A foray into felting

It’s been such a long time since I wrote a post just about crafty endeavours, so I figured this is long overdue. That and the fact it’s been sitting in my pending posts list since June last year! Without further ado, here’s my first foray into felting under the tutelage of my friend V. (Sorry it’s taken so terribly long to write up V!).

Let’s turn the clock back to December 2016 when we were the lucky recipients of this beautiful hand felted snowdrop card. It had been made by our friend V who I had often had long chats about all things crafty with. She had mentioned that she did a bit of felting but until I received this gorgeous card, I hadn’t seen any of her work.

She invited me to come to her place and have a go myself – I couldn’t say no to that could I?

V asked me to come with an idea for a picture in mind, it had to be Gibraltar didn’t it? I had a huge range of colours to chose from before beginning…

The first job was to layer up the fibres of white wool vertically and horizontally across a sheet of bubble wrap to form a base.


Once about three layers were laid out, I pulled thin amounts of yarn fibres in various shades of blue to form the basic background of the picture.

In order to get the fibres to lie flat, we combed the yarn between two large paddle hairbrushes.

Slowly the shape of the Rock began to emerge.



Once the rough shape was in place, it was time to get felting. Hot soapy water was splashed onto the picture…

… before enveloping the whole thing with bubble wrap and rubbing. And there was a whole lot of rubbing involved to try and get the fibres to ‘knit’ together.

The image had changed a bit after this.

Then it was time to peel off the felted picture and get ready to squeeze the water out.

To do this, we laid it on an off cut of a bamboo blind, then rolled it up.

We rolled and rolled to squeeze the soapy water out and to further bind the fibres together.

Then it was time for a bit of throwing practice. It was a good workout this felting business! Splat into the kitchen sink time and time again!!

It was then pegged out to dry. The base was finished, ready to reconvene on another day to embellish it further and add more details.

Inspired by this photo I took on a trip out into the Bay of Gibraltar on a dolphin trip, I decided to attempt to add a boat to my picture. Some of the details were added using a barbed felting needle to add yarn fibres to the background picture.


Once the yacht and a few tower blocks were added, I got the sewing machine out.

So that was my machine embroidery complete, now it was time for a bit of hand stitched embellishments.

Finally, a whole year after I began this picture, the time had come to finish it!

Are you ready? Drum roll please……

Ta-dah!

And here it is on the wall…

Thank you so much V for your expert tutelage…. looks like I have another hobby!!

Perhaps next time it won’t take a year to finish it!!

Sunday Sevens #88 18.6.17

Hello from a very warm Gibraltar. Blimey summer has definitely arrived. The temperature has risen considerably and I don’t mind admitting I’m wilting a little! It’s ok in this temperature when you are on holiday and doing nothing in particular but it’s hard work when you still have to cook and clean and rush around doing things. 

Anyway, enough moaning – we are never happy with the weather are we?! Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

Sixty Million Trebles corner to corner complete 

This blanket was started during Lent when I was crocheting a granny square each day. On days when I was super keen and wanted to do more crochet I did a bit of this. Once Lent was over I put it aside to do a few other bits and pieces and only revisited this last week when I headed back to Manchester to visit my parents. 

It was completed on Sunday and I took it to the pool for an arty photo shoot 😉 it’s comprised of 10,608 treble stitches and brings my total Sixty Million Trebles tally up to 33,864 for my three blankets to date. 

For those of you who haven’t heard of Sixty Million Trebles before it’s a charity and awareness raising appeal to make crochet blankets totalling sixty million treble stitches (one treble stitch represents one refugee in the world – figures from the UN in 2016). The blankets will be sent to Syrian child refugees. For more information see: the Sixty Million Trebles Facebook page.

Walking 

I abandoned the car for most of this week and decided to walk whenever I could. It meant that I wasn’t able to fit quite as much into my child free hours while the Little Postcards were in school, but I did enjoy being able to appreciate my surroundings a lot more. There are so many interesting buildings and nooks and crannies here in Gibraltar which you can drive past in a blur so easily. 

I won’t have a body fit for a bikini, but I have walked a good few miles this week!

Watercolour seashells 

I put the finishing touches to some of my seashells this week at my watercolour class. I have really enjoyed painting them and have come to the conclusion that perhaps I’m better at small focused pieces than larger landscapes and compositions. 

Trumpet flowers

I have to confess that I don’t know what these flowers are called but I have seen quite a few about of late. In fact there are a lot of gorgeous plants in bloom around Gibraltar at the moment. They seem to be at their peak before getting frazzled in the hot summer sun. 

A new hobby?


“Not another one?” I hear you say. Well there is blogging, taking loads of photos (although I am not a photographer by any means), sewing, painting, crochet, reading… I really don’t need another one but I may have found a new way to dodge doing housework! 

A friend of mine is a rather accomplished ‘felter’ – is that a word? (Well someone who makes delightful pictures with felted yarn). This week she very kindly showed me how to do it too over the course of two lovely lunches and afternoons. 

