March 2010


One of Eleanor’s favourite crafts is pottery and play dough. She has a piece of play dough for ages that used to be loads of different colours but has now blended into a dark grey. She has made several different ‘sculptures’ with the same piece which has been an angel and magic crystal ball in previous incarnations. In one day she made at least four different sculptures in one hour. They are very cute scenes of me with the new baby. Here they are.

Here’s me pushing the buggy with the baby in it.

This one is me brushing the floor (something I do all the time according to my family!) with the baby in his cot!

This one is me holding the baby in front of the television….tut tut!

And finally, having a sleep!

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I finally finished the baby booties last night. I had one fairly thick layer of white wool roving as the first layer. I then used a layer of needlefelt as the second layer which I cut out from the resist pattern before felting. The last layer was the decorative layer. I was wondering if that was enough layers but it was plenty. The booties ended up very thick as I felted them quite small. I was using a resist that was measured by using a pair of baby shoes aged 3-6mths and added a half-inch all around the template. So I knew I could afford to felt them very well and not worry too much about shrinkage.

Here are the booties in stages of felting.

Step 1. Layer of white wool roving, first layer

Step 2.  Layer two – needlefelt layer.

Step 3. Decorative layer.

Step 4. Starting the felting process, with rubbing and rolling.

Step 5. Cutting out the resist.

Step 6. Felted boots, nearly done.

Have finally made a resist for the baby booties. Although I had one already, it was very small and used for a christmas decoration. I used baby shoes aged 3-6 mths for the template and added a half-inch all around the perimeter. Since he is only 3 weeks old these should fit him. But its an experiment to get the right size! Last night I helped Mum with another flower and Eleanor made a felt ball.  The felt ball is felted using a large polystyrene ball with layers of felted wool over it. It is a lovely quick and easy project for children. We are hoping to make a few and attach them to a mobile for the baby. Because he will be playing with them, I don’t want any fibres coming loose so when we have a few made I am going to put them in a pair of tights and throw them in the washing machine to felt them very tightly. Pictures to follow. maybe I can start the booties tonight! Time is hard to come by in the last three weeks!

Today, I got my Dad to make me a perfect square template 19 inches x 19 inches, having made the mistake last week myself of measuring once and cutting twice and ending up with an 18 inch template not so square! I am hoping to make an origami style hat from the Uniquely Felt book. I might design it to match the felt jacket that I made for my daughter for a family wedding. I’m also planning a pair of booties for baby Robert, not sure what colour to make them though. Will post photos.

Yesterday, Monday, I ventured out with new baby Robert and my trusty back up, my Mum, to go to the Feltmakers Drop in session. I wanted to show off the baby of course and also to catch up with all the felters and learn some new tricks and tips.  Success on all levels! Although baby Robert didn’t sleep and we left a little bit early I think he coped rather well with all the admiration. Eleanor came to give the demonstration and she is just brilliant at teaching and also at passing on her tricks! I had made some flowers before and had made a harder job of it than was necessary. With a helpful piece of cling film in the right place the process was so much more manageable. As I was just delighted to have made it to the Fabric Gallery on time, I forgot to bring a camera so unfortunately don’t have any pictures of the lovely creations that were made on the day. Maybe some of the felters might send me some so I can include them!!!

I fancied the idea of making a flower necklace and Eleanor had showed us where to put the slit in the long stem so that the end could be threaded through just like a daisy chain. I forgot to count how many people were there but I think there was about 15 of us and mostly everyone had a go at making a flower after Eleanor’s demo. Some made single flowers and some made double flowers. All had stems and stamens. The resist we used was a circle with a small hole in the centre to pass the stamens through. Eleanor had brought lovely samples of single and double flowers, a necklace and a wire felted flower that can stand upright. Again, it was a lovely felting morning, with plenty chat and laughter and succesful creations all round! Thanks to everyone that came and to Eleanor for her great teaching and the Fabric Gallery for their relaxing venue.

After dinner last night and the kids gone to bed I had a go at finishing the flower necklace I started at the Drop in session. As she had been feeding and minding the baby mostly that morning, Mum didn’t get a chance to make anything, although I think she was taking it all in instead! So she made a lovely multicoloured flower last night which she is going to use as a brooch.  I’ve included some pictures and if I get some more from the other felters I’ll put them up as well.

My flower necklace

Mum’s flower

This is a flower that Mum needle felted after going to the Craft group needle felting class given by Gwen in the Fabric Gallery.

And some others I did before Christmas

This one has three sets of petals. This is done by using two circle resists, one slightly smaller than the other and placing one on top of the other when felting

Today we finished a patch to send to the Urban Knitting project in Limerick.  www.facebook.com/UrbanKnitLimerick?v=app_4949752878

It was a lovely simple project that I decided to share with all the girls in my family who can knit. My Mum, two sisters, my daughter and myself all knitted a bit. The patch is supposed to be roughly A4 size and it ended up a bit big as I didn’t do any tension tests. I had started to teach Eleanor, my daughter how to knit on a few small pieces previously and she was getting to know the technique and by the last row of the patch she was able to knit her stitches confidently and perfectly by herself. It was interesting to see how even though we were all from the same family one sister knitted looser than me and the other one knitted so tight I could barely move the stitches down the needle.  My mum’s knitting was indistinguishable from my own. That will annoy the sisters! Anyway, next to package it up and send it on to Eilish in Limerick!

My mother and father came up from Kerry on Saturday to help me with the new baby for a while. My mum brought with her a kit for making St Patrick’s day badges which had belonged to my Aunty Alice who used to make them for sale in the eighties.  I am going to include more detail and pictures on this in the ‘What our families used to make’ section. My daughter loves occasions and she couldn’t wait to make these badges. They are made with tricolour ribbon sewed and gathered at the edge to make a circle, then with various St Patrick’s/Irish emblems glued or sewn onto the centre. When my Aunt used to sell these badges she would pin them to the white cards which have lovely little poems on them.  It was a lovely little task to do on Mother’s day and had a special connection to the past.

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