Are you every in need of a change but can only afford to spend a little?. Sometimes all you need to do to brighten up a room is move the furniture around and introduce a new handmade touch that is unique and not available on the high street.
Printing & Felting
There are lots of crafts that could be incorporated to give your room a little lift, a wet felted bowl or a plant pot cover, a hand printed cushion, a handmade quilt, a lampshade, the list is endless. You can also keep the costs low by upcycling fabrics
At a recent Indian Block Printing workshop we ran we discussed lots of ideas of what to do with the pieces of fabric that attendees had printed on . Any of the sample prints could be put into a frame or added to a blank card for that next unexpected occasion.
Lampshade’s & Clocks
As we are starting to plan our workshops for next year we are going to add some of these suggestions, may be the small lampshade first and then the clock, you could come up with your own colour co ordinated home furnishing s range, we might even add a waste bin…..
So in my last post I mentioned that my husband had booked me onto a wet felted hat workshop. Last week we travelled up to Cheshire and I spent the day with Alison Rose from Rose Creations whilst my husband took my son to the Outlet Centre for a spot of retail therapy – think I got the better deal…
So thinking about the style of hat I wanted to create had me thinking about the ‘Mad Hatter’ from the Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” where the cheeky rabbit was famously featured.
However, contrary to believe the phrase “mad as a hatter,” used to describe someone who’s prone to unpredictable behaviour, didn’t originate with Carroll. So where did it originate?.
The expression is actually linked to the hat-making industry and mercury poisoning. In the 18th & 19th centuries, a toxic substance, mercury nitrate, was used as part of the process of turning the fur of small animals, such as rabbits, into felt for hats. I can confirm that I only used soap and water in my workshop and no small animals where harmed in the process either….
Workplace safety back in the day were lax and exposure to mercury caused employees to develop a variety of physical and mental ailments, including tremors (dubbed “hatter’s shakes”), speech problems, emotional instability and hallucinations, not the best working environment and glad to report that the use of mercury in hat making was banned for use in the early 1940’s.
Fitted and Felted
We spent the first hour measuring my head so we would get a good fit, preparing the template and choosing the wool which of course was my favourite colour – purple. Several hours later and after a lot of felting, fulling and shaping I had a hat to take home and dry.
Process and Practice
The process is long but enjoyable as you see the shape appearing. I shall make another hat in a different style as the more I practice the more I will learn about this great craft.
So the wedding season is upon us with many a couple making the final preparations of the dress, shoes and those all important wedding party gifts. In recent years has been a growing trend of giving personalised soap and candles to your friends and family instead of the little voile bags containing sugared almonds which has been a long standing tradition.
The Anniversary Gift
So the honeymoon is over and the happy couple settle into life and all to quickly it is the first anniversary. My husband and I have been married a long time but as we approached our 1st anniversary we decided to choose gifts of a traditional nature. So with the first being a gift of Paper I received a book, the second year for Cotton it was a tea towel not so romantic but practical!
Collections of Soap, Wood & Wool
As the years have passed by we have exchanged many gifts and with little expense and a lot of thought these items have become treasured memories. So here are a few suggestions for you if you are looking for new ideas that will be sure to delight and remain traditional.
4th Year – how about some handmade soap? Rose & Vanilla with rose petals is a delight.
5th Year – how about a personalised pyrography plaque with a favourite quote or time and place – handmade makes it extra special.
7th Year – A little needle felted wool heart – this could be on a brooch or a keying?
we would love to help you find the perfect gift but whatever you choose and however you celebrate your anniversary we offer our congratulations and best wishes.