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Monday, 2 December 2013

Foxy Samples

Just a quick post...working on some new patterns, here is my new fox design. This guy stands proud and he's on the run just like the foxes I've always spotted.

These are the first versions. I'm quite happy with him and his foxiness. Hopefully I'll be able to get some of these guys on Etsy soon although my haul of gorgeous wool blanket scraps is coming to an end...

I've also been making samples for a beautiful organic baby shop that I met with last week. These are two first versions of the polar bear and elephant using their gorgeous organic cotton and cashmere/wool blend fabrics... Filled with wool and embroidered with silk thread that I have dyed with rusty iron...

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Woven blankets and blanket stitches

A friend collects old woven woollen blankets and makes hot water bottle covers from them. I was lucky enough to receive a bag of the scraps. I'm often too precious with bigger pieces of textiles that I collect and find it difficult to settle on a worthy project for them. So I love finding little scraps because you can be sure whatever you do with them it's going to be more worthwhile than sending them to the tip!

The blanket scraps were just big enough to make into a skulk of foxes. There is something very foxy about plaid, maybe it's the story book illustrations of foxes dressed in tweed. Anyway I think these guys look pretty dashing...

The blanket stitched edging around these blankets is just too special to discard and thankfully my friend had not been able to bring herself to throw them away.  Rolling the edging into little scrolls makes gorgeous coloured rounds that I have been stitching together into interesting brooches. 

Christmas is just around the corner now and I have my work cut out if I'm to complete all the projects I've started in time. For a maker Christmas always brings with it a sense of urgency and pressure as if the world stops buying handmade for another year. But like this little scroll below the world still goes around and around, as does the desire to continue to make and mend.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Reclaiming the Nights

Gosh, this year has flown by. It's terrible, I haven't posted since my February wet felted chair fiasco for a number of reasons. One being that said chair is like a thorn in my side, sitting there unfinished, slowly un-felting itself and unravelling into a ball of fluff. This was an experiment that needed a little more time than I currently have what with a wild one year old in tow.


Said one-year-old is the other reason I haven't posted in a while. Above is a portrait of him by the 4 year old and that is the child himself. You can kind of see what I mean can't you.

So I have reclaimed the nights for creative expression and moved my studio into the living room where I currently work by night after baby is asleep. I'm loving my view from the window which I rarely get to enjoy since it's usually dark out by the time I get to my desk.

This is a little Christmas needle felted Angel that I've started working on. She hangs by the window and I love how the sunlight glows through the wool and mohair and catches in the gold beaded halo.

Because Christmas is approaching I've been working on more woolly polar bears. I've started tailoring clothes for the bears too.

This guy is listed on Etsy already and there will be more joining him soon

Now this is a curious device that I can't wait to try out. I found it on the shelves of a charity shop in one of my favourite English towns Hebden Bridge, North Yorkshire. It has the original post label on the box which reads "Scotia Wools Ltd, 158 New Bridge Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1. Mrs Gardner, 32 Hodgkin Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne. Date 10/11/1948. " It has a 9 pence stamp on the box.
I'll take more photos of the thing itself soon. I'm looking forward to trying it out. Who knows maybe I'll start making rugs next. Has anyone ever come across one of these? 

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Wet Felting a Bent Wood Chair

I'm working on a little experiment at the moment, covering found furniture with wool. On top of a smooth wet felted surface I then plan to add texture with knitting, needlefelt and other needlework techniques. To begin with I have removed the wooden seat round and entirely wrapped the chair with wool rug selvedge yarn. The seat is surprisingly comfortable and stable with just a figure of eight wrapping around the seat circumference.

The chair looks surprising good as it is but I would like to create a very durable and smooth felted surface that I can then embellish with other textures. The seat pad I plan to work separately with wet and dry felting and then attach to the seat and felt it in. 

So far I've started by wrapping the covered chair in fibre that I have prefelt with dry felting and wound wool around it to keep it in place and then started the wet soaping felting process. I'm just experimenting at the moment to see what problems might come up. So far it has been difficult keeping the fibres from separating when shrinking and the prefelt has been helping with that. 

After the chair, I intend to felt a small coffee table that I found and a very sweet little foot stool with worn patches of tapestry that I intend to "restore" with needlefelting. Stay tuned. Any tips or suggestions welcome! 
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