Felt + Food = Fun, Fascination, Frivolity and Fixation.
Once the urge to create felt food comes it takes on an obsessive compulsion.
Why? It has made me realise how little attention we pay to the objects around us. It makes me observe more closely, look at all the tiny details and realise that too often we tend to glimpse and not really see. So I make and wonder and enjoy the entire process.
Perhaps this is a little understatement, but we have been slightly distracted in the last couple of days as Cyclone Marcia has decided to visit our state. When she landed up north she really threw a tantrum and wreaked havoc however, further south it has meant rain, a lot of rain, and even more appreciation for the shelter of home.
Locally rivers and creeks are swollen, our long driveway has become a series of waterfalls and rivulets that are fuller and faster flowing now than when this picture was taken yesterday; that was when it had all hardly begun.
Recent work has resulted in the creation of these two small homes, a miniature terrarium one,
and a larger piece to create snug little shelters to provide protection, warmth and comfort for those who reside within, as well as inspiring a myriad of stories to share.
Perhaps it adjoins the vegetable patch that featured last post.
The theme of the moment down under, or perhaps rather fad, appears to be Woodland and in particular foxes. Requests have triggered memories and delight of watching foxes in the U.K as well as the occasional glimpses over the years in Australia.
At one time we lived on a farm in the Central West of N.S.W. Every morning a little fox would come sit by the chook pen, watching , yearning. It was impossible to feel anything but wonder for it was such a beautiful animal. Its russet coat shone in the early morning sun and it seemed to be transposed into something shining and magical.
Our pet lamb used to guard and loved to hangout with our feathered family so this little fox was but on onlooker, dreaming of roast dinner perhaps. This memory has inspired this new felt piece which is mostly handstitched and has needlefelted embellishing on mane, tail tip and in the ears.
With the fox now a popular theme in art and crafts it is hard to come up with something that is entirely unique such these corner bookmarks. Such a silly notion to think that my overlaying of a rust cutout on white was in any way a discovery – but it was my little play that yielded a foxy character with a practical purpose.
These little characters also came about, a mother red fox and her cub. they have offered an opportunity to try to use my laptop camera for instant upload. Now that is a bit challenging! especially to frame and focus and not have bits of self included.
For now need to be off again to my workroom to explore further this foxy thing.
This is the beginning of an adventure, a new project commission. It has proved to be a wonderful challenge to the imagination as well as figuring out how to construct it.
Perhaps another peak inside the lump. No it is not a tea cosy, but I think the stonework might be a good clue.
Have you guessed yet? This picture below might help too: note the essential cup of coffee to kick start the process.
Now the mystery is revealed. This lump is going to be a tunnel for a train set.
So far the tunnel is nearly done, it is under a mountain range. Perspective had to change from the tunnel sides, which go off to distant peaks, and the tunnel entrance that presents a different scale of view. This was rather tricky and is not perfect. I would rather re-scale the bricks on the arches but time is of the essence now and I have to learn not to be too finicky.
So here it is almost done and my first time using needle felt to create a “painting”, loving this technique a lot.
Funny how a tiny discarded scrap of felt can lead to a creative journey. This journey began when cleaning up my work area finding this scrap, thinking that the colour looked like honey; which brought up the thought that bears like honey.
A little musing happened next, turning the scrap this way and that, wondering if there was enough for a very tiny bear or two. As it happened, after a a lot of juggling , it made four. They are very small.
I have a daughter who adored bears from an early age . As these little ones emerged it very much led to a ramble down memory lane. We both share a love of miniatures, so it was even more pleasurable to make these knowing it was just the kind of little bear that would still delight her.
Once the little bear was finished it really needed a safe place to hang out, a place to snuggle down as winter approaches. Autumn is the time to prepare for that long hibernation. It is the time when little bear needs to eat up as much as possible to store enough fat to carry through till the weather warms up. It is also the time for Mama bear to find a safe, cosy cave to shelter them.
This idea of Mama bear tending to her young made me think of how she might make a little snug place for her cub, a spot that a little bear could curl up on, perhaps a soft bed of grasses and leaves. Thus a little, autumn leaf bed seemed to be just the right thing for this tiny bear to dream of sunshine and summer frolics as winter rages, securely wrapped in the warmth of a mother’s love.
