Monday, 17 July 2017

It's been a bit busy here!

I hadn't realised how long it was since I last blogged, so much for attempting to do it once a month!  May started with celebrating a friends birthday and I treated her to a workshop at Birds in the Barn.  She has lost her crafting mojo, so I was hoping this would get it started.  We had a lovely day, painting, stamping and decorating a bird house using Paper Artsy stamps.
My fairy for May, was inspired by all the Bluebells, unfortunately, the hot weather made them fade a lot quicker than usual.
I was lucky enough to go on another doll workshop with Ray Slater, Jester dolls this time,( a jointed doll) one day a month starting in April, where we had to do a head.  We had to research ideas prior to the class.

Here are the two I made, one on the day and another at home, sorry I cant swivel the photo round.  I went with the top head as the one below, I was not happy with her mouth.  A lot of my friends don't like clowns/ jesters, and after doing my research I was thinking about doing a Pierrot .  Our homework was to make the body ready for the next session. 

At work, the annual school production was Oliver. I was in charge of sourcing/making props and Stage Manager. What a lot of props I had to find!  For one scene , we needed a basket of strawberries, I made about 50ish and the top junior class made one in their D.T. lesson.
A milestone was needed, this only took and evening to do, once  I had found a tombstone to
Fagin needed a grotty curtain, I started by dyeing in coffee a piece of calico and then had lots of fun, slashing, tearing and then throwing inks at it.
I also had to make another pair of curtains, a mace for Mr. Bumble and clay pipes, lucky I had hubby to help with the pipes and mace. Lots more time was spent sourcing other props needed, but all great fun, and now my name is down for next years production.
 Last weekend, there was a textile sale to raise money  for Jacob. I know his Grandmother through E.G.  as I didn't need anything I offered to help on the day in anyway that was needed.
 Such lovely goodies, I was unable to resist buying a 'few' bits ( it is for a good cause!). Over £1,000 raised.
This Saturday, it was a 4 a.m start to catch the 5.25 train to Euston.  My hubby is 70 this year, and one of his hobbies is trains.  He wanted to go on the Carlisle/ Settle line on a steam train.  

 The food was fantastic, I don't know how they manged to cook in such cramped conditions.

 It was a bit murky in the Lake District, but some stunning views.  We had a brief wander in Carlisle to stretch our legs, grab a drink and people watch.
One very happy husband.
 We got home at 12.45 early Sunday morning. I  would recommend it to anyone who has a friend/husband who loves trains. I have suggested we now do the Orient Express next- I was told we would need to win the lottery to do that one. Lol.
Work on my jester doll has taken a bit of a back seat since the last workshop in June. Knowing how busy the final term of school gets with the play, reports, stock ordering etc., I had done a fair bit to my doll, so I am now just doing the finishing touches and I will then post photos.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Just a short post I am afraid.

 At last, as promised the photos of my 'Captain Sparrow' played by Johnny Depp.( I don't like the films, they scare me!)  I had so much fun making all the different components that had to go on his belt.  I had some help from my husband though with the compass and sword.  I am lucky that he makes models and used to working in a small scale.

I forgot about this little bunny I also made last month as part of my decorations for Easter.  I am fairly new to amigurume, this is my third creature. I got the pattern from a magazine.

This month is getting quite busy. In the Easter break, I was able to work quite a fair bit on my 'Jester' doll that I am doing on a workshop with Ray Slater at Birds in the Barn. Lesson 2 was on Sunday and as yet I have not put another stitch to the work. The challenge I set myself to make a fairy every month will most probably stop after this month. I have been so inspired by Ray's workshop that I now have several more dolls that I want to make apart from the two I hope to do in my summer holiday.
The final few weeks of term are going to be very hectic, Reports, school trip away, stock ordering and this year, instead of costumes I am doing props and being the stage manager for our annual school production- Oliver.  It might be a bit quiet here.

Monday, 15 May 2017


 Life is getting a little busy, and trying to find time to blog, has been lower down on my to-do list. A few weeks ago I had a lovely Saturday in London with my husband and friends, Karen and Paul. The reason for the outing was to go to the London Experience, but as the men hadn't done much sight seeing we tried to cram in as much as we could.
 First stop Covent Garden, I love all the street theatre that goes on here, in fact I could easily spend a day there. Wandering along the craft stalls, I ended up buying a clock for our lounge, just love it, so unique.
 On our way to Waterloo Station, I saw the London Eye through a gap in the buildings.
 Captain Sparrow by the London Experience. Southwark Cathedral below which is next to Borough Market.
Next stop, Borough Market, I have been there several times but never seen it that busy, a real squash and a squeeze!
Just love the colours and textures on the stalls.

