Recently, I got asked by my good friend and fellow fibre artist Nicole if I wanted to do a collaboration with her. I jumped on the idea immediately because I knew whatever she had in mind had to be amazing.
Nicole wanted me to make some felted flowers that she could incorporate in her spinning - after telling me what colour scheme and how many she wanted, I was left to my own devices. Once she receives them, she'll create some glorious chunky art yarn and add my flowers.
Now, I'll be honest - wet felting isn't what I'm used to. My felting is usually done with a needle so having to Think Flat (as in, not in 3D) really posed a challenge. In these cases YouTube videos are your best friends, even when it's Russian ladies explaining stuff in their native language whilst you try to guess what they are saying.
I didn't follow the real anatomy of any particular flower, but some looked more like the real deal than others - the left one above does resemble a rose.
This lily might have been the only I made with a specific goal in mind; I saw some in a neighbour's front yard and wanted to see if I could recreate them. I don't think I did too bad.
A tutorial... sort of.
Ok, so I promised in the title there'd be some form of explanation on how to create flowers, and here it comes. I hope I manage to convey it, and apologies in advance if I make a mess of it. The reason I'm not calling this a bona fide step-by-step set of instructions is because I forgot to photograph a couple of steps, so I hope this still works.
This is for a flower with two layers of petals stuck together in the middle.
Decide what your colour scheme is going to be and what materials you're going to use. I like to sort my fibres out in bowls so each thing has its place and I don't confuse one project with the other when I'm doing multiples. If you're going to repeat your flowers you might want to weigh the fibre in advance to make them more or less the same.
For this project I am using:
Add to this list all the stuff you'll need but isn't part of the final object:
Lay your fibre thinly on your felting surface, starting from the centre out in a circular shape. Add as much as you need: less fibre for a delicate, airy look, and more for a sturdier shape that stays in place. Take into account what will be the bottom layer and the top layer of your flower. I went for blue for both, since I'd be adding silk to the the top layer which would make it different from the bottom.
Most people use bubble wrap as a felting surface but I found something more durable that I like, it's a drawer liner from IKEA. I'm not sure what it's called but every store of theirs has it. It's got little bubbles on the surface just like bubble wrap, but these don't pop. This plastic isn't as flexible but it's more important to me that I get to reuse it.
The photos below don't show it, but after I finished adding all the fibres to the bottom layer of the flower (photo on the left, below), I added a resist and proceeded to add my second layer of fibres over it (photo on the right, below).
A resist is nothing more than a surface you add between layers to keep the fibres from felting together. Mine was a doughnut-shaped piece of bubble wrap (round with a hole in the middle); the hole makes sure both layers of wool will felt together in the middle but not the outer bits, which will be the petals above and below.
You'll be able to see a picture of the resist later below.
Now comes the top-most layer of your flower. If you have a special item you wish to felt with the wool, now is the time to add it. I used my own hand dyed silk hanky. You can see how thin and fragile it looks (and if your hands are dry, they'll snag on the silk!) Silk hankies come in stacked layers so all you have to do is separate one and add to what you're making for a dramatic effect.
Since the flower is round, you'll want to lay the hanky so it's more or less the same shape, and try to keep it smaller than the wool beneath it.
Now wet the fibres carefully by drizzling some warm soapy water on top with your hands. Tap the middle carefully, where the hole in the resist is, to ensure both layers start to rub together.
Now turn the project around. The silk is now facing down and the bottom layer of the flower is facing you.
Wrap the wool sticking out from the edges of top layer (now on the bottom) over the layer now facing you. Use the shape of the resist inside to help guide you. You don't have to do this if you like the petals to look rougher but I wanted mine smooth.
Turn the work again so the silk hanky is again facing you. Make sure its edges haven't moved to the bottom layer that you just tucked in; if they have, gently give them back to the upper layer. You want to do this so you're not cutting into the silk later on.
Add a little more soap to the fibres and start felting by gently rubbing them together: first from the centre out, then in a gentle circular motion. You can use your fingers; I had an extra piece of resist I didn't need for this project so I used it to rub the soap in and speed the felting after rubbing with my fingers in the beginning. Make sure you rub the centre really well, you want those top and bottom layers to stick together.
