August 11, 2014


I've been felting roses.   
 A great and meditative lesson in patience
Each flower takes its sweet time to emerge from this
beautiful hand crafted process. 

Felting flowers is pure joy and a day spent with four enthusiastic students felting flowers is even better!  But first ... just a few hats.  This is 'Olivea' below, named after my favorite restaurant in Kingston ... and also because of its beautiful olive colour.  (The best thing on the menu at Olivea is the bowl of hot olives!!  Quite wonderful to look at and even better to taste.)  Speaking of colour, Lesley at Rosehaven Yarns just loaded up the shop with the most gorgeous colours of 19 micron Italian merino fibres from DHG and ... just in case you are wondering (and possibly in need of some fibre) ...  resistance IS futile.  More felted flower photos below the hats!

'Olivea' ~ cloche wet felted by hand using pure merino wool and silk

'Olivea' ~ A surprise inside

'Olivea' ~ side view

'Water Colour Paint Box' ~ bucket hat ~ merino wool and silk

I must have fedora and trilby on the brain after being so inspired by the work of Zara and Paul at . Their work is wonderful and you can see their hats (and other great stuff) on their website or at their Etsy store where you can order one of their amazing hats on line.  Both of the hats shown here were made by me as bucket style hats but someone tried on 'Moss' sideways and all of a sudden with the brim turned up at the back and top pinched in it looked front ways and fedora like (but with a very small brim).  In the end, 'Water Colour Paint Box' is quite versatile and can be worn many different ways.  'Moss' on the other hand just looks better as a fedora style hat so I added a band and a felted ball and left it like that. 

'Water Colour Paint Box'

'Water Colour Paint Box' ~ when worn sideways looks like a fedora

'Moss' ~ totally inspired by Inner Spiral

'Moss' ~ side view.  Made from pure merino wool and silk

OK, now for some more felted flowers!

My demo flower made on a resist pattern just waiting to dry

 Demo rose in pink

More demo flowers

Here is a glimpse into the flower felting workshop I taught at Rosehaven Yarn Shop yesterday.  In the workshop I wanted to teach my students to make sculptural as well as free form flowers and also how to create and attach a separate stem to a flower.  We only had a little time left at the end of the day because we had been busily making several flowers each using a more complicated resist technique involving layers of petals.  These flowers don't have stems (although you could certainly add one) because they are like little free standing sculptures.  Thanks to the excellent tutorial from Deborah at  this lovely free form red flower with attached stem was made very quickly and looks so pretty.   Deborah is a fantastic felter and so generous about sharing her felting knowledge.  The single layer petals are very thin felt which makes them flute and ruffle so nicely at the edges.  What's even better is that Deborah's tutorial is available on her blog to everyone so it can be refered to at anytime. 

My demo flower with stem ~ based on the Felter's Journey tutorial.

And finally... the students.  Why I forgot my camera yesterday I don't know??.. but I did, so the quality of the photos is less that great (I took them with my phone).  Nevertheless I had four wonderful students who all worked their tails off with only a short break for lunch.  Three of them even drove all the way from Toronto (which is close to a three hour drive - each way) just to take the class.  Wow! I certainly hope they are happy with what they learned.  They sure made some gorgeous flowers and took away new skills and techniques so they can continue felting flowers at home.

Celia using the resist technique making two at once!

Celia's layout ~ wet and getting ready to flip over for side two

Celia's blue flower ~ great colour and flare

Karen ~ working happily!

Karen felting ~ bravely out of her colour comfort zone

Karen's blue flower sitting in the jelly mold she used to felt it with. 
This is the most innovative felting tool I have seen to date!
 It's kind of like the juice lid I use only much bigger. 
We all had a good laugh when she pulled it out of her bag!

Debbie felting her purple rose ~ wait for it...

Deb's purple rose finished ~ isn't it a beauty!

Debbie's red rose ~ exquisite

Cathie (who made her fantastic straw hat by the way)!

