Name crisis! Help!

So I created the name Highlandheffalump back in early 2011 or late 2010 when I created my original blog on blogspot (since moved to WordPress).  Since then I am Highlandheffalump just about everywhere…Instagram Highland_heffalump, Facebook is highlandheffalumppage, this website is highlandheffalump.com, Ravelry etc etc 

The thing is, if I am going to ever sell goods under this name I risk the wrath of Disn*y lawyers.  I see on the UK trademark site that they registered the word ‘heffalumps’ in 2012 and at the moment my icon is a wee picture of my heffalump cuddly toy peaking over my homemade bridal bouquet made of plastic heather and thistles.  (I got married at the Icehotel in Sweden thus the need for fake flowers!).  Anyway…that leaves me with a sticky situation.

So do I:

  1. Carry on as just a hobbyist under this name and not sell my stuff…but then that will produce a lot of clutter if it doesn’t go anywhere except gifts.
  2. Sell my stuff under highlandheffalump and hope the mega corporation wouldn’t be interested in a tiny wee business run for pin money rather than world domination
  3. Contact Disn*y and ask if they would have an issue?
  4. Think of a new name to trade under! If so any ideas are welcome (so long as they are offered free with no expectation of payment)…can you tell I have being sued on my mind!?!
 
The other issue is I don’t want to pigeon hole myself with a name that is too specific to a particular craft.  I paint, do pastels, spin, dye,  knit, crochet, wet felt, needle felt, make sea glass jewellery and knitting markers and who knows what other crafts I may do in the future.
 
Oh and another issue, there is already a successful artist called “Liz Armstrong” so that’s out.
 

Year of Projects – week 35/52

With it feeling like Spring I have been doing some Spring Cleaning this week and doing jobs around the house (like cleaning carpets and windows) during times when I would normally do some knitting or spinning.  

Spinning and Knitting

I did do a bit more rolag spinning practice, with rolags I’d made with random bits of leftover fluff.  I thought with the yarn I would do a test version of the Northeasterly blanket, to try out a new increase I saw on someone’s blog.  The pattern says to use M1L and M1R for increases, but they are too fiddly, so I’d gone with Kfb. However, this gives an uneven look, so instead of kfb you do knit front of stitch, leave it on the needle and then slip instead of knitting the back.  This gives a far more symetrical pattern on either side of the centre line.  I don’t think you can tell on this photo, as its dark scraps I used, handy for storing my stitch markers though.  (Fellow YOPers and regular readers…Read under sea glass section below for information about how you can own a set of these markers.  First come first served basis.)

I’m wondering whether to frog my current progress on my real blanket…but then I’m impatient to finish Void and my socks, so I’ll pop the first strip on stitch holders and start a new column and then decide at some future date what to do with the strip I’m unhappy with.  

I am also getting impatient to start knitting a jumper (sweater) or cardigan.  

(I have 2 wonderful project bags from Tatty Designs on Etsy.  One is ideal for shawls and has Void in it, one is for socks and so when she finally made some in Winnie the Pooh fabric I couldn’t resist buying one in the larger size (ideal for jumper projects!).  I love it!)

So I am going to knit a swatch next week in my Cochrane yarn from Ripplescrafts.  I haven’t used this particular yarn before (although I am VERY familiar with her sock yarns).  I have the colourway called Bramble Picking…so of course it is purple…I am so predictable.  The yarn is a blend of Bowmont and Blue Faced Leicester breeds and I think I have decided which cardigan to make, assuming I get gauge on my swatch!  I have a shortlist on Ravelry by creating a Bundle…what a handy function!  The gauge swatch may sway a decision, but at the moment I am thinking the Elda cardigan.  

In the meantime, my wood pigeon coloured socks are progressing.  I got to the end of the gusset decreases on sock one and decided to start sock 2, so that when I knit the foot I can knit them 2 at a time and won’t have to bother counting rows!  This did mean finding the end of the yarn inside the ball and winding it into a cake, so that the order of the colours was correct.  No issue with knots  thank goodness, which had put me off before.

Dyeing

As the weather is improving I have been making plans to start dyeing practice again.  I have some yarn to dye for the Quick Sand cardigan pattern, plus multiple sock yarns to practice with.  So many things I want to knit, its frustrating I am not a quicker knitter.  

