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Category: The Year Ahead

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone.

I hope you had a great time ringing in the new year and are enjoying the first day of a new decade.

Time to think back to what I have done and what I want to do.

Last year I did some experimenting with pots.

Did some more artwork

Took a few classes

And taught a few classes.

I took on organizing my guilds annual sale and exhibition with the help of an amazing group of people.

Next year, I am not really sure. I am chair of the sale and exhibition again this year.  I know I am doing more teaching (LINK) and I need to update and sort out my website.

Plans early this year are to get the pictures done for an online class. Jan is going to help with this so I have to get felting to have different stages so we can film more in one day. I am sure Ruth has lost hope of me ever getting it done.

I want to do more artwork with hand stitching. I really do enjoy sitting and stitching. It looks so nice on the felt. To that end, I made a few picture blanks between Christmas and new year. Sorry Its not a great picture I just did it quick while writing this.

Beyond that, I really haven’t planned much. Do you have plans for the year, big or small we would love to hear what they are? We would also love you to share pictures and chat about what you are doing over on the Forum. (LINK)


The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead

I’m ahead of myself this year, usually I start by planning to be more organised, but I bought some new tubs a few weeks ago and cleared up a few piles off my desk! And yesterday I sorted through a large box of fabric from the well being centre and put it more tidily into different bags and labelled them. One of the bags is lots of ready cut strips for making experimental nuno samplers. There are lots of unusual fabrics in there for beginners to try before they pick up any ideas of which fabrics ‘work’ and which ‘don’t’.

One of the first things I need to do this year is write a constitution for our group. We have our own light hearted rules, such as ‘You’re not allowed to be disappointed, we don’t make failures, we make unintentional discoveries’! but maybe we’ll keep that as our motto 🙂

Looking back at the things I made last year, I saw a lot of things I started to learn, but never really progressed with. One ‘unintentional discovery’ I made was that I quite like freestyle crochet:

I would like to learn how to do it properly though, so I can maybe make something, or at least freestyle a lot better! Another thing I didn’t really progress with is spinning. I did spend a few days practising and made some yarn I liked:

But I think trying to spin some Superwash, which spins about as well as it felts, put me off a bit:

I want to learn to spin on a wheel so I can knit some really cool jumpers, or at least a funky hat, but not being able to do a good job of sewing up is quite limiting:

And only really being able to knit with chunky pencil roving on fat needles is too:

So, I’d like to learn to knit better, or more, or just differently! And I’m really looking forward to the Surface Design challenges this year, I’ve already started thinking about mine for the 4th Quarter. If you missed Ruth’s post the other day, have a look here. Have you made any plans for the year ahead?

Looking Ahead 2015

Looking Ahead 2015

I suppose I should start with my usual plan of trying to be more organised this year  🙂  This usually just means buying more bins and boxes to put supplies in, but I tend to use stuff less if it’s tidied away, so I want ‘being more organised’ to mean having things more accesable this year. That’s not easy when it’s fibres though, I worry about carpet beetle bugs. I discovered a few pieces of fabric I’d bought a while ago that I still haven’t tried out because they were tidied away so I need a compromise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother thing I say every year is that I plan to work on more tutorials and a new e-book, and how I’ve been working on my ‘other fibres’ project for years and want to work more on that. I did do quite a bit of work on that and really just need to get back into it, it shouldn’t be that hard since I like playing around with wool and fibre combinations so much 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne thing I always look forward to is our studio challenges. If you didn’t see Ruth’s post, have a look here. This year we are focusing on colour, not just colour themes though, but learning about colour and playing with it. We’ve already started talking about it on the forum: looking at colour wheels and making our own out of tufts of wool. And Zara was talking about blending different shades and tones by adding white, grey and black to green, you can see her post here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat’s it for plans, I think I’ll just see how things go and try and go with the flow and stress less 🙂

A New Felting Year

A New Felting Year

We are starting a new blank calendar.  It’s time to look back and look ahead. As I look back at my year it’s been quite busy. There have been lots of classes and I even took a couple of classes.

Linda finishedalpaca tracks happy hat

I managed to do some art with felt and make a huge curly fleece hat with horns for an exhibition.

pictures hanging picture hanging

Ann with hat (2)


There were not so good things. I didn’t get recalled to work in September so I am unemployed.  On the bright side at least it was a good time. I had shows coming up so I did make some money. I sold some work to a store and got invited to sell work in a local museum store. One of the best things to happen has nothing to do with felt or wool. I found out I will be a grandmother in February. So now I have a reason for all this gray hair, I will be a nana.

My new year will be exiting with the new baby,  hopefully a new part time job and more felt. I am hoping to try  for the 3rd time making  the felt boots I was supposed to try again last year.  I think it will be a good year. I hope your year was good and the new one will even better.





Usually by this time of the year, I have chosen a “word for the year”, have a list of goals written out and I’m well on my way to how I will achieve those goals. This year, I don’t have any of that completed and I just seem to be waffling. Is that a word? Anyways, I just can’t seem to make up my mind what I would like to concentrate on this year.


