That felty feeling…

Morning!

Following on from yesterday’s post about some of the random things I’ve been trying my hand at lately, here are a couple more…

Firstly, teeny tiny bunting. It really is tiny too! The triangles were cut from 4mm thick 100% wool felt, and the letters needled felted on in merino wool. I then hand stitched each triangle onto baker’s twine:

  
I made this to decorate the packaging for my nephews 1st birthday present – here it is on the parcel:

  
Fiddly to make, but possibly something I could develop and include in my shop…!

And next, those of you that follow my alter ego on Twitter may recognise this little fellow:

  
He’s my avator, and I’ve grown very attached to him! He developed from this little doodle:
  
I decided to try and bring him to life in felt – again I used thick 100% wool felt, lightly stuffed his body, and needled felted his eyes and nose (and a tiny tail):
  
He’s now a permanent feature on my bag, and matches my phone case (which I had made by one of those online places – pricey, but I love having one of my own designs protecting my phone!):

  
I’d like to perfect his design and add a range to my shop – probably a teensy bit smaller – here are a few more animals I’ve doodled in the same style that would all work well in felt:

   
     So, who knows what noofings will pop up in my Etsy shop over the coming months…? 🙂

Playing with paper…

So yes, I’ve been quiet for ages, but I haven’t been sitting on my laurels. I’ve tried my hand at a few different crafty things, and thought I’d share a few with you, starting with paper-based stuff.

I kept seeing these lovely paper flowers around, so found instructions online on how to make them – here are a few of my efforts.

Firstly a plain paper one, with a little soppy message attached… 🙂

 

Then I thought I’d be a bit clever and make one out of fabric – it took ages and I found it very fiddly sewing all the bits together! 

  

Here’s one made from the tissue paper used to wrap a bottle of whisky:

  

And an old map:

  

And finally an old comic:

 

Remember the little message attached to the first flower? It was typed on a lovely, ancient typewriter my other half bought me for my birthday:

  
How sexy is that? Anyway, another use I’ve put it to is festive messages on teeny Christmas paper-chains:

  
And finally, here’s my first and only attempt at papercutting. I laid out the type on computer first to get the size and kerning right, then used a printout as the cutting template:

  
Who knows, maybe I’ll perfect some of these things to sell in my shop at some point in the future… 🙂

I’ll share some more exploits in my next post.

Laters! x

Heeeeeeeeere’s stupid!

Hello! I’m back! My Etsy shop is open for business again and I’m raring to go!

I’ve was mulling over having a go at a sugarskull stupidcat a while ago, and did a rough doodle:

  
I’m now itching to have a proper go at it, so watch this space! It’ll probably be a larger size than my usual stupidcats due to the amount of detail. And I haven’t decided yet if whiskers will work or not…

And speaking of whiskers, this little chap is almost finished, just needs whiskering and framing:

  
More news when I have some! Hope you’re all fine and dandy out there in the big, wide world. 🙂

Tiny turf houses…

Look! Sunshine! Out there! How lovely! Hope it’s nice where you are.

I have some noofings to share with you… I’ve been building houses…

Okay, not real proper big ones – tiny Icelandic turf houses, but instead of using turf I’ve used felt (no surprise there!).

“But what’s a turf house, stupid?” I hear you cry…

Turf houses go right back in history to the time when Iceland was first settled in the late 800s. Whilst there was a fairly plentiful supply of birch trees, they weren’t particularly suited to heavy construction, so frames were built and something that was plentiful – turf – was fitted around the frame in blocks. Turf houses continued to be constructed, and their design continued to evolve, right up to the 18th century. The most commonly seen Icelandic turf houses date from this later era – they’re called burstabær…


The turf provided very good insulation, and also stopped drafts getting in – in fact, it’s making a little bit of a come back as building material these days.

And so without further adoooo… I give you my very own turf houses…


And here’s one on it’s own…


They’re made by needle-felting together pieces of thick wool felt sheet, then tiny details (the door and window frames and door handle) are added by needle-felting in merino wool, and the window panes are made with a couple of tiny cotton stitches to the back of the final layer of felt. I’m rather pleased with how they’ve turned out.

In fact, I got so into this building lark that I made a church too…


It’s loosely based on this little blue church in the village of Seyðisfjörður in east Iceland, where my father lived.


So there you have it! Hope you like my little constructions!

