About Me

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I am a lifelong fabric artist who loves bringing a home to life with quirky, unique and sumptuous pieces of textile art. I learnt my craft from sharing many a happy hour sewing with my talented mother. I particularly like collage, free-machining, needle-felting and creating home furnishings using a combination of machine and hand sewing. I love incorporating vintage and reclaimed fabrics, buttons, beads, jewellery and other items in my work to give them a second chance at being beautiful.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Needle felted brooches & WOYWW

Hello dear reader, thanks for dropping by to read my regular update on my textile art work. I'm linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday today - click here to meet more creative folk like me who join in weekly.

So, I've no desk to show you this morning, it's just my lap as I'm stitching 'on the go' today.

These are a collection of brooches based on a special order I made for a customer earlier this month to match her wedding outfit. Here's what they'll look like when they're finished.

So regular readers will note I've been a little tardy with my 'regular' updates. I've been busy with lots of demo days, working with new stockists and galleries, not to mention squeezing in a holiday and my little boy's 2nd birthday festivities!

Here's a bit of a catch up from the last few weeks to bring you up to date with my activities...

I ran four demo days at Acton Scott Working Farm in South Shropshire. I had a fabulous room and met lots of lovely people, including some very creative six year olds keen to try their hand at felting some sheep pictures...
I've been busy developing a range of sheepy pendants to match my brooch and picture collection...

I've had a few commissions to complete. A little picture for a new baby called Alfie and a set of three sheep-inspired pictures...

My little boy and his bestie, Isabelle, turned two this week so I made them both special cards...
Finally, we have just returned from a fabulous holiday in Parga, Greece. Here's a glimpse of the fun we had...

That's all for this week folks, thanks for stopping by!

Happy crafting,

Max x

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Needle felting inspiration from the seaside & WOYWW

Hello folks! Welcome to my regular blog about my textile art, linking up with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday, a weekly artists' showcase.

I didn't post last week as we'd just got back from a mini break in Aberystwyth. More about that later.

Here's my work desk this morning...

More needle felted and embroidered sheep brooches on the go this week. They've been popular online and I have been asked you stock a few shops so I'm increasing the size of my flock!

I'm also working on some more background pieces to use in a series of needle felting demonstrations I'll be doing at Acton Scott Working Farm in the next few weeks. You might remember the farm from a BBC series 'Victorian Farm' a few years ago. More about that another week.

So, to our mini break in Aberystwyth. We had a lovely little family break and I managed to find some inspiration while walking along the coastline.

Look at the colours in these pebbles...

Here's are some wild flowers I found...

Here's how I turned my wild flower findings into a needle felted and embroidered brooch...

Finally, here are a few shots of my happy little man on his hols...

That's all for today folks, thanks for stopping by.

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Petunia the Sheep - Needle felted brooches & WOYWW

Good morning dear reader! Thanks for stopping by my work desk to see what I'm up to today.

Here's my work desk this morning...

Tools at the ready for work in progress, lots of finished pieces of work to pack away and a delivery of gorgeous hand-dyed wool felt.

Keen-eyed regulars will notice I've been absent from the regular 'What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday' circuit for the last fortnight. I've no excuse other than being snowed under with making and events. Poor excuse huh?!

Well I'm hoping that my little wooly friends here will secure your forgiveness for my tardy blogging! I've been working on new design ideas and these are some of them...

They're all individually named (well who wouldn't name their sheep brooches?)

Here's Petunia...

Here's Matilda...

The rest of the flock can be seen here.

I've also mounted some abstract flowers in needle felting and hand embroidery which I made several weeks ago. 

I've got my hands on these perfect frames but, alas, the well known Swedish furniture retailer has decided to discontinue these frames in the UK so I'm now on the hunt for an alternative for future creations. 

Finally, we've had lots of fun in the sun here at Tilly Tea Dance towers...

Thats all for this week folks! Thanks for stopping by, pop back again won't you?

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Needle felting inspiration from the countryside & WOYWW

Morning troops! Welcome to my weekly blog about my journey as a textile artist.

Let's begin by showing you my work desk...

This time last week I was rushing off to get cracking with some wet felted background pieces. Once these had dried I needle felted strands of wool, silk and chiffon using my embellishing machine to create the background greenery for my pictures.

As you can see, I've started to needle felt some flowers and today's job is to free-machine embroider on top and finish with beading and hand embroidery.

Ive also been out and about the Shire this week, peddling my wares and getting inspiration from the wonderful landscape. This time of year the Shropshire countryside is incredibly diverse - from the lush greens I use in my needle-felted sheepy landscapes to softer shades of heather and corn yellow. On my way up to drop more pictures at The Bog Visitor Centre the other day I noticed these lovely soft hay meadow shades and thought I'd have a dabble at incorporating them into my work...

Here's the result...

In amongst all my needle felting I've still made time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life - such as seeing my little man don his swimsuit and frolic about in Shrewsbury's brand new splash park!

Well I've got another busy Wednesday ahead of me today finishing off pieces to sell at Quatt Open Village on Saturday. Thanks for stopping by my blog and do pop across to check out other WOYWWers sharing their desks on What's on your Workdesk Wednesday.

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Workshop fun & WOYWW

Morning all! Thanks for dropping by to catch up on this week's activities from my work desk.

So here's the work desk this morning...

The 'works in progress' from last week are closer to completion. My stockists are asking for more pictures and I have a craft fair a week this Saturday so there'll be a flurry of felting for the rest of the week!

