Tag Archives: Needle Felting

A Pain in the Neck!

If it’s been a bit quiet on Planet Penny the last few days it’s because its all been a bit of a pain in the neck…quite literally!  I don’t know how it’s possible to lock one’s neck up completely just turning on the pillow to look at the alarm clock  but that’s what I did, very effectively.   So my midweek post got delayed, and now I’m back in the chair with strict instructions from Lara, my amazing chiropractor, to set an alarm and step away from the computer every 20 minutes….

Which is quite tricky…

Feather and Needlefelt birds

I was mobile enough to take the second Needlefelt Workshop yesterday at Arts Desire and like the first one it was great fun.

Needlefelt Workshop, Arts DesireIt’s always fun to see the different interpretations of the same basic skill when we all get together, last week we had these little chaps (spot the bumble bee!)…

needlefelt bird workshop

…and yesterday these little feathered friends were born…

needlefelt birds29June

The Craft Lounge at Arts Desire is proving a great venue for these workshops and I’m looking forward to the 27th July and the Planet Penny Bakery when we will be needlefelting lots of low calorie high fibre treats!  If you are interested in joining us you can find out more right here

Meanwhile, I have been responding to many requests for a Rainbow Mouse knitting pattern for all those who don’t crochet and I’ve come up with this little fellow…

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

and introduced him to his crochet chums…

Knitted and Crochet Rainbow Mice

What do you think?  As soon as I feel happy with the design it will be available  alongside the crochet Mouse pattern via the Etsy shop

Knitted Rainbow Mouse

He seems to be looking very much at home..

And the sun is shining!  The creaky neck has put paid to much gardening, but my lovely son has been over and planted my Sarah Raven Sweet Peas. It’s a super scented collection of white, blue and deep pink …

Sarah Raven Sweet Peas…and I just can’t wait to pick my first bunch and fill the house with their scent.

I don’t think I’ve shown you my Planet Penny Cotton garden project!  It seems a bit mad, but so far has withstood the weather really well…

flowers in tins

Planet Penny Cotton Covered Tins

A possible tutorial?  Let me know what you think…

And now, because the sun is still shining and it’s heading towards being the hottest day of the year so far, I shall take my basket of yarn and the embryo mouse pattern into the garden and enjoy the rest of my Sunday, knitting under the cherry trees.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday too!

See you soon…x

 

 

Turf, Surf and Needlefelt Birds

A mixed bag post today, I’ve been lurking inside a lot consoling myself with needlefelt because of the unseasonably cold weather, but then rejoicing in sunshine and warmth when at last we get a brief indication that it’s actually summertime!  I’m only wearing TWO layers today, and no thermal fleece!

The wind seems to have blown constantly for months in this part of the UK and we live in the windiest corner of the village, near the remains of the old mill.  Wind always seems to make everything worse, doesn’t it?  Colder, and so noisy with it whistling around the chimney.  Yesterday’s walk was a bit scary, with small branches being blown off the trees.  I wasn’t sorry to see some rain for the garden though, and Higgins was relieved that the thunderstorm which hit Norwich skirted around us.  Despite all this Mother Nature is flourishing in the hedgerows…

dog rose

green lane

pink campion

white flowerThe grass is long enough now to ripple in the wind like water, and is such a lush green…

grassy meadow

Norfolk field miniature dachshund

But, in true English fashion today the weather is completely different.  The sunshine in the garden brought the bees to the chive flowers…

chive flower and beeI know you are supposed to snip the flowers off if you want nice chives for kitchen use, but how can I deprive the poor bees?

bee on chive flowers

chives with bee

Such a beautiful morning was too good to waste, so Higgins and I headed to the beach before breakfast.  What could be better than a deserted Norfolk beach in the sunshine?

Norfolk beach

The sand is gradually returning after being scoured by the winter gales.  Only a couple of weeks ago this stretch was down to red clay.

Norfolk beach and sunHiggins was very happy..

Norfolk beach and miniature dachshundAnd quite intrepid too in the shallows…

miniature dachshund at the beach

Miniature dachshund paddling…and the pools…

Miniature dachshund in pool

Back home I’m getting ready for the first Needlefelt Workshop next weekend at Art’s Desire Craft Lounge in Norwich.  The first one is all booked up and the second one is filling but fear not, further dates have been added to the calendar!  The   Birds on a Branch piece I created for Open Studios last year is in the shop window because we’ll be making birds, of all descriptions…

needlefelt birds on a branchThis is my latest flight of fancy….

Needlefelt birds

Needlefelt and feather birds

Feather and Needlefelt birds Happy, not Angry Birds!

