Monday, 31 December 2012

fiber talk: Well it's been a bit of a crazy old year in many r...

fiber talk: Well it's been a bit of a crazy old year in many r...: Well it's been a bit of a crazy old year in many respects!! Some good, some awfull. but we have to pick ourselves up and get ready to start ...
Well it's been a bit of a crazy old year in many respects!! Some good, some awfull. but we have to pick ourselves up and get ready to start this new year, 2013, with a bang!!
We have to grab opportunities when they arise and go with them for all of our worth.
No excuses, no regrets, just full-on, do our best, 100% effort!
Sounds easy when you say it quick but I intend to take 2013 by the scruff of the neck and squeeze it 'til the pips come out!!!!
So, here's remembering what 2012 had to offer, how good it felt at times and how much pain there was at others but here's to you 2013, with all of that potential, promise and the beckoning finger, we drink to the future of unknowns and dreams.
To all of you who read my blog, I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.
Please tell me your dreams and how they work out and I'll tell you mine, deal?
Hugs and kisses, Phill

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas

A very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to all of my friends and contacts.
Lets hope the new year is a productive and fullfilling one for us all, with lots of new ideas and crafts to get our teeth into!!
All the best

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hello my blog friends. Today I have some very sad news to give you. For those that know about my little dog Jack, today I had the dreadful task of taking him to the vet for his final journey!!
Over the last few days and weeks he had been loosing massive amounts of weight and was not eating a morsal.
Now as a country-born boy, I had heard tales of animals knowing when time was nearing the final curtain and going off into the wilds and just settling down for the maker to collect them, well that's just how it seemed with Jack. No amount of tempting and delicious foods would he allow passed his lips, it was the most difficult thing to watch happening to my friend and companion.
He was a ripe old thirteen and a half , which in 'dog years is 94!!! So you could say he had a good innings and I probably would too if it weren't for the fact he was my dog.
Unbeknown to us he also had 'tumours!' according to the vetenery clinitian. And the diagnostic testing and treatment would be very , very traumatising for him, with the probable outcome being the same as today!
So , with the vets guidance, I took the heartbreaking decision to end his suffering .
There is one giant hole in the house and my life , where once there was a Jack shaped happiness. I am so sad to see you go my friend but I hope and pray you are the happier for your release from the suffering.
Good-bye Jack, I'll miss you.

Monday, 10 December 2012

fiber talk: New grand-daughter

fiber talk: New grand-daughter: Hi guys, just a quick entry to tell you that I'm a grandad for the twelfth time. A baby granddaughter, weighing in at 9lb 101/2ozs (she's bi...

New grand-daughter

Hi guys, just a quick entry to tell you that I'm a grandad for the twelfth time. A baby granddaughter, weighing in at 9lb 101/2ozs (she's big!!!)
Mum and baby are absolutely fine, so will keep you updated.I couldn't be happier.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

quilling photos fiber talk: rooster

fiber talk: rooster: As promised there are a few pictures for your appraisal. If you have any questions please feel free to ask the...


As promised there are a few pictures for your appraisal. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them or comment . That would be much appreciated.

In the above picture you can see that I have added a few peacock plumage feathers and I think, adding a couple of well chosen and placed feathers, it would enhance the overall effect.

Above there are a few more photos of my work, including some ideas for Chrismas cards!! Well it's not far away now, so we have to be thinking about it!!I know! I know!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

See-Saw weather

It seems that, nature, having seen fit to half-drown us all here, is now putting us all into deep freeze for a few days!! At least it's dry but can you imagine what those poor souls who were flooded- out are feeling now! And in the very cold conditions, having to try and drag out-side, soaking wet and smelly carpets and furniture. My heart really goes out to them, it's just to be hoped that the insurance assessors don't take an age to sort out their claims, so that they can at least start to get organised. Some may be able to get back into their own properties but some will have to find temporary accomodation until their home is back to normal!! And just before christmas as well. Spare a thought.

I want to talk about a couple of ideas I'm having at the moment, with regards to a mixed media project that I'm thinking about.
I suppose , essentially it will be quilling based but I intend to be using Needle Felting and Applique work as well.
I have done a quilled Rooster, with flowing tail feathers and all but I want to make it more show-ey!! The quilling alone seems a little subdued, even though I've used bright colours   !!
I don't have a picture ready to show you tonight but will get one up tomorrow, so make sure you come back and see.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Crazy weather!! and staying dry with quilling.

