Saturday, 29 December 2012

Another Sad Festive Season

I have to tell everyone that today I lost my darling, darling Harry cat - he was killed by a car today.  I'd been calling and calling him all night, and in fact went out driving around the neighbourhood twice during the night and could not find him - he was always one of those cats who would come when he was called.  And he never came home.
Then in the morning, I went looking for him with Mark. I just knew. Then I found him by the side of the road, and someone had killed him with their car.  Harley has lost his brother, and I have lost my baby and I am desperately, deeply sad.  Mark took him away when I collapsed after I found Harry, and a very kind lady looked after me.  I never saw her face, I was crying too hard.  This is the second Christmas this has happened - last year it was Bailey on Christmas Day, today it is my sweet boy.  

He was an adventurer, a brave boy, a clever boy, with the longest tail on a cat you could ever imagine - he would always be in the studio with me when I worked, he would have this funny way of stretching all the way up to the kitchen surfaces when I was cooking - he'd put his front paws on my legs and s-t-r-e-t-c-h and then ask me for something to eat.  He'd always wait for me to tell him to eat his dinner before he began eating - so polite.  He seemed to walk on his toes all the time - so I used to call him Harry Tippytoes. He and Harley would wash each other every night, and he and his brother would follow me around everywhere.  He got into all sorts of scrapes with Harley, but we never thought he wandered as far as the road.  Naive, perhaps, but there you go.  Its terrible because we bought this house believing our cats would be safe.  Too awful for words.  Just heartbroken.  Again.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas One and All

Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year - hope your festive season, however you celebrate it - or not - is wonderful for each and every one.  Peace and tranquillity to all.

We are planning a quiet christmas with the cats and my Mum and Dad and my good friend Yvonne coming for Christmas dinner - I do this every year, but its just about one of the few things I really enjoy about Christmas - I love wrapping presents, I love having the cats around to 'help' and I love putting the tree up.  All the rest is just just 'blah'.

Sending you love and kindness, good health and happiness.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Handmade Felted Bag

I have been making this felted bag for my mother in law, Simone, for Christmas - a lot of sweat and tears went into this piece - it is nuno felted - using a thin layer of silk overlaid with merino wool which was embellished with silk, wools, sparkly angelina and vintage bits of lace and ribbon - I made the main body (took ages!) followed by the rope for the handle.   

Once I'd wet felted the body of the bag and shaped and allowed it to dry, I needlefelted it with swirls and circles before wet felting and setting into shape again, then put small holes in the side and pulled the cord through on each side before knotting.   
I then made a small felted wool loop for the clasp and used a vintage button as the closure - these were both stitched in before I ironed on thick interfacing over the top of the felted clasp loops to ensure it stayed where it was supposed ti.

The bag has three internal pockets, all made of silk and embellished with beads.  Once the felting was finished and the bag was to all intents and purposes completed I embroidered it using metallic and silk threads.  A labour of love.


Friday, 7 December 2012

A Felting Class with Angela Barrow

I've just come back from a wonderful felting class with my tutor, Angela Barrow.   My Mum and my friend June from across the road also came with me, and there were two other ladies attending as well.  We were making felted fingerless mittens, as I'd asked Angela a while back to run a course doing this.  Everyone produced something fab, and we all had a lovely day (as always, on Angela's courses).  
We started by making little 'scarflettes' as a practice and then moved onto making mittens - these are mine as they were when I left Angela.

Later on at home I needlefelted them with a swirly design and then wet felted them all over again to refine the fit - and this is the final result.  They're ever so warm and cosy!

It was a lovely day out, not least because Angela's studio is full of cats (like mine!) and her home is full of things she has made and collected over the years - so interesting, so inspiring and so original.
My Mum hadn't done any felting previously and both she and my friend June produced something to be proud of. I always look forward to Angela's classes and have signed up for several next year already...can't wait.  Just in case you are interested, here is her website and blog.

We met with some very wild weather on the way home, and I was quite concerned that we weren't going to make it over the hills between Yorkshire and Manchester - trucks were stuck on the motorway and it was quite scary, especially as I have a new car which I still feel like I am learning to drive!   Hopefully next time I go over there I'll have 'passed' the new car test.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sorry for the Long Absence

I'm so sorry for having been absent from my blog for so long - where does time go?  I've had various people who apparently actually read the blog (imagine!) ask me why I'm not blogging - no real answer, perhaps I had bloggers burnout!  I seem to have missed the fabulous Olympics and the Queen's Jubilee, both of which were wonderful.  So I'll try and keep up with it a little better from now on.  Fingers crossed.