Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Felt Tutorial

Felt making today. Ooo. Look at all this woolly goodness.

Go on, dive in!

So soft and silky.
Gently pull out wispy fibres
and lay them out like tiles on a roof. All in the same direction, slightly overlapping.

Then do exactly the same but lay the fibres at right angles to the first layer. Continue in the same manner for three layers.

Now the fun part; experiment and create your pattern.

Stand back and look at the mess you've made!

When you're happy with your design, lay a piece of old net curtain over the top to keep the felt in place.

Damp it all over with hot soapy water. You can use soap flakes, a bar of soap, or even washing up liquid. Now roll it all up, I have a couple of bamboo table mats, that I snaffled up from the charity shop rolled in the centre for a little more friction. Get rolling, back and forth.

After a couple of minutes of vigorous rolling I stop and peel back the net curtain to make sure everything is still in place, (and because I can't wait to see what it looks like)

Note the size of the felt is still the same as the bubble wrap beneath.

Also note wonderful man making tea, so that I don't have to knock off.

Now much more rolling is needed, or you can rub the felt with a scrunched up plastic bag, or better still and my favourite, repeatedly throw the piece of felt violently down onto the worktop. Go on really mistreat it.

When completely felted, it will have shrunk by about a third or more and feel firm and sturdy. Now just leave it to dry and...

have another go!

These two pieces of felt were made from Merino wool which I buy online from Wingham Wools

Tomorrow I'll show you some more felt, but with difference. See ya then. x


P.S. Couldn't leave you without wishing you all a happy halloween and showing you a little trick I learned from a my friend Kate.

I like to create my own little 'treats', I'd love to see their little faces when they get home and open these large sweets. Tee Hee!

Happy Halloween!

London Adventure Part 2

Gosh! Yesterday's post was a bit wordy. I don't want to bore you all rigid with my holiday snaps, so I think we'll try and keep it simple and streamlined today. Here goes...

Up and out early this morning. Top of the list, The Tower of London.

Beautiful buildings.

Lots of these smart gentlemen.

Beautiful carvings, all done by prisoners kept in the tower.

Day 3, another crisp sunny day and the Victoria and Albert Museum
Lots of blurry photos taken here. ( I was so overwhelmed)

Beautiful gowns, recognise this one?

Love this style, Made one similar to wear for work a few years ago, but that's another story.

How gorgeous is this ?

This is the original frontage of the museum, now part of a courtyard garden.

Wow! Can you see the people at the bottom centre of the photo!

A very quick dash around the Natural History Museum, before it closed.

And then

Leadenhall Market

We also managed to squeeze in a walk around the Science Museum, and Covent Garden. Not bad really for two and a bit days.

Oh, and lastly, something I'm quite proud of... I crocheted on the plane and on the tube, YEAY!

Monday, 27 October 2008

London Adventure Part 1

We're back! And what a lovely time we had in London. But before I go any further I just want to say thank you so much for all the good wishes you sent me for my little holiday. It's so lovely that you should take the time to leave a comment on my little blog. Thank you.

But even more importantly, thank you to my parents for keeping an eye on our children for us, not to mention walking sneaky dog and feeding manky cat.

Oh, we had a fantastic time, very tiring but fantastic.

The excitement started the minute we left home. As we set off on Monday morning the weather was decidedly nasty. ( Yes I have to admit the photo I left on my blog was actually taken a couple of days before we went away. Caught out, oh the shame.) We had to carefully navigate our way through several flooded roads, crawling slowly through the deep water. As you all know we live in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales National Park so which ever direction we travel in, we have a good 50 minutes of driving through remote countryside. Wild and woolly it certainly was. The rivers were swollen and racing, tumbling and crashing over the rocks. Sheep were sheltering anywhere they could, against rocks, behind grassy mounds. Would we get to the airport? Would we get to the next village? But it was beautiful; raw and exhilarating, but beautiful.
I gave a mental wave to Lucy of Attic24 as we drove south out of the Dales and through her little town.
After a little bit of a bumpy flight, though not as bad as I thought it was going to be, and a speedy journey on the aptly named Heathrow Express, we arrived at Paddington Station. Bustling along with everyone else we navigated our way by tube to our hotel near Russell Square. I do like the tube, it's difficult to get lost, it takes you more or less straight to where you want to be and as an added bonus, you get to sit and stare at every ones footwear. Wow! Did I see lots of nice shoes!

