Sunday, 31 May 2009

It's Summer

Love Summer, cricket and lasy Sundays, laying on the grass watching...

How to felt a Teddy bear PART TWO and a bit.

I love Summer.
The bear was made by the light of the sun and the moon.

This little guy I am now going to give away.
If you would like him, you have to name him.
I'll give you a whole month and you can leave as many names as you wish. Every name/comment is an entry and on July 1st. We will have a draw.

No cheating.....e.g. snowy, snowy, snowy.............
I'll post him anywhere in the world, just need you to make sure I have your contact email, so he can travel.
Leave a comment, even if it's only to tell me to go back to mohair bears.......... Um....... I always craft something... just don't post all that I make, hopefully the tutorial no 1. no1 and a bit. Two, two and a bit will make up for me not blogging all that I make. Have a really great month and I won't forget to draw..... on July 1st.

Always keep my promises.
If I can't I don't promise!

I didn't embroider the paws, but you can.
I used a material dye pen.

Another photo explaining the nose. My instructions...................clear as mud!

If you really can't figure it out, email me and I will help.

How to felt a Teddy bear PART TWO

Make sure you jab your felting needle into the wool and slightly into the sponge. This makes your work felted firmly all the way through. After a while your work will take a more dense appearance and you can sculpt the wool by the jabbing action.
After jabbing and turning......... 1 head in an oval (egg shape), 1 body into an oval, 2 arms and 2 legs into sausage shapes. Don't forget your 2 half moon shape ears. Don't felt the bottom of the ears too much as they need to be attached to the head.

Your bear needs paws on his feet and arms, the way I do this is to lay the sausage shape felted work on the sponge and turn the end of the sausage shape up to a right angle to the leg. Needle felt from the heel back down into the length of the leg. It should give a good bend for the foot/paw.

The bears eyes are going to be placed about half way on his head.
With your needle jab and jab at the place you want to put the eyes.
You should end up with a dent.


Thread a fairly long piece of thread onto a sewing needle. I have used black no.5 embroidery thread on this bear. Enter from the base of the head and place your needle where you want the eye to be.
Leave enough thread at the entry point to tie off.
Here you can use teddy glass eyes, but black beads are fine. I've used two black beads that are big enough not to get lost in the felted head when they are slightly pulled tight.
Place your needle in the eye socket and go straight over to the other side of the head, moving the needle through the head and your felted work. (Does that make sense?
Yes sounds o.k..... well I understand..... but then I've done it before.
Take your needle back down through the felted work into the base of the head and tie off using the bit that you left dangling when you started. Don't pull too tight, but tight enough that the eyes don''t move.
Remember that I have used beads here not teddy glass eyes. Teddy glass eyes need to be placed slightly differently. You will have to email me.... it takes a bit longer to explain.
Your half moon shapes need to be placed where you want your ears to go on the head. To attach them to the head isn't so hard as you think. Take two small pieces of wool from your wool wad and felt them slightly. Place your ear and lay the small piece of felted wool on top of the join. As you haven't felted the base of the ears too much you should have whispy bits at the base that will help to bond into the head. Felt the extra wool into your ear and head. Jab actions. So you sculpt the ears onto the head. They have to be reasonabley firmly felted on. Don't want them to fall off.

The nose
Thread your sewing needle and go in from the base of your bears head. Leave some thread to tie off. Go backwards and forwards a couple of times to the nose and back again. This will help to anchor your thread. I have used the same black No.5 embroidery thread. The nose can be any shape you like. I find it easier to start in the middle of the bears nose using satin stitch up and down. Do one side first and then take your thread back to the middle and do the other side. The mouth is normally an upturned "Y",
When you are happy with the nose and mouth take your thread back to the neck of the bear where you have left some thread hanging to tie off.

