazaar Launch

Here you can see a picture of an embroidered nuno felt scarf that I made using Merino wool dyed in Nettles, a little Merino wool that as dyed with Blackberries, some samples of eco dyed wool, Blended Blue Faced Leicester wool, Vicuna, Tussah Silk and Bamboo.

Tomorrow I will list this scarf along with some photo's taken in natural daylight in my new online shop Natures Whispers Bazaar. I already listed a couple of items and plan to work very hard over the next few weeks to increase the stock levels.

You can enter the Bazaar by clicking on the picture above, the highlighted text or by clicking onto the link that will be a permanent feature on my side bar. Please feel free to look around and leave comments.

Wish me luck xJ

Thursday, 4 February 2010


For more interpretations of the theme, go see my friends at Theme Thursday.