Herdwick three ways. My favourite sheep. Natural, sustainable and completely biodegradable; what more do you want from a craft…
Have a fabulous week everyone and always remember that crafts are the perfect, instant respite when the stresses and strains of daily life start to get on top of you. So, today is officially my ‘Crafts As Therapy’ Monday. Failing that, just read a few Winnie The Pooh quotes; if that doesn’t work then we are all doomed and should stay in bed for the rest of our lives…
“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
Use the basic shapes video or tutorial to make the head and body then be as creative as you like. Sheep are the easiest way to start needle felting and you don’t even need to add the legs: BASIC SHAPE VIDEO
Hope your Saturday afternoon was a good one! This was mine. The hat on the large gnome was problematic but a wire through the head (brutal I know) soon fettled it. It seems odd to be making gnomes in the hot August sunshine but I like to plan ahead. To be honest I can’t think of a nicer way to spend the afternoon; well, maybe a cocktail bar in the Bahamas but you can’t have everything…
You’re probably thinking, “Where is the pretty picture”? “Where is the carefully executed photograph”? Well, in the interest of full disclosure and honesty (and I do like to be honest), this is exactly what I achieved yesterday…nothing!
I picked up my felting needle, stared at some wool, drifted off somewhere else for 10 minutes; don’t ask me where? Stared some more, and then gave it all up as a bad job and watched the TV for the rest of the day.
Today, over my morning cuppa, I started to think about the ‘nothing’ I had achieved the day before (an Oxymoron, I know) and quickly realised that I didn’t care because do you know what? It’s okay to have a bad day, in fact, it’s okay to have several bad days. It doesn’t matter if you don’t create something every day (I most certainly do not) or get the ironing done, sort out the draws full of odd socks the kids have created, walked the dog for long enough, stuck a meal in the microwave because you just couldn’t face cooking etc. etc.
We live in a world where we are bombarded every day, via social media, of perfect lifestyle photographs; perfect images of creativity and artistic ability; perfect homes where every item in it is handmade; perfect artists and creatives; perfect pictures with inspirational quotes… and I love all of those pictures as much as the next person. In fact, we need them, just like we need galleries, green spaces, feel-good movies, coffee shops, and days of doing nothing. However, I can guarantee, behind every one of those photographs is a person who has bad days just like the rest of us. It is the bittersweetness of being human, top of the food chain, of being self-aware, feeling guilty; now that’s a whole other conversation…
I think what I’m trying to say is just don’t feel bad about it. Your craft box will still be there tomorrow, the next day, the next week and month. Your wool, needles, paints or whatever it is you use to create won’t be judging you so no need to judge yourself. The worst thing you can do is force yourself and take comfort that, at some point, you will be doing this again…
So, my advice is to put down the wool, needle, whatever… stick the kettle on and do something else, or, like me, watch the TV and fall asleep on the sofa doing nothing. Now, where’s that remote…
We try very hard to keep waste to a minimum and, wherever possible, use recycled material, packaging and minimal plastic. We are constantly looking for alternatives and 99% of our products are sourced from local or British suppliers. Here’s what we use at Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts. #reducereuserecycle
All kits and wool bundles come in sturdy A4 recycled, reusable and recyclable boxes. All my handmade, ready to purchase items are delivered in the same manner.
Cellophane bags for wool: Re-usable and 100% recyclable through council refuse collection facilities linked to managed recycling programmes. You can also add the cello bag to their plastic recycling bins. However, I am currently investigating 100% biodegradable ‘cellulose’ bags which I hope to be changing over to as soon as current supplies are used.
Although the foam used in my kits does not contain any plastic, and is fully re-usable, I have just changed my current foam to a type that is (in my opinion) better to felt on with less ‘bounce’ but, with the same carbon footprint.
Mail Bags: All mailing bags are recycled and recyclable.
Felting needle test tubes: Recycled, recyclable and re-usable; there should never be a need to throw these away as they are the safest and most practical way of protecting your needles and are handy for all sorts of craft uses.