Attaching arms, legs and head to the body.
Nearly there...
I've used dental floss to attach the limbs. It's easier to use and in the colour wool I've used it doesn't show. Although it should get lost in the body and it shouldn't be seen anyway.
Most people will attach the head to the body first. But me, being me, I like to put on arms and legs first.
Thread your needle with dental floss. You can use any strong thread by the way.
Enter from the bottom of the bears body leaving enough thread to tie off. Work your needle to the place you want your bears leg to go. Place the leg to the side of the body and take your needle right through the leg. Then back through the body to the other side where you want the other leg. Take your needle through the leg and then back again into the body. Do this a couple of times and make sure that it holds the legs firmly. But don't pull so tight that you distort the legs.

Work your needle up through the body where you want to place the arms. Do the same as you have done with the legs. Take your needle to one side of the body, through the arm then back again in the body out to where you want the other arm. Do this a couple of times. Same thing as the legs. Take your needle down again to the base of the bear. Tie off. Feed your thread into the bear so it's lost when you cut the thread.

To attach the head. Another reasonably long piece of floss, into the base, between the legs. Leave enough to tie off. Take the needle up to the neck of the bear.
Place your needle through the neck (underneath bit where you tied off the other thread).
Take the needle through the head to behind an ear, then go back down again the whole length of the bear. Go up through the body and the head again bringing your needle out behind the other ear. Go back down the whole length of the body again.
Tie off your thread and lose it into the body of your bear.

One felted bear.

You can refine your bear with your needle. This is only supposed to give you an idea how to do it.

PRACTISE.................I'm still practising how to do it.

Going to post another PART TWO and a bit. So you will have to read that.... and look at more of the photo's .

I really need to help water the garden..... again.... turn the tap on................. Michele.........x x x

Saturday, 30 May 2009

How to Needlefelt a teddy bear part one and a bit

How to felt a teddy bear PART ONE

I promised a while ago I would tell you how to felt a teddy bear. The one above is unfinished, but you get the general idea how big it is. You don't have to make huge bears. Smaller ones are just as fun.

You need the right tools. Wool to start, go into a craft shop they sell fantastic dyed wool in a multitude of colours. I prefer to have natural looking wool, so the bear above was made from combed wool tops from Wales. The blue is the beautiful dyed stuff you get from the craft shops.

Felting needles come next, found at the same craft shop. They aren't expensive and if you have have never tried this before...... buy a few.....They have no eye like a normal sewing needles, they have barbs on the end. The idea being to tease and mat the wool.
The larger the number needle the finer the needle. Suggestion go for a *36 and a *40 to start with. *36 being courser than *40.
Felting needles don't bend.
They snap..........................
They need to be used straight up and down, not at an angle.

One more thing you need. You need something to work on that the needles will go into, rather than stab your knees and your lap. I use a car wash sponge. Don't worry if you get bits of sponge in your bear it all blends in.

Break off a small piece of wool and scrunch it up so it will fit into your hand, this is going to be the bears body. Break another smaller piece and really scrunch, this is the bears head. Do the same with 4 other pieces of wool, keeping them roughly the same size. Legs and arms. Also 2 bits for ears.

Lay your first piece of wool on the sponge and jab it. Do about 5 or 6 jabs along your wool. Don't forget to keep the needle straight in and straight out.
Turn the wool. If you don't you will end up with a flat piece. No good for bears.
Jab five or six times, turn, jab and turn............your felting.

After a while the wool will start to change and you should find a slight resistance with your first needle. Change to the *40 and it should now become easier to felt. Not forgetting you need to keep the needle straight. It won't do ANGLES..

The aim is to felt the wool, jab and turn, so you end up with an oval, Do the same with the body.
The legs are slightly different you need 4 sausage shapes. Two smaller for the arms and two for the legs. Felt the ears. All in the same way, jab and turn on your sponge.
The ears need to be flatter, so don't turn them so much.

How am I doing?

Let alone you!

Have to go and help water the garden, but PART TWO I'll explain how to put the bear together.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Lazy daisy dog days in the park

As you see Amie is back in the park and chasing her NEW ball.

It's a soft one, spongy, perfect for when the tooth fairy has called.

You can still take part, it just needs a little more thought.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The tooth fairy

On a beautiful, warm sunny day what better way to spend it in the garden lazing around on a Bank Holiday Monday.

Or a trip along the River Dart?

