To market,To Market

A group of handmade vegetables form felt, zucchini,tomato carrot,beetroot and mushrooms, my own designs based on real vegetables.
Stew perhaps?

Felt + Food = Fun, Fascination, Frivolity and Fixation.

Once the urge to create felt food comes it takes on an obsessive compulsion.

A group of handmade vegetables form felt, zucchini,tomato carrot,beetroot and mushrooms, my own designs based on real vegetables.
Felt Food Collage

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.

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Comforts of Home

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.

Our dip to the road is now a fast running watercourse.
Where road and driveway meet

Recent work has resulted in the creation of these two small homes, a miniature terrarium one,

A mushroom house designed to fit in a small glass jar. It is 5 cm tall and about 2- 3 cm wide, hand stitched form felt, embellished with beads, embroidery and a teeny flower buttons.
Miniature home

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.

Red and white capped mushroom house with two miniature mice , 1.5 cm tall. A fun project that is handstitched form wool felt and embroidered.
Mouse house

Perhaps it adjoins the vegetable patch that featured last post.

A miniature rabbit in a miniature handstitched vegetable patch.
In the vegetable patch

A foxy thing.

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.

Fox ,seen U.K 2013
Fox.

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.

Small redfox,handmade with needlefelt mane,tila and muzzle enhancement.
Waiting

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.

Corner bookmark handstitched from felt
A Little Red Fox

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.

Scale picture of mother fox with cub.
Scale picture of mother fox with cub.

For now need to be  off again to my workroom to explore further this foxy thing.

It’s a…..?

A new project, can you guess?
A new project, can you guess?

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.

Stoney fabric has been used
Within

.

Have you guessed yet? This picture below might help too: note the essential cup of coffee to kick start the process.

The work begins
The work begins

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.

Making  Arches
Making Arches

So here it is almost done and my  first time  using needle felt to create a “painting”, loving this technique a lot.

Needlefelt scene with cliff and spruce trees on tunnel side
Cliffs and trees
Second side with a road leading up into the hills
Road to the hills.

Autumn Bears

Tiny hand stitched,felt bears in an autumn leaf pocket
Autumn Bears

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.

How big,(in inches)
How big (in inches).

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.

Possum

Baby Ringtail Possum
Baby Ringtail Possum

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.

Wool Felt hollow log with tiny ,handstitched and neddlefelted possum
Hi!

My hope is that a toy like this will encourage a new generation to care more responsibly.

Felt hollow log home to a tiney handmade felt brushtail possum
Welcome to my home

A Dreaming Place

Hand stitched garden scene depicting a stream,bridge, plans and a tiny vegetable patch
Garden Scene

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.

Small needle felted figure of a tiny elderly gnome gardener
A character appears

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.

Small  felt vegetable plot with miniatu lettuce and new shoots appearing
The vegetable plot

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.

Miniature Harvest
Miniature Harvest

As all gardeners dream  fresh, flowing , permanent,  clean water is on hand. A stream runs through the garden and plants thrive.

closeup of the stream that flows through the garden
Fresh water flows

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 gardener and his garden of delights
The gardener and his garden of delights

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.

Jacaranda has graced our garden lately
Jacaranda has graced our garden lately

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.

Flame tree Mount Tamborine
Flame tree Mount Tamborine

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.

A Stitching Post

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.

Pond with a Pocket
Pond with a Pocket

Here is a pond, a rock  and the resident frog,

Pond plus frog
Pond plus frog

who just might be a prince in waiting, so he has to be a super sized frog,

Frog Prince, as a finger puppet with crown
Frog Prince

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.

A princess and a golden ball
A princess and a golden ball

These characters come with  a Lilly leaf pouch. Inside there is  another character, this fellow,

Another character peeping from the pond pocket
Hello.who am I?

who makes the mat suitable for teaching about pond life and amphibians.

Pond Mat As a Teaching Aid
Pond Mat As a Teaching Aid

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.

Soft toy made from cotton fabrics for Mirabel Foundation 2013
Hugs for you

Felt Fantasy

little felt mermaid with her rainbow dyed shell keeper
Mermaid and Shell

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

rear view of mermaid with detail of the textures in the hair
Hair and lots of it

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.