Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fabric hair Clips

Much as I love making things from 100% wool I also really like dabbling with synthetics - bad cledry! I have a penchant for bondaweb and all things shiny. I've got various shows and exhibitions coming up and I found myself rummaging through the 'sparkles' box instead of getting down to making felt. I really love messing with the sewing machine and the iron and it doesn't feel like work at all. I can often be found totally absorbed in my workshop when I should be cooking tea or something! Anyway - here's a hair clip. The pic doesn't show the sparkle off to it's full effect but you get the gist

I'm in the middle of making some blue ones. They'll also be brooches and the offcuts make really nice cards. Result!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Big Green Gathering and felted soap workshop

Just a quickie to say I'll be at the Big Green Gathering this year. I've never been before but I've agreed to do a felted soap workshop for Brigit of It's not Easy Being Green Fame. She's started a charity with the aim of buying land in the UK for community projects etc - this is how she describes it

"The aim of the charity will be to raise money to buy land in the uk. This land will be used in a number of sustainable encourage biodiversity, for local communities to grow produce, and to set up areas where people can run and attend courses on low-impact living. The land use would in time generate more cash to be ploughed back into the fund to buy more land."

So, I've offered her a felted soap workshop to be held at The Big Green Gathering. It'll be by donation and it should be great fun. If you're going or know somoene who is pop by and say hello or jump in and do the workshop. Details of times etc have to be finalised but at the monment we plan to have it on the Thursday around midday.

Hope to see you there.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hand felted handbag and some Gotland curls

I made another bag from the Oldmill batts. It was just as lovely to work with as it was before so I've ordered some more

Again, it's stripy on the inside

I also washed some Gotland lambskin curls that Dave bought me at Wonderwool. We can shear the Gotlands twice a year - once in December but I couldn't wait that long to find out what the fleece wil be like.

Look at that! Isn't that just gorgeous? It's like the colour of storm clouds and feels like gossamer. The plan is to spin it to a DK and knit it up with some Dorset into a winter hat each for me and him. I can't wait. Sometimes I think I need to get out more as I get so excited about wool. It's the cat in me - lol

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oldmill wool batts

I've been wanting to try these out for ages but being a skinflint I'm always put off by P&P charges and the fact you can't see the colours/textures properly online. Woolfest was an ideal opportunity to see them in the flesh so to speak and I bought three from Wingham to be going on with. I also bought some hand made oak handles from Textile Art The end result is a couple of bags. One of them is still drying but here's the one that's finished

Dotty on the outside, stripy on the inside! The colour combination reminds me of fried eggs and ketchup.

The one that's drying is a purple/grape type colour with yellow dots and stripes. I really like it as a wool - apparently it's a gotland/merino blend and as I'm in love with all things Gotland right now it seems appropriate. I'll definitely be buying more - also more of the handles if I can get hold of them.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Woolfest, a rant, some good news and looking for a lost customer!

Woolfest - what can I say? It was a very mixed bag for me. The absolutely best bit was meeting fellow bloggers and 'internetista's' who were all so lovely and re-meeting some who I'd met before who were still just as nice as they were last time - lol. I was lucky enough to have a stall next to Chrissie from Bright Dyes who I 'knew' from the Dropped Spindle forum. Chrissie and her mum were great fun and it certainly helped to be next to them both for the 2 days. Meeting Badger and seeing some of the places he'd had his picture taken made me hoot with laughter.

I knew it wasn't going to be the right marketplace for me but I'd booked it before I decided to focus on the felt so we treated it as a holiday. As it happens I did much better than I thought I would and I managed to more than cover my costs. Coming from a rural setting I didn't expect to be so affected by the overwhelming smell of sheep pee that pervades the whole of the auction mart but by day 2 I was definitely happy to leave that behind - lol.

The most negative aspect of the event for me was the amount of people who openly said they were going to pinch my ideas. People would come past and say 'Wow, that's a great idea, I'm going to pinch that' and then look at me waiting for me to smile. One woman even took photos so she could remember how to do it when she got home. Now, at an event like Woolfest I fully expected people to look around for ideas and inspiration but to openly tell me in such terms when I'm trying to make my living making and selling the stuff is crass, rude and ignorant. Someone has said they take pictures to remind them of the event, just for personal use, and I don't have a problem with that at all (still nice to be asked first)- another woman came past and said 'This is lovely, very inspirational, I'm going to go home with lots of ideas' and I don't have a problem with that either - it's quite flattering. However, it is very disheartening (and fairly insulting) to have people just tell you outright they're going to steal your idea. So, if you're tempted to tell a craftsperson/designer/maker/artist that you're going to copy their work - DON'T!!! It might lead to an increase in cases of stall rage - lol. The ideas behind stuff like the soaps, bags etc are all out there in various places - free for anyone to find - I even have free instructions for felted soap right here on the blog. However, if I find anyone has pinched my 'design' ideas and is reproducing them for sale I will hunt them down and give them a spinectomy! Be warned :D

And breathe - lol.

Cumbria is a very beautiful place and, despite the torrential rain, we enjoyed camping. This was the 'view' we woke up to most mornings

That's the rain on the tent. I really liked the pattern the rain made so I'm going to try to use it as an 'inspiration' lol

We were just down the road from Castlerigg Stone circle and we had a potter round there on the friday night - very lovely

Now for the good news! Remember the fuss with the cow and the lost calf? Well, the farmer whose bull and dodgy fences were responsible has given us a 3 month old heifer as a replacement. We still won't have any beef for a year but she certainly goes some way as a recompense and she'll be excellent company for Rusty. As soon as she arrived she tried to escape but within half an hour she was cuddled up with Rusty and a couple of sheep

It's a dreadful photo but I had to take it from miles away so as not to scare her. She'd been licking the sheep just before she settled down - strange girl. They're in a huge field but they picked a tiny place to make a sheep sandwich - lol.

So! Now for the lost customer. When I got back from Woolfest there was an email from a customer who had bought some stuff and wanted to order more. I think she's called Pauline Onley? She's definitely called Pauline anyway. Unfortunately the email she gave me bounces and I can't get in touch with her. I've left a message on the site and on a couple of yahoo groups but I can't really do much else. If anyone reading this knows her or indeed if she's reading it herself could she email me at many thanks :)
The Spinning Wheel
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