So there we were, thinking the worst of the weather was probably over, Boy! Oh! Boy! Were we wrong.
Locally, it's as bad as I have ever seen it here. Nationally, well, we seem to have got off pretty lightly, if that's what you call it!!
There have been some horendous floods in different parts of the British Isles and as of six o'clock local time, there have been three fatalities, attributed directly to the flooding.

Above you can get an idea of the extent of rain we had here. The view of the field in the top picture is the most revealing and shows graphically what I was saying, I have lived in this house for 20 plus years and in the area for 32 and have never seen water on the surface like this. You must understand also that we live on the top and slope of  1500 foot hill!!

It continues in the same viegn tonight and will continue apparently for the next 24 hours.


One of the things I have been getting back into in a big way, over the past few months is Quilling It's a craft which takes up very little room and you can get started with a few basic bits.

Paper strips can be bought in a mirriad of colours.......but you can also make them yourself with a hand or electrically operated paper shredder. I prefer to make my own but that's probably 'cos I'm a bit tight with the cash!!!
The paper strips can be wrapped round a cocktail stick, kebab stick or anything else that you feel comfortable with.
I make my own slotted tools, which I find suit my style of quilling, that doesn't mean I don't use the affore-mentioned methods at times.And quilling takes on many forms and styles and in the coming days and weeks, I'll try and introduce you tto a good few of them.

The above picture is made by wrapping newspaper round a kebab stick then rolling it round  on itself into rings/ circles , arranging them into pleasing shapes. I also used acrylic paint, nail varnish and glitter-glue to give this piece a servicable finish that can be wiped clean!!
I'm going to publish this bit of blog now as it's getting a bit late but please rate and join the site.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Hi all you wonderful, loyal people of blogger-land, who have been visiting my site over the last few months, even though I haven't added any new content for ages!!
Thanks so much for your continued interest and I would like to assure all of you , who are interested , that I shall be adding content on a much more frequent basis in future.
I have to admit that it's been through laziness that I have been absent, rather than having a very pressing engagement, which has kept me away. You probably know how it is yourself, you've been busy and you think , Oh! I'll just give that (whatever it may be)... a miss for a couple of days, which runs into a couple weeks and before you know where you are, it's next year!!!
I have been very busy!! And I promise I will share with you what I have been up to, in the coming days and weeks... I have new things to show you and new ideas to share, here's a little taster.....

then a bit of this....

and maybe you recognize this type of thing....

 Yes?? well trust me, there's a lot more where that came from!!
So thanks again for keeping the faith and please do stop by very soon as I have lots of crafty treats in store for you.
Take care and god bless.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

General things and Needlefelt Hedgehog

I am always doing or talking about random (that's on trend!!!) subjects as well as fiber crafts I know but that's because my interests are so varied and I do like to let folk know that I'm not just some boreing ol' fart, who doesn't have any other strings to my bow or should that be bows??
Some of you may know that I recently aquired a greenhouse which has been put to good use this spring. If you remember, apart from the last few days, the weather in our area has been pretty poor to say the least, in fact I was beginning to despair of ever getting any decent weather!! So when the greenhouse was sited, it was almost immediately filled with trays of seeds, pots, cuttings  and all those good things.
Now, most packets of seeds contain hundreds, if not thousands of seeds, which invariably sprout and grow on, ready for pricking-out into bigger trays and so on. Well you may be able to guess where this is going....I now have the equivalent number of plants for which I need to find garden space !!!
I have runner beans, broad beans, planted out and just about starting off up the strings. marigolds in every nook and cranny not to mention literally thousands of Anthirrhinums coming on !! Sweet williams, Wallflowers, tomatoes, Lettuce, Spring onions and loads of trays of Beetroot.
Some of these trays of plants were recently put outside to 'harden off' and were doing great 'til last night, when the so-called 'breeze which was forcast, turned into a full-blown gale!! causing untold havoc...trays over-turned, established plants shredded and broken. Well, I have managed to salvage most and the wind has now died down somewhat but it's pretty disheartening, wouldn't you agree!!

The false eyes post generated a lot of replies offering solutions and useful feedback...thanks to all.

On to the Hegehog.
At the moment he looks like a monk hedgehog, with a patch on his back devoid of spines!!
I'll post this now and later I'll stick a couple of pictures up and give a brief description and how-to!!
Thanks for reading thus far, Phill 

One hour later....

