Ideas for the F&FS Challenges

Ideas for the F&FS Challenges

A wonderful 4-week holiday in Australia, Christmas markets and hosting lots of family visitors mean I’ve done very little news-worthy felt-making since my last Felting & Fiber Studio blog.  ‘Production felting’ is my own term for making lots of similar things for shops and markets.  I did a fair bit of this in November and December: mostly printed tea light holders, printed wool ‘pebbles’ and Christmas cards. These were my 2022 cards: handmade felt with hand-printing. I extracted the tree from a larger, royalty-free, public-domain image and added the heart before printing onto fine flat felt.

Handmade Christmas card showing a black spruce tree outline with a red heart on the top by Lindsay Wilkinson Artwork
My 2022 handmade Christmas cards

I sold these through various outlets and sent a small number myself.

I’ve enjoyed making felt ‘pebbles’ for some years. Since learning to print on felt from Lindsey Tyson, I’ve been able to adapt photos of some of my Mum’s watercolour paintings to print onto the pebbles.

Here’s the link to a previous blog post, which shows the tea light holders and includes a link to Lindsey’s excellent course

So, as I don’t have a lot of new stuff, I thought I’d contribute a few of my past makes and current thoughts as ideas for the first quarter and year-long challenges.

You can find the challenge details here

Thinking about the year-long tree challenge brought to mind a 3D tree stump I made 3 years ago.

The tree stump was part of a set of pieces I made to represent lifecycles.

More information here.

Alas, I left the base alone for a long time during a pandemic lockdown and it was attacked by moths.  In a way, being eaten by moths was rather fitting: lifecycles in real life, but the moth holes meant I ended up cutting it up to make bookmarks (after some very hot washing). I did, however, recently sell the tree stump on its own and it now lives in Canada.

Pondering future projects for the tree challenge: I have a very tall, beautifully coloured ‘silver dollar’ eucalyptus tree in my garden.

eucalyptus tree top in a garden in Whitstable. Variety silver dollar
My eucalyptus ‘Silver Dollar’

I previously made a eucalyptus seed pod at a workshop with Gladys Paulus. Link here to find out more

3D wet felted sculpture of a eucalyptus seed pod in grey and white wools with a surface of mohair locks

The eucalyptus tree has potential for lot of other projects, including maybe using the leaves for eco printing onto felt. Eco printing is something I’d like to try, though whether I will get round to it remains to be seen. I don’t recommend any breath-holding for this.

Contemplating Caterina’s quarter-one challenge of making something practical that you can’t buy: one of my favourites is this case I made for my iPad mini. Nuno-felted with sections of recycled sheer silk scarf.

I know you can buy iPad cases but I like that this one is unique and fits perfectly without any fasteners. Because it’s an exact fit, the iPad stays put until you need it, then slides out easily.  It’s getting rather battered now as I carry it around all the time so maybe it’s time to make a new one.

Felted vases and plant pots are also both unique and practical. Here are a few. I like that you can co-ordinate them to your décor, or to a specific plant or flower, or just go for colours and patterns you like. for more information on how I made these.

And finally, here’s something that meets both last year’s challenge to complete some UFOs (un-finished objects) and this quarter’s challenge to make something that you can’t buy.  

Here’s a pair of earrings that I started making a while ago using hand-dyed 14.5 micron Merino wool. I incorporated the earring post into the felt and some black sequin fabric inside using resists. These were inspired by the work of Aniko Boros and Judit Pocs.

two tear drop shaped wet felted 3D earrings in marbled greys. One smaller with tear drop cut in front revealing black sequins inside. One larger with no cut
The sequin section is more sparkly than in the photo

As you can see, I got quite a long way along, but while I finished fulling the one on the left, I stopped with the right-hand one in the pre-felt stage. I’m not completely sure why: probably it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. But it surely can’t take more than about an hour to finish that one, so I’m promising myself here that I will complete that second earring. The world will be minus one small UFO.