First I think, maybe I should concentrate on entering my work into more national and international exhibitions. But then I wonder, what is the point in that? What will I gain from entering into shows/exhibitions? I always agonize over what venue might be right for my work and then there is always the cost for entering. Since I haven’t been accepted to any major shows, it always seems like a waste of money that could be better spent on supplies or perhaps taking a class.


Then I wonder about what direction I should take when I make things. Should I concentrate on functional pieces that will sell readily or should I make things that are “art”.? Should I do three-dimensional sculpture, landscape pieces or should I work on developing a cohesive body of work that could be a “solo exhibit”? Then I start wondering if I have developed my own style and what that style is?


I would like to take more classes in art and design but they are quite expensive and time consuming. Should I be saving my money so I can take another class? Or do I know enough already? How could that be? I don’t think I could ever know enough. I love learning.


So as you can see, I just can’t decide what to do. I have been mulling this over for several weeks now and haven’t come to any sort of conclusion. Perhaps this year, I just need a little less structure and I will take things as they come. I will allow myself to waffle and avoid listening to that little voice inside my head that insists that everything be planned precisely. And I’ll see what the universe brings me 🙂

Looking Ahead 2014

Looking Ahead 2014

I think every year I plan to be more organised over the coming year. I don’t think I’ve done too badly, I did rearrange some rooms to make my felting and craft stuff more accessible, so it should be even easier this year since I can now leave projects out and don’t have to spend valuable time tidying everything away. I’m going to keep writing notes and lists of things to do in my diary each day , so I don’t forget.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really enjoyed the craft fair that I did, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to do more this year. Just working out how to find out where they are happening will be an improvement on last year 🙂 I photographed and printed out my ‘inventory’ of all the things I’ve made which makes it easier to keep track, so I’m going to keep up with that aswell this year. I used to upload everything to flickr, but I find it hard to use since the change.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’d like to be able to work on a new e-book this year or at least more tutorials. As much as I love our weather here, it isn’t the best for taking photos, so that is a big hindrance in doing tutorials. The light in Winter can be perfect, but some days there’s barely 5 hours of ‘daylight’, so finding the perfect conditions can be difficult. The light in Summer is weird: pale, hazy with a yellow tint, so maybe it’s time to invest in a lightbox. I would also love to be able to get involved in community workshops, something which people will really enjoy doing, learning a new usable skill and giving people an alternative creative outlet and way to express themselves. Hopefully if I get enough interest I can also get funding. But if anyone has any openings for a felter one day a week, I’m open to offers 🙂

nuno scarfTwo things I’d like to try out more with felting is embellishment fibres and using wool to create the ‘design’ or surface interest. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do anything like those gorgeous wet felted paintings, but I do enjoy using wool in a more controlled way to create an interesting effect.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve been working on what I call my ‘other fibres project’ off and on for years, using embellishment fibres to add interest to felt. I made a few pieces with bamboo recently and enjoyed that a lot, especially adding texture and shape to felt, so I’d like to find time to work on that more.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanks for supporting us this year 🙂 Have you made plans for this year?

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

It’s New Years Day and I feel like I should say something profound but I haven’t been able to think of anything other than I hope your old year ended well and the new one will go the way you hope.

happy-new-year 1

Last year I picked the words explore and persevere as my words for the year. I didn’t try as many new things as I would have liked but I did do some things, I did some small art works and took a boot making class on line. The boot making class brings us to perseverance. I have made 2 sets of boot tops so far and am not happy with them. I did adjust the pattern between tries and I am still not happy. the upper fits better but the Uncle is not right yet.  I ordered more wool and will adjust the pattern again and hope that I am 3rd time lucky. so more perseverance this year too.sheep spiral

one boot shrunk

I think the other idea I would like to work on is self awareness.  Trying to do the things I want and not what others think I should do. That sounds a bit selfish but I don’t mean ignoring other peoples needs just being more aware of my own.


Step one for everything is doing the new year sort and tidy. Nothing like working to make a mess. Everything is on the wrong place and its time to put it all back and maybe find better places for things. And maybe but only maybe, get rid of some stuff. I am not good at getting rid of things that might be useful. I have the packrat gene.


New Year, New Work

New Year, New Work

Well we had such a bad year last year that i’m glad its all behind us now and we can move onwards and upwards

So here we go !!

I’ve been taking on board Ruths challenge and thoroughly enjoying myself but doing something a bit different.  I have been crafting ever since i can remember and always love having something on the go, ever since i found felting i really did fall in love and still am but i have this mental block with it and cant seem to get my act together to make something that i really like.  So i’m having a little break from actual felting and moving on to something else for a while, i’ll still be incorporating fibre and felt into things but i think its best if i stop trying and wait till it wants to come naturally lol

So having said that and as much as i love crafting i’ve never been into Altered books, with Ruths challenge i wanted something that i could do in small or large doses  and include lots of mixed media, i.e  fibres , silks ,beads ect, There are some beautiful Altered books out there but i havent found anything like what i’m doing so i can honestly say these are coming from my head, good or bad lol  And about 20 years ago i used to make something similar to these and sell them at a market stall, by the masses lol    i thought i’d give them another go but add lots more of what i’m doing now into them.   I had a stack of note books ready to make covers for and  i’m turning them into my  little motivational altered books, yes they are a bit different but  i’m having a great time.

