Felt ornaments, beads and hair accessories

Yesterday was ladies day at the Golf Club and as I only had a couple of hours in the morning to attack a felting project I decided to convert some flat felt samples into smart and colourful Christmas ornaments.  Using this great tutorial from Betz White I slashed, manipulated and stitched a large felt ogee.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find my tailors chalk (no surprises there!) so it took me a lot longer than it should have to cut the lines.  This was a bit frustrating but I didn’t want to make any mistakes and the stitching did compensate somewhat as for once it only took a couple of minutes to get through this dreaded task! The resulting ornament is definitely pretty but until I find my chalk I am just going to string this with some large glass beads and enjoy it hanging in one of the trees in my garden.  Any more of these ornaments will just have to wait until I am properly prepared at the slashing stage although I might get inspired to cut a few out from paper as I try and destash my interiors magazines!

I did put up some images of the felt and ceramic necklace on Flickr yesterday forgetting for a minute that they would automatically link through to my Facebook profile so here is a close up for you to see the contrast of felt and ceramic. 

Close up of felt, ceramic and organza necklace

Hopefully the intended receipient won’t realise that the necklace is her Christmas present so the surprise will not be spoilt.  These large beads are strung on a copper coloured organza and this is an effect that I intend to replicate with a couple more necklaces using some gorgeous vibrant coloured lime ribbon that I brought back from Denmark. 

Felt hair bobble

Having routed out some pieces of flat felt my other project yesterday morning was this simple spiky hair bobble.  Just get a long piece of felt a couple of inches wide and using a sissors or craft knife cut lines into one long side but not right through to the other side (hope this makes sense!).  Starting from one end roll the felt up into a rosette shape stitching a couple of times as you go along.  The slashed ends form a funky anenome style design and you could add a brooch back or as I did stitch on an hair elastic to create a fun felt accessory!

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Combining felt and ribbons, felt Christmas presents and catching up with emails

During the summer I received two balls of a ribbon yarn during one of the Ravelry swaps that I participate in.  As I understand it these would normally be used as quirky additions when knitting, crocheting or weaving but for me they make the perfect yarn to use when stringing fun felt necklaces!  The ribbon that I have is approx 1cm wide and space dyed in hot orange, yellow, pink, red and blue.  This makes it the ideal cord for stringing simple felt beads in a mixture of these colours, the necklaces are fun, light (as well as light hearted!) and look good with pretty much anything you throw them on with.  This morning I just need to finish making a couple of these (hope to take some pictures later) and then I am off to deliver some jewellery and scarves to Earthworks in Thomastown.  

Tomorrow morning I have another felting workshop here at Clasheen and then in the afternoon I intend making my sister Suzanne’s Christmas present!  She has a nice little antique table in her hall and is looking for a simple runner to put on the top as a protection for the phone, keys and accumulated clutter that always seem to gravitate to this spot.  Over the weekend I need to reassess all my other present giving requirements too and make a list of what gifts I need to felt or crochet, these will be worked on starting from next Monday. 

My last major task before the middle of next week is to plough through all my emails and written correspondence that have been accumulating over the last couple of weeks.  With the arrival of my trees and being initiated as the new Lady Captain of Borris Golf Club things have really been slack in the paperwork (and virtual paperwork!) department as there have just not been enough hours in the day to get through everything that needed to be done.

Still recovering from frenetic felting sessions!

Design laid out and ready to fill in on our wall hanging

Design laid out and ready to fill in on our wall hanging

Gosh, we had some action packed sessions in Drumlea this week!  I am still recovering and expect it is going to take a couple more days before I fully recharge!!  Our game plan had been to divide the pupils up into 3 different groups, one to start work on the collaborative wall hanging, the second to make vessels and the third to work on felt balls.  The idea behind this was that I would never cope with all 26 pupils working on their first 3-d project at the same time and obviously we needed to get working on the wall hanging or else we would never get it finished!  Well the vessels went very well, so did the balls but we nearly had a mutiny about the subject matter for the wall hanging.  At the beginning of the session we had taken the top 5 suggestions from everybody, I wrote them down on a sheet of paper and then every pupil voted for their favourite 3 items.  Problems, problems, problems.  I had already explained that in order for the design to stand out when felted in the landscape format that the pupils preferred (taking account of how much the base we were using would shrink) I only wanted to incorporate the top 4 items from the wish list.  In order of preference these were the name Drumlea, the school crest, a football and in joint fourth place either a sun or a rainbow.  Discussion ensued about how we would make our descision and it was agreed by the pupils that everyone’s name would go into a hat, one name would be drawn out and that this pupil could choose the final item to be depicted on the wall hanging.  The name was drawn, the pupil was choosen and he in turn choose the rainbow (or was it the sun), mayhem ensued!  The pupils who were actually meant to start laying out the design didn’t want the rainbow (or sun) and pretty much stuck in their heels.  Eventually after a lot of discussion I showed them how we could incorporate both items if we changed the layout of the hanging from landscape to portrait, agreement at last!  The school crest morphed into a leafless tree, the rainbow is huge and the whole thing looks great now that the colours have been filled in.  Clare should be emailing me some pictures of the next stage and I will post them here as soon as they arrive.  Next time I go to Drumlea we are going to add a date to the piece, wet it out and then roll for several hours wrapping it tightly in the large plastic woven mat that I got from Mehmet.  Happy hours!

Over the weekend I will write a little bit about our 3-d work and post images of some of the super vessels the pupils created, check out my Flickr account if you simply can’t wait!

Felt necklaces, Autumn Swap and Flickr

I ended last night and started this morning by stringing a few more simple but stylish felt necklaces.  Some of them were made entirely from felt beads or balls, some were felt and vintage buttons and one was felt with a beautiful hand painted African button as the feature piece.  Probably I am putting off starting to tidy my studio but unfortunately (or fortunately as the case may be) I am going to have to get stuck into it in the next half an hour or so.  Carmen is arriving just after lunch and I want to do a serious afternoons work, nuno scarves call, so really I need to clear the long table soon if I want to lay the fibres out on it!

I also spent some time setting up a new Flickr group called ‘Clasheen Crafty Swaps’ this morning, check it out and if you have been participating in our Autumn Swap please take the time to join Flickr (if you are not already a member) and upload photos of your swap packages.  My image of the amazing painting and other goodies I received from Anna is already there, it is really great fun to see what everybody has sent and received, it just adds another dimension to the swap.  For friends who would like to join in the discussions that we will have through the group please feel free to join even if you are not intending getting involved in the swaps.  I know that not everybody has the time to engage in the swaps, my only request is that members only post images of their current work if they actually do join the varaious swaps and this way I can moniter the group content without too much difficulty.