Thursday, 7 August 2008

Moans and felt making

Life is rather odd round here right now. The fire at Craig's business and the ongoing troubles which that brings, (much greater and far reaching than the initial impact), are finally taking their toll upon me. I've stopped being ever so busy. I'm feeling every inch a careworn and overwrought mummy right now. Struggling to smile and keep things as I like them to be around here. Struggling to see the joy and beauty that still surrounds me. Wading through treacle, head in fog. No energy to join in their dances, play chase or even make chocolate *sigh*. It must be bad!

We've started making preparations for the 'nursery' as Nana has taken to calling it - the veg patch come hen area. It felt strange clearing patches and putting down more grass seed today. All I've ever done is pull weeds out of there and now I'm putting down grass seed!

We have applied and been approved by a rescue organisation in London and hope to be able to collect our hens from a rescue which is planned in October. We won't have to go right down to London to get them but we will still probably have quite a hike. Hey hum, some things just have to be done!

I've put a message on the Durham Exchange list asking for help in the garden one weekend in September. I'll supply lunch and hopefully I'll have some willing volunteers to help me to prepare an area for my veg. It would be a daunting task to face alone.

I've had thoughts about investigating the possibility of making some big raised beds from slabwood and possibly making lots of individual 'one off' concrete stepping stones for the new patch, as an art project with the children. Just thoughts at the moment though. Hopefully I'll be back on all cylinders soon and we'll get to it.

We have done quite a bit of felting this week. It's nice when Miles has gone to bed to just get out the wool, put on the kettle and sit around the table chatting and felting with Hermione. One to one time. Even Craig joined in this evening. Our table has probably never been cleaner than now with a goody hot soapy rub down each evening!

Here is something I have felted this week. A sign for the playroom door. Anyone who has ever visited me will probably be wondering why I feel the need to announce the start of the play room as it's usually spilling out into the hall to meet you. I won't dwell on that though.

Hermione has made a fair few felts and also this cute bracelet.

For Linda, Hippy Mama and anyone else who may be interested in trying wet felting, here is what I did. You may want to remember that I only started wet felting a few weeks ago and am by no means an expert!

Get together some felting wool, a bowl of warm water, some olive oil type soap and a piece of net curtain or similar.

Separate the fibres and place on the table all lying the same way. I should possibly say at this point that we felt straight onto the table as it's not a smooth surface. If your work surface is smooth you would need to attach something which will give some friction such as bubble wrap or a rough placemat. We tend to use plain white for this bottom layer as it is cheaper than the coloured wools.

Next start building up your colours and patterns by separating the fibres from the fleece and placing them in a row going other way.

Then for a layer going another way.

I had inserted a piece of plastic here to make a pocket. You can experiment with this once you've made a basic felt.

Cover with water, (it needs to be soaked) and rub on some soap. You need to be very gentle at this stage so as the fibres don't just go all over. Some people find it easier to cover it with a piece of net or open weave fabric at this stage to help keep it all together. I do sometimes but it often happens that the felt sticks to it and then you have another problem.

Rub gently in small circular movements. Within minutes the fibres will be felting together and then you can rub much harder to really bring it together.

Rinse the soap out then place your felt into a bowl of almost boiling water for a minute or so. Leave to dry.

Fill the little pocket if you made one with wool flowers or anything else you want to. I'm thinking of making some felt animals for my pockets soon.

Leave it as it is or mount it on card. We have used some of our small felts as rugs in dolls houses, fields in the farm and special fairy bedding.

Have fun and enjoy!


Linda said...

Glad you got approved for the chickens, sounds as if some great plans are afoot.

Try and keep your head up with the bad stuff. It'll pass and you'll smile again. :)

Thanks for the felting instructions. Just one question about the rinsing... Do you have to keep it flat or can you bung it in a bowl to rinse or put it under the tap?


Claire said...

You can bung it in a bowl to rinse. Once its felted it's really robust.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions :0)

the plans sound good and will probably help take you through the bad stuff.


Anonymous said...

Oh Claire, hope things are looking up a bit now. Thinking of you, but do take a little time out for yourself x