And, in case you were wondering, there is a winner for last week’s  giveaway of a copy of Caroline Zoob’s gorgeous book, The Hand-Stitched Home.  Thank you, to everyone who entered  with wonderful stitching memories, I really enjoyed reading them.  It seems for every school day horror there was also a wonderful teacher or relative who passed on their own love of the subject.

It  was so hard to choose, I wanted everyone to win, but there’s only one copy of the book!

Please imagine the drum roll, or the pregnant pause beloved of TV Games shows so that I can announce…the winner is… Nikki Pierce who writes her own blog Tales from Swallow Barn.

Congratulations Nikki, I hope you enjoy your copy of the book and that we see some of your creations on your blog before too long (No pressure or anything!)

I’m off now to put the kettle on.  I hope you’ve got your feet up with a cuppa too!

Have a great week and I’ll be back soon…

All Sheep Shape…

daffodils in the sun for a Sheep shape post

Have you heard the sound of birds singing and  sheep dancing on Planet Penny this week?   It’s all because the sun is shining and I have finished my piece for the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios Taster Exhibition at the Forum in Norwich….yippee!   I’ve just looked back and found I published my Ta-daaa moment for the last piece almost exactly a year ago today, you can read it here.   And I said “This has existed in my head for so long it was rather a shock to realise that I hadn’t actually made it yet, so I’ve been working on it all week” And I can say exactly the same this year.  It’s amazing how a deadline focuses the mind!

But first, the sunshine.  It’s still not very warm, but it was a relief to wake up yesterday morning and realise the wind was not whistling in the chimney which it’s been doing for days.

frosty gardenI’ve had the doors open into the garden for the first time this year (and kept my fleece on) to let some fresh air into the house and Henry and Higgins have appreciated being able to wander in and out as they please.  Henry has a spot on a warm paving slab where in a few weeks he will be able to get spaced out on Cat Mint…

Tabby cat in the garden

…and Higgins parked himself under the bird feeder to make sure no pesky birds could get at the little dish of water I  put out for them.  He found it was particularly delicious, so much nicer than the inferior water in the dog bowl!

miniature dachshund

There’s a lot of bare earth in the garden, even the weeds are holding back, but there are patches of Spring to enjoy…

purple crocus

white crocuses

mixed crocuses

frilly daffodilAnd so to my big project for this week.  I really wanted to do something completely different this time, to step away of the bright colours, the crochet, the small things.  Also to challenge myself on the needlefelt front and make something much bigger than little birds and mice.    So I’ve used a very subdued palette…

sheep fleeceNatural Merino fleece with a background of charcoal grey.

So can you guess what I made? Well, of course it’s a sheep!

needlefelt sheep for NNOS 2013It’s actually quite hard to photograph and get the angle right…

needlefelt sheep for Taster Exhibition NNOS 2013

It’s called ‘How to Knit a Sheep’… (but please don’t ask me for a pattern!)

'How to Knit a Sheep' NNOS 2013

The knitted part starts off as unspun fleece and gradually reduces in thickness until it becomes  undyed 4 ply to knit the lacy part.

Needlefelt Sheep for NNOS 2013

knitting for 'How to Knit a Sheep' for NNOS 2013This has been a rare moment when the finished piece is almost the same as the picture in my head, hence the singing and dancing!  As you can imagine, I haven’t done a lot else this week but there are exciting Planet Penny things in the pipeline which I hope to share with you soon.

It’s Handmade Monday again this week so I’m linking up with Wendy for Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour  and I’ll be back very soon…x

 

 

Waiting for Spring

Happy Easter!  It seems strange to start a post entitled ‘Waiting for Spring’ that way but we are really stuck in some topsy turvy weather at the moment.  Hard to credit getting up on the first morning after the clocks change for British Summer Time to a sprinkling of snow!  We’ve actually got off lightly here in Norfolk as far as snow goes, the pictures of devastated farmers digging their sheep out of snowdrifts in other parts of the country have been heartbreaking.  We’ve just got the Arctic blast coming straight off the North Sea and hitting us sitting on the exposed lumpy bit sticking out of the East of England to contend with.

So I’m sharing a pretty Spring like picture to cheer us up…

lollipop broom bush for Spring

Higgins is not a fan of going out in the cold and I’ve had a running battle with him over the building of dachshund ‘nests’ out of the soft furnishings.  He’s only really happy when he has buried himself  and if he finds himself on the sofa with no available ‘blankie’ he will grizzle until he’s been covered up.

Since he’s eaten the corners of all the old cushions he now has a cushion of his very own, and a fleece blanket he can do whatever he likes with.  Unfortunately, he feels these are just not good enough, and compare very poorly with the fluffy throw I have draped over the back of the sofa, and the new velvet cushions in anemone colours I rashly bought a few weeks ago.

Every time my back is turned, this happens…

miniature dachshund keeping warm

…and he might look guilty…

Miniature dachshund looking guilty

…but that doesn’t mean he’s going to move!

