Monday, 18 April 2016

SUMMER Workshops...

It’s nearly a year since I re-named my felt making business
 Now we are all looking forward to the warmer months ahead and getting out 
into our gardens, and the new workshops reflect the changes in the seasons…

Flowers are our main source of inspiration for the June workshops, 
starting with ‘PAINTING with FIBRES’ at Seely Hall in Brook Village, IoW
 on Sat 11th June - 10am - 4pm. 

Open to all abilities - you will learn basic felt making techniques,
experiment with fibres + textures and create a flat piece of felt fabric 
which can be stitched and worked into a picture, cushion cover or bag.  
Come along and discover the possibilities of working with felt!

 Joy’s Wayside Herb Garden in Yafford, IOW will be full of colour in June!
We will be holding a ‘FELTING FLOWERS’ Day there on Sat 18th.June.
For more details + booking contact Joy direct on 07879 613389

 Felting in 3-D is always a challenge for those new to the technique, 
but once mastered you can felt any 3-D shape - bags, bowls, hats 
or even hand puppets, using the same method. 

For the 3-D WORKSHOP on Sat 25th June at Seely Hall, Brook,
I shall be demonstrating something NEW!  
How to felt a ipad cover (with a flap), which makes a great protective cover 
for any ipad or tablet device and can also be adapted to slip over
a special sketchbook, paperback or journal. 

Once felted these covers can be personalised, stitched and 
embroidered and make great gifts… 
Come along to the 3-D workshop and make a bag or bowl if you wish - 
you can decide on the day!

  'Painting with Fibres' or '3-D Workshop' at Seely Hall, Brook on the IOW
cost £35 per person for the day. All equipment provided, 
there's an extra charge for materials or you can bring your own fibre.
For more information or to make a booking
contact Gill direct on 01983 752872 

Look forward to catching up with you in June...

In the meantime...

Enjoy your gardens!

PS. As always you can click on any of the workshop photos to enlarge...

Monday, 28 March 2016

The WINTER GARDEN workshops...

I’m not sure what happened to February... or March? 
We may have had an extra leap day but it didn’t make much difference... 
I can't believe we're celebrating Easter

It’s been a busy time with the FELTED GARDEN workshops, 
so I’m just going to post a small selection of some of the fantastic 
students' work produced over the past weeks...
And don't forget you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

First, way back in February - a full weekend of ‘Painting with Fibres’ workshops 
at Ventnor Botanic Gardens

Certainly the winter gardens inspired some amazing pictures, 
using a whole range of fibres and textures to achieve 
some very wintery effects…

...many of these pieces were felted by new feltmakers.
A fun day felting flowers with the Guild of SW&D at Rookley 
bought plenty of colour back into the workshop!

Then followed two workshops at the lovely Seely Hall in Brook Village
felting scarves and 3-D forms.
 Again both very mixed groups with first timers
working alongside more experienced felters, 
which always works well... 

Lots of original ideas, inspired laying out and clever results, 
including a wonderful cherry blossom stole, a Celtic dragon scarf, 
a giant shell and a teddy bear hand puppet - 
which just proves the versatility of the process and 
how anything is possible!

It's always difficult to photograph felt at the end of the day when it's 
still wet and soggy - it never looks it's best, 
so it's a delight when someone brings back a finished piece to show me 

 Especially when it’s been worked and stitched as beautifully as 
these pieces by Sue, Rowena, Soosun, Barbara and Ann...

Now the winter workshops are over for the moment 
so I’m looking forward to the warmer months ahead and 
arranging some new FELTED GARDEN workshop dates in June
with some summery garden themes, 
and these will be posted very soon...

Happy Easter to you all! 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

SPRING 2016 Workshops...

Signs of Spring everywhere, Christmas way behind us...
It’s a perfect time to look ahead and plan some creative time for yourself…!

I’m delighted to be able to post these NEW dates for 
The FELTED GARDEN Workshops at some of my favourite venues on the island...

I’ve been invited back to VENTNOR BOTANIC GARDEN 
on Saturday 20th February to hold a
‘Painting with Fibres’ workshop with a winter garden theme.

This is such a perfect venue for The FELTED GARDEN workshops!

 I will be explaining basic felt making techniques and you will have the 
opportunity to seek inspiration in the winter garden,
sketch and photograph the plants and trees, 
then bring your ideas back to the studio where you can experiment 
with fibres & textures, creating pieces of flat felt...

