Monday, 31 May 2010

Blog award from Paula and bear giveaway!!

Hi Folks!
Just a short blog to say a big thanks to Paula for the above blog award and for her kind words too.
I now have to say where I would like to be in ten years time!!!
Well at my age - alive and healthy is good enough for me! But I suppose other than that I would like to be in a position to share what I have with those that I love and those that need me!!

Several of the folk I would like to pass this on to have already been mentioned and I guess Wipso will do others I know.
So, being sensible, I am just going to mention a new blog friend who I met in real life this week.

Tina of Silver Footprints blog has just opened her new shop in Montgomery - see the link at the bottom of the last post. I am sure Indigo Moon will be a big success and she will certainly be "going places!" So Tina - I pass this blog award to you!! Maybe you have 10 people who you would like to pass your award on to.

Also check out this gorgeous little bear here.
He is made by Cheryl at Bingle Bears and is her latest giveaway.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Look what I won!!

I entered a blog give-away by a talented lady in Scotland - Aileen Clarke. Lucky me!! I won this pretty little card.
Aileen's textile work is lovely and her blog has been a real source of inspiration for me.
She sells her work on Folksy- so if you want to see the fab things she makes then pop over and have a look.
She has produced a beautiful new range of hand-crafted cards and wanted to know which we prefered.
Well, I love this one - a perfect combination of greens and purples.
Thanks lots Aileen - I hope you sell loads and everyone loves them as much as I do!!
NOW - if you want to visit a gorgeous crafty gift shop nearer home then pop down to Montgomery and visit Indigo Moon. The lovely Tina has just opened her new shop and it is a delight!!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

A walk in the sunshine

It's a drab,wet day here today - so different from yesterday.
We decided to go for a walk after lunch whilst the sun was shining, so on went the walking boots and into my little green rucksack went a couple of apples, bottle of water, binoculars and my camera.
We walked up the lane and across the fields to Marrington Dingle. (Well no, actually we rambled around a bit and then hiked about a mile down the main road before dropping down into the Dingle.) The farm track drops down through forest, which is part of the Marrington Estate, to the River Camlad, which meanders through a beautiful little valley. (I think the Camlad is the only river that rises in Shropshire and flows into Wales)

I stopped on the bridge over the river to admire the view and spotted a stunning Grey Wagtail on a rock. It is actually grey and yellow and, thankfully, I could watch it for quite a while through my binoculars, as it was feeding on the insects over the river. A flash of turquoise caught my eye as a Kingfisher flew up the river towards me, turned, and zig-zagged away, skimming over the water. Wow!! They are such a fabulous irridescent colour it's hard to believe they are a british bird.

We walked on along the valley amongst the pink campion and wild comfrey. The purple and black Damsel flies flitted around the nettles and Orange Tip butterflies fluttered from flower to flower.

A Grey Heron flew up from the river, flapping slowly away with its long legs dangling and a large creamy brown buzzard circled above us making its characteristic mewing sound.

What a little oasis of beauty in that little river valley.

The rest of the walk was through Whittery Woods with its leafy oak trees and then on to the farmland back to Old Churchstoke and back home. About 6 miles, I think. My little feet were aching by the time I returned but well worth the effort!

I hope you like the photos - they never do it justice and of course the birds were too quick for me to snap!!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Old and new - WOYWW

Well, we have had another busy week with lots of crafty activity and fun.

On my desk you can see the gorgeous table linens and vintage mats which I bought at the local car boot. The fine, hand embroidered one at the top left is lovely - I just might keep that one as a little treasure. The rest of the white bits are just oddments and some are looking tatty so they will be used for crafting. I have already shared some with T. on our fun day Monday. I just love all the old hand made lace and crochet.

Now the crochet on the right is something else!!!!!
Wipso found a fab pattern on a friend's blogsite for African flowers and of course being the clever thing she is, she has made loads of scrumptious ones for a little blanket.

Now -I can crochet - nothing too fancy of course - so I thought I would give it a go - ha!!!
It took me four attempts to get one flower more or less right.
Then I was on a

I made four (there they are, above, all creamy pink and lilac). I thought I could give them to Wipso to add to her stash for the blanket.

When I took them to show her, I realised the error of my ways!! I used a size larger needle and mine turned out HUGE!! Well, at least it meant that I could see what I was doing and make sure the pattern was right. Unfortunately, there is no way they will fit with Wipso's so.......

Has anyone a good idea for using LARGE African flowers!!!

