Thursday, 15 April 2010

Bolton Castle, Herb Garden in Embroidered Felt.


Hello my friends, I thought it was time I showed you my garden.
.
LOL. Only kidding !
This beautiful garden is about 20 minutes up the road from me at Bolton Castle in Wensleydale. This picture is actually from a lovely book I have up in the attic. I'd love to tell you what it's called but as I've said, it's up two flights of stairs in the attic.
This photo and of course my love of Bolton Castle was my inspiration for this piece of felt.

It was wet felted from Merino wool and has sat patiently waiting to be lovingly embellished for about four years. As anyone who wet felts knows, there is a limit to how much control you have over the end product. There is a lot of rolling and pounding between designing the piece and the finished felt as the fibres all rub together and move around. You can see here in my felt tutorial.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing as you often get a nice but unexpected surprise when you unroll the wet wool for the last time.
This piece of felt turned out very well, with most of my design staying where it was intended. I must have had my fingers crossed when I made it, lol.
So armed with my piece of finished felt and as many bobbins of embroidery thread as I could find, it was time to start machine embroidering.

This can take quite a few hours, there is much re-threading of the sewing machine and lots of refilling of the bobbin. There is also quite a lot of tea drinking as the empty mug testifies.

This is the back of the embroidery, a mass of ziggy-zaggy, squiggles. I use special bobbin thread on the back as it is more economical, you get twice as much on the reel, and believe me... you use a lot of thread!
When I've machined the felt to within an inch of it's life, it's time to move...

around to the opposite side of the table and start to hand embroider. There is quite a lot of skill involved in making this much mess you know! Not every one can be this untidy! (luckily you can't see the discarded pieces of fabric and bags of thread on the floor, teehee)

I'm just starting to add details with hand embroidery stitches and fabrics.









Ta-daa!


Carefully framed and ready to be sent to The Fatsheep in Reeth. Sorry about the glare on the glass.


This year as well as my 20 Minutes I'm going to try to make enough art work so that I can maybe organise an exhibition of my own for next year, like proper artist do... OO! That sounds very scary and grown up. I can't bring myself to call what I do art, I always refer to myself as a crafter. The words 'textile artist' make me cringe and feel extremely uncomfortable. But I suppose thats just what I want to be... a textile artist.
.
I need to get on and make more and more to develop my abilities and basically get my artistic side (as opposed to my craft side) flowing again. I think also it might help if I started drawing and sketching again.
.
So I need your help. A dig here and a prod there, I need a bit of pushing and I think you lot out there are just the ones to do it.
Pleeeeeeeease.
.
till next time
Love Fi x

84 comments:

angeltreats said...

It's so incredibly cool that you felted and embroidered a real garden! I absolutely love the finished picture.

sandiart said...

Ohhhh Fi, this is amazing I just love it, the colors.....all of it, you are so talented and yes a one woman show is a must, pity I don't live in England.
So I am virtually cracking the whip to get you moving in this direction.

Warmest Regards

Sandi

barra said...

It is absolutely beautiful. Would you please tell me what this peice would cost?

Bev

missholly said...

this is so absolutely beautiful.. I am so so impressed... this is truely a piece of art!!! I am a hand embroiderer and I have never even thought of going in this direction. what a beautiful piece!!!!! Wow!!

Anonymous said...

I too am very impressed with your artistry!
It's absolutely beautiful!
Thank you for sharing it.

Barbie

GardenofDaisies said...

Your embroidered felt picture is amazing and gorgeous!!! WOW! You so are an artist!

Pamplona said...

You are so talented. I have never seen anything like this before. Absolutely gorgeous!

Valula Hedgehog said...

It would be criminal if you didn't do a one woman show, you're felt picture is truly amazing!

So get on with it girl...go on then!!

xx

all kinds of everything said...

Beautiful piece of art!

KC'sCourt! said...

Oh my that is GORGEOUS!

Marg said...

It's beautiful, simply stunning.

Lynne said...

What a transformation. That is one superb picture, and yes you should do an exhibition. If you give enough notice, hopefully I will be able to come and see it, I hope so.
I'm wondering why I didn't take a similiar approach when I made some ATC's last year with my felt. I hand embroidered only, and have only recently been using the machine to do background stitching. It would have been a lot quicker.
What is the special bobbin thread you use?

debrarae said...

just beautiful

Tilly Rose said...

Hi Fi...your work is absolutely fabulous! I so wished I lived near you to pop round for a coffee and for you to explain to me how to do it...I've alwasy wanted to felt and create pictures like yourself but have never been brave enough to tackle it by myself!
Can I ask how much you would charge for a piece like your piccie?
Maybe you should look at setting up a workshop...and yes count me in please if you did!
Good luck with an exhibition...
Hugs
karen x x x

marigold jam said...

Ditto to all the above - that is a fabulous piece and you certainly could and should try to have a proper exhibition of your art - yes it really is art of the very best kind! I wish I could do something half as beautiful.

Jane x

Mandy said...

There is no end to your talent! Wow! Your latest project is sssssssssooooooooooo amazing!

