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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From above

Are you ready for Christmas?

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.

Bridport Hat Festival

Saturday was spent in Bridport with the Region 2 IFA (International Feltmakers Association) ladies at the annual hat festival. We had a shared table in the town hall and had a lot of fun encouraging passers-by to model our hats. It was a long day and the weather wasn’t on our side, autumn arrived with gusto at lunchtime at the crowds rapidly thinned out but it was worth the trip just to see all the happy, laughing people trying on our hats. The snail hat definitely drew the most attention and giggles as people tried it on, however it was far too big for almost everyone, I really need to make some smaller versions of the snail! 🙂

This was our table – a very small space for 5 felt-makers to share but we made great use of every last inch!

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These two ladies were great sports, between them they must have tried on every hat on the table, and had a whale of a time doing so! 🙂

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A few of the team sporting our own creations, you can’t turn up to hat festival without a hat, that would be like walking down the high street naked!

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Clare, me and Liz
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Vivienne trying on the snail hat and Clare

Sunday was a felt-making day, and what else could I make after spending all day surrounded by so many gorgeous hats, but another hat! This one is a departure from my usual style and incorporates a wide brim. It is still damp, so the silk isn’t shiny yet but I really like the shape, somehow it makes me think of Guy Fawkes.

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Floral Beret

I start a new job tomorrow so expect this will be my last post for a few days, I’m excited to be working for a company so well known for making new and effective cancer treatments and catching up with friends who I previously worked with at other companies but I am nervous about being the “new girl” again and trying to find my way through a raft of new acronyms and company procedures… wish me luck!

I don’t often make berets but I am not sure why, they are relatively simple to create and make a great foil for all manner of decorative techniques. This one was inspired by the riot of flowering plants currently exploding into colour all over my garden and was made with a series of resists, 7 for the flowers and 1 for the beret.

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