Q3 challenge – Annie’s New Forest and Lyn’s Southampton

Q3 challenge – Annie’s New Forest and Lyn’s Southampton


For my Q3 idea I thought that now I’m surrounded by the New Forest in my new home that the ever popular and endless material of the subject of trees would be fitting!

I plan to make many tree inspired pictures but here is my first felted tree canopy experiment, made from layers of scraps of open weave fabrics, prefelts, nepps, yarns and random things from the felting confetti box …  it was fun to make….just playing, adding layers, seeing what appeared!

It’s now sat in the pile of contemplation awaiting its fate.  Possibly the scissors or paint or stitch, who knows!

It’s approx 62 x 62cm.  It’s a bit thicker than I was initially thinking I might make, but I will make a lighter weight version too. I’ve got a list of ideas on the subject, and more brewing…

Here it is along with a couple of my inspiration photos.

Wet Felted Tree Canopy

Tree canopy on a sunny day     Tree canopy on a sunny day

I’ve started another piece, this time in a wide composition.  Already I have strayed from the canopy theme and moved to trunks, but I’ll be back!…..

Here it is in progress (still lots of work to do) plus some inspiration pics…

Tree Woods in progress    Tree Woods in progress

Forest Trees    Forest Trees

A huge joy of the New Forest are the free roaming animals namely the horses, ponies, pigs, cows, deer and the ever so cute donkeys!   Since tourists were interfering with the animals by petting them and feeding them new rules have finally come into place to ban touching or feeding them with a fine if you do.  You are allowed to photograph though as long as you don’t get in their way, quite rightly it’s their forest and right of way.  One day I might be adventurous enough to make a fluffy donkey picture, until then enjoy these photos, how cute!

donkey     Donkey and foal


Sometime between the 11th and 13th centuries Southampton became a walled city. The walls, including 29 towers and 8 gates, stretched for one and a quarter miles.

13 of the towers and 6 gates are still standing, making them some of the most complete medieval town walls in the country.  ‘Walking the Walls’ tours are popular with visitors.

I made this representation by wet felt and stitching.

felt and stitch picture

The main entrance to the old city, the Bargate, was built around 1180 and has served as a prison and a guildhall – it still stands today in the city centre.  Left to right: the north side of the Bargate, the south side of the Bargate and the stonework you can see if you walk through the Bargate – photo credits: Wikipedia.

Bargate     Bargate    stonework Bargate inside

There are many old buildings in the city.  Tudor House, in Blue Anchor Lane, was built between 1491 and 1518 and has been preserved as a museum.  St Michael’s Church was founded by Norman settlers circa 1070.  The church has been added to, bit by bit over the centuries, and it’s in regular use today.  Photo credit: Historic Southampton.

Tudor House and St Michaels Church

This monument to Sir Richard Lyster, once resident of Tudor House, is dated 1567 and is inside St Michaels Church.  Photo credit: Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society.

Lyster monument

Southampton’s history can be traced back to Roman times, but today it’s a modern, sprawling city and home to approx 250,000 people. It’s the busiest cruise terminal and second largest container port in the UK.  Photo credit: Wave Radio News.

Port Southampton

We hope you’ve liked our potted views of where we live  🙂





20 thoughts on “Q3 challenge – Annie’s New Forest and Lyn’s Southampton

  1. Annie – love your canopy picture. It totally captures the feeling of looking up through the leaves to a sunlit sky….please don’t cut it up!

    Looking forward to seeing how your trunks progress. Coincidence – for a few weeks I’ve been planning a vertical textile piece & have been collating the fabrics. Then finally yesterday, on the car boot, got the ‘ah ha’ lightbulb moment having seen a picture looking through a wide extensive copse of trees. You will be way ahead of me in its completion though!

    Lynn – As a child I visited Southampton a couple of times but only saw big modern (way back then!) megalithic buildings that did nothing for me. If only I had known about its history, & remaining evidence of such. One day maybe I can do the wall tour & acquire a new found fondness for the city. Thank you for enlightening me.

