A candle loses nothing by giving its light to another candle

Friday, 26 February 2010



                                                                                                                                                                 Here's a simple project using silver wire. No soldering necessary.  Begin with winding the wire around finger three times and then using jewellery pliers, bend and make coil 'bezel', to fit around chosen bead/stone/crystal. nb.To avoid snagging skin or clothes, ensure that you've tucked in the end of the wire.

...And to the more complicated ....requiring multiple soldering technique.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Baby Alpaca

With the snow falling outside; I finally managed (took about 10hrs) to complete this baby Alpaca, standing only 6ins high..
Opening the nostrils and making the eyelids presented a new challenge.! and job requiring good daylight !
The white alpaca fleece felted down quite quickly, but I found it difficult to felt it fine enough for the detailed bits, so carded a merino / alpaca blend.

Today I began working with the brown fleece. Compared to the white; the brown has a softer feel to it. The colour hues are also interesting, as some of the tips have developed natural highlights.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Alpaca fleece

Today I sorted out some small amounts of fleece into their colours,. washed / dried and carded them. Apparently these processes are optional, but it was a personal choice to do them. Apart from getting rid of traces of undesirable debris !...it gave me a chance to feel the different textures. The white feels course, and the brown feels the softest. The black and grey are inbetween. All are l o v e l y though.
These 'tops', are literally just tops;. each measuring 2ins max. 'Seconds' really, but ideal for what I'm doing with them. 
Carrie showed me her spinning wheels on my visit., and demonstrated how to spin with the best quality prepared fleece. Alpaca knits beautifully. Very soft, and not itchy. I imagine that incorporating it into a piece of knitting  would give another dimension to texture. (You know where I am Tammy).

   I was comparing the beautiful natural colours of the fleece to those of Cookie and Max.
Umm..? ! Similarities !

I think the caption here could read ...'Do yer reckon we're next for 'the chop ? !! '  

Ah bless 'em...however at the next grooming session, I may be tempted to recycle the contents of the slicker brush.!  Max is 10yrs old now (rescued at 6wks old) and Cookie is a collie /shepherd about 3yrs old (rescued at 18months) Luv 'em both to bits.

Does anyone else remember the time when there used to be a funny phrase or saying on the backs of matchboxes?
I remembered the following whilst carding the fleece earlier...

Naughty little Willie Frazer,
Stole his dad's electric razor.
Rugs and mats that once were hairy..
Now are bald... and so's the canary !

Friday, 19 February 2010


I spent a wonderful couple of hours today in the company of Carrie, who owns Alpacas. As I  wanted fleece suitable for needle felting 3d sculpture, Carrie was able to offer her experience as to which type may work best. I love the natural colours of the undyed fleece.  The books and research that I've done so far suggest blending Alpaca with wool. I've only used Merino thus far, which is beautifully soft but takes ages to felt down. Merino seems more suited to wet felting.  Using Alpaca fleece will be experiential learning for me; so I'll be felting it down on its own first and make notes accordingly !  If any fellow felters have experience of using Alpaca / Alpaca blends, I'd love to hear. Having only been felting since January...I appreciate there is so much more to learn about this fascinating craft.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

needle felting

Adding / joining limbs is very simple.

Sorry that I don't have a diagram to follow, but with reference to teddy...hope this helps... 
Set pieces out i.e....leg / body / leg.... placing and mark with pin or pen.
Use dental floss if possible. A long needle...a sharp doll needle if possible. (The teddies are so small that I managed with a long sewing needle )...YEP...I made another one today !
Start on inside of leg,( leaving a long spare of thread / flossing hanging, for knotting later) and pass needle to outside of leg; then go back to inside of leg, a 'milliwotsit' from where needle went in.
Push needle right thru body ( using your pin/ pen marks as a guide).
Continue thru inside of second leg...to outside... then the tiny 'milliwotsit' stitch back to inside of leg.
You should now be back to where the long spare thread/flossing is hanging.
Pull both threads /dental floss until limbs feel firm and then tie a firm knot. 

I find the most difficult aspect of making matching  twos of anything is the need to get them the same size ! So I worked the legs / arms /ears together.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

teddy bear

I thought,( having got the needle felted hummingbird out of my system), that I'd return to the large ceramic sculptural works in progress...but I just couldn't resist the temptation to create this little fellow !.    He measures a mere 4 ins, with jointed limbs.  

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Needle felted Hummingbird

Here's a project that I wanted to share; It took me hours and hours and hours !..but having never done 3d needle felting before; I was quite chuffed with the final outcome. Due to not having much green wool....I used a bit of 'artistic license'...colour pink !...and some blue...then some purple. I didn't have any brown wool, so blended some black with very dark maroon.  The exercise was good practice for shaping / layering and blending. The finished piece measures 6ins approx. 

Monday, 1 February 2010

sculpture study

One of the books I received at Christmas is about sculpting the human form; and the use of various techniques i.e. pinching / slabbing / coiling. This life size head has been created out of my imagination; using three techniques. Fired to bisk.
... and for ecomomy..painted with acyrilics.

 I sat in awe and wonder for nine / ten minutes yesterday, watching a video on youtube, featuring the sand artist Kseniya Simonova from Ukraine. Her annimation portrayed life during the USSR's Great Patriotic War against the Third Reich in World War 2.

Check out her video here