Felting 

I made a coin purse this week, which was on my YOP list and I am really pleased with it.  It only used 15g of corriedale wool and some bits of an old purse.  (Now in the US I am aware they call handbags ‘purses’, so not sure what they call things specifically to hold loose change.)  There’s a separate post about it if you’d like to find out more.

It was my felting group on Saturday and instead of taking my wet felting gear I took my needle felting stuff.  No picture yet, as its a surprise for someone and isn’t finished yet!

Sea glass

Earlier this week, I also did a separate post about some more sea glass and shell stitch markers I made, asking for some advice.  

Subsequently, I did another post aimed at my fellow YOPers and other regular readers/commenters of my blog.  It offers you the chance of having a set or two of the sea glass markers for just covering the costs of post and packing fees.  See the comments on that post first, as some have already been chosen and will be heading to Alaska and Arizona this week!  I picked up postage costs leaflet and some small padded envelopes today.  I just need to look up if PayPal take a % for converting currencies.

Drafted ideas for 2019-2020!!!  

There are so many yummy things I keep spotting, so I have already started to draft next year’s list!!!  If you fancy a nosey to see if something you made has inspired me to try to make my own next year.

 

 

Sets of Sea Glass Stitch/Progress Markers

This post is for my regular blog readers/commenters, including my fellow YOP members.

I have pulled together sets of 5 stitch markers made from sea glass and shells I have found on dog walks on Rosemarkie Beach. I have put a couple of maps from Google to show where it is. You can see that there’s a narrow gap between the 2 spits/peninsulas and I think that is why this is such a great beach for finding sea glass.

After some persuasion from my regular blog readers I have decided to offer some of the sets of markers for a nominal amount to cover my expenses, rather than for profit. As soon as you start talking about profit then I start to worry about the expectation that I’m professional and there is liability, and that isn’t something I am comfortable with at the moment! I make these for pleasure.

However, I have made a lot and would be happy to send them to those who are regular readers/commenters and members of my YOP group who would like a set on the basis that they are a gift and you are just contributing to postage and packaging, bearing in mind you are dotted around the world.

So it will be on a first come first served on the sets below. Please indicate in the comments which set(s) you would like and you can email me at Highlandheffalump@gmail.com for cost of postage and I can send you my PayPal details (different email).

Set 1. 4 Green sea glass + 1 shell on brass coloured clasps
Set 2. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on gold coloured clasps
Set 3. 4 white sea glass + 1 shell on antique brass coloured clasps

Set 4. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on antique brass coloured clasps
Set 5. 4 white sea glass + 1 shell on silver coloured clasps
Set 6. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on silver coloured clasps
Set 7. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on brass coloured clasps
Set 8. 4 white + 1 green sea glass on brass coloured clasps
Set 9. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on chrome coloured clasps
Set 10. 4 green + 1 white sea glass on chrome coloured clasps

I appreciate I haven’t taken photos of them next to a tape measure or coin for reference. So I have done a group shot, which shows a €0.01 cent coin, a US$0.10 dime coin and a £0.05 pence coin.

These would be posted as gifts but I cannot guarantee what your country may do regarding taxes. If you do have a set then I would be happy to hear your feedback. I’ve been using them on my small sock needles as markers and as stitch progress markers. I have not found that they pull the stitches but I haven’t knit anything on 2 ply/lace, so I would avoid using them on those.

2019 Project List

Although I am following the Year of Projects year, which runs from July, I thought it would be useful for me to jot down a list of things I’d like to achieve this calendar year.

2019 project list

 

 

Answers to Headknits’ first Q&A

Alissa from Headknits blog has posted her first Q&A, so here are my answers to the questions she has asked…

  1. Do you set New Year’s Goals or Resolutions for yourself?
  2. Do you have any creative goals for the new year?
  3. Some people like to set a goal for a certain number of things to make for the year. For example: 18 in 18. Do you do this? If so, what is the number? How do you decide the number of things to make?
  4. Do you have blogging goals for the new year? If so, what are they?
  5. What is your favorite thing you’ve made in 2018? Post a pic!
Answers
 
