Rainbow Hat

This week, in between running the online concertina hat class, I have been working on a commission from New Calendonia, I confess I had to look up where that is, and turns out it is in the Pacific, off the east coast of Australia! I don’t think I could pick a location further away if I tried! 🙂

We have been making good use of the translator function offered by Etsy (my customer speaks French) and I think it is working well, but its a little bit nerve-wracking not knowing how much is getting lost in translation. She asked for a rainbow version of this hat:

 

This was the sketch I sent to check we were on the same wavelength:

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I spent most of this weekend working on it and this is the finished hat, still drying:

 

The second concertina hat class is progressing really well, we have such a talented group of felt-makes I can’t wait to share some photos of their work with you, I am so proud of them all! 🙂

Finally, a word of caution for anyone selling to customers in Germany, I have been working with a customer in Germany to contest a DHL customs charge for nearly 50% the cost of the goods I sent her, it appears they have decided the UK is no longer a part of the EU and therefore, subject to customs fees. My customer is understandably angry and I am more than a little annoyed with the half-wits at Deutsche Post. If you are selling to Germany, you might want to forewarn your customers of this potential issue.

Update: Deutsche Post have acknowledged they made a mistake and said they will forward the parcel which is now more than a week late 🙁

Christmas is Upon Us

Apologies to all the “Bar-humbug-ers” trying to take the ostrich in the sand approach until Dec 24th, but Christmas is officially just around the corner… It must be!…The supermarkets are stocked to the rafters with Christmas treats, I have been discussing the logistics of making Christmas stockings with the same group of children who made the autumnal pictures and I attended my first Christmas fair this weekend.

I have 3 more fairs before the end of November and keep running out of stock (granted this is a much better problem to have than having stock that refuses to sell!)

This was my corner of the West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyer’s table at the Christmas Fair, it was a fun day out with Elaine and Heather, who you can see in the photo, and I sold the beret and snail hat you can see on the top shelf. The snail hat went to a young lady who I think will actually wear it around town, not just to music festivals which is brilliant, I am so happy he found someone to love him 🙂

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The bathrooms at this site were less than wonderful portacabins, but when I happened to look up I saw this and thought it rather pretty, it reminds me of eco-dyeing:

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Today was spent furiously making scarves and another hat to replace some of the sold stock so I don’t have to turn up to the next few fairs empty-handed. This will be a beret and the scarves I made are busy cooking in the dye pot.

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A few weeks ago I saw an advert for a short millinery course at my local college and on a bit of whim signed up for it, I’m not sure the cut and sew techniques we have been using so far will replace the more contemporary felt-making techniques I normally use but it is interesting to see how some styles are constructed and of course the engineer in me is already trying to work out how to make similar shapes in seamless felt…. 🙂

This is the first hat from that course, I would call this an “Andy Capp cap” after the well known British cartoon but this probably doesn’t translate very well across the Pond, what would you call this style of hat?

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Are you ready for Christmas?

20 Felt Pictures and a Hat

Wendy Hales of DesignSpark contacted me a few weeks ago about teaching a group of children to make felt pictures at their half term holiday club. I confess I had only ever taught groups of up to 5 children before and the prospect of having 22 pairs of eager hands and all the questions that go with them was rather daunting! But the day was a great success, exhausting but very successful, largely due to the excellent help from Wendy and her assistant. These are some photos of the pictures the children made, they were working on the theme “autumn” and considering some of the children were only 7/8 years old and none of them had made felt before I am enormously impressed with how well they did. It just goes to show what a forgiving medium felt is 🙂

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Alison another (slightly more mature 🙂 ) student, this time from my first concertina hat class forwarded some photos of her latest hat too, the pointy tip makes me think of a quirky wizard’s hat and I love her use of silk, you can see it has a lovely sheen even in the photos.

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The second concertina hat class is well underway and we have another wonderful group of very friendly and supportive students, one of whom made her first (gorgeous) hat within 24 hours of me posting the tutorial, now that it is enthusiasm for you! 🙂 I can’t wait to see the hats everyone else will make, I predict we are in for another bumper crop of incredibly beautiful and quirky hats… watch this space! 😉

My favourite colour is October

I have been asked to teach a group of school children to make a felt picture and the theme will be “autumn”, I love autumn, it is easily my favourite season. While researching images to inspire the children I found a post on Pinterest that read, “my favourite colour is October”, I couldn’t agree more! All the rich, vibrant oranges, golds, crimsons singing on a backdrop of deep green, what’s not to love?!

Today has been spent preparing for the class in 2 weeks’ time, first dyeing a stack of prefelts in mottled autumnal colours and then creating a felt picture to use as an example of what they might like to make. Being only A4 in size (approx 12″ x 8″) it was surprisingly difficult to achieve the level of detail I had in mind.

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I am really looking forward to this class but it is going to be hard to keep my hands off these prefelts in the meantime! 🙂

Writing of classes, Alison, from my concertina hat class, forwarded some photos of her snail hat that she finished after the class ended, thank you Alison, she looks wonderful. The perfect summer cap! 🙂

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We will be running the concertina hat class again next month, if you would like to join in please pop over to the Felting and Fiber Studio pages for more details and the sign-up form. If the the last class was any indication it will be a lot of fun and there will be some wonderfully fantastic hats made. Don’t delay though, the closing date for registration is 31 October 2016.

Concertina Hat Class

The concertina hat class drew to a close last Sunday after 4 weeks of fantastic hat making! We all had a fabulous time and everyone made stunning hats, which is all the more impressive when you consider that some of the students were relatively new to making felt over a resist. This post is a photo collage (in no particular order) from those who were happy for me to share their work publicly….

Meg was one of our most prolific milliners, producing 4 hats in just 4 weeks, the top one was inspired by Australian Banksia cones

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Phyllis was another very industrious felt-maker, all of her hats included lots of beautiful 3 dimensional texture and embellishments:

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This is Robin’s “Bill and Ben” hat, so named because she took it into work and her British colleagues started singing the theme tune to the well loved British children’s TV show 🙂robin-hat-3

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Tricia also managed to make 3 hats, I loved her single-sided snail fascinator, he reminds me of a colourful whelk 🙂

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This is Simon the snail, made by Jane:jane-1

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This was Lizette’s first hat and demonstrates beautifully how completely different styles of hat can be made from the same piece of felt – it all depends on how it is folded and shaped. I also like her style – felting with a glass of wine in hand, now that is classy! 🙂lizette-1

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Catherine only had time to make one hat but it was stunning:

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This was such a lovely class to teach, all the participants were so chatty,  friendly and supportive of each other it was wonderful to work with you all – thank you 🙂  We had some really good discussions and your questions made me stop and think about why I work in certain ways which is always a good thing!

Well done everyone, I am so very proud of you all! 🙂

Here are some of the comments from the students in case you are thinking of taking this class when it runs again later this year:

  • This has been such an enjoyable class! Thank you so much. I’ve never really taken any online classes, much less classes on fiber arts. Now I’ll probably sign up for more!
  • It’s been great fun, just wish it could last longer as I haven’t even started my last hat yet due to work being mad.
  • Hi Teri, thank you for a great class – I am sorry I have not had more time to play but will have lots of ideas and your good notes when the exhibition is over.
  • Once again Teri, many thanks for the workshop and to all of the other participants- thank you for all your input, creativity and inspiration.
  • It was a terrific experience and your input was very helpful. Thanks for a terrific course!

I will post the link to where you can sign up for the next class in a couple of weeks, but if you can’t wait and would like to register your interest, please use the contact box to get in touch.

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