I'm working on a development of my sheep felties using brightly dyed pre-felt.
If I ever get chance to work more on these sheepy ideas I'll share them on the blog!

On Saturday I ran a workshop - Magical Gardens in Needle Felting & Embroidery - so spent the back end of last week preparing for that. The workshop went really well - another great bunch of participants who produced some really lovely pieces of work. Here's a snapshot of some of their masterpieces...

One of the participants, Stephanie, wrote a really lovely review of my workshop. Whilst the best proof of a successful workshop is always the work produced by the end, it's great to get positive feedback and I'm touched that someone took the time to write such a detailed review!

On Sunday Ben had his friend's birthday party - the first in a series of 2nd birthday parties which will occupy every other weekend between now and the end of September! We went to a local farm for a picnic and a visit to the animals. Much fun was had feeding piglets, calves, sheep and even a peacock!

Right, I've got to dash as I need to do some wet felted backgrounds to work on this week. Thanks for stopping by. If you're new to my blog and you'd like to meet other craft bloggers like me, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) is the perfect place.

Happy crafting,

Max x

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

It's poppy season! WOYWW

Good afternoon folks! Thanks for dropping by to catch up with the activities from my work desk this week.

So here's the desk today...

Regular visitors may recall that I love to felt poppies. So you can imagine my delight when I saw was my first little cluster of poppies this year. OK, so it was just on a roundabout on the ring road but it immediately prompted me to pull out the red fluff and needle felt some poppies.

These are a work in progress. I started with a wet felted background onto which I've felted a variety of green wool and other fibres to create a background. Onto this I've felted red blobs then free machine embroidered over the top to create more texture and detail. To this I'll be adding embroidered daisies and beading all the poppies to give them centres.

Shropshire has some beautiful fields full of poppies so I shall be looking for opportunities to photograph them.

On the subject of photos, here's one I took from my lounge window of the summer solstice sunset last night. Whatever was going on behind those trees must have been pretty spectacular - such gorgeous shades of pink, purple and blue.

Visitors to last week's blog post will know I had a 'meet the maker' event planned at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre on Monday. The centre sells my pictures and the aim was to give visitors an insight into how my work is created. Here's my 'work desk on tour'...

I had a lovely afternoon. Lots of people stopped to look at what I was doing and I had some great feedback about my work. I even did a demo for a group of 15 primary school children who were visiting the centre. Children ask the most interesting questions, don't you find?

"How to you get red sheep wool... do they dye the sheep?"

"How many times have you stabbed yourself with that needle Miss?"

"Do you like my spiderman wellies?"

All good fun and a few enquiries about WI and craft group talks so it was a worthwhile day.

Anyway, that's all my news. I must dash as we've just bought a bicycle seat for Ben to ride on my hubby's bike and we want to take him for a spin before it rains (again!).

Thanks for stopping by, I always really appreciate your comments.

Happy crafting,

Max x

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

More felted sheep, meet the artist & WOYWW

Hello folks! Welcome to my weekly blog giving you a snapshot from my workdesk.

So here it is...

Most of what you can see is work in progress. My stockists all need more pictures so I've been furiously felting this week - sheep being the order of the day once again.

I'm also preparing for an exciting new development next week. On Monday I'll be holding a 'meet the maker' session at Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. The centre, in Craven Arms, currently stocks my work and has many visitors each day. Hopefully being able to see how I create the artwork on display will give added interest to the visitors.

Pop back next week to find out how it went!

Finally, eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a little addition to my workdesk. Last week I had a lovely surprise in the post from Diana Velvet Moth, a fellow artist and WOYWWer who I admire a lot. Diana has a real gift for colour, composition and combining media. I'm really chuffed to have a piece of her work to marvel at!

Well that's all for this week, I've lots of little felted sheep to bring to life while a certain toddler naps!

Happy crafting

Max x

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

WOYWW - "There's needle felting Jim, but not as we know it"

Hello there folks, welcome to my weekly blog about all things textile art - part of What's on your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW). The keen eyed regulars will have noted my absence last week - the inmates of Tilly Tea Dance Towers all came down with a bug.

I'm back on form now though so here's my workdesk for you this morning...

I'm trialling some new ideas again and this time I've moved away from my usual garden / hedgerow scenes to try something a little different.

It's needle felting, but not as I know it (ok, the Star Trek script robbing ends there!)

These have been assembled using cream and grey pre-felt, vintage lace, lilac wool roving and pale pink chiffon. These have been layered and felted down then hand embroidery, beads and buttons have been added on top.

Not sure what they'll be - either tiny pictures or brooches.

I guess I'm channeling inspiration from my newly redecorated sitting room, which is grey and lilac (and totally lovely - big thanks to Twiglet for shortening curtains and making blinds!). You can get an idea of the new decor in this photo of Benjamin's workdesk, a new addition to the sitting room. Perhaps he'll be joining in WOYWW one day soon!

Also on my workdesk are three fabulous ATCs I have received from the WOYWW anniversary swap. Thank you very much Kyla, Sandra Dee and Sylvia - your work is beautiful and each so different.

Kyla also sent me some lovely crafty goodies which I will endeavour to use to create something pretty to share with you at a later date.

I've really enjoyed the ATC swap this year and I'm determined to make a few more to swap next year (that's 358 days I've got to get my act together!)

Right that's all for today folks! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you've enjoyed reading.

Happy crafting

Max x