Keep rubbing the fibres on both layers by turning your work around often during the felting process. The wool will start to shrink and become more compact after a while.
At this point you might want to wrap the project around some bubble wrap and roll this tube multiple times in various directions. This will firm up the felt. Keep in mind the fibres will shrink in the direction you're rubbing, so you'll need to unroll the bubble wrap, turn the project, wrap it again and roll in a different direction to keep it round.
The following pictures show you the same type of resist I have inside the flower, which I'm using here as a felting surface.
Once your fibres feel felted enough, it's time to rinse them - alternate with hot and cold water for some extra firmness. When all the soap is gone it's time to remove the resist from the inside of the flower - use some sharp scissors and carefully cut around, making sure you leave all of the silk hanky on the top layer.
Once you've cut all around, pull the resist out gently from the top.
You should now have two layers of felted fibres stuck together in the middle.
Once the resist is out, you can gently pull on the fibres at the edge, to create a little wavy effect.
Now you need to shape your flower the way you want it to look. I scrunched mine in the middle and pulled the outer edges a little more until I was happy with the end result. I also pulled the middle down a little.
You can also decide to create individual petals by cutting the layers with your scissors. Make sure you don't cut the top and bottom in the same spots for a more realistic look. Round each petal up at the top with your scissors slightly so the petals don't look too square.
Place your flower on a glass cup and leave it to dry.
Once it's dry you can add other embellishments such as beads, or a felt ball in the centre. I chose to add some bright mohair locks that I needle felted into place.
I hope you've found this tutorial helpful. If you make a flower like this, or have any tips on how to improve on my technique, let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading.
It's hard to believe it's almost Summer here in London. This year is going too fast for me, and I confess I haven't quite gotten around to believing Spring is already here, let alone that it's almost the end of May.
There's signs aplenty of Spring all around me, even if the temperature isn't one of them - the flowers, more sunny days, longer daylight hours. England really does wear her best during this time of year. Allow me to show you some of her outfits.
Very pretty, right? Having come from a part of the globe where it's mostly sunny and dry, I didn't usually get to see this type of lush landscape (think cacti and the occasional weedy flower, and grass if we were lucky). I know some will think me mad, but I'd rather have more wet and gloomy days if it means I'll get to see these pops of colour sprouting from the ground. London has me spoilt for parks and gardens.
Now, let me confess: the flowers aren't my number one favourite thing about London's parks. The thing that makes my heart sing with joy is its cheeky furry and feathery inhabitants! If you bring tasty morsels for them to eat, the squirrels and birds will gladly allow you the honour of taking the food directly from your hands and eat near you. I call this my Disney Princess moments...
Since an image is worth a thousand words, let me show you what I'm talking about, using myself and some friends as protagonists in Hyde Park.
In case you're wondering, these birds (parrots?) aren't native to England. It's speculated that their ancestors were probably captive pets who managed to free themselves of their cages, and set shop in these parks. I'm not sure how they survived - and thrived! - the harsh Winters, but that they did, and their progeny is definite proof of this.
I didn't take any pictures of passers-by looking at us like we were wildlife seducers, but believe me, there were plenty of those. My friend Helena always brings extra bird and squirrel feed, and she often asks those looking if they'd like to have a go - the brave ones receive some food, instructions and off they go! The joy on their faces when an animal trusts them is lovely to behold. Now I also bring extra food and offer others; since you've probably noticed I don't exactly look like a regular citizen, I love how they sometimes look a little confused by my black clothes and generous behaviour. Goths don't bite, promise!
Lastly, squirrels. I love them, their little paws, their soft tails and how the most courageous ones realise they can just stand on me and eat the best food safely at their leisure.
If you ever decide to have your own Disney Princess moments, just bring along some sunflower seeds for the birds and some nuts for the squirrels, some patience and I guarantee you a goofy smile when watching these cute guys nom nom nom away. You can do this even in Winter, as they no longer hibernate - they're so chubby they haven't the need.