Apart from knitting and crochet, I have helped Wipso (she with the poorly eye). We have made hats and waistcoats - designing and making the patterns and then running them up together. We make a flippin' good team!!!
I have also added my latest "dumflings" to the blog shop and I am rather pleased with them. Pop over to Sisters Crafty Creations if you want to browse our shelves for cards, gifts, pictures etc.
So thats about it.......

Short and sweet today as I am going walking. Thanks for dropping in - lovely to hear from you - please leave a comment and hopefully, I will whiz round and visit all 120 WOYWWers over the next day or two.

If you want to join in with Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday then hop over to Julia's blog and have fun!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Short but sweet and lots to snoop - WOYWW

Just a quick blog today - a show and tell. Lots of crafty bargains for you to snoop at!!!!
I received a fab bag of wool from Kemps clearance sale yesterday so I popped it on my table for you to see. Mostly wool to knit cardis, shrugs etc for the tinies in the family. I also bought bargain packs of gorgeous little purl beads and some circular needles. On the window sill you can see a "knit a teddy pack" complete with wool, thread, needles and pattern for £1.99!!!
The rest of the goodies came from our local car boot sale. I am usually hopeless at spotting a bargain but have done well for fab crafty stuff recently.
So - check out ....
A large natural wood picture frame ( for one of my dumfy bird pics)
Two beautiful 54" wedding veils with embroidered/pearl trim - new with tags!!!
Lots and lots of superb canvas, linen and binca for our pictures.
Pretty embroidered hankies and a really lovely hand embroidered butterfly picture.
Beady bracelets which I will break up for beads etc.
Oh and at the front a little dumfling brooch, which I made on fun day Monday, for the blog shop.

If you want to join in with the blog snoop then pop over to Julia's blog and follow Mr Linky.

And last but not least - follow this link or scroll down to my earlier post to see what my nephew and niece have been up to - they are just a few pounds away from raising £1000 for Cancer Research -bless them!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Well done to our two 10K runners!!!

If you follow Wipso's blog, you will already have seen this.
If not....
My nephew and niece have completed their first sponsored run today. They did the Manchester 10K run and completed it in 1 hour 4 minutes. They have done it to raise money for Cancer Research in memory of their cousin and one of their good friends who both died of cancer in their 20s. Annie said it was a very moving day to see so many people running to raise money for such good causes.

Here they are smiling and showing their medals at the end of the race.....both looking as though they have only been on a Sunday stroll in the park! We are all so proud of their efforts.

If you would like to help raise the funds you can donate via this link....

Many thanks to any who are willing to support them in raising money for Cancer research.
Their next run is already booked for September....Lake Vyrnwy half marathon!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Just a little shrug.

Wipso picked up her crochet hook last night and made gorgeous little hexagons. Pop over and check them out here.
I am more of an evening knitter. Since P was born I have been making little shrugs for her - she loves them. She is 18 months old now and can pull them on and off by herself - no fastenings of course!
Well now I have another great-niece so the above little shrug is for baby L.
It only takes a little more than 50g and I had some Patons Crofter left over from cardis that I knitted for them both. Crofter is random wool that produces a "fairisle" pattern when knitted up. However, when knitting tiny garments, it takes just a little planning and "engineering" to balance the colours so that it looks right. I can knit one in two evenings, so there is a great sense of satisfaction at having watched all of the recent political fun and games on TV and also produced this cute little garment!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Bird dumfing - how do you do WOYWW!!

Good morning everyone. Thanks for dropping in. I am working backwards today because I wanted to show you my promised tutorial before I show you the state of my room.

For all those interested in my dumfy birds - a few pics to show you how I do it.
On fun day Monday with Wipso, I set out my Clover pad ( little brush) my Clover needlepunch ( 5 felting, barbed needles that bounce up and down on a springy thing inside the holder), single barbed felting needle, wool rovings, green dyed pre-felt and a piece of white felt.

I decided that a little bullfinch would be an ideal bird to dumf on a small scale as it is a compact little bird with lots of colour.

I found a couple of pictures to help me get the shape and colour right.
I cut the main pieces from felt and set them on the Clover pad ( using white felt to protect the brush so that it doesn't get clogged with fluff).

Then, using my needle punch, I started dumfing pieces of white wool roving onto the main pink body part. The 5 barbed needles move up and down as I push the punch, forcing white wool fibres down into the pink felt.

Slowly the little bird took shape as I added more coloured wool rovings.

Sometimes I use a single needle to push the wool into the right shape.

I have to keep easing up from the white felt piece so that it doesn't get dumfed onto it.

The main colours are on and I can I lift it off the white felt, ready to dumf it onto the background piece of green randomly dyed pre-felt.

