I take my hat off to you Guildford!

Wow, what a week! Last week saw the second module of my FDAD course at West Deam, it was an incredibly intense 6 days, I was a zombie by Wednesday but made it to the end and I am so glad I did, it was well worth it. I will post about that when I feel a bit more recovered!

I got back from West Dean on Friday afternoon and had to pack the car for an Etsy Local fair in Guildford, at the time I was so exhausted I questioned if I would make it through to the end of the fair but the wonderful people of Guildford carried me through with their fantastic sense of fun and laughter 🙂

A slightly smaller space than the last fair but it still attracted plenty of attention.

The people of Guildford really surprised me, I expected to sell a couple of my more conventional styled hats but it was the really quirky ones that everyone wanted to try on and buy!

The horned hat was very popular…

But the prize for the best reaction had to go to this gent’s youngest son, his delighted laughter when his daddy turned around to face him in the hat was the most endearing and honest response I could have wished for, his wonderful reaction had us all laughing along with him 🙂 And that is how the horned hat found its forever home! I hope to see it out and about around Guildford 🙂

Almost as soon as I put the alien hat on display to fill the spot vacated by the horned hat this lovely lady came along and snapped it up!

Well done Guildford, I was pleasantly surprised by your willingness to embrace the unconventional, I will bring more of my wacky hats next year! 🙂

Everybody was in such good spirits, there were a lot of conversations along the lines:

Friend 1: “Ooooh that’s lovely, I really like that”

Friend 2: “Oh no, that wouldn’t suit you at all!” while nudging me or giving hand signals to say, “could you put it aside, I will be back to buy it just as soon as Friend 1 can’t see me getting it for him/her”.

This was a very successful event and one I would gladly take part in again, the only snag is I have sold about 25% of my stock, I need to get making again! 🙂

Lastly (thank you for reading this far), the new dates for the FFS online classes have been posted on the FFS website, and I will be hosting a new class on making seamless felt bags, from small pouches to rucksacks, please check them out and drop me a line if you have any questions.

 

Christmas is a comin’

Today was a very good day, it was my first Christmas fayre of the year and it was at a company where I worked for more than 10 years, I sold a few prints but the best part was catching up with everyone, most of whom I haven’t seen since this time last year. The lady who organises this event said they are planning a much smaller scale event next year but I hope I can persuade her to repeat a similar event next year, or make it even bigger and better, I just need to network with a few more sellers who might be interested. If you are in the Surrey / Berkshire border area and would like a table next year please drop me a line via the contact form at the top of this page.

It is funny how the stuffed kitten was the only thing on the table not for sale but it was the one thing everyone made a bee-line for, I could have sold him a dozen times over! 🙂

 

It was quite a luxury to have 2 x 6 ft tables today, I could really spread out…

This week I made a start on 2 new felting hangings during my life drawing group, they both need more work, some embroidery for the hands and a mixture of needle felting and embroidery for “Chantelle”. I am liking the random dyed backgrounds, I will be making more of those…

Chantelle

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends, I hope you are having a lovely day with your family and friends.

 

Guildford Soroptomists

If you are anything like me you are probably thinking “soropto-what?”

I first encountered the soropotmists through a friend’s post on Facebook a few weeks ago and promptly went off to look them up. It turns out they are a charitable organisation focussed on empowering and enabling women across the globe. While the Western world has seen the benefits of the suffragette movement and decades of feminism, although we may sometimes feel less valued than our male counterparts, there are dozens of countries where women really are still treated as second class citizens and the soroptomists have made it their goal to help these women.

If you would like to know more about the soroptomists you can access their website here.

Purely by accident, I was looking through listings of upcoming craft fairs trying to identify the ones that I would like to attend and noticed that the Guildford soroptomists are organising a fair in a village hall not too far from here. Their table price is a little more than I would usually pay but when I discovered the proceeds from this fair are going towards the Ebola crisis in West Africa, it was a no-brainer for me.

If you are in the area I would love to see you there, approx 30 stallholders selling home made food and gifts will be there supporting this cause:

10 am to 4 pm Sat 29th Nov at, Cranleigh Village Hall, High St, Cranleigh, Surrey GU6 8AF

On a more light-hearted note, I shared this picture with you last time and asked what you thought it might be:

Ruth was the closest, it is indeed a pod. I had some hand-dyed silk left over after completing my dress a couple of weeks ago and it was so pretty I wanted to use it rather than resign it to my inspiration bag. I settled on making a decorated pod. This is the result, it’s about 25 cm (10″) across:

Blog Centenary

The last few weeks have seen quite a run of achievements for me, this blog reached its first birthday at the end of October, last weekend my City and Guilds certificates arrived, and today this blog has reached its 100th post.

It seems quite fitting that this post should be about another milestone; my first felted dress. Being a nuno felt dress the template was HUGE, 1 m wide by 2 m long, forcing me to work on the floor. Not something I like to do as I ache for days after spending all day crawling around on all fours.

The dress didn’t quite go to plan, no matter how much I rolled and worked them the shoulder straps were still far too long so I resorted to cutting them down and sewing seams across the shoulders. Here it is drying on the mannequin.

The front
The back
Close up of the silk panel

Now I just need to pluck up the courage to wear it to work!

Here are a couple of other pieces I have been working on too. They are both winged pods but very different styles.

This first one reminds me of undersea creatures so I am thinking of dyeing it aqua blue / green colours.

The second one reminded me of a helter skelter so I dyed it red and yellow. Here it is before dyeing.

A helter skelter slide

And after dyeing

I will be attending the Rural Life Museum Christmas Fair this weekend in Tilford and would really love to see you there if you are in the area.

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

First Craft Fair

I attended my first craft fair as a seller today. It was the annual Christmas Fayre where I do my day job. I approached it as a marketing opportunity so was pleasantly surprised by how much of my work sold (about 10% of the stock I took with me).

It was lovely to chat to the people I normally work with about crafting and had one person sign up to join our arts and crafts group which was a bonus :o)

I’m afraid the pictures I took are a bit rubbish but hopefully this will give you a flavour: