Gremlins

Every so often my computer will not allow me to add photos, as is the case presently, and very frustrating . The gremlins seem to be busy this month and I am trying to negotiate with them , even thinking I might be able to scan something only to find the printer has also succumbed. Grr.

However searching files that are available revealed a pirate to share. He began like this

piratecharacter1
on the way

However a little more research made it very clear that pirates were not nice at all. There has been a lot of touching up and romanticising about them.They were thieves and murderers, women and men who preyed,at times under the protection and orders of rulers and governments. My pirate changed.

Felt hand stitched pirate character that evolved
He grew up to be a real pirate

Bunny love- and a free pattern

hand embroidered felt eggs that contain a miniature dressed rabbit
Autumn Eggs

 

The focus on rabbits has stayed with me. More bunny characters have appeared, as suspected, such as these little rabbits who were placed in Autumn themed eggs in an attempt to connect the season here to the celebration.

This is not really a new fascination. I really do, and have since childhood, like  rabbits. These much adored and much maligned creatures  have an endearing character, an intrinsic gentleness, as well as  lovely soft, rounded shapes and such beautiful, “melt your heart”  eyes.

Apart from an early introduction to  chocolate bunnies, it had to be  a story book from childhood about a little white rabbit called Pookie, who set the world right again after he had sent winter away, that most likely triggered this affection for rabbits. An affection that  further deepened when I was seven or eight and  given a white rabbit as a pet. That was quite a while ago.

In this current state of rabbity adoration I made another from a re-discovered sketch stashed away in the “one of these days ” folder.

A small handmade wool felt cream coloured rabbit
Bunny Love

 

This bunny needed a friends- and yes, a mouse thing might be happening in the near future.

 

The rabbit has a new friend,a mouse,also handmade form wool felt
Friends

 

Cute took on a more realistic rendition in needle felt over the weekend in the form of  a snow hare made as a companion for a requested Eostre.

 

Needlefelted figures of Eostre who is holding a tiny bird and also has a white hare, an ancient symbol
Eostre and companions

 

This  hare was also a return to dry felting after too long a break.

 

Small needlefelted white hare
White hare

 

To share is a little egg cosy or puppet which  is very child friendly; a project we made recently in a children’s craft class.

This rabbit could also be stuffed to become a small toy or ornament, or you could add lavender or pot potpourri  to repel moths, or perhaps turn it into a pin cushion. Indeed, a  versatile little rabbit to play with your imagination.  bunnypattern

Hand stitched little rabbit with pompom tale designed to fit over Easter egg or eggcup.
Egg Cosy rabbit

 

  • To make  first embroider the features.
  • Outline the inner ear with  running stitch and tint with crayon or coloured pencil.
  • Next blanket stitch all around to join the back and front.
  • Shape the head with a little stuffing and gather around the neck or tie to hold the stuffing in place.
  • On the back add a tiny pompom tail.
  • You can tie a narrow ribbon around the neck if desired.

That is it. Done!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

An Offering

Needlefelt figure of a small boy dressed in green holding a bunch of grasses.He stands in a small circle of grass
An Offering

Sometimes the strangest variations occur to the best thought out plans. For instance the creation of this character.

When I began to needle felt the intention was to make a little, pink, gnome girl for a request. Instead this small, green, grass boy decided he needed to arrive.

What amused me was that he needed a hood and cape, and then, as I looked at him after this addition to his outfit, realised he is looks somewhat like one of the root children created by Sybille von Olffers. Although he was not copied from the book, he is obviously much influenced by subconscious memory and a reflection of the delight that the book has offered to me and so many others.

This piece also illustrates, to my mind, the poem,”A Blade of Grass” by Brian Patten.  All too often we tend not to notice grass and see it as less than . Yet Spring spreads her soft veil of green that is a vital and important aspect of growth and survival. How often have your children offered you a grass bouquet? Did you accept graciously, thinking “Bless them”, but also “it is only grass”? Patten comments that “You offer me a blade of grass, You say it is not good enough”.

Grass has an intrinsic beauty and value.  Locally there is a grass that produces beautiful pink, feathers of seed. As the sun shines on it, it becomes luminous and utterly breathtaking.

Aside from it’s often overlooked beauty grass is vital for survival. Now more and more grasslands are being covered by concrete or converted to more “profitable” crops and broadacre farming, which are so unsympathetic to the balance needed in nature and life. Animals that need to free range on a diet of grass are being fed grain mixes contaminated by GMOs, pesticides and other chemicals, as well as kept in horrific conditions in feed lots and barns.

“A Blade of Grass,” reflects all of these aspects to me. Patten says that “You ask for a poem and so I write you a tragedy about how a blade of grass is so difficult to offer.” How often is it that we only see the ordinary and not the extraordinary?

This small figure again indicates just how much the connection to and cycles of Nature influence my work and life. However, he also came as a teacher to remind me to let go and allow that creative force to flow naturally and not be impeded by ego and mind control; to see in a simple blade of grass a far greater complex relationship and beauty.

Nature’s children

small needle felt mushroom child
Beskow inspired mushroom child

These are older works I rediscovered when sorting through files.

The little mushroom child was one of the first flower children I made and emerged as a delightful surprise .

Another early effort was the little daisy girl below.

Seeing these characters again has me excited and very keen to explore the magical kingdom of the flower children.

There is no doubt that Spring is coming and below the earth the seeds are starting to awaken. In our garden the peach tree is in full flower and the first jasmine buds have opened.

For now I need to delve into the stash of roving and poke a little and discover who it is who shall appear first.

needle felted daisy child
A little daisy

A Frost Fairy

Frost Fairy with needlefelt sculpted face and felt dress embellished with craochet trim
Frost Fairy

It feels so much colder this year. Winter has quite an edge. Greengrass has changed to the bleached beige that comes from the drying effect of frost. Nights have sharpness and even here, in Queensland, some mornings reveal a fine netting of frozen dew draped over the landscape.  Jack  and the Frost Fairies have been busy.

Winter, too, has created the opportunity to exchange a Southern Seasons Swap. But what? and who? and how? would  best  represent Winter for my swap

rear veiw of the Frost Fairy showing her wings made from crystal organza and dusted with silver glitter
Fairy Wings

partner. It took some thinking and rethinking and restarting a few times before that aha! moment when a little Sprite introduced herself.

“For someone who has a website called The Fairy Ring you need to make a fairy” said she- and so this little Frost Fairy emerged.

As she began to take shape I wondered if such little sprites had been mentioned in poetry and folktale. Finding gleefully that  indeed Frost Fairies are decribed in prose and rhyme and myth.   

One poem that reflected my thoughts when creating this character was by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. It was written in 1871, titled The Frost Fairy, and describes how the “quaint and silent  fairy” spins frost  to weave shimmering garments for the bare trees .

Meditating about her essence it was not the coldness that presented but rather a vision that

Underneath a winter sky

lace trees,

dressed in shimmering white

as the frost fairy glidesWinterscene of bare trees

in and out

hanging her frozen jewels

that glow in moonlight

and catch the fire of sunrise.

The magic she instills is to make

a wonderland of crystalline luminessence.

What seemed special about this little figure is that although made of felt she seems to be delicate and even fragile. She wears the colours of Winter, of water, of light. How different to the many depictions of Winter as a dark and gloomy season. My wish is that she brings the sparkle and the magic of  winter to her new home.