I took loads of photos and at some point in the next few weeks I hope to be able to share my foray into felting with you too. Ooh it’s such fun! 

Summer hours

The time has finally come, that time of the year where you no longer have to make school packed lunches, but you do have to come up with afternoon entertainment for the kiddiwinks. Friday saw the end of full days for school children in Gibraltar. With just three weeks left until the end of the summer term, it’s half days from here on in. 9am to 12 noon for first schools and 9am to 12:45 for the older children. 

Hmmm, I will be so happy not to have to figure our what tasty delights to put in the lunch boxes of an evening until mid September, but crikey, what am I going to do with them for all that extra time? I don’t remember constantly asking my Mum what her plans for the day were as far as entertaining me and my brother were concerned, but that seems be the norm for me and the mums I’ve spoken to. We may be exploring boredom and room tidying in the coming weeks… I cannot face the beach everyday! 

A roof with a view

I shall round up this week’s Sunday Sevens with a photo of last night’s Saharan Dust sunset. It was lovely and completely different from the rainbow sunsets we’ve had in recent weeks. I grabbed my camera as I spotted some seagulls sitting on a nearby roof enjoying the view as much as me!

We are enjoying a Bank Holiday weekend this weekend, schools and many workplaces are closed tomorrow in honour of the Queen’s birthday. That means that many Dads who are able to enjoy Father’s Day today, can get a second lie in tomorrow too! However you spend your day, I hope it’s a good one for you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.

Sunday Sevens #61 11.12.16

Morning all, I cannot believe we are on 11th December already! Can someone please have a word and get time to slow down a bit – there’s too much still to do…

It’s Sunday Sevens time again, here’s a little look back at my week:

Stormy skies

If you caught my last blog post on Wednesday about the weather we’ve been having lately (Nice weather for ducks…) you will know it’s been a bit stormy and wet of late in Gibraltar. I’m relieved to report that we are currently enjoying a dry spell, although it is very grey here most of the time at the minute. This was the scene on Monday between showers. I’m so glad I’ve been able to temporarily retire my wellies for a bit.

Christmas gift crochet

I can’t show you any more of this because it’s a gift, but I’m thrilled to say that I managed to finish a mermaid tail blanket for a friend in just over a week. She came with me to choose and buy the wool and we managed to have a lunch out too into the bargain – we had a great giggle. She asked me to make it for her daughter and I actually met my self imposed deadline… as for everything else I need to make for Christmas, well that’s not faring so well!

Zip’s in… thank goodness!

It’s in… It’s taken the best part of two dressmaking lessons to get this blighter of an invisible zip into this top. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like zips. Perhaps I need to insert a few more before they come easy to me.

Christmas Parties get underway 

Christmas party season has arrived. I had my first party this week – a great night out with friends. I have learned something from the whole experience – dancing after eating a big bowl of Christmas Pudding and brandy sauce isn’t a good idea. I couldn’t sleep for ages when I got home!

Present making flurry


Holy moly, the time’s rushing away with me and I can’t seem to make any headway with all of my Christmas makes. This is a work-in-progress. I can’t divulge any more as, well err, it’s a gift. I just hope I can make the last posting date in time…

Happy bunnies

On Thursday this week, there was no school in Gibraltar as it was a religious holiday (Immaculate Conception) and then on Friday two of the Little Postcards enjoyed an in-service day. I put Littlest to work helping me build an indoor run for our newest addition Snowflake. I now know the reason why I bought that fire guard when it was on special offer at Morrisons three years ago…. Snowflake loved her new freedom.

How pretty is this?

I was thrilled to be given a beautiful Christmas card this week made by a very talented friend who can ‘do’ felting. This gorgeous card featuring snowdrops was made by her. She told me the whole process of how it was created and it sounds like an awful lot of hard work – but well worth it. Lots of layering of wool and soap and water and throwing! Then stitching on top of the whole piece of felt. I certainly appreciate all the hard work which went into making this gorgeous card and feel honoured to be one of the select few who received one. Thank you V x

 

Just one more thing… I don’t normally mention much about my kids for fear of exposing them to the big wide world before they’re ready but this little gem is just too good not to share.

On collecting Littlest from school the other day, I asked how his day was.”Good – we went to the desert” was his reply. “Which desert?” I asked. “The Sahara, we went on the school plane and we found dinosaur fossils and one came alive! It tried to eat me so I had to kill it.”

Who knew when I sent him off to school that morning that such excitement lay ahead? Hats off to the Gibraltar Education Department for not only having a school plane at their disposal but also safely getting Littlest and his classmates home from such an adventure in one piece and on time. Perhaps a warning note may be advisable next time? 😂

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for all the lovely comments I receive through the blog, on Instagram, on Facebook or wherever, it’s lovely to hear from you.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog. If you would like to join in, pop over to see how to do it.