Happy Spring, everyone!
So here's the reason I was quiet for so long. I moved house! In my life I reckon I've moved at least ten times, and that's including two trans-continental and one transatlantic moves. I feel tired just thinking about it...
Moving can be daunting, especially if you have a lot of stuff, which we did. We weren't planning on changing addresses anytime soon, and had lived in the same flat for five years (a rarity in the London rental scene) but when we had the opportunity to move to a house with enough room for me and my partner to each have our own studios, we couldn't pass it off.
Preparing for the move took me three weeks, packing included. If I thought this would be the hardest part, I was sorely mistaken - turns out, unpacking is much more challenging and takes even more time! Deciding where everything goes ahead of time for the movers' sake, then changing my mind when all the boxes are already in a particular location, plus having to think about where the furniture, which fitted so well in the previous place, can go in the new rooms... argh. We ended up having to sell and give away some furniture and having to buy a few new things from IKEA - when the food counter lady remembers you from a few days before, you know you've been spending too much time at the store.
All the hassle was definitely worth it, though. The cat loved having the extra space; she was also delighted to return to her former territory, since she used to live in this very same house before we adopted her. We have dedicated work rooms now, and can actually use the living room as a food and relaxation space, plus for the first time we get to enjoy the weird feeling of having to shout to get the other's attention because we're in different floors. Ah, extra space.
But enough of me writing, allow me to show you my new HQ. I didn't really bother cleaning it up too much for the pictures, so you're getting a bit of the "messy artist's room" effect. Here it is, clockwise:
And that's pretty much it! I can't really explain how wonderful it feels to have a dedicated space for work. I'm still needing to use the kitchen for my dyeing, but to be able to have my fibre and equipment in a special room is just too great a feeling for words.
Now, confession time: could I use more space? YES. I have stuff under the work table that I can't fit elsewhere, and I would have a lot more fibre to work with if I had where to place it. But now that I moved, I keep wondering how I managed to live in such a small flat and share it with my painter other half, and keep ourselves from murdering each other.
Bonus footage: Marshmallow the cat doesn't usually care for fibre, but when the sun shines on the table she makes an exception...
Now off I go to sit in that former dining room chair, and work on a new dog commission. In the meantime, leave me a comment! Let me know what your work/craft room/corner looks like, how you make it work and whether you'd like a different space.
Well, that was a big hiatus, wasn't it? So sorry. Regular posting will be resumed very soon. I'm preparing a blog post with a bit of all the new stuff I've been up to and I plan to have it up in a few days. Thanks for your patience!
In the meantime, it seems some of you tried to contact me through the comments section here, but unfortunately I missed a couple of you. I'll do my best to find you but if you read this, pretty please contact me again?
So... talk soon!
These past few weeks have been very fun for me in terms of fibre dyeing. I've been busy slowly stocking the shop with new colourways and new yarn bases to make the most of the Christmas season - the perfect excuse to play with fluff.
Since the yarn part of my business is still quite new, I don't usually dye more than one skein the same colour at once, but I keep good notes to make sure I can repeat colourways in the future (hint hint). In my dye sessions I came up with a few new colourways that I'm very smitten with. Allow me to introduce you to them.
I've always had a soft spot for singles yarns. I just love their soft structure, and it reminds me a lot of hand spun yarn for some reason (I've always been very partial to hand spun singles).
Needless to say, when I got my hands on this new base I just had to play with it.
For this base I decided to stick to semi-solids, for no particular reason. I love red, so that was naturally my first choice to dye, and "Sangria" was born. To achieve the depth you see in the picture, with different shades and tints, I had to kettle dye it in three different phases. It's definitely more work, but so worth it! Click here to see the listing for this yarn.
Next was "Emerald City." I have a special obsession with teal, and have been wanting to create the perfect shade for a while. I really, really like how this turned out. The photo shows the colour as a bit more on the blue side, but it's really a tad more green. It's beautiful to my eyes and I hope you agree with me! Here is the link for the Emerald City singles superwash merino yarn.
