Well Overdue Project

My best friend and I brought some material about five years ago (?) at a Patchwork and Quilting show in Birmingham and promptly forgot about it. Occasionally I’d come across it in my wardrobe smile and think ‘we should do something with this’, put it away again only to find it next time I had a clear out.

This summer Izzy decided she wanted to try her hand at making a cushion. So out came the material which had sat patiently for five years and a week or so later we had our cushions. 😀 Probably my third cushion but my first without Mums help so although it might not be a work of art I’m rather proud of it. I  just need somewhere to put it now.

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Anyone out there who’s brought something to do but has ended up shoving it to the back of a drawer then this year get it out and complete the project – you’ll feel better for doing something just for you.

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Felt Rug

Jacob Sheep Fleece

Another mother and daughter project. We did this on an extremely warm day (well for England anyway) and rolled it out on the trampoline.

The rug is made from a Jacob sheep’s fleece I brought at the Woolfest, felt fibres of a similar colour to the fleece are laid on the back – or inside – of the fleece. The net is then placed over it and wetted.

Covered with netting

Unfortunately because of the thickness of the fleece it just wouldn’t soak though so I had the brilliant idea of spraying it with the hosepipe. After spraying myself to cool down, the fleece was finally wet. It then needed rubbing to make sure the fibres were stable before rolling. We then washed it in several changes of water, it’s surprising how heavy it gets and how dirty the water is, before putting it in the washing machine.


It took all day and is more tiring than it looks, especially in the heat. Anyway, here’s the finished product, I particularly like the mottled effect of the fleece – not a bad buy for £4.

Felted Scarf

I made this scarf for a friends christmas present last November. I got into felting because my Mum started attending courses and so I got her to teach me how to felt as well. Now, I’m not as competent as she is and don’t have the confidence to make anything without her instruction but, I’m quite proud of this one 🙂

First, I laid out the wool and wetted it with soapy water before rubbing it to get it to felt together. Unfortunately, the wool didn’t want to felt on its own so we decided to add a black backing, hoping the colours would show up bright enough.

Using more warm, soapy water I spent ages rubbing until it was secure enough to roll. Everytime I do some felting I’m surprised at the amount of physical effort it takes but this had to be done quickly because I was using the dining room table and the family were getting hungry 😀

I was quite pleased with how the colour looked against the black, in fact I think it looks better than it would’ve done without the backing but it did mean it wasn’t as floaty as originally planned.

I almost didn’t want to give this away but giving something handmade as a present means more than just buying a mass-produced product 🙂

Decoupage Box

These cardboard boxes are brilliant. Only a few quid from the Range they offer hours of intense concentration and enjoyment. When choosing your box make sure the draw/lid opens and closes quite easy because when you add paper obviously the fit will be tighter. As I didn’t think the lid or draw would close properly if I added paper, I painted the lip of the box and the sides and bottom of the draw in silver (you can just about see this here).

Tear up some fancy paper, or you could always use pages from old magazines, in roughly equal pieces. Then, get sticking. I just used PVA glue, you don’t need anything special. The curved top of the box was a little fiddly at the edges as I didn’t want any ‘bubbles’ or folds in the paper. The straight edges of paper were perfect for making sure no cardboard was visible, especially round the mirror.

Next, I used the same paper (green) for the mirror and the bottom half of the box – including the base. And the pink paper for the front of the drawer as well as the lid of the box to give it a nice contrast.

Now the fiddly bit – lining the drawer was quite easy, just cutting the paper to size. But when it came to the little compartments under the lid it got a bit more complicated, so a cup of tea and some chocolates were needed before starting 😀

As all the little sections in the box are slightly different sizes I found it easier to cut out the paper and arrange the pieces in a template-pattern so I knew which bit went where. Also, it’s good to have bits that overlap for a more even finish.

When this is all painstakingly stuck in (be careful you put them in in the right order otherwise your little flaps will end up on top) you can give it a quick varnish to hold all the paper in place (I used PVA mixed with a tiny bit of water as the glue was old and so quite thick). Secure the mirror in the inside of the lid and in this case make sure the ribbon is fixed behind the mirror. Wait for it to dry and ta-da! One decoupage jewlery box 🙂

A trip to the Lakedistrict: Woolfest

This weekend I visited the Lakedistrict to attend the Woolfest, just outside of Cockermouth. http://www.woolfest.co.uk/ The Woolfest has been orgainised by Woolclip since 2005, it involves many weavers, spinners, knitters and felters all displaying their wool and fabulous designs.

The start of our little holiday was … well there’s only one word for it – wet. The trip up the M6 was terrible, at some points we could hardly see 100 meters infront, with the backs of lorries and cars seemingly appearing out of nowhere. Anyway, thankfully we arrived in the Lakedistrict safe and sound. Braving the weather we ventured into Ambleside for some lunch and a bit much needed of retail therapy.

Having never been to the Woolfest before I wasn’t sure what to expect but knew I wanted a fleece. My mother had been on a course where she learned how to felt a sheeps fleece to make a rug, and I wanted to do one for my room. After wading through the muddy car park I felt like flitting from one stall to the next, but restrained myself. We chose our fleeces, mine a dark Jacob and Mums a blue-faced leicester and dropped them off in the wool creche before making our way up and down the aisles.

Now, along with all the half-finished projects at home, I’ve added to the list. If ever you want some crafty/arty inspiration go along to the Woolfest in the Lakedistrict. Wish me luck with completing my new projects!