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Friday, 21 October 2011

Young Feltmakers…

It's certainly been a week of contrasts! I had my youngest feltmakers on Saturday - 4 year olds - making felt as part of a workshop for children & parents at St Saviours School here in West Wight. I was really surprised at how well they all managed. They had no trouble handling the fibres, loved the colours and were very creative with their patterns & designs…



On Sunday I was invited to display my work for the Jacobs Sheep Society at Kingston Manor. The southern region were meeting on the Island to visit the various flocks, with some members coming from far afield Dorset, Sussex & Kent. It was a beautiful afternoon at the Manor - I set up in the grand Hall. The weather was fantastic, the cakes were incredible and the people were so interesting. The Jacobs were lovely too! You can guess why the ram is called Poirot - he's far left, with the large horns & moustache!  The highlight of the afternoon was the birth of a beautiful calf…

And you can see Boadie wearing the amazing felt hat that she made...


  
Talking of which…  Monday was my first 'Hats' workshop, which has been a long time in the planning stage, but as there will be more workshops to follow in a couple of weeks time I'll write about them in more detail then. Here's a small preview, along with some exciting new bowls and bags!



Each bowl turns out so very different yet the resists are the same size - they reflect the character and personality of each individual maker...

And there's lots more 'Bowls and Bags' workshop photos here...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Introducing TRIXY FELTS...

I'd been thinking about making a felt doll for a while to use as a mascot for the blog and an image to promote the feltmaking workshops. Ideas kept growing and I put aside various oddments, scraps of fabric, felt & wool, buttons and bits & pieces, and slowly a character started to take shape...



































In the past I had designed wooden spoon puppets and pipe cleaner animals for children's craft books and I liked the idea of a simple wooden structure with a spoon face rather than a floppy felt fabric doll. I also wanted to incorporate more personal aspects into the doll - obviously the felting & knitting - but also clothes like a denim apron, hand-knitted socks, felt gloves (mini versions of a pair given to me when I was a child). I raided my Mum's collection of dress-making fabrics - thankfully she's never been one to throw anything away - and found small scraps left-over from clothes she'd made for us years ago.

















 
KC modified the wooden spoon body with some wood blocks so it could stand up without collapsing at the hips. She has bendy pipe cleaner arms and stiff dowel legs covered with French knitting. I started to work on the clothes, features and accessories...

The name Trixy came much later. It took a while to find a name without too many wider connections. I did have an Auntie Trixy - not a 'real' aunt - but my grandmother's best friend. A very kind lady who was always there with my Gran when we were growing up. It was a perfect name.

Trixy Felts personifies elements of the felting workshops, wearing a felt hat decorated with a felt flower, felt slippers & gloves and a felt bag, with an advert for "Felting Matters" embroidered on her pocket. She has a basket for her knitting AND a cat!


I'm sure as a character she will develop and grow. She already has a new wardrobe of clothes planned... a knitted waistcoat, scarf & beret for the winter. And I think she needs some friends!

In the meantime I will be bringing her along to the Christmas Fairs, and her picture will feature on my new Gift Vouchers and cards available nearer Christmas.

I will be posting more information about Christmas Fairs and events later on this month... 

But the weather's far too good to be thinking about Christmas just yet...

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