Thursday, 24 November 2011

My creative Space - dragons

I have been making some more dragons.

A Purple Prussian Dragon

A Welsh Dragon

A baby green dragon
To see more creative spaces go to Kirsty's blog

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Name Change - The Greedy Crocodile and friends

Attention Attention Achtung!!!! I am changing names... I've already changed the name of my etsy shop to http://theGreedyCrocodile.etsy.com, now I will get on with changing everything else!!! Including the name of this blog....


Thursday, 10 November 2011

New Wool!!! From ColouritGreen in Devon

Today the postman brought me a present - some wool from ColouritGreen in Devon.

Look at the green envelope!!
I love CiG's wool* because:

-it is lovely wool - little bit coarse, little bit soft, lovely for needle felting, good for spinning - everything you could wish for in your wool;


- CiG dyes it fantastic colours - some are commercial dyes, and some are natural. My mediaevalist's imagination will never ceast to be captured by the idea of woad, and the fact that there are still people living on Dartmoor growing and using their own woad - well, it's just quite exciting;


- the wool comes from CiG's own few Devon Closewool sheep on her smallholding, so it fulfils any kindness to animals issues you might think of (and their are some in wool production), and ticks all sustainability and environmental boxes;

for some reason these curls make me think Morgana... after all, everyone knows the Arthurian legends are based in the South West of England (no matter what the Scottish may claim...)

- CiG and her sheep live on Dartmoor, in Devon, very close to the place I myself come from. And although I have left England and would not choose to live on Dartmoor myself, that doesn't mean I don't value it greatly for its clean winds, beautiful landscapes, soft water, stone age villages, amazing plants, very old twisted trees, extreme weather conditions, interesting geology, myths, monsters, lovely ponies, the sea - the list is endless (in fact, if you haven't been there, you should. Though you should also take a look at Exmoor, which is smaller but in many ways superior...).
Dartmoor: image from Wikipedia

CiG can be found on her own website (well worth a browse)

on Etsy

and on Folksy

And a while ago I wrote about ColouritGreen on this blog as part of a series about wool (a series which I haven't finished... it's having a 'break'...!)

*CiG does have a real name, I believe - but I always think of her as CiG. That's the power of good branding...

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Etsy auf Deutsch! / Etsy in German!

Etsy has just introduced listing in German - French and Dutch are apparently soon to follow. So I have begun the entertaining task of listing in German as well as in English. Entertaining because my German can probably only be understood when accompanied by sign language, and possibly diagrams - although since I have a translator to check what I've written (he's also called a husband sometimes) the comedy value is restricted. But if you'd like to see Etsy in German, there's a handy tab in the top right hand corner of the item listing.

Brown Rat/Braune Ratte
This is my first bilingual listing - more to follow!!

Friday, 4 November 2011

A surprise in the post today!!! from Florigamigirl.

Today I had a lovely surprise in the letterbox - a parcel from Florigamigirl in Singapore. She makes really clever things out of fabric by folding it like origami, hence the clever name of her shop :-) We did a swap, and this is my half!

First there are the interesting foreign stamps....



Then when I opened it there was the lovely packaging inside...


... which of course I had to open straight away




One of these I am planning to use as a Christmas present (shhh it's a secret), and one I plan to keep for me. Though I may change my mind and keep both. And one is still wrapped up in a little tiny package for Pia when she gets back from Kindergarten!

The amazing quality of these lovely clips is even more evident in the flesh than in Flori's lovely photos. The vintage kimono silk that the flowers are made from is even more silky, the clips have a really solid and well-made feel to them, and the packaging is fantastic.

And she makes many more things than hair clips - here is a taster - take a look!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

My Creative Space - Walnuts

A tiny dragon inside a walnut

A tiny walnut mouse!

For more creative spaces visit Kirsty's blog

Friday, 21 October 2011

Stolpen

Last weekend we went on our first trip out into the beautiful landscape of Sächsische Schweiz, Germany. 

We went to a lovely town called Stolpen - not exactly where we planned to go, but very much worth seeing nonetheless.
Main square in Stolpen


Aside from being a really pretty town with very lovely roofs (I like a good roof), it turns out to be important in geological terms as well. Specifically, basalt. According to the sign on this memorial to basalt, Stolpen is where basalt was given its name, by Agricola in 1546. And, moreover, the basalt of Stolpen provides the bar against which all basalt worldwide is measured.