  1. Every year I set Resolutions and every year I break them in the first few weeks and swear I won’t make any the following year! Hopeless!  So far I haven’t written any for 2019 but it is likely yoga, early nights, healthier eating and weight loss will all be there ‘again’.
  2. I am very tempted by the spin 15 minutes per day (#spin15aday), especially as I have a spindle that can go camping with us and I received a blending board and hackle for Christmas.  I think I would include any time I am making rolags, batts etc. in that.  Other than that I will stick with my year of projects (YOP) list and also knit a jumper with my North Ronaldsay wool.  I had a crazy thought about knitting a pair of socks per month…but think perhaps a pair per quarter is more realistic.
  3. I have 26 items on my YOP list to finish by the end of June 2019, plus other projects on the go!…not sure after that.
  4. I don’t have a blogging goal…but this has made me start thinking about making one.
  5. Ooohh this is hard.  My mind went to my Chimney Fire cardigan, as it’s my most significant knitting project ever…but then I love my wet felted knitting needle cases…no can’t choose between them.
Chimney_Fire_cardigan.jpg
 

Answers to NothingButKnits Holiday questions

One of the blogs I follow has put up some holiday questions to answer.  So here’s my answers to the latest questions on NothingButKnits  blog.

Questions

  • Have you made holiday decorations for your home? What have you made? Do you have a tradition of making something every year?
  • Did you craft for holidays when you were a child? Do you have a memory of something you made?
  • Do you gift items that you make? Do you surprise the recipient or do they request something? How do you judge their worthiness? Have you ever regretted gifting someone?
  • Have you seen a crafty project you’d like to make but haven’t?
My answers

A few years ago I made 4 decorations for my tree, to represent my sister, BIL, niece and nephew…they are a felt gingerbread couple and 2 owls using kits from Hobbycraft.  I have tree decorations that represent most of the important people in my life.  This year I filled some glass baubles with sparkly fibre and they are on the tree and I made a fibre Christmas Pudding.  Both can be seen on this previous post.

I remember making paper chains as a kid (I think!), my memory is hopeless!

I have gifted a hat and cowl set to my husband and made him a pair of socks, another hat and currently making a 3rd one for him.  I am not confident enough with sizing to make him total surprises yet.  I have made a couple of surprises this year for a family member, but I am not certain things I have made and given to other people are used/worn, except by my husband.  The new hat for my husband, is using my homespun fractal yarn.  After that  my Ravelry queue is full of items to make for myself.  Knitting is such a slow way of making things, so if people aren’t knit worthy they may be wet felting worthy instead.  I don’t regret any gifting I have done, but they may not get any more.

My Pinterest is full of crafty projects I’d like to make, but I have felting group in a couple of hours and still haven’t decided what to make yet!

Year of Projects – Week 20/52

This week, I have spent a lot of time thinking…too much time, which means I haven’t been as productive as usual.

My Christmas gift socks are coming along but I am still on the 1st sock; I am sure if I’d chosen a vanilla pattern I would be half way through 2nd sock by now.  My head is just too full to memorise the 10 row pattern repeat.  For sure my next pair will be a vanilla pair of ankle socks for my small feet lol!

I have been thinking about starting a 2nd knitting project at the same time as the socks, but I have spent days searching Ravelry looking at patterns and now I can’t decide which patterns I like most, so nothing cast on yet.

I have 13 patterns for the North Ronaldsay wool I bought!!! I can’t even seem to get a shortlist of 3!  How do you pick your patterns?  Should I go for another seamless top down pattern?  Decisions decisions!  As it is Aran weight I thought I should do cables..but as I have additional skeins in different colours I thought maybe could try Fair Isle…totally undecided.  By the time I have chosen I will have finished the socks lol

On the spinning front: on my spindle I am spinning some undyed Shetland fibre, I probably get about 15 foot spun when Ylva is sniffing the night air and doing her before bed wee!   On my wheel is the absolutely gorgeous baby camel and silk blend, honestly it is sooooooooooooo soft.  I bought it from Coastal Colours at the Highland Wool and Textile fair.  When I bought it I thought it was expensive at £26, but it’s 200g of beautifully dyed combed top of 50% baby camel and 50% tussah silk.  Not sure what I will make with it when its all spun, perhaps a fancy shawl…not that I ever go anywhere fancy.  Anyway in the meantime I love spinning it.

I missed another open day at the Highland Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, just need to find my big brave girl pants and go along.  I am such an introvert it is hard joining new things.