This workshop is £40 per person, plus £3 for materials 
and is open to all levels of experience.
It is being organised by the Friends of VBG so if 
you wish to make a booking contact 
Carol Ann on 07881 677761 or caeades@btinternet.com

Everyone has been asking for more 3-D and Scarf workshops...
so I’ve arranged two dates at the lovely SEELY HALL in BROOK…

Saturday 5th March : 10.00am—4.00pm

This workshop is for ALL abilities. I will show how to felt 
either a lattice scarf or a ’nuno’ style scarf and you will go home at the end of 
the day with a unique piece of felt to wear!

Saturday 19th March : 10.00am—4.00pm

This workshop is for those that have some felting experience 
and wish to learn how to felt 3-D forms working around a resist.
I will show how to create vessel shapes and bags using this method.

The Seely Hall workshops are £35 for the day, with materials extra. 
ALL equipment will be provided.

I will have packs of fibres and beautiful hand-dyed fibres available to buy 
on the day, but if you already have fibres to use please bring them along

There’s plenty of working space at the hall, easy parking and access, 
with hot drinks available all day !!!

For more information on the FELTED GARDEN workshops 
at the Seely Hall in Brook please contact me direct on 01983 752872…

And I must just say a very big THANK YOU to all my wonderful students 
past & present who kindly let me use their work in these posts

It is greatly appreciated -
along with all their continuing support and enthusiasm!

Sunday, 20 December 2015


As Christmas fast approaches I’m looking back on another very busy year 
of workshops. One very special pleasure I’ve discovered from 
my relatively brief time teaching is the amazing feedback that comes, 
sometimes long after the workshops are over… 

e-mails are sent with attached photos of new feltwork, hand-written letters and
 beautiful hand-made cards arrive from the most unexpected places…

Some days ago I received this wonderful Christmas card from Debbie, 
along with a letter explaining that the “Winter Sunset” printed on 
the card was actually felted by her daughter Rachel. 

Debbie has been to several of my workshops, including the autumn
 ‘Painting with Fibres’ at Northcourt Manor and Rachel was so impressed with the 
results that she wanted to try felting some Christmas presents. 
Debbie went on to explain that Rachel has a speech and language disorder 
which prevents her from doing some things, but her artwork is very important, 
especially ceramics and she has now found another new creative medium 
which she loves… And is obviously enjoying, with amazing results!

I was really touched by Rachel’s card and Debbie’s letter. 
It made me realise that the knowledge that is taught and shared in my classes 
actually has a life of its own and is passed on again and again, 
usually without me ever knowing…

I came to teaching late in my working life, and rather reluctantly… 
Having free-lanced as a designer/illustrator for over 30 years, leading a very
solitary existence and having no teaching experience, the idea was 
somewhat daunting! When I started showing my felt designs at craft events I 
had so many enquiries for workshops that the persuasion was difficult to 
resist and I thought I’d have a go…

Now I’m in my 6th year of teaching workshops, which in itself is unbelievable! 
The pleasures and satisfaction that comes with this ‘new’ job are impossible to explain. There are many creative aspects to it, but it is that personal interaction 
with so many different people that is absolutely priceless.

So the workshops will continue next year and I will post up the new dates 
as soon as they are arranged.

I’m also celebrating the 100th posting on this blog! 
Another milestone, which also comes with the realisation that it is being read 
by so many people all over the world who I will never know…!

To all of you who have been to my workshops
 and to my blog followers wherever you are
 for your interest and support and have a wonderful peaceful Christmas 
with your families and friends.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

AUTUMN : " A Season of Workshops"

Autumn is the season of real dramatic contrasts! 
 The rapid change in the weather is reflected in our gardens and the surrounding 
landscape. Trees change colour and shape, daylight changes...

Morning mists and dew, cobwebs, falling leaves 
and a few fading flowers left amongst the seeds and pods...

Certainly there's been plenty to inspire me while I've been preparing
for these 'FELTED GARDEN' workshops.

I hoped it would be the same for those who came along!

In late September the 'PAINTING with FIBRES' workshop was held
at NORTHCOURT MANOR (celebrating it's 400th centenary this year!)

We were working in the old Music Room... 

making felt rather than music, 
but still soaking up the marvellous atmosphere and creating  
some wonderful pictures.