And having pondered long and hard on the significance of basalt, I kept on seeing its distinctive polygonal patterns everywhere; paving slabs, fences, tiles... and of course in buildings, since in Stolpen basalt is one of the most important building materials.
Burg Stolpen: built in, and on, basalt


A Rapunzel-style tower (albeit with doors and windows) in Burg Stolpen
Another very interesting, and very beautiful, thing about Stolpen is the church. I didn't feel very comfortable taking lots of photos in a place of worship, but I sneaked a picture of the font, which gives a feel for the baroque nature of the decor. It is gorgeous - lovely paintings on the walls, and all in pastel pink and grey- pigeon colours. Pigeons are doves, after all.

The font, featuring a dove on the lid.
A limed (?) tower - Burg Stolpen

View from Burg Stolpen

eyelid-windows in Burg Stolpen

Another interesting roof

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

New beret - handspun, handknitted, handfelted

I though I'd write a little bit more about this new hat, as I'm quite pleased with it.


It is made from lovely Shetland wool combed tops which I bought here http://www.shetlandwoolbrokers.co.uk
They have wonderful wool in all different shades inspired by the Shetland landscape. This colour is called Lupin.

First I handspun it using my drop spindle.


This spindle is a whole story in itself. It was bought for me as a gift from a craftsman on the Isle of Wight http://thewoodemporium.co.uk
and is made from 3,300 year old oak from a bog in East Anglia, which really appeals to my imagination.

After spinning I plied the yarn to make a lovely 2ply yarn, which I knitted with 5mm needles into a beret. The inconsistencies in the spun wool make a much more interesting texture than the machine spun Shetland wool (lovely though that is).

Then I fulled it in hot soapy water, which evens out the texture and makes the hat draught-proof.

I think the colour of the flower and the hat really compliment each other, which is why I chose the dark purple wool (Fuscia) to make the flower. I've been planning for ages to needle-felt different sorts of British flowers. This is the first one, and it isn't really part of the planned set because it's not made to scale. It is modelled on heather because I like the little tiny bell-shaped flowers. But it is giant: heather from the age of the dinosaurs!

I have more handspun, handknitted, handfelted berets coming, all made in various lovely shades of Shetland combed tops.

Half a hat in haar: bit bluer than sea-mist usually is though 
Fuscia on the spindle

Thursday, 13 October 2011

My Creative Space - sewing and blackberries

To make my berets even more comfrtable and lovely I have been sewing ribbon around the inside of the brims. I will never win prizes for my hand sewing - but I think it looks good!

This hat is a favourite of mine, made from Shetland wool handsoun by me, with a needle felted flower decoration


Another task I have completed is my blackberry handwarmers. I have been working on these for a pattern, and have made them in child and adult sizes. Now I've just got to get the pattern finished!



For more creative spaces go to Kirsty's blog

Thursday, 6 October 2011

My Creative Space

As we've just moved house we've been very busy being creative in a home-building sort of way.

And as it's such an amzingly wonderful autumn, part of that has been using leaves to decorate our white walls (as yet no pictures up - they do look nice just white though).






While we were on a roll we couldn't resist putting some dinosaurs up too....

For more creative spaces go to Kirsty's blog.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

New earrings - sea pottery

Since we are about to move to a place many many miles away from the sea, I fancied making myself a pair of earrings out of sea-washed pottery. And after some time spent sifting through shrimpy stones for the pottery, and old jewellery for the right sort of earring post, this is the result:



I'm not expecting any jewellery-making prizes - this is the first time I've tried making earrings, and my hands are most definitely not designed for fiddly jobs (including taking photos that are in focus). But they are for me, and I like them. I think I might try and find some more posts with a flat surface more suitable for gluing pottery onto, and make some more.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

My Creative Space - My Little Witch


This is my little witch, my first gesture towards Halloween. I'm planning to make some more Halloween-y things, if time allows :-)

For more creative spaces see Kirsty's blog

Friday, 2 September 2011

Handmade Europe Feature

This week I have been lucky enough to be featured on the Handmade Europe blog, or rather, my knitted teddy pattern has. See here!!

http://handmade-europe.com/2011/08/31/tutorials-knit-a-teddy-bear/


Thursday, 1 September 2011

New today! My creative space


My creative space is mainly my packing space at the moment! But I couldn't resist making this, under instruction from tiny Pia :-)



And he can be seen in my etsy shop here.

For more creative spaces go to Kirsty's blog!!