The bird is now dumfed onto the background and I have added a piece of chunky brown yarn for a branch and twisted some grey wool for the legs.

All that is left to do is to create the leaves and blossom, beak and bead eye.
The leaves are just small pieces of gorgeous wool roving that we bought from Sara on our Wonderwool day out.
The blossom is made from scraps of pink silk and rovings.

The picture is about 12cm square.

To finish it off, I mounted it on some pale linen and stretched it over a square board to make the 20cm square picture.

This is the 8th dumfy bird so far.

This one can go in our blog shop, I think.

Now for all you WOYWWers who just want to peek at the state of my room........
OK - its a mess - but it will be tidy soon and then I can pop all those new brooches in the blog shop! (You can see them in the middle of the table)
Now, I am going to check out Julia's blog and a few of the 120 other WOYWWers - apologies if I don't get to leave comments for all of you but I do enjoy popping in and having a sneaky peek at what you are all up to. Thanks to Julia for making it all possible!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A little birdie told me.....

Just follow this link below to Helen's blog and sign up for her celebration blog candy.

Ellephantastic Cards & Crafts Blog Candy to celebrate many things:
The opening of Helen's New Look Shop - Saturday 3rd July 2010
The start of the Ellephantastic Cards & Crafts Challenge Blog - Saturday 3rd July 2010
Helen's Blogaversary at the end of 30th May 2010
This week 11th May - 17th May is the CFS/ME awareness week

Sunday, 9 May 2010

To thrill a Hummingbird

Well I am not sure if it was thrilled but it certainly looked a lot better!!!!
Apart from needing its beak straightening, I felt that it lacked a little something.
Having been inspired by MarmaladeRose on her blog, where she has used free machining to great effect on her felted pictures and raw applique, I decided this was the answer.
I like the result. And.... following MarmaladeRose's clever idea, I am showing you the wrong side of the pic so that you can see exactly where the stitching went.

I am hoping that, tomorrow, Wipso will help me with my dumfy bird tutorial as mentioned in my previous post. We will have a fun day Monday come what may!!!!!
Thanks for popping in - and thanks for the encouraging comments - they really help!

Friday, 7 May 2010

A little dumfing in the night!

It's always a mistake to go to bed late.
We all need a good night's sleep - it boosts the batteries and if you are not too well, it is the time when your body works its best on the healing process.
So - silly me sat up late watching the election news. I am not motivated greatly by politics - like many, I get cross with the puerile arguing and quarrelling and I really just want them to do the job we put them there to do!!!

I suppose I was just out of my normal routine and that was why my head was whizzing with thoughts and ideas.

Of course, its always better to unwind and think nice relaxing thoughts, instead, my brain went into crafting over-drive. It often used to happen when I was teaching. I always had my best ideas at about 3.30 am!!! (My problem was remembering them when I eventually woke from a rambling doze at about 6.30.)

What on earth were you thinking about then?- I hear you ask.

Hand dumfing with one needle, hand punch dumfing (Clover punch -5 needles) and machine dumfing with my Huskystar embellisher.

Now of course you will all have seen Wipso's fab dumfing tutorial

She explains beautifully what we do.
After I blogged my peacock picture on my last blog, lots of folk still wanted more info on how I do it. Well if I really knew, I could make a fortune!! Lol
I just get an idea and then choose yarns and wools that will do what I have in mind. After that, well, its a mystery, it just seems to happen.
I sit with my little dumfing brush on my lap and work away with my Clover punch and my single needle.
It is too long a process to video so I thought maybe I could photograph a few stages so that you can see the process. At least then, if you have never needle-felted you will see how it works.

I have a few ideas for more dumfy birds... cockerel, heron, bullfinch and dove.
So watch this space all you interested folk!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

WOYWW - dumfing delights!

A quick post with all my dumfing activities of the week.
My room was tidy but is now back to normal, so I won't bother you with my messy desk.
Here are some of the things I have been busy with....

A few kind folk suggested that a peacock would be a good bird to "dumf".

How right you were! I sat watching the snooker one evening and this was the result!!!
I think you will agree it's a couple of hours well spent.

I still don't know how I manage to do it - I have never done anything like it before and don't really know how I transfer an idea into a creation, but it just happens. I dumfed this one with my little Clover punch and a single felting needle.

The following evening I did the same with this little hummingbird. I think M. might like this one.

The little dumfling brooches were made on funday Tuesday. They still need finishing with beads and hand stitching but you get the idea anyway.

I am off to garden at M's today - hence the rush to post this blog.

Have a great day everyone.

Wipso - please can you add me to Mr Linky's list and I will catch up with all your WOYWW fun when I get back.