We are so used to snapping away with our camera phones, and why not? The results are, on the whole decent and convenient. I am as amateur at photography as they come. However, when it comes to my product photography I have learned always to use my trustee Canon 400D; you have to actually look through the view finder, which, by the way, I love! Please note, anyone under the age of twenty will have to pop over to Wikipedia to find out what a view finder actually is…
Photographing needle felted items from a distance can sometime prove a challenge and the sharpness you are looking for can often be elusive. I have been photographing a new mouse (to encourage Spring to get a move on) and am so pleased with the result. Determined to make best use of my trustee Canon 400D I have forced myself to use manual mode. This was taken indoors; 50mm lens; f stop 2.8; iso 800. Some minor editing and, et voila! I have always opted for the quick and easy auto mode with good to great results. However, the difference using manual mode is clear to see and the depth of field is just lovely on these settings. I have previously used a combined lens of 18mm-55mm and would have to often sift through 100 photos before finding one I was happy with. On this occasion the difference when using a dedicated 50mm lens is like…well, night and day.
If you are serious about your craft business, blog etc. then a decent camera and lens is a real investment!
£1 from every sale in her Etsy shop: hopetheblackdog is donated to MIND who is a proud charity partner of the Heads Together campaign, which is led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
New kit ready. I know I shouldn’t have favourites and should love all the fuzzies just the same but I can’t help it… I have put this on as an introductory offer for Mother’s Day and Easter and, even better, you get to make two Robins from one kit because there is zero chance of you parting with the first one! www.lincolnshirefenncrafts.com
Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy and happy 2017. Thank you for all your support and witty banter over the last year and please, keep your wonderful photographs coming in for the customer gallery. Happy felting! x
Coasters made by the talented: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LisaJaneofSurrey
Just had our pre-Christmas meeting and the Fuzzies terms of employment are as follows: Refreshments to consist of; unlimited supply of mince pies and full fat Jersey milk; toilet break every two hours (on account of their tiny bladders); afternoon tea at 2pm followed by nap 😴 time and a story; paid lunch and tea breaks; 12 weeks paid holiday per annum; discount on tickets to Disneyland Paris; office party with a magician; clothes allowance and full health insurance for life.
Negotiations are underway but, I do feel they have me over the proverbial barrel…
Can anyone recommend an experienced employment lawyer???
Today I am desperately trying to finish off all those annoying (but important) jobs that are just hanging around and should have been finished weeks ago. I have at least half a dozen brooches in limbo that only need little touches but the ‘lazy ‘ inside me has been putting them off. Well today’s the day; look out world, here I come!!! Actually…I think I will just make a cup of tea first and check out that cute puppy/kitten/talking dog/pet sees owner for first time in 1000 years video on YouTube and, maybe a quick peek at Pinterest whilst I’m there. Aah come on! You know you’re as guilty as I am so quit pretending; you’ve been rumbled.
More candidates for therapy but, I can’t imagine a nicer craft to be addicted to.
Thanks so much to Sharon and Di for these wonderful photos (hard to believe it’s less than a year since you started needle felting), and to everyone who sends me photos of their wonderful projects each month. I never get tired of receiving them and such a joy to see all the different characters from your needle felting kits, your own interpretations of them and your own designs.
If you think you are a candidate for ‘Needle Felters Anonymous’ then please message me your ‘montage’ over to Facebook and I will add them to the blog pages.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all ‘tree huggy’ on you; no offence intended, it’s just a personal space thing so, if it is your style, then give it a hug for me while you’re there…
Anyway, I digress… We shouldn’t underestimate the power that crafts in all their forms have on our personal and mental well being.
This article (link under photos) highlights how important crafts can be at improving not only the quality of our lives but also our mental health. I talk to so many of you who find crafts give you respite from disability, pain, stress, anxiety, grief and the normal pressures of daily life. Many of you are carers who have to spend much of your time at home caring for others and crafts offer, what one carer referred to as, ‘ME’ time (something everyone is entitled to ) and said it helped to keep her sane. So here’s a big high five to crafts in all their wonderful forms and maybe doctors should consider it a ‘complimentary’ medicine for some patients. In the meantime there is always Pinterest…x