Keep going! You are truly talented!

BERTIE x said...

It's beautiful Fi well done. You really are a talented lady. You should follow your dream and hold an exhibition of your work, you have a lot to offer.
Bertie x

Two Wednesdays said...

That's gorgeous - I love how much the piece changes with the embroidery. The texture adds so much to the piece.

Ahh Reeth - a popular trip on sundays when I was a child where we would eat Dales Ice cream - even if there was snow on the ground nd our teeth were chattering.

Wipso said...

Wow Fi. That is truly amazing. I'm very very impressed. Well done you.
A x

Pooh's Abode said...

I am truly amazed. That is so beautiful. You are certainly one very talented lady.
Viv
xxx

Lise said...

What great skills you have! I am speechless :)

Lululiz said...

Well, I'll be............. thats an amazing piece of art!

topchelseagirl said...

OMG it's beautiful. How talented you are.

melanie said...

Exquisit, wow!

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Fiona,
BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO !! J'admire encore et toujours vos créations. Courage pour la suite. Toutes mes excuses pour le français, mais c'est plus rapide pour moi ! Merci pour le rêve ... Nicole de Créon

devonaz said...

Wow that is amazing,,,you cant tell which is the real picture,,you recapped it beautiful..congrats on a fabulous finish...very very pretty..

Diane said...

That is so lovely. xxx

Melanie said...

OMG! That is so beautiful!! I love it.

wonderwoman said...

wow that is just gorgeous!! am looking forward to seeing the sketching and drawings - you have been 'nagged'!!!

xxx

Rubyred said...

WOW! That is amazing!Such a beautiful piece!
You are definitely a textile artist.
You are such an inpiration!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Rachel x

Rachel said...

I am almost lost for words! That is quite stunningly beautiful!
R x

Claire said...

Aha Fi, once again you dazzle us with your talent.
The picture is just stunning, such soft muted tones from a distance and then so much detail to look at close up. Love the colours. After waiting patiently for four years to be finished, you must've had a great sense of satisfaction to see it framed and ready for sale. It's bound to be snapped up very quickly.

mckinkle said...

Such an incredible picture. What pride you must feel when you see it in all it's glory!

Stunning and thanks for sharing the processes, Id have never had any idea!

Keryn x

greenrabbitdesigns said...

That is really beautiful, well done you !!!!
So come on now Fi, get your sketch book out you've an exhibition to prepare for! :)
Vivienne x

Pearly Queen said...

Wow Fi

That's absolutely stunning! Yes, you must do an expo - and some workshops too, please.

Tessa said...

I've just found your blog and wanted to say that I think this picture is amazing - it's beautiful! Would love to see more!

VINTAGE HEART said...

HO My . , the felt picture is very beautiful , you are so clever, you have captured the spirit of the garden so well, I have been so many times,its rather a magical garden and last time I was there medival music was drifting down from the castle, perfect! clever you, when are you sending it to Reeth I may have to make a special trip there to view it? bestest wishes,Linda.

Simple Southern Happiness said...

I know this sounds awful but if you could see my face, I was drooling and dumbfounded. Your talent is beyond belief and I am ah struck. Words fail me. Bravo! Stunning workwomanship.

Helen said...

Stunning!!

Twiglet said...

Fabulous pic Fi - of course you are a textile artist but a multi tasker I guess! Just imagine what you would achieve if you could create like this all day every day!!

Sue said...

It is absolutely amazing and beautiful you are so talented. You must try and sort out an exhibition.

maryannlucy said...

Wow, just wow, I couldn't see where you were going with it initially, but it is just stunning, well done x

Doris said...

OMG! I am truly amazed at the end result! I just can't believe the difference from the first picture of the felt. It's just fantastic - well done you!

xxx

Autumn Mist said...

I think it's stunning. I would love to touch it! It would be brilliant if you had an exhibition, you could have a private viewing and we could all come!

Milkchurn Cottage The Shop said...

Well I hate to say I told you so but ....... xx

Kate said...

Now that's amazing!!! WOW! I'm speechless.

Tracey said...

Stunning, that is absolutely beautiful. You truly are a textile artist.x.

Pink Feather Paradise said...

Wow that is amazing, but as an owner of one of your beautiful pieces of work I know how wonderfully talented you are.... if it doesn't sell in the shop.. let me know how much it is... ;D

A one woman show is a must! it would not look like a one woman show as you do so many different crafts...

X Alex

Julia said...

Im sitting here looking at your stunning work with my mouth hanging open!! Im in awe of how talented you are, it really is one of the lovliest pieces of work Ive seen in a long while!

Love Julia x x x

Serenata said...

Definitely some prods and encouragement coming from me! Go for it - I would buy your gorgeous picture without any hesitation - it is fabulous!

Go for it girl!

Lyn said...

Wow this is so beautiful!
I love the detail.
Love
Lyn
xxx

Alijane said...

Its fab Fi, you are so talented and so obviously an artist. A one women exhibition sounds like a fab idea. Come on you know you want too!

