Wednesday, October 15

one of my favourite little sayings is that nothing worthwhile ever came easy

right now this blog feels like a catalogue of excuses! but there is a lot happening in the background (honest) and all will be revealed soon.

so, as of september 1st i moved to part-time hours at work - how fantastic is that?! and how fantastic is my lovely o-h for making it possible?! i now go out to work three days a week and that leaves four whole days for creative pursuits :))))

but then ...

our laptop became infected with a virus - why, why, why would people spend time, effort and what is undoubtedly a 'skill' to create something so vile?! our laptop spent nearly two weeks in the repair shop and now that we are trying to connect again, our firewall and our broadband provider's software aren't talking to each other - which means that our laptop is still out of commission. i'm hoping that all the photos, blog updates and bookmarks i have saved are still in existence.

then, following a full day of what was probably excessively over doing it in the garden - i had a hairline fracture and tendon damage in my right wrist (of course i'm right handed!). this meant a plaster cast from my knuckles to my elbow along with a sling followed by a splint for six weeks and not much in the way of felting!

now that the splint is finally off i'm busily felting away, with a mixture of excitement and total terror at the thought my first stall! i have a stall at a festive fair at the end of november and am now frantically trying to catch up, i have most of my ideas on paper and i'm in the process of turning them into reality.

once i have everything finalised my next priority is to get this poorly neglected blog up to date - pics coming soon!

Thursday, July 31

not posting does not equate to not busy. the past few months have been a little difficult but i have been ... looking aaaand ... thinking aaaand ... making a little.

much of april, may, june and july have been spent away from home so i'm looking forward now to a little time around the house and a lot of creative time - in between housework, gardening, work etc.

although, on a positive note ... i go part-time at work from september 1st, yipppeeee (i hope!).

Wednesday, June 25

our garden

it's all gone a bit beechgrove this year!

after two years in this house, i've finally decided to tackle the garden :)

carrots just starting out
gladis for m and portulak
rosemary, thyme and golden thyme
lots of herbs and veg in the propagator
lovely, lovely lobelia
potatoes in pots!
mallow and cornflower
sunflower to be
summerflowers, or 'bucket of weeds' as they came to be known!

Tuesday, April 1

back with renewed ...


i haven't been making much recently, but it does seem to be a common theme right now from some of the other blogs i'm reading, as other folk also seem to be going through a similar phase.

too many other things are vying for my time and attention, some welcome like friends, family and loved ones and some not so, like work and housework!

narkeymarkey has officially stalled ...

so, i finally get it together to start this blog and then everything comes to a grinding halt!

the blog was something i'd been thinking about for a while. i then spent ages gathering up all the things i'd made, trying out new techniques and ideas, making new test pieces, taking photos of them all, loading the pics onto this page and then i looked, and i looked at what i had created on the screen.

it was quite surreal to see these pieces actually on the page, and i felt and thought differently about them, almost like seeing them on the page changed them, validated them in some way.

but there is also the creative shyness - the reluctance to put my work 'out there', afraid of criticism or of looking foolish, feeling inadequate in the face of all the creativity i discovered in the blogosphere.

cue a period of lots of thinking (aka procrastination if i'm being honest!) and a creative vaccuum.

but then i return to the blog ... which is actually quite a good means of thinking out loud and working through my thoughts, probably in a way i hadn't done previously.

thanks to a post on lisa call's blog ( i have been putting some thought into the purpose of this blog and also into defining the direction i want to take.

i have just ordered a load of text books and am starting to plan my time for this month so i can have a mixture of theory and practice and i'm going to start putting my blog out there, to hell with the shyness and the fear!

i hope i'm at the start of a journey and if i stall here then i've hardly taken the first few steps.

nothing worthwhile ever came easy :)

Wednesday, March 12

fimo test, part ii

this was my second attempt with fimo, practising some techniques from the book which lovely m surprised me with. i quite liked playing around with this, it's like plasticine for grown-ups! but it does feel verrrrry different to the lovely, soft textures that i'm used to with the felt making.

fimo test

here's my first attempts with fimo, just really to test out the oven temperature so i wasn't looking for anything too fancy but i'm quite pleased with the end results!

Tuesday, March 11

jewellery makes, part ii

glass pendant with felt, can't decide which of these i prefer ...
green glass bead necklace ...

felt flowers

i made these as part of my mum's mother's day present. i was really chuffed with them and my mum thought they were great. must find a solution to the photography difficulties though - the pictures don't really do them justice!