Now, an only child:
Merino/Silk Sock Yarn (one-of-a-kind).
This colourway has an interesting story. A while back, I was looking for a yarn/fibre supplier and there was a company I was interested in purchasing from, but they didn't do samples for prospective customers; basically, if I wanted to find out whether I liked their fibre, I'd have to order a full skein of each base I wanted to try (they were nice enough to allow me to order at wholesale prices, though). This merino/silk was one of the yarns I ordered.
When I dyed it the first time, I was still very much in the beginning of my dyeing adventure. I played around with some dye mixtures, hand painted the skein, and was happy... until it dried. If you're a beginner dyer, always keep this rule in mind: colours will always appear deeper when wet. When it started drying, I wasn't too keen on what I achieved. I still listed it in my shop (silly me). After there were no takers, I decided I'd overdye this skein when inspiration struck. Took me a while, but one day I just looked at it and knew what to do.
What you see above is the end result! Bright, happy colours that make my goth heart sing. Unfortunately I don't have the "before" photos handy, but I can look them up if anyone's interested.
In case you're wondering how I name my colourways, it depends on my mood and source of inspiration, but in this case it was the yellow/green neon that made me think of fireflies (and exactly where the light is located on their bodies).
What is the best way to present a hand dyed yarn with different colour sections? Is it to show it with the original dye blocks, or is prettier reskeined? (If you're unfamiliar with the term, that's when the skein is wound into a ball and then skeined again.)
I actually asked my Facebook and Instagram followers a while ago about this, and opinions were quite literally divided - roughly half liked yarn with the colour blocks intact, others preferred the reskeined look. Since there's no way to please everyone and I only had one skein, curiosity got the best of me and I decided on the latter. I wanted to see how the colours looked all jumbled!
If you're selling your hand dyed yarn and wonder about the same, maybe taking photos of the yarn before and after reskeining and showing both in your shop images can be a sort of compromise. Or, maybe dye more than one skein and sell them both ways, and see what your customers prefer.
"Firefly Butt" has been sold in the meantime, which makes me a very happy dyer.
Do I like, or don't I?
I just mentioned a dye job I didn't love that I managed to turn around, but what happens when you're unsure of your results? That's a harder nut to crack for me.
These two superwash BFL braids below give me a lot of mixed feelings. Believe it or not, I used the exact same colours dyeing each, but look at how different they came out! Proof that good note taking doesn't always guarantee the same results (especially with wool tops/roving).
My intention was to create a colourway that reminded me of Autumn. I saw a picture of stunning fallen maple leaves in various stages of transformation and used that as inspiration. I planned for each colour I wanted to recreate and went to work.
Now, before I go ahead, look at the image below. See how the colours are mostly warm, with pops of turquoise and green? That was a successful "Fallen Leaves" dye job, such as I imagined it. Incidentally, it was also my first attempt. This is a great example of how differently yarn and fibre dye, to my great frustration...
I haven't listed the BFL braids in my shop because I'm just not sure about them. The image on the right is quite nice, so that one will probably be available, but the muted one I might just card into a batt with other colours and see what happens.
Just when I was getting ready to throw in the towel...
...This happened. By suggestion of Nicole of Frost Yarn I decided to stop dyeing fibre on the pot and try a roasting pan instead. I bought a rather expensive pan that can go in the over as well as the hob, but I stopped moaning about how much I spent once I saw how this lovely came out.
I named it Fruit Loops, but in hindsight it should have been M&Ms. Ah, well. I'm just so happy with the colour saturation and control the roasting pan gave me. Take note: it's not always your technique, sometimes it's the materials you're using. There are no "muddy" dye spots, I can see each section clear and beautifully... Love!
Fruit Loops superwash BFL top is currently available in my shop.
That's it from me on this post, I hope you enjoyed following my dyeing shenanigans. As per usual, if you have any questions, I am happy to help. Feel free to message me or leave a comment in the section below with your thoughts/comments.
If you're in the States, happy Thanksgiving to you!