I mentioned in a previous post about an idea for a lantern…well here’s my 5 minute effort.  A bit of brown felt, some of the autumn sparkle blended fibre and a few stabs with the pale blue felting needle.  Simple.

Not related to YOP, but for anyone who read my post on hoarding

I have done a huge amount of ruthless chucking out, selling and donating things this week.  Stuff that I was keeping for sentimental reasons that I realised didn’t have that happy a memory linked with them, so this is the most I have ever got rid of.  Old letters from people I don’t even remember.  I have kept letters I received from 3 friends and the rest have gone, old slides I’d already scanned in have gone, loads of photographs, cards, my ballet point shoes, just loads of random sentimental stuff.  Also various random other crafting stuff, I had watercolour paints tubes that rattled…I bought them 27 years ago I realised!!!! 

My criteria:

a) Does it invoke a really happy memory?

b)  Am I 100% sure I will use?

If the answer was No…it has gone.  Now everything is accessible in my crafting wardrobe!  

 

Answers to NothingButKnit’s latest Q&A

Karen at NothingButKnit blog has put out a new Q&A to her readers, and has asked these questions:

  • What is the first actual craft you remember doing as a child? (Not coloring or finger painting. Something more special that you didn’t do regularly.)
  • What is the craziest craft you’ve tried?
  • What craft would you like to try but you know you’d be bad at it?
  • If you had to give up your crafting how would you spend your crafting time?
  • What craft isn’t your thing? Have you tried it or do you just know you wouldn’t like it?

My answers are as follows:

  • My mum and I would collect stones from the beach and paint them and varnish them.  I remember one was a ladybird/ladybug.  We also did ‘paintings’ using pasta, dried beans and glue.  I also loved my fuzzy felt kits.  My sister always wanted to be playing with other kids, but I was content just doing crafts with my mum.
  • I made a basket with the help of my host mother when I was an au pair in Michigan.  I have had basket making supplies in the wardrobe, to make another, for the last 24 years!! 
  • Hmmmm I am trying to think of a craft I haven’t tried…I haven’t tried macrame yet but I don’t think I’d necessarily be bad…I find with practice I can do everything well enough for my standards.
  • Give up crafting!!  Goodness what a thought, I re-started crafting after a breakdown from work related stress so I may end up spending my time reverting to a crying couch potato!  Perhaps I’d go back to doing more gardening and photography, I’d have to have some creative outlet even if its planning to ‘paint’ my garden with flowers.
  • I like watercolour painting, but I struggle to get passionate about it like I am with fibre related crafts.  I am still using watercolour paint tubes I bought 26 years ago…I think that says it all!  There’s some watercolour attempts in this previous post

Year of Projects – week 12/52

Not strictly on my list, but I made a new seat for the chair I picked up on Gumtree (like Craig’s List).  I cut various layers of thin laminated wood we had in the garage and covered it with the old thin padding and fabric which I took from our old sofa, which I also used for doing up my granddad and grandpa’s old chairs.  Next year I will likely strip the paint off it, but I want to use it for spinning for a while, to see if its a keeper!  I had been using a dining room chair which is a wee bit too high and causing hip pain.

Spinning chair

I signed up to the World of Wool fibre club (like I don’t already have enough!?) and my first box arrived this week.  It had a small amount of grey Herdwick wool, pineapple fibre tops and 150g custom blend of merino and sari silk which I decided to do a sample spin, chain ply and knit a small sample.  I really like how it spins and knits up, when its done I probably will make a larger shawl from it, we shall see.  My box also had a notepad and pen, which I’m going to use for tracking my felting projects, seeing as Ravelry doesn’t include felting.  In Ravelry I have created a dummy handspun project, where I can assign fibre used for felting to it, so that my fibre stash leftovers are showing correct weights. (Hopefully that sentence makes sense to readers with Ravelry accounts.) 

Himalayas (custom blend from World of Wool)

I mentioned last week I had made a scarf for my sister, I also made a wee purse too, but forgot to photograph it properly.  Unfortunately it didn’t arrive in time for her birthday, which is very disappointing. None of the pictures are really showing the true colours. I started off with a silk hankie stretched as long as I could and then wool and silks were layered.  It ended up thicker than planned and so I maybe used too much wool fibre or may have shrunk it too much trying to get the silk to stick, but this was my first go at nuno felting.  I am still getting a lot of movement in the silks, so perhaps I need to leave them longer after wetting, before I start rolling.