I’ve reached a bit of a hiatus on Planet Penny just now.  It’s always slightly problematic judging  stock levels with the Planet Penny cotton because I don’t have a huge amount of space to store it.  Unfortunately an unexpected rush of orders has coincided with a couple of colours being out of stock at the suppliers so it’ll be first come first served on the few packs remaining until the middle of April.

But…

There are some changes afoot.  I’ll be trialling a new pack, which some of you have been asking about for a while AND I have a new venture in the pipeline which I will tell you about later on in the year, so I’m not standing still by any means.

Meanwhile, Open Studios is on the horizon and I have started an ambitious needlefelted piece for exhibition so a lull on the cotton front is probably a good thing.  There are only so many hours in the day!   It’s refreshing change to be doing something creative and challenging  just for me,  I hope it turns out looking at least a little bit like the image in my head.

Just a reminder, the Bunny crochet pattern offer ends tomorrow, Easter Monday at 5pm UK time.  After that it will be available through the Etsy shop, but for now it’s still yours for FREE!

I changed the yarn to make this version, a big soft squidgy version as a baby toy…

big spring crochet bunny

big crochet bunny for Spring

I’m off now to dig Higgins out of his latest nest, put on his coat and march him round a field or two…

Norfolk Field - Spring

…and then get back to my felting needle.  Don’t forget to nip over the Handmade Harbour to see what’s going on for Handmade Monday this week.

I’ll see you soon…x

 

Craft Fairs and Family Fun

It’s been a busy half term week here on Planet Penny what with the How Hill Craft Fair and family fun with a special visit by two little boys over half term.  Not that they were always recognisable as little boys…

Halloween Family fun…slightly troubling for a granny!

The craft fair went well, such a lovely venue

How Hill Craft Fair

with beautiful views over the gardens and the Norfolk Broads…

How Hill Gardens and View

How Hill

The robins proved very popular and quite a few flew off to new homes…

wire tree with needlefelt robins

So the felting needle will be red hot again next week to refill my little tree!

Higgins has had a lovely week with his favourite boys, and even had his moment as an artists model for Thomas, their dad…

miniature dachshund being drawn

…but didn’t quite get the hang of posing!

He was invited along with the rest of us for a wonderful lunch with my second son, and my talented daughter-in-law produced a fabulous cake worthy of the ‘Great British Bake Off‘, and Higgins even managed to get in on the act with this too!

Fraisiere Cake with chocolate dachshund - family gathering

It was all most enjoyable…

Miniature dachshund takes a nap

So creating has been a little low key this week,  I actually have something on knitting needles for a change, but I’ll save that for the next visit.

I’m sending my continued thoughts good wishes over the ‘Pond’ to everyone who has been affected by the horrendous weather.  I hope you have all the help you need to get back to some sort of normality as quickly as possible.

I would also like to send a big, BIG thank you for all your visits, and lovely comments and the support you give me here on Planet Penny.  Today I reached the huge milestone of having 200,000 hits on my blog since its very tentative beginnings in December 2007.  100,00 of those visits have been in the last 7 months!  I have my thinking cap on for a celebratory Giveaway so watch this space…

I’m leaving you for now though with the Handmade Monday link and I’ll be back soon…x

Seagulls…Robins…and a Small Sea Dog

Hello!  It’s that time of the week again….doesn’t it come round quickly?  If you spotted my mid week post about the Planet Penny Cotton crochet inspirations, you’ll know this post  represents a very quick gear change to get back to needlefelting again to build up my flock of Robins.

I think I’m going to have set days for each  to keep on top of things, oh to be disciplined and organised.  I’ve a feeling I may left it a little late in the day to change, but I do try!

And I have been sloping off when the sun shines to keep a small dog happy.  We went to our favourite Norfolk beach during the week…

Norfolk sky, sea and sand

So peaceful, and completely deserted,  Just me, Higgins and the seagulls.  Not even a seal this time.

Higgins had a great time…

miniature dachshund on Norfolk beach

miniature dachshund on beach

love the little pink tongue!

Did I mention he’s on a healthy eating and fitness regime?  The last weigh in at the vet’s pronounced him at the top end of his ideal weight window, so charging madly around the beach is just what the ‘doctor’ ordered.  (It’s not doing me any harm either!)

And later, back in the studio, the flock of Robins keeps growing…

Robins great and small…

needlefelt robins

three needlefelt robins

six needlefelt robins

needlefelt robins group

needlefelt robins on a log

I have a lovely selection of rings, wreaths and hearts for my robins to sit on so that’s tomorrows job!

I’m battling with the internet at the moment, it’s running like very cold treacle, so I shall quit while I’m ahead and leave you with a link to this week’s Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour.  Have a lovely week, I will be back soon….x

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