I was really looking forward to the weekend of workshops at 
VENTNOR BOTANIC GARDEN at the beginning of October.
I hoped the ‘SEEDS & PODS’ theme would produce 
some inspired work... I wasn’t disappointed!

And the autumnal themes carried on into the next 3-D workshop at
QUARR ABBEY, which followed a couple of weeks later. 

Felting small vessels enabled everyone to work so much quicker.
Laying out more than one piece at a time and rolling them together gave more 
time for experimenting with techniques & textures. 

I would like to have taken all of these little pots home
as they show the scope of this workshop perfectly!

Back at QUARR ABBEY last weekend and the FELT FLOWER workshop 
produced some amazing results.
It's always tricky to photograph any felt at the end of the day as it's still wet
but even so the sheer quality and quantity of
 all the flowers here was impressive! 

These 'FELTED GARDEN' workshops have been great fun!
We've all enjoyed the felt making and the warm, very unseasonal, weather has
made visiting the gardens and having lunch outside an extra pleasure... 

Thanks to all of you who have taken part - I learn so much from my students -

And I couldn’t wait to start sewing into this felt piece
inspired by the honesty pods I’d picked some months ago...

There will be a new programme of 'FELTED GARDEN' workshops
coming up in the Spring - all with suitable seasonal themes.

I'll be posting up the details in the New Year

so please keep checking in...

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


It’s been a while since my last post…  Internet problems haven’t helped and a very busy summer! Can’t believe it's the first of September...

... and AUTUMN arrives early to ‘The Felted Garden’ with much preparation 
for the new season of workshops ahead, all with autumnal themes.

I’ve always had a great fascination for seed pods. Not only do I enjoy harvesting 
them from our garden but I also collect interesting pods, 
and love having them around. 

This year they are taking on even greater significance as all these natural shapes
will become perfect inspiration for the workshops.

In our steep garden here at Freshwater Bay, we battle against the salty winds 
and grow tough drought & wind resistant plants.
 If anything survives here I let it  - even if they are really considered weeds! 
These magnificent teasels have to be among my favourites...
 all grown from seed…

And the wonderful phlomis seed stems almost rival their flowers...

 Sea holly thrives with echinops, sedums, crocosmia, phormiums, euphorbias...
all the tough guys! 

And I’ve already started gathering seed heads…

 Closer to the shelter of the house growbags are bursting with 
ornamental gourds, including this amazing Turks Turban..

 Many felted pots have distinctive organic forms - it doesn’t take much 
shaping to create pod-like structures and vessels. 
This is what we will be exploring in the “Seeds & Pods” workshops at 
Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the 10th & 11th October. 

We will be designing and creating 3-D forms using a resist and looking at 
seeds and pods for ideas. You will be free to wander round the gardens
 sketching and photographing plants and I will have my seed collection
displayed in the Garden Studio.
There will be plenty to see and inspire... It promises to be a great weekend!

For more details about the Ventnor Seeds & Pods days and other 
workshops follow this link…

Hopefully I may catchup with you at one of the autumn workshops. 

This really is a most inspirational time of year, so where ever you are  - in your garden
or out walking in the counrtryside - think FELT!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

FABULOUS Felt Flowers...

I’ve recently been felting flowers in preparation for ‘The Felted Garden’ flower workshops - the aim was to create flowers with different petal formations that can all be felted and shaped using the same method of laying out fibres… 

So with a little artistic licence here are my flowers -
pansies, clematis, poppies and lilies…

Felting flowers is a perfect class for beginners as it introduces the basic 
techniques of felting and gets everyone used to handling the fibres, 
but when first timers come into the class and see the samples they always 
shy away and worry that they’ll never be able to do this…

Well... after a couple of hours things change! 
As you can see by these workshop photos, contagious enthusiasm takes hold 
and by the end of the day everyone goes home with several beautiful flowers, 
leaves and stems, and a desire to continue making more…

Now I'm busy getting ready for the Isle of Wight Open Studios which takes 
place in July, and 'The Felted Garden' workshops will continue in September 
at some great garden venues, with suitably autumnal themes..

I will be holding a "Painting with Fibres" workshop at Northcourt Manor, Shorwell 
and there will be plenty of inspiration to be found in the extensive gardens 
surrounding this 400 year old manor house.

And I shall be back at Ventnor Botanic Gardens in October
 for a ‘Seeds & Pods’ workshop.which should be great fun!

These workshop dates will be posted as soon as dates and details 
are finalised!

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