Until the next time… x

Noofings & votes for teamies…

Well hello there! What’s new with you?

I have a few noofings (that’s Craftbritannia-speak for new things) to share with you, but first I’d like to ask for your assitance in helping a couple of Craftbritannia teamies. Both have applied for funding from Enterprise Nation, and need your votes!

Rachel Elliot is hoping to secure funding to buy a bit of kit enabling her to flock glass – vote for her here.

The Femine Touch is hoping to get funding for an electronic cutting machine – vote for her here.

Voting is quick and easy – just register on the site and click vote! Please share these links and help my teamies achieve their voting targets! Thanks!

And now onto noofings…

First off is my little sheep brooch – baaa-aaa-aaaa!

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He was originally going to have dangly bead legs, but that just looked wrong!

Then came the elephant

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This was a custom request, and he looked so cute I just had to offer him in my shop! I want to make a pink version of him too, watch this space!

And finally, my scary skull

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He has a metal loop on the top so you can attach him to your bag (or whatever else takes your fancy) to scare away monsters!

Well, that’s all for now – except to say that if you’re still searching for a Mother’s Day card, take a peek at my selection of felted cards, maybe something there will take your fancy!

Laters! x

Fishy flags…

Hurrah, I have a new line in my shop! Needle-felted hearts with flag designs on 🙂 Well, I say a new line, I have one at the moment!

Here’s the first prototype:

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I wasn’t happy with the thickness of the vertical and horizontal stripes though, so tried again and am more than happy with the end result:

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I’ve added a red silk thread loop decorated with a few tiny glass beads, so it can be hung in the home, or in your car… or wherever else you can think of! This one is now available in my Etsy shop.

Hoping to have a go at another flag today… Just need to decide which one!

Finally, here’s a work in progress… About 20 years ago (eeek!) I designed these fish…

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…and I’ve been wanting to try a felted version. I made a start yesterday, and here it is so far:

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Still a long way to go, but it’s taking shape!

Right, off to get felty! x

The Craftbritannia sales fairy swap 2012!

Hallo people!

That clever old Rachel Elliot (aka FlyingCheeseToastie) came up with a rather good idea for a team challenge a while back. Us Craftbritannia bunch on Etsy are forever going on about the elusive Sales Fairy, and when one of us is lucky enough to be paid a visit by said Fairy (ie we sell something), we tend to shower our other teamies in Sales Fairy Dust in the hope that she’ll pay a visit to them too! Anyway, Rachel suggested we all make our own interpretation of a Sales Fairy, send them off to her, then she’ll randomly allocate a Fairy to each teamie and send them on. So todays wee bloglett is about the one I made…

It’s not a fairy.

The fact that it’s not a fairy can be blamed on Rachel for using the word ‘totem‘ in her brief, and Carrie for inventing the Lurker Stick (I think it was Carrie!). The Lurker Stick is a virtual stick that can be poked into corners to coax out buyers that may be hiding.

I’ll just pause here to say that us Craftbritannia lot are really quite sane and normal, despite how this sounds…

So, I wanted to make a sort of totemy-stick thing, but had no idea how or out of what. The idea came all of a sudden one Saturday afternoon, so I pootled down to the local hardware store, bought some dowl (which the nice man cut into bits for me), some double-sided sticky tape (all those childhood years of watching Blue Peter finally paid off!) then ran home as fast as I could and got started…

First I wrapped the stick in double-sided tape, and grabbed me a fibre thread pack from SpinningStreak





The next step was to peel off the coating on the tape and start wrapping the fibres round the stick…





…until I ended up with wooly-coated stick with dangly bits of spare thread at one end…





Now I was stuck. I knew I wanted dangly jingly bits, but wasn’t sure what to do next. Then Sir Terry Pratchett came to the rescue… Pratchett fans amongst you will know that good old song “A wizard’s staff has a knob on the end” – so what else could I do but attach a knob! I needle-felted a ball of merino, then wrapped it in some beautiful vegetarian silk from Sassalynne





Then I added some embellishments to the knob *snigger* (sorry!), threaded scrummy handmade paper beads from DesiredThings and little howlite skulls from BeadsYouNeed onto the remaining dangly threads and tied a little silver bell on to the end of each one…





And here’s the finished doodad!





All that remained was to write out the instructions… (thanks Rachel for this piccie! And I’ve just noticed I can’t spell ‘incredible‘!)