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas about different ways of taking on the challenges.  How are people getting on with them? If you make something in response to these or any of our previous challenges, please do post your photos on the forum. We all love to see and be inspired by what other people are making.

In the meantime, wishing everyone a very ……




A cute sleeping koala
An emu with its mouth very wide which looks like it is laughing
An echidna eating smooshed insect liquid with its very long tongue

…….. New Year

15 thoughts on “Ideas for the F&FS Challenges

  1. I love your printed pebbles Lindsay, your mum is obviously a very good artist.
    Thank you for showing us your great tree trunk – you’ve just reminded me of a subject for a future post (but don’t hold your breath).
    Lots of fantastic pieces and lovely ideas for the challenge. If I do Jan’s tree challenge (which does sound great) I’ll probably have to shift the seasons. I can’t get out to see my favourite tree at the moment – it sits beside the river Stour and I’d be up to my neck in muck and sheep sh***!
    Happy New Year everyone.

    1. Thank you, Ann, for your lovely comments. Actually, the eucalyptus isn’t very in sync with the UK seasons either but I think we’re allowed some creating leeway. Look forward to seeing what you make

  2. Some wonderful work there Lindsay and it was interesting to look back at what you’ve created in the past. You’ve obviously mastered the printing on to felt technique and those printed pebbles are beautiful.

    1. Thanks very much, Karen. I quite enjoyed reviewing past work & old posts. It’s easy to forget some of the things you’ve made in the past.

      The printing is going well though just occasionally it doesn’t work which can be frustrating.

  3. The pebbles are divine! As is the tree stump! Annie had a eucalyptus tree with the most gorgeous bark that peeled off like cinammon sticks – is yours like that?
    I think you’re the first to have some challenge pieces! Hope you get the second earring finished.
    Beautiful photos used in your wishes – made me smile 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind comments. The eucalyptus bark isn’t as interesting as Annie’s but the leaves are a lovely colour and, if you take them off the stems, a rather cute heart-shape.

      I took the animal photos at an animal sanctuary and they did make me smile too!

  4. Happy New Year to you too! What a lovely post. It’s nice to see pieces that we haven’t seen in a while (especially the stump, Congrats on the sale by the way). It’s a wonderful idea to use your mom’s paintings for the pebbles. They turned out fantastic. The trip to Australia sounds wonderful, I look forward to hearing more about it.

  5. Many thanks, Ruth. It is fun to reflect on past makes – either as inspiration for new projects or a glimpse at how we have progressed.

  6. I love the printing on felt. I would love to have the machine and take the course. Oh well I will add it to my long list of things I want to try/do. I remember the tree stump. It’s wonderful that its come to Canada. The finished earring looks huge. I hope it’s not to heavy. I know felt can be deceiving. I am working on getting one of the first quarter challenges done.

    1. Thank you, Ann. I think it’s really positive to have way more things you’d like to do than you will ever be able to get around to. At least you know you will never be at a loose end. The finished earring is quite big (I like big jewellery) but very light. I think the thing I wasn’t so keen on was that there isn’t much movement in it. It doesn’t swing & sway as you move around, which most big earrings would.

  7. I really got some inspiration from your post and seeing all the things that you have made in the past and recently. What a brilliant idea to pair your mum’s paintings to your felt! It must be quite challenging to work so much on the felt and have it turn out badly during the printing! I hope that it is very rare.
    I finished today my useful object for the current challenge, so I will wait for it to dry out and then post it! Then, I guess, I will still have one year to complete the other part of the challenge and look at life cycles!

  8. Thank you very much for your comments. I’m glad you found some inspiration from my post. Happily it is rare for the printing to go wrong so I just bear in mind it’s a possibility and accept it’s part of the process. Looking forward to seeing your ‘useful object’. I really enjoy seeing what other people are making.

  9. What an inspirational post, Lindsay. I love your printed pebbles, but the thing that did it for me was the eucalyptus seed – I used to pick these up as a child in my local park, so I could enjoy the smell at home. This brought back those memories!
    Happy New Year 🙂

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