Monday, March 10

shibori and dye test pieces

inspired by the shibori workshop, we took another trip out to twist fibres to buy some dyes. these are my first attempts at mixing dyes.

just playing around with shapes and colours really, mixing different dyes and finding colours i like. i think these worked fairly well and i am quite pleased with the results, i can't wait to get started on a bigger project which will incorporate this technique.

the first piece is shibori on silk chiffon and the rest are shibori on merino wool

nuno felt test

worked fairly well, i used bright colours so that i could clearly see the contrast between the wool and the cotton but when i use this technique again, i'll either dye the muslin first or use colours which tone in with the background.

little satin purse

i loved this skirt but it just never looked right on me, so i cut it up and used a small piece of it to make a little purse to hold my holiday savings!

Sunday, March 9

another twist fibres workshop

this time for a shibori workshop with janette. this is adapted from the japanese method of shibori and translates really well into felt as a means of creating structures, and many other materials as a dyeing technique. i was so taken with shibori, i love the shapes and patterns that it leaves behind, that i have made many, many more practise pieces and am drawing up ideas for a wall hanging - pics to follow! this was also my first attempt at dyeing.

shibori scarf
shibori scarf, with the 'bobbles' ironed out
shibori on silk georgette, again with the 'bobbles' ironed out


here's some little deccies i made last christmas, not great pics – still need to develop that skill! (oh, ha, unintentional pun).

red painted wooden hearts, with silver or gold glitter finish, threaded with metallic embroidery thread - photo lets them down, i loved these and they really sparkled in the fairy lights on the tree.

red painted wooden hearts with ribbons.

green painted wooden trees with little sparkles (can't quite remember what they're actually called!) attached, threaded with metallic embroidery thread, again not a great pic, these looked much better for real.

these were going to be tree decorations but i didn't get as far as stringing them, quite like the colours and shape though, so will probably use them for something else soon.

Saturday, March 8

a miscellany of scarves

my first attempt at cobweb felt. i quite like the colours and design but used perhaps just too much fibre and it’s not quite cob-webby enough.
made this for my o-h’s sister, felt and silk chiffon.
a few different styles of wool woven through a textile mesh.
same mesh but with pink wool knotted through each square. i love this scarf but it took me so long to make that i missed the winter! i’m hoping for one more cold snap this year before spring so that i can get some wear from it, otherwise it’s back into the cupboard until next year.

nostalgic felt workshop

another trip to twist fibres, this time for the nostalgic felt workshop. we had to take along an item that had a happy memory associated with it which would inspire a piece of felt that would then have pockets incorporated into it, to hold our memories as it were.

we had such a great summer last year so i took along some photos of our trips.

this piece of felt represents our summer – the countryside, the forest, scottish hills, changing seas, enormous skies, purple heather on the hills and the rather incongruous sun in the top right corner. if i was to make this again, i would make the representation of the sun a little more abstract, perhaps just orange curls streaking along the top. the pockets are to hold the little momentos of our trips, all the little bits and pieces that i pick up and fill my pockets with – the beach glass; stones; grasses; leaves; moss; twigs and the general detritus that makes it way into my pockets.

Friday, March 7

jewellery makes

these have all been made over a period of time, i love beads, and wear most of these pieces regularly!

i also have a cream heart on a leather lace but when i went to find it to photograph ... i discovered it's missing! i know i had it last week, and have no idea where it has got to.

felt vessel

this was the next piece i made, a felt vessel for my o-h to use as a paint brush holder. the colour and design were inspired by the callanish standing stones on the isle of lewis, stunning grey lewisian gneiss with veins of pink, silver and black running through them – when the sun shines on them they sparkle!

felt bag workshop

this was the second piece of felt i made, at a great workshop at twist fibres, i was really chuffed with it and had lots of compliments when i used it.

then i thought i would experiment with washing machine shrinkage and shrink it did, oh dear ...

felt wall hanging

or door hanging to be more precise, has pride of place in my mum and nan’s kitchen. mum and nan have a lovely sunny kitchen and it suggested this flower to me. this was the third piece of felt i made.

photography skills still leaving a little to be desired!

my first felt

this was a practice piece, following instructions from a book, i was quite pleased with the results, given it was the first creative thing i had done for aaaaaages.

i still haven’t quite decided what to do with it yet, i’m sure a project will call out for this exact colour at some point, although i have thought about adding stitching over the surface …