July 7, 2017 § Leave a comment
I have done a gentle bit of felting in the past few weeks. I have also been exploring Bristol more by bike. Turns out there are lots of lovely places within cycling distance of my house, that I had no idea even existed.
Felting first. I have had a few commissions off etsy, including a couple of badgers, a squirrel and a little lynx badge. I did manage to get a couple of photos before they all bounded off to their new homes.
I am actually running out of dyed wool, and I desperately need to dye some more oranges and reds, as a lot of creatures are that rusty red colour!
Its on my increasingly large to-do list.
I was carding some wool today, but I can’t for the life of me remember what kind of sheep it came from. I got it from Wonderwool Festival in April. I have a lot of wool in my shed which all needs washing, and some of it sadly got infested with moths. Which I guess is what will happen if you leave wool in open bags in your shed for a year. You live and learn, right?
I saved my inside wool by sorting it into separate bags, and now I actually have a wool storage system – which is something I never had before. It used to just be sort of everywhere. But I panicked when I saw moths scoping it out and I had a massive clear out. Much better now. Easier to find stuff too – turned out the best solution was ziplock freezer bags and those huge laundry bags with zips from IKEA.
The weather has been hot. My long haired cats are suffering. I have spent many an afternoon fanning Sandra with a piece of paper. I’m not sure if she likes it or not, but I’m worried about her getting heatstroke.
Cycled to the Blaize Castle Estate yesterday, in 30 degree heat. Its up a huge hill (as are most things in Bristol). I didn’t find the castle, but there was a museum, where I found some creepy dolls.
Seriously, why are dolls so scary!? Stuff of nightmares.
And talking about the stuff of nightmares, today I went out for lunch with my mum to Arnos Vale Cemetery, which is an amazing overgrown graveyard, and it turns out that the furnace they used for cremations is still there under the cafe. You can go down and have a look at it, its just next to the toilets, and it may be one of the most unsettling things I have ever seen.
A photo won’t do it justice, but I took one anyway –
I think it might haunt my dreams forever more…
The rest of the cemetery is a beautiful, overgrown sort of nature reserve, with trees growing up through old graves, and long grass and butterflies. Its peaceful, but as I walked round, at the back of my mind I was aware of that monster lurking under the depths of the cafe…
If you are looking for something to do in Bristol it is certainly worth a visit!
That’s all for today, off to card more wool now!
If you are interested in my felting work you can by an original piece of my art from etsy, visit – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WoollyWildThings
Or take a look at my Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/WoollyWildThings/
June 20, 2016 § 1 Comment
I have been doing this felting thing a while now, and it is interesting to see how my work has developed.
When I started needle felting, about four years ago, I worked pretty much exclusively with processed merino wool. I didn’t really consider the fact that there were other options. Merino wool is the most readily available breed of wool for felting. It comes in all different colours, and the roving you can buy commercially is perfectly smooth, evenly coloured, all the fibres are straight. It’s kind of perfect really.
But then, when i was looking into ways of getting large quantities of wool for less money, I started to look into buying raw fleece and processing it myself. I documented this process here on this blog. I have learned to wash, card and dye wool and learning this changed everything. I always loved felting, but when I began processing fleece I really fell in love with wool as a material. It is so diverse, in texture, colour, crimp, length. I have worked with Jacob, Shetland, zwartbles, Oxford, mule, charollais, and this is only a miniscule selection of sheep breeds out there. Natural coloured wool is beautiful, and hand dyeing it is exciting and a bit like magic. It is not perfect like the merino I used to buy, but I really like that!
I feel like I have only really touched the surface of what wool has to offer. I am still learning, I have started spinning yarn. One day perhaps I will get some sheep. I think there will always be new things to learn. It is so exciting and I just want to share my passion for wool with everyone I meet.
I have recently taken a break from wet felting and gone back to needle felting badges, but using only wool that I have processed myself. I am really pleased with the results, and I have already had some fun commissions to do!
Here are some photos –
A selection of badges I have made.
These guys are of to America soon!
A hippo made from some wool I dyed that went a bit wrong, but it was the perfect colour for a hippo!
All of these creatures are made from hand processed wool, and you can buy them from my shop!