It's been a while since I last wrote! Sorry about that.
I'd like to share Tilley with you today. She was a Bichon Frise much loved by her human, and when she passed away I got asked to make a mini of her. Memorial sculptures are very emotional for me, as I know there's the added pressure of having to not only create a mini dog that resembles the original one, it can also be a very physical reminder of their absence.
Tilley had passed away fairly recently, so I was extra careful with details. I had at first created her without any curls (having the wool felted in a way as to resemble the fluff typical of this breed) but after talking to my customer, it was clear she wanted curls - so I got my mohair locks and went to town. This was probably three extra hours worth of work for me, but well worth it.
I also added some shading with pastels under her eyes and on the corners of her mouth, like the original Tilley had. I then made her a collar, but unfortunately I don't have any decent pictures of that. I basically created one using a felt sheet, added some more wool for sturdiness (it was a fairly thin piece of felt) and finally added some tiny bits of angelina fibre to mimic sparkly studs.
I hope her human was happy with her mini Tilley and that it serves as a loving reminder of the real one.
What are your thoughts on memorial items? Let me know in the comments section.
Last Saturday I did a guest blog post for The Felting and Fiber Studio: a tutorial on felting soap. It's simple enough for any beginner to try, and makes a great present for a loved one (can anyone say Christmas Stocking Filler?)
Click here to read my Felted Soap Tutorial.
Today's blog post connects to the one linked above. I'm going to explain why felted soaps are amazing, and then I'll move on to troubleshooting and hints. I hope you find the information useful!
Why felted soaps?
Why indeed? I mean, this isn't something you see on shelves everyday, and if you mention felted soaps to someone, chances are, you'll get a quizzical look in return. This brings me to my first great reason:
A couple of tricks to make your soap felting easier
Have I convinced you to try felting some soaps for yourself or as presents? If so, here's a handy document you can print to go along with them:
If, on the other hand, you like the concept but don't want the trouble of making your own, I do sell some rather lovely bars in my shop. Buy my Grapefruit, Lemon & Calendula felted soaps here (I have others!)
Lastly, if you like playing with fibre and are looking for a nice and friendly community where you can share your makes, ask questions, and chat, I suggest you join The Felting and Fiber Studio Forum. See you there!
You might have read how I accidentally purchased a new spinning wheel a few weeks ago. Living in a small flat that also doubles as a work space for two artists, I can't say I have a lot of extra room to keep three wheels around, so one of them had to go - sadly, it was time to say goodbye to my lovely Bliss DT.
The Bliss is a wonderful wheel, a true all-rounder and perfect for beginners. Made by Louet for Woolmakers in the Netherlands, it comes flat-packed so you have to assemble it (I used to call it my IKEA wheel) and is made of MDF, so it's not very expensive. It has a built-in Lazy Kate (that's where you keep the bobbins, on the left, and use it for plying two or more strands of yarn) that's very handy and easy to use. I think I've yet to meet an owner that doesn't like their Bliss.
The only downside to this wheel is the size of its bobbins - I needed them to be a tad larger (ok, double!) so I could make longer art yarns, and this lady just doesn't come with any jumbo settings, nor will it in the foreseeable future. Although these bobbins do take up more fibre than most "traditional" ones, it just wasn't enough for me. So I set about finding it a new home, which happened ver quickly.
The person I sold the Bliss to is a fibre friend who doesn't live near me, so I had to make sure I wrapped this lady really well to avoid any accidents along the way. After this, I now understand why most people only accept local collection!
I'll have to credit my other half for helping me out with this. He was the most patient man and I should give him a shout out - check out Emanuel de Sousa's mad painting skills.
After buying tape and bubble wrap, we set about making sure that wheel wasn't moving under all the cushioning material. We might have gone a bit overboard, but every part was wrapped tight.
We also had to frankenstein the box - it was much larger than we needed, so we cut it in half and proceeded to put it back together as tight as we could. Then we decided to play Tetris with some bits of cardboard we had around, and maybe a bicycle helmet box as well. This wheel was definitely not moving inside its cocoon!