OK I'm back with the pics and I've watered the seedlings, Oh! and by the way, the ind has dropped to a whisper!!

 In the picture above you cansee the hedgehog, the working area and the felting needles as well as the lengths of wool I'm using for his spines.These are around 3 1/2 inches long, it just depends on the size of your project and what looks right.
 The body is made from polyester wadiing as discussed in earlier large ball, one half that size and one in the shape of a cone for the head!!

 I started with the underside and used a lighter colour which was used also as a 'fringe around the head and edge of underbody.

Use whatever colours you prefer, try one with really funky , flouro colours, use wooltops or rolled yarn for the eyes and nose. Add all sorts of features such as spectacles and goofy teeth!! Have fun with it1

 Now you can see why I called him monk hedgehog!!

 And the portrait!!
I've just realised that i neve told you to fold the yarn in half when making the spines!!! Just fold in half and needle the bend into the wadding base, simple as that.!

Have you met my little dog?? Friends, Igive you Jack, the laziest dog in Wales, possibly the world!!

I hope you have fun with this project, it's a nice easy one to start out with, if you're just beginning with needle felt and if you are experienced, it perhaps gives you a little inspiration.
Have fun, if you need advice or help, just ask, I will do my best to advise you. And if you would like to comment, I would appreciate that too.
Thanks for reading and see you soon, Phill

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The eyes have it!!

To my regular readers, this post has nothing to do with fiber crafts!! Its with regards to another love of mine which is Papier Mache....I know, it's nothing like my felting stuff but it still has the same artistic merit...I hope!!
This relates to a little problem I was facing, which was the making of eyes, more to the point, realistic eyes. It's possible to buy them online but difficult to obtain eyes much over a couple of inches and those are really only available from specialist taxidermy shops...and run into a lot of pennies!!! So, I was hunting around for ways to make my own and came up with what I think is a, not too bad a solution, using clear plastic spoons!!!
Before you fall over laughing, have a look at the picture and let me know what you think. They are set in a plasticine eye socket!

The yellow one, I bent abit using hot(very hot) water, then painted the backs.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Uses for your Balls

Strange title!! I thought so too! But I was at a loss as to a catchy lead-in.
Anyhow, in my last post I showed you how to make small felt balls relatively easily and believe me, when you get used to making them, you can pump them out by the dozen, the problem then arrises, what do I do with all of these little balls??
The possibilities are endless but starting with jewellery, they are good for adding to earrings, they are so light that you hardly know that they are there, the same goes for necklaces, pendants etc.
If you make several sizes of these littlle winners, they can be strung together on crystal wire (it's elastic!) , add a barrel bolt closure and hey! presto, an exandable necklace or wrap it round your wrist a couple of times for a nifty bracelet!
They can be strung in long chains, sewn together to make mats or even garments, like a bobbly shawl.
Using a selection of sizes, make some simple animal or people models which  in turn be sewn onto a bag or a jumper(sweater for my buddies over the pond!) onto a beanie, shrug, shorts, you think of the place and I'm sure it can be fixed there!!
So, in future when struggling with the question, What can I do with my .....well now you know and if you run out of ideas, drop me a line and I'll make a few suggestions!
Please like, comment and share this post please.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

fiber talk: Felted Ball Tutorial with pictures

fiber talk: Felted Ball Tutorial with pictures: OK as promised here come the pics and text, to give you a leg-up when it comes to making felted balls. First off below is an assortment of ...please like! and add's the only way I have of knowing if you enjoy the blog!!

Felted Ball Tutorial with pictures

OK as promised here come the pics and text, to give you a leg-up when it comes to making felted balls.
First off below is an assortment of the things you need, the needle, the wool and the tubular former to decide on the size of ball you will end up with.

With the white medicine bottle top on the left, the neck hole is approx. 1cm in dia. so using that as a guide, you can make an estimate of the amount of wool used for each ball.

Above I am 'helping' he wool into the neck with the blunt end of a crochet hook, you can use whatever you have at hand but I would suggest something like a kebab stick end is ideal, as it is slightly rough and doesn't slip in between the fibres as easily.

 Once in , you can tamp it down a bit with your chosen prodder before going on to start felting.

Start felting by going round the inside edge of the 'tube', and then all over, repeating a couple of times before the next step

OK this is where you take out your adolescent ball from the neck end and turn it over and sideways.

This is how it should look when you take it out

Now repeat the needling and turning, until you are happy'ish with the shape.