February 3, 2016 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if I mentioned, but I’m doing a Masters. I am currently trying to write my final dissertation type thing (its not officially a dissertation, but something like that)
Its a Masters in Theatre Design, so I am reading lots of books about theatre design etc. I am also procrastinating a lot in many different ways.
Felting is one of those ways, I am also writing a novel…
The dissertation is getting written slowly but surely, and the washing up and cleaning is also getting done more than usual!
This week I have been making felt badges. I’m making animal-head ones as I haven’t made any of them in a while and they are fun and simple to do.
Have a look for yourself!
I am also planning on making a leopard, another tiger and lots of other lovely animals!
All will be available soon in some form or other in my etsy shop.
March 3, 2015 § Leave a comment
I am very excited because on Sunday I am doing my second market stall! I will be at Rhiwbina’s Handmade Market from 11 – 4, with many woolly creatures, new and old, on display.
As I haven’t been updating the blog in a while, I wanted to share some photos of the most recent things I have been making. This includes completely new creations, but also abandoned projects that I have finally got round to finishing!
First is the aye aye, who has been lying around unfinished for about six months, since he was so nearly finished anyway I forced my self to add the final touches!
Then there’s this fish mobile, which I began over a year ago, finishing most of the fish but never assembling it, so here it is all put together!
This lapett faced vulture is new, made from the mule sheep and jacob’s wool I talked about in previous posts (all hand washed and dyed by me!)
Tiger badge, made yesterday
Little fox badge made from hand dyed wool
A new hare and mushroom mobile
And a little hare badge.
This are just a few of the things I will have at my stall, so please if you are in the Cardiff area then visit the market, there will be many other fantastic stalls there too (and cake, or so I’m told!)
I hope to see you there!
December 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
I did my first market stall on the weekend, and I enjoyed it so much that I think will indeed do many more in the future.
It was at Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel and Spar, near Usk, not too far from where my parents live.
It was a really good opportunity to design what my stall was going to look like, as well as labels for my felted things, and business cards!
I did of course have to make a lot of things to fill the market stall, but I didn’t make as much as I had intended. Originally I had 3 weeks before free, just for making things, but then work and life got in the way, and I only ended up using a few of those days for making. Still, I did quite well considering.
I tried to make a few Christmasy things – and I sold this whole family of polar bears! –
I had quite a range of stuff actually, from badges, to flat wall hangings.
In all, lots of fun, and I’m looking forward to doing another one. It was a wonderful way of meeting new people, and talking to people about felt!
March 26, 2014 § 1 Comment
Perhaps as a direct result of recently watching Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Wererabbit, I have a bizarre desire to make woolly vegetables.
It could also be something to do with the time of year. I would love to grow vegetables, but I don’t really have the time or patience, or the gardening skills. Or the garden, to come to that. So this is the best I could do. I know they are not edible, and definitely wouldn’t contribute to one of my five a day, but I have enjoyed making them nonetheless.
They are all badges, and hopefully will be for sale somewhere very soon!
Disclaimer – I am aware that peppers and pumpkins are not technically vegetables, and I apologise to anyone offended by me referring to them as such.
February 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
Just a quick post here…
In honour of the rain.
I’m not a big fan of Winter. Its fun for a while, before Christmas maybe when everything is festive. When there’s mulled wine and markets and light. But then the novelty wears off and it all gets a bit depressing and relentless. And this year it decided it was going to rain. Forever. And so it did.
As a young artist, with not very much money, I don’t have a car. I work at the opposite end of Cardiff to where I live. All the theatres I have worked at are also at other opposite ends of Cardiff. I do not own an umbrella, I cycle, and my waterproof coat is in fact not waterproof (a tragic failing there) so the last few month have been pretty damp for me, to say the least. On countless occasions I have turned up to work looking like I swam. I was starting to get a bit fed up, and began contemplating tactically evolving into a fish, or moving to somewhere warmer. Venus maybe…
On Sunday, IT DIDN’T RAIN! the sky was gloriously blue, with little clouds floating like unlikely buoyant marshmallows. It was wonderful. Except, I spent the whole day at work, and when I left it was dark. I missed a whole day of sunshine!
This little badge here, I made in memory of the sun that I MISS SO MUCH! I know she’s up there somewhere, desperately trying to burn her way through the clouds. YOU CAN DO IT SUN, I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!