 A quick walk to Tower of London and then on to China Town.

We were so lucky with the weather, looking forward to or next trip up there.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

April fairy.

I finished this little fairy tonight.  I decided that as it seems to be a bumper crop of dandelions this year, I would base her outfit on that flower.  Her skirt was made by wrapping 3 different shades of Maderia thread round a hairpin crochet tool and machining down the center several times. Her top is painted silk viscose.
Johnny Depp is completely finished, but need to get a decent photo of him still.
On Sunday, Diane and I went to Birds In The Barn to do a 3 part dolls course with Ray Slater. Lots of homework to do in preparation for day 2 in May. We are making a Jester doll this year.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Robbie Rabbit.

I signed up for the Doll Street Dreamers newsletter a few weeks ago and as a 'thank you,' I received a free pattern- Robbie Rabbit by Jill Mass.
Having a Sunday, home alone, I decided to make him.  I have made him from a wool mix felt that I buy at Craft Arena, rather than velvet and enlarged the pattern too. Instead of embroidered eyes, I used child safety eyes and needle-felted a red heart on his chest rather than a button.  I have given him whiskers but they don't show up I am afraid. I would now like to make him in grey when I have a spare afternoon.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


On Friday, I had a day out to Ramster with my friend to see the textile exhibition being held there.  Lots of work to admire over 200 pieces, and I was surprised how many names I recognized.
After the exhibition, a walk around the gardens, lovely to see so much Spring colour.

So many Primroses.
Ramster has a large collection of Camellias, these are my favourite ones.
I don't know the variety of this daffodil, never seen any like this before.

These ones reminded me of raspberry ripple.
Love reflections on water.
I have a white version of this in my garden, and shall be looking to find one in this acid yellow to join it. The drive home  was horrendous.  A Friday afternoon, broken down cars and accidents made for a long slow journey back to Essex. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

March fairy and more.

Here she is, as mentioned in my last post, Daffodil Fairy :-
She is made with 30%wool and 70% rayon which I get from Craft Arena, the nicest wool mix felt I have found.  Her wings are made from tissue paper, painted and glittered.

For the last 18 months, I have been working on and off on Captain Sparrow (Johnny Depp's character,) and with another doll workshop with Ray Slater fast approaching, it was time to finish him.  On Wednesday night, late, I thought I had, and showing the 'finished' doll to my husband, he said, 'shouldn't he have a cutlass?' and  after a bit of research, yes, he should!!!!!!
 The basic doll pattern is one of Ray Slater's, but for his costume, I found a really good website for men who want to dress like Johnny Depp's character.  It tells you how to make the wig, where the holes should appear on his garments and more.  It has been a wonderful mine of information for me. Hence the picture above,  then having the hair removed as not correct, and a trip to London to get the dreadlocks.
 I have enjoyed scouring the shops trying to find the various bits that I could adapt to make his rings, as near to the real thing as possible.

So this is where it stopped for quite a long while - last summer to be exact, before being put aside again.

There is a guide on the website I found that tells you exactly what beads and charms to put in his hair, but depends on which film as to what beads and talismans he has.  This required me to make a ships sail needle out of paper clay, and painted with Powertex to make it strong.
So here he is now, just waiting for the final items to be made.  My husband made me the cutlass from white plastic which you can see and the scabbard from card.
 I have had to apply several coats of paints in various colour's before attacking them with sandpaper to make them distressed as per the film.
Now all I have left to do  is make the baldric sword belt and frog!  Hope to be back later on in the week with my finished doll.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

I'm back!!!!

Been missing from Blogland for quite some time.
When my textile group, Fen Edge closed down, I lost the reason to create.  I have set myself a challenge to make a little flower fairy doll for each month of the year. It is now March and I have made my 3 dolls so far.
This is the doll that gave me the idea for my challenge.  I made her for my mother for Christmas as a memento of my brothers wedding.  ( His wife had a fairy for a bridesmaid)


So for January, may I introduce................

 Snowdrop Fairy.

For February, it just had to be......................
 Photos of my fairy for March will be posted soon.  She is finished, and posed for photos earlier this evening.