Monstrous Felting Retreat

A few weeks ago I experienced the delight that is the Auckland Fun Felter’s Retreat, 2 full days of felting bliss! ๐Ÿ™‚

We were 13 like-minded ladies at a retreat centre, tucked away in a quiet and leafy corner of west Auckland, we had the entire centre all to ourselves and were blessed with some lovely weather.

Jenny, our organiser extraordinaire, asked if anyone would be willing to teach / lead a short workshop on Saturday morning. Due to the pandemic, I haven’t had the chance to teach face to face since 2019 so jumped at the chance and then immediately panicked that I had nothing to teach this incredibly creative and experienced group (most of the members have been felting at least as long as I have!).

After several weeks mulling it over and talking to other AFF members I settled on “animal textures in felt”, I thought this would lend itself to a series of pre-prepared samples that we could discuss the potential pitfalls and then each member could incorporate one or two into their own project. This group is so experienced I couldn’t imagine any of them wanting to waste their precious felting time watching me laying out fibre over a resist.

We all arrived on Friday afternoon, settled into our rooms and started playing with our fibres in the main hall. After talking to a few members I realised not everyone would be happy for me to share some samples and tips on how to achieve different effects, they wanted a project to follow…. my heart sank, I hadn’t planned for this, how was I going to come up with a project that included, fur, scales, eyes and locks before tomorrow morning?!!

So it was that Fugly was born….

A little pod critter, with eyes, scales on his back, a lambs tail and an unfortunate ear-hair problem – for the record I would never normally recommend trying to cram so many different techniques onto one item but now he is finished I do find Fugly quite endearing ๐Ÿ™‚

To my surprise most of the group also made pods that incorporated most or all of the techniques and we ended up with a ?gaggle, ?fright, ?laughter <insert collective noun of your choice here> of funny little monsters:

A couple of members applied to techniques to small bags with great effect…

This weekend was such a success we agreed to do it all again in just 6 months time! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bags Galore!

Over the past year I have been working on a series of bag tutorials for the Felting and FIber Studio online bag class that will begin on May 24th.ย I am so excited this long-awaited class is almost here!ย ?

The first week will cover the techniques to make a spectacles/phone/pencil case that uses only felt for the closure (no buttons or magnetic snaps), to date most of my pouches have been cats with bling, so this weekend I have been making a giraffe to illustrate that you can choose any animal you wish, it could be beloved pet, a friend’s pet (they make very personal gifts), a wild animal, or even an imaginary monster, the choice is yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

In each case below, the tongue of the animal forms the tab that closes the flap over the pouch opening.

 

 

The second week will be about making a bag with adjustable straps and internal pockets, adding a magnetic closure and how to shape the bag so it has a flat base that will sit on the ground without falling over.

 

Finally in week 3 we will look at how make a backback with large internal compartments and multiple pockets, choosing the hardware and making adjustable straps from either canvas webbing or wool. Consideration will be given on how to make large bags durable enough to carry a heavy weight without being heavy themselves.

The red backpack is my bag, it gets daily abuse from me and this is what it looks like after 6 months, they are pretty sturdy bags!

The pale green/yellow slit you can see on the back of the green backpack is a large pocket, I will add a zip when I get a spare hour ๐Ÿ™‚

The great benefit of online classes is that you can work at your own pace and at times that fit in around you and your other commitments. Although the class nominally runs for 3 weeks, the forum will be open and I will be there to offer supportย  and answer questions for an additional 2 weeks in case you are unable to make a bag one week or would like to make more than 3 bags and share photos of your wonderful creations with the rest of the class. ๐Ÿ™‚

The PDF tutorials from each week will be yours to keep after the class has finished.

For more information and to register your interest in the bag class please follow this link and complete the contact form at the bottom of the page. I will be in touch by email just before registration opens at the beginning of May.

Illuminated Lion Fish

A few weeks ago I bought a selection of different LED lights to try out in felted lights and this week I made a start with the first of them, making and lion fish night-light.

I posted this picture on Facebook and really didn’t expect anyone to guess what it might turn into bu Judith got it in just 3 guesses!

IMG_7388

This is him in the making:

IMG_7387

And nearly finished, he just needs a little more fulling to make his spines stand up straight and some shaping around his mouth to give him his smile back:

IMG_7389

IMG_7392

I have also been working on a bag, that had an unusual beginning; my other half broke an axe handle a few weeks ago and while he saw a piece of firewood, I saw a couple of bag handles! After some sanding and a few coats of varnish I think the wood has come up really nicely. I’m so glad I rescued it from the wood pile ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_7414

IMG_7418

I’m not sure this is what Ann had in mind when she set the 2nd quarter, stash-busting challenge but I think up-cycling an old axe handle qualifies! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sculptural hats and bags with Rutsuko Sakata

I spent Monday and Tuesday this week on a workshop with Rutsoku Sakata, and the lovely ladies from Region 3 IFA making sculptural berets and bags. We all had a wonderful time.

This is my bag sitting on its resist and slowly taking shape; it literally took 9 hours to place all the stitching, my finger tips still feel sore and bruised today but I’m pleased with how the shape is developing. This is definitely going to be a one-of-a-kind type of bag!
IMG_1337

IMG_7293
the front

 

IMG_7295
The back

Now I just need to figure out what the strap / handles will look ย like and how to attach them…

IMG_1353
Some of the participants and their wonderful creations

 

1 2 3 4