Nuno felted scarf

On a previous post I had shown a wet felted bag with flap that I made, which has become home to my circular needles…so I decided to make a matching roll one for my double pointed needles.  The top picture maybe looks weird as it was on my sofa seat but then rotated 90 degrees…it is a long rectangle.

DPN case (with circular needle case)

I have added to my YOP list ‘to knit (or crochet) all the left over bits of yarn.  I had thought about making one of those sock yarn blankets made up of wee diamonds of sock yarn.  After searching YouTube for videos to make diamond shapes I messaged the Crazy Sock Lady and asked her, and she explained they are made from mitred squares and so finally I found some ‘how to’ videos and had a go! And another go and another one!! They are addictive when you have a bunch of scrap wool next to your chair!  I also knit a cover for my phone and a wee dog poop bag holder.

Look how well my poop bag holder goes with the trim on my dog treat bag!!!  Hehe!

 

Heather DK yarn leftovers

And finally I started to knit one of the arms of my Chimney Fire cardigan (not that I have finished the body yet).  To protect the body whilst I am knitting the sleeves with DPNs I used a circular tray, so its kind of like a Lazy Susan…every time I finish one DPN I spin the tray! 

Arrggghhhh! On Saturday evening I realised I had missed some of the arm decreases and I’m a bit further on than the image below so don’t want to rip out rows, so I have made a note of what I did and a plan for remaining decreases to get me back on track, so as long as I do the same on the other arm I should be ok.  At least there’ll be no struggles to get my chubby upper arms in the sleeves 😂

Chimney Fire Lazy Susan

 

Chimney Fire progress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year of Projects – Week 8/52

Having signed up to join in on the Year of Projects 2018 on Ravelry, I had forgotten all the rules and was creating things but not doing the weekly Sunday blog posts and sharing the link on the Ravelry group page.  So on Thursday I remembered to share the link…but now realise some of those things were done this week and not the week before!  Also I’ve commented about other people’s blogs on the group page, which I don’t think I am supposed to do.  So basically a total muddle. Hopefully the group members will forgive my blunderings.  🤞

It is interesting to see all the different projects people are working on, and how I am not alone in having lots of different types of projects on the go at the same time.

If you are interested to see what the Year of Projects on Ravelry is about click here.

So this week I also made the project bag and notions pouch and spun some Samoyed dog hair (as shown on my previous post)!  Both should have been on my projects list as I was expecting the dog hair and had the material to make the project bag!!  Hopeless!

I also finished spinning the ethereal ether fibre from Gilliangladrag…I was going to post a poll on my HighlandHeffalump Facebook page, but see (below) what Facebook said about it!  The poll was going to ask if people thought I should over dye it with a brighter colour!!!  Seeing as Facebook thinks its a nude body I decided to definitely dye it with some deeper colours!

 

Suspect the position of my finger didn’t help matters! 🤣

I did dye a previous batch of this when it was spun, as I thought the colour definitions had been lost and I love the wee drink cosy I made from that batch, so tried to replicate that again.  Its a shame to dye what started off as such pretty colours, but this fibre is better suited to wet or needle felting I think…or a method of spinning that maintains the colours better.

I have kept aside a small amount unspun in case I ever make a unicorn, as the colours would be great for a pastel rainbow mane and tail…but what I have spun I used as more dyeing practice using hot pink, Ice and Opal mixed in different quantities, and carefully applied with a pipette to get lots of variation, only to discover it was all pooling together underneath the yarn, so has ended up with less tonal changes than planned…it is also spookily similar to our bedding colour!  I am such a purple addict!!!

Talking of purple, I had a go at felting a lightweight scarf using merino, silk and some locks…of course its purple!  The next one I make I will only have the locks on one side, as they are a bit scratchy on my neck.

No new knitting or crocheting is allowed until my Chimney Fire cardigan is finished! It must be finished by the time it gets to winter.  Although saying that we are off to the Orkney Isles for a week camping in a tent and I won’t want to take that, so maybe I can let myself do another shawl with some homespun that week.

To help keep track of my YOP list I have created a separate page with the list, so I can tick things off when completed and add links to the separate posts.

