I love doing all sorts of crafts, art and design…but there is something about making things from glass that is really special. Okay, so paperweights are out of fashion, but still they are a great place to start with molten glass. I’ve made a number of Christmas baubles, a clear one is shown in the purple bowl (also made by me), they are all too heavy to hang on a Christmas tree!
If I could re-wind the clock, I would go to college and study glass making. I’ve made glass jewellery in a kiln as well, perhaps at some point I’ll post pictures of those too. I’d like to have a go at making some things using lampwork, but I haven’t found anywhere nearby that does classes. If anyone knows of somewhere near Inverness, Scotland that does any, feel free to let me know 🙂
A long, long time ago…a friend of mine showed me how to make fairies from silk flowers and leaf garlands that you can buy in garden centres or craft supply stores. You carefully peel off all the petals and leaves and keep all the parts except the stems.
Chubby red flower fairy
Pale red velvet flower fairy
Mauve and red leaf fairy
White and purple flower fairy
Autumn leaf fairy
Rich red and gold flower fairy
Other things you will need are:-
Glue (I used a cold glue gun)
Small wooden beads (I prefer unvarnished as it is easier to draw their faces)
Some fine thread (to hang them)
Scissors and a pencil
You take the pipe-cleaner and starting at the skirt you glue the petals or leaves onto the pipe-cleaner. As you work your way up you will want to switch from the skirt to the body (although my chubby red one is just a puff ball so that is an option too). Finally you want to glue the wooden bead to the top of the pipe-cleaner. (Tip: I suggest you first thread the bead without glue, cut the excess pipe-cleaner, then remove the bead, glue and replace bead.) On the head you can attach some smaller petals, acorn caps, or perhaps you will find some interesting plastic pieces when you disassemble the flowers…like the crown on the pale red fairy above. With a pencil you can draw a face on the bead when finished.
I have only included photos of some fairies that I have made, you can make wedding themed ones with white or ivory coloured flowers, I have Christmas themed ones made from silk poinsettia and ivy leaves. The possibilities are endless!
Quite often you will find that stores sell damaged flower/leaf garlands at discounted prices, so these can be perfect.
Needle-felted fairies, wizards, pixie and more
As if I didn’t already have enough fairies hanging around…I decided to make some out of the wool tops that I have. These are often referred to as Waldorf fairies, certainly if you search for Waldorf fairies on Google or Pinterest you will see hundreds of similar fairies, in all sorts of designs that can inspire you.
These don’t use any glue, they are made with pipe-cleaners, wool tops and felting needles and that’s it (oh and some fine thread to hang them). There are lots of YouTube clips about making these and you can buy books, but I though the book I bought was mostly just pictures of different fairies, the basic way to make them is very easy and so save your pennies and check out YouTube for instructions and have a look at my Pinterest for inspiration.
WARNING: Felting needles are extremely sharp so not really a craft for young children…unlike the flower fairies above, which with a cool glue gun is very child friendly. Despite wearing leather protectors on a my thumb and forefinger I still managed to stab myself a few times when I made my first needle-felted fairies
Wizards and witch
Ladybird (or ladybug) Fairy
When I ordered some felting tops from Heidifeathers there was a lovely card in the box, which showed this ladybird fairy…well a similar one and I thought I’d give it a go, so here is my effort. Again not a fairy ladylike pose, but to balance her she does need to have her legs apart…perhaps she’s got some Pixie in her DNA!
I have previously crocheted 5 hats, a scarf, a teacosy and a coaster, all without knowing any official crochet stitches and without any patterns! I kept meaning to learn how to crochet ‘properly’, but then I got distracted learning how to knit patterns. So it seems weird to say, but this is my first crochet project where I have used a pattern and learned the names of stitches…complicated by the fact the pattern used US crochet terms and my crochet how-to book gives UK crochet terms!!! Why we have different terms for the stitches I have no idea…but thanks to YouTube and Google I managed to work it out.
With me having sooooooo many hats, but looking for something quite easy, I chose a basket. I know what you are probably thinking…it’s just an upside down hat with ear holes! 😂
There wasn’t enough yarn to do the handles correctly, so it’s not strictly true to the pattern but it’s near enough!
I do wonder what on earth I will store in my basket…but the yarn was part of a bargain bundle from someone clearing a stash, so it was mostly just for practice and I’m sure I will have no trouble finding some clutter to fill it with. For a first ‘official’ attempt it is not too bad. The pattern and yarn details can be found on my Ravelry page for those with an account.
Despite doing numerous rounds of decluttering the house, I kept thinking “one day I will re-use my sewing machine again”….and I kept telling myself that for about 15 years!!!!!!!!!
Today I finally dug it out of the study wardrobe, rummaged around for the instructions and fetched a bottle of 3-in-1 oil in case it had seized up having not been used for a decade and a half (at least)!!!
I half expected it to blow up when I plugged it in, but a good few drops of oil on all the parts and it burst back to life! There was a weird incident where the reverse button got stuck and I sewed one side in reverse!!! Not sure how I can oil that part.
As you can imagine I am totally out of practice using it, but made a liner for my new felted bag I made. I am happy enough with the results and if I make some more I am sure they will get neater, but for now I am very proud of my efforts.
There are loads of YouTube clips on how to wet felt and Gilliangladrag website sells products, kits and has some how to videos. I would say I made the bag first, then made the strap, so I have sewn the strap inside the bag. I made the strap long enough that I could overlap the strap to the bottom of the bag so that I could sew a good amount and hopefully the handle is secure.
I needle felted a bit of wool curls along the edge of where I had turned down the opening, just for a bit of detail and to avoid needing to tidy the edge.
I will probably give it another cool iron to reduce the wrinkles and attach a clasp inside. For a first attempt at a bag and only my 4th go at wet felting anything, I am really please with how it has turned out.
Update: I have now added a lining, toggle and my logo lable.
I have finally realised that I cannot possibly wear all the hats myself, and so I have now started to make gifts for friends and my husband. I need to move on to making socks or another jumper to challenge myself a bit more. Hats are so easy and often quick, so they are hard to resist. A proper tracker can be seen on my Ravelry projects list along with the pattern and yarn details.
I love to collect sea glass from Rosemarkie Beach on the Black Isle, Highlands of Scotland. I have been collecting it for years, with no clue what I’d do with it. I used to come home and just split the colours into different pots and shove them in a drawer!
And so I thought I would finally get around to doing something with them, a way of going cold turkey on the knitting addiction for a few days.
With the smaller pieces I have made some jewellery.
With larger pieces I have made a wind-chime which hangs from some driftwood found on Findhorn Beach, Morayshire. It is surprisingly difficult to photograph, but perhaps because it is such a dull day. (Basically it looks better in real life.) I drilled holes using my Dremel. (I put a small block of wood in a bowl, put some water in enough to cover the wood and the sea glass on top. This helps prevent glass dust getting in the air and keeps it cooler, and reduces the risk of shattering pieces.) Then I just threaded them on some fishing line with knots to stop them all sliding down.
The rest I have put in a glass dish with a candle in. So hopefully that will look pretty when it goes dark and I can light it.