I'm a little ashamed to admit a whole roll of tape was used (and then some). See the title plastic tube thing on top of the box? That's right, I forgot to include it in the parcel. I wish I could say this never happens, but forgetting something (usually the Thank-You-For-Your-Purchase personalised letter for my customers) tends to happen frequently. I blame the packaging frenzy.
The hard work paid out, the Bliss arrived safe and sound to its destination and the new owner is now getting acquainted with her new equipment. I hope she spins lots of yarn and loves every minute of it!
Have you ever sent a difficult-to-pack parcel? What sort of packaging material did you use? My most unusual material ever is popcorn for filler...
About three weeks ago, a friend informed me she was selling her spinning wheel, and did I know of anyone interested?
Telling a fellow spinner there's a wheel out there for grabs is akin to telling a desperate single person about a gorgeous bachelor - maybe they're not for you, maybe you won't even like each other, but it can't hurt to ask their name and find out what they look like, you know, just in case.
I already had two wheels, I certainly didn't need a new one, but this just happened to be a model I'd been coveting for a while: a Lendrum DT. I couldn't resist giving this lady a go. Turns out, I really liked her. Oh boy.
This Canadian scotch-tension wheel created by Gord Lendrum folds up nicely for travel (there's even a special carrier bag for it as an extra). Weighing only 14 lbs, or 6.3 kg, it's very easy to carry around. The flyer head comes off easily by twisting a simple knob, and you can easily store the wheel under a bed if you're pressed for space.
This particular model came with a regular flyer and a jumbo (with a large orifice), a tensioned Lazy Kate, 4 regular bobbins and one large, plus two drive bands (one for each flyer head). Ratios for the regular flyer are 6:1, 8:1 and 10:1, and the jumbo flyer's are 5:1, 7:1 and 9:1.
The first thing I have to say about the Lendrum is that, to me, it looks really good design-wise. I've always been fond of the modern castle-type wheels, so this ticks all the right buttons. It's simple, yet elegant. It's also very sturdy, made from solid maple wood. The scotch tension is easily set by twisting another small knob near the bobbin and, also on the flyer, the orifice hook has its own home in a little hole created just for it (very handy if you tend to lose small objects like I do).
I decided to test her again at home by spinning some fibre, as you do. I had some uninteresting wool top I'd purchased a while ago and never felt inspired to spin, so I got my drum carder out and made an art batt with some more wool in different colours, plus added sparkle and recycled sari silk.
When I tried the Lendrum DT with the regular flyer and some simple wool top at my friend's house, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to treadle and how smoothly it turned. Not that I expected it to go any differently, but it's like finding out that good-looking guy at the bar is also a well-manered conversationalist...
When I switched to the large flyer to use the large bobbin however, it was a completely different story. It was much harder to treadle, there was a definite resistance and I kept readjusting the scotch tension to see if it made any difference (it did, but only slightly). Honestly, I'm not too keen on using the large flyer regularly and wouldn't have kept the Lendrum if it spun like this throughout. Sticking to the analogy, it's like finding out the good-looking nice guy lives with his mother - could be a deal breaker for some...
This wheel comes with two drive bands (that's the cord that goes around the large wheel and the flyer, making the bobbin go around as you treadle): one for the regular bobbins and another for the large ones. This is another thing I wasn't too keen on, because you're supposed to use a plier to change drive bands, and if you like spinning fine yarns one day and chunky the other, you'll find yourself having to change that band a lot.
Having said this, I went for a great suggestion I read online somewhere: just keep both drive bands on the wheel! By doing this you'll only need to use the pliers once to get them on, and because both bands will always be on the wheel, you'll be able to choose which one you want in the spur of the moment without any complications. I just keep the one I'm not using folded and tied with a bit of string, and I'm good to go.
There's also one last thing that can put people off the Lendrum: there's no instructions manual. Although this shouldn't be a problem with more experienced spinners, I'm sure new spinners would appreciate some guidance, particularly when it comes to the existence of two drive bands and their purpose (I myself only realised the reason for them by watching a demo video on YouTube. "You mean it's not an extra one for when the other breaks?")