Alisonx

Josette said...

This is gorgeous. I really love it. You have talent ;)

Fiona said...

I have just found your beautiful blog and can't believe it has taken me so long to discover it. Your work is absolutely exquisite - thank you so much for sharing.

beadywitch said...

Hi Fiona,

Ur felt Garden is absolutely stunning and very very beautiful.

Tracey

Helsie said...

What a truly love piece of art. I am absolutely in awe of such talent! I hope you have a hefty price on it !
Get back to that felting and do some more you will make a fortune and can absolutely call yourself a textile artist.
Cheers
Helen

Debs said...

totally awesome! your work is fabulous.

alisonb2 said...

That is just beautiful! You are definitely an artist, so don't do yourself down. I can't wait to see your next piece. Exhibition here you come!!! Thank you for sharing and being so inspirational.

wsxwhx729 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

Susan said...

Last time we went to Bolton Castle the garden was new.
That's a while ago!

That embroidered garden is stunning, totally stunning.

Carol said...

Wow, what a beautiful, stunning piece of art. I am sure it will have sold the second it was put on show.
Thank you for showing us.

Gail Burton said...

Wow! Beautiful work. I just found your blog and signed up, lol. I needle felt but have always wanted to try wet felting (and chickened out!) Now I might just try a teeny little piece to see if I can do it! Wish me luck...

Gail

Ka said...

This is a lovely piece... and certainly art!
I do so love your "mess" and your comments about them... a girl after my own heart! I usually tell the people standing in awe? shock? that I have three PhD's in Mess! and laugh. I don't know if they get the joke?!?
As usual, popping in to see your blog always cheers me up... for all the beautiful thigs you make so well — and the messes too!
lots of love

a-m said...

That looks absolutely beautiful! You are very obviously a textile artist. Can't wait to see pictures of your exhibition - no pressure!
Take care,
a-m x

The Border Tart said...

Serendipity! Google Reader led me here today to view your glorious 'stuff'. In only a few days we are heading down to your neck of the woods for a week and will be sharing some of those lovely dales views!

Andrea said...

Your felt picture is so beautiful and really looks like the real garden. I wish I could make something like that. Well done and I hope you make lots more so you can have your own exhibition.
Andrea x

Puppet Lady said...

I just love your picture. You are definitely a textile artist already, so keep at it!

Jo said...

WOW! BEAUTIFUL!!

*Ulrike* said...

That is totally awesome beautiful!!! I will have to go back and look again!

Louise said...

Crikey what a tallent that is truely amazing. I would love to see your work. I only live in Knaresborough a hop and a skip would get me to see it. Do it. You're amazing keep it up I love your blog. I especially need to know ho you do the creamy swirls on your cakes. Clever clever lady.

Allyson said...

That is just stunningly, breath-takingly beautiful!

Pea Green Kitty said...

Wow!!! You are just so talented, its gorgeous, if you squint a little it looks just like a photograph.
x

Mairi said...

Oh, wow!!! That is extremely impressive! I take my hat off to you! Keep up the good work! Regards, Mairi (in Oz!)

handmadehappiness said...

you are a talented lady :)
i have just entered your 20 mins a day promise!!!! please add & check out my blog i had made myself the very promise you did all those months ago just a couple of weeks ago i seem to be doing well..... and this will give me the last shove i needed!!!!!

http://misstracianderson.blogspot.com/

Sherry from Alabama said...

I just found your blog today, and I am amazed at your artistry! I can't believe one person can do so much. Being a new blogger (started just this January), I am so impressed and inspired by your beautiful site. I have become a follower and will visit often!

Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

Calico Kate said...

Really beautiful, Really really beautiful.
The exhibition WILL happen and do take us with you on your planning and making.
CKx

Aleksandra Micić said...

This felt embroidery is one of the most beautiful things I have seen lately. So beautiful, the way you handled colors!

Coeur de cerise said...

Hello,
I have just discovered your blog. You do beautifull work.
Your felt work is amazing.
I will finish now to go trough all the pages of your blog to discover more treasures.
Thanks for sharing.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hello! You are an Artist! I'm so happy I found you - better later than... I love to do things with all kind of materials like wool (dog's hair) and I enjoyed so much your art-handworks! Thank you for creating and sharing! I go to read more your posts! Best wishes from Finnish woman living in Crete!

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hello! I'm here again, I have been going aroung your pages! Wonderful!!! I was supposed to continue sewing and now I want to start felting and my crochet is waiting...oh!!!
All the Best Teje

*Ulrike* said...

This is stunning and gorgeous!!!!

Mary Ruth said...

Your work is beautiful! I love the way you showed how you did the garden with felt, embroidery and sewing! Absolutely Fabulous!

So glad I happened on your Blog through other links! What a treasure!

geekdiva said...

That looks like... like... like it could heal someone!

Linda Field said...


Hi MarmaladeRose

I`recently discovered this mode of creativity, felting ,love the
Bolton Castle, Herb Garden in Embroidered Felt. So inspired
Linda , Australia