Catching up

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted here; I had a lovely week of walking in North Devon followed by an inspiring 3 day workshop, making a seamless dress with Cristina Pacciani. Since returning, I have been furiously trying to finish the hat tutorials for the online workshop I will be hosting in August, in-between attending job interviews and completing a mountain of paperwork needed for my new day job.

I’m getting a bit stir-crazy, utterly desperate to make some felt but trying so hard to be good and remain focused on finishing the tutorials! It’s funny how not being allowed to make anything is making my creative juices flow faster, my sketchbook is now overflowing with ideas that I haven’t had time to bring to fruition. Once the tutorials are finished I foresee a massive spurt of felt-making before I start my new job on the 25th… 🙂

I will post more about the online workshop in a few days, once the finer details have been ironed out but in the meantime here is some eye candy from the last couple of weeks 🙂

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Boxy Hat and Some Dressmaking

Over on the Felting and Fiber Forum, Judith (AKA Koffipot) very kindly compared my chain and flame hats to David Schilling’s creations. I confess I had never heard of him before this discussion, although I did recognise some of his Royal hats, I thought one of them might have been princess Beatrice’s “toilet seat hat” as Ann so aptly described it 🙂 but it turns out that this is a Philip Treacy hat.

Looking through a gallery of his work I started to wonder if some of the shapes could be realised in seamless felt….? Looking at his hats has sparked a few ideas that I hope to realise in felt.

One of them looked like a gift-wrapped box and I wondered if I could make a small stack of felt boxes set at jaunty angles. This is the block for the base of the stack and a test run to see if I could make a felt box stiff enough to keep its shape when worn:

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Keeping with the resist theme, this hat used the book style resist I wrote about last week.

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Adding some hand-dyed cotton:

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I have also been doing some home work for the dressmaking course I started a couple of weeks ago, but I’m afraid I made a boob… cutting the last panel for my dress I forgot to flip the pattern piece to get a mirror image and didn’t realise until I had cut the piece out. Now I don’t have enough fabric to complete the dress so I will have to make some more 🙁 But I need to make some felt for Ruth’s screen printing course so I will just make a job lot 🙂

This is the dress I will be making (no changing my mind now if it doesn’t work!):

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The white will create the centre panels with the blue forming the panels down the sides.

I also made a start on the prep work for Ruth’s experimental screen printing class that started yesterday, I have made 2 screens, 1 large and a smaller square one.

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Pickle inpsecting my handiwork, he has been told in no uncertain terms these are NOT scratching posts!

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More on the screen printing course later…

For those of you reading by email, this is the link to the web page: blog post

Sorry, I still haven’t found a plug in that will automatically include a link 🙁

The Finished “Leopard Print” Dress

As promised, here are some photos of me sporting the finished dress. I wore it to my Spinners Weavers and Dyers Guild AGM and it was a real hit!

With a little “help” from Pickle 

This photo was taken while doing the final shaping, I think it is really interesting how the colour of the silk changes when wet (pieces at the top of the picture).

I  have been quite busy this week, finishing the cape with hundreds of felted tassels, I enjoyed making it but it really did take hours and hours to hand felt all those tassels! I just need to edge the neckline and add a button.

This weekend I started working on a textured wall hanging that has been festering in the back of my mind since I saw a photo of icicles hanging from a roof back in November.

This is the sketch I made at the time, as you can see it really was just a seed of an idea at the time…

I raided my goody bag looking for some interesting textures and found some silk noil and different grades of wool nepps along with some hand dyed mulberry silks that I think will make a lovely, colourful addition to the icicles. You know how ice has a sparkly quality when the light hits it just right? I thought some angelina might replicate that effect quite nicely.

Laying out the base (it’s about 3ft x 4 ft)

Starting to lay out the “icicles” with some flashes of colour provided by the mulberry silk.

More on the Icicles hanging next time…

I also managed to finish my “leopard print” dress this week too, I was surprised at how long this one took, I can usually make a dress in 2 days but this took all day Sunday and then every evening last week, I finally finished it on Saturday morning! This is the front:

And the back:

I hope to get a photo of me wearing it next week…. watch this space 🙂

New Year New Goals

I can’t believe we are already 3 days into 2015…. so I am already late setting my new goals; not the most auspicious start! 🙂

My first 2 goals are essentially carried over from last year but they really worked for me so I will carry on with those with just some small edits.

  1. Post to my blog at least once per week and to Facebook twice per week
  2. Maintain at least 90 listings on Etsy
  3. Attend at least 2 workshops with other feltmakers to further develop my felting repertoire
  4. Start teaching felt making
Number 2 is an interesting one for me, as we approached Thanksgiving last year I set myself a target of having 90 items listed in my Etsy shop and I noticed a significant increase in sales soon after (not difficult to achieve, you might think, given that I had only sold 8 pieces in the 13 months prior). Initially I put the sales spurt down to a Christmas rush but I have had 5 more sales since Christmas (I’m still bouncing round the house with joy that other people like my work! 🙂 ) so it can’t just be people buying Crimbo presents.

Number 3 is a bit of a cheat since I have already signed up for a hat making class with Judit Pocs (I am so excited I can barely sit still) and I already have an idea of what I would like to do for the second one (more on that once it has been confirmed). But I do think it is important to keep learning from each other and expanding our horizons.

Number 4 is still just a handful of seeds in my mind, a few people have suggested I write a tutorial and I have ideas for at least 3 but the new EU VAT rules that came into force on January 1st put a spanner in those plans for a while but after much reading and networking I think there may be a work-around if I email the tutorials (it still isn’t clear if ALL the EU countries will agree this is acceptable). I also like the idea of doing some face-to-face teaching although it scares the hell out of me! There is a studio near me that runs a variety of workshops but as far as I can see felting is not on their menu, so I have plans to go and have a chat with the owner…. watch this space 🙂

I hope you have been taking a few days from your day job and have found time to be creative over the last week or so?  I have been having a whale of a time, here are a few images of the things I have been working on:

A pair of fingerless gloves to match my felt jacket:


Another pair of fingerless gloves with silk hankies for decoration:
A couple of nuno felt scarves:



A black-widow spider inspired cape – in this photo it looks more like a dangerous creature from the deep 🙂
Rolling the tassels for the fringes took forever, I am so glad it is now finished and busy drying!


A new nuno felt top for me 🙂

layout of the silk over a resist

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I plan to wear this next week – will try to get a photo of it on, seeing it laid flat on a table under artificial lights really doesn’t do it any justice…

What have you been up to over Christmas? Have you made any resolutions or set goals for 2015? I hope your start to 2015 had been great and reflects how the rest of 2015 will pan out.

Linking up to nina-marieoff the wall Friday

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