One of Cathie's very pretty little gems

July 28, 2014


Vintage Beret with felted flower

I have acquired a collection of beautiful old pure wool felted berets from various vintage stores that I wasn't quite sure what to do with.  I also had a few hand felted flowers left over from The Maker's Hand sale last fall.  They were all sitting in my "what to do with?" basket when it occurred to me that the berets and flowers might be a match made in heaven!  Here is the result after a little hand stitching and some colour inspiration from the garden.

The pink rose below (the real one...not the felted one) was the only rose I have been able to grow in my garden since becoming a rural dweller ten years ago.  I brought most of my favorite rose bushes with me when we arrived and began gardening here.  Sadly, the deer (who seem immune to prickles) ate them all.  Every last one of my beautiful roses.  In fact I haven't seen a rose growing here for years.  Then a few weeks ago I noticed this divine pink rose poking out next to the wrought iron trellis that has long forgotten what it's like to support any kind of climbing vegetation.  It had the fragrance of sweet apples. Luckily I snapped this photo...because the next day all that was left was a chewed off stem.  Imagine that!    

The deer (and we have quite a few here) like to wait until something is in perfect bloom and then with great stealth they attack,  often but not always under the cover of darkness wreaking havoc on the poor garden. We learned the hard way and although we can't fence the flower gardens we did build a seven foot high fence around the veggie garden.  This spares the cabbages but any grape vine that escapes cascading over the fence is fair game. One of the only plants deer don't find tasty is Russian sage.  Maybe that's part of the reason for my obsession with purple!   So to commemorate my lovely, short lived pink rose I put the felted pink rose on the hunter green beret.  That will have to do.

Vintage Beret ~ hunter green with felted rose

The one and only rose

The deer proof veggie garden with 7' fence!

Vintage Beret ~ with felted flower pin

If you would like to learn how to create your own beautiful felted flowers there are still three spots available for a flower making workshop Sunday August 10th at Rosehaven Yarn Shop in Picton. To sign up please call the shop at 613-476-9092 or email Lesley at

The cost of the workshop including materials is $120 (9am to 4 pm).  You will complete two or three beautiful wet felted flowers using various techniques which you will take home to dry. Click here to see a list of what you will need to bring.

Colourful Noro fingerless gloves

I love this Noro yarn for fingerless gloves

More subdued but still soft and warm!


A few weeks ago Sandra (below) popped in to Rose haven Yarns and much to my delight bought my Alba Rose cloche which looks fantastic on her.  To be honest I think she could wear any hat and look great.  She was so excited about the hat and the felting process that she signed up for a workshop with me last weekend at Rosehaven.  Here are the results of Sandra's very first foray into felting.  She made a simply beautiful black and green cloche with a felted feather embellishment that (of course) looks great on her!  When she was done she was already planning her next felting projects so I know she has been bitten by the felting bug.

Alba Rose being worn by its lovely new owner

Sandra in her felted cloche creation

Love the felted feather

Margaret's layout

Margaret looking beautiful in her unique pleated cloche

Margaret's fabulous finished hat

Colleen (below) is an experienced felter who has taken classes in New Zealand and more recently in Switzerland.  She has felted beautiful garments but wanted to learn the tricks of hat felting which is why she took my workshop and it was great to have her there.  It seems like there are so many unique techniques to make felt around the world that I picked up a few nice ideas from her as well.  Colleen has the cutest little ceramic felting tool that she picked up in New Zealand and she used it not only to heal cut edges but also to rub the felt after wetting.  I usually use bubble wrap or some times screening over top of the wet fibres.  Colleen used a piece of smooth plastic over the fibres and rubbed the plastic with the ceramic tool (photo below).  It's just a different way of achieving the same results and it worked really well.  I tried it out but found the little handle was very small to hold on to and that my hand got tired trying to grip it.

Colleen's layout with a little firestar for pizazzFelting tool in top right corner

Colleen felting with her ceramic felting tool on plastic

The glaze makes this tool smooth but I found it hard to grip

Colleen's fantastic results


Having fun with embellishments

Sue's fibre... three pre-weighed layers for side two

Sue's layout with the green on the inside of the hat

Sue smoothing the seams using a plastic juice lid

Maura laying out her purple fibre

For a beret the head opening is cut part way through the felting process

Maura healing the cut edges

Hand rolling to further shrink the felt