Where did we go?
To the vets with Amie.
Amie is lighter to the value of two teeth.
Making the total loss of teeth this year as 7.
The up side on this (there is always an up side somewhere) she didn't have to wait.
She went straight in.
Had her own nurse and the whole building to herself.
Undivided attention of a beautiful lady vet, who was very kind.

Always good to get back home after spending an afternoon at the vets, especially when she has her own body guard to make sure others leave her alone till she recovers.

She is much better today and has been chasing around the garden but does anyone know about doggy false teeth?
She might need some if she looses any more...........

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Over the edge

Amie loves walking along Charmouth Beach. It must be the ultimate joy for any beachcomber. Being part of the Jurassic coast it means that the "finds" along the beach are hum......quite old.
..... at this moment in time I have forgotten how old. But if you click onto the Jurassic Coast link on the right of the blog you will have a better idea than I can give you.

The coast line changes very quickly and we were really dismayed to see another part of the cliff being washed away into the sea.

The grey stuff is where all the interesting finds are. If you are really lucky you don't just find a print, you find the real thing.

Charmouth and Lyme Bay

You are never too sure what to do first.
Laze on the beach,

Climb the hill (not going that close to the edge) and take in the view.


Or just sit and stare at the water

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Dog day in the life of Amie Soto Blossom

We all know she loves the beach,

and is really, really into fossils,

loves views,

at the end of the day, she just wants her tea.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Lucky the Labrador

I had a very interesting conversation with a fellow blogger about her dog a few weeks ago.

Then looking through our photographs I came across Lucky's photo, plus her FIRST rosette she won at a dog show. It seems a long time ago now, and it is. But isn't it strange how you remember every moment of a day. We always said she cheated at the dog show as she kept nudging the judges leg to get noticed. When she was called out and had a first her tail wagged so much it nearly fell off.
I still miss this dog............ the rosette is a bit faded, but never my memory of her. She still has the ability to make me cry and laugh.
Love my dog.....still........

Monday, 18 May 2009

From Cairns to Soggibottom

One of the best things in life....... to find a turtle grazing on a reef..................

Sunday, 17 May 2009

It is still one of the safest ways to cross the road

I haven't a clue who this guy is, but isn't his face a picture?

I bet this lollipop lady took him back in time.

Did we smile.............. slightly!

The strangest thing, there wasn't a kid in sight.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

You can't canoe above Dartmeet on Dartmoor

I never knew that.

I'm not sure how you can canoe in an inch of water here.

Although someone will probably tell me you can!

From Cornish Lanes to Devon and Dartmoor

Is there a difference?

The route home from Cornwall normally takes us 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Using the lanes of Bodmin and Dartmoor it took us 4 hours....... but strangely it worked out approx. 6 miles shorter......

Do you save in time?

Or petrol?

Or do you just enjoy the ride?

Bodmin ponies and foals.

Instead of using the main roads back from Cornwall during the week, we headed off onto the side roads of Bodmin Moor.

Collingford Reservoir.

Weather wasn't great, but I always think grey skies add to the atmosphere of the moor.

It was so cold, we bravely stayed out side of the car long enough to take the photo's you see.
Then left it to the local residents to enjoy their peace and quiet.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

New meaning to the words." Ditching the caravan"

Driving on the Devon Express Way you never know exactly what you are going to come across.
The car pulling the caravan in front of us looks normal as it drives along.
Until the caravan started to wobble, and sway backwards and forwards across the road.

The driver, very lucky guy steered the whole thing into the ditch, about the same time as one of
the caravan's wheels left the road, ready to turn the whole thing over.

Very pleased to say the family and dog, ( happened to be a cavalier) in the car in front were
unharmed. The car took a battering and not sure if the caravan was able to travel any further
into Cornwall.

So sorry for the family, the main thing, no one was hurt.

If you do pass someone in distress on a busy road, SLOW DOWN...... speedy

Amie and I might be sitting in the car that has stopped to help parked on the hard

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bee, Bug and Squirrel

Good thing about living at Soggibottom,

you never know who is going to pass through, or over the gate.