Monday, 26 September 2011

Something New - Felting!

It's a lovely sunny morning here in Staffordshire, so a very happy Handmade Monday to you all!
Please do check out the other crafters taking part because there is always something lovely to discover. Thanks again to Wendy at 1st Unique Gifts for hosting this for us.

Well, you might remember that it was my birthday over the summer (you can read what I got up to in this post) and one of my lovely prezzies from hubby was a gift voucher to go on a felting course. It's something I had been hinting about quite heavily so I was amazed, thrilled even, that he actually noticed!!

Anyway, on Saturday I spent the day felting with a lovely lady, Lisa Marie Olson, who runs Tigerlily Makes - a felt-making boutique. I have to say, we all had a wonderful time - lots of coffee and cake was involved,

Cake is very important in crafting, isn't it?!

as well as a surprising amount of soap, water and lots (and lots and lots) of rubbing and agitating the fibres. I didn't realise how much effort it takes to make felt from wool fibres - our arms were quite tired by the end of it all and I think Lisa's catchphrase of the day was "nearly there.... just another 5 minutes!"

Once we had made our felt - we were making cushion covers - we then had even more fun embellishing them with whatever we fancied. I had a go at needlefelting and LOVED it!! I can feel a new hobby starting (and hear my husband sighing in resignation!). Basically, you get a really sharp needle, and stab at bits of carefully placed wool until they embed themselves into your fabric - and hopefully not your fingers....

So.... do you want to see the finished result?

My handfelted cushion!

Ta daaa! My first ever felted project - and probably the first of many! I am really pleased with how it came out - it makes me think of windy, autumnal days. Here are some close-ups of my favourite bits:

I love this little swirly bit!

I'm pleased with how this leaf turned out too!

Another swirly bit!

 So there you are! If you are thinking about trying a new craft, I would say 'Go for it!' because you never know what wonderful new ideas it will give you. Felting is great fun, and of course you don't just have to make cushions. I'm just trying to decide which felting course I want to try next - a wall hanging? a vase? a lovely new handbag.... maybe I'll have to do them all!

Better go before husband disconnects me from the internet...

See you next time! xx

Monday, 12 September 2011

Handmade Monday - Like Mother Like Daughter!

Hi again! Here's another Handmade Monday post - this week with some items made by my rather talented daughter - well, I would say that because I'm biased aren't I?
(I also have to say a quick thank you to a lady called Lucy from Attic 24 who inspired me by writing this post about her daughter's craft creations)

One of the best things about being a 'crafty' mum, is that the house is always full of bits and bobs of thread, beads, bits of fabric, leftover knitting wool etc. etc. It drives my poor husband to distraction by messing up the place and generally not leaving him anywhere to sit down and read the paper!

Fortunately (my husband would say 'unfortunately'), our daughter - age 10 - seems to have inherited a very arty/crafty streak and she spotted this book which I bought a while ago.

I have to say, it's a lovely book full of wonderful little motifs which aren't too tricky, and leave lots of room for extra inspiration! It came with a CD of the motifs as pdf files too, so you can spend ages playing about on the computer making up your own designs - a great way to spend far too many hours!!

Anyway, I am going off on a tangent - back to Daughter's efforts.

First, she decided to turn an old t-shirt (which was far too small) into a little cuddly cushion. She cut out the shapes and I showed her how to stitch the pieces together, then she stuffed it with polyfibre filling and sewed up the hole. Finally she chose a sweet cherry motif which she sketched onto the fabric, and then embroidered over it - and voila! Her very own snuggly cushion which she has by her pillow in bed.

Made from an old t-shirt!

Boosted by the success of this project, we found some leftover aida fabric and transferred a couple more motifs onto it - Daughter stitched them and we bought an embroidery hoop to act as a pretty little frame - wrapped in purple ribbon, her favourite colour!

Another little project!

Finally, here is her latest creation - inspired by the sock animals which we saw at a craft fair yesterday! This is Floppy Dog, the sock puppy - made from a very old pair of (sort of clean) socks!!

A little sock puppy - so sweet :-)

So there you are - I did ask Daughter if she wanted to write this post herself, but she has too much homework tonight and I secretly think she would rather finish knitting the little bag that she's started.

Please don't forget to look at the Handmade Monday blog by Wendy, and see what the other lovely crafters have been up to.
Until next time, keep safe and snug! x