    1. Annie – Thanks Antje! I can’t promise it will never have a date with the scissors but as I’m rubbish at following up on my ideas (i just have too many!) it probably has a decent stay of execution! 🙂

      Now there’s a challenge! Me being ahead….hmmmm….I’ll see what i can do! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your trees too, so many ways to express every topic!

      Lyn – I was born here but until I took a tour I hadn’t realised how many hidden vaults, small churches and old buildings are hidden in the modern city!

  2. What a lovely place to live Annie! We used to visit the New Forest when I was a kid staying with my Aunt and Uncle who lived not far from there. Your tree canopy experiment was certainly successful, I can just imagine laying on the forest floor and gazing up at that view.
    Although I’ve not visited any of the historic sites in Southampton Bargate looks familiar Lyn. Would I be recognising it from my drive to the ferry port? I hadn’t realised so many of the towers were still standing. Next time I’m down your way I must make the time to explore and not just pass through!

    1. Annie – Thanks Karen – when the day is too stressful it’s nice to be able to take a picnic blanket and a flask and head off to find a quiet spot away from it all!

      Lyn – The Bargate is within a pedestrian high street so maybe you saw another gate Karen? Southampton is just as ugly as any other city but it has some treasures tucked away that are a joy to find.

  3. How lovely that the two of you have moved to the New Forest, such a lovely place (provided the grockles aren’t around!)
    Annie’s tree canopy (and the inspiration pics) makes me feel as If I’ve gone back in time to when I used to lie flat on my back and just gaze at the trees and/or sky. I too actually think the picture is lovely as it is.
    That donkey foal is beautiful, so’s it’s mum. I love donkeys.
    More history. Like Antje, I wasn’t aware of all the historical buildings still in situ in Southampton – I’ve been to the hospital several times, and Ikea too, but that’s about it. I got out of there as soon as I could! I’m tempted to become a grockle myself now.
    You ought to offer your wall to the Town so they can use it in connection with the tours, Lyn, it’s really good.

    1. Annie – Hi Ann, yes places are always better out of grockle season aren’t they!
      Can’t beat a bit of forest bathing / sky gazing 🙂
      The donkeys are truly delightful! 🙂

      Lyn – Thank you for your kind comment on the felted wall Ann.
      Ah, the hospital – now that’s an experience isn’t it? Parking? What a joke. The hospital has become a monster – it’s far too big.
      As for Ikea – I love it! You can just about see the Blue/Yellow Ikea building in the last photo. It’s on the left hand edge about one third the way down. It looks tiny in the photo but as you know it’s not!

    2. Oh yes – spotted Ikea. I was distracted by those floating blocks of flats they call cruise ships. Yuk!

    3. Indeed Ann – sometimes we have 5 cruise ships all at once. This is a report from BBC news:
      Southampton has some of the highest levels of cruise ship air pollution in Europe, a study has said.

      Southampton’s emissions rose between 2019 and 2022, environmental campaign group Transport & Environment reported.

      Cruise ship-generated oxides of nitrogen and particulates ranked third among European ports while oxides of sulphur were seventh, it said.

  4. Hello Annie and Lyn,
    I love the canopy felted piece, and your tree trunk piece is colorful and fun too! The donkeys are so adorable! I think it’s so nice you have these designated areas for animals to roam around in. Things are so different here, in the US. (Government officials don’t like human beings wandering around our cities, why would they ever agree animals?! 🤔 But, that’s a discussion for another time.)