So fellow YOPers please forgive my faulty start 🙄

Catch up on projects

I haven’t posted on my blog recently so I thought I’d do a catch up post on what I have been up to.

Dyeing

I had a go at dyeing 200g of White Cheviot Super Chunky Weight wool.  I started using Azalea and Tasman colours from the Landscape dyes and then added Pilbara and then put some Ashford Hot Pink mixed with Ice (blue).  This wool was a real sponge soaking up the colours, so I just kept chucking more of the colours in!  I love the finished hank, except the Tasman colour has made a few green bits.  I don’t have much imagination for colourway naming, so this is logged in Ravelery as “Dusty Rose”.

Sewing

Today I made a knitting project bag and notions pouch.

Wet and needle felting

At my felting group I made my first picture, of a Highland Cow!  He has a hunchback and some other issues, but for a first attempt at a proper picture I am quite happy.
 

Spinning

My neighbour’s parents have a Samoyed dog and kindly collected some dog hair brushings for me to spin.  I have only done a test spin and chain ply with one handful and I’m excited to spin the 2 bags full that I have.  My first attempt was unwashed when spun and I am going to try a small washed batch to see how that compares.  The raw fur was lovely to spin with, very soft on my fingers, but my dog, Ylva, kept coming over for a sniff!
 

Knitting

My Chimney Fire cardigan is progressing, despite a number of struggles with the pattern.  I have a baking tray with various sections of the pattern stuck on with magnets and have a list of row numbers so I don’t lose track of which body row number goes with which cable pattern.  I did the same for the collar section too, where there were 3 different row numbers to keep track of on each knitted row!! 
 
 

Tour de Fleece

Finally, I mentioned previously that I had taken part in this year’s Tour de Fleece, as part of The Corner of Knit and Tea team.  I was randomly selected to receive a fiber gift and all the way from Kansas, USA came this lovely Corriedale wool in Poppy colourway.  I am thinking I may use it to wet felt a poppy handbag or poppy picture, rather than spinning it. It also came with a couple of tea bags too. 😁i
 
 
 

How craft making and Scotland rescued me

Life before…

My life was consumed with working hard and very long hours to earn money for a few weeks a year of international travel.  We went to many fabulous and breathtaking places around the world including Hawaii, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Australia, various US states and parts of Italy.  I also travelled to Peru and Bolivia for 31 days as a mix of holiday and unpaid leave (Follow links to see photo highlights).  And so I thought my blog was turning into a travel blog…

The breakdown…

At the end of 2016 I started to burnout and lose control of my mind, I wasn’t coping at work despite (or perhaps because I was) working almost every waking hour and not making enough progress to satisfy my own high standards. By early 2017 I was a jibbering wreck, unable to stop crying all the time and was eventually signed off with anxiety and depression.  When my sick pay ran out I couldn’t face returning to work, stressed at the thought and afraid that my resilience was too weak and I would return to old habits of working every hour and so I requested a 12 month sabbatical (unpaid leave).  So I am due to return in September, unless I resign.

My new life…

Whilst off work I have started doing more craft type things, I have wet felted a hat and a handbag learned how to knit, made some sea glass jewellery, bought a spinning wheel and I’m now learning how to spin.  We bought a tent last autumn and instead of international travel we have been exploring the North of Scotland and some of its many Isles either with the tent or renting small cottages.
I have been blown away by the scenery that we have seen…and with my calmer mindset I can actually be present and fully enjoy being in the moment and after walking 20k steps enjoy an evening sitting in our tent with my husband and dog and knitting another hitchhiker scarf! Scotland has white sandy beaches and turquoise water, okay you need to wear layers, not a bikini…but then you often get a beach to yourselves!
As for my future…we shall see!
October 2017  

Isle of Eriskay, Western Isles, Scotland

 March 2018

Coral beach, Isle of Skye 

 

June 2018

Sango_Sands_beach_Durness.jpg
Sango Sands beach, Durness

Balnakeil beach, Durness, North Scotland

 

Blown glass attempts

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 🙂

Fairies, wizards and more

Flower fairies

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.

Other things you will need are:-

  • Pipe-cleaners
  • 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

Fairies

Wizards and witch

Pixie

 

Red head pixie
Not a very ladylike pose…but what else would you expect from a Pixie!

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!