…then send it on its way!

After a few days, all the Craftbritannia Sales Fairies had arrived at Rachel’s place and were having a massive party…





…and now us CB teamies sit back and wait to receive our randomly picked Fairy, which all being well will bring us lots of luck on the sales front!

Massive thanks to Rachel for such a fab team challenge idea! I enjoyed myself hugely making mine – those of you that are familiar with the items in my shop will see my creation was… er… nothing like the sort of things I usually make, so thanks again Rachel for poking my old grey matter to come up with something different! And of course, massive thanks to everyone else who’s taken part in this challenge – hasn’t it been fun?! Hurrah for Team CB!

More pictures of all the Fairies can be seen on Rachel’s Facebook page.

So, there you have it!

I wonder which one I’ll get back?

Bracelets and birdies…

A discussion on the Craftbritannia team pages today reminded me that I wanted to share with you my favourite piece of jewellery (with apologies to Ally!)

Here it is…


Askew Bracelet

I found it in a little secondhandy sort of shop in Hampstead in the early 1990s and fell in love with it on the spot – I paid about £20 for it (which was rather a lot for me at the time!). The combination of sad faces and hearts really appealed to me, and still does. I love the simple design, and the way the clasp works perfectly with the design (and the clasp has never failed me, which I suppose is a sign of good craftsmanship!).

Askew Bracelet Clasp

It has the makers mark Askew London on the back of the clasp, and a bit of digging on the internet turned up this:

Askew of London seemed to be in production through the eighties to the early nineties. Their vintage jewellery was often gold plated with a mix of statement necklaces, earrings, bracelets and brooches. Signed Askew of London.

Famous owners of vintage jewellery pieces to date is Keira Knightley who was spotted wearing a bracelet. Prices are rising for these named pieces.

Askew London Makers Mark

So maybe my £20 was well spent back then?! I’d never part with it though!

On a non-jewellery front, I have a new birdie in my shop – here he is:



And I’ve also been busy making more greetings cards – I have quite a selection now! Stop by and have a peep at the Cards section of my shop if you have a spare mo! 🙂

Right, on with the housework… *sigh…*

Could I have more time please?

Told you I was going to make some more cards!

I now have four designs of cards in my little Etsy shop:

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Guess I need to do a skull card and a blue keyring to even things up!

I’ve also been working on a noofing today – here it is, nearly-but-not-quite-finished!

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Well, Easter isn’t that far away really, is it!

I’ve almost decided to take a stall at a local craft fair at the end of March – it’ll depend on if I can get a good stock of items made, and that’s the problem… I want to experiment and make new things, and try out new ideas, rather than build of a stock of things I already make! Is that bad?! Do any of you have that problem?!

And on the subject of trying out new ideas, I’d really like to start doing Hardanger embroidery again – I learnt about 12 years ago while I was living in Iceland. It has its origins in Norway and is traditionally done in white. I dug out an old photo of a couple of my pieces:

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So that’s another thing on my to-do list! Although the old goth in me would like to do Hardanger with a twist – all in black! I think that’d look quite cool!

I’m also itching to have a go at a teeny needle-felted elephant brooch after a Craftbritannia teamie planted the seed…

…could anyone give me… ohhhh, I dunno… about 7 extra hours in every day?!

A noofing, miracles and milk…

Sorry, I best translate that first word:

noofing n. a new thing

Here’s my second noofing of 2012, hurrah!

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It’s a Valentine’s card, with a simple, needle-felted heart design mounted on yummy Bockingford watercolour paper.

It matches this keyring:

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I’m going to be offering cards to match my other keyrings too soon – I have four designs so far, with more on the way!

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Here’s my Valentine’s card in my Etsy shop.

Right, now I’m off for a relaxing soaky bath – I had a bit of a fight with my printer earlier so need to chill out! I mean my computer printer, not the little man who does my printing, I don’t have one of those. Well, unless you include Moo, but I’ve no reason to pick a fight with them!

Which reminds me, must order Moo mini-cards by midnight to get the discount…

Which reminds me of being reminded of something last night. We were watching Top of The Pops, and Hot Chocolate came on singing ‘I believe in miracles’, which reminded me that when I was little I thought he was singing ‘I believe in milko’, and that reminded me that we’d run out of milk and as it was nearly midnight, all the shops were shut. Bah!