I did a second test run, consisting of core spinning, simply because I love the technique and it makes the fibre go a long way. The end result was pretty satisfactory, in the sense that the wheel did its job and my work didn't suck. I'd have liked more contrast in the fibre, but that's another issue.
I then spun two braids of superwash top onto two small bobbins and the Lendrum DT did great, as expected. I switched to the jumbo bobbin again to ply and it got pretty full, as you can judge by the picture above. I've come to terms with my needing a bit more (literal) legwork to keep the wheel going with the jumbo setup, but I'm still very happy with my purchase.
Now, onto the furry part of the post.
The friend who sold me the wheel was also looking for someone to adopt her cat; she is spending a lot of time abroad and this kitty needs a lot of attention, so an ideal situation would be for her to find someone who spent a lot of time at home and didn't mind a cuddly feline.
I've missed having a pet. I left my cats back home with my mother when I moved to the UK, thinking it wouldn't be long before I collected them, but life had other plans. After two of them passed away and only Squish remained, my mother and I decided he was too old to travel at 15, so he'll be staying with her for the rest of his life (he's very happy there). This made me a very cat-deprived person, so when the opportunity presented for me to foster this cat, I jumped at it - what better way to get my furry fix and enjoy some purrs for a while?
So... meet Marshmallow (Mallow for short).
Mallow is a beautiful Serengeti cat. Her markings are gorgeous and her fur is so soft I often find myself stroking her head absentmindedly for hours. She's also very fond of my lap (but my legs need to be covered, she's not fond of bare skin!) and takes very long power naps. She doesn't "talk" much and, saving the absolute best part for last, she doesn't care one bit for fibre! I really mean not one bit: I have wool top and yarn all around the house and this girl shows no interest in it at all. How perfect is she for this household?
You can obviously tell Mallow stole my heart. Can you guess the rest of the story? Since she was available for adoption, and after making sure her personality traits were constant and a good match for us, my partner and I decided to keep her for good. Who were we kidding, she had us at "meow."
Do you have a pet? How are they around fibre? And how do they behave when you're crafting? I'd love to find out if I just adopted the only fibre-immune kitty in the world...
If you own a Lendrum DT, or have tried one before, share your thoughts on it in the comments section.
This August, I decided to change a few things in my business: a new website, a new blog space, new business strategies... This meant no needle felting, because I just wouldn't have the time. I had therefore left my fibre schedule completely open so I could focus on the admin side of Felt Buddies & Yarns.
Naturally, the gods decided to mess with my plans. I got contacted by a prospective customer, asking me if I could make him a mini of his lurcher dog Lizzie. It was going to be a present for his wife, and needed to be completed before September...
I could have said no. It was the sensible thing to do, considering all the stuff I had planned; but to be honest, after returning from my holiday, I missed spending time making a dog! And Lizzie was just gorgeous - I couldn't resist. I threw caution to the wind and got working.
This girl posed some very particular challenges - she's white with very discreet spots overall, she's got a pink underside and darker spots on her belly and legs. Her base colour meant I would have to be super careful adding the details without blemishing the lightness, plus I'd need to find the perfect shades to mimic the rest of her original colours.
After creating her basic shape, I concentrated on details. Lurchers and whippets have great muscle definition and I tried my best to show it off on her legs and chest area. The images bellow don't really show all the volumes very well, but I think I got them quite well, especially the back legs.
Mini Lizzie's underside was created by mixing different shades of soft pastels and adding the pigment to the body with brushes of different shapes and sizes.
Next, I concentrated on her expression. Lurchers always manage to look so soulful and I had to capture that.
I don't have a photo of her after I added the lighter colour, so you'll just have to trust me she looked great. She's since been sent to her home here in the UK and I got a lovely email saying she'd arrived safely and would make a lovely present when time came. Music to my ears!
If you'd like to have your dog made into a Felt Buddies mini, feel free to contact me - to be honest, I'd really rather be creating than doing very glamorous (not!) admin work!