    I love hearing the history of your cities in the UK. I think we all tend to dismiss the qualities, of the city’s we live in, don’t we? I happen to live very near Detroit, Michigan “the Motor City.” With its excellent museums, a nice zoo, and numerous offerings for out of town visitors; ask me when we were there last? Yet, I yearn to visit the storybook places, you all talk about… Your felted piece “Walking the Walls” reminds me of my only visit to Europe, accompanying Brian on a business trip. Luckily for the cost of an airline ticket and minimal meals, I was able to roam around Stockholm, Sweden, Salzburg, Austria, and several cities all over Germany. We even dipped our toes into Strasberg, France where my ancestors (Huguenot’s) escaped from. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, that I am only now, mature enough to really appreciate! Now, with the years lost to Covid, and the craziness of the world today, my window of opportunity to see more of Europe is slowly slipping away from us. I am not giving up yet……

    I’m blubbering here, as my eyes are struggling to remain open. I will go to sleep and hopefully dream of England, Scotland and Wales. It’s “good morning” for you, in the UK…I hope it’s a glorious sunshine filled day.

    Hugs, Capi

    1. Annie – Thank you Capi, there is so much inspiration here, just need to find more time to make more of it! The animals are adorable indeed, but my latest excuse for being late is now “there were donkeys blocking my driveway”! 🙂

      Lyn – Thank you Capi – it does look to be a lovely sunny day here on the south coast hovering around 20C so pleasantly warm.
      I think that gradually most cities around the world are becoming similar – we are after all now a ‘global village’ and we’ve all influenced each other. If you want to see a country properly you have to escape the city and head for the hills 🙂 Travellers on cruise ships, with often little time to wander around in each port, don’t get to see much outside of the town/city.

  5. I so love the tree canopy. I can just imagine myself there looking up at it. I love the wall too and the quick trip around your environs. Donkey and foal love as always.

    1. Annie – Thank you Marie, that’s such a lovely thing to do isn’t it!

      Lyn – Thank you Marie – glad you enjoyed the felt wall and the quick look at our locale.

  6. Both beautiful entries for the challenge Ladies! I love hearing the stories of where people live and what inspired them in their work.

    1. Thank you Ruth – we had hoped that the challenge would be interesting and looking at the Studio Challenges on the Forum we weren’t wrong. There’s lovely work shown and surprising snippets of different places 🙂

  7. O my word Annie. I was immediately on my back staring up at the sky through your first piece. The tree trunks are really very 3D and the more I look the more I want to climb them (once I scramble back unto my feet that is!).
    I love your tree trunks and am looking forward to seeing the piece progress.
    I have a friend who moved to the New Forrest many years ago. She now runs a boutique B & B on the Forrest edge and she really loves it there. Your photos of the lovely donkeys reminded me of pictures she often posts. I hope you will be very happy in your new abode.

    Lyn, you hail from a really interesting city. I was there as a teenager but just passed through it. Now I want to revisit it. The old buildings are so beautifully preserved. Your representation would make a fabulous logo for the Walk the Walls tours. It’s eye-catching, clever and fun!

    1. Annie – Thank you Helene, we’re loving it so far!

      The view up through trees is so calming and inviting isn’t it, especially with a gentle breeze and a drop of dappled sunlight.

      The tree trunks are fun, not sure where I’m going with it yet, but it will be a fun piece hopefully!

      Lyn – Thank you Helene. Southampton does have its gems but most of them take some finding which is why the ‘walk the walls’ tours are so popular 🙂

  8. Annie: wonderful canopy trees, a very relaxing feel. the trunks look interesting and colourful. Can’t wait to see what you do with them. Does someone take care of the horses and donkeys feet? Interesting that you have pigs roaming free. Escaped pigs gone feral are a dangerous problem in the southern USA

    Lyn: I love your piece and agree it would make a great logo for the walks. There is so much history all around you, I am envious. Cruise ships and tall buildings don’t do much for me either.

  9. Annie – Thanks Ann, hopefully I can do something interesting and fun with the trunks!

    Yes all of the animals are cared for and checked on regularly. I have a lot to learn about all this but there are verderers and agisters who assist the commoners who live in the forest and have animals that they have a right to let free roam. The donkeys are rounded up and checked regularly and you can report if you see an injured animal they will go out looking for it to give it attention. The piggies only get to roam for a short time to eat all the acorns!
    It is an education living here, i often meet someone with an interesting story of their own or something historical.

    Lyn – Thank you Ann. We seem to agree on what’s good to live with and what’s not 🙂

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