We checked into our room and dumped our bags, then straight back out again, not a minute to waste. Back on the tube to Sloane Square to search out V V Rouleaux. All very nice, beautiful ribbons and trims, but it was soooo darned hot in there, I couldn't wait to get out again. Sorry, no photos as they were meanies and wouldn't let me take any pics for you. Now you may not believe what I'm about to say, but... I didn't buy anything! No not a thing, no ribbon, no braid, no tassels, no beads, no feathers, no sparkly stuff, nothing. I think there was so much I would have liked to have had a meter or two of, but nothing that I actually needed. (not that, that has ever stopped me before) Maybe it was jet lag, yeah that must have been it, that 50 minute flight, addled my brain. This is the best I could do photo wise. A snap from outside in the street.

Next was the search for Cath Kidston. Well not her personally, but one of her shops. Once again, no picture taking was allowed. Yeah, disappointing I know. Now this shop was also full of scrumminess. Everywhere I turned I was bombarded with CK retro perkiness. Wonderful man gallantly left me alone to peruse at my leisure, retreating to the normality of the Prince Regent public house on the corner. I carefully circumnavigated the sales floor several times, inspecting and scrutinising, touching and stroking. I descended the stairs, once again making several sweeps of the lower sales floor, mentally logging colour combinations, searching the mental Christmas list, who would appreciate a CK lip balm? And shall I tell you something? Quite frankly I was a little disappointed. When it came down to it, there wasn't anything I actually wanted to spend my hard earned cash on! The stone roses bucket bag that I'd been drooling over for weeks online, was rather stiff and heavy. No I'd rather spend the £40 somewhere else, even the crochet granny square blanket I'd coveted online, looked nylony and thin with several stray ends sticking out.

Back outside it was dark and drizzly, hussly and bustley, London lights shimmering in the wetness. I joined Wonderful Man in the pub. His eyebrows levitating slightly at the lack of carrier bags. We found a dark cosy corner and ordered some deliciously unhealthy pub grub. Tired limbs and full tummies we sat and watched the world go by feeling sleepy but happy. We took a slow walk back to our hotel down Marylebone Rd, passing Regents Park and Tottenham Court Rd, back to Bloomsbury and our longed for pillow.

All in all a good day.

I'll try and regale you with some more of our London adventure tomorrow, but before I go, I leave you with this picture of the rather grand unisex toilet in the Prince Regent. Changing Rooms eat your heart out!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

A Little Jaunt.

Up early this morning. Popped my sleepy head outside the front door. Here comes the sun. Hope it hangs around!

Wonderful man and I are off to London for a couple of days. It's our 20th wedding anniversary treat. We're going to visit a couple of museums and have a good mooch around. Generally we're going to spend time doing the things you can't do with children in tow. OOOps! I didn't mean it to sound like that. What I meant was, that we'll be able to take our time and read all the writing in the display cases instead of being dragged away by children eager to see the next thing.

I also have plans to fit in a quick visit to a Cath Kidston shop and V V Rouleaux , ok so maybe they won't be that quick-a-visit!

Be back soon. Fi x

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Happy, Happy Cupcake, Happy!

Hello. I'm so excited! And I'm not really sure why. Maybe I'm just having one of those 'High on Life' days; or it could be that I'm going to London for a couple of days next week with wonderful man to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.


It could just be that I've been sewing, sewing, sewing and I'm really pleased with what I've made. I think a lot of the pleasure has come from the challenge. I've had to work out and design my own pattern, which meant squeezing my poor old shrivelled up brain, trying to remember the Pi r squared thingy from junior school maths (now who have thought that they would ever need to use that in real life eh! so maybe there is still hope for algebra and equations! ) so I could make a circle the correct size for my needs. It wasn't pretty to watch I can tell you. There was much rubbing out and screwing up of paper, not to mention compass twiddling.

And all to make...


Hell! They've been fiddly!

Especially this bit: I tried stitching the bottoms on with sewing machine at first. It took about 30 minutes and much swearing! Any tips here would be gratefully received.

I wanted my cupcake to be quite realistic in shape, ie the case to be wider at the top than the base, not to look like a chopped off toilet roll tube!

Then there was the size of the cake part: I didn't want it overflowing like a large American muffin. (Not that there is anything wrong with American muffins, but this is a British fairy cake or bun. Small but perfectly formed.)

Next came the best part. Oh, the excitement! What trimmings should I use? Buttons or sequins, beads or ribbon, rickrack or lace? Should they look realistic or just fluffy and over the top?

Decisions, decisions!

It's no good. I can't wait any longer. I've got to show you them NOW.


I feel ridiculously happy with them.

And they're completely CALORIE FREE! WHOOHOO!!!

Remember yesterdays utterly gorgeous glass cake dome? Looking a little sad and empty?

Here it is today modeling this seasons latest in cupcakes.

Aaaah. I'm all cupcaked out now.

All smiley and happy!