Here are a few  i’m playing with, i’m still not sure if there quite finished but i’m showing you anyway.  They start of course with a note book !  then  paverpoled, painted and lots added , they take about 2-3 days to make one with all the added embellishments, paint ect, and lots of drying time so its been fun to get a sort of production line going, and its keeping me entertained.

These first couple have  adding beads, silk threads, sari silk ribbon, angelina, felt and touched over with shiva sticks , i made flowers from some light weight material and added them in and a few words of inspiration. I hope you dont mind all the pics, there quite hard to photograph so you can see properly !



Silk Paper back, in hindsight  i shouldnt have used the silk paper on the back as your not going to be able to see it much unless you pick up the book, but i really like how the silk came out hardened.






This next one ( i do have 6 on the go ) lol  i wanted to try some tyvek on the back and melt it down,  when i put the first layer on i had to use glue to hold it and when i hit it with the heat gun it just would not melt at all, so i added another layer straight over the top and used heat to fuse it together, it worked then but i learnt that once tyvek has glue on it will only melt the tiniest little bit.   This first pic is after glueing and i forgot to take a pic before i added more tyvek and sprayed


But it gave a  huge amount of texture and its now black, the gold was just way to much for me !!


Plain black first to the front


Then the added tyvek and paint

i also discovered that i can use the tyvek to make a lace work ( of sorts ) i think it would be great for making cobwebs.


I might have gone a bit overboard with the lace on this one, but everyone here likes it best lol


So this is what i’ve been up to and i definitely feel back in my comfort zone, The next one has more felt and fibres, angelina and beads but its not finished yet. I love the fact that as there all done in stages i can have quite a few going at once.

What do you think, i’d appreciate any feedback on these, but remember its only the first few, i’ll improve as i go along lol  And Thankyou Ruth if it wasnt for your challenge i’d still be scratching my head over some felting 🙂

Looking Ahead 2013

Looking Ahead 2013

Will anyone notice if I re-post my plans for 2012? 🙂 I’m hoping to have more spare time for felting this year as the few hours a week I’d normally have for felting were taken up with working on my business plan and futile searches for info about government schemes and how to write business plans 🙂

I’d like to be more organised, so that when plans get disrupted or stalled as they often do, I have a back up plan or alternatives so I can make the most of what little time I do have. I recently got a really nice big old desk, like an old teacher’s desk, so I have more space to work and can leave projects out. I’d like to find the few extra minutes it’d take to lay out and felt some extra small pieces of felt to use in collage pieces. I really enjoyed using my offcuts for that last year, and now I’m running low on spare pieces of felt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs usual, I’m looking forward to the forum challenges. I followed Lyn‘s example and started to write plans in my diary to help with Ruth’s challenge. I don’t have anything at the moment that I can spend 5 minutes a day working on, but I am taking a few minutes each day to think about fibrey things to try to plan so I can make the most of the time when I get a couple of hours to work on a project.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoing Karen’s weather challenge reminded me how much I like making felt just for the sake of it, and how abstract felt can make really nice art ‘paintings’ especially when framed. I’d like to find time to make some small pieces with that in mind. As always I’ve really enjoyed our conversations and topics on the forum and really look forward to more of those this year, everyone who comments on the blog and joins in on the forum makes our community a really nice one to belong to 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat plans do you have for 2013, have you joined in with Ruth’s challenge?

Looking Forward into 2013

Looking Forward into 2013

Like last year I chose not to make a resolution per say but to choose a word.  I could easily make the usual resolutions that would be good for me like loosing weight and getting more aerobic exercise. Although these would be good things to do I know they are not likely to get done. I like to eat and I hate exercise.  A resolution to make myself miserable is not one I want to make.

This year I chose  two words that go together. Explore and Perseverance.


I want to do more “art”. I want to do this with felt. I love to make scarves and hats and other useful things but I would like to make things that are just to look at. Thread painting and free motion embroidery are one of the ways I plan to do this. I love the way stitching looks on felt. So I want to explore some of the possibilities of this to make pictures to hang on the wall and maybe later to wear. This is where perseverance comes in . It will take much effort in my busy life to do this. Not only to find time for felting but to find time to do felt that doesn’t  have a material end. I find it hard to make things that won’t generate income.  I want an end product some one might want to buy. I am getting better at doing things for my sanity with no “real” benefit. I anticipate much self talk about not thinking about the end product but enjoying learning how and being creative. You  know, all that stuff about it’s the journey and not the destination.


I am sure I will be distracted along the way but that’s OK. I am an older ADD person. I am from the generation where they told you to smarten up and buckle down and your just not trying. It’s taken a long time to come to terms with. This is the way I am and it is a good way to be. I have insatiable curiosity so I like to look down all the side streets( allies, paths, through the door, over the fence….)  along the way. It takes longer to get to the end of the road but it is a much more satisfying trip.

From Here to There
From Here to There

I hope you find what you are looking for this coming year and I hope you enjoy hearing about how we are getting along and what we are doing through this Blog and our Forum.

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