Above is how your fledgling ball should be looking at this stage. Now you will have to be extra careful, because you are going to be tidying up and tightening the felting, without the protection of the bottle!! Use your fingernails to grip the ball and aim between the forefinger and thumb.

The ball will probably still look a little untidy but you are now going to damp your palm and roll it between both hands until you are reasonably happy with the tightness and roundness.
I suggest just licking your palm!!!

The picture below shows a few examples

The possible uses for these little beauties is limited only by your imagination.
They can be used as is or as the foundations for much more complex pieces including animals, people and sculptures. You can make necklaces, ear-rings, brooches, use them as accent pieces on garments to name but a few.
Please comment on this tut for me and also let me know what you have or intend to use them for.
All the best and look out for my next installment.

fiber talk: In this post i'm going to give a little tut. on ma...

fiber talk: In this post i'm going to give a little tut. on ma...: In this post i'm going to give a little tut. on making felt balls, using the dry or needle felt method. I will be using a 38gauge triangula...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

fiber talk:  I have come to realise over the last few weeks, w...

I have come to realisefiber talk:  I have come to realise over the last few weeks, w...:   I have come to realise over the last few weeks, what a truly remarkable lot you guys are!! For those who didn't know, I have just come ho...
 I have come to realise over the last few weeks, what a truly remarkable lot you guys are!!
For those who didn't know, I have just come home from hospital, having suffered a series of heart attacks and undergone Angioplasty. The words of encouragement I have had from so many people has been truly humbling and amazing. Thank you all so much for the encouragement and cheeriness...I love you all :-)
There are still one or two issues to cope with but overall I'm better than before I had them. All I have to do now is recover abit.....and what better time to do the recovery, than Springtime...My favourite time of year. You can almost feel Mother nature herself stirring from her winter slumber and bubbling with excitement. I know that's how I feel. I have so many goals to fulfill in the coming weeks and many projects, so many things I want to say and do....I hope you will jump up alongside me and enjoy the ride, it's going to be exciting, it's going to be fun but one thing it won't be is boring, that I can promise.
Below are a couple of pics of  Ojo's that I have made just to give you a flavour of some of the future posts here at Fils fiber talk blog ...hope you enjoy !!

 I will be posting basic instructions for those wanting to have a go at making one.

Friday, 13 January 2012

fiber talk: Happy New Year  to everyone and lets hope it gives...

fiber talk: Happy New Year to everyone and lets hope it gives...: Happy New Year to everyone and lets hope it gives to each of us, what we wish for:-) So, the letter came through the door saying when t...
Happy New Year  to everyone and lets hope it gives to each of us, what we wish for:-)

So, the letter came through the door saying when the work on my house would start and once it started, boy oh boy!  what a mess!! To say it was like a bomb-site was an understatement, not one room was spared the indignity of having the floorboards ripped up and the walls chased for a complete re-wire!!!.......I was sort of expecting a bit of craziness but not anyway near the amount I got.....I was nearly tearing my hair out.....Oh! that's right, I haven't got any but I was definately one step away from the funny farm.
Adding to the chaos, prior to the letter of intent coming, my daughter had only, the previous week left, after living with me for eight weeks whilst the papework for her new house, was being sorted by the solicitors, for one reason and another.......and every other week while she was staying with, her three daughters were there too!!!!! So as you may be able to imagine, a totally mad and chaotic period, during which time I was unable to do very much by way of crafts of any description, let alone write about my sincere apologies to my dedicated followers and heartfelt thanks for sticking with me.
I only have the re-decorating left to complete now and there's no great rush for that....spring's on it's way!!

How have you been getting on? I would love for you to write and tell me all about it and of course, what Santa brought for you:-)   Tell me about your felting and if you have any problems , just ask.
If you can send pictures of your project, that would be fantastic. I intend loading-up pics of some recent work, as well as step-by-step projects for you to follow along with, this year, so I hope this year will see loads of new felters coming on stream as well as my faithfull ones developing more skills, with my help.

Just a by-the-by, have any of you (UK members) seen or have in your gardens, any out of season flowers yet?? I have Crocuses in bud, Daisies in the lawn and in the next village to mine, there are three Magnolia bushes in BLOOM!!! The garden birds think Spring is here, as they are definately doing the mating thing! I'd be interested to hear from you.

In the next post, I will be giving you some ideas on making rug squares, which can be used as floor coverings, wall- hangings, place mats....the list goes on!

Be good. 

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