Recently we visited a wildlife carer and had a personal encounter with orphaned possums. When larger and taught to fend for themselves they will be reintroduced to the wild.
Sadly land clearing and removal of trees, as well giving over country to mining does not augur well for their future. What was heartening was to meet up with people who care and believe they can make a difference.
My hope is that a toy like this will encourage a new generation to care more responsibly.
These past days have been devoted to creating some small mats that can be used as story props, yet this mat, although completed, lingered a few days in need of a a story theme and its characters.
Quite unintentionally a little felt figure emerged when a knotted piece of fleece needed to be untangled. Could that be a head perhaps? If this scraggly bit is twisted a bit more could that make a body? Now if this strand is wrapped around some wire and needle felted then maybe a character might happen.
Yes! a little figure has emerged. But who is this?
This little character, it seemed, needed a folksy shirt and trousers, as well as a hat. He opted for a gnomish one as he claimed his garden.
All that was needed was to create a small plot for him to tend.
As well he insisted that he he needed to show the results of his patient care, so miniature vegetables were placed in his tiny trug.
As all gardeners dream fresh, flowing , permanent, clean water is on hand. A stream runs through the garden and plants thrive.
Content, the gardener tends his garden and plants seeds of wonder that grow into objects of beauty . As he digs stories unfold and together the plants and imagination flourish.
The intent of this mat is so children can interact and learn that gardens need water, sunshine, attention and love to nourish the plants and soil, just like people. It might encourage them to make their own garden, to grow their own organic produce, to learn about healthy food and lifestyles. It is designed especially to reveal that gardens are places for dreams, play, peace, wonder, and provide invaluable experiences to discover the magic of nature.
The garden we have is mainly straggly bush but recently it has rained and the garden has offered such loveliness, like the jacarandas that form a delicate, mauve arch over the driveway and rain lilies that pop up so miraculously.
On nearby Mount Tamborine the flame trees are in bloom as well as jacarandas. The purple and red bursts of colour seem to explode in the rainforest and mingle creating a vivid and uplifting display.
Perhaps one day they too will be forever captured in a tiny felt garden giving delight and fascination as well as inspiration and encouragement to nurture and care for the earth.
Aah the joy of a garden! As the ancients realised a garden is a place not only to provide food for the body, but the beauty of flowers gives food for the soul.
It always amazes me that just a few scraps of this and that can come together and create a little wonderland. A place to fire the imagination and weave a tale, as for instance this pocket style scene.
Here is a pond, a rock and the resident frog,
who just might be a prince in waiting, so he has to be a super sized frog,
if one is to add a tiny princess who just might be a little frog wife or a Thumbelina or……? Perhaps you can come up with an altogether different story.
These characters come with a Lilly leaf pouch. Inside there is another character, this fellow,
who makes the mat suitable for teaching about pond life and amphibians.
As well as making some felt ‘scapes this week a “Softie” was sent to Melbourne for the Mirabel Foundation. This is an annual event instigated by Pip Lincolne, of Meet Me at Mike’s, and one that brings so much joy to the maker and the recipient. A project that reflects so wonderfully that many people do care , reflecting the true sentiment of the season.
This time sharing a little mermaid project. The pattern comes from a squiggle made many years ago, now working on refining it.
These latest mermaids are more in the Waldorf style with simple embroidered features. Another version appears in an older post, their features are sketched with pigma pen. Those first mermaids frolic in a felt ocean and on a felt island. They are more of a nature table -story prop whereas these are intended to be play companions, and hopefully lead the imagination to amazing adventures and explorations.
To give the effect of a fish, scaley tail silver tulle was stitched onto the base felt.
These were a fun to create and a joyful contemplation giving an opportunity for quiet time to reflect whilst embellishing with hand stitching and beading.
Lately the sea has been a constant source of wonder and inspiration so it was a natural consequence to delve a little into the world below,this is just a very small beginning as the ocean is vast and her wonders so many.
The shell keepers have also been simmering
for some years and it seems needed the gorgeous rainbow felt dyed by Mia and Nikki to bring them from sketch to form. Here my interest in quilting and patchwork played a role to make them more dimensional.
As with other projects texture is an important aspect and these are meant to be touched. Their hair is composed of various fibres- feels very soft, begging to be stroked.Should the hair get tangled a simple matter to replace and/or enhance,even change completely.